Red dot sights are probably the most popular optics for assault rifles. For a reasonable price, shooters can get a red dot that significantly improves their accuracy. However, if you don’t install your red dot correctly your shooting performance will suffer. In this post, we’ll teach you exactly where to mount red dot on AR rifles.
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Where To Mount Red Dot On AR 15
We recommend mounting your red dot as far forward as possible on the receiver. This is for a few main reasons:
- Peripheral Vision – Pushing your sight forward gives you the most peripheral vision. When you mount your red dot further the optic itself can obstruct your horizontal vision.
- Situational Awareness – Mounting your optic forward maximizes your vision, reduces tunnel vision, and makes it easier to find the dot in your field of view.
- Extra Room – Provides extra room for removing your handguard.
- Balanced weight – Placing the optic forward more evenly distributes the weight on your AR-15.
- Magnifier – Forward red dot sight gives you room to mount a magnifier behind it.
You’ll need to experiment a bit to find the exact spot that works best for you. But once you do, you’ll be able to take full advantage of your red dot sight and enjoy more accurate shooting. You should also read our post about how to mount a scope on your AR15 to learn even more!
Tip #1 – Apply Loctite
Firing hundreds of rounds can cause screws to loosen and your red dot to slide out of position. Once you lose zero it will be very hard to shoot with consistent accuracy. I recommend using a small amount of Loctite to lock your screws in place. This will ensure your sight does not rattle out of position slowly over time.
Tip #2 – Mount Your Red Dot Pushed Forward
Push forward on your red dot sight as your screw it into the rail. There is always some tolerance between the screws and mounting holes that can cause the sight to slide around. Push the sight forward as your screw it into place to ensure the screws sit flush against the mounting holes. This will keep your sight more still while firing.
Tip #3 – Use The Rail’s Forward Half
Mounting the red dot sight in the forward position will give you better situational awareness and allow room for other accessories. Take advantage of the red dot sights eye relief and get a larger field of view.
What About The Rearward Optic Position?
We have already made the case for mounting your red dot sight in the forward position. However, you also have the option to mount in the rearward position.
- Sight will be closer to the shooter’s eye
- Easier to aim with both eyes
- Bigger field of view
- Offers less peripheral vision
- No space for a magnifier
- Poor weight distribution
Different Types Of Rifle Scope Mounts
It is also important to choose the correct type of rifle scope mount when mounting your optic. Here is a list of the main types of AR15 scope mounts.
- One-Piece Scope Mounts
- Rifle Scope Ring Mounts
- Weaver Rail Scope Mounts
- Picatinny Scope Mounts
- Integral Scope Mounts
- Quick-Detach Scope Mounts
The quick-detach (QD) mounts are amongst the most popular for mounting red dot sights. This system makes it very quick to attach your red dot to your AR-15 rail and get shooting! Also, you should consider the height and offset of the mount. The mount’s height determines the sight’s alignment with your eye and the bore axis, affecting your sight picture and co-witness with iron sights. Choose a height that suits your shooting style and provides a comfortable cheek weld.
Red Dot With Magnifier
By mounting a red dot on top of your scope, you can take advantage of the benefits of both sighting options. A red dot sight is ideal for close-range shooting, while a scope is better for long-range accuracy. This combination gives you the flexibility to shoot accurately at just about any distance.
You also have the option to mount your red dot in the offset/side-mounted position instead of directly over the scope.
What About The Carry Handle AR?
If you’re looking for an M16 A3 style rifle, you’re only option is to mount the red dot on the carry handle. While this might not be the most convenient or comfortable option, it’s the only way to get that classic look.
Red Dot Sight Benefits on AR-15
Red dot sights are some of the most popular gun accessories on the market, and for good reason. Here are some of the main reasons why you should consider a red dot sight for your AR-15. And if you want to shop, check out our list of the Best Red Dot Sights For AR-15s.
- Target Acquisition – With a red dot sight, you don’t have to take the time to align your front and rear sights, which can save valuable seconds when you’re trying to take a shot. You can aim with both eyes open and quickly lock on to your desired target.
- Versatility – Red dot sights are extremely versatile optics. You can use them on pistols, rifles, shotguns, and even bows. They can be used for close-range or long-range shooting. They are also very rugged and can take a lot of abuse.
- Accuracy – Red dot sights provide a clear and concise aiming point, making it easy to hit your target. And because they’re so easy to use, red dot sights are perfect for any shooter, from beginners to experts.
FAQs – Red Dot Mounting
Should red dot align with Front sight?
Where do you aim red dot?
Should red dot be in center of glass?
What distance are red dots good for?
Is it worth putting a red dot on a shotgun?
Can you mount a reflex sight on a shotgun?
Where should I zero my red dot sight?
The Bottom Line
Now you should be able to mount your red dot like a seasoned pro. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Follow these basic tips to make sure your red dot is set up correctly to shoot with the most accuracy. Let us know if you have any questions!