Tips for AR-15 Red Dot and Maginifeir Combos
Many AR-15 owners prefer to use a magnifier with a red dot sight for improved accuracy at longer distances. However, there is some debate about the optimal placement of the magnifier to the red dot. Some may find it hard to believe, but it is a question that comes up often and has varying opinions. Let’s explore the different factors when deciding whether to mount the magnifier before or after the red dot on an AR-15.
Table of contents
- Tips for AR-15 Red Dot and Maginifeir Combos
- Understanding Magnifier and Red Dot Combinations
- Size Considerations for Magnifier and Red Dot Combos
- Understanding Eye Relief
- Proximity and Positioning for Magnifier and Red Dot Combos
- Co-Witness and Alignment of Magnifier and Red Dot
- Importance of a Secure Mounting System
- Proper Maintenance and Zeroing
- Conclusion: Does the Magnifier Go Before or After the Red Dot On an AR-15?
- FAQs: Does the Magnifier Go Before or After the Red Dot On an AR-15?
Understanding Magnifier and Red Dot Combinations
A magnifier and red dot combination on an AR-15 refers to the setup where a magnifier is mounted behind or in front of a red dot sight. The purpose of the magnifier is to provide increased magnification, enabling more precise target acquisition. On the other hand, the red dot sight offers a quick and intuitive aiming solution. It is important to ensure proper optical alignment and co-witness for optimal performance when aligning these two optics.
Size Considerations for Magnifier and Red Dot Combos
When selecting a magnifier and red dot combo for your AR-15, it is crucial to consider both the optics’ size and weight. Choosing larger, more compact models involves a trade-off between magnification power and portability.
Larger magnifiers offer higher magnification, allowing for more precise target acquisition at longer distances. However, they can add bulk and weight to your firearm, potentially impacting maneuverability and comfort during extended shooting sessions.
On the other hand, compact magnifiers provide a more streamlined setup, reducing the overall weight and size of your AR-15.
While these models may sacrifice some magnification power compared to larger counterparts, they offer increased mobility and agility, which can be advantageous in dynamic shooting situations.
Table: Comparison of larger and compact magnifiers:
|6″ x 2″ x 2″
|4″ x 1.5″ x 1.5″
Understanding Eye Relief
One crucial factor to consider when positioning a magnifier with a red dot on an AR-15 is eye relief. Eye relief refers to the distance between the rear lens of the optic and your eye, where you can see the full field of view and reticle. Achieving the optimal placement of the magnifier is essential to ensure a comfortable and unobstructed sight picture without any loss of target visibility.
Factors such as the shooter’s eye position and the length of the magnifier impact eye relief. Positioning the magnifier to allow a comfortable shooting stance while maintaining a clear line of sight to the target is important. This ensures you can effectively engage your target without straining your eyes or compromising accuracy.
Properly factoring in eye relief is vital when positioning a magnifier with a red dot on an AR-15. This ensures a comfortable shooting experience and clear visibility of the target.
Experimentation may be necessary to find the perfect eye relief placement that suits your needs. The key is finding a position that offers comfort and uncompromised target visibility, allowing you to acquire and engage targets effortlessly.
Eye Relief Considerations
|Impact on Eye Relief
|Shooter’s Eye Position
|Determines the distance between the shooter’s eye and the optic’s rear lens
|It affects the overall distance between the shooter’s eye and the magnifier.
By carefully factoring in these considerations, you can position your magnifier with the red dot on your AR-15 to optimize eye relief, provide a comfortable shooting experience, and maintain clear visibility of your target.
Proximity and Positioning for Magnifier and Red Dot Combos
Regarding the proper AR-15 magnifier setup and how to position a magnifier with a red dot on an AR-15, proximity and positioning play an important role. Achieving optimal performance requires consideration of these factors.
The objective is to find a position that allows quick and easy engagement while maintaining a clear-sighted picture. Generally, the common option is placing the magnifier directly behind the red dot on your upper receiver. Regarding whether you can place the magnifier in front of the red dot sight, be advised that many manufacturers make it clear that it would adversely affect functionality. An additional consideration is “eye relief”; with many magnifiers, eye relief becomes problematic if the red dot is placed behind the magnifier.
Keep things as simple as possible and eliminate a lot of potential issues;
- Confirm the Magnifier and Red Dot you are pairing will fit on your upper receiver without placing the red dot on the handguard rail.
- Confirm that the placement of the magnifier offers adequate eye relief for sight pictures.
- Consider the Magnifier’s impact on reaching the charging handle. It may be necessary to purchase an ambidextrous, extended charging handle.
Placing a Red Dot on the Handguard to Accommodate a Magnifier
Placing a red dot sight on the handguard rail of a firearm to accommodate a magnifier and red dot combination raises several valid concerns within the realm of tactical shooting and firearms enthusiasts.
- The handguard is subject to more recoil and vibrations than other parts of the firearm, which can affect the zeroing and overall stability of the red dot sight. This instability could lead to decreased accuracy and target acquisition speed.
- Mounting the red dot on the handguard can make the overall setup bulkier and less ergonomic, making it challenging to maneuver in tight spaces or maintain a low profile during tactical operations.
- The handguard can heat up significantly during rapid fire, potentially causing thermal distortion and affecting the red dot’s performance.
While some shooters might find this setup useful for specific applications, carefully weigh these concerns against the benefits before opting for such a configuration.
Co-Witness and Alignment of Magnifier and Red Dot
When setting up a magnifier and red dot sight on an AR-15, achieving proper co-witness and alignment for accurate aiming and target engagement. Co-witness refers to the alignment of the reticles of both optics, ensuring that they share the same point of impact when aiming.
Co-witnessing the magnifier and red dot provides several benefits. Firstly, it ensures that your point of aim and point of impact are in sync, allowing for precise shots. This is particularly important when engaging targets at various distances, where accuracy is key.
Additionally, co-witnessing enables quick
target transitions between magnified and red dot views. When both optics are perfectly aligned, you can seamlessly switch between magnified and close-quarters shooting without losing sight of your target.
- Mount the red dot sight on your AR-15 according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Mount the magnifier behind the red dot sight based on your preference and shooting style.
- Adjust the magnifier’s position until the reticle aligns with the red dot’s reticle.
- Ensure that the magnifier and red dot share the same point of impact when aiming at a target.
Properly co-witnessing the magnifier and red dot increases your shooting accuracy and enhances the overall performance of your firearm. Experiment with different mounting positions and adjustments until you achieve co-witness and alignment that suits your needs and shooting style.
Importance of a Secure Mounting System
A secure and stable mounting system is important when placing a magnifier and red dot on an AR-15. The mounting system should ensure that both optics are firmly in place, with no movement or wobble during firearm operation. A loose or unreliable mounting system can significantly affect the accuracy and performance of the magnifier and red dot combo.
Another consideration should be quick-release features. For scenarios where you need to remove your magnification and or red dot quickly, a quick release is something you should consider if your combo did not include them.
Proper Maintenance and Zeroing
Once you have determined the optimal placement of your magnifier and red dot on your AR-15, it is crucial to prioritize regular maintenance and zeroing of your optics. By adhering to a consistent maintenance routine, you can ensure that your magnifier and red dot remain in excellent working condition, providing optimal performance on the range or in the field.
- Regularly cleaning your optics is essential to remove dirt, debris, and smudges that can obstruct your sight picture and degrade the clarity of your reticle. Use a clean microfiber cloth and a mild lens cleaning solution to wipe the lenses of your magnifier and red dot gently. Be cautious not to use abrasive materials or cleaners that could scratch or damage the lens coatings.
- Periodic optics inspection to identify any signs of damage or wear. Examine the mounting system, adjustment knobs, and overall construction of your magnifier and red dot for any loose or worn-out components. Addressing any issues promptly can prevent further damage and ensure the continued reliability of your optics.
Setting Zero For Your Optics
Zeroing your magnifier and red dot is a must to achieve accurate and consistent shots. Zeroing refers to aligning your optic’s point of aim with the point of impact on the target. By zeroing your optics, you establish a baseline reference for your shooting, allowing you to make precise adjustments when engaging different distances. To zero your optics;
- Secure your AR-15 in a stable shooting platform, such as a bench rest or bipod. Take care to set up your target at a known and safe distance downrange. Using a proper shooting stance and grip, aim at the target and fire a series of shots, paying close attention to the bullet’s impact on the target.
- With the initial shots fired, you can now adjust your magnifier and red dot to achieve the desired point of aim and point of impact alignment. Utilize the adjustment knobs on your optics to move the reticle horizontally and vertically until your shots consistently hit the intended target area.
- To validate the zero, fire additional shots and review the bullet impact. Continue to make any necessary adjustments until you achieve the desired zero. Remembering elements such as wind, ammunition, and shooting conditions can affect your zero is crucial, so periodic validation is recommended.
Regular maintenance and zeroing of your magnifier and red dot will help ensure your AR-15 performs optimally in any shooting situation. You can confidently rely on your magnifier and red dot for accurate and consistent shots by dedicating time to care for and calibrating your optics.
Conclusion: Does the Magnifier Go Before or After the Red Dot On an AR-15?
Although some manufacturers make it clear your magnifier needs to mount behind the Red Dot, some magnifiers may provide an option to mount in front. That said, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Some compelling reasons to mount your magnifier, followed by your Red Dot, are as follows:
- Enhanced Versatility: Placing the magnifier behind the red dot sight provides the Shooter with a versatile optics setup. With the magnifier out of the way, you can quickly engage targets at close to medium range using the red dot alone. When the situation calls for increased magnification for longer-range shots, flipping the magnifier into place allows you to transition to a magnified sight picture seamlessly.
- Reticle Clarity: The magnifier doesn’t obstruct the red dot’s reticle in this configuration, ensuring a clear and unobstructed sight picture. This clarity is especially valuable for fast-paced shooting scenarios where precision and target tracking are essential.
- Improved Eye Relief: Mounting the magnifier behind the red dot sight typically provides optimum eye relief by keeping the magnifier closer to the eye.
- Simplicity of Use: A flip-to-side magnifier setup is intuitive and easy to use. The shooter can quickly flip the magnifier into position when needed and back out of the way when it’s not without working around the Red Dot.
- Reduced Bulk and Weight: Placing the magnifier behind the red dot sight results in a more compact and streamlined configuration. This reduces your firearm setup’s overall bulk and weight compared to having the magnifier in front of the red dot, making it more ergonomic.
FAQs: Does the Magnifier Go Before or After the Red Dot On an AR-15?
The optimal placement of the magnifier to the red dot on an AR-15 is to mount the magnifier before the red dot for enhanced magnification.
To align the magnifier and red dot on an AR-15, ensure that both optics have the same impact point when aiming. This alignment, known as co-witnessing, is crucial for accurate target engagement and quick target transitions.
Size and weight of both optics. Larger magnifiers may offer higher magnification but can add bulk and weight to your firearm. Compact magnifiers provide a more streamlined setup but may sacrifice some magnification power.
Eye relief is the distance between the rear lens of an optic and your eye, where the full field of view and reticle are visible. When positioning a magnifier with a red dot on an AR-15, consider the length of the magnifier and your eye position to ensure a comfortable and clear sight picture without any loss of target visibility.
A secure and stable mounting system is crucial for optimal performance. The mounting system should hold both optics firmly in place, with no movement or wobble during firearm operation.
Regular maintenance, cleaning, inspection, and adjustment are important to ensure that the magnifier and red dot remain in proper working condition.