Is it necessary to use batteries with red dot sights?

Most red dot in the market comes with some sort of illumination. Whether it’s red, like the name, or green. While some of them work through fiber optic illumination, most of them require batteries to operate.

The battery life will vary from model to model and the color of the reticle. So, if you use your optic regularly, then your battery might need to be changed regularly as well.

Let’s get to know a bit more about why Red Dot needs a battery and what kind of battery may help you get the best result.

Why does Red Dot need a battery?

As I earlier said, batteries are required to illuminate the reticle. Without illumination, the performance of the optic won’t be nearly as good.

To help you understand it better, look at toys for example. They require batteries to power up and light up. In a similar fashion, your reticle has a circuit that needs electricity to power up. The battery completes that circuit and allows it to light up.

What kind of battery does a red dot use?

Depending on the type of optic you are using, the battery size and type will vary a lot. While most smaller-sized optics can run on a CR-2032 battery, a lot of them require AAA to run even! That depends on how much energy your scope consumes.

On the flip side, if you are using your optic in a colder environment where lithium batteries just don’t work, you could go for Lithium Button Cell Br3032. This type of battery consists of carbon monofluoride electrodes. This material is known for not freezing in cold weather and still providing enough juice for your optic.

How do you change the batteries on a red dot?

The changing process is simple but can alter a little bit depending on the type of optic you have. For example, a lot of optics will have their battery stored on the top side of the optic. Often they are secured with a screw. Sometimes, they are just flip locks, but that’s rare.

Here are a couple of steps that you can follow to easily remove the battery of your red dot and replace it with a new one.

  1. The first step of this process is to locate the battery holder. Your optic will have a compartment dedicated to the battery. As I mentioned earlier, it might be on top of your optic or at the side. It really depends on the type of optic you have. Some Aimpoint red dot sights have a turret-like compartment for batteries.
  2. Now that you have taken out the old dead battery, time for you to add a new one. You should install a battery that is recommended by your scope’s manufacturer. If they said you should use a 3V battery, don’t try to oversmart them and install a 5V. This may end up damaging your optic permanently. Stick to the manual, this time.
  3. Now that we are done with the replacement, time to close the hatch properly. Remember, water cannot go inside the compartment. This is very important. Otherwise, it will fry your battery circuit. So, make sure to close the compartment properly.

I’m once again asking you to use the company’s direction for a replacement unit. Trust me, you don’t know better than the manufacturer. But if you want to fry up your optic for some reason, by all means, go for a higher-voltage battery.

How can you increase the battery life of a red dot?

Increasing the battery life of an optic is always the top priority of a shooter. You don’t want to run out of juice in the middle of a shooting session. This is the reason why HOLOSUN HS507C X2 Circle Dot Solar Failsafe exists. This type of optic works even if your battery runs out of energy.

As for increasing the battery life, here are a couple of steps that you can follow.

Turn off your scope. When you are not using the optic, make sure to turn it off. If you keep it running while storing the weapon, the battery will run out faster than ever. While some optic may have an “auto-shutdown” feature, a lot of budget options doesn’t have that. So, make sure to turn it off.

Keep the battery cool. It’s super important to keep the battery cool, clean, and dry. Don’t let your battery spend its days in a dark environment filled with moisture. If your battery catches moisture, it will end up rotting your battery sooner than you anticipate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are red dot sights powered by batteries?

Yes, they are. Unless your optic says it is powered by tritium fiber optic, then your sight requires a battery to light up. The reticle tends to have an LED. You cannot power up an LED without electricity either. This is why it’s required to have a battery.

How long do red dot batteries last?

That depends on the type of optic you have in your possession. Some of the red dots tend to put up a battery expectancy of around 50k hours! While some offer only 1-3k hours. It will also depend on what brightness setting you are using.

For example, if you are using your optic with the highest brightness, then it will last nowhere near the claimed battery life. But if you are using your optic at a lower brightness, it may outlast your expectations as well.

Do red dots function at night?

Given their origins as the reflector sight, red dot sights perform admirably at night. One of their key benefits is that they feature a lighted spot with a light-emitting diode, allowing them to function in a variety of lighting conditions.

Closing Thoughts

In short, batteries are required batteries to power up. The red dots cannot function without a battery. As a result, if you buy a sight, make sure it comes with a high-quality battery. Because you’ll need to change the battery after a while, it’s a good idea to keep a backup battery on hand.

Hopefully, that cleared up your confusion and myth surrounding batteries and red dots. That’s all for now, hope to see you on the next one. Till then, take care and have fun.

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