What to do if Your Red Dot Dies Mid-String

If you are in the middle of a shooting string or in need and your red dot craps out, it’s not the end of the world. Your bullets won’t go flying off into space.

Chances are your bullets will land close enough to count if you just use your RDS body as an emergency ghost ring.

Our regulars know about my truck gun project and that I did it on the cheap. One of the options at the time was to mount a very old, and very cheap red dot we had laying about the armory. Read that as free.

Well…it has finally died. And with some of the exciting low-cost / high-value RDS options on the market these days, I am anxious to go shopping for a legit upgrade that won’t cost more than the rifle.

Why? Because it’s a freaking truck gun! That’s why!

But figured it would be a good opportunity to demo the theory about the emergency ghost ring concept. Full disclosure, I am in NO WAY advocating choosing to do this. I am in no way suggesting buying a sub-standard RDS and “getting away with it”.

All I am demoing is, should you throw your RDS up for a committed shot and the magic red dot isn’t there, just press ahead with the sight picture you have. It just might be enough to solve the problem at hand.

And of course, no holier-than-thou, SEAL Team 47, Night-Elf-MoHawk, operator would ever, ever, ever forget to turn on his RDS, change the battery or otherwise invite the mistakes of us mere mortals.

You think the last paragraph is facetious? No worries, they will be along shortly in the comments to grace us with their awesomeness.



“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

Marky Mark

Marky Mark

Writer at John1911.com
Writer for john1911.com. Co-Host of the John1911 Podcast. Video content provider for John1911-TV.

Areas of focus: Defense and National Security, Modern Light Weapons, Analysis of the Geo-political / Military Relationship in the Context of Strategic Goals.
Marky Mark

Latest posts by Marky Mark (see all)

  • Disclaimer: In no way am I advocating this be your fist choice. Or your second choice. It’s merely to illuminate this fact. If your RDS dies and it doesn’t have BUIS on board, there is still a viable sighting option for reasonable ranges. The human eye is very good at “centering” fields of view. Just ask any Camp Perry shooter using peeps.


    • MickeyG

      Your last 2 sentences says it all, well done !

      • Yeah a guy on FB was intentionally ignoring the whole peep sight concept at the national matches.

        I let it go.


  • Mikial

    “You think the last paragraph is facetious? No worries, they will be along shortly in the comments to grace us with their awesomeness.”

    Sadly, so true. But, a good article and good advice. In the long run when stuff fails, you can either panic or deal with it. I’ve always preferred the ‘deal with it’ option.

    • It’s a mental thing. If the bullets go to the red dot in the center of the glass? And the red dot is off? Do the bullets still go there?

      If a red dot falls down in the middle of a forest, does it make a sound?



      • Brennen Munro

        The red dot may not make a sound, but I am pretty sure most “Night-Elf-Mohawk” types will be screaming loud enough that if it “was” making a sound we would not have heard it anyway!


  • Bryce Mibeck

    Why I always have a MBUIS or other folding rear sight behind my RDS and keep the RDS at co-witness level.

    • Understood. This is just a proof of concept. If the bullets go to the dot in the center when on? It still goes to the center when sight is off.


  • Brennen Munro

    Thought of something else… Volume of fire has a quality of accuracy all of it’s own as well!


    • The Russians taught the Germans that in the Eastern Front.


      • Brennen Munro

        Ouch… They did indeed do just that!


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