Iron Sights VS Red Dot – Pros & Cons

Iron sights VS red dot, which one works better?

When it comes to modernizing your firearm, a red dot sight is a way better aiming option assuming the shooter has a good grasp on grip, trigger control, breathing, stance and follow-through shots.

It's faster an better. Here is why:

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Red Dot Sight - Pros And Cons

Are red dot sights worth it?

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Red dot sight provides fast target acquisition and a super clean sight picture for the shooter. The shooter can now focus the eye on the target and then just superimpose the red dot on the target.

For a zeroed firearm, wherever the dot is placed is where the bullet is going. It eliminates the need to align front sight, rear sight and the target, which makes the brain much easier to process aiming.

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In a bad situation, the brain wants to remain focused on that threat. The red dot allows the shooter to quickly acquire the target do that while the iron sight actually pulls your focus away.

Even though red dot is better overall, but practice is still required to get good, and top notch gear doesn't replace poor shooting fundamentals.

Pros

  • No perfect sight alignment required
  • Parallax free reticle simulates long iron sight radius
  • Eyes can focus on the target instead of the front sight post
  • Faster target acquisition
  • Much easier to stay on target on a full auto machine gun
  • Much more flexible mounting positions
  • Wide field of view
  • Much finer zeroing with 2 MOA or 1 MOA dot
  • Much faster in CQB
  • Clean sight picture 
  • Works with night vision goggle
  • Better for target ID without the reticle obstructing the target
  • Aim with both eyes open, and works for aging eyes
  • Visible at night

Cons

  • Shooters with astigmatism will see blurry reticle
  • Lens glare if the brightness settings is too high

  • Much more expensive

Iron Sights - Pros & Cons

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Iron sights have been around for ages, and it works for any experienced shooters. Red dot sights may offer overall better user experience, but it doesn't mean iron sucks.

In many ways, iron sights still provide useful applications to a weapon system even if the firearm is equipped with a red dot optic. 

In fact, iron sights works just as good as a red dot when the shooter is proficient. Some people love iron sights, but they still move onto red dots for reasons listed below:

M1 iron sight vs micro red dot

Pros

  • Provides backup aiming if the red dot sight dies
  • Good training tool for sight alignment basics
  • Helps acquire red dot for pistol applications
  • Provides zeroing reference when swapping red dot sights
  • Modern iron sights can be tucked away 
  • Very afforable

Cons

  • Front sight post blocks targets down range
  • Requires consistent stock shouldering position
  • Hard to see at night if it's not tritium 
  • Hard to see while facing direct sunlight
  • Much slower in CQB - Rear sight size obscures situational awareness
  • Doesn't work with magnifier scope for long range shots
  • Shooters with poor eyesight just can't aim clearly