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Optics vs Iron Sights on Defensive Pistols Login/Join 
Sigforum K9 handler
Picture of jljones
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Completely disagree. The larger dot size isn’t “easier” to locate, nor is the smaller harder. Dot size is simply preference. If you have decent presentation, the dot will fall into the window the same regardless of size.

It is simply impossible to mask or hide poor technique with a bigger dot.

A larger dot being “faster” is one of those wives tales that won’t die. A fast shooter is going to be fast despite a larger or smaller dot.




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Posts: 37019 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of konata88
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I'm honestly not sure if I could tell between a 1 vs 3 vs 5 moa dot, especially quickly. It may only be distinguishable when superimposing the dot on a relatively small target - like a 5moa dot on a 2moa target.

What is noticeable to me regardless of dot size is brightness relative to ambient light. To me, this has a first order influence on acquisition speed.




"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." L.Tolstoy
"A government is just a body of people, usually, notably, ungoverned." Shepherd Book
 
Posts: 12628 | Location: In the gilded cage | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I swear I had
something for this
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It seems to be taking off in the competition world as we’re seeing dot sizes of 8/10/12 MOA, and comp guys will shoot as soon as the dot is lined up in the A zone. Not the best idea for a tactical situation, but doable.
 
Posts: 4082 | Location: Kansas City, MO | Registered: May 28, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree with JLJones. If you present the pistol correctly, the dot will be very close to where you want it. I have three different window size dot sights, and am beginning to like the smallest window the best.

With good presentation, the larger window is more of a hindrance than a help. Also I find with a smaller size dot, it shows lack of precision more readily. 2.5-3 moa dot is ideal, IMO.


-c1steve
 
Posts: 4023 | Location: West coast | Registered: March 31, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of RichardC
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As the minutes, days and months of daily training/practice go on by, and your presentation approaches near-perfection, you'll find that even 1 MOA dot sizes are no longer required. Maybe.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: RichardC,


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Posts: 15798 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My personal preference is always to carry a handgun with a red dot. I have been, since roughly 10 years ago. Now it's easier, cheaper than ever before. And the reliability and choices are better than ever.

Are there downsides? Yes. But the juice, to me, is definitely worth the squeeze.

I like the idea of focusing on the target vs the front sight. That's a big plus for me.

Secondly, with the dot, once I put in the work, the timer told me that I am faster. And the group size, especially at a distance, is smaller.

In short, a red dot on a good handgun, with good ammo and decent shooter gives you more capabilities at longer ranges.

I never understood the whole "I won't need the optic and handgun distances" argument. What distance is that? If I could predict that, I'd run out and buy a lottery ticket tomorrow.

If I can expand the envelope of distance where I can still fight effectively, and faster, I am all for that. The bulk and concealability these days are not an issue.
 
Posts: 12 | Registered: November 28, 2022Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of RichardC
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think I'll try my RDS/pistol in today's IDPA match.

Should I clean and lube the gun, clean the soot off the RDS lens, change the battery and torque the screws, like any good, competitive gamer?

Or, use it day like a reality test, dry/dusty gun, filthy RDS with a battery and screws last checked a while ago,

and maybe just to simulate those rare occasions wherein I've found my carry gun or IDPA/ Steel Challenge/Bowling pin gun chamber empy when the beep goes off

and holster it Israeli Carry?

Decisions, decisions. Smile


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Posts: 15798 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Be a baller, just show up to shoot it without a gun.




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"It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it works out for them"



 
Posts: 37019 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Big Stack
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Let me bring up a new issue, open vs closed emitter.

Closed emitter is the new thing (new-ish, they've been around for a few years now in the carry handgun world.) It eliminates the problem of gunk getting in the emitter, and blocking it from, well, emitting, making the sight lose it's dot. This is a significant theoretical problem.

The question is, has them become and actual functional problem carriers are dealing with? Again, this would be manifesting itself in the LE world by this point if it was a real functional issue. So, for those who would be in a position to know, has this been a problem? Should shooters migrating to dots for their carry guns be going out of their way to get closed emitter units?
 
Posts: 21240 | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by BBMW:
Let me bring up a new issue, open vs closed emitter.

Closed emitter is the new thing (new-ish, they've been around for a few years now in the carry handgun world.) It eliminates the problem of gunk getting in the emitter, and blocking it from, well, emitting, making the sight lose it's dot. This is a significant theoretical problem.

The question is, has them become and actual functional problem carriers are dealing with? Again, this would be manifesting itself in the LE world by this point if it was a real functional issue. So, for those who would be in a position to know, has this been a problem? Should shooters migrating to dots for their carry guns be going out of their way to get closed emitter units?


I am not aware of any real-world issues. The enclosed emitter limits the potential for liquid or debris to obscure the emitter or inside of the lens. Obviously the rear lens on an enclosed emitter can be obscured, but the nature of it makes it easier to wipe off. Overall it is hard to find a downside to the enclosed emitter other than the optic itself might cost more (but there are enclosed emitter optics that are very competitive). One of the biggest things that I find annoying about concealed carrying an open emitter optic is how much lint, dust, and other gunk ends up down inside the optic. The optic still works fine, but the assorted debris can be visually distracting and kind of hard to remove (I usually swab the area out with a Q tip).

So do you need an enclosed emitter? No. I choose to use an enclosed emitter optic on my duty gun, as do most of the guys at my agency. We authorize several optics open and enclosed emitter and most choose enclosed.
 
Posts: 5126 | Location: Iowa | Registered: February 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by DaBigBR:
Overall it is hard to find a downside to the enclosed emitter other than the optic itself might cost more


I cannot conceal ACRO or 509T. I waited for a cold weather to test it, again, and went out to town a couple of weeks ago with two appendix holsters. Both have wedges and claws for max concealment and yet optic printed ridiculously even under a heavy wool sweater. I presume the same would go for MPS since it is larger than 509T. I am not sure about the EPS but the only closed emitter that I have and can conceal is EPS Carry. I've no problems concealing pretty much any open emitter optic and, despite irritating lint issues, they remain my concealment choice for full screen optics.
 
Posts: 479 | Registered: April 03, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Still finding my way
Picture of Ryanp225
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Here's a good video on the matter.
 
Posts: 10797 | Registered: January 04, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hackathorn has forgotten more than I have every learned. That being said, it doesn't mean he is always right. That video said a lot of truths and a couple flawed opinions. Red dots take training. Then he gets into the 0-10 yard defensive idea. I can't wrap my mind around planning on a 10 yard and in training mentality. Honestly I don't think he does either but his bias comes out whether he meant it or not. He says there is no advantage from 10 yards in. If you have trained with it is there a disadvantage? He never asks that question. So at distance there is an advantage and there is no disadvantage up close. If I was an unbiased observer that would be a win for optics.

If you won't practice then the dot is not for you. It sounds so simple but these threads are full of guys pounding this idea like they have discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls. If you aren't willing to put in the time and practice the red dot isn't a magical device. If you do put in the time it has a lot of advantages and I don't think it has a huge downside.

He is an old guy. I think he is very disparaging of modern holsters. "Buckets" he calls them. I assume, maybe I am wrong, he is not a fan. I think Safariland buckets are some of the finest designs ever made. They are great.

He also compares dots to lasers. He is just wrong. Everyone who tried a laser instantly knew they sucked except under certain conditions. I watch a guy at my local matches use his red laser and it is comical. Not a good analogy.

He also said directly red dots are for the 1%er. That is bullshit. You can't tell me that among gun aficionados that actually shoot we are 1%er's. He is overstating his case. What he meant is that if you won't put in the time and practice they won't work well for you. All true. Then he says you need to be a 1%er for it to work for you. That implies you need to be an operator, a specialist, a SWAT team member, blah blah blah. Or you need to be a guy that shoots a lot and is willing to actually train with the optic. Which doesn't make you a one percenter.

Plus, he ends with the idea that the optics may or may not stand the test of time. Complete and utter old man bullshit. And I am saying that as an old man. If he honestly thinks optics on pistols is going to fade out like a fad he needs to hang up his writing credentials because he is right up there with the don't go faster than a horse because you will catch fire guys.

Not a good video. Lots of truths mixed with a lot of bias that he subtly puts out. Optics are only going one way and that is better and more accessible. If this was a stock tip, I would put cash on it.
 
Posts: 7206 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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pedropcola,
He does state for a new shooter the red dot is probably the way to go as it is look at target and make sure dot is on target and you don't have to change your thinking as far as what you are focused on. Overall though you are correct that he is disparaging toward the dot.

I disagree with him when he states there is no advantage in the real world. With a dot you are always looking at the target no matter what and therefore always focused on the target. With the open sites you are front site focused.
 
Posts: 16 | Registered: November 15, 2022Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigforum K9 handler
Picture of jljones
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quote:
Originally posted by pedropcola:

Not a good video.


Indeed.




www.opspectraining.com

"It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it works out for them"



 
Posts: 37019 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I just built a cheapie optic slide for my G19. I will spend more time with the red dot (Vortex Venom) and see how I do. Its an old dog, new tricks thing for me. But my aging eyes are going to call for some type of better sighting system and sooner than later.


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Posts: 15934 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of konata88
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I'd consider myself a semi-proficient novice. I'm not an expert by any means. I'm not a professional. I'm not an operator. I'm not a lawyer. But I think, relative to most people I see at the range and CCW certification classes (but not competitions, just shooting from the line), I think I can hold my own and be clearly above the median in terms of speed, accuracy and precision.

I had some incremental acclimation required with the RMR. But it didn't take much to get over it.

The DP Micro didn't require any acclimation - it was natural and usable as soon as it was installed.

I'm not talking about fancy shooting in weird positions. But drawing and shooting targets in front of you from 5-25 yards was very easy - no training required. No training maintenance required. Didn't shoot for months and the DP Micro as as natural as when I installed it.

If the video is suggesting that material training is required to use a RDS, as a novice, I'm somewhat skeptical unless it's for more advanced scenarios and techniques for which I'm incapable regardless.




"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." L.Tolstoy
"A government is just a body of people, usually, notably, ungoverned." Shepherd Book
 
Posts: 12628 | Location: In the gilded cage | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jljones
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You are largely correct.

The dot does take a little training to truly understand.

The biggest part is learning to resist the urge of “aiming” the dot. Instead, look at the spot you want the round to go and put the dot over it. Then send it.

Here of late, I’ve been working on “acceptable” target areas while using a front occlusion. So, on a multi shot string, of my acceptable target area is an 8 inch circle, any time during that string the dot enters the target area, I press the trigger. When the dot tracks back into the target area, I press it again.

I shot four fifty round quals yesterday for score at work and burned some blazing times. The “acceptable” target are was about an 18 inch oval (inner scoring ring on qual target). Dropped a total of three rounds out of 200 and shot it in about 1/3 the time of the other shooters. It wasn’t “tight” but it was damn fast.




www.opspectraining.com

"It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it works out for them"



 
Posts: 37019 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of konata88
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You know, I've been thinking about this a bit - focusing on the target vs the dot (or front sight).

When I was using irons, it would be pointed out to me repeatedly that I'm likely not focusing on the front sight as much as I should be; I had a tendency to check the target. And indeed, if I focused on the front sight with the target in the background, I could shoot with better precision and accuracy. But it was a conscious effort to not check the target, especially between shots and doubly so during slow fire.

Target focused is very natural for me and possibly why, with decent and consistent presentation, there is very little acclimation required in my mind.

I think perhaps the reason I'm naturally target focused is because I played competitive tennis for decades starting at a young age. I'm very focused on targets / what I want to hit, not the tool.

Not proven of course, just speculating about myself and why I think I'm finding RDS more natural than irons. I can use irons but RDS seems more second nature to me.




"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." L.Tolstoy
"A government is just a body of people, usually, notably, ungoverned." Shepherd Book
 
Posts: 12628 | Location: In the gilded cage | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I’m not a 1%er so Hackathorn would say my input is not pertinent but here goes. Lol

I think there is one issue and one issue only that makes dots harder. That issue is if you have trouble finding or losing the dot. That’s it. If you practice enough that the dot is a natural presentation then everything else is easier. Yes the dot can be too bright or too dim but you can largely solve those issues by purchasing the correct sight. Iron sights aren’t immune to too much sun or lack thereof either. So if you can look at what you are shooting then you can hit it assuming your gun mechanics are sound.

I have slight astigmatism. Yes the dot blooms a bit. In real life applications it doesn’t matter to any level that is significant.

Dots are easy. The pushback I mostly read about are things that personally I find not important, silly, overblown, inaccurate, etc.

I am not a chase the technology guy. Dots just make sense. I don’t use them on everything for lots of reasons. One being that irons work great as well. If I had 2 identical guns and one was irons and one had an optic and I had to make the shot I would take the optic gun every single time. Would using irons make me feel incapable of making the shot? No, but the optic is playing 5he odds.
 
Posts: 7206 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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