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Holographic vs Red Dot Sights: Essential Facts Revealed

holographic vs red dot
Written by Robert Stevens

Hitting the target is always the primary goal for every gunner out there. You can have a great collection of the guns, but you are unable to hit a shot when required, the collection is useless.  Is the case if the weapon precision is suboptimal, the sight you are using can make a huge difference in the terms of accuracy.

Iron sight is an old school technology will get the job done with minimal fuss. But today, we are heading towards the advancement and to get more accuracy, a red dot and holographic sight locked on the gun can turn your broadside barn blunders to a bulls eye. But here is the main problem when you get two options and one to choose from. Let’s dive in for the comparison ‘holographic vs red dot’ and get the best out of both.

Holographic vs Red Dot

When you see the difference between the holographic dot and the red dot it is negligible. Many people think that the holographic sight vs red dot sight is just marketing speak, but in reality the differences exists.

A holographic weapon sight produces a red laser visible in the form of reticles and projects that into a prism. Then, the shooter sees the reticle in shooter’s field. The reticle is superimposed over a specific target, no matter if the point of view of the shooter changes in a relative position to the sight while appearing in the exact same spot on target.

The Red dot are always the zero or one power, which means that they do not magnify. The sight is not meant for the precision shooting but it is for the close or the far shooting.

1. Technology

The main thing everyone think is just that a red dot carries a red dot reticle and on other hand the holographic carries a signature big ring and a small dot reticle.

But on the technical end when you look inside, you get to know that the holographic mechanism is somewhat complicated.

A red dot has a LED emitter and this emitter sends the beam towards the front coated glass so that the beam is reflected back to the eyes.

The holographic sight uses the laser and mirror to send the hologram to your eyes, and it does not use the front glass.

2. Uses of the Dots

The design and setting of a red dot sight allows users to use it in moderate range. It usually uses a very simple reticle to perform its job. This sight lets you look through the optic with mere perfect angles. After the dot appears you are ready to hit the trigger.

Red dot can be easily changed from one weapon to another. They provide several assistances to the pistol stage, and rapid shooting advantage.

With a holographic sight, the reticle is always on the spot. The projected reticle moves as you moves the gun, but the aim remains at the same point. The advantage of the holographic sight is that the laser is projected onto clear window so the laser beam will not be visible to anyone.

3. Size

Does the size of the dots stand as a crucial point in the difference between red dot and holographic dot?

The answer is yes. As if you are in using the handgun, then as we have mentioned earlier that the red dot provides the massive advantages over the handguns.

On other hand for the holographic sight, the dot of holographic are not very huge where else they are also not available in the tiny size which can be used on the handguns.

4. Power

This aspect also plays an important role. Red dot is always a helpful sight in power saving. As the red dot uses the power saving LED while on other hand the holographic sight uses lasers for the holograms.

And this is the reason why the red dot can be used up to 50,000 hours. As compared with the holographic sight it can last for just 500-1000 hours.

5. Color

Because of the high wavelength, it becomes very natural and easy to pick red color. Either the red or the holographic site, they both use the red. And, now the green color is also used by the both sight as per the people’s notion that they are easy to pick.

However, it is quite confusing to find the green color while you are wandering in different areas.

6. Reticle

A large ring with the small dot is always a preferred choice for the holographic.

The best part of it is that now you can use the reticle for the range too. The new EOTech’s dot is 1 MOA and the smallest red dot get to 2 MOA.

It is always recommended that the red dot is always good to use if you love to use the reticle, this is because the red dot can be used for the thousands of hours.

7. In Case of a Blurry Vision…

Having a blurry vision or so called the Astigmatism is common in some people. And to get rid of this the holographic sights are best and you can work better with them.

As if you are in favor of using a red dot, you must understand that the red dot will look like a mishmash of squiggly lines.

8. Night Vision

Both of the sights, weather it is red dot or the holographic sight have the night visions.

And also both of the sights have the dimmer settings which mean that this will not cause the damage to night vision.

So it means that the both of the sights are equal and better for the night vision.

9. Magnification Power

Magnification is always as important as it is to get the bulls eye shot. Red dot and the holographic sights have the magnifiers on the front.

As already told, red dot contains two MOA (Minute of Angle) focus dot and the holographic have the 1 MOA center dot. After placing a magnifier before the red dot the MOA will be 6.

Now if you want to magnify the holographic sight, you will see the same tiny things, no matters which magnifier you use ahead of it.

Holographic sight will make you able to see 1 MOA. And this is the smallest light a human eye can see. So, here it does not matter about the magnifier which ever you use.

10. View of the Target

You got a benefit when you are using an electronic sight, as you can keep both of your eyes open.

If a small window similar to a red dot appears on your weapon then you need to remove it to get a clear field of sight of your objective. You get the rectangular view with the holographic sight.

11.  Acquisition

Modern technology has advanced so rapidly that the red or green sights have become swifter than the regular irons. For a lot of reasons these products are better than irons. Let’s have a look at the facts:

Red dot focuses direct to the ogle which delivers the pivotal space at the sight.

Holographic sight projects the hologram in front.

A lot of options will slow you down like with the red one you will be able to focus only on a specific object. Confusion will be created with the sight and the original target, especially when you want to choose between a green and red dot.

On other hand when you are using the holographic sight, it will superimpose on the objective. The positive thing is that the speed ring will make it easy for quick shots.

12. Price

Price is the keep point that always matters when you are going to buy anything in this world. In the sights, if you are tight on the budget, we suggest you to buy the OK red dot for sub $50.

But if you need the better results, you must go with the sub- $200 range for better shots.

For the best red dot, you must go with the Aimpoint PRO which prices from $400.

You can also go with the holographic if you can spend more bucks, as the holographic sight is more expensive than the red dot which starts from the $400.

The Final Take…

As you’re nearing the end of the holographic vs red dot debate, you should look for a concluding view of both sights in terms of their usability and performance. A holographic sight is better in many aspects than the red dot, but they come at a much steeper price than the red one. Maybe, you would keep these in mind while buying your red dot sight.

So, if you are tight on the budget you must go with the red dot which will give you a lot in a low budget.

Mainly choosing the sight depends on the person who is using it. While using the electronic sights for the first time, you must go with the red dot. As the red dot is easy to handle and you might not be so fast to use the holographic. Also, as being a starter you will love to buy a bight for low price.

In case you have been using the red dot from a long time and like to upgrade, our recommendation will be the holographic sight. A holographic sight will get you a bit faster with it and can shoot better around 300+ yards magnified.

Our other articles you can also read:

  1. 10 Best Scopes for 30-06
  2. Best hunting rangefinders

About the author

Robert Stevens

A Seasoned Hunter

It’s been several years that Robert, a retired teacher and a proud dad, has silently been piling up mature bucks down the South. This humble hunter began his hunting journey at quite an early age and since then, he spent countless hours in the woods and learned good lessons in terms of woodsmanship. Along the way, he also made money sharing his skill with his followers and well-wishers.

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