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Knowing the Difference Between Picatinny and Weaver Rails for Your Red Dot Sight

If you’re huge into target shooting or you want to become a target-shooter, then you are probably well-acquainted with a red dot sight. Red dot sights allow users to quickly acquire their target at an extended range. There are thousands of different types of red dot sights on the market. If you are new to red dot sights, then it is important you know the difference between Picatinny and Weaver rails. This can help you make sure you buy the right red dot sight for your gun.

red dot sight sawyer weaver railWhat are Weaver Rails?

Weaver rails were introduced before Picatinny rails. The weaver rails don’t necessarily have consistent spacing between the grooves. Weaver mounting rails have slots that are .180” wide and have smaller slots than on a Picatinny rail. If you are looking to purchase a red dot sight and know that your gun has a Weaver rail, then it is important to be sure you buy a red dot sight that will fit correctly onto your gun. To read into some more information on Weaver (and Picatinny) rails, check out this website here.

**Products meant for Picatinny rails will NOT fit on a Weaver rail. However, products meant for Weaver rails CAN fit on a Picatinny rail.**

What are Picatinny Rails?

Picatinny rails have specific dimensions of grooves and notches. These mounting rails have slots that are .206” wide. You can find these types of rails typically built into a long gun or a handgun. There are many different products on the market today that can easily be added onto Picatinny rails. These can include scopes, tactical lights, night vision sights, a red dot sight, and more. The US military adopted Picatinny rails in 1995, which can be attributed to the Picatinny’s rise in popularity. In conclusion, nowadays you will probably see more guns with Picatinny rails rather than Weaver rails. Your red dot sight will most likely fit on Picatinny rails over Weaver rails, as well. This is partly due to the consistent spacing that makes it a better option when switching out different accessories between guns.