Pushing the Limits - Alternative Use Red Dots Athlon Optics Educational -

Pushing the Limits – Alternative Use Red Dots

Red dot sights have revolutionized shooting on almost every level – from military use to competition use to law enforcement and everything in between.  In a recent article (click here to read), Athlon took a close look at our line of pistol red dots and covered the topic of compatibility – what is the right sight for my firearm?  In this post, we will explore additional applications for these optics and introduce you to a few Athlon red dots whose capabilities extend beyond the realm of the pistol world.

Let’s begin with the 45-degree offset red dot.  In this application, a pistol-style red dot is canted and mounted parallel to a primary optic (usually an LPVO and usually on an AR15 or MSR).  This might seem redundant at first, but there are many reasons this has become so popular.  Here are a few:

  • BACKUP – Imagine you are manning a roadblock in the middle of the night and a vehicle begins to charge your position. You take aim and the illuminated reticle in your primary optic fails.  It could be a mechanical issue or a dead battery, but, either way, what do you do?  An offset red dot is a much faster option than fumbling with flip-up backup iron sights.  The same is true in a hunting or self-defense situation – we never want to find ourselves behind a dead optic and in front of any kind of threat.
  • TRANSITIONS – In another scenario, imagine your LPVO is dialed up to its maximum magnification as you provide overwatch on a developing situation. Suddenly, a threat pops out of the bushes 10 feet behind you, what do you do?  An offset red dot is a much faster option than trying to acquire your target through a scope set at 6x, 8x, or 10x magnification. 
  • COMPETITION – I shot a 3GUN match in Texas a few years ago where we had to jump into the bed of a truck with our AR15s.  We had two targets directly in front of us (about 10 yards away) and then had to immediately shift to targets that were 600 yards away.  It doesn’t take long to adjust the magnification from minimum to maximum on an LPVO, but slightly canting our rifle and switching from one optic to the other is always faster. 
  • SPEED – Even though an LPVO (Low Power Variable Optic) is designed to function like a pistol-style red dot at 1x magnification, it will still never be quite as fast. For this reason, I generally use my offset red dot for all targets under 50 yards and reserve the use of my Cronus 1-6 for everything else.

Any of Athlon’s pistol red dots can be used in this capacity, we just need to be sure that the footprint of the optic matches the footprint of the 45-degree offset mount that we purchase (see the above-mentioned article to determine compatibility).  The Midas TSR1 is our ideal recommendation for this application, however, as it has the largest viewing window.  It is also available in 3 MOA and 6 MOA versions.

Before moving on, it is also worth mentioning that the Midas TSR1 (with an included Picatinny mount and an integrated Docter footprint base) is also very popular for use as the primary optic for shotguns, CQB rifles, and Pistol Caliber Carbines.

The Athlon Midas TSR1 features motion sensor activation, 50,000 hours of battery life, fully multi-coated lenses, adjustable illumination, and is crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum.  Click here to learn more – https://athlonoptics.com/product/midas-tsr1/


The next red dot offering from Athlon that we will cover is in a class of its own.  It is the Midas LE GEN 2.  The first time I looked at one of these on our website, I did not catch a crucial difference between it and Athlon’s pistol red dots.  Namely, it is about 3x larger – much closer to the size of a classic EoTech.  This is because it was never designed to be a pistol red dot sight.

With its generous lens size, the Midas LE GEN 2 is ideally suited for a variety of uses, including shotgun, pistol caliber carbine, and close-quarter battle (CQB) rifles.  One of the most innovative features of the Midas LE GEN 2 is the ability to switch reticles with the push of a couple of buttons.  With three different options, you’ll be sure to find one that is perfect for your taste and your application.

The Midas LE GEN 2 is crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum and features a 50,000-hour battery life, motion sensor activation, Picatinny QD rail mount, an objective lens size of 28x36mm, and weighs in at an impressive 7 oz.  Click here to learn more – https://athlonoptics.com/product/midas-le-gen2/


Two additional options round out the Athlon red dot collection and both have multiple applications – from lever action rifles and AR15s to shotguns and PCC’s.  The Midas TSR2 and Midas TSR3 represent a slightly different design referred to as a “closed sight” (as opposed to an “open sight”).  The primary benefit of this design is increased resistance to the elements, especially moisture. 

The TSR2 and TSR3 are both 1x magnification for fast target acquisition at close range and are made of aircraft-grade aluminum.  Both feature a Picatinny rail mount and 2 MOA dot sizes as well.  With 50,000 hours of battery life and motion sensor activation, the TSR series is always ready.  To learn more, please click the following –

TSR 2 – https://athlonoptics.com/product/midas-tsr2/

TSR 3 – https://athlonoptics.com/product/midas-tsr3/

Stepping into the red dot world can feel slightly overwhelming, it doesn’t have to though.  At Athlon, we believe it is well worth the learning curve and the effort.  If you have any questions along the way, we are happy to help – just let us know.  In the meantime, have fun and stay safe!

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