How to Use a Reflex Sight

Learning How to Use a Reflex Sight?

Mounting a reflex sight in your ammunition can help improve your shooting accuracy significantly. Manufacturers have been developing various types of sights, and reflex sight is among the popular style. Although it is a bit expensive as compared to other sights, reflex sight for your gun is worth buying.

But a reflex sight will be worthless if you don’t know how to use it properly. You will end up missing your targets. If you are having problems aiming at your target, this how to use a reflex sight guide will help you aim at your target accurately.

What is Reflex Sight?


A reflex sight is a gun optical accessory mounted on top of your ammunition to help you aim point through its lens. This sight projects the image of the reticle on the lens that reflexes back to your eye.

A standard reflex sight has a small window that lets you see through it. Others have two lenses. The images are projected forward from the back lens, and see them through the forward lens. Since it does not have eye relief, you can use both eyes while shooting, which makes aiming relatively easy. You can choose between a battery-powered reflex sight or the battery-free model, depending on your ammunition.

Some shooters think one of the drawbacks of reflex sight is that you cannot magnify it, unlike rifle scopes. But reflex sight is highly beneficial in hunting, general shooting, defense, and tactical use.

How to Use a Reflex Sight

Types of Reflex Sights


Before we wrap up this guide, we would like to remind you that there are two types of reflex sights, and you should choose the one right for your rifle.

Exposed Reflex Sight

It has a single lens positioned in the front sight. This lens reflects the red dot you see. Since it does not have eye relief, you easily acquire your target. It has no tube-shaped sight. You will only see a clear window used in aiming at your target.

Tube Reflex Sight

This type of reflex sight has two lenses and appears like the standard small scope. It works by the rear lens projecting the light and the front lens reflecting it. Just like exposed reflex sight, it does not have eye relief. Acquiring targets is faster and easier than the traditional sights, though slower than exposed reflex sight.

Why Use a Reflex Sight?


Some of you might be wondering, particularly those who are new to shooting, why use a reflex sight and not the other types. One reason is because it is the one that fits your rifle. Also, the sight manages to acquire the target even better than prism and holographic sights.

Besides performing well, the reflex sights are less expensive as compared to others. Prism and holographic sights are more costly than reflex sight. Since both sights perform well, hunters and shooters choose reflex sights over the others because of their price.

How to Use a Reflex Sight
Image Source flickr

Read more: A Beginners Guide to Use Glocks Sights

Tips on How to Use a Reflex Sight?


As mentioned earlier, you use the reflex sight with your two eyes open. It may sound easy, but it becomes a problem for some shooters who are used to using one eye in shooting.  This is very true for those using a rifle scope for so long or for right-handed individuals with a left-dominant eye.

To get used to it, you can train with the exit lens covered. Shooters can see the outside environment and red dot in front of a dark surrounding. After some time, you will get used to the perception and see clearly the front lens again.

How to Sight in With Reflex Sight?


To shoot with reflex sight accurately, you need to sight in your rifle. You don’t just point at your target and fire. You have to sight in and make some adjustments to improve its accuracy. Some factors that may affect your aim and shooting accuracy include firing position, weather, focusing, environment, etc.

Your dominated eye will focus on the red dot if you move the sight to its front side. It may take some time for the red dot to reach the aiming point.

Here are tips on how to sight in a reflex sight:

Focus on the target, not on sight. Open both eyes when aiming and assessing the distance between you and the target. Observe also what is around your target.

Position your gun comfortably in the rest. If you are using a rifle, bring it up closer to your cheek. Some shooters bring their heads down to the weapon. The stock should be close to your chest.

Peek into the lens. You will see the sight’s reticle. Adjust the reticle on the center of your target. If you think everything is set, you do some fire testing and pull the trigger.

Following this technique can significantly increase your speed to acquire the target.

How to Use a Reflex Sight
Image Source flickr

Tips on Co-Witness with Reflex Sight


If the term co-witness is new to you, it refers to the reflex sight and iron sight being aligned together as you aim at your target. Absolute co-witness is the term used if you align the iron sight to the reflex sight’s center. Another word you might want to know is the low 1/3, setting up one-third of the reflex sight. 

Some hunters and shooters believe it is helpful if iron sight and reflex sight are aligned. Yes, it has some benefits but it also some drawbacks.

To co-witness, align the red dot of the reflex sight a little higher with the front sight. If not, you might cover your target.

Test fire to see the accuracy of the setting. Centering the red dot perfectly on the front sight might not be a good idea. But if you test fire and find it more accurate, then you can use this setup.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Can you use the reflex sights at night?

Yes, reflex sights are reliable even at night. If you use it at night, make sure you choose the suitable models as not all have night vision capability. When choosing, you should know how dark the area will be. It is much easier to aim at your target during the daytime, but it is a different story once the sun sets down.

Aside from the reflex night vision, you can also take advantage of the sight’s laser light. It complements the night vision of the gadget. You can use both at night when aiming at your target.

How far can you shoot with a reflex sight?

This means the maximum range it can aim at the target accurately. Since reflex sight is without magnification, you can shoot up to 100 yards. You can still shoot longer, but it is not as accurate as in a shorter range.

Can you add a magnifier in front of the reflex sight?

No, you cannot install a magnifier in front of the reflex sight. The best place you can install it is before the sight. It can help in magnifying the target and makes it bigger and more visible. Mounting it before the sight will not work at all. The user’s eye will be beyond the relief range, and it will result in dark image magnification.

Final Thoughts


Now that you know how to use a reflex sight, you can determine if this sight will help you shoot accurately or you need other types of sights. Remember, some sights may not fit a specific model of guns so you have to be careful when choosing.

Reflex sights and red dot sights will help you aim accurately, but some features are not available in red dot sights, like aiming with both eyes open and others. Some shooters are comfortable with this, but others may find it hard, especially if they have been using the red dot sight for too long. 

If you have some questions or want to share your thoughts about the topic, you can comment below. We will help you get answers to your questions and make your shooting experience worry-free.

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