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Parallax free sights - is this. useful for Bullseye?

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Post by mikemyers 6/7/2021, 9:03 pm

First topic message reminder :

Aimpoint makes a big deal about how their sights are Parallax-Free:  "Aimpoint sights are parallax-free, which means that the visible dot remains parallel to the bore of your weapon no matter what angle your eye is in relation to the sight. This means you never have to worry about centering the dot inside the sight. When the dot is on target, so are you."


There's an illustration on their web page:
https://www.aimpoint.com/academy/parallax-free



I was wondering how important this is to Bullseye Shooters, and if it is, what other sights offer that capability?  

I wouldn't think so, but does this help changing between 25 and 50 yards?  I know it won't compensate for the bullet falling more, but maybe there's more to it?

(The new P-2 ACRO is very small, very light, and KC apparently is already working on adapters for it.  As far as I can tell, it's not available for sale yet, and in a previous discussion, people here were concerned about there being so little protection from rain and stuff making it difficult to see through the sight. )
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Post by Froneck 6/11/2021, 9:11 am

If I remember this right I believe it's said the match is won at the long line and lost at the short line. If I get the year right Adam came in second at Perry by a point or 2. They were having problems with 9000 moving 0 that eventually was corrected by changing the mount so it wasn't the 9000. First shot in slow fire was 6, not sure why and assuming it to be him or a round with light charge he shot again, another 6!. He adjusted the sights and if memory is correct he won NMC plus Aced the short line with a 600, Those 2 sixes cost him the win. The short line is a bit easier because the target size remains the same, the 8 ring only changes color. 50 yards becomes difficult because of gun error (group size) and shooters error (group size) and if parallax is added another group size from it is added. Accurizing  the pistol lowers it's group size, practice lowered shooters group size 0 parallax eliminates it's added group size. Keeping the dot in the center helps but where is exactly the center? Any deviation from exact center will increase parallax depending on how much the actual parallax is. Adding an aperture will help but remove it for the short line? In addition having the luck to be Adam's father I was invited (more like tagged along with Adam) to a number of gatherings to the AMU shooters that some time included former great AMU shooters like Hamilton or for a "little" Rolling Eyes liquid refreshment at the local watering hole. I was able to ask questions or listen in on open conversations about shooting. Adam and most of the top shooters look at the target when shooting Red Dot. Yes most of them attempt to keep the Dot in the center as most of us do but keeping the dot in the X than be concerned if in the exact center of the scope especially on the short line.
 Yes Allgoodhits Adam won Open class in 2018 came in 2nd in 2019 by an X, Intends to return to Bianchi in 2022, guns are being made.
 I have the Sightron S30-5, great red dot made in Japan (competing will Germany for the best optics) No night vision! Very reasonable price, I got 2 from Optics Planet. I've heard Tasco is being made in China.
 I have the MRDS reflex sight made by Insight, was being sold by Eotech. Rain at Perry caused me to poke and hope, couldn't see anything with it. Siting in the box now.

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Post by mikemyers 6/11/2021, 2:14 pm

You've had better luck than I have - for the Polarizing filter, it changes over time, so I need to be constantly setting it to "zero", and then I decided if I don't like or need it, why not just take it off, which I did, and instead I attached the "lens hood".

I'm beginning to suspect I do the best with the 1" Ultradot, but I wish it wasn't decreased in size.  I bought one new (now on my 45), and I bought a used one from LenV which doesn't stay too long on a gun, as one of my other guns steals it.  It's now on my Model 41, which may be part of the reason that my 41 and I get along so well.  The Aimpoint H-2 is on my newest High Standard, but I was more pleased today shooting the 41/Ultradot than I was with the X/Aimpoint H-2.  Dave Salyer twisted my arm to get the 1" Ultradot, and I ain't never goin' back.  There should be two 30mm Matchdot II sights showing up in the Classifieds, here and elsewhere.  Unfortunately, just like old clothing going through a dryer, the image size shrinks as it goes through the 1" Ultradot.  As far as I can tell, the Aimpoint leaves the image full-size.  As to parallax, from what you guys have posted here, I've learned I have more important things to work on.

If the S30 is 30mm, I've mostly lost interest in it.  I only have two Vortex Venom sights, bought from a person in this forum, and the two guns I have them mounted on (Model 52 and Victor) snarl at me if I even think of removing their sights!
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Post by chopper 6/11/2021, 3:17 pm

"You've had better luck than I have - for the Polarizing filter, it changes over time, so I need to be constantly setting it to "zero", and then I decided if I don't like or need it, why not just take it off, which I did, and instead I attached the "lens hood"


 Mike, those polarizing filters are plastic lenses and get loose from the rings. I fix that by putting a drop of superglue at the lenses and rings on both of them. It don't take much glue, and you'll never notice it when looking through it. So now you have that problem taken care off you'll have to keep the setting from moving once you have the darkness to your liking. When I go to the range and it's very bright out to the point my dot washes out on the target I'll make my adjustments to the rings. I then use a piece of electricians tape and wrap it around the rings securing them to each other, some guys use those rubber bands that are used on lobster claws. You should never have trouble again with them.
 Stan

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Post by inthebeech 6/11/2021, 4:22 pm

[quote="Froneck"]I feel it's best to remove any annoyance[/quote]
You said it brother.
Sometimes though it's not within our power. :D
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Post by mikemyers 6/11/2021, 6:35 pm

Stan, that's a great solution.  Superglue lens to lens holder, and use Lobster Bands to maintain the setting.  Thank you!
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Post by Froneck 6/11/2021, 8:56 pm

I have made a few filters, rather than super glue I use a thin O-ring. Soft O-rings (50A Durometer) are available that are only 1mm thick (.039"). Put the O-ring on the end of the threads, screw into the scope compressing the O-ring. It will not unscrew, 50A works better than the higher durometer ones.

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Post by SilentAssassin Yesterday at 4:59 am

LenV wrote:I think everyone answered your question Mike. All scopes (even Aimpoints) have some parallax. I only took this time to address your question about testing for it. When it was suggested you put it in a vice and move away from the dot it was not intended that you move back 5ft or anything like that. Move away to the normal distance between your eye and the dot while shooting. Do not put your eye within a couple of inches and test it like a rifle scope. There is not a red dot on the planet that would pass that test. Well, unless its a Red dot on a rifle scope. 

Len
Even rifle scopes have their problems.
Some , like Leupold, like to call their scopes EFR (Extended focus range) ( fancy term for adjustable objective) when in fact focus has nothing to do with parallax.
Too many to count have adjustable objectives whose main purpose is to cancel parallax at ONE range. ( the range you're shooting a target.)
The problem arises in many scopes is that once you cancel parallax to 0..............you are out of focus. Put the scope back into focus and you've just added parallax but you have a clear sight picture.
Most people do not understand this and will argue with you about it until the sun comes up the next morning while defending their scopes.
I have seen claims that when you are in focus , parallax is cancelled to 0. That is not even remotely close to how it works. But you can't convince them because their scope is the greatest scope in the world.
It is not until you get into some of the high end glass, Nightforce, IOR Recon, Vortex razors and such that this problem is addressed and with these scopes you CAN truly cancel parallax and have a clear and sharply focused , parallax free sight picture. Keep in mind that as you cancel parallax with the objective and parallax becomes 0.................moving the gun one yard closer or one yard further away will re-introduce some slight parallax which gets progressively worse the closer , or farther away you move to or from the target.

As to your statement "there is not a red dot on the planet that is truly 100% parallax free" - Bingo. I have not found one over the many years of chasing .22 rimfire, this includes aimpoint, halosun , and trijicon. Though minimal, it's still enough to throw a flier out of an otherwise one hole grouping.
When you add this errors to other factors such as " cant " wind, atmospheric pressures , temperature changes, ammunition inconsistencies  and the other hundreds of variables, then a small amount of parallax error becomes a huge problem. I like to call it enhanced inaccuracy. Because now you've added a controllable variable, to about 100 other uncontrollable variables. If this makes sense.

The people who say, " oh that small amount of parallax error is nothing to be concerned about" Need to enter an ARA benchrest competition with their finest rimfire gun and start shooting 50 yards at targets slightly larger than the period at the end of this sentence. Where you have an overall 0.220 margin of error compensation at 50 yards.

So the answer is , Yes, parallax error IS something to be concerned with if your goal is inherent accuracy. And it has absolutely nothing to do with whether your sight picture is in focus.

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Post by mikemyers Yesterday at 6:42 am

SilentAssassin, and LenV - in my mind, you are both right, and nothing is "perfect". I guess it comes down to how perfect I want it to be, and how perfect I can afford.

For Bullseye Shooting, apparently a small amount of parallax is acceptable, and that can be minimized by keeping the dot in the center.

So, maybe what CAN be answered is to collect a list of reasonable sights for a Bullseye shooter, regardless of what they cost.

You mentioned "Nightforce, IOR Recon, Vortex razors ".  In your opinion, are any/all of these good for Bullseye Shooting?

As for me, I usually copy what others suggest.  Dave Salyer suggested a 1" Ultradot, and despite the negative magnification, it seems to be a great sight.  It may have parallax, but its small diameter will minimize parallax.  I used to have Aimpoint at the top of my list.  Now I've got mixed feelings, and am anxious to get one of the new P2 ACRO sights.  One gun I shoot the best (for me) is my Victor, and it has a Vortex Venom on it, which I love.  Small, low, and light, and I haven't noticed any issues.  Unlike the Ultradot L/T, it's easy to make a quick adjustment for centering.  I guess I should look into what a Vortex Razor is, and how it compares.

Nothing in life is perfect.  Water is good for us, but too much of it and we can drown.  Maybe an appropriate way to finish this thread, would be for Bullseye Shooters to post what they prefer, and why.  

For me, I'm smaller, weaker, and older, and my number one preference is weight.  I've got an Aimpoint 9000, but every time I try to use it, within an hour it comes off the gun.  Too heavy.

For me, the diameter of the sight has become a major deciding factor, with 30mm sights now excluded, and 24mm sights preferred.

For me, the lower the centerline of the sight, the better.  I have heard some wonderful things about what a Bullseye Gunsmith here is doing with the ACRO P2.  I hope to buy one of those as soon as I can, and in my case, to fit onto a rail, although this gunsmith has better ideas.  For me, I'd like to be able to move it around to different guns.

For me, price is what it is.  I suspect I would be interested in something between $250 and $550.

Finally, for me, the brands that offer an unconditional lifetime warranty, to fix it regardless of how old it is, is a HUGE bonus.

I'll stop now, and from now on just read.  So far this thread has been very educational.
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Post by Froneck Yesterday at 8:25 am

The one company that I know off that has been responsive to shooters needs is UltraDot. I heard at camp Perry Larrys Guns had an UltraDot representative change intensity setting knob back to original so there was no big intensity jump between 5 and 6 (if my memory is correct). I know Larry would allow shooters to inspect the scopes to check magnification so that negative magnification could be avoided. About 2 years ago  I've talked to both Aimpoint and Leupold reps about offering a different intensity range to eliminate Night Vision so a greater range of Day vision setting would allow smaller changes between setting. Not sure if I discussed 50 yard parallax adjustment for Pistol Shooters with Aimpoint but did with Leupold. Both know of the issues and have discussed the options but haven't done anything. Might be worth a call to UltraDot to see if they would "fix" (exchange) an unused scope if after purchased it was noticed had negative magnification, greater amount of 50 yard parallax than desired or any other issues.

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Post by Wobbley Yesterday at 12:13 pm



At the 4:38 mark of this video is a decent, practical evaluation method of evaluating parallax issues with a dot sight.  The only thing I would change is to actually use a 50 yard center.    https://youtu.be/_GH3ySqDLcY    Note that they use a rifle.  And in the sight being evaluated in the video kept the bullets well within a 3 inch circle no matter how much they biased the dot.  Most of the other optics they tested using this method passed this test (keep the buckets within the 3 inch white dot.).  

As for parallax in optical sights, parallax error is reduced/eliminated by making sure the target is focused to the same plane internally as the reticle.  This can be done by adjusting the lens or moving the reticle.  Doing this with all the optical and mechanical aberrations induced in a weapon optic to get it “parallax free” is a monumental ($$$$) task

What I want a pistol red dot sight to be is summed up as


  1. Hold zero.
  2. Have discernible clicks in each of the adjustments.
  3. Have no noticeable optical distortion including magnification error.
  4. Be easily mountable to my pistol without modification.
  5. Be light enough to not affect function.
  6. Have reticle sizes and intensities to go from indoor to bright SW sun.
  7. Have parallax error minimized to allow for a Ten to be scored at 50 yards with the reticle centered on the target but visible anywhere in the viewing area of the sight. 
  8. Have readily available batteries and good battery life. 



And I want all that for $500 or less.  Also remember that Bullseye is such a small market segment that we cannot demand much from manufacturers.

If it can’t meet criteria 1 it is NOT acceptable.  Even if the optic has zero parallax.  

Remember, pistols are NOT rifles.  They’re held and fired at arms length.  Using ammunition that is not made with utmost accuracy in mind.  

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Post by chopper Yesterday at 3:15 pm

Froneck wrote:I have made a few filters, rather than super glue I use a thin O-ring. Soft O-rings (50A Durometer) are available that are only 1mm thick (.039"). Put the O-ring on the end of the threads, screw into the scope compressing the O-ring. It will not unscrew, 50A works better than the higher durometer ones.
 Frank, I use o-rings when putting shades on the scope, but never on the polarizing filters. I do my method on the UltraDot polarizing filters to keep the 2 lenses from moving in their rings and the tape or rubber band goes around the outside to hold the adjustment on the 2 rings.
 Stan

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Post by Froneck Yesterday at 5:39 pm

What I did for my son to make filters for the 9000 is buy those intended for camera use. They have various types. Some are adjustable, some can be adjusted while others are fixed. Polarized and non Polarized are also available. For fixed shading I found non polarized better. Cameras don't get the effects created by recoil so adjustable types are like those from UltraDot and will move. I used the type that is 2 pieces, a fixed Polarized filter is inserted then has a second lens that will screw into it, the second filter being able to rotate to change amount of filter. I was bale to stretch a thin O-ring into the gap between the movable part and the fixed so it provided friction to prevent unwanted self rotation.

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Post by SilentAssassin Yesterday at 5:43 pm

mikemyers wrote:
You mentioned "Nightforce, IOR Recon, Vortex razors ".  In your opinion, are any/all of these good for Bullseye Shooting?

You can add Kahles scopes and Schmidt Bender to this group too. These are all high end glass for rifle's. You won't be using any of these for Bullseye.
They start at around 3000.00 and go up from there.
With these you can count on 0 parallax with a clear and ultra sharp sight picture.

I personally prefer the IOR Recon, and that is what I use on my rig. It was expensive but it totally put any scope I've ever been behind, to shame.
Including the tunnel visioned Schmidt Bender.

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Post by mikemyers Today at 10:50 am

Meanwhile, back at sights for pistols, Aimpoint claims the following about their soon-to-be-released ACRO P-2:

https://aimpoint.us/acro-p-2-red-dot-reflex-sight-3-5-moa-200691/

The more I read about it, the more I want it.
I had an ACRO P-1 for about a week, before returning it - no easy way to mount it.
The P-2 can come with an integral mount, is low weight, and low.

In the meantime, I just ordered another latest model 1" Ultradot from Amazon.
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Post by SilentAssassin Today at 3:28 pm

mikemyers wrote:Meanwhile, back at sights for pistols, Aimpoint claims the following about their soon-to-be-released ACRO P-2:


The more I read about it, the more I want it.
I had an ACRO P-1 for about a week, before returning it - no easy way to mount it.
The P-2 can come with an integral mount, is low weight, and low.

In the meantime, I just ordered another latest model 1" Ultradot from Amazon.
I wouldnt count on it to be completely parallax free. I would hope that it is....................but I wouldn't bank on it.
But if it turns out that it is indeed parallax free, I will be in line to get one. Red dot sights have been marketed as parallax free for years ( the big lie)
The truth is, NONE of them have been truly 100% parallax free.

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Post by SilentAssassin Today at 3:30 pm

And for me a 3.5 moa dot is too  big. A 2 moa or a  trijicon 1 moa dot would  be better.

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