What is The Difference Between Red And Green Dot Sights?

Are you planning to get a reflex sight for your firearm, and got confused seeing different options in sight color? When it comes to the reticle color for a dot sight, both red and green have their pros and cons.

Choosing the right one require a bit of knowledge on how they work and which color is yours. Well, that’s what we’re doing today, discovering the difference between red and green dot sights without being too technical.

In terms of selection, both have their appeal, but with distinct advantages of their own. After this comparison, you won’t hesitate to select the right one.

What Is Red Dot Sight?

A red dot sight is a firearm sight, smaller than a magnification scope that doesn’t feature a long cylindrical shape. It has both an outward objective lens and an eyepiece, just like long range rifle scopes, only with a shorter form factor.

What Is Red Dot Sight?

However, instead of a crosshair reticle, you’ll get a red dot in the center of the objective lens. There might be a red coating inside the objective lens, mostly with an adjustable MOA and brightness to it.

What Is Green Dot Sight?

A green dot sight is almost the same as the red dot sight in terms of build, only with a few differences. Instead of a red dot, a green dot sight will have a green dot, and a coating of green colors inside.

What Is Green Dot Sight?

You can adjust the green light brightness of the dot in some cases and get a clearer aim at your target. Green or red dots are available in holographic sights, alongside short cylindrical ones. You’ll also get the same MOA from the green dot .

Difference Between Red And Green Dot Sights

Although red and green dot sights have similarities in the body, there are major differences in the technology they use. Let’s discuss the factors that set the green and red dot sights apart, and decide which one’s for you:

Difference Between Red And Green Dot Sights

1. The Background [blend in]

Since they are colors, and you have a target as the background for the sight, here is how they differ:

Red dot sights

Red dot sights have a richer color acquisition power compared to green reflex dot sights. It’s because of the natural response to colors from human eyes. When you’ll see a red dot on the greener background, you’ll see it faster.

Green dot sights

Sometimes, green blends into the background, unless you’re shooting at a target not particularly green. While red is more vibrant on a greener background, a green dot sight does a greater job in other backgrounds.

Takeaway: Unless you often hunt birds and shoot at green backgrounds, go for a red dot sight.

2. Better Eye Relief

When you’re talking scopes and sights, eye relief should be the center of talk. Here is how red and green dot sights differ at eye relief:

Better Eye Relief

Red dot sights

With extensively long period of sighting through, a red dot sight can be problematic. This is because red is not a very friendly color for our eyes. It strains the eye faster than other colors and make it harder to aim calmly.

Green dot sights

The human eye sees green better, and a reflex sight with the green dot will keep you calm while shooting. Green dot sight will help you look through the sight for an extensive period. green dot optics works without straining your eyes for faster target acquisition.

Takeaway: Red is better if you need quick action, and the green is perfect if eye strain is your first concern.

3. Night vision

Just like any other scope or sighting technology, night vision integration comes along by itself. Green and red dot sights have different behavior here as well.

Red dot sights

A red dot on the NVD background with a greenish tint is ideally the perfect option. However, if the manufacturer of the red dot sight doesn’t clarify that it’s compatible for nigh vision, don’t fall for it. Try to get a sight that offers different illuminations for better night vision.

Green dot sights

Green dot sights, on the contrary, are not ideally a great option for night vision because of greenish NVD background. However, some green dot sights are compatible for night vision devices, even with green tint. Plus, if you’re using thermal imaging, green can  work well.

Takeaway: Go for a red dot if you use night vision goggles for night time shooting. Or be sure the scope has variable green illumination with NVD compatibility for green.

4. If You Have Astigmatism

People with astigmatism have to decide their optics and scopes with distinct characteristics. Red and green dot sights for rifle have their role to play here as well:

If You Have Astigmatism

Red dot sights

People with astigmatism often suffer with a blurred vision because of multiple light reflections to the pupil. Since red is a color that can have a bad impact on your eyes in terms of strain, you should avoid it. Red will put extra pressure on your eye to process the dot with a clearer vision.

Green dot sights

A green dot, on the other hand, goes by astigmatism just fine because green reacts better with the human eye. As it doesn’t strain your eye much, you can concentrate on the target better and shoot calmly. If you have less dot distortion to the coming light, the vision can stay calm longer.

Takeaway: It’s simple and straightforward to say at this point, if you have astigmatism, get the green dot.

5. Power Consumption

Both red and green dot scope use coin cell lithium batteries (with a battery compartment) to illuminate the dot reticle image. But which one consumes the battery power the most?

Power Consumption

Red dot sights

Red is a color that takes more time to adapt to the eye, and that’s why red is good for quick projection. On the flip side, a red dot will have a much higher battery consumption because of longer color reproduction.

Green dot sights

Green dot sights, however, will give you a longer battery life with less power consumption. That’s because you get less distortion from green, and it projects onto the eye better. So, you’re getting less eye strain alongside a good battery life from a green dot sight.

Takeaway: If you need quick projection and don’t need thousands of hours of battery life, go for a red dot.

6. Color Blindness

Color blindness can be a big issue when you’re choosing any kind of optics, and red/green dot is no exception. If you’re colorblind to red and need reflex sight, it’s a no-brainer that you’re getting another color. And it doesn’t do very well under bright sunlight compared to low-light conditions.

But if you’re moving to another color, remember that Green dot sights have different shades to choose from. Since green dot sights are still under development, you can have a range of colors to choose from. Some don’t even see green where you go with only the color you see.

Final Thoughts

Both green and red dots certainly have their pros and cons to confuse your buying decision. But now that you know the difference between red and green dot sights, getting the right one shouldn’t be an issue.

The rule is simple: You choose red for almost any background, but with a little strain from longer usage. And the green one gives you an unlimited eye relief, but blends into a green background.

Knowing both the benefits of a red dot sight and green ones, there’s another option: getting a red and green dot combo of both. Go for a sight that has both green and red dots with an option to choose from.

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