Difference Between Red and Green Dot Sights

If you are into target shooting or hunting, then you understand the importance of using a sight. They help you to get faster target acquisition, and hence you can shoot accurately. You can use various red or green dot sights when shooting. If you would like to know the difference between red and green dot sights, stay with me. We will discuss them in-depth to give you a better understanding.

This is a non-magnifying reflector used to direct a shooter using a red dot to get their target. The dot generated stays in line with the weapon to enhance sure shots. You can use red dot sights on cameras and telescopes as well as hunting and military.

You can use red dot sights in cameras to view fast-moving objects and those at a distance. They include aircraft in motion, flying birds, among others. You need to choose the reticle's right size to use to improve your accuracy when using the red dot.

Red dot has the best accuracy range when compared to the green dot. It is also adjustable, and this makes it easier for you to use at your convenience. Red dots work effectively as far as 100 yards without having to use magnification.

However, it may shoot up to 50 yards for beginners, depending on their prowess in shooting. You, therefore, need to have accurate shots for you to hit your target. The use of a red dot makes you keep your eyes open to focus effectively.

What Is a Green Dot Sight?

The light wavelengths of a green dot sight range between 520nm to 565nm (nanometers). This makes it easier for use by the human eye as the cones' peak are in between the ranges. The brains tend to pick the green color very fast, making it good for use when shooting targets.

The green dot has a high target acquisition making it unlikely to miss your target. You only need to be accurate when taking your shots. It also provides better contrast and hence preventing strain on the eye.

Green dot sights are better for use during the night and dimly as they become more visible, unlike during the day when the environment may wash them out. They are good for shooting over long ranges and are visible with naked eyes.

What Is the Difference Between Red and Green Dot Sights?

How do the two sights differ? There are various differentiating factors between red and green dot sights. Check their differences below.

1.The Rate of Acquiring Speed

A green dot sight gets its way to the eye faster than a red dot does. This means that there is a fast picture transmission and hence a quick target acquisition. You can see the target clearly, and there are minimal chances of missing it.

On the other hand, the red rays will make your eyes stretch slightly as they have a high degree in their wavelength. However, the red dot has a small frequency that does strike your eyes when shooting more than the green dot.

2.Background Complexity

Whenever you hunt in the jungle or the bushes, you will find it difficult to notice the green dot. This is because it gets washed out by the surrounding environment making it hard for you to notice it, especially if you are not keen on focusing. This makes the red dot better for use in such areas since you can easily see it.

However, the red dot may also get lost in the urban areas, especially near the street lights, among the vehicles' lights, among others.

3.Eye Strain

You will notice that you do not need to strain a lot when using the green dot when using the red light. The green dot will cause little strain on your eye, while a red dot will make your eyes strain.

You may not look at it for long as the eyes will be tired due to long moments of straining to see the target. The green light's high frequency and short wavelength reduce the strain in your eyes when shooting.

4.Power Saving

The green light affects the human eye in that it affects two cones in almost the same way. The eye is also receptive to the green light more than it is to the red light. To prove this, you need to observe both dots at the same power level and from the same distance. You will notice that the green dot will appear brighter than the red one.

Therefore, you can conclude that the green dot is power saving as it can be used at lower power levels. This means you can use it longer without having to recharge it again or exchanging the batteries.

5.Use for Eyes with Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a refractive error that makes your eyes unable to focus the light well on the retina. The view one gets for the dots becomes blur. If you have astigmatism or have issues with your sight, maybe due to age, the green dot is the best to use over a red dot.

The green dot is easy on the eyes, and it does not cause so much strain. You will see your target in a better way despite your condition. Using the green dot will enhance more comfort and prevent you from having headaches during your shooting sessions.


In recent days, the green dot comes in a range from 480nm to 500nm. If its range is around 575nm, it gets close to the green phosphate night vision devices. At this range, it is more close to the yellow zone. On the other hand, the red dot uses a straight forward reticle.

It has mirrors that are spherical in shape that reflect light for a better vision. Reflection of light in a red dot is done by the coating specifically for the red dot. The coating helps prevent light from coming through the reticle and thus a better vision.


Aged shooters or people with eye defects will have a problem with recognizing the red dot when shooting. Some may see the red dot appear as a red engine of fire, while some may appear like an orange. This will automatically affect their shots because of vision interruption.

People with colorblindness, especially men, are also at a higher risk of making poor shots due to poor vision. The old shooters can focus better on a green color than the red as it is cool in their eyes. They are likely to make better shots at their targets.


The red color has a higher wavelength, and this makes it easy to see it. This makes it easier for you to choose it for your shooting sessions. Green may not be very convenient for use, especially if you move from one place to another.

You are unlikely to see the green dot as the surrounding will wash it out. The green dot is best for use at night. It is also good for saving energy. You can lose a red dot sight easily in the sea or when exposed to lights.

9.Magnification Power

If a dot has a high magnification, even objects that are far off will be hit. There are several types of magnifiers, e.g., the dot and circle. This makes the green dot the best for use in such a case because the red dots do not offer magnification. However, the red dots have a great rifle scope whenever the shooter is at a close range.

10.Ease of Use

The red dot is easy to use more than the green dot. This is because of its high speed over the green. The red dot also catches the eye faster, thus creating an image quickly. The high wavelength and small frequency make it easier for you to see your target than it would be in a green dot.


The choice of using either the red dot or the green dot will depend on the environment you are working on and the strength of your eyes. If you are elderly or astigmatism, you will find it easier to use the green dot as it is soft on your eyes. You will not need to struggle or strain your eyes to hit your target.

The red dot is unlikely to show good images, especially when used against street lights. The green dot's ability to save on power makes it better for use as you will not need to recharge it more often. This is even though it gets easily washed out by the surrounding, making it invisible.

Image Source: Lucky Gunner

Matt Bartlett

Outside is always better .I'm an avid Traveler, Cyclist, Paddler,Hiker, Outdoor Adventurer, Sports Lover & Wannabe Runner. I write about adventures and share them on my website and for other outdoor publications. . Wannabe Runner Love being outdoors.I enjoy sharing outdoor experiences with others.

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