A caution about red dot reflex sights for handguns... - Page 2

A caution about red dot reflex sights for handguns...

This is a discussion on A caution about red dot reflex sights for handguns... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My thoughts on this are I personally have no use for gadgets on a tool meant for serious business. Some years back, I tinkered with ...

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  1. #16
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    My thoughts on this are I personally have no use for gadgets on a tool meant for serious business. Some years back, I tinkered with various red dots and laser sites and they were useful and made things easier, that is, until I began to think of the potential for failure or damage in the time of real need. I learned how to use the iron sites years ago, and see no need to to change. My Ruger MK2 has a red dot that I use for coon hunting at night, which makes life easier, but I had no trouble lining up the sites via head lamp before I installed it, it just makes things easier. But, I dont have to worry about the coon killing me if I fall and break the red dot either.

    I know the troops have used them with excellent results, but they have logistical supplys to maintain batteries and parts if they have issues. In an SHTF scenario, we would not have that support, if it breaks, you are out. Back to the iron sites.

    Many of my SD handguns do not even have night sites. I have found that if its too dark to see my sites, I probably cant see the threat either.

    This should not be misconstrued as a condemnation of electronic sighting devices, just some conclusions I have made for my own personal fighting philosophy.


  2. #17
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Many of my SD handguns do not even have night sites. I have found that if its too dark to see my sites, I probably cant see the threat either.
    Not to highjack the thread, but I've never understood this line of thought. A common scenario - you are in your bedroom (dark) while the threat is in the hallway (illuminated). You can clearly see that it is a threat, yet you cannot clearly see your sights. There are many similar scenarios. For the money, night sights are a good idea, IMHO.

    And now, back to the show...
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  3. #18
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    A slight additional highjack. If there is sufficient light, in say a hallway, to clearly determine a threat that light will profile the sights, even if you are in complete darkness (try it). Then there is always a nose index, if you find that cannot see the sights. I have nothing against night sights, I just don't see any real benefit for myself.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  4. #19
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    In this Vid (Crucible 1 - extremely basic/beginner stuff) you can get a pretty solid look at the set-up being used by Kelly McCann AKA Jim Grover as mentioned in Post #1 by Tangle.
    Feel free to comment on or disagree with his set-up or on handgun optical reticles (in general) but, please no personal attacks/slanderous type comments about McCann.
    They will be deleted as being off-topic to the thread.


  5. #20
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Nice writeup Tangle.

    I personally have zero use for night sights or red dot, or lasers etc. My carry revolvers don't even have adjustable sights, nor does a pocket pistol. The larger carrry guns have adjustable sights of some sort some without elevation adj., but all of those guns get shot alot without even paying much attention to the sights themselves. Out to 45 or 50 feet the sights are in my field of view but not really being used.

    I can understand how some folks like them, especially the ones that are shooting competitively at varrying distances ect. but that isn't what I do or have a need for. The wife has a laser on her 642 and seems to like it well enough, but then again that is her gun, and the laser isn't really affected too much by light except very bright daylight.

    I think I will use the money saved on red dots for more ammo and range time.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  6. #21
    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    I have a Burris FastFire on my Sig GSR for pin shooting. I didn't want to have it drilled, tapped, etc, and this looked like a good alternative. I had some problems initially fitting the base to the slide, as the Sig has a squared off slide and Novak cuts. A little time with a file fixed that issue. The next issue was getting the sight aligned (it helps to have a laser sighting device available) with the small set screws and adjustment screws. Then the battery that came with the sight went bad, causing the sight to go off and on with recoil. Replacing the battery brought up the problem of the sight base coming loose and having to re-align the sight. So the base got loc-tited in place. Finding the red dot initially is slower until you get used to where it should be. None of these are issues unique to Burris. The bases should be tighter (or have its own set screw) in the cuts they are designed for. You should be able to replace the battery without disassembling the whole sight and losing the alignment. The sight should be lower profile in order to co-witness with the iron sights. You should be able adjust the default brightness level. Right now, laser sights seem superior to the red dots for self defense carry purposes. But for shooting I prefer the red dots.

    Another issue I have is with all the people saying that you don't need a red dot or laser is that as you get older those sights are harder to see (which is why I put the Burris on in the first place). I know that a lot of experts say you shouldn't use the sights in close (or at all), but they really are there for a reason.

  7. #22
    Ex Member Array Kerby's Avatar
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    I have been thinking of adding one to my 44 mag, it is for hunting and not carry, what do you think of using it on a hunting hand gun? I know I need some type of optic as I am much less proficient at 40-50 yd shots than I was 10-15 years ago.............. although I may need new glasses too haha

  8. #23
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    A slight additional highjack. If there is sufficient light, in say a hallway, to clearly determine a threat that light will profile the sights, even if you are in complete darkness (try it). Then there is always a nose index, if you find that cannot see the sights. I have nothing against night sights, I just don't see any real benefit for myself.
    True, in this scenario, that is possible. We can come up with all kinds of scenarios to justify our choices, I suppose.

    I went downstairs to my fairly dark living room last night, and I could not see the outline of my sights at all - but I could make out the outline of an intruder. Some will say that is not enough of an ID to shoot - but if you are in your own home, and your family is accounted for, and someone busts in - they're not there to sell you girl scout cookies at 3 am.

    As others have said, you may not need to use any kind of sights at all in most situations, yet we still want usable sights on handguns. Night sights are usable under more conditions than iron sights - that's all. For the price, I feel they are a worthwhile investment. Lasers too. Red dots? Not so much.

    JMHO.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  9. #24
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutoFan View Post
    Another issue I have is with all the people saying that you don't need a red dot or laser is that as you get older those sights are harder to see (which is why I put the Burris on in the first place). I know that a lot of experts say you shouldn't use the sights in close (or at all), but they really are there for a reason.
    My father likes shooting trap, and sometimes target shoots with a rifle. But he hates handgun shooting because he cannot see the sights - he wears bifocals. When I had him shoot my Glock with CT laser, he said "Well, this is like cheating!" Which is kind of the point...

    As we age, needs change. Equipment and tactics need to adapt to the new reality...
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  10. #25
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I have trained in many, many low light situations and did as well as anyone else without the aid of electronics or gadgets. In my personal fighting philosophy, defensive handgunning is a martial art, in which I place total emphasis on a combination of drawing, indexing, sighted and instinctive fire, and closing with the threat, which includes rapidly closing the gap and transitioning from the firearm to the blade or both.

    Like I said, I have no issue with electronics or illuminiated sites, but they are not important in my chosen fighting method. And make no mistake about, self defense is more than the gun or sighting system, it is the ability and willingness to fight back.

  11. #26
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    In my personal fighting philosophy, defensive handgunning is a martial art, in which I place total emphasis on a combination of drawing, indexing, sighted and instinctive fire, and closing with the threat, which includes rapidly closing the gap and transitioning from the firearm to the blade or both.
    The infantry's mission is to "close with and destroy the enemy." For those of us in the civilian world, it would probably be a much better idea to escape from danger if at all possible. There's a fine line between self defense and murder, and such an aggressive posture could well cross it. Most all defensive training and advice I've seen involves getting away from the threat - not getting closer to it - except in some very unique circumstances (rescue of another party, active shooter neutralization, etc).
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  12. #27
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I have night sights on my issue weapon. They are nice to have, and like I have said, have no problems with them. In my opinion, it all depends on what one feels like they need to accomplish their SD goals. For me, self defense means someone is trying to harm me or my family, and I will utterly destroy the person who attempts that, to whatever means.

  13. #28
    Senior Member Array SCfromNY's Avatar
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    I put a red dot on my .22 for bullseye and to see how I would like it for open in USPSA.

    I am sure you can get used to it I know the open shooters are like lighting but for me initial target aquisition took a little longer than with regular sights. For Bullseye the only bad thing was I could see how much my hand shook.
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  14. #29
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    The infantry's mission is to "close with and destroy the enemy." For those of us in the civilian world, it would probably be a much better idea to escape from danger if at all possible. There's a fine line between self defense and murder, and such an aggressive posture could well cross it. Most all defensive training and advice I've seen involves getting away from the threat - not getting closer to it - except in some very unique circumstances (rescue of another party, active shooter neutralization, etc).
    I would disagree with this.

    Successful defense, termination of the threat, is accomplished by one or more of three avenues. Inability of the aggressor to continue, choice of the aggressor not to continue, escape from the range of capability of the aggressor.

    An illustration of the recognition that action of an aggressive nature might be required in a defensive action, is that all the statutes that I am aware of that require retreat, stipulate that it is only required when it is safe to do so.

    As for as withdrawal as it relates to self defense training, an example would be movement while shooting. Most self defense situations occur at close range. To my knowledge the larger percentage of movement training is devoted to forward angular movement, which closes the distance with the aggressor. There are several reasons for this. Angular closure with the aggressor causes the greatest angular correction by the aggressor to stay on target. With the lethal range of firearms, the withdrawal distance to exceed the range of the firearm is considerable, if cover is not available. In addition, it is more difficult to direct accurate fire when moving away from an aggressor, than when moving toward the aggressor.

    As nearly always, circumstances usually determine the best course of action.
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  15. #30
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    I have night sights on my issue weapon. They are nice to have, and like I have said, have no problems with them. In my opinion, it all depends on what one feels like they need to accomplish their SD goals. For me, self defense means someone is trying to harm me or my family, and I will utterly destroy the person who attempts that, to whatever means.
    It may be a matter of semantics, but...

    Self defense is just that. When the threat is over, the threat is over. We do not attack, or close with the threat, we defend. We do not shoot to kill, we shoot to stop the threat.

    To publish, on an open public forum, that you will "destroy" someone who is a threat, is a statement that could very much get taken out of context. As a LEO, I think both you and Guantes understand what I mean.

    I "get" what you are saying from a tactical perspective - been there, done that. But let's remember that what we say here can come back to bite you in the event you ever are unlucky enough to have to defend yourself.

    Just food for thought.

    So...how about them there red dot sights...
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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