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Red Dots and Astigmatism?


Stafford
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I haven't really shot much with a red dot. And of those times, only once was it a positive experience. The other times it is possible that the dot wasn't zeroed correctly. Or perhaps it was my eyes that were the culprit. I've read that Astigmatism and red dots don't always blend well together.

 

For those that have Astigmatism and use a red dot, what is the best solution? Smaller dot, bigger dot, or just use iron sights?

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I have astigmatism in my right (aiming) eye.  I have no problem using red dots from 2 MOA to 12 MOA.  I use the 12 on a PCC for steel challenge.  I thought I'd try it.  I use 5 or 6 MOA for almost everything else.  I have four 8 MOA, also.  Iron sights are not an option for me.  I cannot focus on them.

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8 minutes ago, Stafford said:

I haven't really shot much with a red dot. And of those times, only once was it a positive experience. The other times it is possible that the dot wasn't zeroed correctly. Or perhaps it was my eyes that were the culprit. I've read that Astigmatism and red dots don't always blend well together.

 

For those that have Astigmatism and use a red dot, what is the best solution? Smaller dot, bigger dot, or just use iron sights?

Prior to cataract surgery, I had pretty strong astigmatism. The "dot" was more like a blob. Smaller seemed to work better at the risk of loosing it in bright sunlight. What I finally discovered was the Delta Point triangular "dot" worked great because I was able to detect the tip in the amorphous blob. I would zero to the tip and shoot the blob at closer targets.

 

 

ETA: Any dot appeared at least 2x actual size so the trick was to understand what part of the dot was the dot 😉

Edited by ChuckS
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It's likely your eyes, sorry to say.

 

Dots to me always looked like a bunch of grapes - not a clear, round pipper. As my astigmatism worsened, I eventually had TWO dots. Pretty simple fix with prescription glasses.

 

Mark

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look through your dot with your eyes. remember that image. take a cell phone pick through your dot and look at that. now compare and contrast the two. this helped me learn which part of the double dots with a comet's tail (yes i have an astigmatism in both eyes to a high degree) I should actually be aiming with.

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I have astigmatism in both eyes.  I have found the bigger dots help, but its still a blob.  

2 MOA to me looks like a starburst, 6.5 MOA just looks less round.

I still use my red dots, I just deal with it.  My hardest thing right now with red dots is looking through them and not just staring at the dot.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just bought a new Sig Romeo1 3 moa because my 6 moa red dot (also Romeo1) looks too big in low light environments. The new red dot looks like crap! It is sometimes a star, sometimes a comma, sometimes a blob, and anything in between. I am not known to have astigmatism, and my wife sees the same patterns. Further, my 6 moa Romeo1 in its low setting looks super nice and round (although it can start looking like a blob in higher settings). Anyway, because of these reasons (changing pattern, my wife seeing the same, and me seeing the older optic fine in low setting) I think this optic is just crap.

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For me it's roughly 50% having a high quality dot (Currently using an FTP Sports Alpha3) and 50% high quality shooting specific glasses. My right lens is front sight distance, the left lens is target distance. Crappy dots and/or crappy lenses gets me a terrible starburst.

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If you have astigmatism, GET IT CORRECTED.  Theres' no excuse to not have a good optometrist measure and scrip corrective lenses that will clear up your visual defects created by eyeball deformation (myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism).  Presbyopia (hardening of the lens, what keeps you from focusing up close) is a whole different story but irrelevant when using a red dot properly.

 

My eyes are complete s#!t.  Severe myopia and moderate astigmatism since my teens and presbyopia since my early forties (about 12 years ago).  When I go to my optometrist I make sure he dials out my astigmatism and myopia completely.  If I'm not satisfied with the resulting lenses I go back immediately and explain what I see to get a set remade at no charge.

 

My vision correction is not shooting specific.  The glasses I wear are what I wear day in and day out for everything.  With them I can shoot any firearm, with any sighting system, except for metallic sights on pistols and some rifles.  Scopes with magnification: no problem.  2 and 4 MOA rifle-mounted reflex sights: no problem.  6.5 MOA pistol mounted red dot sights: no problem at all.

 

@Stafford what, exactly, was the problem (or problems) you have had with red dots on pistols?  You don't tell us anything about those problems you had, but you immediately jump to asking about the best way to deal with astigmatism.  How do you know astigmatism is the reason you couldn't shoot them well?  Do you know how astigmatism affects how your brain sees a red dot? 

 

I'm willing to bet that part of your problem is that you don't know how to use a red dot sight.  Most people don't without at least some instruction.  I've given my RDS pistol to at least three shooters (two experienced ones and one complete noob) in the last two months and not a single one of them was able to use it correctly without some guidance.  Some could never find the dot until I fixed their grip, others tried to use it exactly like one would use irons: focusing on the dot, not on the target, others tried to see the world through the RMR by closing one eye.....  Even if you have astigmatism, that's likely not the reason why you can't shoot one well.

Edited by SGT_Schultz
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@Stafford I strongly recommend that you take a class dealing with the transition to reflex sights on a pistol.  Then you'll be able to decide, based on knowledge and not assumptions, how to do the transition yourself.

 

Sentinel Concepts, Modern Samurai Project, Centrifuge Training, and Sage Dynamics are some that come to mind immediately.

 

I'm sure at least one of them can provide a loaner pistol with sufficient advance notice.

Edited by SGT_Schultz
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