Red Dot Evolution - Glock 19 RMR

Red Dot Evolution - Glock 19 RMR

This is a discussion on Red Dot Evolution - Glock 19 RMR within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; By Uli Gebhard Suarez International Staff Instructor California Back in 1999 I bought a Bushmaster AR-15 with a 16” A2 upper, just a couple of ...

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Thread: Red Dot Evolution - Glock 19 RMR

  1. #1
    Member Array Gsolutions's Avatar
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    Red Dot Evolution - Glock 19 RMR

    By Uli Gebhard
    Suarez International Staff Instructor California

    Back in 1999 I bought a Bushmaster AR-15 with a 16” A2 upper, just a couple of weeks prior to the California Assault Weapons Ban restricting the access to this type of firearm.

    One of my friends did the same and we took the rifles out to sight them in. I used the factory iron sights on mine and got good hits out to 200 meters. He tinkered around with a cheap cantilever mount for his red dot and ended up spending more time torqueing down the mount and red dot than sending rounds downrange. Nonetheless, when the red dot worked and was properly zeroed, it allowed getting on target very quickly. This was an intriguing upgrade.

    I ordered a very basics red dot sight together with a see-through mount for the carry handle and shooting my little AR became cheating in style.

    The combination proved itself a couple of weeks later when I went through an Urban Rifle Course with this combination – Even though the red dot was nowhere near the quality of an EOTECH or Aimpoint. It was the only red dot in that class and allowed me to be significantly faster on Target than everyone else.
    Having the see-through mount paid off in the same course when the red dot temporarily went out. When the dot vanished during a timed course of fire, I dropped my eye level down 25 millimeters (OK – one inch), acquired my irons and still got the hits, albeit a little slower that time around.

    There are three lessons that I learned that day:
    Red dot sights improve the time to the first shot on close to medium range targets.
    Having backup iron sights is a must.
    Training with both sighting systems is equally important.
    I’ll get back to these points in a bit.

    Red dots have long since been used in competition pistol shooting, but several years ago these units required mounts that bolted to the dustcover or frame of the pistol. The sights themselves were 1” or 30mm tubes – the size of one of these small soda cans that one used to get with an inflight meal. The bulk of the red dot mounted on the gun made it prohibitive to use this pistol for anything but competition, where shooters could use IPSC-style open top carriers.

    Some also attempted to bring them into the realm of tactical pistol applications. I remember the picture of a well-known instructor toting a 1911-style pistol fitted with an aimpoint on an external mount. He was featured in an article about tactical weapon use. This combination would allow faster target acquisition for sure, however, my first thought back then was which holster he was using and what the merit of this kind of setup would be for a lowly civilian who would never be able to conceal this pistol.
    Let’s fast-forward to today. Quality red dot systems have improved quite a bit in the last decade. These improvements came in form of longer run times, smaller sizes, increased robustness against recoil and mounting systems that allow co-witnessing the iron sights –in other words you see the irons and the red dot at the same time and focus on the red dot as long as it’s up and running.

    Early in 2010 I saw posts on Warriortalk about mounting small red dot sights to the slide of a pistol. The ideas looked promising. First pictures emerged of a Glock with an Aimpoint H-1 mounted to the rear of the slide. test results from this approach proved fast target acquisition, reliable operation of the pistol, enhanced long-range accuracy and – that this setup was too bulky to be truly feasible for CCW use. But it was a start.

    In July 2010 I helped teaching an AK-course in Prescott and later filmed the Lever Action Gunfighting DVD with Gabe Suarez. He had the prototype of a pistol with a Trijicon RMR mounted in a specially milled recess in the slide. In addition to the optical sight, the pistol also had suppressor sights installed – combined with the lowered profile of the RMR they were tall enough to co-witness them through the optics. The aiming point sat a bit higher in the window, but the irons were clearly visible.

    Profile comparison - the camera focused on the slide hence the out-of focus dot.

    The sight picture was crisp and hitting targets out to 50 meters was easy. Later I got the chance to shoot a Glock 17 with an RMR installed in a similar fashion. Gabe pointed to a steel silhouette 100 meters away and handed me the pistol with the comment “hit it!”

    “100+ yards with a handgun – yeah-right!” was pretty much my first thought. I centered the dot about shoulder level and pressed the shot off. A clear “PING!” rang from the steel a split-second later. That was easy! The key to the successful shot was that the dot is much smaller than the iron sights and that the full target remains visible. I planted a couple more shots on the steel before handing the pistol back.
    Several other instructors shot the RMR-Glock with similar ease before it went back into its holster. No, it had not traveled to the range in a custom-fit pelican case – this was a CCW gun that had come in its owner’s appendix carry holster.

    Shooting this pistol was cheating in style – just as it has been with my rifle-mounted red dot. In close quarters I did not even have to go for the dot – the aiming window bracketing the target was sufficient to get combat-accurate hits in the torso area while moving aggressively off the “X”.
    With increasing distance and more time available to get the first shot off, it was easy to acquire the red dot. I did not have to bring my focus back to the sights since the focal plane of the dot is far enough forward. The only adjustment I had to make was to lower the position of the pistol a bit to allow for the slightly higher position of the dot above the top of the slide.
    The suppressor sights are a suitable back-up in case the optics go down – a well thought-through system all-in-all!

    Three weeks ago I was finally in a situation to upgrade my Glock 19 with an RMR. The slide went out to TSD. The turn-around was so fast that when I called in to add a new appendix holster to the order, the slide was already on its way back.

    Glock 19 modified by TSD for an RMR and factory stock

    Ten days after mailing it out, I had the modified slide back in my busy hands, with a battery-powered RMR mounted in a precision-cut slot and suppressor sights in place of the original factory sights. Folks, my daytime job is mechanical engineering in a company that makes its own tools and dies for powder metal compacting. This being the long version of saying that I am used to working with tight tolerances better than .001”. The way the slot in the slide is fitted to the front radius of the RMR sight housing is top-notch work!

    The cutout in the slide matches the curve of the RMR perfectly!

    Time to run dry practice drills! I had to adjust my grip on the slide to rack it. Nothing major, just a little further forward than with the factory pistol to stay clear of the RMR's aiming wingow. As mentioned before, I also needed to lower the pistol slightly to allow for the higher position of the aiming dot. This came natural after a couple of repetitions.
    In a low-light setting the RMR provides much better aiming than night sights: there is just one dot to go for, less obtrusive than the night sights and easier to work with since the focal plane of the RMR is forward of the shooter.
    I’m planning on running the pistol through a lot more dry-practice to make sure that the lower position is second nature, live-fire it extensively and then making it my primary self-defense gun.
    As far as carrying is concerned, I used a Kydex belt holster for the initial drills and did not notice any disadvantages compared to the standard Glock 19. The sight is so small that it does not add any significant bulk to the gun and does not increase the tendency to print. The only point to consider is that the suppressor sights are tall and will require a holster with an appropriate channel for the front sight.

    Glock 19 RMR and Cold Steel Recon-1: a nice self-defense combo

    With family visiting and lots of things planned together, I have not yet had the time to take the RMR Glock out for a live-fire test. I should be able to get to this phase early this week and post a range report as soon as possible.
    Uli Gebhard
    Suarez International Staff Instructor California
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    www.gebhardsolutions.com


  2. #2
    Member Array titleist's Avatar
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    Thanks for the review! Red dots might be the future for handguns. Definitely a game changer beyond the obvious competitive applications. A pistol that is combat accurate to 150 yards becomes more of a weapon and less of a leg weight for the guys lugging them around.

    What kind of battery life do they have? Do they automatically shut off?

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    Member Array Gsolutions's Avatar
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    Battery life should be ~6 months. The LED-RMR is always on.
    There is an RMR-version that is Tritium/Fiber Optic powered.
    Uli Gebhard
    Suarez International Staff Instructor California
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    www.gebhardsolutions.com

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I gotta ask what kinda cost,and can they do a 1911
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    Member Array ksblazer's Avatar
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    Very interesting read. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Sure would like do a set up like that. Very cool.
    "Get rid of that chrome plated sissy pistol and get yourself a GLOCK"

  6. #6
    Member Array Gsolutions's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    I gotta ask what kinda cost,and can they do a 1911
    They have worked on it: here is a photo of a prototype:


    There's also a discussion about this particular setup right here.

    From what I understand the Leupold Delta point is a better fit then the RMR.

    As far as cost is concerned, it depends whether you want to use your own slide or an aftermarket unit such as Caspian for 1911 or Lone Wolf for Glocks and whether or not you want full backup irons. Another option to consider is the finish that TSD can apply.

    Modification of the slide alone without the sight runs ~$240

    Check here for the other pricing options.

    I went for everything except the full-re-finish of the slide (they cold blued the area that was milled out). Comes to $855.-
    Uli Gebhard
    Suarez International Staff Instructor California
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    www.gebhardsolutions.com

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    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Let's see it in the holster

    I thought that the future would bring laser guns. Looks like we're getting guns with lasers, instead

    Sent from my phone
    Guest1 likes this.
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

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    Member Array Gsolutions's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacii View Post
    Let's see it in the holster

    I thought that the future would bring laser guns. Looks like we're getting guns with lasers, instead

    Sent from my phone
    My new A-IWB holster is on the way and should be here tomorrow or latest Thursday.
    I'll post a full review then .
    Uli Gebhard
    Suarez International Staff Instructor California
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    www.gebhardsolutions.com

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    Member Array snakyjake's Avatar
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    Any updates?
    Like to know if the RMR is comfortable IWB conceal carry?
    Thinking of getting the dual illuminated, so don't have to be concerned with batteries. What MOA should I get (7, 9, 13)?
    What is the URL for TSD? Any other highly qualified gunsmith?

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    Quote Originally Posted by snakyjake View Post
    Any updates?
    Like to know if the RMR is comfortable IWB conceal carry?
    Thinking of getting the dual illuminated, so don't have to be concerned with batteries. What MOA should I get (7, 9, 13)?
    What is the URL for TSD? Any other highly qualified gunsmith?
    Bowie Tactical Concepts Pictures Page

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