Absolute VS 1/3 Co Witness – What Sight Height Works For You ?

Lower 1/3 Co Witness VS. Absolute Co-Witness explained in this post. One of the most common questions asked in the firearm communities is iron sights co-witness.

What is it and what does it do?

Co-Witness refers to the sight alignment relationship between the iron sights and the scope optic.

In layman’s term, it’s the mount riser height for optics.

absolute co witness vs 1/3 cowitness
Image Referenced LaRue Tactical

How Does Absolute Co-Witness Benefits You?

The Absolute co-witness height aligns the iron sights perfectly with the red dot sight, Meanwhile, The 1/3 cowitness sets the optic at a higher height to avoid view obstruction from the iron sight.

When purchasing a red dot sight mount for the Aimpoint Micro or other optics, this is very important.

Should I Co-Witness Optic & Iron Sights Together?

The answer is very simple, here are the pros and cons of each. At the end of this article, you will understand exactly what you need to know to make a sight height decision. It all comes down to 3 major factors”


absolute co witness scalarworks mount for benelli m4


  • Verify Zero Immediately
  • Sight Sits Low
  • Perfect For Low Cheek
  • Perfect For AK Style Setup


  • FOV Obstruction
  • Sight Obstruction With Hearing Protection

If you have a shorter neck, or if your rifle’s iron sights are already set very low, and the rifle stock cheek is low, and you can flip down the iron sights, then you should go with the absolute witness.

In addition, the shooter can also have the option to flip down the iron sight after zeroing.

How Does Lower 1/3 Co-witness Benefit You?

TRex Arm Shooting Sig MCX With Pistol Stabilizing Brace


  • Clears Iron Sight Obstruction
  • Reduce Neck Strain
  • Clears Rail Attachment Obstruction
  • Comfort


  • May Require Cheek Riser
  • Not For Long Neck Shooters

If you feel awkward cheeking your rifle so low in order to see the sights, or you have issue aiming down the sight when wearing bulky hearing protection, or you have lots of ninja laser devices mounted on your top rail.

I highly recommend getting the lower 1/3 Co-Witness height. It will make you cheek the rifle and see the sights more comfortably, so you don’t have to constantly adjust.

Overview Sights Co-Witness

I have explained what absolute and lower 1/3 co-witness height do to a shooter. You the shooter need to choose one of them relative to what your need is. First, you need to make sure you have a good cheek on the gun while still be able to see the sights comfortably when aiming.

Then you need to determine how easy or comfortable is it for you to verify zero with the two co-witness options. Finally, pick one that works best for you.

One of the most common questions asked in the firearm communities is deciding which co-witness configuration to use. Absolute or the lower 1/3rd? Co-Witness refers to the relationship between the line of sight the shooter see from the rear iron sight post through the scope optic all the way to the front sight post.

Co-Witness FAQ

What Is Co Witness Sight?

Co witness sight means the iron sights line up with the optic reticle. In the case of optic failure the shooter can still aim with the iron sights.

Do You Have To Co Witness A Red Dot?

No, but it helps with zeroing the optic.