The Red Dot Cure!

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The best part of purchasing that new red dot…is the sight itself. They’re great for that CQB thing, close range hunting, home defense, and just some fun plinking. They’re very lightweight, not that expensive, and very effective. I don’t see that many shooter’s using fixed iron sights these days, myself included! And illumination is also perfect for home defense, or anywhere you may find yourself in the dark, although red dot sights are also intended to be daylight visible.


So in great anticipation you unpack your new sight, mount it on your favorite black rifle, and have a look. Oh nooo, you see anything but a “dot.” It’s more of a red blob, a starburst flaring mess, and you’re disappointed that you received a ‘defective’ sight. You fiddle with settings, read the manual (even if you’re a guy), and are having little success. You go back to reading online reviews, and even think about sending that POS back when you run across others that are experiencing the same thing. Wait, lots of people are finding the same thing? And as it turns out, the many complaints are not about the red dot sight, but blaming it on their vision. An astigmatism.


So how do you know if it’s your eyes, or if it’s a defective red dot sight? Easy. Take a picture of that horrible looking dot. If it’s still horrible, you probably have a defective sight. If it’s a round dot…it’s all you. Congratulations!


Terrible looking dot and you’re thinking it’s defective. But it’s most likely not.



Now take a picture and see how it looks. Perfect! Yep, it’s all you.




So let’s “cure” this issue. When I shot NRA Bullseye competition, I saw several competitor’s wearing what I found later to be the “Merit Optical Attachment.” It was used back then to focus on fixed sights, but recently read where this was also working with red dot sights for those with an “astigmatism.” Great, as I’m no longer perfect, I ordered one for about $60. Nice little unit that suction cups to your glasses and has an adjustable aperture which works just like a camera lens.


Merit Optical_001   Merit Optical_002



This really works! It might even make you look like you know what you’re doing at the range! This, and a shooting vest riddled with competition patches, and you’re king of the hill. One day, I ran across a comment online that someone discovered that you can use your rear flip-up sight to do the same thing. Whaaat? I’m in. So I grabbed a red dot and placed it close to the rear sight of my Sig MCX and had a look using the smaller peep and son-of-a…, this really works, too!







You’ll still need to control your brightness setting to minimize the effects of an over-intensified light that would show scatter. It also appears that this solution would be perfect in the field where you need a more precise dot to nail that game. And, BTW, leave your front sight folded as you won’t be using it. This surely is a “Cure.”





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