So this is something I always hear when talking self defense or just basic handgun talk. Red dots on your primary firearm for self defense. I would like to hear peoples opinions on if it’s viable or maybe to risky. Sure it grants better accuracy, quicker pick up on your sight picture. But it’s also one more thing that could fail. What say you my fellow Americans. Who’s got em, why do you like em…
I have heard that exactly the same arguments against optics on rifles were presented in the past, but now optics have become standard, and the iron sights are backups for a just in case that rarely happens.
What I am hearing people say is that the optics are more rugged now than they were, and they hold up well to the stresses of combat. Active Self Protection and Tactical Rifleman both say they expect red dots on pistols to become standard in the next ten years.
I personally just put a. Optic on my handgun, and I do have problems periodically “finding the dot,” just as people say. It’s a training issue. I tried to get the ACSS Vulcan reticle to help with that, but it’s out of stock, and what I ended up with was a dot with a circle around it, which helps, but was not what I was expecting.
I hadn’t heard of that reticle before but just checked it out. Seems like a potentially good idea, though I think with training you would be able to get the circle dot to come into your view consistently. I the circle dot on a rifle and really like it for quick acquisition and the ability to be more precise.
I have not jumped on the optics for handguns bandwagon yet but will likely give it a try in the not too distant future. Though my astigmatism makes for a less precise dot. Wonder if the Vulcan reticle would be better in that regard.
I would always rather have a reticle of some sort instead of a dot, so a chevron is preferable to me, though I do prefer the dot-within-a-circle to most optic aimpoints I’ve seen. I am content for the time being.
All I have to say is, in a self defense situation are you going to have time to turn the red dot on?
Mine turns on the moment it detects any momentum at all. It also has a setting where it never turns off, and claims a battery life of 10 years at a moderate brightness. I use a brighter setting, but I’m willing to settle for a five year battery life to have the brighter reticle.
I love them and enjoy training with them, but I’ll never carry one, despite thinking I would a while back. I can’t get behind the relation to rifles, it’s apples and oranges. Rifles do not face the same recoil as a pistol does and the dot is mounted on the slide, in most cases by a plate system. Even slides milled for a direct Mount fail by sheering screws from time to time. Then there is ammo and grain weight. Different brands, even if the same weight will shift a zero. In times like these it’s hard enough to find ammo, much less the same brand/same weight. And will the target ammo zero match up to self defense ammo zero??? Not to mention, in a self defense scenario, at those distances, I just do not think the risk outweighs the benefit.
With that being said, I’m not against them, that’s just my personal choice when it comes to edc. I really hope in the future the platform reaches a level of near perfection, because the fact you are “threat focused” with a dot is a great thing.
A lot of great comments and opinions. I do thank you all for the insight. I’ve always ran optics on rifles and defense shotguns. Trijicon and Aimpoint is what I cut my teeth on in the army and I loved them. I’d love to try and carry a Optic on my sig 320 or 365. But I’ve always ran into my barrier of “less is more”
I like being a minimalist in regards to my handgun. Basic night sights, maybe a small light pending on what I’m doing. Beyond that I typically run factory everything. An optic to me just seems like something that could go wrong when you indefinitely need it within seconds. As a Instructor, I train people with the idea of muscle memory, you won’t have time to line your sights up if a threat is moving in fast. A optic I could defiantly see as a great “reference” tho to when you get your sidearm up, you see that bright red or green, you know your in your sweet spot.
If I was going to use a optic on a pistol, I think I would try a trijicon RMR. Call me old school, but we beat the crap out of trijicons back in the army days, I put full trust in if I bang it against a door, lay down on it, have a cat try and chew on it, that it will perform.
For me RDO’s are the ideal fix for older eyes that don’t pickup the front sight readily. The latest dot optics are fairly robust due to Youtubers putting them through hell to find out. And the moderately priced Sig Romeo Zero on the P365 has a built in rear sight that can be used should the dot go down. Useful feature.
I know some people who carry with one and shoot extremely well with it, and I know others who carry with one and don’t shoot well or have frequent technical issues. This is not to say that iron sights can’t have issues when you need them most. Train with and carry what works best and most consistently for you and gives you the most confidence. And I guess it never hurts to have a back-up plan in your head that you’ve practiced, just in case.
I have shot with a red dot but never at night with my Olight on. Has anyone tried this and had any issues with acquiring the red dot going from dark to light?
On the zero moving with new ammo…this is going to happen whatever your sighting system is. The sights stay the same, whether they’re electronic, fiber optic, metal, or plastic. The bullet trajectory is not going to be affected by the hardware on top of your gun. It’s an independent variable.
Unless I’m severely misunderstanding what you’re saying, which is always a possibility.
What I personally worry about with a dot is the distance it’s zeroed and how that affects poa/poi in relation to the ammo being fired and developing a consistent zero. Just my personal concern only.
But isn’t that going to be exactly the same effect as with iron sights? I am confused.
I get what you’re saying, I really do and definitely not trying to be arguementative. Again, this is only my personal choice based on my experience and definitely not intended to represent everyones experience. I see a zero shift when my ammo isn’t consistent. Is it enough to matter…that’s hard to say, but I have to account for every round I fire and my OCD won’t allow me to be comfortable with that.
The P320 slide — at least on the XFive Legion — is pre-cut for a Romeo. That’s pretty darn close to factory, parts and prep. I’m running the Romeo1 Pro, and love it. After about 1000 rounds, it’s proven to be solid, accurate, and reliable.
I wasn’t trying to be argumentative either. I really was confused. It was late. I’m sorry if I sounded angry.
Not at all!
I intend to cite THIS post when I am confronted with the credit card charge for a new slide and factory installed RZ. Hahah. Thanks alot, Douglas.
I figure if at 7 yards I can’t reliably hit reasonably close to dead center of center-mass without using any sights at all, then I’ve not been practicing enough with my EDC.
I also try to get practice under less than ideal conditions…for example while I’m all sweaty and dirty and I’ve upped my adrenaline a bit. I would do that to try to emulate a scenario where I’ve perhaps been running to try to de-escalate a confrontation and get away to prevent using a weapon, but end up having been unable to do so. Note: gun is not on my person while I’m exercising/running/whatever to create the less than ideal physical condition (although I do check from time to time that the unchambered EDC does stay secure under such conditions with the clothing I wear. The added mass of the cartridges in a full magazine can change how the holster shifts around and could be dislodged).