Absolute Co-Witness or Lower 1/3 Co-Witness?Which is Better?

Jan 06, 2023

If you have bought a red dot sight, you might already know that red dot sights may fail sometimes due to extreme environments or accidents. Therefore,  if both the iron sight and red dot sight are used while shooting, it will be more precise and also increase the speed of target acquisition.

So the question is: What is absolute co-witness height? What does lower 1/3 co-witness mean? Which one should I choose?

Note: This article will introduce the pros and cons of absolute co-witness height and lower 1/3 co-witness height. After reading it, you can better understand absolute co-witness and lower 1/3 height.

What does it mean to lower 1/3 co-witness height and absolute co-witness height?

First of all, absolute co-witness and lower 1/3 co-witness are just different installation methods. The height of your red dot sight (the amount of iron sight that occupies the sight picture of your red dot) is the biggest difference between them, so, there is nothing good or bad about them, just choose a proper one according to your shooting preferences.

There are 3 popular center heights, as picture 0 shows, the absolute co-witness height is 36mm (1.4 inches); the lower 1/3 co-witness height is 40.4mm (1.6 inches); the other one is 38.1mm(1.5 inches).

absolute co-witness height and lower 1 3 co-witness height in inches

If you still feel confused, picture 1 will show you what absolute co-witness and lower 1/3 co-witness look like, thus clearer for you to understand. If you mount the red dot sight in the way that the center dot coincides with the iron sight in the middle, this is called absolute co-witness or 100% co-witness. If you mount the red dot sight higher than the iron sight, and the iron sight appears in the lower 1/3 of the optic window, it is called Lower 1/3 co-witness. You need to change your line of sight to make the red dot align with the iron sights.

what does lower 1/3 co witness look like

Pros and cons of absolute co-witness and lower 1/3 co-witness

Using Absolute co-witness, the red dot is always aligned with an iron sight so you can react faster and more accurately when the target appears in your field of view, but the iron sight will block part of the field of view.

absolute co-witness height

Using Lower 1/3 co-witness can provide a wider field of view and less interference, but you need to change the line of sight when you need both red dot sight and iron sight.

What does it mean to lower 1/3 co-witness
lower 1/3 co-witness height

Summary

Absolute co-witness Lower 1/3 co-witness
Pros:

1. Shooters can react faster

2. More accurate

Cons:

The iron sight will block part of the field of view

Pros:

1. Wider field of view

2. Less interference

Cons:

You need to change the line of sight to coincide the red dot with the iron sight

Therefore, the best advice is to try them both, then make a choice between absolute co-witness and lower 1/3 co-witness according to your personal tastes and habits.

Adjust Your Type of Co-Witness

All pros and cons have been explained above. You can choose riser mounts to resolve it. For example, SRD 1×20 Reflex Sight Graphite Finish   can provide you with various mount options.

Check the most cost-effective VictOptics red dot sights here to set up for your co-witness settings.

Three Types of VI’s Red Dot Sights

To set up red dot sights and iron sights,  you need to zero your iron sights at a given distance. Then, you can mount your red dot sight and adjust it to align with your iron sights. At last, you can fine-tune your red dot sight to your preferred zero distance.
It sounds really simple, right?
The following are pictures of our red dot sight; you can choose according to your requirements. If you are interested in our red dot sights, pleaser feel free to contact us via E-mail.

Ultra-Compact 1X22 RED DOT SCOPE

1X22 RED DOT SCOPE 3MOA dot size with 11 dot intensity levels.

1X35 5MOA Green and Red Dot Sight

1X35 5 MOA green and red dot sight with 21 mm build-in Picatinny rail.

SRD 1×20 Reflex Sight Graphite Finish

SRD 1×20 reflex sight graphite finish 1MOA capped adjustment w/ audible click.

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