What are red dot scopes?
Although the dot can be colours other than red, the category has become known as ‘red dot’ scopes, and sometimes as ‘holographic’ and ‘reflex’ sights. Although the arrangement differs slightly for each, as the name suggests, they make use of a dot, that is generated by an LED (Light Emitting Diode) instead of a crosshair reticle to provide an aim point. Typically the dot is projected onto a small screen within the sight which the shooter overlays onto the target. Red dot scopes should not be confused with laser dot scopes that project a dot onto the actual surface of the target.
On their own, red dot scopes do not offer any form of magnification, although it is possible to purchase a separate magnifying unit and position it in front of the sight itself.
Why use a red dot scope?
Most airgunners use red dot scopes as an alternative to traditional telescopic sights for informal target shooting and back garden plinking as they are intended to facilitate fast target acquisition, making them a popular choice for speed shooting. Paintballers and airsoft shooters also like them for this reason, as, of course, do law enforcement and military. Some shooters who struggle to use a telescopic sight due to issues with their eyesight find it easier to use a red dot scope.