Looking for tips on shooting a handgun with a red dot sight

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  • Goober135

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    3   0   0
    Jul 15, 2011
    Tomorrow, I will be heading to Applied Ballistics to test out my Ruger 22/45 Threaded Barrel. It does not have iron sights, only a top rail. I've installed a Primary Arms Micro Dot on it. From just playing around with the gun in my room, I've realized it's going to a lot more difficult to shoot than initially expected. I'm having a hard time keeping the dot still in my line of sight. Every slight head move, or movement of the gun, seems to make the red dot dance all over the place. If you couldn't already tell, I've never shot a handgun before that wasn't straight iron sights. Are there any tips or tricks to keep everything consistent? :dunno:

    Any input will be greatly appreciated! :D



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    2   0   0
    Jun 14, 2011
    Maybe if you post a bunch of pictures we can help determine the issue:D

    But in all seriousness, I cant answer your question, but I gotta see pics.


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    12   0   0
    Mar 21, 2011
    Allen County
    a laser will do the same thing. Even with irons you don't realize how much you are "squirming" around in your hand. Red dots and lasers just accentuate it.

    It will take a while and some practice to get used to it.


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    7   0   0
    May 21, 2011
    North of Ft Wayne
    My experience is to look at the target not the sight. Too many years of looking at the front sight blade. The target is now where the front blade (red dot) is, focus on the target. Oh and a lot of practice :)


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    0   0   0
    Aug 29, 2010
    I have the same model of 22/45, and as much as I hate to admit it, I was so excited, I didn't realize it didn't have any sights until I was half way home from the gun shop. Needless to say I spent more than I wanted, as I had to purchase a red dot too. I just got my red dot a couple of days ago and dialed it in. I am still getting used to it, as I have never used one before. I did have a laser on it last weekend, but I noticed I did not focus on form, but just the dot. I like the red dot, as it mimics aiming with fixed sights closer than a laser. I wonder how hard (or costly) it would be to add fixed sights? Enjoying your new gun.


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    4   0   0
    Jan 14, 2009
    IN (a refugee from MD)
    everyone thinks putting a dot on a pistol makes it easier to shoot... until they try it (especially at speed).

    Index is king. you have to have be able to get the gun up and on target so you can even find the dot in the scope, yet alone be on target. This is especially true from a holster or table draw. W/ Irons, you can be aligning the sights as you push out.

    Next most important is a neutral grip that causes the gun to track recoil consistently and return to the same spot. This is the hardest part (though not as bad w/ a .22 vs a comped 38 super). But suddenly you will SEE everything the gun is doing in recoil that you maybe weren't seeing or paying close enough attention to with irons.

    You focus is on the target, not on the scope. Unlike irons where you are focusing a few feet from your face, now you are focusing on the target.

    Accept the dot wiggle. it's there w/ irons, too, it's just harder for you to perceive because that bright dot makes it more obvious.

    Depending on the size of the dot (my open gun is 6moa for instance), you'll need to figure out where you zero in relation to the dot. dead center? top center?

    And figure in your hight above bore... it's probably more like an AR now, 2-2.5". That will affect how FAR you zero. Zero at 25 yds, you'll be low up to 25, but a couple inches high at 50. Determine what distance matters most and zero there. For instance, in USPSA I actually run a 10 yd zero, because most shots are w/in 15 yds. I just know that for the odd 25yd shot I have to aim a couple dot diameters low, or for a 50 yd shot I aim at the bottom of the a-zone.

    Remember, the dot's not doing anything your front site wasn't doing, just more obvious. Contrary to many people's opinions, I believe you can use a dot to make you a better irons shooter. Quiet that thing down, and learn what you -should- be seeing your front site do.

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