Handgun optics for CCW

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by .38 Special, Aug 3, 2022.

  1. Nuke8401

    Nuke8401 Member

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    Thanks Styx.
    After shooting my 1st gen M&P with a DeltaPoint Pro Micro side by side with my iron sighted G34 (my competition gun from back in the day) it became immediately apparent the advantage for me was the ability to see the dot with or without glasses. My current vision allows me to see my front sight very clearly with pretty good distance vision. Another goal of mine is to improve my distance shooting ability. With a dot, sight radius is taken out of the equation which removes that negative from smaller guns. Concerning distance, I don't believe the DOTs are truly parallax free and adjusting the front sight to line up just under the dot allows it to be used to ensure you are centered/consistent just like a cheek weld on a rifle.
    This guy (Tactical Rifleman) has some good info on shooting distance with a RDO pistol if you are interested.
    Shooting IDPA and especially 3-gun changed my accuracy expectations for me and my weapons.
    - All my guns are more accurate than I am except my Mini-30 LOL.

    We all have different priorities.
    Thanks,
     
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  2. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    You just have to jump in and try it. Way too personal, for us to give advice. Itll either work for you, or it wont.

    But dont bother, if you dont have a shot timer and an objective mind for honest testing. In fact, if you arent willing to shoot the piss out of it in USPSA carry optic division, I'd recommend against it. The red dot requires a ton of practice to master. And to stay proficient with. Static slow range practice, ain't going to get it done.

    For me:
    - to heck with BUIS. They just clutter the sight picture, hang up on my holster or carry garment. I'd take my chances with just point shooting if the dot fails.

    -higher mounting is better. The direct mount cut pistols sure do look clean, but the plate mount pistols shoot better.

    -first aimed shot from the draw is more challenging. I hope you like dry fire holster drills, because that's all you'll be doing this year. After one million draws, you should be proficient. Lol.

    -non-reciprocating sights are superior. Carry optic might be beating production division. But Open smokes both.

    -grip strength and recoil control are absolutely critical. If the dot leaves the window.........game over.

    So bottom line for me, until non reciprocating small dots are common place, like on an Alien, I'm not willing to invest in this yet. The tech is sound, but needs to evolve more. We need pistols designed around this new tech. Not olde pistols with a dot sight glued on top.
     
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  3. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    I don’t compete but it only took me a weekend and a few thousand draws (with an ITarget pro) to refine my grip and get on target (3” at 7-10 yards) at my usual iron sights pace. Only took a few range trips after to see times in my FAST or Bill (or whichever random thing I made up) back to my average or slightly better.

    Easier for me to get on target quick and transition with the dot though, and I always figure easier is better.
     
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  4. Styx

    Styx Member

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    Same here. I can see how a frame mounted optic would be better, but when it comes to slide mounted optic vs iron sights, I can not see how an optic would be worse than irons...

    The real difference is I think most have more effort and experience with irons. They then go briefly try red dots, and then come away with the opinion that irons are better because they were just as good or better with irons. In reality, if they put the same effort, training, and amount of experience with red dots, the difference would be clear.

    It takes pratice, training, and/or competiting with irons to become efficient and stay efficient. The same is true for red dots and most things in life, yet some single out red dots as if they have a monopoly on having a learning curve and needing training to become efficient with.
     
  5. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Agree. Was guilty of that myself after I rented a dot equipped gun for one range session and didn’t do well. Wrote them off for a while until I ended up with a good deal for a Glock MOS and decided to buy a vortex and learn it. Ultimately the vortex led to what I like and I’m happy.
     
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  6. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    As above, plenty of manufacturers will cut holsters to suit, and exactly, too.
    20220621_201836.png
    But, as with all things involving Carry, there is no one "right" answer.
    Any more than there is one perfect car for everyone.
    YMMV
     
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  7. westernrover

    westernrover Member

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    I shoot better at all ranges with a mini reflex site. I've tested it extensively, back-to-back with otherwise identical guns, and through many drills and even multi-day classes. I'm not a bad or poorly-trained shooter at all. I'm not missing something where the reflex site is serving as a crutch. It is just flat out a better site for me under all circumstances where the sites are used.

    I know historically there has been some debate about whether the sites are useful at all in a "real" defensive shooting. The argument that defensive shootings are "likely" to be at close range and therefore inferior sights are preferable doesn't make sense. If you believe that sites are useful at all, then it should be obvious that a good site is better than crummy a one. I have never used adjustable notch-and-blade sites of any type on a handgun that could even come close to the optical ones in visibility, precision, speed, ease of acquisition, and target-focus. For me, they're a huge advantage that I'm not willing to go without. I wasn't always convinced of this, and I tried extensively to prove otherwise -- so I would not have to carry a big red dot or suffer its 'tacticool' aesthetic which is totally incongruous with many other things I do. Bottom line is I cannot justify not having it.

    I carry and recommend the Trijicon SRO. The RMR is demonstratably tougher and better at surviving drops, but has a smaller site window. I'm not willing to sake performance for a "what if" contingency -- if I drop the gun, the site could break, but that doesn't mean I can no longer aim the gun. I do not have back-up irons -- again, I opt for the performance of an uncluttered site picture rather than taking a penalty for a "what if." BUIS could make sense on some rifles, but a handgun can be aimed effectively without sites and it can be point-shot.

    I have used a dozen different high-end mini red dots: Trijicon, Aimpoint, Leupold, Burris, Vortex, Holosun, Crimson T, Sig, etc. etc. The only good ones I have not used are the Steiner and C-More. I know I'm not the only one though. There's plenty of gun-writer reviews out there that evaluate the top-10 or whatever. Also, I have not tried any of the sub-compact sites for the tiny pistols like shield, 365, 43 etc. If I were buying for myself, the SRO would be my top pick and the ACRO would be the second.

    I might even choose a gun around the site. It's that important to me. I would certainly not consider a gun for carry that would not accept one. I've also found the grip is critical to red-dot acquisition. With the right grip, I never miss the dot. With the wrong grips, I end up wiggling the gun around looking for the dot. This is why I would strongly advise to try gun and dot combinations. I don't want to re-train my grip. I expect easy dot acquisition from the get-go. Personally, I use an L-frame Smith with Hogue no-finger-groove grips. I'm not going to recommend pistol and dot combos, but do recognize the ergos are very different between a Sig/Romeo or 1911/DeltaPoint combo and a Glock/RMR. Find what works for you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2022
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  8. Nuke8401

    Nuke8401 Member

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    My thoughts on RDO mounting height and co-witness sights-carry guns.
    - RDO mounting height- lower/closer to the original sight height is better. It allows almost no change in pistol presentation. It also allows the use of standard height front (and if you choose rear) sights if you want to co-witness so the snagging issue of tall/suppressor sights needed with a plate mount is a non-issue.
    - In my opinion, a carry gun and a competition setup are much different = apples/oranges.
    Before mounting the Leupold DeltPoint Pro Micro on my M&P I had a Burris FastFire 3 on an MGW Dovetail plate to experiment since I already had the Burris. Because of the extra height of the dovetail mount/plate the pistol presentation was much different and would have required me to relearn my draw/presentation/natural point of aim. The DeltaPoint Micro being at the original sight height is almost as natural as using the original irons.
    My experience comparing these two setups made it clear to me I want a RDO mounted as low/as close as possible to the original sight plane as possible=cut slide with RDO mounted without a plate.
    I try to keep an open mind to new gear and as a life long iron sight guy who competed with irons, my very short experience with the DeltaPoint Micro showed me handgun RDOs are a no brainer for me.
    CO-witness sights are a personal choice. I realize the odds of a RDO failure during a defensive situation are lower than me getting into a defensive situation in the first place. But since standard height sights don't have a downside I want them.

    I see a Optics Ready Shield Plus in my future with an RDO.
    In the world of "data" my opinions are like everyone else's and are just one drop of water in a big ocean.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2022
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  9. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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    A friend went down this path…one key bit of advice from him…red dots collect dust bunnies. Plan periodic cleaning as part of normal maintenance….
     
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  10. shafter

    shafter Member

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  11. westernrover

    westernrover Member

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    Get one of these:

    71-T13Gcf-L._AC_SY879_.jpg

    It's a Giottos Rocket Air Blaster. I keep one next to my handgun safe (the one by my bedside). So when I holster or unholster the gun at the beginning or end of the day, I can puff any dust off the glass and out of the diode. I also have another one of these on the cleaning bench and I use them for my cameras too.

    Also, on the cleaning bench, I have a little hood for my mini reflex site. It's a plastic cover that someone 3D printed. I don't know why Trijicon doesn't include injection molded covers with their product or at least sell them as an accessory, but I found an aftermarket one. Before that, I would wrap the reflex site with plastic (food) wrap when I was cleaning the gun. It just keeps oil, solvent, and gunk off the glass and out of the diode and crevices.

    RP-SRO-SC_1__83745.1584021648.jpg

    Nowadays, there are jelly cases and steel framed protectors on the aftermarket for the red dot sites. These are meant to be kept on the gun to protect the site like a cell-phone case. I don't use those -- just a full coverage hood when cleaning. It stays on the bench.

    Had my SRO EDC since 2019 FWIW.
     
  12. shafter

    shafter Member

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  13. bangswitch

    bangswitch Member

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    I've never liked optics of any kind on a handgun; just old-fashioned, I guess. I practice instinctive shooting out to 25 yards, and can put everything in body mass; all that's necessary, I feel, for defensive shooting.
     
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  14. bangswitch

    bangswitch Member

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    Good to know the name of that thing and what it's for. I saw something similar in the treatment room at my proctologist's office, but I believe his has a slightly different use. :eek::D
     
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  15. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Thanks all for the replies so far.

    Just for what it's worth, decades ago I competed in NRA Action/Bianchi Cup with a very early red dot in a tube, and found that it was faster than irons at close range. I wasn't any more accurate with it at longer range (50+ yards) but even then it was still a little faster.

    The real consideration is that I may be going to gun with a fairly short sight radius, and that really screws up my ability to hit, especially beyond 25 yards - and one of the things which is prompting a radical change in my CCW gun is this new trend of people showing up at the mall with a rifle. I want to be able to make hits beyond the "usual" handgun range, and if I end up switching to a smaller auto then the dot may be a necessary addition.

    The bottom line is that I still haven't got my thoughts together and this thread is really helping.
     
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  16. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I was reluctant to switch over to pistol optics for years until I tried them. Now I prefer an optic over irons sights only. Having iron sights tall enough for a 1/3 lower co-witness is a must for me on my EDC pistols. This goes back to my days of running AR's with back up sights and a red dot. And with practice you can also use an optic like a giant ghost ring sight too.

    The main reason I like pistol optics is that I can focus on the target more versus focusing on the sights. It is quite intuitive once you get use to using an optic. I will only use optics on optic ready pistols since I want the them as close to the bore as possible.

    I have astigmatism and personally find that green reticles do not bloom as bad as red reticles. I am slowly swapping out all of my red reticles for green reticles.
     
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  17. Styx

    Styx Member

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    Exactly... when I present my pistol, both the dot and irons are imminently in my line of sight. For me, the optics are faster when making follow up, transition shots, and when making distance shots.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2022
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  18. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

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    I put red dots on 6 firearms for a 79 year old shooting buddy. Three XDm’s (9/40/45), two Ruger MkX .22’s, and an AR15.

    He went from hating his pistols to loving them again. He shot off a table from 12 yards and loved being able to shoot bullseye’s again.

    At 59 years old myself, they sure make a difference for my eyes.
     
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  19. sevt_chevelle

    sevt_chevelle Member

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    Am putting dots on my guns.
    My two carry pistols are a 1st gen Shield with a holosun and a CZ pcr with irons.
    I much prefer the CZ, but am finding myself using the shield more simply because of the dot.

    EGW makes a dovetail mount for red dots. They are perfect for dipping your toes in the water.
     
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  20. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    Red dots are slowly winning me over. Aging eyesight may have something to do with it as well. So far I have the following:

    FNX 45 Tactical with a Swampfox circle dot
    G17 with Burris Fastfire III
    S&W M&P 2.0 10MM with a Holosun 507 (newest add). We’ll see how it holds up to the 10MM recoil.

    44F8DA57-A979-4B01-BBC3-8B7D570915A7.jpeg
     
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  21. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Odd that you’d put the micro 507k on such a big gun. Any reason you didn’t go with the 507c?
     
  22. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    Was on sale at Cabelas for $299…….lol
     
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  23. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Nice price
     
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  24. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    minus military discount and a $100 gift card I forgot I had it came out quite well.

    Also, thought about the 507 c but this one fits nice and seems to be just the right size for the slide. I may grab a 507c and compare the two here shortly. If anything, I have another MOS I can put one on later.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2022
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  25. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    Decided to swap to the larger optic after ya got me thinking about it. The 507k fit the slide nice but the optic window was just a bit small so I ordered and installed the larger 507c. Definitely like this better.
    2F9385B8-7A2A-4F13-AA83-47A9A2215298.jpeg
     
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