Gun Digest

Hunting Revolvers: Are Red-Dot Sights the Answer?

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Gun Digest Book of Hunting Revolvers.

Gun Digest Book of Hunting Revolvers opens the door to this fun and challenging form of hunting.

The dot on the better scopes can be adjusted for brightness to compensate for changing light conditions in the field or out on the range. It is probably the best solution for low-light hunting situations, making target engagement easy to attain in a hurry. Some red-dot type sights also feature an adjustable dot size, enabling you to adjust diameter up or down to better serve the conditions. In low light, where black crosshairs may be hard to see, the red dot can be adjusted to shine brightly.

There are essentially two types of red-dot sights: a tube type that resembles a riflescope and is adjusted and mounted in the same manner, and the holographic sight that projects a red dot on a small screen. The holographic-type is quite compact and may not necessarily add any bulk to your hunting rig. However, it may not be the best choice in inclement weather as it can be difficult to keep the screen clean for an unobstructed view of your target. Holographic types also tend not to be as rugged, as much more of the mechanism is exposed and not enclosed in a tube — something else to consider.

The relatively new Ultradot 6 features four dot sizes and two reticle patterns.

However, there are some very good units available, such as the Trijicon RMR. In general, red-dot sights are light in weight and don’t change the balance of your gun in any significant way. Be sure to speak to the manufacturer prior to spending your money. Make certain the red dot you choose is up to the task of withstanding the recoil of your handgun (a recurring theme here!).

In any case, a good warranty goes a long way in customer confidence. Ultradot produces a whole line of economical and rugged red dot-type sights that come with a lifetime warranty. I am a big fan of Ultradot’s products for a number of reasons, but mainly for the reliability of their products.

The author took this wild hog in North Carolina with an Ultradot 30 equipped BFR in .500 JRH.

I have had an Ultradot 30 (this is a 30mm tube diameter, hence the designation) on a number of my heavy recoiling revolvers and can report that it has exceeded my expectations by a dozen miles. Thousands of full-tilt .475 Linebaugh rounds (420s at 1,350 fps) and a full complement of heavy load development for my .500 JRH BFR have tested the very integrity of that Ultradot. The poor unit even resided on my ultra-abusive lightweight Ruger Super Redhawk in .500 Linebaugh. The only failure I have experienced was a set of rings that broke from the vicious recoil generated by the .475. But the Ultradot 30 never missed a beat. To add insult to injury, I even mounted that sight on my 8-pound .416 Remington Magnum Mauser (yup, I do own a rifle) for load testing.

I have not been kind to my Ultradot. But like a loyal dog, it keeps coming back, tail always wagging. The only drawback with any red-dot sight is that battery failure can leave you high and dry at the worst moment. Remember to always carry a spare battery and the tools necessary to change it in the field. From supported and unsupported shooting positions, the red dot shines.

Editor's Note: This article is from Gun Digest Book of Hunting Revolvers.

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