View Full Version : Which Red Dot Sight for S&W 686 .38 Spl for 50-foot range usage?

October 3, 2005, 04:11 PM
I'm participating in my local in-door range competition and I'm looking to purchase a good quality Red Dot sight for my Smith & Wesson 686 6" (http://firearms.smith-wesson.com/store/index.php3?cat=293566&item=831420&sw_activeTab=1) using .38 Special at 25 and 50-foot distances during a competition.

The competition is action type shooting that is made up of 4-strings total, in each string you fire 12-shots total, 6, reload, and 6-more. The first two strings are shot at 25-feet in 35-seconds and the last two are 50-feet in 45-seconds.


Smith & Wesson 686 6"

I know that these distances are very short and the stock iron adjustable sights are probably fine, but I'm having problems with sighting in at 50-foot distance. I want to improve my scores and after trying out a Red Dot scope on a revolver for a few shots I noticed right away how how much easier and better it is to aim with it. I was able to consistently acquire and see the sight very quickly and easily when aiming at a 50-foot target and put bullets into the bullseye without nearly as much effort or time as with the stock iron sights.

I'm interested in a good, high quality sight that is not overly expensive. I have done a bit of research and I have eliminated a lot of the el-Cheapo scopes from companies such as BSA and Tasco since I want to avoid problems and issues with the scope losing its zero or disintegrating itself in the middle of a shoot.

I've read the Facts and Figures About Dot Sights by John Dreyer (http://www.bullseyepistol.com/dotsight.htm) at BullseyePistol.com (http://www.bullseyepistol.com/) so I learned a little about red dot scopes.

I also found out that there are two types of red dot scopes, the tube design that looks like a standard aiming scope except my shorter and with a constant diameter, and the tube-less design using reflex lenses that looks like a screen. I'm unsure as to which is better for my planned usage and which is better over all? I'd appreciate if anybody has any comments or opinions about the tube vs reflex design.

Red Dot Scopes - Tube

At my range, the Millett MultiDot SP 30mm with 3, 5, 8, 10 MOA dots, Silver (http://www.millettsights.com/pages/redots.html) is very popular and I have found it available for $120 from CheaperThanDirt.com (http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ctd/product.asp?dept_id=180612&sku=45431&imgid=&mscssid=CTF9G56FB4K18HUTXECJGWW444W40844).

Millett MultiDot SP 30mm with 3, 5, 8, 10 MOA dots, Silver - $120

I've read a few posts here and some folks mentioned that the UltraDot (http://www.ultradotusa.com/) scopes are popular for Bullseye competition shooting. I found a UltraDot FourDOT with 4, 8, 12, 16 MOA dots, Silver (http://www.ultradotusa.com/ud_fourdot.html) priced for $170 at LarryGuns.com (http://www.larrysguns.com/UltraDot/UD4D30S%20sm.htm).

UltraDot FourDOT with 4, 8, 12, 16 MOA dots, Silver - $170

I've also found another scope called the UltraDot MatchDot with 2, 4, 8, 10 MOA dots, Black/Silver (http://www.larrysguns.com/UltraDot/UDMD30%20sm.htm) that has a very nice feature of having smaller MOA dots for $179 at LarryGuns.com (http://www.larrysguns.com/ultradot.asp). This scope is not listed on UltraDot's web site for some reason. I don't know if it is because it is a new product or because it has been discontinued.

UltraDot MatchDOT with 2, 4, 8, 10 MOA dots, Black/Silver - $179

Red Dot Scopes - Reflex

I found the Docter Sight II Red Dot Reflex Sight (http://www.docteropticsusa.com/) that seems to be very heavily marketed and advertised in many of the shopping magazines. It seems like a tiny little thing with some good engineering ideas behind it but it is quite pricey at $295 from BotachTactical.com (http://store.botachtactical.com/botach/docrefreddot.html). This scope also does not have any windage or elevation adjustable nobs so it seems like it would require tool usage if I had to zero it.

Docter Sight II Red Dot Reflex Sight - $295

Another reflex type scope that somebody mentioned on this site was the C-MORE Railway - Red Dot Reflex Sight (http://cmore.com/sights.html) but it also seems expensive at $299 from the dealer themselves (http://www.cmore.com/cgi-local/i-shop/i-shop.cgi?product=Sights&cart_id=1637252_40738).

C-MORE Railway - Red Dot Reflex Sight - Click Switch- $299

October 3, 2005, 04:14 PM
There are also some interesting looking reflex sights from ATN (http://www.atncorp.com/DayOptics/ReflexSights) but I have no idea what to make of them.

ATN Ultra Sight Digital - $199

ATN Ultra Sight Digital Compact - $179

The company TruGlo (http://www.truglo.com/content/prod_scopes_reddots/category.asp) also has a nice selection of scopes.

TruGlo TruPoint Open Red Dot Sight - $215

TruGlo Red Dot XTREME SIGHTS 30MM - 36MM - $40

TruGlo TruPoint Red Dot SIGHTS 25MM, 30MM, 40MM, 45MM

ted murphy
October 3, 2005, 04:18 PM
If it's bullseye type competition you might want to look at the ultradot sight. That's what I used to use and was very popular at my BE club. It has a smaller tube but the lighter weight is worth it for the slow fire IMO.

For the action type shooting a 30mm tube is more popular or sights like the C More or holosight.


October 3, 2005, 05:59 PM
I forgot to mention what type of competition I was in so I edited the original post to add a little rundown of it. Basically it's action type shooting.

Finally, I saw the EoTech HOLOsight mentioned as being very popular also.

EoTech HOLOsight - $299

October 5, 2005, 04:03 PM
I've been very pleased with the UltraDot units I have mounted on several of my revolvers.


But... If I could afford it. I'd have DocterOptics on all my guns.


Good Luck...


October 5, 2005, 08:21 PM
I have been told for bullsey competition..that the ultradot is the sight to go with..
told the dot is clean and bright and the settings are repeatable.

the c-more and the doctor sights are great for action/speed shooting type competitions.

October 6, 2005, 01:07 PM
"I've been very pleased with the UltraDot units I have mounted on several of my revolvers. " - JoeHatley

By the way JoeHatley, those are some amazing pictuers of guns with sights on them. I'd love to see some pictures of the Docter sight from the front and back to see how wide it is compared to the width of the slide.

Also, on the revolver, you have the UltraDot sight on it and the front sight still gun. It looks like the front sight is removable... wouldn't it be better to remove the front sight? It seems in the way.

I didn't see enough replies to this thread yesterday so I just gave in and purchased the Millett MultiDot SP 30mm with 3, 5, 8, 10 MOA dots, Silver - $120 (http://www.millettsights.com/pages/redots.html) sight since this was the one highly recommended at my range. Also this sight looks almost identical to the more expensive UltraDot FourDOT with 4, 8, 12, 16 MOA dots, Silver - $170 (http://www.larrysguns.com/UltraDot/UD4D30S%20sm.htm), down to the cut of the lines on the main piece and the position and shape of the nobs.

Docter Sights

The Docter Sight II Red Dot Reflex Sight - $295 (http://www.docteropticsusa.com/) sight also looks like an amazing piece of work and I am so tempted to purchase it for the custom Les Baer Concept V Stainless Steel in .45 ACP (http://www.lesbaer.com/concpt.html) that is being built at this moment. The pistol by default comes with Les Baer Custom Adjustable Sights that are based on the Bo-Mar (http://www.bo-mar.com/) sight design and have the same cut.

Les Baer Concept V Stainless Steel in .45 ACP

I'm thinking that after I receive the pistol, I'll purchase the Docter Sight (http://www.docteropticsusa.com/ds-handgun.php) with the Mount for Bo-Mar type sights (P/N: 55700-9) and just do a straight replace of the adjustable sight. I'll give that a whirl and if I feel comfortable with using the Docter sights to see how I like them. If I really like them I might even get the slide re-cut to mount the sight directly on the slide to bring it down and make it less intrusive and closer to the bore-line. If I don't like them then I can always remove them before I re-cut the silde. That's my plan. If I get the slide re-cut then it'll look something like the picture from Docter's website.

Docter Sight II Red Dot Reflex Sight on a 1911 Type Pistol

Now the only question is... should I go with a the 3.5 MOA or 7.0 MOA size dot?

I don't really know the planned usage for this 1911. I already have that S&W 686 that'll have the Millett sight for slow accuracy shooting and I might end up using this 1911 more for action type shooting. A 7.0 MOA dot might be better for quicker sight acquisition, on the other hand a 3.5 MOA dot is better for slow accuracy shooting. Can't decide so I'm asking for opinions.

I'll probably have a better idea after I've used the Millett sight for a while since it has size adjustable dots, 3, 5, 8, 10 MOA so I'll see the difference between the dot sizes.

October 11, 2005, 07:16 PM
I hope you'll listen, because I didn't when my gunsmith told me to stay away from the "HoloSight by EoTech"!!!!!

I've had one mounted on my 9x23 "racegun" for 6 years(5 of which it has sat in the gun safe unused). On Oct 9th, 2005 I took my "racegun" to a local match with seven stages of fire. After the forth stage I had to replace the new batteries that were installed that morning-they were just about dead!!
The fifth stage I noticed the dot wasn't as bright and cranked it up to the highest setting. 27 rounds from the start beep in 11.45 seconds might have been too much for it. Sixth stage, and I was shooting blind!!! No dot!!!!!

Friday, I'm sending this piece of :mad: -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-:mad: back to EoTech, and they can shove it wear the sun might not shine!! This is the third one that can't stand the "heat", time to take it out of the "fire"!!!

I'll be replacing it with a C-More!!!!

Good luck
Scott B.

October 14, 2005, 07:44 PM
Ultra Dot, 4MOA, 30mm, silver or black. At 50' the dot covers a little less than 1" (aprox 3/4"), allmost the exact size of a B-2 or B-3 , 50' bullseye. I've had 2 UD's for about 2 years and not one lick of trouble.. About 125-135.00 shipped from Larry's or UD West. If you can hold the 10 ring a UD will put the round there time after time.