Any type of rifle will benefit from having a green dot sight. That’s because using an optic lowers abilities like sight orientation and sight image to just pointing a dot at a target more than 500 yards away. The dot is typically red, occasionally green, and sporadically gold (457 meters). The greatest green dot sights are adaptable, strong, and simple to operate. In order to see well when using your pistol, they should also comfortably suit your eye.
For many people, though, it isn’t quite as simple as pointing a light in the direction you want to go. In this case, a more complex optical system is required. The best green dot sights have been selected based on their ease of use, durability, and how well they fit the eyesight of those who need them most.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Green Dot Sight
When shopping for a green dot sight, there are several factors worth considering. The following section looks at these in detail.
Before deciding on which model might work best, think about how you intend to use it and what features would help make that experience better.
- Long-range shooting: This type of shooting involves firing a weapon beyond the normal range of its sights. Long-range shots require a stronger pull than short or medium range shots. A red dot sight with a strong magnetic base makes this task easier.
- Short/medium range shooting: In this case, the gun is held at an angle rather than pointed straight ahead. Stronger sights make this style of shooting more accurate.
- Tactical shooting: As the name suggests, tactical guns have a purposeful design and feature set. They’re often used by law enforcement personnel or military personnel in dangerous situations. For instance, a soldier may need a high-powered rifle sight while on patrol.
The size of your vision will determine the size of the sight you should be wearing. If you wear glasses, they’ll likely be prescription strength (presbyopia starts around age 40). If not, no big deal; just get a cheap pair from a garage sale or second hand store.
For those who wear contact lenses, consider getting a low-vision lens insert so you can see the screen clearly without them. Otherwise, you could end up kicking them out when you need to quickly take cover.
Brightness amp; Contrast Ratio
A sight’s brightness and contrast ratio are two critical elements to consider when looking for a new one. These two aspects control how easy it is to see the display, whether the image is clear, and if the sight works well in poor lighting conditions. Most scopes have adjustable brightness via a switch on the side of the unit or a button on the front of the scope. Many also come with automatic brightness adjustment, which automatically adjusts the level based on the surrounding environment.
Contrast ratio relates to the difference between the maximum dimness and brightness of a sight. High-contrast optics allow for greater visibility in both daylight and nighttime conditions. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that all scopes with a high contrast ratio offer superior performance.
Batteries are typically built into portable devices like laptops and phones because they’re essential for running the device. But when it comes to weapons systems, batteries aren’t always necessary. Some models include internal batteries that can run the gun for a few hours before needing to be recharged. Others rely on external power banks that can extend the life of the battery significantly.
If you plan to go camping with your firearm, opt for a model that includes a spare battery so you don’t have to stop early due to dead battery.
It’s important to remember that even though a laser sight is light years away from a traditional iron sight, weight still matters. Everything counts when you’re trying to manage a loaded gun at the end of a long day. So regardless of whether you prefer an optical sight or a mechanical sight, make sure it isn’t too heavy.
Mechanical sights tend to weigh less than their optic counterparts, but even then, a couple of ounces can make a world of difference. And since most laser sights are now made using plastic instead of metal, the weight savings is even higher.
This is where things can get tricky. While it’s easy to assume that all green dots perform similarly, there are actually variances among products. Prices can range anywhere from $50 to over $1,000, depending on quality and features. For example, some manufacturers incorporate advanced technologies such as thermal imaging and night vision along with other bells and whistles. These extras add extra cost, so naturally, the more advanced the technology, the pricier the product becomes. However, there are plenty of good options for under $200, so that’s definitely a starting point for anyone wanting to buy a new green dot sight.
Types Of Green Dots
There are several different types of green dot sights on the market. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before making a purchase.
Miniature/micro green dots
These little optics have been around for ages, but they’ve never really taken off in the shooting sports. Miniature or micro green dots typically offer lower magnification and smaller objective lenses than their full-sized cousins. They also tend to be much cheaper and more abundant. Their main selling point is small size, which makes them perfect for concealed carry because there isn’t a huge window between your optic and where you’re pointing it.
The downside of these tiny optics is that they don’t pack as much power as larger ones. While they can shoot very fast, their capabilities are limited by their small size. This means that they won’t perform well at long ranges or under heavy loads.
Full-sized/macro green dots
Most people think of green dots when talking about high-magnification shooters, but there are plenty of options out there designed specifically for close range work. Full-sized or macro green dots are great choices if you need an extremely bright reticle with lots of visual detail at close range. These optics are expensive, however, so keep this kind of precision in mind when looking at your budget.
A good way to get some practice with a green dot without breaking the bank is to take target shooting lessons. Most rifle instructors will gladly teach you how to become a better shooter with one of these bad boys, especially since most of the targets will be paper bags filled with ball bearing casings. Just make sure you buy one of those padded vests first!
Hybrid green dots
Finally, we have the hybrid varieties of green dots. These optics combine the best of both worlds to create something truly awesome. Compactness combined with incredible brightness allows these optics to compete with the sun even during daylight hours. The only downside is cost – these optics are priced at premium rates due to all the advanced features they include.
How We Chose Our Top Picks
When choosing our recommendations for this article, we relied on personal experience with a variety of different brands and models. We also reviewed other sources to identify the best-rated ones.
We looked at several factors when making our picks, including price, features, durability, and more. In general, we tried to find products that were as good as or better than the competition, taking into account what shooters are used in law enforcement, military, and security roles where reliability is key. We specifically looked for products that would be beneficial for those using green dot sights, magnified optics, and long-range optics because they’re typically used in situations where there’s a lot of distance between you and your target, so being able to see clearly and reliably was important. For final selection, we took into consideration reviews from product testers and independent third parties who have hands-on experience with these items.
Frequently Asked Questions About Green Dot Sights
What is the clearest, most reliable way to tell if a gun is loaded?
The best method is to check the chamber of your weapon and make sure it’s empty. If not, then you should probably treat the gun as though it were loaded.
How do I mount a green dot sight?
Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Most manufacturers offer detailed instructions for mounting their products. Make sure you get an appropriate plate carrier or adapter that matches the thread pitch between your firearm and the optic before doing anything else.
Can you use a red dot with a green dot?
Absolutely! Some companies advertise that their product is “dual-purpose” in nature, which means they can be used either as a standard red dot or a green dot system depending on what you need at the time. For instance, some may only include enough optics/lenses for one purpose while another might be marketed towards both civilian and military customers.
Which are better red or green dots?
Because of eye physiology, green dots are often far better than red dots. Faster target acquisition, improved contrast, a sharper reticle, and so on.