Reflex sights are arguably the most common type of red dot sight and the market is flooded with these inexpensive-efficient red dots. Even though these reflex sights are very common, many of us are unaware of how to use a reflex sight properly. So, today I thought I should give you a briefing on how to use it properly for practice, hunting and competition. This brief tutorial will include how to mount the reflex sight on a gun, how to zero in, how to co-witness and how to aim or shoot with it.
But before I get into the tutorial, you should know why people are using the reflex sight and more particularly, why should you use a reflex sight. It will motivate you to learn how to use the reflex sight.
Why would you want to use a reflex sight?
Apart from its faster target acquiring, reflex sights are much cheaper than other sights. Prism sights and holographic sights are more expensive and arguably underperforms compared to reflex sights. This is why hunters and shooters are prone to touse these reflex sights over others.
Now let’s get into the tutorial on how to use a reflex sight.
How to mount a reflex sight?
The first step is to mount the reflex sight on your firearm.
Things you will need to mount the reflex sight
To install the reflex sight, you will need Allen wrenches. You might also need Hex keys if they are nor given to you with the reflex sights.
When you buy the reflex sight, chances are, it will come with Picatinny rail attachment for mounting. If this or any other tools mentioned here are given with the reflex sight, you can buy it from shops near you.
Mounting the reflex sight to your rifle
If you are mounting the red dot sight on your rifle, the best place to do so is on the top of the rifle’s receiver end. There are two main reasons for this.
At first, the top of the receiver end of your rifle gives the reflex sight more stability. Secondly, this position gives reflex sight a proper balance.
Lastly, make sure the reflex sight is attached to the gun properly otherwise there’s a good chance for it to move and compromise accuracy.
Mounting the reflex sight to your handgun
Mounting it to a rifle is slightly difficult. For this, you will require a mounting plate which will replace the rear iron sight.
Also, you need to make sure the reflex sight is properly attached and tight with the handgun. To ensure it is tightly attached. Use blue Loctite to make it tight with the handgun. You might wonder why can’t you use the red Loctite for this job. Well, when you use a red Loctite, you are permanently attaching it with the handgun. But with the blue ones, you can later adjust it as you want.
How to Zero with a Reflex sight?
Zeroing a reflex sight is similar to zeroing the rifle scope.
When you are zeroing in the iron sights, leave the optic off and simply ignore it. Once the iron sight is zeroed in, if possible, you need to flip them down. Now see the manufacturers instructions. Turn on the optic and zero according to the instructions you receive from the manufacturer.
Now, when you are zeroing your reflex sight, completely ignore your iron sights. Only use them to index the optic when you are not bore-sighting.
Doesn’t matter where they are in relation to each other as long as they are both zeroed in.
How to get the Reflex sight to Co-Witness?
Many hunters and even professional shooters think that it is an absolute must that the iron gun sight picture is corresponding exactly to the reflex sight reticle. In simpler words, when both of the systems are viewed all together, the reflex sight is in just the exact point of aim of your iron sight. I have seen many professional users even recommend this to newbies.
Anyways, my idea of the backup iron sight’s ideal use is to use the iron sights through the optic when I find my optic is inoperable or there is any other problem with it. I personally want the iron sight to be low in the reflex gun sight’s picture when and if the front sight does not flip down.
You certainly would not want to see the dot of the reflex sight to be perfectly centered squarely on the back of the front sight tower. The dot of your reflex sight should be slightly above the front sight. Otherwise, there is a strong possibility for your target to be obscured. I personally find it laughable to spend a good amount of money trying to slightly shim things around hoping to get the dot of the reflex sight to be perfectly in line with the iron sight when people honestly don’t want to use this anyway.
The main purpose to co-witness it to ensure one sight system is zeroed in using another sight. In other words, the purpose of co-witnessing is to ensure the iron sight is zeroed in using the reflex sight and the reflex sight is zeroed in using the iron sight. If this is not important for you, then don’t even bother co-witnessing.
One thing you should know is sometimes even if both of the sights are zeroed in, they might not line up and this depends on the user or shooter of the sight. Their eyesight and their habit have a lot to do with it.
The point, Aim& Shoot
Lastly, what you need to do is point your gun to your target. Use the reflex sight to aim directly where you want to shoot and then just Shoot. This is all it takes to use a reflex sight.