We all know the red dot I’m talking about, right? The generic, most common red dot to ever exist. “Made” by every crap tier red dot company and sold for a few bucks on Amazon. They’ve been labeled by Pinty, Feyachi, Tru Glo, and more. It’s the most generic dot out there, and I’ve always called it the Call of Duty red dot. It first popped up in the collective consciousness due to Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare, the original one released in 2007.
According to legend, the creators of Call of Duty 4 used airsoft guns to model the guns in the game. Alongside that, they likely used airsoft optics, and this is quite popular in that field. It’s cheap and easily accessible. Hell, my local Walmart sells some version of this thing. It’s likely that’s how the optic got into our collective consciousness. I always assumed it was a generic red dot because that’s all it’s ever been to me.
Yet, I wondered if the red dot had an origin story. Where did the original come from? Was it always crap? I dived in to find out the origin of the Call of Duty red dot. It seems appropriate with the release of the latest Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.
The Origins of the Call Of Duty Red Dot
Oddly enough, it was tough to find an official source. I didn’t know what to search for. Typing in ‘Call of Duty Red Dot’ reveals a ton of video game websites and YouTube videos on the game, not the actual optics. Believe it or not, I started looking about six months ago. It wasn’t until I was mindlessly scrolling through Reddit this summer that I stumbled across my answer.
There is a subreddit called PlebianAR. It’s where they mock ARs with poorly placed optics, crap-tier equipment, and guns that often don’t make sense. It’s not a nice place, but it can be entertaining and apparently educational. That’s where I found a post asking about the same question I had.
On PlebianAR, anything with this optic is automatically plebe, so it’s familiar to the users. It was in this post that someone pointed out that all these crappy, generic optics were a copy of an early red dot called an Ultradot Pan AV. Ultradot produced the original Call of Duty optic decades ago.
The Ultradot Answer
Ultradot is a Japanese company who have been producing red dots for 37 years or so. They still produce optics and are all very similar and simple. They aim at the competition and hunting market. The Call of Duty red dot was never intended for special ops use. However, it laid the blueprint for all the cheap clones to follow.
The large window with minimal support, the multi-reticle design, the integral mount, everything is there. Unlike the cheap clones, the Ultradot Pan AV is a reputable dot. It provides a clear lens and a bright and crisp red dot, and it will hold zero over heavy use. It’s clearly designed to provide a heads-up display with minimal vision blocking at the cost of durability. The optics were popular in the competition circle, and numerous champions used them, so that’s worth mentioning.
The Ultradot Pan AV is still produced and sold to this day, so if you want the OG Call of Duty optic and don’t want a piece of crap, well, here you go.