Carry Optics

I recently put a red dot on my Glock 17 that I use for competition. Speaking as a guy who has shot for decades with iron sights, there is definitely a learning curve to get used to acquiring the dot quickly. No doubt shooting a handgun with a red dot is different than iron sights (keeping both eyes open, etc). But my carry gun does NOT have a red dot.

So here’s my question to all those who shoot well with a red dot…do you have problems going BACK to iron sights after shooting with a red dot for a long time?

I’m not really interested in putting a red dot on my carry gun right now, but I don’t want to have a hard time acquiring a good sight picture either.

1 Like

Welcome aboard. The only issue I have transitioning between the two is if I go Glock to 1911/2011 or back. Grip angle I suppose. I am faster picking up the dots the more I use them. Almost all of my handguns have dots now. Aging eyes makes it hard for me to pick up the front sight, even the fiber optic jobs.


I do not use an optic on my EDC either but have used them extensively. I started out with dots so I would know how to run them when they started showing up in courses I taught and I actually fell in love with them in the process. I trained and carried with a dot exclusively for 8 months and here is what I learned:

When I decided to go back to irons I found I shot much better. I believe shooting pistols with a dot requires you to focus heavily on fundamentals, particularly hold control and trigger control. We can actually see the dot dancing where the irons movement isn’t always so apparent. I also really love the fact you have to be fundamentally sound when drawing an optic equipped pistol to pick up the dot, which I think helps translate to getting a good sight picture with irons from the draw.

So from my experience it actually helped me shoot with irons better. I had no problem whatsoever transitioning back.


I have shot my M&P 9 Shield which has a TLR6 mounted on the trigger guard and has a red dot laser on it. I feel it helps me with target acquisition but I also like my fixed set of night sights which I can also shoot with. But if I had to return to the old medal sights I would be ok with that also. If your are shooting and you are using your fundamentals it doesn’t matter what you use you will shoot fine.

1 Like

Just personal opinion and preference, I choose not to use an optic for CCW (unless you throw a low profile laser into that catagory). When I carry I want as little things on the weapon as possible to avoid snagging and weight. I separate CCW from competition shooting. I always appreciate accuracy, I think in any ccw situation my iron sights will be good enough. I am not going into battle, I just want to get away safely, less shots fired the better. You just need to do what you are comfortable with.
I will take that money that optic costs and buy a pair of running shoes! Just funning with you!


Running shoes are getting expensive too. :smile:I still get the iron sited stuff out just to prove to myself I really can’t see the front post unless I have a pair of upper bifocal shooting glasses on. Not good for EDC. On the other hand my natural point at close quarters is still there.

1 Like