Red Dot Sight vs Scope

Red Dot Sight vs Scope

Posted by STNGR USA on Oct 12th 2022

Red dot or scope? We'll find out.

Hello and welcome to the STNGR Workshop. My name is Rick Barrett and I'm your host for this series of videos where we talk about everything in the gun community from gun accessories to gun maintenance. Today we're tackling that age-old question: Should you put a red dot optic or a scope on your AR-15?

Now today we're not gonna be getting into the individual characteristics and dimensions and sizes of each of these. What we're gonna be doing is introducing you to the red dot and we're gonna be introducing you to the scope. And that way when we do the full videos on both the red dot and the scope, you'll have some background information in order to make a more informed decision.

Table Of Contents

Red Dot Sight vs Scope

Whichever way you decide to go, either with a red dot or a scope, you're gonna be upgrading your AR-15 over the traditional iron sights that they come equipped with. And while the red dot and the scope both do the job of helping you focus on the target in front of you, they go about it in completely different ways for completely different situations.

Before we get into the specifications and functions of both, let's get this question out of the way, which one is right for me? And unfortunately, the answer is, it depends.

If you're looking to use your AR-15 for home defense or for situations between 0 to 50 yards, the red dot sight is gonna fit that job description. It's lighter, faster, and easier to use.

Now if you're looking for close to long-range shots, we're talking over 100 plus yards, then you should go for the magnified scope. It's designed for these longer-range shots.

The Red Dot Sight

With that being said, let's talk about the red dot as an option for your AR-15 rifle, you're gonna notice that when you look through the optic, you're gonna see a small red dot at the center. That's why it's called the red dot optic. Now it is quicker than iron sights and a red dot is basically any optic that uses a red (and it can sometimes be a green) dot as the aiming point. The red dot sight lets you acquire your targets easily. When you look at your sight picture through your scope you will see a red dot on your object on the target. You already know that you will be able to hit it.

Now it's important to note that a red dot optic does not have magnification, it is not designed for that, it does not have the magnification ability. It's also important to know that red dots do not come in one standard size depending on the function you're using it for.

Overall, they're versatile and easy to use and a very popular option for those who are just getting into the AR platform as a way to make sure your follow-up shots are as accurate as possible.

The Scope

The red dot optic is fairly new when compared to the longevity of the scope. It's been seen in popular media, TV, books, movies. Every time we see a rifle we usually see a scope that's attached to it. So what does it do?

Well, basically a scope is a device that attaches to a firearm. It magnifies the object of what is seen through the gun sights. Scopes are most commonly used for shooting at long distances, but they can also be used for close-range shooting. Scopes can be used to aim at specific objects such as a target or a crosshair.

Comparing the Scope vs the Red Dot

So again, the main differences are:

  • A red dot optic uses the red dot as the point of aim and it doesn't have magnification.
  • A scope has crosshairs or a target and uses magnification for longer distances.

Either way, you'll be increasing your accuracy on your AR-15, whether you choose a red dot or a scope for your specific purpose.

Final Thoughts

And that's it for this episode from the STNGR Workshop. My name is Rick Barrett. I hope you enjoyed this video and I'll talk to you again soon.