Do Red Dot Sights Have Magnification? [It’s Not All Sunshine, Is It?]

No, they don’t. Red dots are known as reflex sight. Reflex sights have unlimited eye relief and they are used for close-range shooting. That’s why adding any sort of magnification will defeat the point of them.

I know there are magnifiers available for prism-style red dots available on the market but that’s a completely different ball game.

Why Would I Use A Red Dot Then?

If a red dot doesn’t offer any kind of magnification whatsoever, then why should I use a red dot over a scope? Some scopes offer 1x to 4x magnification, right? Correct. There are plenty of options available with that configuration.

But all of those are scopes and not reflex sights. Even if a scope offers plenty of eye relief, they don’t offer a better and wider viewing angle compared to a reflex sight. And let’s not forget you will need to keep one eye closed while using your scope.

With a reflex sight, you will not need to do anything like that. Keep both of your eyes open or one closed, that’s up to you. Another huge advantage of the red dot sight is the parallax. Red dot sights are true parallax-free. Not side parallax or at fixed range parallax free. It’s truly free from parallax.

It’s Not All Sunshine, Is It?

Well, yes. It can’t be all good without having some bad in it. There are a few consequences of going this route. Red dot sights are only compatible with short-range weapons and they offer extremely poor bullet reading.

They are not suitable for anything beyond 50 yards. 100 yards is a big stretch and you will need to do a lot of guesswork in the head to nail a shot beyond that. Cheaper red dots are extremely bad and will ruin your progress as well. A red dot sight that is designed poorly and has flaws to begin with, your optic will do more harm than good.

Should I Use A Magnifier With A Red Dot?

It’s a decision that is yours to make. Sure, the magnifier has some advantages to it, but to most, it won’t be effective at all. The sights are made for close range and the reticle is perfectly suited for close-range operation as well.

With an added magnifier, you can get a more accurate reading of the bullet drops, that’s for sure. But it will also mean that you are venturing into a land where red dots aren’t supposed to go. With a prism-style red dot optic, magnifiers are a great companion and I urge you to try them out as well. But with a reflex red dot sight, you are better off using it as a stock weapon sight.


As I stated at the beginning, red dot sights offer no magnification at all. So, make sure to invest in one of them if you are okay with no magnification at all. Otherwise, you might later regret your decision thinking you can just live with it.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading. Till next time, take care and have fun.

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