Red dot VS. Iron sights on your carry firearm

Iron sights are tried and true, but red dots are becoming more and more common. Which camp are you in?


Master iron sights first! Then, perhaps red dots–on carbine only. Just my opinion.


Irons. kiss principle and happy with irons on my pistols. 9 of 11 do have night sights.


I have a red dot on my rifle and I like it alot and have not had a red dot on a pistol. I am willing to try it though. Right now I have a TLR6 ON my Shield and can shoot that well.


Sig P365…open tritium with LIMA laser is my primary carry. Although if I’m carrying my Walther, it’s red dot all the way.


Iron sights only for me. Shot competition once against two others who ran with Red Dot sights. Shot better than both of them. So, I saw no advantage.

Murphy’s law means batteries die or electronics go wonky when your life depends on them.

When my eyes get older and tired, maybe.

Stay safe out there.


I used to advocate for only irons but I’ve converted to red dots with co-witness irons on all my guns that support it.

Correctly adjusted dots don’t need to be perfectly aligned. If you see the dot, that’s where the gun is pointed.

Red dots allow you to stay focused on the target at all times.

Sight alignment and sight picture are much faster to acquire for red dots than irons once you are good with them.

I insist on co-witness because red dots can fail and I still practice using my iron sights which are trijicon night sights.


Irons for me. No batteries to worry about.


Irons for now, but toying with the idea of red dot.


Still iron sights. I feel comfortable with them and these are faster with first accurate shot, which is MY key to win a gunfight.

I see more optics that may work for me (fe Holosun 507 ACSS) but I like to keep things not complicated. :slightly_smiling_face:


It’s interesting how different it is shooting a red dot on a rifle versus a pistol. Rifle is fast, accurate, and easy to learn. Pistol red dot is slow for me and hard to pickup. I assume with training I could learn but I can’t find a good reason why when irons are just fine and no way would a res dot be faster even if I did practice. I can’t imagine being in an engagement beyond 25 yards with a pistol. At that range I’m looking for an exit strategy.


Red Dot’s on several rifles, love them. Open sights on all hand guns, accurate out to 20 feet point shooting with regular practice. Both eyes open out to 25 yards, one eye aimed fire after that.
I shoot out to 100 yards with several pistols. :us:


My hang up with a Red Dot on my EDC is, I carry a compact and I just don’t “think” I want to add any more bulk to the package.


Why do you have to choose? I have a glock 19 with suppressor height sights and a red dot. You can see the irons with the red dot and aim accordingly. Red dots are great for getting on target faster and having a better visual field. But, if you are trying to shoot the wings off a gnat you have to use the irons.

Irons will always be more accurate but red dots allow faster target acquisition.


For now carry firearms are irons. I am experimenting with a red dot on a spare pistol and if I reach a point of comfort with it like I do with irons I will consider the switch.

On rifles, red dots ALL DAY.


I have a red dot on one of my AR’s. I have lasers on my carry hand guns but for training only. I point shoot so I rarely use the laser or the hard sights


Iron sights all day.


Still experimenting. I’m starting to have visual accommodation issues with iron sights which cause me problems with a sight picture for accurate shots at speed beyond about 10yd.

So I’ve starting working with MRDS on a spare gun to see whether simplifying my sight picture will help. So far, the impact on my precision at 15yd and out is simply phenomenal, and my time to a good first shot is comparable to irons. I’m still working on recoil recovery speed, but am hopeful.

Shooting well at distance is swell, but performance inside 10yd is where the percentage of need seems greatest for defensive use — and I’m not seeing it yet. Completely reliable presentation of the dot, recovery from recoil, and times at least comparable to iron sights at 2yd to 7yd are all required before I’d change the EDC sighting system. Time will tell.


Might depend on just how compact your compact is, along with choice of sight.

Hanging a Holosun 507K on an M&P9c does not add appreciable bulk. The sight is no wider than the slide, and its height stays within the general profile of the holster. Hard points for printing remain the end of grip and rear of slide — the sight doesn’t show up anywhere with AIWB.

The impact on a thinner, smaller, or differently shaped gun, with a wider and taller or boxy sight, might be more substantial.

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In a DCI you’ll being using unsighted fire, so quite frankly neither.