Red Dot Vs Scope For Hunting [10 Facts That You Must Know]

When it comes to hunting, it’s all about making the most precise shot. You have to acquire the target fast as well. That’s where a red dot or scope comes in. There has been a lot of debate on which one is suitable for hunting. Let’s see I can clear some of these confusions for you.

But let me clear something at the very beginning. Both of them are highly popular. Depending on the short or long-range shooting, both of them are highly used. You simply can’t say this is good or this is bad. All you can determine which one is more suitable for you depending on your applications. 

Red Dot Vs Scope For Hunting

red dot vs scope

I have gathered some technical but easy to understand facts here. That way you can decide which one should you buy. Let me know in the comment box if I miss anything.

  • Precise Shooting

When it comes to precise shooting, spotting scope dominates the red dot. It’s all over the internet and you will find a lot of hunters have confirmed it. It’s just true that red dot offers less accurate shooting than the scope. 

  • Distance

Since shooting quickly and precisely are very important for all the hunters, I should talk about it first. For long-shooting, there is no alternative to a better spotting scope. It lets you shoot quickly too. 

But it is not suitable for short-range shooting because of its high magnification level. It makes it time-consuming too. That’s where a red dot comes in. Very efficient to shoot at a close distance precisely. 

  • Level of Comfort

In the tactical world, you want to make yourself as comfortable as possible. You will need it a lot while you are in the wilderness for a long time. There is a big difference in the level of comfort between a red dot and a scope. 

You have to keep your eyes on the back of the spotting scope for aiming at the target. You will lose your target if you move your head. Doing so a lot will lead to neck pain. Red dot sights don’t have that problem. Keeping your distance, you can still see the red dot.

Another great advantage of using a red dot is that you can shoot keeping both of your eyes open. No need to close your one eye which is required for a rifle scope. You just point the red dot at the target and shoot.

  • Weight

If you go hunting in the wilderness for a couple of days, you have to walk a lot. A lot of hiking with a backpack full of all those tactical gears is really hard. At some point, it will affect your stamina and your urge for hunting will keep reducing gradually. 

So, the weight of the scope or the red dot is important to consider in hunting. Scopes are heavier than the red dot due to its size and other technical specs. The bigger size of the scope may also create a problem for you. That’s where the red dot is hand because of its compact design.

  • The Eye Relief Issue

If it is a big issue for you, the red dot should be your choice. Using a spotting scope will create eye relief problems for any hunters. And if you are not careful enough, it will start to hurt terribly. 

Since you can still see the red dot keeping a safe distance, it will not create an eye relief problem. It’s a pretty good way to avoid eye relief problems.

  • Placement On The Gun

Whereas there are different sections on the gun for the red dot placement, it is very limited for the spotting scope. However, there are some rifles out there that come with extra placement spaces for the scope. But you will find 3 spaces for the red dot join like the barrel, receiver, and so on. 

I know its not a big issue and it definitely does not put the scope in a bad situation but I thought I should mention it. 

  • Magnification

Scopes offer different levels of magnification and such magnification is not available in the red dot. So, if you are a long-distance shooter, go for the scope. A red dot does not have it which has made them a little less suitable for long-distance hunting. It covers less area than the scope and the accuracy is less as well.

  • Parallax/Non-Parallax

Scopes got the parallax problem. This is a very big deal for the hunters. You see, parallax causes trouble for the hunters as it takes more time to focus and shoot. Adjusting the scope for the parallax is a little hard.

On the other hand, a red dot does not have any such parallax problems. As soon as you see the red dot and cover the area – just shoot! It is that simple.

  • The Purpose

The purpose of using a red dot is totally different than using a spotting scope. If your purpose is having it for the long-range shooting, it is good. The magnification and the optical zoom are pretty important for the long-range shooting which you will get only from the scopes. However, for the short-range shooting, red dot sights should be your ultimate choice. 

  • Field of Vision/Area Covered

The feature of magnification in the scopes may seem cool to you as you can see the object as big as you want. At the 2x level of magnification, you will see twice the large size of what your eyes can normally see. That’s where the problem comes in also.

More magnification also means you will be seeing less area surrounding the target. You may end up shooting something else nearby or behind the target. The red dot does not have that problem. It offers way more field of view surrounding the target than what a scope can.


I am pretty sure some of you though the distinction between the two is a no-brainer. Well, did you find some useful information between the two? Don’t keep me waiting! Let me know in the comment box!

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