The world of red dots can be confusing. Does this dot have a footprint that can fit onto my gun? Do I need a mounting adapter? Should I choose a bigger MOA dot or go with a circle+dot configuration? What color should the dot be? At FreedomGorilla we know this can be daunting, so here is our two cents on the ‘green dots vs red dots’ discussion.
The Visible Light Spectrum & Our Eyes
We wanted to only touch briefly on the science part of this, because to be honest, you only need to know the basics of why green is different and the rest comes down to personal preference.
So the too long didn’t read version is there are cones in your eyes, they take in light, filter the wavelengths, and green is in the sweet spot so it’s easier to see and less straining on your eyes.
The longer version is… Sight is controlled by two types of photoreceptors: rods and cones. Humans have about 100 million rods in our retina that allow us to see in low levels of light. On the other hand, humans have about 6 million cones, and cones require a lot more light and they are used to see color. Which is how we’re able to see at night, but in grayscale. And our color vision is broken down into 3 types of cones: Red, Green, and Blue.
Red is a harder color for the human eye to focus on, which is why 60% of our retina's cones are red-sensing. Green is easier so only 30% of cones are green-sensing. And blue makes up the final 10%.
We can see light based on the wavelengths that make up the Visible Light Spectrum. Colors below 380 and above 740 are outside the human eye's color vision. The wavelength of a red laser dot is 625-720 nanometers, while that of a green laser dot is 520-565 nanometers.
In short, the green light is not only easier to see, but also less straining on your eyes and allows you to see the reticle dot with more clarity.
Pros of Green Dot Sights
- Have you ever looked into a red dot sight and you see a starburst instead of a crisp dot? Well you likely, as well as about 33% of the population, have astigmatism. The easiest way to correct is through glasses or corrective surgery. Also a green dot could be a better option for you than a red dot because the green dot won't flood your eye's cones and distort the reticle.
- Green dots can also get super bright, which makes it super valuable for shooting in bright areas like a desert environment.
- Green is quicker for our eyes to see, which means faster reflex times.
- And as mentioned before, green is more relaxing for the eye to look at so it’s less strain than a red dot.
Cons of Green Dot Sights
- The biggest con people may think of is that the green dot may blend into surroundings like green grass or trees. I suppose you can list this as a potential con - but I've personally looked at my green dot in my lush green PA summer forest, fields, and grass and the green dot is always very visible, it never blends in.
- Another con to take into consideration is it is more expensive than its red dot counterpart.
Holosun Green Dot Sights
You’ll find that some of the best options in terms of performance, durability, and affordability for green dot sights are the Holosun 407 and 507 group, both the ‘k’ and ‘c’ versions. To see the difference between the 507k and 507c check out our previous article.
The main difference between the 407k green and the other green dot sights, is the reticle itself. The 407k green has a 6 MOA dot, whereas the 407c, 507k, and 507c all have 2 MOA dots – and the 507k and 507c have a 32 MOA circle option as well.
To overcome any astigmatism issues, the smaller 2 MOA dot will likely be the better option. However if you want a bright dot that is extremely easy to pick up, the 407k green is for you.
Our Opinions On Green Dots
Paul: I like red dots, but I also do like green dots. I find the green is a bit easier on my eyes (less straining to see). Also I do have mild astigmatism, for me personally I think the green is a little crisper but still blurry, but the amount of customers who have said green helps with their astigmatism makes me really think that green is the way to go if you have astigmatism.
Mark: When I picked up the 407k green dot to make a YouTube video, I could instantly tell a difference. The biggest benefit in my opinion is it helps with eye strain. I always have a filter on my laptop screen to relieve eye strain otherwise I get headaches, so I'm down with anything that helps with that. I'll be showing it off in a future blog post about how to install a 407/507 on the Sig Sauer P365 with a mounting bracket.
To learn more or buy any of the optics discussed in this article just click the links below