Can You Put A Red Dot On A Lever Action Rifle (Explained)

  • By: Imad

In the lever action rifle community, there is a lot of discussion about whether or not you can put a red dot sight (RDS) on one. People have all kinds of opinions on the matter, and it can be hard to know who to believe. So here is a shortened version for you:

You can use a red dot sight on a lever-action rifle. However, many red dot sights are designed for Picatinny rails, which are common on modern rifles but not with older lever action rifles. If your rifle does not have a Picatinny rail, you must find a scope mount that is compatible with your rifle. 

If the red dot sight you choose is rated for use on firearms and has a compatible rail, you can use it with a lever-action rifle. In this post, we’ll see if a red dot sits well on a lever action rifle and explain the rails you need for red dots. After that, we’ll give you our opinion on the matter. 

Stay tuned to know our verdict!

Are Red Dot Sights Compatible with Lever-Action Rifles?

Red dot sights are compatible with lever-action rifles, but they must be mounted in a specific way to achieve the proper aim. To mount a red dot sight on a lever action rifle, you’ll need an adapter specifically designed for this purpose. The adapter will attach the red dot sight to the rifle’s barrel and include an elevation and windage adjustment so that you can correctly align the sight.

When talking about the compatibility of red dot sights with rifles, here are a few things to consider:

  • The first is that lever-action rifles are built for hunting and shooting games at relatively close ranges and aren’t the best for long-distance target shooting. 
  • Red dot sights are designed to be mounted on pistols and AR-15 style rifles, which are both considered more accurate firearms than lever-action rifles. 
  • Most manufacturers of red dot sights do not specifically list lever-action rifles as being compatible with their products. But you can still mount red dots on lever-action files.

With all that said, there is no reason why a red dot sight cannot be mounted on a lever-action rifle. It depends on the sight you pick because good-quality red dots are generally compatible with all firearms!

Also Read: Is It Worth Putting A Red Dot On Your 1911?

How to Put a Red Dot on a Lever-Action Rifle?

Now that we know you can use a red dot sight with your lever-action rifle, it’s time to install it. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Choose the right mounting location

The first thing you need to do is choose the right place to mount your red dot sight. You’ll want to avoid any areas obstructing your view or making it difficult to operate the lever. The receiver is typically the best place to mount a red dot sight on a lever-action rifle.

  • Prepare the receiver for mounting

If you’re mounting your red dot sight on the receiver, you’ll need to prepare first. This usually involves drilling and tapping some new holes. You’ll also need to remove any existing scope bases or rings to make more space. If your rifle isn’t pre-drilled, ask a gunsmith to do it for you. 

  • Install the red dot sight

Once you have a prepared receiver, it’s time to install your red dot sight. Begin by attaching the mounting plate to the receiver using the provided screws. Then, slide the red dot sight onto the mounting plate and secure it in place.

  • Calibrate the red dot sight

The final step is to calibrate your red dot sight. This ensures that it’s properly aligned with your rifle. To do this, point the gun at a target and adjust the red dot until it’s centered. Once it’s calibrated, you’re ready to start using your red dot sight!

With a little time and effort, you can easily install a red dot sight on your lever-action rifle.

Also Read: Does A Benelli Nova Come Pre-Drilled For A Red Dot?

Which Red Dot Sights are Compatible With Lever-Action Rifles?

There are many types of red dot sights on the market, and it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. Here are the best types of red dot sights for lever-action rifles:

Tube Sights: Tube sights are the most popular type of red dot sight. These sights are easy to use, you can adjust their windage & elevation, and they sit nicely on lever-action rifles. Since hunting adventures require rough-tough gear, tube sights are ideal for long-range rifles.

Reflex Sights: If you prefer dawn and dusk hunts, a reflex sight will suit your lever-action rifle the best. Since a red dot is hard to see in bright light, soft ambient light is ideal. However, remember that reflex sights are more suitable for short-range hunts. 

Also Read:

Which Mounting Rails Can You Use to Put a Red Dot on Your Lever-Action Rifle?

One great thing about lever action rifles is that you can easily outfit them with a red dot sight. This mounting lets you take down targets quickly and accurately without having to worry about lining up your iron sights. If you have decided to use your red dot with a rifle, here are some mounting rails you should know about:

Weaver Rails

The Weaver rail is named after the company that designed it and is very easy to use. Weaver rails have a series of slots that run along the length of the rail. These slots allow you to easily attach and detach your red dot sight without using any tools.

Weaver Rail

Picatinny Rails

The Picatinny rail is similar to the Weaver rail but is a bit more versatile. Picatinny rails have ridges that run along the length of the rail. You have to put your red dot on these ridges and move it a bit to secure its position. 

Picatinny rail

Dovetail Rails

Dovetail rails are trickier to use than Weaver or Picatinny rails. These ergonomic rails have small notches that run along with their skeletons. You must line up these notches with the screws on your red dot sight to snug it well. If you pick a dovetail rail, read its user manual to understand its mounting because it’s different. 

Scope Rails

Scope rails are designed for scopes, but you can also use them for red dot sights. A series of slots/ribs runs along your scope rail where you have to secure the sight’s base. These slots allow you to easily put your red dot sight without using any tools.

No matter which type of rail you choose, it will let you quickly mount a red dot sight on your lever-action rifle. With a red dot sight, you can take down your target more accurately, something every hunter wishes for! 

Factors That Make Red Dots Suitable For Lever-Action Rifles

Here are some factors that make red dot sights especially well-suited for use on lever-action rifles:

  • For one, red dot sights allow for much faster target acquisition than traditional iron sights. This is because the red dot is always in focus, regardless of where your eye is positioned behind the sight. With iron sights, on the other hand, you have to line up the front and rear sights perfectly for the target to be in focus.
  • Another advantage of red dot sights is that you can use them with both eyes open. This is a huge benefit in situations where you need to be aware of your surroundings while still being able to take an accurate shot. With iron sights, you have to focus on the front sight, making it difficult to keep an eye on your surroundings.
  • Red dot sights also tend to be much more rugged and durable than iron sights. This is because they have fewer moving parts and are often made from tougher materials. Rest assured, red dot sights are less likely to break or be damaged in rough conditions.
  • Finally, red dot sights are often much less expensive than iron sights. These sights are simpler in design and don’t require the same level of craftsmanship to manufacture. If you’re a budget-minded shooter, a red dot sight should do. 

So, if you’re looking for a sight that will help you shoot more accurately and quickly, a red dot sight is a great option. Just research and choose a quality sight from a reputable manufacturer. With so many options on the market these days, it’s easy to find a sight that meets your needs and budget.

Read Also: What is the Best Rifle Scope for Deer Hunting?

Summing Up

A red dot sight can be a great addition to any lever-action rifle. Not only does it provide a clear, unobstructed view of the target, but it also allows for quick target acquisition. Moreover, a red dot sight is much more durable than traditional iron sights and is less likely to be damaged by recoil. You can effortlessly put a red dot sight on your firearm by following the instructions in the owner’s manual. 

With all of these benefits, it’s no wonder hunters are choosing to put red dot sights on their lever-action rifles. After all, these ergonomic sights are a lot more convenient than bulky scopes. But always remember, choosing quality equipment is the key – don’t expect any random sight to support your goals! 

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