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Different Types of Red Dots | Optics Trade Debates

Welcome to Optics Trade debates. In each episode, we talk about a different topic and try to answer the most common questions we receive about it. Today, we are going to discuss different types of red dots.

Today we are going to discuss different types of red dots and which type is better suited for which kind of use. We can start with the basics of three groups of different red dots based on the categorization on our webpage.

What are the different types of red dots?

As you can see in the video, there are:

For more information about different types of Red dots watch our video

We will now explain the differences from the optical point of view.

Which red dot is best?

If you would like to have the best red dot sight in terms of optics, we would recommend a full tube red dot sight. They are optically perfected and the eye box is very good. Their big minus is that they are huge, the size is almost equal to that of a riflescope. But because of their size, it is much easier to look through them.

Red Dot VS Reflex

Reflex sights are completely different from the full tube and small tube red dot sights; they are much smaller. Optically, they are comparable, but reflex sights are almost useless in bad weather conditions. They are light, compact, and can be mounted basically on any pistol or rifle because they have so many mounting solutions.

Want to know more about mounting standards on  Red dots?

Footprint Database

The definition of the red dot on the reflex sight is in the shape of a star, not so clear and fine adjustable. Red dots on reflex sights are bigger than on full and small red tube sights. In the last years, many people started using reflex sights on pistols because they are the most suitable. Full tube and small tube red dot sights are too big and too heavy for balance. Mounting is also quite a hard job.

All three groups of red dots are meant for tactical and hunting professional usage. If you would like to have a small dot for tactical use, you should go for a reflex sight.

Reflex Red Dots

In the category of small sights, you have Aimpoint Micro H1 and H2 which are completely hunting dedicated. From Holosun you get both, tactical and hunting small tube red dot sights. Holosun and Aimpoint also have full tube red dot sights for hunting and tactical use.

Shooting distances

What about distances, which is the best option? If we want to shoot on 120m or 150m which is very far for a red dot, the best option would be the full tube red dot sight – it has a better red dot definition, a smaller dot.

At close range, when you want to shoot fast, the best solution is a reflex dot sight. They always win when we get to the eye box, they are the least sensitive to the eye position. Full tube red dot sights have a really good eye box, because you have a huge window but still not as good as the reflex ones.


Let’s make a short summary. For close range, we recommend reflex dots, for long-range, we recommend full red tube sights. Small tube sights are somewhere in between, they can cover both options.

We would like to thank you for your time. In case we did not answer all the questions regarding this topic please leave a comment below or send an e-mail to us. If you found the video useful, please subscribe to our channel.

Products mentioned:
Red Dot Sights:
Reflex Sights:
Tube Dot Sights:



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