Red Dots on Carry Guns

Dean Crail

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40+ years of shootings handguns with iron sights it's taking me awhile to get use to the red dot sight. Are there any tips on achieving it faster other than lots of draw and dry fire?


This guy is right up there with Sage Dynamics on dot use IMHO, also I slightly altered my draw so I bring the pistol straight up with my line of sight so the dot naturally comes into my field of view. Also unfortunately presentation with a dot is a lot like Organic Chemistry be prepared for a lot of practice and suffering early on :abused:. That being said now picking up the dot is 100% natural for me, not even a problem waking up from a dead sleep with the nightstand gun.
I've been experimenting for awhile now and am still deciding whether it's an advantage for me. If your experience was with say M4's and a CCO it doesn't translate the same to handguns. Rifles with red dots are easier to pick up and go but handguns require more work as they aren't as forgiving as a rifle mounted with a red dot optic. So far i've tried the Aimpoint Acro P1, RMR's and the Holosun 509T, the ACRO has been my favorite, I sold my P1 when the P2 was announced but they aren't available yet, sold my RMR's and got another 509T as i'm a fan of the enclosed systems. I just put a 509T on a Glock 17 Gen5 MOS, the plate is just what I got free with the sight but I have to order a C&H plate. I agree that with the red dot (at least for me) you can shoot much more accurately especially at distance. All in all though i'm pretty happy with them, except for my 1911's and HP's I probably wouldn't buy a new semi-auto that wasn't optic compatible.

Agreed on enclosed dots they seem to be where the market is going and the ACRO 2 seems excellent (assuming battery life is fixed). That being said I am interested if such a system would be possible on a smaller footprint optic like the RMRcc/507k
 

drillsgt

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I'm trying to go the other way I've got a 509 and want the 507. The 509 prints too much when I carry

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I like the 407/507's also but I don't usually worry too much about printing and the 509T is only about .22 inch taller but I like the bigger window. There's some good deals right now for the 407's if you don't care about having the dual reticle.
 

Amishman44

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Red dots on hunting handguns.
On a carry gun? No thank you.
Most "high tech" thing I'll have on my carry guns is night sights.
Pretty much where I'm at...you can call me 'old skool' but that's okay, I'm comfortable with that!
Heck...I still prefer revolvers...and I love my S&W Scandium J-Framed 5-shooters.
 

cedartop

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Pretty much where I'm at...you can call me 'old skool' but that's okay, I'm comfortable with that!
Heck...I still prefer revolvers...and I love my S&W Scandium J-Framed 5-shooters.
Clearly nobody is obligated to like red dots on pistols. Just like appendix carry they are not for everyone. Honestly I have seen a lot of people using them who probably shouldn't be. Using objective standards to measure their performance, they are not doing better.
 

cbhausen

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6mT6BPi.jpg


This might be a fun Thanksgiving thread , so over the last 3~ years I have been gradually working on using red dots on handguns. At first I could not really see immediate results being so used to iron sights so the transition was a bit tough (even with the big window on a Leupold Delta Point Pro).

Then as many other have said before with a lot of dry fire practice and range time finding the dot became second nature and I actually found that the "target focus" the red dot provides really allows you to focus on the trigger press and grip.

A good example of this would be group size with borderline identical pistols

N32e2zv.jpg


My stock P365 (both shot with 12 round mags so grip is similar and both targets at 10 yards). The stock Sig sights in a P365 I find difficult to shoot very well due to the small aight radius and how "fat the sights are"

NVctqKD.jpg


Then the groups clean up significantly with the P365X and it's 2MOA dot. At this point going forward I honestly don't think I will ever purchase a handgun not capable of equipping a red dot. Honestly I could never group my P365 that well before.

What say INGO on this , am I right and red dots on hand guns are the future or am I totally crazy. Personally I think they are one of the biggest innovations in handgun shooting in recent memory , with others being the new 10+1 9mm compacts and new hollow point technology like HST's.

Also anyone else going away from lower capacity guns to larger heaver pistols for carry given the rise in violent crime over the last 2~ years. If I am not carrying the P365x I am carrying my Staccato.

Also I thought it was interesting the weight difference between the P365 with 12+1 and the P365x with 12+1 and dot was only 1 ounce. Plus the back up rear sight the 507k gives you also works out to about 10 yards as well with a very low 1/3 co-witness so I did not feel a dedicated rear sight was nessesary.
OP, there’s lots of great info in this thread:


Mods, merge these threads maybe?
 
Last edited:

danatkins

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I like the 407/507's also but I don't usually worry too much about printing and the 509T is only about .22 inch taller but I like the bigger window. There's some good deals right now for the 407's if you don't care about having the dual reticle.
It's the back edge of the housing that gets in the way. I kinda like the dual reticle though

Sent from my SM-N981U using Tapatalk
 

Trapper Jim

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6mT6BPi.jpg


This might be a fun Thanksgiving thread , so over the last 3~ years I have been gradually working on using red dots on handguns. At first I could not really see immediate results being so used to iron sights so the transition was a bit tough (even with the big window on a Leupold Delta Point Pro).

Then as many other have said before with a lot of dry fire practice and range time finding the dot became second nature and I actually found that the "target focus" the red dot provides really allows you to focus on the trigger press and grip.

A good example of this would be group size with borderline identical pistols

N32e2zv.jpg


My stock P365 (both shot with 12 round mags so grip is similar and both targets at 10 yards). The stock Sig sights in a P365 I find difficult to shoot very well due to the small aight radius and how "fat the sights are"

NVctqKD.jpg


Then the groups clean up significantly with the P365X and it's 2MOA dot. At this point going forward I honestly don't think I will ever purchase a handgun not capable of equipping a red dot. Honestly I could never group my P365 that well before.

What say INGO on this , am I right and red dots on hand guns are the future or am I totally crazy. Personally I think they are one of the biggest innovations in handgun shooting in recent memory , with others being the new 10+1 9mm compacts and new hollow point technology like HST's.

Also anyone else going away from lower capacity guns to larger heaver pistols for carry given the rise in violent crime over the last 2~ years. If I am not carrying the P365x I am carrying my Staccato.

Also I thought it was interesting the weight difference between the P365 with 12+1 and the P365x with 12+1 and dot was only 1 ounce. Plus the back up rear sight the 507k gives you also works out to about 10 yards as well with a very low 1/3 co-witness so I did not feel a dedicated rear sight was nessesary.
I hope all had a great Thanksgiving! The very fact that we can share our opinions about so many things regarding how and what to shoot is another thing that Indiana Gun owners can be Thankful for. Like the revolver/pistol, caliber and capacity, holsters, belts and positions the Dot is not new to the debate. Many of us have been using them for over 30 years and enjoying the benefits. What is new however, is the successful manufacture and marketing of an accessory to aid in shot placement. Now it is important that you know my comments and opinions pertain to the civilian street carry market only. Highly Trained Professional applications are a different matter.

The two pictures of targets with the Sig showing the comparison of a better group with the dot seems like a good reason to adapt them to carry. Assuming the same ammo and it looks like the same gun, it should be pointed out that the gun remains just as accurate on both targets. Like a magnifying glass changes your perception of enlarging the image, the image is the same size as it is in reality. The dot, as you point out made it easier to print the dot target but in fact required the same four step process of an accurate shot with a concentrated trigger pull (time) being the difference between the two targets as proven by group size. The Seven o'clock holes are evidence of a Right handed shooter problem, not the gun. Eye challenges aside for many of us, group size and shot placement require much concentration. The Dot certainly helps with this just as a scope does. The enclosed pic shows the top six ranking of a local match. The dots are dominating the sports more each week. This is a clue as the tidal wave market of the dot.

Working with students, competition, and just range time alone, I see the many fails and successes associated with skill set and equipment choices. This experience alone is why I will not take my dots to the streets quite yet. The industry will get there and they are on a professional use level now, but until my eyes get worse, I will be using my all steel sights that are always on without batteries. Again, the dot gun is not any more accurate than it's naked self, but is easier to drive.

About 20 years ago, I hired an employee that wanted to apply for car sales. A nice young man that had good math skills and had a great personality. On his first day, we start the recruits out by having them drive different cars to become familiar with our inventory. I pass him the keys to my demo at the time and told him to learn the car and it's equipment. After about a half hour he came back in to my office. When I asked how did that drive, he admitted that he couldn't get it started and has never seen a manual transmission before. This was before google help. He was a 27 year old Carmel resident at the time. Not sure if it was poor or lack there of parental skills or what, but it is even worse today. The automatic transmission as we know it today, started out with this same controversy and mechanical problems 70 years ago. Look where we are now with 10 and 12 speed automatic transmissions that are more efficient than sticks. The Dot is here to stay and is a good fit for many on the street. I wonder when it will be that a young man getting into guns will never have driven Iron Sights before. Sad.

So the issue really isn't one or the other, it is get real with any and everything that will win you the fight. Be able to shoot well with all platforms. You never know what equipment you will need to pluck off of a perp to continue the fight for additional perps. And your getaway car may turn out to be a stickshift.

See you on the range.


IMG_3248 (002).png
 

NyleRN

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I don't have a red dot on my carry guns nor will I ever. There's a fixed red dot already on my gun. It's called a front sight. And it doesn't float around. Pretty much all the SD/armed robbery videos show that using a gun usually happens within a few feet or less and typically sights aren't even used. Adrenaline and muscle memory will prevail. I'm not advocating running around with no sights on your pistol.
 
Last edited:

DadSmith

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I don't have a red dot on my carry guns nor will I ever. There's a fixed red dot already on my gun. It's called a front sight. And it doesn't float around. Pretty much all the SD/armed robbery videos show that using a gun usually happens within a few feet or less and typically sights aren't even used. Adrenaline and muscle memory will prevail. I'm not advocating running around with no sights on your pistol.
Definitely takes a lot of practice to learn to use a red dot. However, I've found out to 7yards I can draw and hit the target with no problem looking through the glass on my red dot sight. I turned it off to see how I would do if it lost power.
 

88E30M50

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In 2019, I had my Glock 23 milled for a red dot and ran it for a while with an RMR on it. It took a lot of time to get acclimated to the red dot on the Glock and I found that if I shot anything else for any length of time, I had trouble finding the dot on the Glock again. Eventually, I went back to irons.

About a month ago, I picked up a complete slide with a red dot mounted from Sig for my P229 and this one took very little time to become acclimated to. I draw and the dot’s right there.

I think the difference for me is that Glocks don’t point naturally for me and with a red dot, that seems very important. If I only ran Glocks, it might not be an issue but I also like to shoot 1911s, CZs and Sigs. Those all point naturally for me.

So far, I’m really liking the dot on the P229. That said, I do still need to work on it though. A week or so back, I took a P226 Legion SAO and shot it along with my dot equipped P229 Elite and I shot the Legion much better. The difference was like 3” at 7 yards vs 2” with irons. The fact that I had just come from breakfast that included at least 4 cups of coffee that was causing a healthy caffeine shake didn’t help. But, on slow fire, I was chasing that dang dot all over the place and the coffee made that a chore. Later in the session when I stopped trying to be accurate with the dot and just shot, the groups shrunk in size with the dot and grew with the Legion.

What does that tell me? I have no idea but I am continuing to work with the dot as it’s bringing a lot to the table for 58 year old eyes.
 

88E30M50

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On the subject of increasing carry capacity due to the changing nature of society: Absolutely. When out and about, I’ve always got a P229 or P226 on the hip along with spare mags. In the world we live in today, you never know when you might run into someone that is hate filled and angry enough to kill. It happens all to often now.
 

nucular

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I really believe red dots are a game changer. I am 50 and have been shooting for over 30 years now. It took a while to get used to finding the dot but you eventually get it with enough practice and it has improved my accuracy immensely. Hold over at distance is also a lot easier since there is no site blocking the target. I have a 507k and a 507c with the ACSS reticle. The K is definitely harder to get accustomed to but the C with ACSS reticle is idiot proof. Its great for the first timer because it helps eliminate fishing around for the dot.
 

danatkins

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I really believe red dots are a game changer. I am 50 and have been shooting for over 30 years now. It took a while to get used to finding the dot but you eventually get it with enough practice and it has improved my accuracy immensely. Hold over at distance is also a lot easier since there is no site blocking the target. I have a 507k and a 507c with the ACSS reticle. The K is definitely harder to get accustomed to but the C with ACSS reticle is idiot proof. Its great for the first timer because it helps eliminate fishing around for the dot.
I'm wanting the 507 with acss to replace my 509. I like the chevron. For those who say anything modern is bad on a fighting gun think of our boys overseas. Red dot or our optic, night vision laser/illuminator on rifles. Red dots (some) and lights on sidearm. It's called force multiplication I want every advantage I can if some idiot decides to try to wreck my day.

I carry a spare extended mag and 2 knives. To quote Wyatt Earp your friends might get me in a rush but not before I turn your head into a canoe. If I get taken out it won't be for lack of fighting

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88E30M50

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One thing that has helped me a lot in learning the way of the dot is to practice point shooting with a LaserLyte training cartridge on my iron sight guns. I’d always liked to practice point shooting even before getting into red dots because I figure that there’s a good chance that in a first, real deadly encounter, I’d be target fixated and wanted to still be able to perform well if that should happen.

It turns out, that was a great way for me to get used to having the red dot fall perfectly into my line of vision on the draw. It took a bit to get there on the Glock but it’s been very fast in getting used to the dot on the P229. One of these days, I’ll have one of the P226 slides cut and move the RMR from the Glock to the Sig.
 

BE Mike

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I could learn to shoot a dot as quick and as well as iron sights, I suppose, but I'm not convinced the extra weight and bulk is worth it. I've tried it some and find that my first shot is much slower with the dot. I use turning targets and challenging programs to compare. If one has old eyes, the dot can help, but so can a laser. I can shoot a laser as well as a dot and they are much less bulky. All this being said, nothing tops learning proper trigger control. If you think you shoot great groups and have great trigger control, move the target out from 10 yards. It might open your eyes! BTW, I have many years of experience shooting tube dots on handguns, in one handed bullseye pistol matches. It worked well for that, but that is a different animal indeed.
 

88E30M50

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I don’t notice a weight difference with the dot but there is bulk. My RMR has a healthy amount of patina on the top from catching it on doorframes and stuff from when I carried the G23 with it.
 

Levergun1

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I hope all had a great Thanksgiving! The very fact that we can share our opinions about so many things regarding how and what to shoot is another thing that Indiana Gun owners can be Thankful for. Like the revolver/pistol, caliber and capacity, holsters, belts and positions the Dot is not new to the debate. Many of us have been using them for over 30 years and enjoying the benefits. What is new however, is the successful manufacture and marketing of an accessory to aid in shot placement. Now it is important that you know my comments and opinions pertain to the civilian street carry market only. Highly Trained Professional applications are a different matter.

The two pictures of targets with the Sig showing the comparison of a better group with the dot seems like a good reason to adapt them to carry. Assuming the same ammo and it looks like the same gun, it should be pointed out that the gun remains just as accurate on both targets. Like a magnifying glass changes your perception of enlarging the image, the image is the same size as it is in reality. The dot, as you point out made it easier to print the dot target but in fact required the same four step process of an accurate shot with a concentrated trigger pull (time) being the difference between the two targets as proven by group size. The Seven o'clock holes are evidence of a Right handed shooter problem, not the gun. Eye challenges aside for many of us, group size and shot placement require much concentration. The Dot certainly helps with this just as a scope does. The enclosed pic shows the top six ranking of a local match. The dots are dominating the sports more each week. This is a clue as the tidal wave market of the dot.

Working with students, competition, and just range time alone, I see the many fails and successes associated with skill set and equipment choices. This experience alone is why I will not take my dots to the streets quite yet. The industry will get there and they are on a professional use level now, but until my eyes get worse, I will be using my all steel sights that are always on without batteries. Again, the dot gun is not any more accurate than it's naked self, but is easier to drive.

About 20 years ago, I hired an employee that wanted to apply for car sales. A nice young man that had good math skills and had a great personality. On his first day, we start the recruits out by having them drive different cars to become familiar with our inventory. I pass him the keys to my demo at the time and told him to learn the car and it's equipment. After about a half hour he came back in to my office. When I asked how did that drive, he admitted that he couldn't get it started and has never seen a manual transmission before. This was before google help. He was a 27 year old Carmel resident at the time. Not sure if it was poor or lack there of parental skills or what, but it is even worse today. The automatic transmission as we know it today, started out with this same controversy and mechanical problems 70 years ago. Look where we are now with 10 and 12 speed automatic transmissions that are more efficient than sticks. The Dot is here to stay and is a good fit for many on the street. I wonder when it will be that a young man getting into guns will never have driven Iron Sights before. Sad.

So the issue really isn't one or the other, it is get real with any and everything that will win you the fight. Be able to shoot well with all platforms. You never know what equipment you will need to pluck off of a perp to continue the fight for additional perps. And your getaway car may turn out to be a stickshift.

See you on the range.


View attachment 169324
I was saying the same thing about Iron sights vs a scope, twenty years ago, to my students. "Learn to shoot and adjust iron sights before you start to rely on a scope."
 

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