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View Full Version : What is the purpose of tube on red dot sights


Stone
05-31-2011, 12:41 PM
It seems that aimpoint is the most popular red dot sight manufacturer. All of their designs utilize a tube which restricts field of view and light levels.

When people turn to tube-free aiming devices, it's usually the Eotech holographic or Trijicon Reflex that get mentioned. But the Eotech is quite heavy and has a much shorter battery life, and the Reflex has a monochromatic image and has illumination issues.

In comparison there are many other red dot manufacturers such as C-More (http://www.cmore.com/sights.html) or Tru-Glo (http://www.truglo.com/IW_Products.m4p.pvx?;MULTI_ITEM_SUBMIT) that offer tube free red dot sights. They are overall smaller, lighter, have better field of view and allow more light to come through.

So my question is, why are the tube models so popular? The only explanation I can think of is that people prefer Aimpoint because it is the official military red dot and looks more like a conventional scope. Is there something else I'm missing?

Standard
05-31-2011, 12:44 PM
It is also extremely strong and able to take abuse. I doubt the other types you mentioned can do the same.

PuppY_K1ck3R
05-31-2011, 12:53 PM
I believe alot of it has to do with the durability and not leaving much exposed to the environment.

21SF
05-31-2011, 12:56 PM
C-more are so cute, i want one on my glock. I doubt it would take too much abuse tho.

POLICESTATE
05-31-2011, 1:00 PM
I like tube style optics because they help protect the internals better. Plus it has good lens caps. I don't find it restricts view at all, when used properly, that is, with both eyes open. I can even use it with the front lens cap closed because my right eye superimposes the dot over the target I see with the left.

Sure that sounds silly, but it does mean if my optics get too scratched up but the dot is still functioning I can still use it.

But both eyes open eliminates narrow fields of view and I don't find any significant reduction in light levels.

JJ1911
05-31-2011, 1:10 PM
My aimpoint m4 doesn't restrict my field of view and I am actually faster and more accurate with it than my eotech

dieselpower
05-31-2011, 1:25 PM
1) Tubed bodies are stronger. The tube distributes any impacts along its body.

2) The heads up display type RDS receive impacts at the glass tower directly. The glass is exposes from two sides, so you have two sides of the same tower to mitigate damage to.

3) Reflex sights (non-EOTech) require a mirrored surface to reflect the image of the dot back at the user. That mirror becomes a problem in certain lighting when the optic actually turns into a full mirror and the user is looking at their own eye ball :(

4) EOTechs use complex electronics that are subject to EMF

5) Most reflex sights have external LEDs. Tubed RDS have the LED inside so nothing can block it.

That all being said, I use a C-More ATAC and the only optic I would consider using other than an ATAC is a Trijicon Accupoint or Reflex II.
My reasons...
1) Tubed RDS do in fact obstruct vision. They require a tighter shoulder weld that a Heads up display type Reflex.
2) C-Mores have swappable LEDs. in less than 2 minutes I can repair or adjust the size of my LED Dot.
3) C-Mores are absolute zero. I do not have to choose the best and closest spot to my groups center. I can adjust my zero to the exact center of my zero.
4) I am responsible enough to change a battery. 700 hour battery life is fine. They are very small and easy to change.
5) Drops on cement, rocks, asphalt when slings malfunction have not broken or damaged my ATAC. Jumping cinder block walls where the C-More tower impacted the wall during the jump didn't damage it. Accidentally kicking my ATAC across a garage floor didn't damage it....this was after it was dropped on the floor.

I would only use a Plastic C-More for a range gun or competition gun where weight was an issue.

Droppin Deuces
05-31-2011, 1:35 PM
1) Tubed bodies are stronger. The tube distributes any impacts along its body.

2) The heads up display type RDS receive impacts at the glass tower directly. The glass is exposes from two sides, so you have two sides of the same tower to mitigate damage to.

3) Reflex sights (non-EOTech) require a mirrored surface to reflect the image of the dot back at the user. That mirror becomes a problem in certain lighting when the optic actually turns into a full mirror and the user is looking at their own eye ball :(
4) EOTechs use complex electronics that are subject to EMF

5) Most reflex sights have external LEDs. Tubed RDS have the LED inside so nothing can block it.

That all being said, I use a C-More ATAC and the only optic I would consider using other than an ATAC is a Trijicon Accupoint or Reflex II.
My reasons...
1) Tubed RDS do in fact obstruct vision. They require a tighter shoulder weld that a Heads up display type Reflex.
2) C-Mores have swappable LEDs. in less than 2 minutes I can repair or adjust the size of my LED Dot.
3) C-Mores are absolute zero. I do not have to choose the best and closest spot to my groups center. I can adjust my zero to the exact center of my zero.
4) I am responsible enough to change a battery. 700 hour battery life is fine. They are very small and easy to change.
5) Drops on cement, rocks, asphalt when slings malfunction have not broken or damaged my ATAC. Jumping cinder block walls where the C-More tower impacted the wall during the jump didn't damage it. Accidentally kicking my ATAC across a garage floor didn't damage it....this was after it was dropped on the floor.

I would only use a Plastic C-More for a range gun or competition gun where weight was an issue.

I've always been under the impression that you aren't even supposed to look at the dot/glass. You look at your target(both eyes open) and the dot is effectively superimposed over that view. Or something. That's how it works for me, anyway. I can even do that with a non-illumintated 3-9x with the front cover closed. Works like a charm.

dieselpower
05-31-2011, 1:41 PM
I've always been under the impression that you aren't even supposed to look at the dot/glass. You look at your target(both eyes open) and the dot is effectively superimposed over that view. Or something. That's how it works for me, anyway. I can even do that with a non-illumintated 3-9x with the front cover closed. Works like a charm.

You are not supposed to look at the dot...but its kinda hard to ignore your own eyeball staring at you....:eek:

Go ask your wife for her face makeup mirror thingy that all have. the little round one in every girls purse. Go tape that to your optic and tell me if you can ignore your eyeball looking back at you...:D

Its not as bad as I am making it out to be and only happens in a VERY LIMITED lighting situation. I can deal with it. I can deal with it better than a tiny tube Aimpoint. I can't use an Aimpoint. I put up with the M2s in the military and refuse to do that again.

Droppin Deuces
05-31-2011, 1:46 PM
You are not supposed to look at the dot...but its kinda hard to ignore your own eyeball staring at you....:eek:

Go ask your wife for her face makeup mirror thingy that all have. the little round one in every girls purse. Go tape that to your optic and tell me if you can ignore your eyeball looking back at you...:D

Its not as bad as I am making it out to be and only happens in a VERY LIMITED lighting situation. I can deal with it. I can deal with it better than a tiny tube Aimpoint. I can't use an Aimpoint. I put up with the M2s in the military and refuse to do that again.

Haha. Like looking at the eye of Mordor.

That doesn't bother really me. I stare at myself in the mirror enough that the beauty of my own eyes doesn't phase me anymore.

Honestly, though, I guess it's not that much of an issue to me for whatever reason.

Killawhale415
05-31-2011, 1:54 PM
C-more are so cute, i want one on my glock. I doubt it would take too much abuse tho.

Many competitive pistol shooters have C-Mores on their guns.

Stone
05-31-2011, 1:56 PM
Hey dieselpower, thanks for your in-depth comments :) You've brought up a number of issues I haven't heard mentioned before.

3) Reflex sights (non-EOTech) require a mirrored surface to reflect the image of the dot back at the user. That mirror becomes a problem in certain lighting when the optic actually turns into a full mirror and the user is looking at their own eye ball :(

They are designed to reflect only the exact wavelength of light that is emitted by the LED. Therefore, for a red dot, I don't think this situation should occur unless you happen to be in a strip club with only red lights or something. Have you ever had issues?

4) EOTechs use complex electronics that are subject to EMF

Eh, I doubt this. In order to create the hologram merely requires powering a laser diode. In comparison, a red dot requires powering a LED (light emitting diode). In both cases, you have a power source connected to a diode. The EOtech is more complicated optically.

In any case, I think it takes a much stronger magnetic field to disrupt the operation of laser pointers and LED's than it does to disrupt the operation of the human brain, and is not the kind of thing you need to worry about simply due to being in close proximity to machinery or power lines.


5) Most reflex sights have external LEDs. Tubed RDS have the LED inside so nothing can block it.

In wet or moist conditions, do you ever have a droplet of water get on the emitter that causes the dot to get all fuzzy?

dieselpower
06-02-2011, 3:32 PM
Hey dieselpower, thanks for your in-depth comments :) You've brought up a number of issues I haven't heard mentioned before.

They are designed to reflect only the exact wavelength of light that is emitted by the LED. Therefore, for a red dot, I don't think this situation should occur unless you happen to be in a strip club with only red lights or something. Have you ever had issues?

Well, I can only tell you what I have seen...my own eyeball staring at me. I use C-Mores, I have also used other collimating RDS and they all do it. Its not something you will normally see at a range or during daytime use. The times I have seen it happen, I was in a brighter area then the area I was aiming at. Sort of the same effect you get in a house at night looking out a window.


Eh, I doubt this. In order to create the hologram merely requires powering a laser diode. In comparison, a red dot requires powering a LED (light emitting diode). In both cases, you have a power source connected to a diode. The EOtech is more complicated optically.

EOTechs also have electronic control modules and networks. Its not just a power source, with a limiting circuit and LED. While I maybe wrong on the EMP I am sure I am right on EOTechs having complex electronics.

In any case, I think it takes a much stronger magnetic field to disrupt the operation of laser pointers and LED's than it does to disrupt the operation of the human brain, and is not the kind of thing you need to worry about simply due to being in close proximity to machinery or power lines.


In wet or moist conditions, do you ever have a droplet of water get on the emitter that causes the dot to get all fuzzy?

I have had to clean the lens before. Its not an issue. Just like cleaning the lens on any optic.