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Will Pistol Iron Sights go the way of rifle sights and AR carry handle?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Aim1, Jan 30, 2020.

  1. Aim1

    Aim1 Member

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    I am old enough to remember when all rifles came with iron sights and later on as scopes became more and more prevalent you started seeing rifles come standard without iron sights. Of course between this time was the age of scope rings that were raised enough with an opening that you could use the scope or iron sights. Some folks said rifles will always come with and need iron sights but as scopes became affordable and common that is no longer the case. Now almost all guns come factory without iron sights. Some like African hunting rifles and certain .22 rimfires like the Chipmunk may always come standard with iron sights.

    Same for the AR carry handle. Initially all ARs came with them and then the special scope mounts that worked with the handle and now almost all ARs come as standard as flat-tops with Picatinny Rails on top. I remember when this was new and companies came out with ORC (Optic Ready Carbine) rifle models.

    I know some police departments are testing pistol optics and looking to switch to optic only duty pistols which would obviously come from the factory without iron sights. They say with practice it's much easier to be accurate with the optic over iron sights and helps people with aging eye issues.

    More and more pistols are coming manufactured with slides that are optic ready, most have an indention cut out of the slide and holes for screws. Some pistols like the Luego Alien already come without iron sights from the factory.

    Will Pistol Iron Sights go the way of rifle sights and AR carry handle?


    20200130_183331.jpg

    The next big change could be if suppressors become legal to purchase over the counter with a background check like buying a rifle, I bet you start seeing a lot more rifles and pistols coming factory standard with threaded barrels.


    This article below shows quiet a few new pistols at the SHOT Show that come optic ready.

    https://www.outdoorlife.com/story/guns/the-best-new-pistols-at-shot-show/
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
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  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I doubt if optics will completely replace iron sights on handguns, but I predict they will become much more common in the near future. As the sights get smaller and battery life longer they are much more viable for most open carry situations. Unless they get a lot smaller CC is probably too much of a challenge.
     
  3. Steve S.

    Steve S. Member

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    Not for some time I should think; not thinking that optics will be the replacement - something “techie” (probably).
     
  4. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    Not in my house!
     
  5. ClickClickD'oh

    ClickClickD'oh Member

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    Will iron sights ever completely go away? Probably not. Even on rifles with optics, iron sights still manage to make an appearance as backups and of course for traditionalists who think putting a scope on old .45-70 rifles is a sin (they are right fyi). A micro red dot on a repro peacemaker is the kind of thing that starts bar fights.

    Red dots probably will become much more common though. The current generations size, durability and battery life is kind of crazy. I have several on different Glocks, Sigs and CZ and prefer them over iron sights for almost every purpose now. Not surprisingly, there are still iron sights on those guns.
     
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  6. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Without a quantum leap in reliable power source, no. Possibly an onboard fuel cell arrangement that extracts water vapor from the ambient air in order to produce electricity might make me change my mind.
     
  7. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    A lot of folks have trouble finding the dot with pistols, that is the Achilles heal of them IMO, even before the time it takes to turn them on, adjust them for ambient conditions and what happens when batteries die.

    I don’t use any pistols with optics for new shooters, for this reason.
     
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  8. ClickClickD'oh

    ClickClickD'oh Member

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    I think you may be a generation or two behind on pistol mounted red dots.

    My Romeo 1s, Fastfire 3s and Holosun 507s get battery changes on the equinox. The batteries last longer, but they are cheap, so changing at six months isn't an issue.

    The Romeo 1s and Holosun 507s never get turned off. The Fastfire 3s have an autoshutoff after 9 hours, so they don't go on defensive guns.

    If one breaks, that's what iron sights are for.


    Holosun 407s & 507s have solar power source that can run the optic instead of the battery.
     
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  9. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Maybe but I do have the latest stuff like the one on the Glock below.

    As a comparison the ACOG reflex above it, requires no batteries ever, is always “on” and is self adjusting for when it’s completely dark or in full daylight.

    2F53E4DA-396F-4D83-9F21-C987BCC2961D.jpeg

    I still have the same opinions though time may change them. The Jpoint had good life and is always on too but not near the quality of the Aimpoint comp 3 I have and I just change the battery out on it whenI do my smoke detectors.
     
  10. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Handgun optics are definitely becoming more popular, but I don't think they will ever "take over" in the way that it happened with rifles. I believe this due to the nature of how most handguns are used- as a handYgun. Adding bulk to them isn't what most people want. At least that's what I think.
     
  11. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    I get my very first pistol optic tomorrow. Even then I am still skeptical to how well I will like it. Red dots on rifles and shotguns have slowly become the norm, handgun red dots have their own obstacles to popularity. Namely holsters that fit around them. Once everyone and their brother started pressing kydex, it wasn't much of a barrier to popularity anymore. Time will tell but I do not think iron sights on handguns will go away completely in my lifetime. There are just some firearms getting an optic for would not seem very practical like revolvers and Hi-points.
     
  12. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    Handguns are carried holstered. Putting an optic on a handgun makes for an awkward holster arrangement.
     
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  13. Aim1

    Aim1 Member

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    True. But they already have holsters for them.

    20200130_230819.jpg
     
  14. helitack32f1

    helitack32f1 Member

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    It is funny to me that on the one hand you have anti-snag sights and the new Sig P365 SAS with no sights on top in order to reduce the chance of snagging on clothing to the absolute minimum and then on the other hand you have these new-fangled optics that are essentially the Anti-Sig P365 SAS in that they would appear to be very snaggable.

    I most likely won't be switching to optics anytime soon because I see them as a fix to a problem that didn't exist. I find it hard to acquire the dot using these sights and they add unneeded complexity. Though I must admit that the super low profile sight introduced at shot this year does have me rethinking things.
     
  15. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    Not while I'm alive.
     
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  16. DoubleMag

    DoubleMag Member

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    Will Pistol Iron Sights go the way of rifle sights and AR carry handle?
    Same signed! Shorter distances to target, shorter sight radius means handgun sights are here to stay. Further, where is everyone's money tree to pay an additional cost of the gun. Dot sights can cost 1/2 or more as the handgun!

    Further... much pistol practice/ ownership is for self defense, and point shooting is a VERY good viable training for same. Officer qualifications train both sighting, and point shooting based on distance to target and other criteria.
     
  17. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

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    I will be issued a G45 with red dot in August as my new duty weapon. I can let you know how they work when I get mine. I know we have a lot of the same questions but until I get mine and go through training I won't have any of the answers.

    My duty weapon will come with a holster but that's the big one for my duty belt. I'm going to have to figure something out for carry off duty...
     
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  18. oss117

    oss117 Member

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    I think the answer to the OP's question is yes. The new sighting systems are proving themselves and are being refined to the degree that they will largely replace iron sights on compact and larger pistols. Irons will still stick around, especially on subcompacts, but their role will be greatly diminished.
     
  19. Heir Kommt Die Sonne

    Heir Kommt Die Sonne Member

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    If enough people think they're an improvement, then probably.
    However there's some factors getting in the way of their instant replacement. Cost, extra bulkiness, people not finding red dot, etc.

    Right now I'm more concerned with enjoying the guns we already have rather than being eager to try the "latest, best thing". If what is currently around works, it works. Trails by law enforcement and military will dictate the matter on this, most probably. Maybe on civilian guns iron sights will never go away, but militaries might someday.
     
  20. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    My Grandpa thought adjustable rear sights were a trend. He said they were not reliable and made you a weak shooter.
    My Dad thought using a scope on a rifle was cheating and made you a weak shooter.
    My older brother (I'm 64) switched to red dots because of older eyes. He was willing to put in the time and training to adapt to a better technology.
    I have moved almost completely away from iron sights.
    My grandkids, in their teens and twenties, think iron sights are for old men.
     
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  21. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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    Not until they get as rugged and relatively inexpensive as iron sights, and no batteries are needed.
     
  22. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    I can see it easily happening, and it likely will at some point.

    I think a lot of the negative comes from those who have never used a good dot sight, or even used one at all.

    I went through something similar back when I first got into red dots on a rifle. Fought them for a while, bought a couple of cheap ones (they werent really cheap either) that were junk, and added to the aggravation and impression they werent worth the bother.

    Once I got a "good one", and saw the advantages, there was no looking back. My Aimpoints are old school, going on 20 years old now, are left on 24/7/365, and have a battery change once a year. Ive never found one dead when I picked it up yet either. Some of the newer, more current ones, have a almost 10 year battery life.

    They havent been just sitting in the safe either, a couple of them have been used regularly over the past two decades, mounted on a couple of "hard use" guns, that, together, have a lot of rounds through them.

    I dont currently have one on my handguns, but thats more a "money" matter, than a resistance matter. I already know what the results will be, I just cant afford to put good sights on all my guns, and/or buy guns ready to accept them, so, Im waiting for the prices to drop.
     
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  23. Reinz

    Reinz Member

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    I’m in this boat as well.
     
  24. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I think duplicity will become more and more “standard equipment” for any new model, at least any full size pistol, but I don’t think ironsights are going to fall out of the standard design any time soon. The majority of handguns have a critical design specification limitation which doesn’t apply to the majority rifles - size. RDS’s always add dimension, considerable dimension, to handguns. Optics don’t come with much penalty on a rifle, whereas they certainly do on handguns.

    Similarly, handguns are typically purchased with defense in mind, such a large majority of buyers will remain to distrust battery powered sights, and as long as RDS’s rely upon contrasting light-against-light technology to view the reticle, they have perceived tactical disadvantages in certain conditions (versus a set of tritium enhanced irons). A majority of riflemen want a scope, and if low or no light is a part of their life, an illuminated reticle is a viable solution, as are NV and thermal options. That versatility doesn’t yet exist for handgun compatible RDS’s.

    And of course, more than 1 in 4 Americans are afflicted with astigmatism, which degrades the efficacy of RDS’s for these shooters. Astigmatism is far less problematic for riflemen, as larger bodied prism sights or telescopic sights are viable options, whereas many of us are stuck conceding that all RDS reticles look like smashed pumpkins or various punctuation symbols.

    The designed duplicity inherent in many new factory models in the last 10 years is a nice advantage, and we may someday see an analogous technology developed to replace open sights on compact, subcompact, and micro pistols, but I don’t foresee that reality in my lifetime (for the sake of context, I might have 50 years left). I don’t expect to see the Ruger LCP III without sights and an RDS cut on top.

    What I DO hope comes out of this developing trend are more NON-RECIPROCATING options. My first RDS equipped handguns were cantilevered mounts, non-reciprocating, so the dot isn’t lost in recoil. A much, much better design. Slide mount options are fine, and tend to be much more streamlined, but “low drag” non-reciprocating options do exist (SiCo Maxim, for example).
     
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  25. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    My thoughts are for duty or HD type guns yes and probably fairly quickly.

    That said as long as we are limited to a hunk of glass to project a reticle on to the. I think you will not see concealed applications have the same adoption. If we can get to the point where the “dot/reticle” is truly holographic, if you will the. Yeah iron sights are done except for backup or nostalgia.
     
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