Blast from the past: Fighting Though The Ring


I was wondering if I could pick up a old cheap Aimpoint on eBay, and while many were selling cheap, I got out bid on the ones I wanted. They sold cheap, but not as cheap as I wanted.

But it got me remembering something. Long long ago, in a dark and terrible age before optics were common, all the way back in 2009, Erik Lund, Senior Instructor of the United States Shooting Academy wrote a piece called “Fighting Thought The Ring”. I managed to find a copy. Here it is:

I wouldn’t bother reading it if I were you. Now I don’t plan to make fun of Erik or be overly critical, but I felt like bringing up this old argument of his. It is no longer on their site, so they may not still feel this way. But, the internet is forever, and doesn’t forget. I’m half surprised people are digging up old comments of mine and making fun of me.

In “Fighting Though The Ring” the whole article is telling you to mount reflex optics as far back, that is as close to the shooter, as possible.

Having the reflex optic as far back as possible is suppose to give the following benefits:

  • Increases the field of view though the optic.

Hold on a minute, is it that it? Well that is what the article states. That increasing the field of view is going to increase your speed, your ability engage multiple targets, etc.

Let’s back up a minute.

A true reflex sight has unlimited eye relief. It can be mounted as far forward or back as possible.

You could mount it that far forward. Pic from this article.

A more complete list of arguments for having the optic mounted towards the rear of the gun:

  • Increased field of view though the optic.
  • More forgiving of head placement.
  • Better weight balance on the firearm.

Arguments for having the optic mounted forwards:

  • Minimize any potential parallax error.
  • Leave space behind the reflex optic for a magnifier.
  • Makes it easier to “look though” the body of the optic with your non-dominate eye.
  • Better weight distribution on the firearm.

Hold on a moment, better weight balance is listed for both of them. Well, that is because a persons preference in a weapons balance is a personal thing.

Nowadays it is very common to see the reflex sights mounted high and cantilevered forward.

This picture from TNVC showing the KAC highrise mount is an extreme example.

But back in the day the idea of using both eyes open and looking though and around an optic (like the Trijicon Bindon Aiming Concept) was still pretty unknown or unpopular. Some said that an Eotech was faster than an Aimpoint because of the larger window on the Eotech.

This whole idea of “fighting though the ring” (or square for Eotech) was for the shooter to keep their focus completely inside the optic. Having a large window close to your face was to allow you to keep everything you are trying to observe in the window. Back in 09 there, Erik claimed that just by moving your optic back you would become faster just by moving the optic back.

Any reduction in threat engagement times that is gained without hours and hours of practice, by a simple repositioning of the optic is at least worth a try.

Erik Lund

What I find funny is that our optics have tended to become smaller and mounted even farther forward. I haven’t seen anyone advocate putting the red dot to the rear in a long time.


  1. Jeez, now I feel compelled to dig up some old comments of yours so I can make fun of you. I mean, it seems like it’s almost obligatory. 🙂

    • Oohes Noes!
      A person could probably write a 13 book epic just off my spelling and grammerly errors. Then a separate side book about my, incorrect, use of commas.

  2. I’ve always mounted my red dot more to the rear but I never thought about why so much. Probably some “uniformity” carryover from the M68s and M4s in the service I’d imagine.
    With them being able to work mounted anywhere I’d say it’s whatever floats your boat.


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