Eye position for red dot / irons absolute cowitnesses

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  • DDadams

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    So I never really took the time to practice with irons at all on rifles. Always just went lazy and bought an optic immediately.

    I recently had a "shtf" rifle built and decided I needed irons for the redundancy, plus maybe because they look cool.

    So something I'm wondering though is about my cheek weld with this setup and if what I've been doing is a no no for some reason I can't really see yet?

    Instead of buying a lower 1/3 riser for the Holosun I've just been keeping my head higher and letting the dot sit above the irons, rather hunkering down and keeping them both on target.

    I'm changing the optic out on this soon for a different one that will be higher no matter what so it won't matter for this rifle but I'm going to throw a set of these irons on another rifle that this optic will go on as well so I want to know for future reference if this could cause some kind of issue I'm not quite aware of.

    I tried taking a pic to show what exactly I'm talking about. The difference between my pic and what I'm seeing is the dot isn't as close to the optics hood. I couldn't balance it and get the pic I wanted holding my phone upside down. When I do this the circle is right above the front sight post basically touching the side protectors (the Y part)

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    20220806_153649.jpg
     

    ECS686

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    If I am reading this right. Your asking about having to have it co witness?

    Presuming your pic is off and the dot is a little more centered with a natural hold. The co witness thing isn’t as necessary. Sure it’s a good way to zero your dot initially but it’s not a have to. The only time you have a cow it was is you are having that trade stick weld. With RDS it doesn’t matter.

    As long as you have the dot zeroed it doesn’t matter if the dot is centered or in a corner of the screen. As long as it’s on the target.
     
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    ditcherman

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    If I am reading this right. Your asking about having to have it co witness?

    Presuming your pic is off and the dot is a little more centered with a natural hold. The co witness thing isn’t as necessary. Sure it’s a good way to zero your dot initially but it’s not a have to. The only time you have a cow it was is you are having that trade stick weld. With RDS it doesn’t matter.

    As long as you have the dot zeroed it doesn’t matter if the dot is centered or in a corner of the screen. As long as it’s on the target.
    Either I'm drunk or you're drunk.
    Let me know please.
     

    ditcherman

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    In the country, hopefully.
    So I never really took the time to practice with irons at all on rifles. Always just went lazy and bought an optic immediately.

    I recently had a "shtf" rifle built and decided I needed irons for the redundancy, plus maybe because they look cool.

    So something I'm wondering though is about my cheek weld with this setup and if what I've been doing is a no no for some reason I can't really see yet?

    Instead of buying a lower 1/3 riser for the Holosun I've just been keeping my head higher and letting the dot sit above the irons, rather hunkering down and keeping them both on target.

    I'm changing the optic out on this soon for a different one that will be higher no matter what so it won't matter for this rifle but I'm going to throw a set of these irons on another rifle that this optic will go on as well so I want to know for future reference if this could cause some kind of issue I'm not quite aware of.

    I tried taking a pic to show what exactly I'm talking about. The difference between my pic and what I'm seeing is the dot isn't as close to the optics hood. I couldn't balance it and get the pic I wanted holding my phone upside down. When I do this the circle is right above the front sight post basically touching the side protectors (the Y part)

    View attachment 216751
    View attachment 216750
    I prefer my rifle dots co-witnessed but I'm using flip up sights, not fixed. I think if I had fixed I would want the lower 1/3 so I had more window to use, and could see what is below the dot, like I'd run a pistol dot. But to each their own.
     
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    TJ Kackowski

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    The no-no you reference will become apparent when using the iron sights for precision work. Accurate rifle shooting is all about repeatability. When you just hold your head higher that isn't a repeatable action like a solid cheek weld is, so your groups will suffer.

    How important is this at close range (less than 50 yds)? Not so much. Start taking longer range shots and this becomes a big deal. So does setting up a proper shooting position, using a sling or other support, breath and trigger control, and verifying NPOA.
     

    DDadams

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    So if I buy a riser for the holosun and raise it so the irons are lower 1/3rd - from a purely 'perfect fundamentals' standpoint am I technically supposed to keep my head down at iron sight height and use the dot that's then a good bit above the irons?

    This is why I wasn't sure if it was really a huge deal.

    I've only ever had things at absolute cowitness but I never uses fixed irons on a rifle and although it doesn't actually bother me at all looking through them - especially with the large aperture - this idea came to me as from what I've gathered via lower 1/3rd videos/reviews/posts is that most of the guys seem to be keeping their head higher for the optic and should they need the irons they then hunker down into them.

    So it's the same thing as what I've been doing this last week but in reverse?

    I mean if everyone says not to do it I just won't, but I figured I'd ask what the 'by the book' teaching would be.
     

    TJ Kackowski

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    So if I buy a riser for the holosun and raise it so the irons are lower 1/3rd - from a purely 'perfect fundamentals' standpoint am I technically supposed to keep my head down at iron sight height and use the dot that's then a good bit above the irons?

    This is why I wasn't sure if it was really a huge deal.

    I've only ever had things at absolute cowitness but I never uses fixed irons on a rifle and although it doesn't actually bother me at all looking through them - especially with the large aperture - this idea came to me as from what I've gathered via lower 1/3rd videos/reviews/posts is that most of the guys seem to be keeping their head higher for the optic and should they need the irons they then hunker down into them.

    So it's the same thing as what I've been doing this last week but in reverse?

    I mean if everyone says not to do it I just won't, but I figured I'd ask what the 'by the book' teaching would be.
    As noted above, when you have the red dot properly sighted in, you're GTG ... as long as you know how your ammo performs in your rifle, put your head wherever it's comfortable.

    If you want to use the irons, you will need to establish a good cheek weld along with the other items noted above.

    From what you describe, your irons are truly a back-up sighting system. Put them wherever you want in relation to the red dot becasue when you want to use the irons, your red dot is likely compromised. Just remember that to use the irons accurately, you will need to establish a good cheek weld.

    Something else to keep in mind is that zeroing the irons with the red dot in place vs. removing the red dot may result in a POA/POI shift. This is something you need to verify with your particular set up.
     

    DDadams

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    As noted above, when you have the red dot properly sighted in, you're GTG ... as long as you know how your ammo performs in your rifle, put your head wherever it's comfortable.

    If you want to use the irons, you will need to establish a good cheek weld along with the other items noted above.

    From what you describe, your irons are truly a back-up sighting system. Put them wherever you want in relation to the red dot becasue when you want to use the irons, your red dot is likely compromised. Just remember that to use the irons accurately, you will need to establish a good cheek weld.

    Something else to keep in mind is that zeroing the irons with the red dot in place vs. removing the red dot may result in a POA/POI shift. This is something you need to verify with your particular set up.
    I'd never heard that last bit.

    Is it because of the glass causing small distortion on where the front post actually is vs appears through the glass?
     

    TJ Kackowski

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    I'd never heard that last bit.

    Is it because of the glass causing small distortion on where the front post actually is vs appears through the glass?
    Yes. The red dot manufacturers all claim that the optic is 1x magnification, i.e. no magnification, and this may very well be true, but the various coatings on the glass cause things to be different than open air.

    Just something to verify on your rig to make sure that if your red dot is compromised and must be removed, your irons will still be properly zeroed.
     

    DDadams

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    Yes. The red dot manufacturers all claim that the optic is 1x magnification, i.e. no magnification, and this may very well be true, but the various coatings on the glass cause things to be different than open air.

    Just something to verify on your rig to make sure that if your red dot is compromised and must be removed, your irons will still be properly zeroed.
    Can't wait to take it off now and see.
     

    Trapper Jim

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    One thought is that in fun and games at the range dots and co irons are fun. Godforbid, in a street fight, dancing between finding your dot and then co witnessing will pretty much leave you with about 12 rounds left as you bleed out on the asphalt. There’s always that.

    Good luck
     

    nad63

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    Zero your irons/back up sights at your preferred distance (another discussion here ti what’s “best”). Attach your red dot and zero it. Most likely these will be zeroed at the same distance but don’t have to be.
    Assuming they are zeroed at the same distance then absolute or 1/3 cowitness are you to you.
    If you absolute co witness then you will typically have a somewhat repeatable sight picture. If you do all things textbook everything will line up perfectly. That is not required though and as others have said if your dot is on target you are gtg. Often you may be unable to get in a perfect position so imagine aiming over a wall while standing on one leg. So long as your dot is on target you should be gtg.
    Fixed irons compromise the fov when using the red dot but you learn to just ignore them pretty fast and they are always there if you need them.
    QD mounted rds can just be removed in the ev nt the rds fails. Taking off and on you would have to confirm the return to zero but quality qd will be within 1/2 moa.
    It’s a journey and what works for you and your needs trumps all.
    Just when you figure it out you will want to look into 45 degree offset irons or mrds and a LPVO or magnifier for your rds.
    Plenty of great info in this thread already and just adding my two cents.
     
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    This thread is proof that people put red dot sights on guns and don't have a clue how to use them. I've watched people use them like a standard scope, kinda funny to watch.
     

    bwframe

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    I cannot speak for our friend Robert. As a student of the RDS, I'll give my :twocents: though, if you'd like?

    A lot of the issue comes from how you use the sighting system. The RDS was designed to use a target focus vs irons that are front sight focused or a scope that is cross hair focused. They are totally different.

    The idea with RDS is that you are focused on the target and the RDS dot is superimposed where the bullet impact will be, when the firearm is aimed appropriately.

    Some of the issue with using RDS is attempting to look through your sight glass to find the dot you have focused on, then place the dot on your target. Vs a target focus that you bring the dot/firearm into.

    In some of the handgun RDS classes, one of the drills is actually covering the front of the RDS, to not see through at all. Shooters are often amazed that they can still see the dot on the target, even though the dominant eye is blocked.

    This is somewhat based on the Bindon Aiming Concept, developed using low powered illuminated optics.


     
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    pmbiker

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    I cannot speak for our friend Robert. As a student of the RDS, I'll give my :twocents: though, if you'd like?

    A lot of the issue comes from how you use the sighting system. The RDS was designed to use a target focus vs irons that are front sight focused. They are totally different.

    The idea with RDS is that you are focused on the target and the RDS dot is superimposed where the bullet impact will be, when the firearm is aimed appropriately.

    Some of the issue with using RDS is attempting to look through your sight glass to find the dot you have focused on, then place the dot on your target. Vs a target focus that you bring the dot/firearm into.

    In some of the handgun RDS classes, one of the drills is actually covering the front of the RDS, to not see through at all. Shooters are often amazed that they can still see the dot on the target, even though the dominant eye is blocked.
    Thank you for the explanation, and that makes sense. The reason I asked "how so" is how can that be determined by posts made on an internet forum. The second part of his statement which I did not quote states that he sees it at the range and I can't disagree with that.
     
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    I have one AR with a Sig Whiskey 3 W/Hellfire reticle mounted on it that I can use like a red dot with the lens cover down.
     
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