Can Red Dot Sights Be Customized for Special Forces

Chris G.

80% of global special forces rely on red dot sights as one of their primary optical devices. That’s because red dots can help them lock and track targets quickly and efficiently, which could be the difference between a successful mission and a failed one. Life or death.

Can a red dot be altered to meet the specific needs of each soldier, each operation, each condition he is subjected to, or his personal shooting preference?

We will answer that question here. 

Why Special Forces Use Red Dots

Special forces operatives risk their lives to accomplish their missions. That’s why they equip themselves with all kinds of equipment to keep them safe and to accomplish their mission in the most effective way possible. Among these equipment are red dot sights, used for various tactical and operational reasons. A red dot sight’s advantages align well with the unique requirements of special operations forces. 

  1. Rapid Target Acquisition: Red dot sights help special forces operatives to rapidly aim and engage threats in dynamic and fast-paced situations. 
  2. Both Eyes Open Shooting: Red dots allow these soldiers to open both their eyes to shoot. This provides them with a wide field of view that increases their situational awareness. Special forces operatives can maintain awareness of their surroundings while aiming at a target, crucial in high-threat situations.
  3. Adaptability to Various Firearms: Special forces often use a variety of firearms for different missions. Red dot sights are versatile and can be easily mounted on rifles, carbines, submachine guns, and handguns.
  4. Enhanced Low-Light Performance: The reticle of red dot sights improves visibility in low-light conditions, which is important for special forces operating during nighttime.
  5. Effective in Close-Quarters Combat (CQB): Special forces can engage in close-quarters combat. Red dot sights excel in CQB scenarios, providing rapid target acquisition and precise aiming at short distances.
  6. Lightweight and Streamlined Design: Red dot sights are lightweight and have a streamlined design. This is advantageous for special forces operatives who need to maintain their mobility and agility in the field.
  7. Durability and Reliability: Special forces require equipment that can withstand harsh conditions and intense use. Red dot sights are designed to be rugged, durable, and resistant to extreme conditions.
  8. Integration with Night Vision Devices: Special forces often operate during nighttime or in low-light conditions. Red dot sights with night vision compatibility allow seamless integration with night vision devices, improving their operational capabilities in the dark.

Can Red Dot Sights Be Customized?

In terms of technical and structural customization, the extent to which you can modify a red dot sight depends on the specific model and manufacturer. In general, red dot sights are not as modular or customizable as some other firearm accessories. 

  1. Electrical Components: Swapping out electrical components within a red dot sight such as the LED or electronic circuitry, is not recommended. The internal components are often integrated and calibrated during manufacturing to ensure proper functionality. Attempting to modify these components may result in damage or loss of performance.
  2. Lens Replacement: The glass lens of a red dot sight is not designed to be replaced or swapped out by the end user. The lens is a critical component that undergoes specific coatings and treatments during manufacturing to ensure clarity, durability, and optical performance. Attempting to replace the lens may compromise the sight’s performance and void any warranty.
  3. Body or Housing Modifications: Modifying the structural components of the red dot sight such as the housing or body is generally discouraged. The design and materials of the housing are integral to the sight’s structural integrity, waterproofing, and overall durability. Altering these components may compromise the sight’s reliability.
  4. Custom Mounts: While not a modification to the red dot sight itself, users may choose to customize the mounting system. This involves selecting a mount that aligns with personal preferences or the intended use such as choosing a specific co-witness height or a different type of mounting system.
  5. Aftermarket Accessories: Some aftermarket accessories may provide limited customization options such as additional protective covers, lens caps, or anti-glare devices. These accessories are usually designed to complement the original design rather than fundamentally alter the sight.

Are Soldiers Allowed to Customize Their Weapons

soldier holding a gun

In many military forces around the world, soldiers are provided with standardized firearms and equipment to ensure consistency, reliability, and ease of maintenance. However, there do exist instances where limited customization may be allowed or encouraged within certain guidelines. 

  1. Standard-Issue Firearms: Soldiers are typically issued standard firearms that meet the specifications and requirements of the military. These firearms are selected for their reliability, durability, overall performance, and their mission parameters.
  2. Limited Customization: Some military units may permit limited customization of certain components such as stocks, grips, or optics to accommodate individual preferences or mission requirements. These customizations are often subject to approval and must not compromise the functionality or safety of the weapon.
  3. Optics and Sights: Soldiers may be allowed to customize optics and sights within specified parameters. For example, they might have the option to choose between different types of scopes or red dot sights based on mission needs. 
  4. Suppressors: In some military units, the use of suppressors (silencers) on firearms may be allowed, especially for special operations forces or specific mission profiles. 
  5. Trigger Modifications: Trigger modifications, such as adjusting trigger pull weight or installing aftermarket triggers, are generally restricted to maintain the safety and reliability of the firearm. In many cases, soldiers are required to use the standard trigger provided by the military.
  6. Unit-Specific Policies: Some military units may have their own policies regarding weapon customization. These policies could vary based on the unit’s mission, operational environment, and the preferences of unit leaders.
  7. Weapon Maintenance: Customization should not hinder the soldier’s ability to properly clean, maintain, and operate the weapon. Any modifications should be compatible with the standard maintenance procedures.

Unauthorized or significant modifications to standard-issue weapons may lead to disciplinary actions because doing so can compromise the interoperability and reliability of firearms within a military unit. 

What Red Dot Sights Do Special Forces Use

The specific red dot sight models used by special forces can vary widely. But as a common denominator, special forces around the world have access to a range of high-quality optics. Let’s check out some red dot sight brands and models that have been known to be used or preferred by special forces:

  1. Aimpoint: Aimpoint is a well-known manufacturer of red dot sights. Models such as the Aimpoint CompM4 and Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic) have been favored for their ruggedness and reliability.
  2. EOTech: EOTech holographic sights, such as the EOTech EXPS3 and EOTech XPS3, have been utilized by various special operations units. EOTech sights have large fields of view and allow fast target acquisition.
  3. Trijicon: The Trijicon MRO (Miniature Rifle Optic) and Trijicon SRS (Sealed Reflex Sight) have been used in military and special operations forces all around the world.
  4. Holosun: Holosun is known for offering budget-friendly yet reliable red dot sights. Models like the Holosun HS403C and Holosun HE509T have gained popularity for their features and performance.
  5. Leupold: The Leupold DeltaPoint Pro is known for its durability and versatility. Some special forces units choose Leupold optics for their quality.
  6. T1 and T2 Micro: The Aimpoint T1 Micro and T2 Micro series are compact and lightweight red dot sights that have found favor among special forces, especially light recon forces. They are known for their durability and long battery life.
  7. SIG Sauer Romeo: SIG Sauer red dots such as the SIG Sauer Romeo5 have been chosen by military and law enforcement for their reliability and affordability.


Red dot sights have an important role in Special Forces operations. These tools aren’t just mere accessories. They improve a soldier’s precision, speed, and distance. In fact, these optics may even save their lives in the field.

About the author

The name's Chris. Just a regular dude who loves firearms. I've been shooting since I was a kid. My old man taught me the ropes.

I'll never forget the first time I missed an easy shot on a buck, thanks to a bum scope. The image was fuzzier than my dog's butt. After that, I got obsessed with understanding scopes. What makes the good ones tick and the bad ones trash. After a few years and a few thousand bucks, I learned what separates the winners from the losers. Once I had a good stockpile of knowledge, I launched this site.

Leave a Comment