Red dots are extremely popular, and it’s easy to see why. Red dot sights are small, light, inexpensive, and can make shooting and target acquisition easier on any firearm. X-Vision sells a couple sizes and styles of red dot sights. In this blog we’ll go into the difference between the two main styles of red dot sights.
What Do They Have in Common?
Open style and tube style sights share much in common. Both optics are unlimited eye relief sights with no magnification. This means they are primarily for short distances within 100 yards. Both types of optics allow shooters to shoot with both eyes open, making target acquisition easy.
How do Red Dot Sights Work?
A small red LED projects a beam of light onto a semi-transparent mirror, which is then reflected onto the front lens of an optic. This partial brightness allows the sight picture and the red dot to coexist. Because the beam always comes from the same direction, the point always appears in the correct location regardless of the eye’s location relative to the sight. Here is a great graphic explanation of the technical details.
Open Style Sights
Open style red dot sights, also known as HUD or reflex sights, offer a greater field of view for target acquisition. A field of view is the peripheral area above and to either side of the sight picture. This makes them optimal for environments with fast moving targets such as skeet shooting.
While this open design improves target acquisition, open optics are also open to external factors. This means that they can be affected by environmental conditions like fog or breath condensation, rain, snow and dirt. Any of these contaminants can get on the lens and interfere with the sight picture. It is important to care for and pay attention for any optic to ensure it works well, but if you tend to shoot in bad weather, consider a closed sight.
Tube Style Sights
A tube style sight is exactly like it sounds. The red dot is projected within a tube shaped optic. Tube shapes provide a round sight picture. Closed sights have a sealed lens and are generally more durable than open style sights, but are also bulkier. You can also add filters such as dust covers, filters for haze or with polarization. standardized tube format al
Generally, most shooters prefer tube style sights for distances longer than 50 yards and longer on arms like rifles. Tube style sights have tighter minutes of angle and the more enclosed sight picture helps focus on faraway targets.