Having a way to aim is paramount to shooting your firearm, no matter what your purpose is. That being said we don’t all have the same purposes. Read below to learn about the different types of sights and scopes, the different purposes they serve, and find recommendations on specific models.
Iron sights are the most simple and basic type of sight. Often called open sights, they are usually fixed or adjustable pieces of metal attached directly to the firearm. There are many styles that can be removed however. Because of their simplicity they are extremely reliable. They do have shortcomings though. While many are adjustable, they usually aren’t. Not being able to adjust sights makes it harder to adapt to different circumstances such as distance and wind.
With a holographic sight you look through a glass lens with a holographic reticle superimposed on it by a laser. If someone makes a holographic sight that isn’t adjustable, I dont know who they are. The ease of adjustment is ideal when shooting in conditions where distance and wind vary widely. Another benefit of holographic lights is that they can be used with both eyes open which allows you to pay attention to both what you are looking at through the sight, as well as to your surroundings. Holographic sights are not magnified, but you can mount a magnifier between the sight and your eye.
Red dot sights are simple, and that is the key to their popularity. They operate by reflecting a red dot onto a lens that sends the signal to your eye. The dot stays aligned with your gun which allows you to quickly find your target and shoot.
Telescopic sights, or scopes, are a sight that offers magnification through glass lenses. Simply put they are a telescope with an aiming reticle. They are predominantly used at a distance, such as in hunting or longer range target shooting. The degree of magnification can be fixed, but is usually adjustable. You can also adjust up and down for elevation, and left and right for wind.