Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by upptick, Sep 15, 2022.
RDS seems "a bit too much" for practically halitosis-range defensive shooting.
The one mugger close in vs. the more intensive in terms of number and distance incident (of lower probability) is an old debate that breaks out all the time. It is the user's choice of what to prepare for. I say - both. However, the classic is to assume the most likely ALWAYS happens and mock those who contemplate the more extreme scenario.
But you have to train up on the RDS. Like with anything.
This almost makes a case for not having sights at all!
I personally switched to a red dot largely because of the increasing number of mass shootings in public, which seem to significantly increase the possibility of taking a shot at longer than "normal" defensive distances. I am significantly faster on the "Dicken drill" - named after Eli Dicken of the 40 yard Greenwood Mall shooting - with a dot, and so far have not noticed the gun hanging up more during the draw.
I dropped that idea and went with night sights backed by an internal recoil-rod laser.
I figure, if things have gone so poorly that my only option is to draw and fire, Murphy has already had his filthy way and I won't have time to aim anyway, and I'd probably snag the sight on something.
sure, if you do have time to actually acquire your sights... a red dot is easier.
Especially bad is the idea that you don't need it because you'll just point-shoot anyway. If that was the case, why have sights at all? Sights give you options for more precise shooting at more ranges than no sights, and a pistol optic does the same. This is the same argument about J-frame revolvers because "defensive shootings are over in three shots or less from three feet away or less in three seconds or less anyway." Maybe that's the average. Maybe it's not, since there's no reliable source of statistically significant data about the technical aspects of defensive shootings. So it could just be urban legend among concealed carriers. But if you find yourself in a defensive shooting situation, by definition you'll be outside the 'average' situation, so I would want to rely as little as possible on 'averages' at that point.
I you are good with an optic, have it, but for a purely SD purpose, point shooting should be practiced also.
FWIW, some ammo might not function as you think with one handed shooting.
In 10 years, and assuming we can still own and carry firearms, red dots or some form of optic will be the rule, not the exception.
I’ve embraced them because they make me a much more accurate shooter. With proper training, my speed with and without a red dot is about the same, but my hits are much better.
Folks can certainly have a different opinion, but I saw my 78 year old shooting mate’s love for handguns reignited when I put red dot sights on his pistols and he started shooting bullseyes again.
Here is what I recommend. Get yourself a cheap red dot capable gun and try it out. To make it as scientific as possible, get something the same or similar to what you already carry. Example, if you carry a Glock get a Glock MOS or M&P get a CORE model. And give it an honest try. Allow yourself to get used to a red dot because you do have to change your point of presentation compared to iron sights. Then run some accuracy and speed drills. Vast majority of people I run through this course, even novice shooters, shoot faster with a red dot than without.
The vast majority of trainers advocate using sights with the caveat of retention position usage for close up and entangled.
I shoot well with three dots but working on an RDS now as my old eyes are, well, old eyes. NO sights - nope - stupid.
From a defensive perspective, yes there is index/retention shooting (entangled gunfighting) and gross sight picture based on distance to the target. I know at 3-5 yards if the back of my slide is on target, I will have an acceptable hit. At a bit over 5 yards I know that I can look at just the front sight and not worry about lining up the rear sight perfectly and still get an acceptable hit (same thing for a red dot, just using the frame of the window). But if your plan is to just not look at the sights because “that’s what happens in a defensive shooting anyway”, I think that’s more of a training problem.
And you do have to practice with a red dot. ESPECIALLY if you have many years and thousands of rounds of practice with irons and you intuitively focus on the front sight when you draw. It is a bit of a learning curve, but once you get used to focusing on the target and bringing the red dot up into your view, you’ll see your groups shrink and your speed increase.
Outside of my anecdotal evidence, you should review the Sage Dynamics white paper on red dots for duty handgun use.
Pay attention to the force on force section (starting on page 44) where they compare irons vs red dots. Or if you don’t feel like reading, just look at the hit map comparison showing where the rounds landed on the body. Iron sight results are page 55, red dot results are page 56.
In short, under realistic force on force scenarios, shooters using red dots made more hits, but also significantly better hits. This is particularly evident when looking at a target presenting their side rather than their chest. You have much better groupings (across multiple shooters) in the heart and head with the red dot while it appears that most shots to the side with irons ended up in the abdomen.
A person has to find what worst best for them, and do that. Their identical twin might be better suited with something completely different.
Different is not "wrong," it's just different.
Some people will ankle carry a 44 snubbie; that's different from toting an LCP; which is not the same as a 1911 in any of its sizes.
Goldilocks could be a redhead after all.
Yes, they're absolutely necessary. For the people that use them, train with them and are infinitely familiar and comfortable using them on defensive pistols. That's what theyre accustomed to so that's what they need.
For those that aren't so well versed, no....they're not necessary and could well be every detriment you outlined.
Actually, it was the section in the Sage Dynamics white paper that got me thinking about whether Red Dots were appropriate for purely defensive handguns in particular. On pages 28-29, there are survey results from cops who were asked to recall whether they stopped to get a proper sight picture on targets within 15 feet and most said they either had not or couldn't remember. That seems to either indicate the cops were automatically and robotically able to get a sight picture, or they just didn't bother with it which is what I suspect is the case but I frankly have no way of knowing one way or the other.
I always practice shooting one-handed, with either hand.
I don't even really want a safety on my edc and I sure don't want a red dot.
Then again, maybe the bad guys will wait for me to turn it on and get a sight picture before they attack, or if I've left it on, maybe the battery hasn't died while it was in the holster..
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