Use of Iron sights on arms started to disappear years ago. Now, the new and updated sights are replacing their old counterpart. Among them, Holographic sights and Red Dot sights are the top ones in the talk. Every hunter, policeman or military personnel is using either one of them. However, some people (who are not familiar with how these sights work) fail to realize the comparison between holographic sight vs red dot sight and end up lost in fake reviews and opinion. For them, this is our attempt to break down the differences, advantages, and superiority over one another.
Red Dot Sight
Usually, you can expect little to no magnification while using Red Dot Sights. They generally have the dot-styled reticle and it allows the users to benefit from its maximum accuracy and the minimum amount of field view blockage. Even though triangle and small circled reticle Red Dots are available, their sizes aren’t that big compared to regulars and yet they allow minimal blockage of views. However, there is a minor parallax issue with using Red Dot Sights.
Holographic sights are comparatively more expensive than regular Red Dot Sights. They are suitable for close quarter situations and magnification is almost minimum to none. Unlike Red Dot sights, these Holographic sights do not result in parallax issues. Besides, they generally give you better speed to the target.
Differences: Holographic Sight vs Red Dot Sight
In this part, we will explain you the key differences between them and help you decide between holographic sight vs red dot sights.
1. Working System
The difference in the working system between holographic sight vs red dot sight is perhaps the most notable one. On one hand, the Red Dot Sight system uses Light Emitting Diode or LED and an objective lens that creates a dot-type illuminated reticle etched to your viewing window. Here the objective lens functions as a mirror that reflects only the red wavelength from the LED. Then it directs it downrange into your vision.
On the other hand, Holographic sights basically bounce the laser lights off the reflectors that creates an illuminated hologram of a reticle in the view filed. Generally, these Holographic film records the 3-D reticle images. The collimated lights from the built-in laser diode act to illuminate the hologram.
Battery consumption is different for both sights because they work differently and uses different power sources.
Usually, Red Dot sights require less power as they use LED. These LEDs on the Red Dots usually consume up to 0.6 Ma while the more powerful and advanced laser diodes on the Holographic weapon sights take almost 200 mA of current.
3. Layout & Design
The basic layout and design also differ for Red Dot and Holographic sight. Based on how the system works, their components and parts fit differently on each setup. Between holographic sight vs red dot sight, the latter has a tube-like setup while the former holds a square-shaped viewing window.
Like the magnified rifle scopes, Red Dot sights have windage and evaluation knobs too. However, the cylindrical tubes are a bit shorter.
The difference of reticle between holographic sight vs red dot is another key aspect that you can’t un-see. Contrary to its name, the Red Dot sights can have a green dot-type reticle or even a triangle, circle or chevron-shaped one. On the other hand, Holographic sights have one ring that is circling its dot like the aiming point.
Advantages of Holographic sight vs Red Dot sight
Before we get into this part, let me clarify that – between holographic sight vs red dot sight, the holographic red dot sight holds a stronger position as it has advantages more than the red dots. However, this is not our conclusion. To see our verdict or opinion on this comparison on this, please stick with us while we break down the advantages and reach to a logical decision based on the overall price, performance, working function, and advantages.
Perhaps the biggest advantage that Holographic sight has over red Dot sight is their immunity to parallax error. As the Red Dot sight or Reflex sight puts the target and the dot on the same optical plane, its reticle remains stationary, which is why shots can be off target. But the Holographic sight appears to be going downrange and moves with your eye position. That’s why at any set range, parallax distortion is almost zero.
2. Field of view & Reticle Size
Holographic sight has an MOA reticle that ensures precise placement of shots. But the Red Dot sights have subtended dots, 2-4 minutes of the angle. Compared to better holographic sights, the Red Dots may be easier to find but precision is not guaranteed for that.
Besides, Red Dot sights can give you blind spots or tunnel vision due to its round window. But Holographic sights don’t have these issue because they use rectangular ones with a larger view.
Usually, the Holographic sights do not have any magnification, except for a few specific models.
With Red Dot sights, the reticle size increase by the same factor as your target. This results in larger dots and compromises precision.
As mentioned earlier, Holographic sights consume much more power than Red Dots. Where an average holographic sight can give you 500 to 1000 hours, an LED powered Red Dot will give you up to 50,000 hours, which is why in this case of Power consumption, the competition between Holographic sight vs Red Dot sight is completely one sided by Red Dots.
The Verdict on Holographic sight vs Red Dot sight
We know that you are here for an expert opinion on this comparison. However, if we give one, it won’t be fair because there is no winner in Holographic sight vs Red Dot sight comparison.
Which one is better than which – actually depends on your application and need. For example, if you want to target from a distance, Red Dot sights are best because they won’t need to project reticles on the target. So in this case, distance won’t be an issue. Besides, they consume less power. However, they come with parallax issues. On the other hand, if you are looking for a close encounter, Holographic sights can give you the higher accuracy up to 300 meters. Also, they are immune to the parallax issues. But remember, they’ll cost more than a Red Dot.
So, ultimately the choice between Holographic sight vs Red Dot sight depends on you and your application.