A red dot sight is a technologically-enhanced, new-age alternative to an iron sight. A modernized optic used on many different types of weaponry, it is used across the board in military and law enforcement agencies worldwide.
The red dot sight that the United States military typically uses is the M668CCO Close Combat Optic. If using an M16 rifle or M4 Carbine weapon, this optic choice is the most convenient, best quality, and has the most efficient target speed.
As far as we know, red dot optics have been used in armed combat and for private use since World War II. Invented in 1900 by an Irishman called Howard Grubb, they have transformed the battlefield and enhanced even the most basic weaponry ever since. In the rest of this article, I will look at the features of red dot sights, how they work, and what optics the United States military and law enforcement agencies use.
What Is a Red Dot Sight, and How Does It Work?
A red dot sight is a built-in device designed to simplify targeting at average ranges. They can be used for handguns, pistols, automatic and semi-automatic rifles. Red dot sights work by utilizing a small in-built LED device that reflects light through a glass, creating an easy target line.
There are two different types of red dot sights: the standard rifle optics, and miniature red dots, used for handguns and small pistols. An excellent example of a Miniature red dot sight is the FastFire 3, heralded as the most affordable red dot for handguns and pistols.
Advantages of Using a Red Dot Sight
There are multiple advantages of using a red dot sight over the traditional iron sight. They are very beneficial for training new shooters, and they allow targets to be practiced with the utmost accuracy.
They are also very versatile and can fit almost any type of weaponry. Iron sights are incredible for accuracy, but red dot sights are much more efficient. They can be utilized within seconds – a trait that inevitably comes in very handy when at CQB (close-quarter Battle).
Red dot optics have changed the game of tactical applications in military settings. Nowadays, they are used in both military and police force operations and at home, in private and commercial settings.
Another advantage of using a red dot sight is that they are surprisingly cheap. Much cheaper than the aforementioned iron sights, the price of the most basic version of red dot sights starts at under $10 as of 2023.
However, the best quality red dots available for purchase can be several hundred dollars and have incredible durability, optional additions, and more precise targeting.
Disadvantages of Using a Red Dot Sight
Although red dot technology is often preferable to traditional iron sight technology, there are some disadvantages.
For example, cheaper red dot sights often need frequent battery changes, as they are generally dependent on a power source to function well.
They may also be a cumbersome addition to a weapon, especially if they do not have the latest red dot technology capacity, and can sometimes get in the way.
The other problem with red dot technology is that it can sometimes be affected by the weather. Heavy rains and storms will generally not affect an iron sight, whereas red dot sights, especially the cheaper options, may indeed be affected by bad weather.
Does the Military Use Pistol Red Dots?
The military does use pistol red dots. Since red dot sights are more effective for targeting, the United States Military needs to use red dot technology to maximize their weaponry’s potential fully.
Generally speaking, pistols can accommodate much smaller red dot technology than most standard rifles and other automatic weapons. This allows the US military to use relatively inexpensive red dot sights for anyone using a pistol.
What Holographic Sight Does the Military Use?
For many years now, the United States military has used the M68CCO Close Combat Optic. This optic technology is one of the most potent optic sights currently on the market today, and it can generally last at least five years with consistent use with only one battery.
It goes without saying that military equipment needs to be of the utmost quality. The military looks for quality and durability when using red dot technology, so you can bet that their choices reflect this.
Of course, there are certain sections of the military that may not need to use red dot sight. Indeed, anyone who is not subject to close-quarter combat will not necessarily need to use the technology, as in those cases, iron sight works just as well.
What Optics Do Special Forces Use?
The United States Special Forces typically have been known to use the Trijicon RMR Red Dot. This optic comes with in-built focusing technology, which can be adapted and altered by the user. It comes with both manual and automatic modes and is top-range optic technology for weaponry.
As well as the Trijicon RMR Type 2, Special Forces also utilize ACOG optics. Generally speaking, the type of optic they use will be distinguished by the kind of mission in which they will be used.
Navy Seals have some of the most high-tech and sophisticated equipment in the United States military. Usually, they opt for either Aimpoint or EOTech, both of which are top in the optics industry and utilize the latest technologies for military equipment.
In particular, Aimpoint has a very long track record of working with militaries across the world and has some of the most delicate optic machinery in the world – it’s no wonder the Navy Seals prefer Aimpoint.
What Optics Does Law Enforcement Use?
Patrol officers are increasingly utilizing red dot technology for the use of rifles in emergency situations. Optical systems are indeed the most effective addition to a weapon, so naturally, US law enforcement wants to take advantage of that.
The most popular optics technology law enforcement uses is undoubtedly the Leupold Mark 8 CQBSS. In addition, they also make use of traditional iron sights and scopes, such as the Bushnell Elite Tactical SMRS scope, which is especially compatible with rifles.
Trijicon has been collaborating with law enforcement agencies for many years now, and companies US Optics, and Leupold are also very prominent in the optics scene.
Due to the affordability of many optic sights, law enforcement officers across the board often use this technology, and SWAT teams especially make great use of low-power variable optics (LPVO), such as this LPVO Althon Optic, available on Amazon.
What Pistol Does Delta Force Use?
Officers working in Delta Force typically use the Glock 9mm pistol, one of the most popular handguns of our time.
The Glock pistol is favored not just by Delta Force but Army Rangers too, and is one of the most reliable pistols in use today.
They are dependable and offer a huge range of sizes and calibers. Glock has been popular with the US army for a long time and previously supplied Delta Force with Colt 1911 before the 9mm pistol became popular.
The United States Military necessarily uses a wide range of red dot technology, many of which are top of the range and the highest quality available.
For that matter, red dot optic sights are not just available for the United States military or any other military. They are very popular with private and commercial institutions and have unsurprisingly made a name for themselves over the last few years.
If you are looking for the best technology in optic sights, it goes without saying that the US military has the best options.
For more, check out Are Shooting Gloves Worth It? (Pros and Cons).
Hey, I’m Jim, and I’m the author of this website. I have been teaching people a wide variety of survivalism topics for over five years and have a lifetime of experience fishing, camping, general survivalism, and anything in nature. In fact, while growing up, I spent more time on the water than on land! I am also a best-selling author and have a degree in History, Anthropology, and Music. I hope you find value in the articles on this website. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or input!