Red Dot Sight vs Holographic Sight
Hitting the target is above all, the primary goal for every gun enthusiast out there. You can have a gun collection the size of a military arsenal, but if you go to fire one and can’t hit the broadside of a barn, that collection is virtually useless. In cases where weapon precision is suboptimal, the type of sight you use can make a huge difference in accuracy. Iron sights are reliable old-school technology that will get the job done with minimal fuss, and for some, that’s all they will ever need. But if your situation calls for more technologically advanced accuracy, a red dot or holographic sight locked on the rail of your firearm can turn broadside barn blunders, into bullseye precision. The problem is, when you are ready to step into the new age of tactical sights, the choice between a red dot or holographic is riddled with confusion. Let’s dive into the differences between these two options in firearm optics so you can make your choice with confidence, and get to more important endeavors, such as your next shooting adventure.
The Advantages of a Red Dot Sight
Simply put, a red dot sight puts an illuminated dot in the visual image on the lens. In technical terms, a LED light is beamed onto a lens coated with a material that reflects it back at the shooters eye, giving the impression that the dot rests on the target. They are available for both handguns and rifles offering advantages for those who need faster target-hitting speed. Shot placement with a red dot sight is quicker, more accurate and leaves the frustration of searching for your target in the dust. Less time spent looking through the sight to lock in on the sweet spot leaves pulling the trigger the only tangible thing to worry about. Another advantage a red dot has is in close proximity shooting. If most of your situations require shots less than 200 yards, this type of LED sight will give you an advantage over standard open or aperture iron configurations. This close shooting advantage also overlaps with notoriously inaccurate handguns, which benefit from the added precision of the red dot sight.
The Advantages of a Holographic Sight
The more advanced design of a holographic is very similar in user applications as the red dot sight. The difference lies in how the creation of the holographic image occurs and what the shooter sees through the optic. Instead of a LED light, the holographic sight creates an illuminated pattern in a circular or dot form via a laser that reflects off a grid. The holographic image is perceived by the marksman to float over the target.
The Fundamental Differences Between the Two Sights
Power consumption- Both types of sights use power delivered by an integrated battery. The LED light on the red dot uses considerably less power than the more advanced laser-based holographic light and might be something to consider if power longevity is essential.
Reticle- If you can see it, you can shoot it, and both sight options give you a visual advantage over traditional iron sights or scopes. In the red dot sight, the aiming point covers the target, and in holographic, the laser image surrounds the target. With both reticle options, accuracy is enhanced, and there’s a reduction in the amount of time it takes to aim and fire. An advantage the holographic has over the red dot is, by design, there are more reticle images to choose from such as crosshairs or different dot configurations. One drawback in both red dot and holographic is the tendency for the lighted crosshairs or dot to fade when shooting in brightly lit conditions. An option available on some optics allows for the adjustment of image illumination. One such sight, which offers several brightness settings, is the Trijicon adjustable LED Reflex red dot sight available at Omaha Outdoors.
Parallax- In all types of shooting scenarios, the distortion of the target caused by the shooters position or the angle of the firearm is a tough obstacle to overcome, especially when timing the shot is imperative. With both red dot and holographic sights, the angle of the gun doesn’t have to be perfect to locate the target, and this reduces time spent lining up the shot.
Magnification- When zooming in on the target, the size of the dot in the red dot sight will enlarge as well, obscuring the view. The target will be closer, but the dot will be bigger, sometimes covering the aiming point. In the holographic sight, the target will appear closer, but the aiming dot or circle will remain the same size giving the shooter visual acuity on long-range shots. In general, red dot and holographic sights don’t have the same magnification abilities that other optics possess. However, if enlarging the target is desirable, Omaha Outdoors carries the technologically advanced EOTech holographic weapon sight with G33.STS magnification, among others, that will give that option.
Choosing the right sight will make or break the accuracy of any gun. As you can see, the differences between optics aren’t as diverse as you would imagine, making the choice an easier one. Red dot or holographic options will all assist in accurate shot placement, but depending on your needs, one may clearly outshine the other.
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