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HELP ME UNDERSTAND.....PLEASE


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I've posted my thoughts numerous times on TGO about red dot optics on handguns.  I am not an early adopter but I have been on this journey now for about six years and easily have 25-30,000 rounds downrange in classes and leisure shooting with optics on maybe 8-10 different handgun platforms.  Suffice it to say that I'm not new at this.  🙂

IMO, optics on handguns are not the future.  They are the present.  They are here and now and are already mainstream among serious practitioners of the gun.  The advantages far outweigh any disadvantages that still remain despite the rapidly evolving technologies in use.  They provide increased speed of target acquisition, improved target and periphery awareness, improved target tracking and allow higher degrees of accuracy than iron sights do.

Since the dawn of man when the first person picked up a rock or a stick and hurled it at an animal they were hunting or an adversary they were fighting, we used a single plane for sighting and aligning for the throw.  We looked at the target.  Rocks and spears don't come with a front sight and a rear sight.  We looked at the thing we wanted to hit, we tracked its movement if there was any, and our brains and bodies did the rest through prioperception.

Red dots allow us to do the same thing.  We don't have to process three planes of a sight picture to use them.  We don't use the complicated equation of rear sight (first plane), front sight (second plane) and target (third plane) for our eyes, brains and bodies to coordinate between.  We look at the target, we see the dot, we pull the trigger.

 

If you're still stuck in an iron sights world, my condolences.  If you've tried a red dot and it "didn't work for you"... you might need a competent trainer to help you unlearn your old ways and learn the better way.  It's not the optic, it's you.  And the only thing wrong with that is not accepting that fact and working past it.  🙂

 

The dot is the way.

 

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I have quite a bit of experience with dot guns and feel the advantages they offer CCW types are a little exaggerated.  They are quite useful for some.  Arms getting too short and the front sight is harder to use?  Try a dot.  Worried about making a rushed headshot on an active shooter 50 yards away?  A red dot will improve your odds.  They are somewhat easier to use in low/no light.  Other than that, ho-hum.  From my experience, they are offer no more speed or accuracy inside 8-10 yards, where probably 95% of defensive shooting occurs.  Much of the supposed advantage of dots is based on misconceptions about irons.  The rear sight is not nearly as critical as some make it out to be.  A three dot setup presents a cluttered-up sight picture that makes aiming slower and more complicated.  A plain black rear sight with a fairly wide notch makes the process much more straightforward.  Most iron sight shooting does not require one to focus on the front sight.  In fact, all the rage in the action pistol competitive shooting world lately is the realization that many iron sight shooters can get away with focusing on the target all the time at nearly any range.  This is blasphemy to some, but it is being trained and taught by the some of the best draw-and-shoot-the-target-several-times-quick/fast/in a hurry shooters in the world.  This does not mean they are not using the front sight.  Col. Cooper would probably roll over in his grave, but you can’t argue with results.  
 

Go get a red dot.  They are neat and fun.  They are a lot more reliable than they used to be.  But the predictions about the soon-to-be extinction of iron sights are a bit premature.  

Edited by deerslayer
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  • 2 weeks later...
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5 hours ago, willki said:

I am going to give it another try.  I just installed a holosun wIth the circle and dot.  

It can take some time to adjust to and you might even find benefit getting some help, at the range, from someone who is already proficient with it.

Dry fire is also your friend.  In fact, dry fire is a scenario where you will get more out of it by having a dot and it will also make you better with the dot by practicing.  Incorporate drawing from a holster, drawing from concealment, into your dry fire with the dot and take your time with it. 

Pay attention to how your hands, arms, shoulders, head, and eyes are positioned when it works and then deconstruct that slowly, in reverse, to figure out the draw mechanics.  It's the same as learning to draw and acquire your iron sights but once it clicks for you, it'll allow you to be faster.

 

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I just got my Trijicon RMR in, my slide in, was going to throw it all together and start playing and practicing but remembered my frame is STILL being coated! Was supposed to be done last Friday!! That’s ok we can blame the pandemic, democrats, republicans,  millennials,  and even the news!! Not sure why people no longer do what they say and say what they do!!

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  • 3 months later...

Well, since you have an optic ready pistol, try it out. I definitely like the red dot. For my old eyes, I can see the dot and the sight picture without my reading glasses. In fact, the red dot works better and is in focus w/o glasses. My reading glasses (which I need to see the iron sights I focus) make the ret dot a bit blury because you eyes register it at further away than it really is. 

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Bigger window primarily.  Had it mounted on an EGW dovetail mount which was OK.  Just decided to have slide milled and put what I think to be an improved 'dot' on it.  This is on an M&P 2.0.  Next will swap out barrel for an Apex drop in.  Still my favorite 'game' gun is an old 1.0 5" with Apex barrel.  It will stack bullets, one hole.  It has a SRO on it, but the Haven is almost the same size window but less that 1/2 the price.

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On 8/17/2022 at 8:06 AM, monkeylizard said:

Because aligning a red dot on a target is easier and faster than trying to align 3 tiny white dots on the same target.

Try one. You'll very quickly understand why they've become all the rage.

And herein lies “the big fib”. Not that monkeylizard is actually pulling your leg purposely, just repeating what he has heard, I’m sure. To approach making this statement truer, one has to put in sizable amounts of dry fire and dry "draw, present and acquire" drills to become even passingly competent with a MRD on a pistol. 
For most people, without serious devotion to optics, you’ll be better served with a good set of tritium and fiber optic iron sights. 
But do not doubt, pistol optics are a HOT SELLER right now!

AND THEY ARE MORE ACCURATE! Once I am up on target, it IS much easier to get great groups with an MRD equipped pistol. BUT, it is simply NOT faster drawing and getting rounds on target, which is pretty darn important on a carry gun being deployed at life or death speed.

Try a friends MRD equipped pistol, dry fire by not slowly and deliberately bringing the gun up, draw and put that dot on a target QUICKLY. When you are up there, wiggling the muzzle around, looking for that pesky dot, remember that if you have suppressor height sights, you can often use them to help see the dot. Now then, looking at that preceding sentence, do you see the irony?

Edited by OMCHamlin
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I am on the fence with pistol red dots.  I currently have two and my G19 MOS has a RMR on it.  After years of shooting irons they started showing up in the department I work in and I gave it a shot (pun intended).  I am just now getting faster with the dot, specifically with follow up shots and I am slightly faster with first shots over 12-15 yards.  Hackathorn on the Wilson Combat YouTube channel made a video that I can't deny has some good points.  Here's the link;

That said, I am still on the fence and am working with the 19 to see if it is worth it.  But I certainly don't carry my helical with irons and worry about it doing the job.

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I've got five Staccato's and four of them that I carry have a red dot on them. I can pick it up faster, and keeping both eyes open. Here's three of them. 1st C2 DPO w/ Leupold Deltapoint, 2nd P DPO w/ HOLOSUN 507C X2, 3rd C DPO w/ Trijicon SRO, and my other C has a HOLOSUN 508T. 20210907_150504.thumb.jpg.e8b5d6d8863d0bfdc8a84dc436e29ae8.jpg20220916_131727.thumb.jpg.6e81a26a5b1b1923f03c2e8f669b8a7a.jpg20221103_175117.jpg.08bb319935b1dbc4177712c9e07ec107.jpg

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DJTC45 is probably a solid example of an already skilled shooter, deciding to go “all in” on short gun optics, and has paid his dues as far as developing a very consistent draw and present with them. I think someday, he will not be an anomaly, but for now, he is. 

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40 minutes ago, OMCHamlin said:

DJTC45 is probably a solid example of an already skilled shooter, deciding to go “all in” on short gun optics, and has paid his dues as far as developing a very consistent draw and present with them. I think someday, he will not be an anomaly, but for now, he is. 

I thank you for the comment,I think. As far as a skilled shooter goes, yes I do practice at one time my neighbor and I would go out to his property and pratice Drawing, shooting on the move, and we would do our own competition on his plate rack, a steel tree plate rack, and we would set up his 12" steel plates in different configurations and pratice drawing and firing against a timer. We would shoot at least 800- 1000rnds of 45acp twice a month, so yes I did get some good pratice. As I got older here and dealing with a Cancer Diagnosis, I've switched to the 9mm platform, and chose the Staccato line of 2011 style guns do to the fact that they are exactly as a 1911 as far as the controls, Grip Saftey, Thumb Saftey and Trigger Pull plus the 9mm is easier for me to handle 500rnds a session than the 45acp. I've carried a 1911 style gun ever sinse I turned 21 and got my Carry Permit, and I'll be 56 in January so that's a total of about 44yrs with a 1911 style handguns. Now as far as the "Red Dot" craze, I have to admit that my only experience with Red Dot's were all on some sort of AR style weapon, also I'll admit that I wasn't really crazy about Red Dot's on handguns including carry weapons. Once I tried it I was hooked, and after practicing with them for some time I decided to start carrying them for CCW, and I don't see myself returning to regular sights, even though I can still transition between the two. Red Dots on carry guns might not be for everyone you have to practice getting used to them, one thing I don't understand is when Shooter's decided to go this route and mount them on their hand guns and just put it in the holster and start carrying them with out really dedicating practice with them then complain about how poor they are. Moral of the story is practice, practice and then repeat with what ever gun you chose for self defense, with or without a Red Dot. I got so used to them I mounted a HOLSUN 510 w/ Quick Detach Mount on this one.20220524_134756.jpg.bef759be075c8395e5efa3b46cf79a4e.jpg20220524_134802.thumb.jpg.fff877ab149f783b82fa5dfacfd6f3cd.jpg

Edited by DJTC45
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7 hours ago, OMCHamlin said:

one has to put in sizable amounts of dry fire and dry "draw, present and acquire" drills to become even passingly competent with a MRD on a pistol.

That's also true of 3-dot, dot-in-basket, dot in ring, laser, or any other sighting system for distances where sights/optics matter. Inside 20 feet any half-decent shooter should be able to point shoot and hit a human-sized target with no sights/optics at all. For distances beyond that we should all be practicing regardless of which system we choose, and practicing those longer shots is a good idea, even if the core of your training stays on the close-range stuff.

Edited by monkeylizard
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Not sure if the distance exactly, but the guy at that mall a while back up north that dropped the bad guy shooter after was too far away for point and shoot.  Not sure if he had a RDS or not, can’t remember, but the distance was quite long.

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I will say, for longer distance pistol shooting, where I have a little bit of time to lineup the shots I am much better with a red dot. I don’t have to try and see the front and rear sight and make sure they are aligned with the target. I just put the dot on target and shoot. If I felt I needed to shoot beyond 20 yards, I want the red dot. 

Edited by Snaveba
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2 hours ago, Defender said:

Not sure if the distance exactly, but the guy at that mall a while back up north that dropped the bad guy shooter after was too far away for point and shoot.  Not sure if he had a RDS or not, can’t remember, but the distance was quite long.

Yep. It was a much longer shot. That's why I said be sure to practice longer stuff too, but the odds are that IF any of us (other than LEO) are involved in a shooting, it's going to be under 20 or so feet. I spend most of my practice time for the most likely but include longer stuff when I can for the "just in case".

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3 hours ago, deerslayer said:

Hopefully all the dot fans are practicing weak hand/strong hand.  Without some substantial practice (with either setup), the dot can be harder to find than a front sight.

You know, that's pretty much all I was trying to say. I think at deliberate slower speed, the MRD equipped pistol is more accurate (or at least can be) then a similar, iron sighted gun. I think at the speeds necessary to prevail in a gunfight, you had better put some time in on acquisition practice.

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17 hours ago, OMCHamlin said:

You know, that's pretty much all I was trying to say. I think at deliberate slower speed, the MRD equipped pistol is more accurate (or at least can be) then a similar, iron sighted gun. I think at the speeds necessary to prevail in a gunfight, you had better put some time in on acquisition practice.

YEP

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