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Optics vs Iron Sights on Defensive Pistols Login/Join 
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quote:
Originally posted by pedropcola:
So what red dot has significantly more battery life than an rmr when kept continually on a high setting?


I don't know. There maybe none. There are many that allow for much easier battery replacement/preventative maintenance though.



SRO is a good optic, two of mine have been good performers, and I have dropped mine twice without any consequences. They do have other issues besides durability concerns. Some have had loose adjustment screws, people used nail polish to keep them in place. Those who run their optics on auto adjust consistently comment that it works worse on SRO then RMR. SRO performs worse against low lying sun glare comparing ton some other options. And it is still an open emitter optic; while this could be OK for CCW, I don't believe such designs have any future as duty grade options even if made decently durable.
 
Posts: 402 | Registered: April 03, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Where I find red dots on handguns to be the most beneficial is accuracy. My 54 year old eyes are my limiting factor now. The red dot helps with accurate shots. I tend to shoot between 15-25 yards though and irons are still sufficient especially at the 15 yard area where most of my steel shooting tends to be. If pressed I prefer the basic simplicity of a good set of irons. By irons I mean a good set of fiber optic or combo of fiber optic and tritium. I can no longer shoot well with 3 dot sights or plain blades. My eyes need something to pop more.

So, fiber optic front with plain serrated black rear for most guns and Tru Glo TFX Pros that combine the two for SD guns.
 
Posts: 4185 | Registered: June 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Don’t know what to tell you. The RMR is the standard against which duty optics are judged. They aren’t perfect but open emitters are the only way to go right now realistically. The ACRO has its issues, primarily battery life is horrendous apparently. The Deltapoint Micro? Lol, sure.

What you want doesn’t exist yet hence everyone’s comments about pistol optics not being a mature field.

You are going to end up with a compromise of issues. Battery life, toughness, open vs closed emitter, hard to replace battery, auto brightness not being great (does that surprise anyone), etc.

Good luck in your search for nirvana. Spoiler ahead: no such thing yet. For rifles yes, for pistols no.
 
Posts: 4185 | Registered: June 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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509T is going to be delivered tomorrow. There's enough positive opinions to give it a shot. A friend gave me 507 and it's been pretty good although I've not ran it continually. I will get an ACRO too. I would've gotten one by now, except that there are persistent rumors about next gen ACRO with a different battery. Even if they didn't release that, unscrewing a cap replacing a battery once a month won't bug me nearly as much as dismounting and remounting RMR every 5 months. Otherwise I've not heard about any issues with ACRO. My concealment deal is such that when I can wear relaxed clothing, the ACRO size disadvantage vs RMR is a nonissue. When I can't dress around the gun much, I can't conceal even RMR. Pretty easy decision that I made awhile back, just been lazy with the implementation.
There isn't rds nirvana for rifles either, only smaller compromises.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: YVK,
 
Posts: 402 | Registered: April 03, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I voted maybe.
There are many who believe they are superior to iron and believe they give a significant advantage to iron sights. So yeah, for some they are now the mandatory defensive optic of choice.
I have toyed with the idea of adding a good optic on a G26 Gen4 project gun to try for myself.

My issue is I’ve spent the last 25 years with irons. I know myself. If I fell in love with optics, I would want to retrofit most of my carry guns. With the cost of ammo sky high, It’s something I can’t afford right now.
 
Posts: 10 | Location: FL | Registered: February 19, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would like to hear your impressions and drop testing of your 509T. (just kidding on the drop resting). I have only handled other peoples Holosuns. I do own some Sig Romeo stuff which I think I we all agree is Holosun. Mine have been mostly good with a couple quirks.
 
Posts: 4185 | Registered: June 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What you posted below goes to the issue of sighted aiming vs point shooting. If the situation is too close and or too dynamic to actually use the sights (and it can be argued either way that any situation is such) then the type of sights are irrelevant.

So the next question is, if the shot it going to aimed using sights, what sight are going to be faster too use. Up until very recently everyone learned to shoot pistols with irons. Even if they later used optics, they cut their teeth with irons. So that's what people are used to. But irons are not simple in concept. The shooter has to pick up and focus the front sight get it on target, hopefully get the rear sight lined up, and get the shot off. Done right the target isn't in focus, the front sight it. That's a lot to do under pressure. And it isn't target focused.

In theory, and optic makes this simpler. Focus on the target, bring the gun up over the target, pick up the dot. The dot is focused to infinity, so adjusting eye focus isn't necessary. Get the dot on target, and fire. But the kicker is, unless the shooter has the mechanics of getting the gun lined up correctly, the dot may not be in his vision. It takes some training/practice to get that. Will shooters do that work????

Technology may deal with this. Watch the first three minutes or so of this video. Primary Arms is teaming up with Holosun to build a version of one of their red dots that has a reticle that addresses the lost dot issue.





quote:
Originally posted by snoris:
My issue with a red dot on a self-defense/duty weapon is this (strictly from my experience and training in law enforcement, and I respect everybody's own experiences and opinions):

In a self-defense situation, there are going to be a lot of things involved. It's not just you and a static target, where you can concentrate solely on putting the little red dot on a specific place on a piece of paper or cardboard.

Along with other variables, the primary issues are:

1) The person presenting you with a deadly threat;
2) The background behind that threat (remember that you might hit innocent bystanders);
3) Things to the side of you that are also imminent threats (such as additional suspects off to the side of your primary threat), or that might affect your decision to shoot (solid cover out of the corner of your eye that you can quickly get to for protection rather than risk an out-in-the-open shootout).

My concern is that with a red-dot on a pistol, one is so focused on that little red dot and the target that the frame of the RMR might block your view of either 2) or 3) at some point during the encounter.

There's no doubt that an RMR can be very useful in a pistol. I've seen people go from being mediocre shooters with no hope of putting five rounds in five seconds on a six-inch target at 10 yards into very good shooters who can place all five rounds in there in three and a half seconds by combining an RMR and good instruction.
I'm just not sure it's the magic answer that some make it out to be for self-defense.
 
Posts: 20374 | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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problem and light this candle
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Agony had an epic thread on the RMR journey and it is well worth your time to read. I know it is a little dated and so some of the issues likely have been resolved.
The thread is worth the read just to see some of the pictures. It is truly and epic thread.

Agony and the RMR Journey



This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it. -Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Joshua Painter Played by Senator Fred Thompson
 
Posts: 2997 | Location: Central Virginia | Registered: November 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
So what red dot has significantly more battery life than an rmr when kept continually on a high setting?


I use the Trijicon RMO4 unit that does NOT have a battery. The only way to go for me.
 
Posts: 1126 | Location: Northern Nevada | Registered: December 22, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The issue on the dual illuminated ones is they never deliver the correct amount of illumination.


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 9677 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by BBMW:
Technology may deal with this. Watch the first three minutes or so of this video. Primary Arms is teaming up with Holosun to build a version of one of their red dots that has a reticle that addresses the lost dot issue.


It's nice to see these guys putting some thought into overcoming the remaining downsides to using optics.
I have no doubt they will get there.


Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
-- George Orwell

 
Posts: 3987 | Location: North Mississippi | Registered: August 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
fugitive from reality
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I'm going to second this. The shade of green these sights are using is somewhat unnatural, and as such the human eye see it first because it's standing out from nature. I put hybrid FO\tritium sights on one of my 1911's and they just 'pop' at you every time you go to use them.

I voted maybe because while I use a RDS in bullseye, and on other pistols I use for training, I still carry with irons. Part of the reason is I like to pocket carry, part of the reason is irons always work.

quote:
Originally posted by Flashlightboy:
I've done the big night sight companies - Mep, Heinie, Trij - and while they have a rightful place, they aren't MY most useful sighting option.

For older eyes consider putting a florescent green fiber optic up front and solid black sight in the rear. Your eye picks up on green faster than any other color and it really pops.

You can look at Dawson Precision for some very good solutions.

I've done FO in yellow, red and green and green by far is the easiest to quickly see and put to target acquiring use.


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Posts: 6930 | Location: Newyorkistan | Registered: March 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Iron sights guy for now. In 10 years as my eyesight diminishes - optics may be a good option.

Also - outside of tritium reaching its full-life. iron sights do not fail.
 
Posts: 3965 | Registered: April 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Saw this. Seemed topical. He talks about target focused shooting and cross eye dominance issues.

 
Posts: 20374 | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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First, I'm a shotgun shooter, primarily Skeet but also shoot in Trap, 5 Stand, and Sporting Clays. With a shotgun you don't bother with the "sights", fact is that looking to the bead as you release the trigger is simply a very good way to miss. I know of some National and World champions who have the front beads removed on their shotguns because they are a distraction. With a shotgun it's all Point Shooting because when you are attempting to hit one, or two, 108mm disks moving at 35-100 mph you simply don't have time to fuss with sights.

So, how does that translate to a Defensive Shooting. A Defensive Shooting situation is all about getting shots on target as quickly as possible and pretty little groups don't mean diddly squat. In fact tiny little groups may actually be a detriment because it only opens up bleeding in one small area. Spread those shots out over the entire COM and you have a whole large area bleeding. BTW, one way to think about this is what if you have a very Fit and very Aggressive Doberman charging at you intent on eating your face off. Have you ever noticed just how fast a charging Doberman is? They are freakishly fast, make a German Shepherd look like a slow poke. So, do you really want a sight that you have to hunt for the reticle with? No, what you want to do is bring the gun up and start firing as quickly as possible.

About 5 years back I made a change to my training regimen. Was a time when I was all about shooting the prettiest tiny little group of anyone at the range. Even have 3 revolvers equipped with J Point Reflex sights. What I learned with the J Points is that I can shoot tiny little groups but I can't do it quickly and I can't break that first shot with any speed at all. It just takes too long to pick up the sight. Once I had my Epiphany about what this could cost me, my Life, I changed my training regimen to Point Shooting and practicing at 30 feet. Now the only delay in engaging a target is the amount of time it takes me to physically bring my pistol to bear on target. As for firing rate, that depends on the caliber and recoil of the handgun in use. With my Ruger LC9S it's typically in the .3 second range. With my 9mm Ruger SR1911 my split is typically in the .2 second range. As for group size, 6 inches at 30 feet is good enough to stop a Doberman.

Note, I got into the Shotgun Sports because I thought it would improve my reaction time and response to secondary targets. It did that in a huge way. However I also found that shooting at moving targets is a whole bunch more FUN that shooting paper. Anyone wants to improve there response times and methods should think about shooting some of those little clay targets, it's a real kick the first time you hit a True Pair. However I'll warn your, it's is an addictive sport. I started with just one shotgun. Now I have Pumps, Autos, Side by Sides, and Over/Unders. Also have reloading presses for 410, 28, 20, and 12 gage in my basement that see use every week.

PS; It should be obvious I voted NO on the use of Optics on a Defensive Pistol. IMO it's about as dumb a move as you can make. I've also the experience to say I was one of those dumb enough to do that and have "Been There Done That". I'll also note that pretty little groups are fine if you are shooting Bullseye but they are not suitable for practicing Defensive Shooting. You never know when you may be facing an angry Doberman or Mob.


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Posts: 4848 | Location: Michigan | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
...the question of reliability and durability...
Big items for a defensive handgun...very big. If I drop the gun, does the light go out...can I trust it in a hand to hand fight? Is it really needed for defensive distances...3-7 yds...or any significant improvement on good iron sights? Any advantage in low light conditions over say, tritium's? Any problems with concealment or even finding holsters that accommodate?

In one of the handgun games, I can see where they're probably an advantage...but that's gamesmanship, not defensive shooting. YMMv, Rod


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Posts: 648 | Registered: April 04, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've done low light and contact distance shooting where you don't even use the sights so I tend to agree with your statement. I shoot a red dot in bullseye, and I have one on whatever my training gun is. I even have on the home defence pistol, but I don't use one on my carry gun.

quote:
Originally posted by Rodfac:
Is it really needed for defensive distances...3-7 yds...or any significant improvement on good iron sights?


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Posts: 6930 | Location: Newyorkistan | Registered: March 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This has always been a big consideration in a theoretical sense. But I think there are now enough of these in LE and CCW use for a long enough time now that if it was going to be a real problem, we'd be hearing about real failures. Near as I can tell, we haven't been.

Has anyone been hearing about carried red dots going dead, that I haven't? It's certainly possible.

quote:
Originally posted by Rodfac:
quote:
...the question of reliability and durability...
Big items for a defensive handgun...very big. If I drop the gun, does the light go out...can I trust it in a hand to hand fight? Is it really needed for defensive distances...3-7 yds...or any significant improvement on good iron sights? Any advantage in low light conditions over say, tritium's? Any problems with concealment or even finding holsters that accommodate?

In one of the handgun games, I can see where they're probably an advantage...but that's gamesmanship, not defensive shooting. YMMv, Rod
 
Posts: 20374 | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Then why bother having iron sights either? The point of this thread isn't point vs sighted shooting. In very close range shooting, yes, the sights may not come into play. But the question is, if sights are necessary, which is the better paradigm, iron or optic.

quote:
Originally posted by Scooter123:
First, I'm a shotgun shooter, primarily Skeet but also shoot in Trap, 5 Stand, and Sporting Clays. With a shotgun you don't bother with the "sights", fact is that looking to the bead as you release the trigger is simply a very good way to miss. I know of some National and World champions who have the front beads removed on their shotguns because they are a distraction. With a shotgun it's all Point Shooting because when you are attempting to hit one, or two, 108mm disks moving at 35-100 mph you simply don't have time to fuss with sights.

So, how does that translate to a Defensive Shooting. A Defensive Shooting situation is all about getting shots on target as quickly as possible and pretty little groups don't mean diddly squat. In fact tiny little groups may actually be a detriment because it only opens up bleeding in one small area. Spread those shots out over the entire COM and you have a whole large area bleeding. BTW, one way to think about this is what if you have a very Fit and very Aggressive Doberman charging at you intent on eating your face off. Have you ever noticed just how fast a charging Doberman is? They are freakishly fast, make a German Shepherd look like a slow poke. So, do you really want a sight that you have to hunt for the reticle with? No, what you want to do is bring the gun up and start firing as quickly as possible.

About 5 years back I made a change to my training regimen. Was a time when I was all about shooting the prettiest tiny little group of anyone at the range. Even have 3 revolvers equipped with J Point Reflex sights. What I learned with the J Points is that I can shoot tiny little groups but I can't do it quickly and I can't break that first shot with any speed at all. It just takes too long to pick up the sight. Once I had my Epiphany about what this could cost me, my Life, I changed my training regimen to Point Shooting and practicing at 30 feet. Now the only delay in engaging a target is the amount of time it takes me to physically bring my pistol to bear on target. As for firing rate, that depends on the caliber and recoil of the handgun in use. With my Ruger LC9S it's typically in the .3 second range. With my 9mm Ruger SR1911 my split is typically in the .2 second range. As for group size, 6 inches at 30 feet is good enough to stop a Doberman.

Note, I got into the Shotgun Sports because I thought it would improve my reaction time and response to secondary targets. It did that in a huge way. However I also found that shooting at moving targets is a whole bunch more FUN that shooting paper. Anyone wants to improve there response times and methods should think about shooting some of those little clay targets, it's a real kick the first time you hit a True Pair. However I'll warn your, it's is an addictive sport. I started with just one shotgun. Now I have Pumps, Autos, Side by Sides, and Over/Unders. Also have reloading presses for 410, 28, 20, and 12 gage in my basement that see use every week.

PS; It should be obvious I voted NO on the use of Optics on a Defensive Pistol. IMO it's about as dumb a move as you can make. I've also the experience to say I was one of those dumb enough to do that and have "Been There Done That". I'll also note that pretty little groups are fine if you are shooting Bullseye but they are not suitable for practicing Defensive Shooting. You never know when you may be facing an angry Doberman or Mob.
 
Posts: 20374 | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A discussion about better tools for a problem starts with a definition of a problem with a decent granularity about technical challenges and priorities. Some stuff I read here basically places this subject into a futility exercise, seeing what I think is important vs what others think is important.
 
Posts: 402 | Registered: April 03, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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