3 Things to Consider When Purchasing a Red Dot Sight

There’s no mistaking it: red dot sights are here to stay. While they were once the domain of video games and elite military operators, red dots are now commonplace optics. In fact, these handy sights have become so prevalent that they’ve become commonplace on both rifles and pistols. But if you’re thinking about adding a red dot sight to your pistol, hold your horses. Here are three things you should consider before pulling the trigger on a red dot sight.




Should I Get a Red Dot Sight for My Pistol?

There’s no denying it: red dots rule. If you’re considering adding a red dot to your pistol, don’t wait. Red dots offer several benefits to a shooter. For one, adding a red dot to your pistol will make target acquisition faster and easier. In addition, a red dot helps when re-acquiring your target for follow-up shots. You can also keep both eyes open when using a red dot. That improves your overall situational awareness. Finally, red dot sights perform better in low light situations, when you may not otherwise even be able to see your irons.

Don’t get us wrong: iron sights are still extremely useful. For one, you can use your pistol’s iron sights to “co-witness” your red dot. This means that you can use both the dot and the iron sights to improve your accuracy. And in a pinch, iron sights will make a handy backup if anything happens to your red dot.

3 Things to Consider When Purchasing a Red Dot Sight for a Pistol

choosing the best red dot sight

Sight Picture

Since you’re going to be spending plenty of time looking down your red dot, you should like its sight picture. Generally, red dot sights fall into one of two categories: window or tube. For pistols, windows are the most common type of red dot. You’ll also want to make sure the sides of your red dot aren’t too thick. If they do, they may encroach onto your sight picture.

Battery Life

Here’s one factor that many first-time buyers overlook when shopping for pistol red dot sights. Red dots, like any other electronic device, need to pull power from somewhere. For a red dot, that usually means some sort of coin-shaped battery, similar to the one that you’d find in a garage door opener (but more powerful). Even if you think you’ve found the perfect red dot sight for your pistol, make sure you double check the battery life!


There’s no getting around it: size is the most important part of a red dot sight. After all, if your red dot’s footprint doesn’t fit on the slide of your pistol, you won’t be able to mount it there. That’s not the only factor that should determine the size of your pistol’s red dot sight, though. It’ll also have an impact on the holster you use. In fact, you may want to consider picking up a custom holster if you add a red dot to your pistol.

That’s where Southern Trapper can help. We can build the perfect custom holster to fit your specific pistol and red dot combo. Check out our complete inventory to learn more about individual holster styles.

holster with red dot sight