Scope and Red Dot Sight Setup – Not Just for the Military!

A scope and red dot sight setup is a classic combination; if you’ve been in the military or attended a police academy, you’re familiar with it. But the combination of red dot sights and a rifle scope can also be used by firearm enthusiasts to increase their accuracy, refine their skills, and improve their overall shooting experience. This red dot scope setup is being used more and more by hunters, and it’s helpful to know why. Keep reading to learn why a scope and red dot sight system may be worth it, and why this combination could provide the best scope for you as a shooter.

Why Use a Scope?

In short, a rifle scope is an optic device – usually a metal tool – with a series of glass lenses inside of it. It works by reflecting light off of your target through the lenses into your eye.

A rifle scope is an invaluable tool for hunters to accurately hit their target. It uses magnification to give you a better view of your target at long distances and helps you make out your prey more quickly. Finding the best rifle scope for you increases your chances of hitting your target, as you have less of a chance of startling your prey from a long distance.

Beyond a red dot magnifier, or a magnified scope, rifle scopes come with a variety of other features that boost their effectiveness and make your overall hunting experience easier and more successful. These features may include:

  • Adjustment knobs
  • Wind and elevation adjusters
  • An illumination adjustment

Rifle scopes also offer great low-light performance and can withstand most of the elements, depending on the one you choose.

Why Use a Red Dot Sight?

Red dot sights use a reticle to shoot at short-to-medium ranges. It’s a simple and straightforward tool to help a shooter increase their accuracy and make faster shots.

Unlike rifle scopes, prism scope vs red dot sights don’t offer magnification and are always 1x. However, they do offer a wider field of view (FOV) so you can track your target a little easier without too much movement. You could also add a 3x magnifier to improve your ability to shoot from longer distances.


Red dot optics are more compact than a scope and are small enough to fit on handguns. However, people often use red dots on AKs and other weapons. What’s more is they are generally inexpensive and simple enough for a beginner to figure out immediately.

Both red dots and rifle scopes are useful tools that improve your accuracy, aim, and success rate. If you can’t decide which one to use, here’s the good news: you don’t have to choose.

Scope and Red Dot Sight Combination

One of the best things you can do as a hunter to increase your accuracy and hit more targets is to mount a red dot optic onto a rifle scope. It is important to understand how do red dot sights work to get the most out of them!

The reason for this is that it makes your firearm more versatile and therefore more powerful, as you now have several options to use on your target. If your target is in close range, you can use your red dot sight for target acquisition, and if it’s a little further away, you can use your scope.

It’s also a more affordable option than two more all-encompassing optic devices, as a scope and red dot sight can each be purchased for under $100. However, it’s important to be aware that this red dot scope setup may feel bulky at first and might take some getting used to. However, in the long run, the learning curve for red dot sights is negligible. Many military folks chose to use an hm3xt magnifier with their red dot to get the best of both worlds!

HIRAM 4-16×50 AO Rifle Scope Comb

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If you’re looking for a red dot scope setup that’s ready to go, the HIRAM 4-16×50 AO Rifle Scope Combo may be the best red dot sight for you.

This rifle scope & reflex scope combo gives you the choice of red or green mode for your reticle crosshairs. Even when the laser is green, this device still has a red dot sight that’s perfect for close-range shots, as well as a scope for longer range. The variable magnification ranges from 4x to 16x provide ultra-clear vision and precision performance for hunting and shooting through the magnified optic. Nitrogen proof and waterproof, this device proves why you can’t go wrong with a scope and red dot setup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you have a red dot and scope?

Yes, you can have a red dot and scope. In fact, this is very popular in the Military so that weapons can be used effectively from a wide variety of shooting ranges. You can mount your red dot on top of your scope or on a different rail.

Should red dot align with front sight?

No, you should not align your red dot and front sight. You should set your red dot to be above your front sight. This is also called co-witnessing your sight.

How far should you zero a red dot?

You should pick a zero distance based on your specific use case for your weapon. If you have a self-defense handgun, 10 yards will likely be enough. However, if you have a longer range AR-15, consider a 25 yard zero to shoot accurately from longer distances.


Hunting enthusiasts are always looking for ways to increase their accuracy and refine their skills, and having the right optics plays a huge role in that. A red dot scope setup will deliver results and put you at the top of your game.

About the author

Patrick Howard

I have been working as a gunsmith for 20 years. Rain, fog, moisture, high temperature, or even snow are all the things a product must withstand in order to be recommended by me.

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