Rail Mounted RDS Taken Waaay Too Far

Rail Mounted RDS Taken Waaay Too Far

I recently ran across some photos from the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center and… I have no idea why these soldiers have chosen to mount a red dot at the very end of the rail.

It goes to show that even soldiers can be uneducated in the proper use and implementation of their own standardized equipment.


The soldier closest to the camera has the red dot mounted on a cantilever, while the guardsman in the rear has his red dot mounted… waaaaay up front on the RAS.

The problem with mounting a red dot further away from the eye is that you greatly decrease the FOV through the optic. Doing so gives the dot less room to move in the optic window before it disappears as it nears the edge. Bringing the red dot closer to the eye gives you more room for the dot to shift inside the field of view and this makes shooting from un-conventional positions easier. If the two guardsmen here attempted to shoot under a barrier or had to position themselves and their rifle in a less than optimal position… they may not be able to acquire the dot.

Bad, and sometimes strange, habits pop up in all manner of places. Keep an eye out for wonkiness and learn the inns and outs of your equipment and its best use on your rifle.

Written by lothaen


  1. honeycomb · September 5, 2015

    sigh … how badly the standards have slipped.

    Our range training officer trained a current US Airforce Officer who had never qualified with any weapon.

    He sought us out because he wanted training.

    Heck even the US Navy in the 1980’s trained everypne with at least a pistol (e.g. 1911’s).

    • E.D.M. · September 7, 2015

      Being an Air Force Officer myself, I can understand the frustration. We all got the chance to fam fire M9s while we were in basic (some got to do the M16), but it was only 36 rounds and that was it. Most of us will never get the chance to qualify again until we are tapped to deploy, and then they will send us to “just in time” training that essentially breaks down to basic firearms safety.

      From the DoD perspective, it’s just cheaper to spend time and money on people they expect to actually have to use their weapons. Most Air Force Officers are not in that category.

      • Jon · September 9, 2015

        You hit it on the head. Just because someone was in the military does not mean they know how to handle a weapon. I have met plenty of active and reserve service personnel who spend their own money obtaining advance training outside of the military.

  2. Adam · September 10, 2015

    Keep in mind, many of the top military guys are simply not in the military anymore. They end up working for private contracted armies. These armies pay their soldiers loads more than the military and do a lot of the fighting in our wars.

  3. Tomo · October 12, 2015

    I sudpect having seen this type of thing before, that the shooter may be right handed/left eye dominant, and is trying to get his red dotnout farther away from his face so he dosent have to cant the rifle as much to get a good sight picture. If that was a a4, he could move the dot up a bit on tje rail, but his problem is being exacerbated by the a2. All that can be overcome with training, but thats not something you might be able to get in a guard unit.

    • Jon · October 31, 2015


      Placement of a red dot has nothing to do with right handed/left eye dominant. You keep both eyes open when using red dots.

  4. J Vallejo · December 30, 2015

    I my self was in the guard here in Nevada as a scout and alot of the NCOs we had were from active army that wanted to be in but not full time and if they or i would have seen any of this we would have corrected it so fast. We had deployed to Afghanistan with Navy personal and during train up spent alot of time training them and a few new army guys proper weapon safety and techniques at some points it was like basic all over again we were all just amazed how they never got to hold weapons but once a year during there qualifications and then they never had to clean them after so they had a hard time after all the range time. It goes to show tho no matter if your in the military or ex military bad habbits are everywhere.

    Stay safe and always help those who need it no matter the cost.

    • lothaen · January 1, 2016

      Thumbs up man, its a understanding attitude and some demonstration that will improve others understanding of marksmanship.

Leave a Reply