SIGforum.com    Main Page  Hop To Forum Categories  SIG Pistols    Optics vs Iron Sights on Defensive Pistols
Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 

Moderators: Chris Orndorff, LDD
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Optics vs Iron Sights on Defensive Pistols Login/Join 
Grab SKS,
go innawoods
Picture of mrmoneybags
posted Hide Post
Both are cool. I am in no hurry to put a red dot on my handguns though for a few reasons.

1. I already shoot target focus, so putting a red dot on my pistol isn’t going to help me target focus. I understand that it can help some people who are unable to target focus with iron sights.
2. I already shoot sub-0.20 doubles in the A-zone at 15yd, and I keep 95% of 25yd shots in the A-zone by target-focusing instead of focusing on the front sight. A red dot may give me marginal improvement on these longer-distance shots.
3. The batteries on my irons cannot die or corrode, I can’t crack the screen on my iron sights, a piece of bellybutton lint can’t clog the emitter on my irons, my irons don’t fog up, I can openly carry my irons in the rain without worrying about water pooling in them, etc.

I fully understand the benefits of red dots, the most appealing of which to me is having a very small & precise aim point at extended 30m+ distances. They are not worth the current limitations to be in a defensive context. I would like to try some USPSA Carry Optics at some point, but the iron sight divisions are more appealing to me right now.
 
Posts: 1909 | Location: 42003 | Registered: November 03, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Down the Rabbit Hole
Picture of Jupiter
posted Hide Post
Many of the comments in this thread regarding red dot sights are by gun people and experienced shooters.
To them, it's hard to think of the items below not being done.

In reality, most people who carry a gun for defensive reasons:
01. almost never master the fundamentals of iron sights.
02. almost never inspect the optic daily for lint/obstructions.
03. almost never adjust the intensity of the dot based on environment.
04. almost never change the battery at regular intervals. It will get changed when it goes dead.
05. almost never practice enough to not loose the dot when shooting from awkward positions, week handed, with a poor grip, etc..
06. almost never shoot their pistol in the rain, when fogged up, etc.. I would be willing to bet many here have not either.
07. almost never set the irons to co-witness with the dot and practice the transition.
08. almost never inspect/clean their carry guns on a regular basis.
09. almost never shoot more than a few hundred rounds a year if that much.

It would be nice if everyone trained for every possible scenario under the sun but the reality is they will not.
What limited training they get needs to be geared toward the most likely scenarios they will encounter and kept as simple as possible.
That's called playing the odds.

IMHO, Optics on pistols are great but should not be recommended for everyone.


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: 4017 | Location: North Mississippi | Registered: August 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Big Stack
posted Hide Post
As pistol optics developed, many of the manufacturers developed their own proprietary mounting footprints. This chaos led to the development of systems like Glock's MOS to allow all the various footprints to mount to one gun cut, through the use of mounting plates.

But not that the red dos are going on slim line guns (G43x/48x, P365XL, Hellcat, and now a few more), the slimline guns and optics seem to be standardizing on the JPoint/Shield RMSc footprint. This seems like a really good thing, since plates aren't necessary, there are less screws to loosen up, and the optics can be mounted lower, allowing easier cowitnessing with irons.

So should the gun and optics makers go back and figure out a standard mounting system for 1.25" wide slides. It seems it would make everyone's life easier.
 
Posts: 20408 | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Big Stack
posted Hide Post
Most people who carry guns likely don't do a lot of things that would seem to be common sense. This is just one category.

quote:
Originally posted by Jupiter:
Many of the comments in this thread regarding red dot sights are by gun people and experienced shooters.
To them, it's hard to think of the items below not being done.

In reality, most people who carry a gun for defensive reasons:
01. almost never master the fundamentals of iron sights.
02. almost never inspect the optic daily for lint/obstructions.
03. almost never adjust the intensity of the dot based on environment.
04. almost never change the battery at regular intervals. It will get changed when it goes dead.
05. almost never practice enough to not loose the dot when shooting from awkward positions, week handed, with a poor grip, etc..
06. almost never shoot their pistol in the rain, when fogged up, etc.. I would be willing to bet many here have not either.
07. almost never set the irons to co-witness with the dot and practice the transition.
08. almost never inspect/clean their carry guns on a regular basis.
09. almost never shoot more than a few hundred rounds a year if that much.

It would be nice if everyone trained for every possible scenario under the sun but the reality is they will not.
What limited training they get needs to be geared toward the most likely scenarios they will encounter and kept as simple as possible.
That's called playing the odds.

IMHO, Optics on pistols are great but should not be recommended for everyone.
 
Posts: 20408 | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Down the Rabbit Hole
Picture of Jupiter
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by BBMW:
Most people who carry guns likely don't do a lot of things that would seem to be common sense. This is just one category.

quote:
Originally posted by Jupiter:
Many of the comments in this thread regarding red dot sights are by gun people and experienced shooters.
To them, it's hard to think of the items below not being done.

In reality, most people who carry a gun for defensive reasons:
01. almost never master the fundamentals of iron sights.
02. almost never inspect the optic daily for lint/obstructions.
03. almost never adjust the intensity of the dot based on environment.
04. almost never change the battery at regular intervals. It will get changed when it goes dead.
05. almost never practice enough to not loose the dot when shooting from awkward positions, week handed, with a poor grip, etc..
06. almost never shoot their pistol in the rain, when fogged up, etc.. I would be willing to bet many here have not either.
07. almost never set the irons to co-witness with the dot and practice the transition.
08. almost never inspect/clean their carry guns on a regular basis.
09. almost never shoot more than a few hundred rounds a year if that much.

It would be nice if everyone trained for every possible scenario under the sun but the reality is they will not.
What limited training they get needs to be geared toward the most likely scenarios they will encounter and kept as simple as possible.
That's called playing the odds.

IMHO, Optics on pistols are great but should not be recommended for everyone.


Would love to hear more details.
Do you believe optics should be recommended for the average Joe?


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: 4017 | Location: North Mississippi | Registered: August 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Down the Rabbit Hole
Picture of Jupiter
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by BBMW:
As pistol optics developed, many of the manufacturers developed their own proprietary mounting footprints. This chaos led to the development of systems like Glock's MOS to allow all the various footprints to mount to one gun cut, through the use of mounting plates.

But not that the red dos are going on slim line guns (G43x/48x, P365XL, Hellcat, and now a few more), the slimline guns and optics seem to be standardizing on the JPoint/Shield RMSc footprint. This seems like a really good thing, since plates aren't necessary, there are less screws to loosen up, and the optics can be mounted lower, allowing easier cowitnessing with irons.

So should the gun and optics makers go back and figure out a standard mounting system for 1.25" wide slides. It seems it would make everyone's life easier.


It would be nice if the reticle technology Holosun and Primary Arm came up with could be shared with other Optics makers without legal implications.


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: 4017 | Location: North Mississippi | Registered: August 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Big Stack
posted Hide Post
You have to define average Joe. A beginning shooter who isn't going to spend much time learning to shoot at all? No. Then again, should they be buying a gun in the first place?

Someone who shoots regularly? Who may take a course once in a while. Who develops some knowledge of guns and related technology? Probably, at least to the point of trying it, and seeing if it works for them. They can always backtrack down to irons.

quote:
Originally posted by Jupiter:
quote:
Originally posted by BBMW:
Most people who carry guns likely don't do a lot of things that would seem to be common sense. This is just one category.

quote:
Originally posted by Jupiter:
Many of the comments in this thread regarding red dot sights are by gun people and experienced shooters.
To them, it's hard to think of the items below not being done.

In reality, most people who carry a gun for defensive reasons:
01. almost never master the fundamentals of iron sights.
02. almost never inspect the optic daily for lint/obstructions.
03. almost never adjust the intensity of the dot based on environment.
04. almost never change the battery at regular intervals. It will get changed when it goes dead.
05. almost never practice enough to not loose the dot when shooting from awkward positions, week handed, with a poor grip, etc..
06. almost never shoot their pistol in the rain, when fogged up, etc.. I would be willing to bet many here have not either.
07. almost never set the irons to co-witness with the dot and practice the transition.
08. almost never inspect/clean their carry guns on a regular basis.
09. almost never shoot more than a few hundred rounds a year if that much.

It would be nice if everyone trained for every possible scenario under the sun but the reality is they will not.
What limited training they get needs to be geared toward the most likely scenarios they will encounter and kept as simple as possible.
That's called playing the odds.

IMHO, Optics on pistols are great but should not be recommended for everyone.


Would love to hear more details.
Do you believe optics should be recommended for the average Joe?
 
Posts: 20408 | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Down the Rabbit Hole
Picture of Jupiter
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by BBMW:
You have to define average Joe.


Someone who shoots hundreds rounds a year or less. The vast majority of the country.
Sadly.... many in L.E. Smile


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: 4017 | Location: North Mississippi | Registered: August 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
My secretary, a woman in her late 30s - early 40s, went to Frontsight earlier this year. She went because
- her husband wanted to;
- they wanted to make a family thing so actually four of them went;
- they got in either cheap or for free.

They all went with RDS enabled guns. To make it clearer how little she had to do with guns before that, she spent the first day of a four day class on the line crying. By the end of it all, she was shooting clean hostage-taker target shots, with a name of her husband written over hostage silhouette.

Her chance of getting at that level of consistency and accuracy with irons in a span of three days is next to nothing. This is a sentiment that goes back 10+ years when Gabe Suarez said he would get a person who couldn't hit anything worth a damn with irons to ring torso sized steel all day long with a dot.

I would absolutely NOT make any recommendations for or against RDS for low level / "average Joe" shooters. Some of them are hopeless with irons anyway so, for all the difficulties that involve RDS, those people may still better off with a dot. I'd let them decide on their own, without any active recommendations on my part.

Few comments on stuff I read on previous pages but didn't care to reply in a standalone post:

- RDS doesn't insure that gun is held on target, but neither do the irons so I am not sure what that post was about.
- A chevron on that Vulcan RDS makes it a useless sight for me.
 
Posts: 408 | Registered: April 03, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Down the Rabbit Hole
Picture of Jupiter
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by YVK:
My secretary, a woman in her late 30s - early 40s, went to Frontsight earlier this year. She went because
- her husband wanted to;
- they wanted to make a family thing so actually four of them went;
- they got in either cheap or for free.



Sounds like she's one of the more fortunate ones to have a husband dialed in enough to take her to a world class shooting facility.
It be great if everyone could do that.


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: 4017 | Location: North Mississippi | Registered: August 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of RichardC
posted Hide Post
Once again, that red.dot gets lost in the early morning sun glare and, well, maybe behind the soot smudges I should have cleaned off the glass after the last time.

And from low ready start no less, Burris FastFire on .22 pistol.
If this were real life self defense with a centerfire and real aggressors, I'd be swiss cheesed full of sideways Glock fotay cailber perforations.


My friends, said, oh RED dot, no one can see a RED dot in the sun. Get a GREEN one.

*headslap* I've been doing it wrong.

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


_____________________
 
Posts: 12992 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I can see it both ways..

First I fall back on never trust your life to electronics... they will fail at the wrong time.

but then the other side of the coin is that most likely in a real defensive situation where nano seconds count a person is not going to be using the iron sights either....
 
Posts: 2547 | Location: Greenville, SC | Registered: January 30, 2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted Hide Post
Rereading the comments by Jupiter about maintenance and related issues pertaining to optical sights on handguns brought to mind some thoughts I’ve long had about law enforcement use of such sights. It would be interesting to know how many LE agencies are adopting optical sights as standard equipment for all officers (not just the special teams, etc.). Is it just (so far) a few agencies manned by enthusiastic true believers in the administration and/or training staff? Or because at least in part due to all the advertising depicting self-defense weapons equipped with optical sights and, “I saw … we should …,” is it becoming the latest Thing to Do?

It’s one thing when an officer who is very interested in guns and shooting and has a dedicated, conscientious attitude to ensuring his weapons are properly maintained. It’s another, though, when someone leaves the agency and turns in a pistol whose night sights are so covered in dirt that they’re invisible in the dark and his magazines are full of dust and debris in addition to the ammunition. What will his optical sight with its huge catch basin for everything from fast food residues to the hair from his K9 look like after three months of being ignored?

I won’t respond or try to anticipate the inevitable objections and rationalizations that will be offered up in reaction to my questions (some of which might even be valid), but it is something I will be curious to monitor in the future.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 44293 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of powermad
posted Hide Post
quote:
It’s one thing when an officer who is very interested in guns and shooting and has a dedicated, conscientious attitude to ensuring his weapons are properly maintained. It’s another, though, when someone leaves the agency and turns in a pistol whose night sights are so covered in dirt that they’re invisible in the dark and his magazines are full of dust and debris in addition to the ammunition. What will his optical sight with its huge catch basin for everything from fast food residues to the hair from his K9 look like after three months of being ignored?


From my small sample of Police trade in guns I would have to say that's not far off the mark.
 
Posts: 799 | Location: Portland Oregon | Registered: October 01, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
Rereading the comments by Jupiter about maintenance and related issues pertaining to optical sights on handguns brought to mind some thoughts I’ve long had about law enforcement use of such sights. It would be interesting to know how many LE agencies are adopting optical sights as standard equipment for all officers (not just the special teams, etc.). Is it just (so far) a few agencies manned by enthusiastic true believers in the administration and/or training staff? Or because at least in part due to all the advertising depicting self-defense weapons equipped with optical sights and, “I saw … we should …,” is it becoming the latest Thing to Do?

It’s one thing when an officer who is very interested in guns and shooting and has a dedicated, conscientious attitude to ensuring his weapons are properly maintained. It’s another, though, when someone leaves the agency and turns in a pistol whose night sights are so covered in dirt that they’re invisible in the dark and his magazines are full of dust and debris in addition to the ammunition. What will his optical sight with its huge catch basin for everything from fast food residues to the hair from his K9 look like after three months of being ignored?

I won’t respond or try to anticipate the inevitable objections and rationalizations that will be offered up in reaction to my questions (some of which might even be valid), but it is something I will be curious to monitor in the future.


The second largest municipality in my county is switching to all red dot duty pistols (likely Gen 5 Glock 17 MOS) for their patrol officers, and the large county agency to the south of us is in the final stages of that same process (unsure what platform(s) they are allowing their Deputies to carry).

Some (but not all) members on our inter-agency SWAT team have been carrying the Glock 17/RMR setup for a few years now, so we have a mix of irons and dots.

Word is our county is going to T&E dots on duty pistols and I hope to be part of that process. I anticipate it being a benefit to a great many of our members, and I look forward to being part of that transition. I have tried to get ahead of this and have transitioned to the RMR/RMRcc on three of my personal pistols so I'm not caught behind the dot learning curve.


________________
tempus edax rerum
 
Posts: 1227 | Location: Oregon | Registered: March 18, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
Rereading the comments by Jupiter about maintenance and related issues pertaining to optical sights on handguns brought to mind some thoughts I’ve long had about law enforcement use of such sights. It would be interesting to know how many LE agencies are adopting optical sights as standard equipment for all officers (not just the special teams, etc.). Is it just (so far) a few agencies manned by enthusiastic true believers in the administration and/or training staff? Or because at least in part due to all the advertising depicting self-defense weapons equipped with optical sights and, “I saw … we should …,” is it becoming the latest Thing to Do?

It’s one thing when an officer who is very interested in guns and shooting and has a dedicated, conscientious attitude to ensuring his weapons are properly maintained. It’s another, though, when someone leaves the agency and turns in a pistol whose night sights are so covered in dirt that they’re invisible in the dark and his magazines are full of dust and debris in addition to the ammunition. What will his optical sight with its huge catch basin for everything from fast food residues to the hair from his K9 look like after three months of being ignored?

I won’t respond or try to anticipate the inevitable objections and rationalizations that will be offered up in reaction to my questions (some of which might even be valid), but it is something I will be curious to monitor in the future.


In general, it's well underway. I recall an article from a couple years ago where Houston PD was issuing Glocks with RMRs to new hires and essentially teaching a "dot first" plan. Phoenix PD allows officers to buy optics pistols and attend a transition course. Adoption is brisk. LA County SO has a strong optics program. I believe Idaho State Police is issuing a Glock with a 508T. That's pretty big...state agencies often seem slowest to move.

I would say if you work somewhere with over 500 officers, you've got a program either going or in the works. On the other end of the spectrum in the very small agencies, there is often little policy or guidance so you see it there. In the vast middle of agencies (I'll say from 20 all the way to 500 cops) it depends right now. It catches like wildfire, though. One department in an area (usually one of the larger ones) will put a program together and that will drive the smaller ones to do it, too. I have seen that across my state in the last couple years.

As far as universal issue, most agencies aren't there yet. Cost is a big factor, training time is another, increased care and maintenance are not to be discounted. It's also a weird time in law enforcement firearms where the switch to 9mm is largely underway so there are a lot of departments that just bought guns and may be several years from buying again while others are navigating a caliber change along with ammo scarcity issues and adding optics may just be a bridge too far. Many agencies are also hesitant to authorize slide milling, so that complicates things if you're not getting new guns.

I can tell you that our discussions at my department have not included any thought of universal issue, but we've pretty well accepted that we'll buy optics ready guns next time around to make it easier. Right now if you want to participate, you're buying EVERYTHING, and that's a big barrier to entry to some. We do allow milled slides, as well.
 
Posts: 4162 | Location: Iowa | Registered: February 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
posted Hide Post
I think probably at some point, I’ll end up trying it out, but it isn’t in the budget right at the moment and therefore isn’t a pressing issue. I do think there’s probably a lot of benefit to be gained, but it will also likely need a lot of practice to get to the point where I’d see such benefits. Anyways, that’s my thinking and why I voted “maybe.”

I’m here to learn.


______________________________________________
I believe in the 25th amendment.
 
Posts: 13611 | Location: Seattle-ish | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by dehughes:
I have tried to get ahead of this ....


One of the best ways to justify new stuff. Wink

Thanks to you and DaBigBR for your insights and comments. Good information.

No one in my agency has raised the issue of optics on handguns yet, but I assume it's inevitable. I have no personal interest in optics on my handguns, though, and am not sure how I would handle the training. I have believed for the 60 or so years that I've considered the issue that LE officers should be able to carry the guns they want on duty (within reason), but this would be a difficult transition to get behind.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 44293 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigforum K9 handler
Picture of jljones
posted Hide Post
I posted early in this thread. And deleted it because of the inevitable.

And it has not disappointed.

No matter the arguments about skill, lowest common denominator cops, or other illogical straw man arguments, pistol optics are here to stay. It’s not new, or even original. We saw every bit of it 15 or so years ago when optics on rifles went mainstream. The neighsayers predicted the end of the world then with the same musings. The streets never ran red with that predicted blood. Cops that were crappy cops before optics were crappy cops after optics.

Within the next 12-24 months, you’ll be hard pressed to find a federal agent without a MRDS. Local and state agencies are going to follow. The disadvantages are few, and the advantages are many. The FAMS, DEA, ATF, ICE, CBP are all on that road currently. Many state and local agencies are fielding them in limited numbers.


They are here to stay.




www.opspectraining.com

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



 
Posts: 35403 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I'm the lowest common denominator, and have irons on what I carry. I use irons because they're less bulky, less expensive, snag less, are pretty foolproof, and and don't snag as much because they're less bulky, and they don't cost as much. Plus, they're pretty foolproof.

Aside from being mostly deaf, I'm headed toward being mostly blind, have no technological or innovative bone in what's left of my failing body, and adapt to new things about the same as I adapt to passing effortlessly through a brick wall. But mostly I'm cheap.

So I have iron sights. I like those.
 
Posts: 6253 | Registered: September 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  
 

SIGforum.com    Main Page  Hop To Forum Categories  SIG Pistols    Optics vs Iron Sights on Defensive Pistols

© SIGforum 2021