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Top Red Dot and Scope Accessories To Enhance Your Setup

Table of Contents

One of the most popular and foremost upgrades enthusiasts make to their rifles usually centers around the sights of the rifle. Regardless of your rifle’s purpose, your optic package can make a huge difference in your shooting experience. 

While a good red dot or scope can enhance your rifle, there are more steps you can take to make it even better. There is a plethora of different accessories you can add to your optic that can transform the handling and versatility of your rifle, greatly enhancing its performance.  

Today, we’re aiming to put these accessories and upgrades in the spotlight. Below, we’ll go over the different accessories available for red dots and scopes, and how they can improve your versatility, target acquisition, and keep your optic protected from wear and tear.  

PAO TheRanchTX 135

Scope Covers 

High-quality optics have incredible glass quality that directly influences the optic’s overall performance, making it crucial to keep your optic lenses clean and protected when in use or in storage. 

Scope covers are one of the best ways to safeguard your lenses. Whenever you’re shooting your rifle, it’s possible for dust, dirt, or other kinds of debris to collect on the lenses of your scope. This can cause a number of problems in your optic. Dirt and dust can occlude the main objective lenses, making it more difficult to see your target and effectively use the holds on your scope. Additionally, if larger debris like mud or larger dirt clumps get on to your scope, they can potentially scratch the lenses when you go to clean them off; and once your objective lens is scratched, it’s incredibly difficult to fix it.  

By using a scope cover, you can prevent accidents like this from occurring. Simply by slipping one over the lens, it can be kept safe from any dirt and debris. The designs of these covers vary, with the simplest covers being made of nylon and designed for use when storing your rifle. 

In contrast, bikini covers use two caps that are connected by elastic, nylon, or rubber. Other covers are form-fitted to specific optic models for a tight fit and sometimes include flip caps. Flip-caps are easy to mount and easier to use. They slide on the lenses of the optic and have spring-loaded caps that can be flipped up when the optic is needed.  

Some of these covers are transparent as well, and you don’t need to remove them to use the optic. It’s up to personal preference as to which one you should use, but either option will work great to protect your scope. 

PA SLX 5 25X56F ATHENA Rear

Throw Levers 

An often-overlooked but easy upgrade is a throw lever. A throw lever is an accessory that’s added onto the magnification adjustment on variable power optics. These accessories have an extended latch that provides leverage and makes it much easier to adjust the magnification on your scope.  

Being able to quickly change your magnification is crucial in certain scenarios. Whether you’re training for recreation, duty, or competition, it can be crucial for you to quickly adjust your magnification to get a better sight picture on a target that’s at a farther distance.  

Fortunately, magnification throw levers are incredibly easy to install onto your scope, and there are a lot of high-quality options available with some manufacturers, making them for their specific model optics. For instance, our Mag-Tight® Magnification Lever has specialized variants available for our SLx, PLx, and GLx scopes. Keep in mind that you don’t have to get an optic-specific throw lever. Some options, like those from Vortex and Leupold, are compatible with a plethora of different scopes. 

There are some alternatives to the traditional style throw levers too. Products like the Scopeswitch from Antimatter Industries allow you to magnify your optic much quicker than a throw lever. Instead of having a lever, it utilizes a mechanical slider that allows you to keep your offhand on the rifle. This mount works great on carbine and long-range builds like SPRs.  

So, if you’re looking for quick target acquisition and magnification, an additional throw lever is a great place to start. Plus, with all the different options available, you’re guaranteed to find one that fits your needs.  

PA GLX 3 18X44FFP SS 02

Sunshades 

Sunshades are by no means necessary to get a better sight picture when aiming through your scope, but they certainly can help when in bright environments. Sunshades mount to your scope by threading into the front end of it. Essentially, it is an extension of the scope body around your objective lens.  

The sun emits an intense amount of white light during the day. When excess white light enters your scope at the right angle, it can wash out the image, making it difficult to see your target. Adding a sunshade to your scope prevents glare, as it keeps the lens of your scope out of direct sunlight. Likewise, it protects your lenses from dirt and debris. While we still recommend that you run a lens covers to maximize your scope’s protection, a sunshade is definitely better than having no protection at all.  

PAO Shoothouse 88

Anti-Reflection Devices

Anti-Reflection devices, otherwise known as a ‘kill-flash’, is a cover that threads over the objective lens of a scope. Though different models might be constructed differently, most utilize a honeycomb pattern to reduce the amount of indirect light that enters the scope’s objective lens. In bright environments, this reduces the reflection that your objective lens will put off. Without one, the lens can create a glare which can be easily detected.  

Before the kill-flash devices were implemented onto optics, many operators would create their own in the field, and this practice is still done today. One of the most common ways operators would go about doing this is by using 100 MPH Tape. Essentially, they would cover the objective lens of their scope and cut out a gap in the tape. This gave them enough space to still be able to utilize their optic while preventing enemy combatants from seeing the glare they gave off. 

Fast forward to today, modern kill flash devices are still being used by operators and used to great effect by hunters as well. Hunters use kill flash devices to better hide from the animals from which they’re hunting.  

While popular on variable power optics, they are often used on reflex sights and prism scopes as well. Most modern red dot sights have threading integrated in the tube just in front of the objective lens for accessories, such as a kill flash.  

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Other Optic Accessories 

Though we’ve already gone over some of the most popular options for optic accessories, there are a lot of other options that are worth considering. These range from offset red dot mounts for scopes, to automatic illumination caps with motion-sensing technology. Depending on your rifle’s setup and optic, these can be really beneficial for you.  

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Offset Red Dot Mounts 

One of the most popular optics available for the AR-15 is an LPVO. These optics are incredibly versatile and great for applications where a traditional variable powered optic might be too much scope for the rifle. While an LPVO can be used at 1x magnification, it’s quicker to run an offset reflex sight.  

This is where offset red dot mounts come into play. An offset red dot mount allows you to mount a microdot or a mini-reflex sight off to the side (or directly above) your main optic. One of the most popular mounting solutions like this is Reptilia Corp’s ROF Mount. Utilizing mounts like these make it easier to transition from long range to close range engagements without having to change the magnification of your main optic.  

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Anti-Cant Devices 

The ‘cant’ in your rifle refers to the lean angle when it isn’t perfectly vertical. While it’s possible to get your rifle fairly level from feel alone, it’s hard to get repeatable results for absolute verticality. Cant-error becomes a real issue at long ranges, especially when you run an optic with a reticle that has any form of bullet drop compensation (BDC) or hold over elements like those found in MOA and MRAD optics. If your rifle is even slightly tilted to the side, your shot trajectory would be misaligned from the reticle, leading to seemingly inexplicable misses.  

Luckily, with an anti-cant device, you can be sure of the angle your rifle sits. These devices can mount either to a rifle’s picatinny rail section, or directly to the optic depending on the model you choose. Though their construction differs from manufacturer to manufacturer, they usually have a bubble level gauge to show when your rifle is level.  

Range Finders 

As their name suggests, a range finder is a device that’s used to find the exact distance between you and your target. They provide valuable data that can be used to great effect when shooting at longer distances. Most commonly, range finders like the Vortex HD 4000 are used by enthusiasts since they store easily and provide an accurate read. 

Though they are great for quickly and accurately finding distances, many long range and precision enthusiasts have opted instead for laser range finders that can be mounted to their rifles. Range finders like the Vortex Impact 4000 laser range finder can be mounted to picatinny rails or diving board style equipped rings. Additionally, certain scope mounts have integrated picatinny rail sections on top of the scope ring, allowing you to mount your range finder directly above your optic.  

Regardless of which you choose, being able to know exactly how far away you are from your target gives you all the info you need to make accurate shots are long distance.  

Primary Arms AutoLive® Battery Cap 

Our AutoLive® Battery Cap is an awesome choice to add to optics with built in illumination. Compatible with some of the popular optic models, you can use it to improve their performance with motion sensing illumination control. The AutoLive® battery cap has built-in motion sensors that automatically illuminate the optic’s reticle when it senses movement, similar to how some red dot sights work.  

It improves the battery life of your optics by powering them down when not in use, making them always ready whenever they are needed. For home defense and duty applications, this gives you the modern comforts of a red dot sight, all while keeping the versatility of a variable power optic.  

Conclusion 

Your optic package is arguably one of the most crucial components of your rifle that can either make or break your shooting experience. While not necessary, taking advantage of the various optic accessories available can make greatly enhance the versatility of your optic, making for an enjoyable and effective shooting experience. 

It’s important to take your needs into consideration before buying a bunch of accessories for your optic. It could be that you may not need one product over the other. Taking the time to research the different options available will better help you to narrow down what’s best for you; the last thing you’d want is to bring down the effectiveness of your rifle with sub-par or unnecessary optic accessories.  

By taking a look at what’s available, you can transform your optic package into one that’s capable of nearly anything. If you’re thinking you may want to switch optics entirely, we recommend that you check out our articles on LPVOs vs. red dot and magnifier combos and what prism scopes are.