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    comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

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    comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by Hermit on Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:30 am

    I have been hearing(and seeing) a great many crossbows fitted with so-called laser sights.I have hunted for many years(with a firearm)and am comfortable and familiar with telescopic sights.I have never used,or owned a laser dot sight.
                                             The one obvious advantage of such a sight is size.Although I have'nt owned such a sight,I can envisage several disadvantages.With the disadvantages in mind,and my complete lack of experience with this sight I would appreciate any input from members who own a laser sight,and have used if to hunt.
    As any experienced hunter knows,hunting is hard on equipment,and the KISS principle is usually best.I look forward to your comments on your experiences.
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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by Gnome on Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:47 am

    Hermit,
    I've played around with lasers on handguns, and to be honest after the novelty wore off I moved back to iron sights. The "red dot" sight is fairly new to me, however, and I think they're fantastic. There's no magnification, just a big bright dot instead of crosshairs. There are open versions with just a glass screen to reflect the LED light, and closed versions inside a tube that looks kinda like a scope. Depending on how much you want to spend, it doesn't have to be a dot and it doesn't have to be red, either. Some switch from red to green for different lighting situations and different brightness levels as well, and you can change it from a dot to a circle or crosshairs. You can get into a decent one for 30 or 40 bucks, but stay away from the super cheap ones- they're just that.
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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by Hotspur on Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:40 pm

    I think you are referring to is a red dot sight, not a laser.  They work well enough, the disadvantage is anything battery operated can let you down in the field, but just put a spare battery in your kit.
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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by Hotspur on Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:34 am

    In an anachronistic moment I stuck a red dot on the bow.  Fast target acquisition, great eye relief. 


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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by Rizzar on Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:48 am

    As a soldier I´ve been working with a sunpower supported red dot for years now that only depends on battery power when it is dark.

    It is really good for shorter distances up to 100m (of course you need to know where to aim).
    The difficulty begins when the dot is so big that a small target is covered so that I´d prefer a narrow crosshair. But that depends on target size and distance.

    Advantages:
    fast to aim,
    you do not need to get as close to your face as with a scope,
    usually you keep both eyes open which gives you great view on the periphery,
    usually no chance for the target to recognise you compared to laser point aiming support (unless you do not go infrared with night vision which is more a military scenario).


    Due to a crossbows limited range compared to firearms in my opinion a great choice unless you are not going medieval/historic.

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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by Hermit on Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:47 am

    Thanks to all for the replies.It looks as tho' I am going to have to buy a red dot,and try it on my 'test bed' crossbow(a cheap folding limb Korean bow that I bought)It will be a while before I can do any testing,as my yard is half covered in snow,the other half being covered in water.This year's spring is cold,and as a result,the runoff is slow,and as we still are having frost at night,ground water is slow to soak in.The May long weekend is traditionally when we in Northern Alberta plant our gardens.Not going to happen this year,will be later.
                                              Regarding the RDT crossbow.In my view,the most difficult items to make,are the cams.Using the photo of the drawing that our fellow forum member was so kind to provide,I have made my own and am happy with it.The aluminium plate is on the way.I don't see a problem cutting out and shaping the cams,but machining the string groove looked as tho' it would present one,as the cams are not round.After some thought,and some research,I think I have found a way,using an Angle Grinder,in a holding Jig.Conventional cutting and grinding discs can not be used to grind aluminium,the aluminium being so soft,the pores in the wheel clog up,and the wheel stops cutting in very short order.I found out that there are grinding discs for aluminium,and they are 1/4 inch(6-7mm) thick,ideal for cutting the grooves in the cams.I also intend to cast cam blanks myself,and will make future postings(with photos) as things progress.This posting covers 2 subjects,I probably should have made 2 postings,but one thing led to another(I have that sort of a brain)so I apologize.
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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by Outlaw on Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:13 pm

    You have me thinking of installing a green laser on my Beowulf. The hand activation switch cord is easily long enough to activate or just use the on/off switch. My understanding is that longer ones are available.The green laser I use is good for well over 300 yds in broad daylight. Good thing is, it's not like a flashlight where the beam gets a wider field of view at a distance. It's still a pinpoint at any distance. I pointed mine at my neighbors shirt 215 yds away and he said it was a tiny dot on his shirt. (just the laser, not attached to a weapon) At night time I am sure it will reach the freaking moon. As the last post claimed, you can use both eyes. This way, once sighted in, you wouldn't even have to bring it to your shoulder. I have one on an AR and I can shoot from the hip all day. It is sighted in at 100 yds.Just paint it with the green dot and shoot. And yes, they are fully adjustable for sighting in. Only difference, if rangefinding is your issue, your back to using a rangefinder prior to shooting. I am actually fairly decent at figuring out distance. I've checked myself with a rangefinder before and was off a few feet either way within a 100 yd distance. I do realize with an Xbow this could be an issue. There is just something about looking through a scope on an Xbow that will take a lot of getting used to. Any thoughts on this would be interesting.
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    Lasers vs. scopes.

    Post by Geezer on Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:05 am

    Geezer here with a comment about sights: Personally i don't use either laser or magnified optical sights, but if you're pushing your bolts down range at 200-400 fps, there's a lot of drop at rangers over @ 50 yards.  So whatever your sights may say, the bolt's impact point will deviate a lot from the indicated point.  If you're an older shooter (like me) you may get a clearer picture of your target with a scope. And in the final analysis, a laser sight will very accurately tell you where the laser is pointed, rather than necessarily where your bolts will go.  Years ago I saw a crossbow by legendary builder Dave Benedict, that had a scope mounted on a moveable quadrant.  He could set the quadrant for the range anticipated and that would angle to scope to the right level.  It wasn't that much trouble to set and got around the elevation problem quite nicely.  A quadrant for a laser sight might be just the thing.  Geezer.

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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by Outlaw on Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:21 am

    Good point Geezer. I'm trying to wrap my head around this whole "quadrant" thing and it's not coming to me. Maybe it's because I am old like you. Paint me a picture. I'm not as sharp as I used to be. It does sound quite interesting. Sounds like it's some kind of slide or click mechanism to elevate or lower the laser mount to accommodate a particular range.

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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by chaz on Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:26 am

    I would think windage as well as drop would have quite effect on a bolt at longer distances and as long as your target will remain still while one adjusts for such factors ................. oh well

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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by Geezer on Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:30 am

    And of course if you bank your limbs right or left, that will push your shot off in the direction you bank (kentucky windage) The greater the distance, the greater the variation right/left, but you all know that.  Geezer.
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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by Geezer on Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:35 am

    Humpf!  My quadrant post seems to have gone astray.  Dave Benedict's quadrant mounted the scope on one side of the stock, just behind the lock. The mounting had a curved bar, riding in a socket with a locking knob. The bar was marked for ranges.  You angled the scope to the elevation you wanted by consulting the range indicator on the bar and set the locking knob to keep it that way.  The bar was long enough to give up to about 30 degrees elevation.  That way you could put the scope spot-on for your estimated range. If your estimate was accurate, you should hit the target.  Geezer.

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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by Outlaw on Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:49 am

    I would give a pretty penny for a picture of Dave Benedict's quadrant right about now. i'm intrigued, and still trying to wrap my head around it.

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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by c sitas on Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:54 am

    One point I've not seen mentioned . This doesn't happen over night. Long range shooting takes a lot of trail and err to set up . The movable quad that Geezer mentioned can be purchased for around 2 bills from HHA archery sight . Myself,I use a slider. Almost same setup only less to go wrong. I use it every day in competion.I've never seen a lazer that can be seen ,in day light even at 50 yards,---that I could afford. The service sounds like they use them , but notice I said"could afford".For my dollar a red dot can't be beat for hunting. Fast ,accurite and maybe carry an extra . I use a tasco quick point , the battery has been going for 3 years now. We have a 9 day season and I turn it on at first  light and off at dark. The adjustment still gives about 10 varations of brightness.I'll also say ,I don't much over 75yds,so that would have a bearing here also.Now, if your not up on the modern crossbow scope, your in for maybe a treat. They have them set up according to the speed of your bolt. You look inside and you'll see anywhere from 3 to maybe 6 dots. Just for clarity we'll say they are 20 -30-40 and so on.My own thoughts and I'm not saying this is for all, is to keep my shots 30 and under for yardage. Surely don't need a scope for that.I'm just trying to shed some light here on whats out there.I also just seen the latest post here so I'll say some more. If you want to see the only commerical quadrant made ,go search HHA archery sight -Optimizer.Hope this helps.

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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by Outlaw on Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:08 am

    Good info sitas. I'll check out HHA. I don't have the laser in front of me as I'm at work. I'll update you when I get home. I believe I paid about $150ish for it. I have one on the AR and my home defense 590A1 scattergun. They will really reach out there, whereas a red laser pretty much disappears in sunlight. I was at Bass Pro the other day looking at Xbows but didn't check out their scope lineup. I'll just have to do that. I know what you mean about the $ spent on projects. I just dished out 4 bills on my Beowulf. The scope on it is crappy. Can't get it to focus. It's stretched forward as far as it will go on the rail. It's just a cheapo. I'll get back to ya.
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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by Geezer on Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:17 am

    Yes, the HHA sight is the right idea, though Benedict's was a real quadrant, not an octant (much larger arc) and had an optical scope on top.  I don't think red-dots were available in those days.  On the whole I'd prefer a red dot to a scope, since it gives a shooter a wider field of view, but a scope gives an awfully nice picture to fuzzy old eyes.  Geezer

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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by c sitas on Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:54 am

    Hermit, in my mind there are not disadvantages. That  said, here is why I say that. Using a red dot is like watching tv. You see the picture , you use both eyes open and just point your finger at any piece of the picture . NO squinting no wasted time searching for the target. Just because it takes a battery , big deal . What doesn't these days.Like mentioned earlier, I have one i've been using pretty hard for three seasons now.I would call a red dot sight good ,maybe up to 100yds. Reason I say that is at 100yds the dot will cover the target or deer or whatever.It's the fastest way to get on target.Just see and point.Nothing to hinder what you see.I teach hunter saftey and I'll push this compared to a scope for normal close range deer hunting. In the west,maybe go withe the scope. One bad thing I see is the tendencey for new crossbow shooters to think they can shoot any longer shot.And "bust em in the blades" type of thing.Not good.
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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by twedzel on Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:22 am

    c sitas wrote:We have a 9 day season

    I don't mean to boast, but we have a 3 month season... unfortunately you need a 3 month season when you are hunting blacktails in thick BC mountain bush. My deer shotgun (buckshot) has a comfortable range of about 30 yards, 40 if the conditions are perfect. I have a fixed 4 scope on it, mostly because that is what I had on hand. But I looked into red dots for it. Cost was the biggest factor. The Aimpoints I was looking at were some serious cash.

    One reticule works fine for me at hunting ranges. I have it set up for a 50 yard zero and just need a 2" hold under for 20 yards. After this seasons over I will probably drop it down to 30 yard sight in (50 was being a bit too optimistic). I could see where the wider field of view would be a real asset, I needed to take about a 1/2 second to acquire my last deer in my scope. My biggest concern in any sighting system for hunting is how will it handle rain or snow? Keeping optics clear and dry is a major pain in the ass. I have an old 30-30 with peep sights, that one is by far my favorite for close range keep it simple hunting... its just not hair splitting accurate like a scope or red dot. It pops can lids at 50 which is accurate enough for 30-30 deer hunting.

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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by c sitas on Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:27 am

    I'm sorry ,I got called away and couldn't finish. You asked about the lazers on the crossbows . If you notice they are just about all clamped on the side of a scope. The sellers think they are an  aid the finding your target in the scope. Thing is , in the daylight you can't see them. Also the reason you have many stages of red dot adjustment is ,-- as the day gets brighter and brighter you have to keep adding power in order to see the red dot. The bright light will just wash the red out.Maybe green is not quite as bad, it would be a toss up.Most of them now come with both red and green, also they have four different aiming spots,take your choice. If I've missed something ,holler.Remember, you don't look through the thing like a scope. I like the tiny hollowgrams best. Nothing in your line of sight to block your vision.

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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by c sitas on Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:38 am

    Twedzel, Your centainly right about cost. This like anything though, you probbally get what you pay for.I still use the Aim Point on my deer rifle . That was cutting edge tech when I got it thirty years ago. The little cheap hollows I use are so simple I really don't know what it would take to knock it out of zero. They are not like a scope where as a scope is complicated these are simple. When a guy just spent 1500 to 2000 on a new crossbow ,there is no way that he'll think of using a twenty dollar sight. I dropped my crossbow about 15 feet last year. The fall cracked my sight glass, but the dumb thing still hit the spot so I kept hunting. Got home and on Ebay ,three days later I'm new and ready to go.

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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by Outlaw on Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:14 am

    OK guys, I have decided to go with the Optimizer and the L4 scope. I was looking very hard at the Hawke scopes, but couldn't find the one I wanted with just a single crosshair. The Hawke's I have looked at have the multiple range crosshairs. With the Optimizer I feel the multiple crosshairs just clutter the view. Unfortunately it's going to be a Christmas present, so I have to wait a while santa

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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by c sitas on Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:50 pm

    Outlaw, I will surely agree with you on the multi dot cross hairs. The view inside the scope is way to busy for my taste. I'll take your choice. Mys self , I'll take just the plain little red dot. Zero that thing dead on at 30yds. I'll be in the kill zone from 40 on down.

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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by Outlaw on Fri Nov 27, 2015 8:27 am

    OK again: Change of heart. I just ordered the Hawke XB1 SR. I just seems to be the whole all-in-one package. Guess I'll find out in a couple days when it gets here. santa
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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by twedzel on Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:17 am

    I have a Hawke scope on my air rifle with the mill dot reticle. The mill dot is not any more cluttered over a conventional crosshairs but it is handy for quickly adjusting point of impact. Nice feature is the short range adjustable aperture. Glass quality doesn't compare to higher end hunting scopes but the rest of the features makes for a good solid scope. It should work for you!

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    Re: comparison of red dot laser sight and conventional telescopic sight

    Post by c sitas on Sat Nov 28, 2015 8:04 am

    Twedzel, The scope I was referring to is used on the Excaliber. When you look inside ,it has say a twenty yard dot. Then on the same vertical post you have 25, 30 , 40, and 50. All ,one right after each other. My self ,I think it's to tight for the the dots,but a lot of folks put up with it. I surely would say ,if the target was moving , getting the proper dot on target would be a challenge. Hawke makes some of the most user preferred I,ve read about.

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