Being able to connect with your targets is pretty important in airsoft, whether you’re shooting at opposing combatants or just plinking in the backyard. It’s just not the same when your shot strings don’t cooperate with your point-of-aim, plus you could lose the match.
Optics like airsoft scopes and red dot sights can make it much more practical for you to connect with your targets, both on and off the airsoft field. Both of them can also improve on the basic functionality of iron sights – but at the same time, they offer distinct advantages.
Here’s what you need to know when you’re trying to decide whether your rail space should be reserved for a scope or a red dot.
Choose a Red Dot Sight If…
Red dot sights, just like airsoft scopes, are typically designed to mount to the rail over your airsoft gun’s receiver. They feature a small glass plate over which a small red or green dot of light is superimposed.
Red dot sights are a type of reflex sight that enables you to see the target through the plate of glass, and when calibrated and sighted in, the projected dot should correspond closely to point of impact at a given range.
Red dot sights enable you to keep an open sight picture and free you from parallax distortion, allowing you to shoot with both eyes open. Some red dot sights even feature adjustable brightness.
This gives red dots the advantage in CQB scenarios where you may need to send off many shots within a matter of seconds.
If you’re playing with an AEG and expect the majority of your engagements to occur at close range, a red dot sight might be better for you.
Choose an Airsoft Scope If…
By contrast to red dot sights, airsoft scopes are typically better at extended ranges.
They also are typically designed to be mounted to your airsoft gun’s receiver, but unlike red dot sights, it takes a little bit longer to acquire the target through them.
Additionally, scopes have reticles or “crosshairs” that must be lined up, like iron sights, before taking the shot. This makes it difficult to make reflexive shots through an airsoft rifle scope.
However, scopes have some advantages at greater ranges. First off, there are magnifier scopes that are superior at greater ranges because they magnify the sight picture, and some of them are better in low-light settings.
Choose an airsoft scope over a red dot sight if you expect to be taking most of your shots over greater distances, or if you are filling the role of an airsoft sniper. A scope can help you connect more effectively at greater ranges.
Also, one thing to note is that some scopes and red dot sights are combination units, with the functionality of both in one package. These hybrid optics give airsoft players the best of both worlds.
Always Be Prepared with Backup Iron Sights
Whether you end up choosing an airsoft scope or a red dot sight, a good general practice is to invest in offset backup iron sights as well.
These little iron sights typically compatible with most rail mounts can be folded against the body of the airsoft gun until needed. That way, if a target is too close or moving too quickly to use a scope, or the batteries in your red dot die, you can flip out the backup sights and rely on them.
Where Can You Get All of These Airsoft Attachments?
Whether you’re looking for an airsoft scope or a red dot sight, check out MiR Tactical online at MiRTactical.com. They carry airsoft scopes, reflex sights (including red/green dot sights and mini red dot sights), iron sights, and many other airsoft attachments, all at great prices.
Plus, their customer service is excellent and so are their resources. If you do pick up a scope for your airsoft sniper rifle, make sure you check out their recent post on “How to Zero Your Airsoft Scope.”