Airsoft players are always looking for that edge on the playing field. And bettering your aim and target acquisition is always top of the list for any airsoft player who wants to improve their shots-on-target.
Repeatedly practising your target shooting skills is one approach, but there are also some tools and pieces of equipment which can help you get that edge. One of these is the red dot sight – a popular tool to help players acquire targets quickly and improve accuracy.
But how accurate are red dot sights? Does a red dot sight actually make you more accurate with your airsoft gun?
How Red Dot Sights Work
Red dot sights (RDSs) work by projecting a red dot onto a piece of glass in the gun sight. This red dot is then used as an aiming point, just like the front sight of a traditional iron sights setup.
The laser sight projects the red dot onto a fixed point of aim. When you move your airsoft gun, the laser sight’s projected aiming point stays in the same place, making it easier to acquire targets quickly and accurately without having to aim with your traditional iron sights or other aiming setups.
Many beginner airsofters opt for red dot sights because they are easy to use and often provide better target acquisition than traditional iron sight set-ups. More seasoned players don’t discount the advantages of using an RDS either, as they can provide a much faster and more accurate way to acquire targets.
Red dot sights are made by various brands, including popular ones like Aim-O. You’ll want to choose a water-resistant and shockproof red dot sight, as these features ensure that your red dot sight will withstand wear and tear from airsoft skirmishes.
Here at Socom Tactical, we offer a range of red dot sights from Aim-O, as well as other brands.
Benefits of Using Red Dot Sights for Airsoft Guns
The most obvious advantage of using a red dot sight for your airsoft gun is that it allows you to acquire targets quickly and accurately. With a red dot sight, you don’t need to spend time lining up your iron sights.
Red dot sights are also great for low-light shooting, as the illuminated red dot is easy to see even in poor visibility. The dot brightness makes red dot sights ideal for night shooting, as you can clearly see the aiming point in dark conditions.
They are great for day shooting, too, as the illuminated dot makes it easy to see your aiming point in bright sunlight.
Red dot sights also come with different levels of magnification. This means you can choose a red dot sight to suit your specific needs, whether close-quarter shooting or long-range shots.
They are often more accurate than traditional iron sight set-ups because you don’t need to line up your front and rear sight to get a good shot. Instead, you line up your red dot with the target, which is much faster and more accurate.
Beginner airsoft players also often find red dot sights easier to use than traditional iron sight setups.
Many of the top-of-the-line red dot sights feature a reticle that is adjustable for windage and elevation, so you can easily customise your aiming point to get the most accurate shots.
Why You Don’t Need to Zero In Your RDS
One common misconception about RDSs is that they need to be “zeroed in“, like traditional iron sights. This simply isn’t true.
Because the red dot is projected onto a piece of glass, it will always appear in the same place concerning the target. This means that you don’t need to adjust your aim based on distance like you would with iron sights.
Just put the red dot on your target and pull the trigger!
This is ideal for airsoft players who may not know all the technicalities of aiming and shooting, as you don’t need to worry about having the perfect aim with a red dot sight.
How to Attach a Red Dot Sight to an Airsoft Gun
Red dot sights can be attached to most airsoft guns with a mounting system, such as Weaver and Picatinny rails. Some airsoft guns come with pre-installed rails, while others require you to purchase and install one separately.
An integrated mount is often the best option, as it allows you to attach your red dot sight easily and securely.
Once the mounting system is in place, simply attach the red dot sight to it. Some airsoft guns may require special screws or tools to attach the red dot sight securely.
Always follow any instructions provided with the gun or sight carefully, as improper installation can lead to malfunction or damage.
Once you’ve attached your red dot sight, adjust the brightness and zoom settings to suit your preferences.
You may also want to adjust the windage and elevation settings depending on your shooting style. Not all red dot sights will have these options, so make sure to check before you buy.
Red Dot Sights vs Holographic Sights
Some airsoft players choose to use holographic sights instead of red dot sights. Holographic sights are a slightly more complex type of RDS, but they can offer increased accuracy at longer ranges.
Holographic sights have an illuminated reticle that is projected onto a holographic film rather than a simple piece of glass. This allows for more precise aiming, as the reticle adjusts automatically with changes in the distance to the target.
However, they are not recommended for beginner airsoft players, as they are more complicated to use and require more maintenance.
Green dot sights are an alternative to red dot sights and offer a brighter, more visible aiming point. They are ideal for low-light conditions but can be too bright in direct sunlight.
You could experiment with different types of airsoft gun sights or allocate them to different members of your team based on their shooting style.
Our Tips for How to Improve Your Airsoft Shooting with a Red Dot Sight
Having good target acquisition and aiming accuracy is key to winning an airsoft skirmish. Once you have your laser sight attached, you’ll want to get practising to make sure you’re getting the most out of your airsoft gun.
Here are our top five tips for how to improve your airsoft shooting with a red dot sight:
1. Start Your Target Practice Slow
Don’t jump straight into full-on airsoft skirmishes. Spend time getting used to the way the laser sight works and practising aiming it at different targets.
If you’re new to airsoft, it’s unlikely that you’ll hit your first few shots straight away. Take your time and practise moving the dot to the target quickly in a controlled manner.
It’s important not to get frustrated and keep practising, as accuracy will come with time and experience.
2. Focus on Your Aiming Point
When aiming your red dot sight, make sure you focus on the point of aim (i.e. the illuminated dot) instead of your target. This will help you to quickly acquire and maintain a good aim, even when the target is moving.
You will want to practice how to switch between targets and keep your eye on the dot so that you can quickly and accurately get shots off.
3. Use Both Eyes Open
When aiming with a red dot sight, keep both eyes open to get the full benefit of the sight. This will allow you to see more of your surroundings and better spot targets that are further away.
Most people tend to shut one eye when aiming with iron sights, but this can cause you to lose your peripheral vision and should be avoided when using a red dot sight.
Target shooting practice is a good place for this technique, as it will allow you to focus on the red dot and still get a good sight picture of your target.
4. Hold the Gun Steady
When you’re aiming with a red dot sight, it’s important to keep the gun steady and hold your breath for a second as you take the shot. This will help to ensure accuracy when shooting.
If you find it difficult to hold the gun still, try resting your elbows on a solid surface or using a bipod for support.
5. Adjust the Brightness Setting
Due to the way red dot sights work, it’s important to adjust the brightness setting based on the distance and light conditions of your environment.
For example, if you are shooting in a bright area, you will want to set the brightness to a higher level. If you are shooting in a darker area, you may want to set the brightness to a lower level.
Adjusting the brightness setting correctly ensures that your red dot sight is visible and easy to use in any environment.
Final Thoughts: Use a Red Dot Sight To Improve Your Airsoft Shooting
RDSs are a great option for airsoft players looking for quick and accurate shots. And best of all, they don’t require any special zeroing-in procedure – just put the red dot on your target and fire away!
With a little target shooting practice and some time to get used to your red dot sight, you can easily improve your airsoft shooting accuracy. You’ll be hitting those targets in no time!
Laurence is a keen airsoft player and has been the owner of SoCom Tactical for over 10 years. He’s played airsoft all over the country solo and as part of teams and is an expert on all things airsoft, like tactics, airsoft guns and gameplay equipment. As one of the UK’s leading airsoft suppliers and retailers, Laurence is the go-to source for airsoft knowledge.