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Red Dot on Top of Scope: Should Every Hunter Have One?

Red Dot on Top of Scope

A red dot on top of scope combo…

“What do you use it for?” “Should I really get a red dot mounted on my scope?” “What can I get from it?”

Yep, I totally get all your questions.

I was curious about this too, so I was done hypothesizing and decided to try it myself.

I mean, WHO ENJOYS wasting money on something that turns out to be not even worth the risk, right?

Well, don’t you worry because I’m going to erase all that doubt in your head.

Today, I’ll talk about its purpose and whether a red dot rifle scope is really worth buying.

What Is a Red Dot Sight?

What is it

Basically, a red dot sight is a small optic that has a visual illuminating red marker on the center.

How does it work?

Red dots are my optic of choice when I want to shoot from short distances. Target acquisition is so easy that I can get land it in a matter of SECONDS!

Here’s the basic process of equipping your red dot sight on top of your AR 15 rifle scope:

  1. Mount your scope with a red dot sight to the rail system of your rifle.
  2. Mount the optic on top of the scope. With that, you’re done already.

Simple enough, right? But that’s not all.

There’s more to learn about red dot sights and how they can be PRACTICAL choices for hunting or shooting.

TAKE NOTE: Red dots do not have a magnification range. They just have one magnification level — the same level that we see with our eyes.

This is the main reason why a red dot sight is only GREAT for short-distance shooting.

Advantages of Red Dot Sight on Top of Rifle Scope


1. It Offers Versatility

When you have a red dot sight mounted on your rifle scope, you will be able to easily adjust to different shooting situations.

Your rifle scope is responsible for long-range distances while on the other hand, the red dot sight performs the best in short-range distances.

This is perfect for any event that requires a quick and precise reaction. 

Whether it’s for home defense, hunting, or target shooting, the red dot sight will work flawlessly, giving you a flexible shooting capability.

2. It Provides Unlimited Eye Relief

Unlimited Eye Relief

Most of the rifle scopes offer limited eye relief, whereas the eye relief for a red dots is UNLIMITED.

For better understanding, let’s give a sample situation:

You head outside to go hunting. While red dot sight scoping, you caught a target. You’re ready to aim and fire.


Before you can even PULL the trigger…

You worry about whether your eye is in the right distance as RECOIL may hit your eye.

And yes, that is exactly what happened to me.

In this case, you would have a SLOWER REACTION because you are minding the eye relief.

Whereas in the other situation where you are using a red dot sight, you won’t worry about the eye relief as much.

Your eye can be anywhere as long as you can see the marker of the red dot sight.

3. It Gives You a Full Field of View

When using a rifle scope, you need to close your other eye to see the view better.

This would mean that half of your sight will be more or less “blind” to you and you won’t be able to see the whole scenery.

A scope with red dot sight on top allows me to use BOTH of your eyes to look through the reflex red dot scope without affecting your best view at all.

This way, you will be able to see the FULL 180 degrees of your sight or in short — a full field of view.

4. It’s Great for Low and High-Light Conditions

The mini red dot sight you see on the optic has a high illumination intensity level.

If you’re in a dark place, you’ll be able to easily pick up the red dot. Ever wonder why those spy action movies show guns with red dots?

Put simply, it’s 2x EASIER to see your target in low-light conditions!

If you are in a place where the light condition is almost blinding, the dot will still be crystal clear.

Unless, of course, the lighting in the environment is red-colored…

Furthermore, some reflex sight models offer various dot colors as well, though the most common one is just red.

5. It is Parallax-Free


You still have to consider moving targets or extremely close distances which may throw you off.

Red dot sights have JUST ONE magnification level.

Parallax is typically present in higher levels or farther distances so you won’t have to worry about this error that much over short distances.

Still, that doesn’t mean your optics is COMPLETELY illusion-free! You still have to focus to a certain extent to get an accurate shot!

Disadvantages of Red Dot Sight on Top of Rifle Scope


1. It Looks Bulky

Some scopes are bulk already on their own, and I wouldn’t want to include the extra weight of a red dot on top of it.

If you can handle the added weight, good for you! Otherwise, you might see it as unnecessary weight-wise and design wise.

Now that I think about it, the image of two sights and shifting back and forth between them does look quite funny.

I would rather just stick with one.

2. It Feels Heavier

Although I’ve mentioned that these red dot sights are small and compact, it doesn’t mean that they’re weightless.

I still feel the added weight on my rifle, especially if I use a bigger sight.

This could affect how your scope works and could take some time to get used to.

3. It Can Be Confusing to Use

Since you are using a scope with red dot sight on top, there’s one possible drawback from all this.

You’ll need to change the position of your head to look through the scope and the small optic from time to time depending on the situation.

I take this as a kind of a BREAKNECK PROBLEM because I need to adjust my eyes quickly every time I switch views.

Adjusting to different scope heights can be bothersome when you’re out on the field.

Best Rifle Scope and Red Dot Sight Combo

While you can mount a red dot sight on top of the scope as you wish, there are still available built-in rifle scopes with red dot on the top.

Among all the best scopes out there, these are the best combo setups you can get for shooting and hunting purposes.

Burris Optics Fullfield TAC30 1-4x24mm

Burris Optics Fullfield

This rifle scope is designed for competitive shooters and dangerous game hunters.

I personally love using this scope for short to medium ranges because of the 1-4x magnification range.

The 42mm objective lens lets a lot of light in, but it does make the scope heavier.

It gives you 4″ of eye relief so my eyes are in a safe place!

Ready to hear something that STANDS OUT?

Burris Optics has an illuminating red dot small optic on top of the scope tube, along with an illuminated reticle on the scope itself.

Both can adjust to the sensitivity of any lighting conditions.

You get twice the visibility on the field and quick target acquisition overall for this magnified optic!

Trijicon ACOG Dual Illuminated Red Horseshoe Rifle Scope

Trijicon ACOG

The Trijicon rifle scope is popular among U.S. marines and after taking a look at Trijicon ACOG, I now understand why.

Do precise shots for different targets sound appealing? Because that’s what I experienced after using the Trijicon ACOG.

Not to mention, it’s great firearms equipment for home defense.

What about its features? Well…

This has an objective lens of 32mm and an illuminated reticle on the scope. The mini red dot on top of the scope has a fixed 4x power optic.

With this, this rifle becomes ideal for short to medium-range shooting.

Even though the scope only has a fixed magnification, U.S. marines were still able to drop HEADSHOTS. It’s THAT good.

It even went under Congressional investigation because of how dangerous it was.

If THAT doesn’t convince you how great this scope and red dot combo is, I don’t know what can.

Leapers UTG 6-24x50mm Riflescope

Leapers UTG


With a magnification power of 6-24x, Leapers is PERFECT for long-range shooting.

The objective lens has a size of 50mm so it’s obviously HEAVY.

But what’s great about this is its mini red dot optic comes in GREEN illumination too.

I’m glad I have the option to choose whatever is needed depending on the lighting of the environment.

Finally, the variable scope itself offers 4 RETICLE OPTIONS.

This gives a user A LOT of setup adjustments which can SAVE you time and hassle when it comes to hectic situations.

Scope With Red Dot Sight Guides & Hacks

Guides and Hacks

#1 Increase Your Reflex Sight’s Magnification Power With Magnifier On

Some shooters and hunters found an option to increase the magnification power of their small red dot optics — equip their rifle scopes with MAGNIFIERS.

Its purpose is for you to use your small optics for medium ranges.

One great thing about this setup is you can just SIMPLY FLIP it to the side when you’re done using it.

My Top Choice

If you want to get a scope with a red dot on top to set up SOLELY for home defense use only, an AR-15 equipped with EOTech XPS2 is the best option.

Why? Because EOTech optics are specially made for short-range shooting! 

They are holographic weapon equipment great for capturing fast-moving targets.

#2 A Small Optic Is MORE Worth It with Higher Scope Magnification Power

So how is this possible?

Well, I’ve already talked about how the small optic performs the best in short-range, right?

Then, it would make more sense to get a scope with higher scope magnification power for full utilization of both pieces of equipment.

This type of setup gives me more VERSATILITY, but only if your accessories can offer a wider range.

A combination of scope with a red dot on top can only work the best IF the scope itself has been built for long-range shooting.

I suggest looking for a scope that provides more than 4x power.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Mount a Red Dot on a Weaver Rail?

You can mount a red dot on a Weaver rail using an offset mount, which lets you position the sight how you want it.

A Picatinny rail adapter works as well, which lets you attach the sight directly on the rail.

Why Is There a Red Dot on My Scope?

It does look a little silly to have red dot when you already have a scope.

But the truth is it actually increases your speed and accuracy at various distances!

You can quickly achieve precise shots at both short (red dot) and long (scope) ranges.

It does take practice to master using both at the same time, but the benefits are all worth it in the end.

Verdict: Is a Red Dot on Scope Worth It?


Is having a red dot on top of your riflescope really worth it?

As far as I can tell, it’s been CRAZY helpful for me when it comes to short-range distance shooting.

Overall, I think it’s a great setup to invest in IF:

  1. It FITS your budget
  2. You need a scope you can easily switch from magnified to close range to account for CLOSE encounters of animal attacks in the wild
  3. You have weapons for different purposes. Say you have a rifle specifically for hunting and need one for home defense. A firearm with red dot is highly useful.

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