Sighting Systems on Home Defense guns


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Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 23, 2008, 10:23 AM
Which describes your philosophy on sights for a home defense handgun, rifle, or shotgun? See Poll.

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Leitmotif
September 23, 2008, 10:41 AM
At home defense ranges if you can't hit with iron sights then you're probably rattled enough that optics wouldn't matter. You'll probably be fastest with whatever configuration you practise most in, though.

Thinking of getting a rail light for my UspC. Probably have to practise a bit with that too.

M203Sniper
September 23, 2008, 10:41 AM
Irons or No-Battery 1X Optics only, such as reflex sights using ambient light/tritium

and lasers everything is better with lasers.


I could justify putting batteries in a flashlight or laser but not optics, even if I took it to the range twice a month (Which I don't) to function check it.

M2 Carbine
September 23, 2008, 10:49 AM
I voted "other" because all my defense guns are equipped with (good) lasers (if available).

Even better than just the laser for the HD gun is the laser/light like the Streamlight TLR-2.

rfurtkamp
September 23, 2008, 10:58 AM
Primary bedside handgun has Crimson Trace grips and Trijicons.

Rifle has front sight post tritium.

Not a fan of the shotgun for HD.

DigitalWarrior
September 23, 2008, 11:00 AM
I used to worship at the altar of iron sights. I tried Crimson Trace lasergrips on my pistol and I will never again own a handgun I could conceivably use for self defense without lasergrips.

I have not yet tried red dot optics on a rifle, but after my experience with CT, I will probably like it, so long as I can use iron without adjusting as a backup.

Maelstrom
September 23, 2008, 11:03 AM
I use iron sights on my rifle which co-witness a 1X Aimpoint red dot as well.

Of course with the Aimpoint you can turn it on and come back five years later and it'll still be on. I leave it off, though.

bnkrazy
September 23, 2008, 11:04 AM
I have CT lasergrips on my 229 nightstand gun. I won't have a nightstand pistol without them. Much, much faster target acquisition in low light.

gotime242
September 23, 2008, 11:06 AM
Depends on what i grab.

Pistol - Irons

Shotgun - Probably wont look through anything.

Ar15 - It it makes it to this point they are a tad bit further away than i would like, and would most want to use my Bushnell Trophy MP Red dot.

Loosedhorse
September 23, 2008, 11:09 AM
Handgun: tritium open sights backing up laser/flashlight on rail

Long gun: tritium and flashlight (attached). Laser would be fine, too--but on a long gun, I find the sight radius is conducive to accuracy without laser, and "intimidation" factor is not lacking, so laser adds little.

RobNDenver
September 23, 2008, 11:15 AM
I am surprised that you didn't mention lasers. Both my HD pistols have laser grips, my shotgun has a forearm activated bright white light. I have a Surefire 6P next to my nightstand where the pistols are kept.

3KillerBs
September 23, 2008, 11:23 AM
I can't say that I have any particular philosophy on sights.

My 40+yo eyes aren't so great with plain iron sights anymore so I like the various sorts of high-visibility sights.

Lasers sound like a good idea as long as you don't rely on them as a crutch instead of learning to shoot well.

I've only ever used a rifle with a scope once and I've never used a handgun with a scope but it seems that the tight, little field of vision would restrict your target acquisition speed so I don't see that as being as desirable for home defense as for bullseye shooting.

But my carry gun will be a Taurus 85 revolver, which has essentially no sights, so it will be point shooting by default unless I have time to retrieve something else.

M2 Carbine
September 23, 2008, 11:25 AM
Note to you shooters using (any brand) lasers.
Call Crimson Trace and ask for their free catalog and DVD "Shots in the Dark".

The DVD is a must see for all laser users.

M2 Carbine
September 23, 2008, 11:30 AM
My 40+yo eyes aren't so great with plain iron sights anymore so I like the various sorts of high-visibility sights.

Lasers sound like a good idea as long as you don't rely on them as a crutch instead of learning to shoot well.

Even with my 70 year old eyes I can still shoot fair without glasses using the (Crimson Trace) laser.:)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/CTLaser38noglasses.jpg

ctdonath
September 23, 2008, 11:46 AM
I think a distinction should be made between battery-operated sights which need be switched on prior to immediate use (one more thing to fumble with under extreme distress), vs. those that can be left on for years (grab and go, it's already on).

OOOXOOO
September 23, 2008, 11:56 AM
I use a Glock 19 with trijicon tritium night sights and a crimson trace laser grip.

3KillerBs
September 23, 2008, 12:02 PM
Quote:
My 40+yo eyes aren't so great with plain iron sights anymore so I like the various sorts of high-visibility sights.

Lasers sound like a good idea as long as you don't rely on them as a crutch instead of learning to shoot well.
Even with my 70 year old eyes I can still shoot fair without glasses using the (Crimson Trace) laser.



That target is a convincing argument in favor of lasers for anyone with compromised eyesight.

I hope that you understand my concern is for those who use lasers as a lazy-man's substitute for putting in the time and effort to learn marksmanship in the first place rather than as an enhancement in less than favorable conditions. :)

On the same principle as teaching children long-division even though they'll probably use a calculator all the time as adults.

DoubleTapDrew
September 23, 2008, 12:08 PM
I used to think those night sights and lasers were more gimmicky than useful until I tried them vs. standard sights, no laser in low light. It makes a noticeable difference in speed and accuracy for me. I wouldnít call them a necessity, and you can certainly do the job without them at HD distances, especially if you are so well trained with that particular firearm that itís a natural extension of your body and can hit where you want without using the sights at all (while experiencing an adrenaline dump).
But there arenít any rules against them and there is no second place when your familyís life is at stake so itís worth it to give them a shot. You can always sell your night sights or laser if it doesnít give you any benefits (or you can toss it in that box of failed CCW holsters and off-brand magazines :p).
Call Crimson Trace and ask for their free catalog and DVD "Shots in the Dark".

The DVD is a must see for all laser users.
+1, excellent vid. I had no idea there was so much to consider when using them.

VARifleman
September 23, 2008, 12:08 PM
Pistol...TLR-1 Fiber Optic front solid rear
Shotgun...TLR-1 Rifle Sighted barrel
Rifle...Aimpoint Comp M with Detectable A2 rear and fixed A2 front.

Dgreno
September 23, 2008, 12:10 PM
I have an EOTech 511 on my Mossberg 500 that is my primary HD piece.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 23, 2008, 12:32 PM
Guys, if you have a laser AND iron sights, then vote Iron Sights, NOT "Other". The Iron sights option does NOT preclude also having a laser as a secondary/backup. I'm talking solely about your primary sighting system. And Iron Sights with tritium or fiber optics are STILL iron/mechanical sights. I have to add "mechanical" for the cheaply made junk out there (*coughglockcough*).

Dang it, I knew I should not have put an "Other" choice in the poll. :banghead:

And I change up the home defense gun choice from time to time, and right now it's all iron sights, on pistol, rifle, and shotgun. But previously I used an Armson OEG on the shotgun (which is a 1X, no-battery sight) - it was lightning fast, but I sold that shotgun with the OEG on top.

geekWithA.45
September 23, 2008, 01:44 PM
IMO: The requirements for sights for home defense handguns are the same as for a carry gun: simple, iron, and with a provision for low light shooting, either in the form of a laser or tritium.

Fighting rifles need some deeper though. In general, you need good irons sights, because even military hard glass breaks or gets knocked out of alignment.

You also need some sort of robust red dot or low magnification optic.

M2 Carbine
September 23, 2008, 02:10 PM
3KillerBs
I hope that you understand my concern is for those who use lasers as a lazy-man's substitute for putting in the time and effort to learn marksmanship in the first place rather than as an enhancement in less than favorable conditions.
Agreed.
At present I'm teaching four ladies to shoot.
I have let them shoot with lasers one time and I told them I would teach them how to use the laser AFTER they are proficient with iron sights.

This is interesting.
On only the third day these ladies shot, I let them shoot my laser equipped Ruger Mark II at the BG's head of a hostage target (about 9 yards).
None of the ladies missed the BG's head. So I told one lady, "Shoot the gun out of the BG's hand" (using the laser).
Can you believe this from a person that's only shot a pistol for the third day and the just the second magazine using the laser.:D
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/Hostagegunhandshoot.jpg


Guys, if you have a laser AND iron sights, then vote Iron Sights, NOT "Other". The Iron sights option does NOT preclude also having a laser as a secondary/backup.

All my (HD) guns have iron sights AND lasers. I use iron sights in daylight and only count on the lasers in low light and maybe indoors.
But considering that it's said that 70% of defense shootings take place in low light or darkness I consider the laser to be the primary sighting system and the iron sights or night sights to be the backup.

Old Grump
September 23, 2008, 02:48 PM
Voted iron because I am a dinosaur and I shoot what I am trained for and am used to. I have no objection to lights and lasers but anything you have to turn on is another step in a stress situation that I would prefer not to have to do.

Wes Janson
September 23, 2008, 02:53 PM
Voted 1X optical sights....my carbine has an Aimpoint Micro set on 8. Hopefully in a few months I'll have some good iron sights, but until then the red dot does just fine. Any sort of in-home situation would involve instinct shooting anyways.

elChupacabra!
September 23, 2008, 02:57 PM
I voted Irons because it was the closest choice, but I don't agree that ONLY irons belong on an HD gun.

I have a flashlight under both my HD 1911 and Benelli Nova Special Purpose, and ghost ring sights on the 'gauge.

As for Optics, I have both a magnified scope (Burris FullField II) and red dot optic (Burris FastFire) mounted together (fastfire piggybacks the scope) on my AR, but it's a 20" so I don't really consider it an "HD" piece.

However, if I found it in my hands, needing to defend my home, I wouldn't stop to take the scope off and flip up the Irons.

I mainly just don't have any good optics FOR my shotgun (and don't really believe in them for fighting pistols).

Just my $0.03 :)

Larry E
September 23, 2008, 02:59 PM
Light and laser, ya can't hit what ya can't see. But a good one not a cheap import and with top quality batteries. :uhoh:

Texpatriate
September 23, 2008, 03:02 PM
Bedside P229R: Tritium night sights and Crimson Trace laser grips. I'd like to have a rail mountable light to put on it one day as well, but we're not quite there yet.

AR-15: Eotech 512 and Tritium front sight post.

AlaskaErik
September 23, 2008, 03:31 PM
Iron/Mechanical Sights Only. Optics have no place on home defense weaponry.


This is a loaded statement. I have only iron sights on my AR-15 and my Mossberg 500. But that second sentence should never have been added on. I'm not saying that optics do or don't have a place on home defense weaponry. That's a personal choice for everyone to make based on the particulars of their situation. My two aforementioned weapons are strictly for SHTF scenarios. So not investing in optics is a no-brainer for me. Add in the fact that my neighborhood is comprised of heavily wooded one acre lots and optics make no sense in my case, since shooting distances would be at very close range. So, no optics for me, but I won't second guess some else's decision to use them.

OregonJohnny
September 23, 2008, 04:18 PM
In my townhome, no self-defense shot I would take could possibly be over 6 or 7 yards. And most likely, more like 3 or 4 yards. I see no reason why iron sights, factory Novak white dots, or the bead on the front of my 870 wouldn't be enough at these distances. If I lived in a large, open floorplan sprawling home on a large piece of property, I could see more uses for a rifle or carbine with optics.

glockman19
September 23, 2008, 04:40 PM
I choose other because on my home defense guns only have night sights. One of my Self Defens guns a S&W 642 has lazer Grips. I don't see a need for them in most situations.

alsask
April 26, 2011, 08:32 PM
If you expect the intruder to be armed the last thing you want is to have a flashlight revealing your location.

Larry Ashcraft
April 26, 2011, 08:44 PM
This thread is 2 1/2 years old, and the horse has been dead longer than that.

If you enjoyed reading about "Sighting Systems on Home Defense guns" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!