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Red dot for old eyes

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L. Boscoe
shootingsight
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Red dot for old eyes Empty Red dot for old eyes

Post by SteveJewels 8/9/2023, 6:10 am

I am thinking about getting a precision/bullseye type pistol and have been reading up on sights. It was no surprise to me that people with bifocals were having difficulties focusing on the sights and target. Smile

Red dots seem to be a path forward. One post I read was saying that a particulal type of red dot was more suitable for people with bifocals then were the other two. Is that the case? If so, which one? I am unable to find the post again.

I searched on here and could not find anything specific. Any help along these lines, red dots for precision shooting. Would be appreciated.

Thanks!

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Post by RoyDean 8/9/2023, 6:50 am

I don't use bifocals, but I suffer from "floaters" which can distract and disturb ones focus, very common in older eyes I am told.

For Bullseye by far the most popular and proven type of red dot is the tube style. I have tried most brands and models. The cleanest, roundest dot I have seen happens to be in one of the cheapest and most popular models, the Ultradot 1" 4moa. I strongly recommend that you start with one of these first. The UD rings are rubbish, but any brand of inexpensive horizontal rings (Amazon have many) are fine.

However, some users find that many UD's suffer from slight negative magnification. I never noticed that in any of the many models I tried and personally I do not consider it an important issue.

I moved on to Aimpoints, initially H1's, now 9000sc, but they are much, much more expensive and do not necessarily offer a better quality image than the much cheaper UD. The top shooters prefer them primarily for top reliability, long battery life and fineness/repeatability of elev/wind adjustments.

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Post by RoyDean 8/9/2023, 7:02 am

Mr. Jewels, I just saw the listing for the 22 conversion with Sightron tube sight. Yes, also a very good choice. Buy it!

NFI

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Post by SteveJewels 8/9/2023, 7:04 am

@RoyDean Thank you for the reply. What is a UD?

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Post by RoyDean 8/9/2023, 7:05 am

Ultradot abbreviation.

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Post by shootingsight 8/9/2023, 8:18 am

'Old eyes' need not prevent you from shooting with iron sights, the only challenge is finding the correct lens to replicate what your eye used to do.

Contrary to the trope of 'focus on the front sight', there are some variations to this that are more technically correct.  If you tell your eye doctor you want to focus on the front sight, they will often do the math, and for normal arm lengths placing the front sight about 32"-34" from your eye, will prescribe a lens that is 1.25 diopters, plus any distance correction.  This will result in a perfect front sight, but a target that is much too blurry.

Instead, you want to move your focus out towards the target slightly, so the front sight is still in the depth of field of your focal range, but the target is better.  Exactly how far to move your focus out is a personal preference question, driven by three things: a) how easily your eye can add extra power, b) how much blur you like on the target, and c) differences between individual eyes.

Data I have is that:

- For a collegiate team I furnish lenses to (ie all young eyes), the preference is split evenly between +0.50 and +0.75.
- For a group of top shooters Dr. Wong interviewed, the preference was split between +0.50 and +1.00 (interestingly, it was one or the other, almost no one used a +0.75).
- For around 20 shooters at Camp Perry (all older), the preference was centered around +1.00.(3 liked +0.75, 13 liked +1.00, 3 liked +1.25)

So if you have old eyes, your choice for a starting point for lens power is in the +0.75 to +1.00 range.  Going up in power will move your focus towards a sharper sight, at the expense of target blur, going down in power will give you a sharper target at the expense of sight.  In all cases, the front sight is reasonably in focus.

Art


Last edited by shootingsight on 8/9/2023, 12:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by L. Boscoe 8/9/2023, 9:07 am

I just got the cataract lens for my left eye to match the right  one. I find the red
dot on my UD is blurry, but my holosun dots are fine.  I would opt for the smallest
MOA from a seller that allows returns, and see how it works.  I focus on the dot, with the target in the background, which is equivalent to front sight focusing, IMHO, and have not had any problems, nor have I needed correction for it. 
I am 86, so old eyes and plenty of floaters.

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Post by Wobbley 8/9/2023, 11:53 am

Speaking a bit on dot reliability… while years ago an Aimpoint was the pinnacle of reliability and still is, other brands that cater to the shooting community today are as reliable as Aimpoint.  Certainly Holosun, SigSauer, Burris, Vortex, Trijicon, Leupold have the inherent reliability equal to Aimpoint.  There are others .  

As for style (tube or reflex) good results can be had with either style.  Tube style are better for our game because they are protected from the elements better.  That said, most pistol ranges today are covered firing points so it’s not as necessary.  There’s even a plan afoot to have a covered line at Perry in the future.  So my advice on dots is to buy good dot from a well known maker get it firmly mounted and go shooting.  The maker and style is less important now than it was previously thought.
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Post by RoyDean 8/9/2023, 12:17 pm

Hmmm. Sorry Wobbley, whilst I enjoy and respect most of your comments, I have somewhat different experience with dots. For Bullseye I am very firmly convinced that tube type dots are superior. I am also an advocate of adding shade tubes, especially to the shorter ones (like the ones I sold to you😇) like Aimpoint HI and all of the "clones"; SIG Romeo, STS, Holosun, etc.

As for indoor vs outdoor. Interestingly I have found that I notice far more reflections and distractions when indoors or under cover than I see when at Canton or Perry (the only two venues where I shoot "au naturel").

Reliability, very hard to judge. I do know of at least one Aimpoint H1 that went back to Aimpoint. Never heard of any 9000sc failures. I have had to send a Romeo back to SIG. And, sadly, at last count I sent about 6 sights back to Ultradot over a period of two years. All fixed for cost of shipping. I had some other problems with UD's, not for this thread, and eventually switched 100 % to Aimpoint.

YMMV😜

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Post by Pinetree 8/9/2023, 12:25 pm

Even though I have three Ultradots, the best shooter on our league uses a Vortex holographic sight.

Sometimes, it's the shooter and not the equipment.

Buy the best one that you can afford.

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Post by RoyDean 8/9/2023, 12:46 pm

Indeed, it is almost always the shooter, rather than the equipment. I resisted switching to the Aimpoint 9000 (looks like a coke bottle bolted to the top of a gun! Uggghhh) until I had the opportunity to walk along the "Elite" end of the line at a big match. 9 out of 10 High Masters had 9000sc's on their wad guns!

At that match just one HM (the National Champion) had an H1 on his CF gun (I was subsequently told that was down a gun sponsor preference).

I am not advocating that entry level, or even club league level shooters switch to 9000sc. And, if you have got really good eyes (usually means younger and fitter) a Vortex Venom or similar reflex type red dot will certainly get the job done. BUT, for the vast majority of older and less experienced shooters alike, an Ultradot 1" (or similar made by Holosun or whoever) or possibly an Aimpoint H1 clone with shade tubes (Romeo, etc.) will be a better solution compared to a reflex.

IMHO and after extensive, costly, testing!

YMMV

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Post by chiz1180 8/9/2023, 11:04 pm

I do not fall into the “old” shooter camp, but dot choice comes down to personal preference, basically what do your eye’s prefer. For example some people like the 1” ultra dots, personally I find them not as intuitive as a 30mm tube.

The biggest debate and decision you will need to make when shooting a dot is to focus on the dot or focus on the target. In my experience this drive how picky you will end up with the choice of optic. As an example, if you focus on the dot, negative magnification is less of an issue than if you focus on the target.

Personally I am a big fan of the 9000s in 2moa, they have very clear glass and work well in bright and low light. They are a bit heavier than a comparable ultradot, but not as much as some make it out to be.

If you are able to make it to a match or a league, ask for recommendations and if you can look through their choice of sight. What is one person’s preference does not necessarily align with your own.
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Red dot for old eyes Empty Getting off track. LOL

Post by SteveJewels 8/10/2023, 9:47 am

As is often the case on the internet, this thread has wandered off track into a "which type of red dot is better"? While I very much appreciate and value the comparisons, I am really looking to know which type of red dot, if any, is more suitable for people requiring bifocals.

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Post by DA/SA 8/10/2023, 10:08 am

You may find that the answer is to go pick out a pair of drug store glasses that allow you to see a clear dot.

I wear progressives and that didn't work too well. I tried Bifocals and it was even worse, as the focal area was too small in in the wrong location when using my preferred stance. I end up looking more through the side of the glasses lens, not the center of the lens.

The ultimate is a pair of actual shooting glasses (Knobloch's, etc.) where the lens position is adjustable so you can have it aligned perfectly between your eye and the pistol.

That's what I found anyway.

The red dot type or style really doesn't enter into it as far as being suitable for any type of glasses. It's just a dot.
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Post by shootingsight 8/10/2023, 8:57 pm

To answer your specific question: they should all be about the same.  'Requiring bifocals' means you have presbiopia, or the inability to bring your focus up close.  However the exact function of a red dot is to make the dot appear to focus at distance, so you do not need to pull your focus in close.

If the top part of your eyeglasses are correctly set for distance, the dot should look fine without needing a bifocal.  Unless I am misunderstanding your question.

My comments about adding lens power only pertains to trying to shoot irons, where you do need to bring your focus closer.

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Post by SteveJewels 8/10/2023, 9:01 pm

Thanks for all the replies.

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