Red Dot Rampage

This is a discussion on Red Dot Rampage within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; On the sight/lighting issue: I have no clue which way the 'sensor' on a JPoint 'points'. Neither do I care. The only time it has ...

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  1. #61
    Ex Member Array ScottM's Avatar
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    On the sight/lighting issue:

    I have no clue which way the 'sensor' on a JPoint 'points'. Neither do I care.

    The only time it has caused a 'problem' was with a bright light shining directly at the gun (and consequently, my eyes) which would cause irons or a laser to be difficult, if not impossible to see as well. Stepping out of the light and/or point shooting would suffice to break the shot if it was a fight.

    Using a weapons light on certain bright walls caused a 4MOA dot to fade out, but not an 8MOA. In either case the irons on the milled slide were still plenty visible for taking a shot if necessary. One of the reasons for co-witness.

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  3. #62
    Senior Member Array WC145's Avatar
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    Obviously I'm late to this thread but I'd like to offer my perspective since out of all these posts it seems that only two posters have shot mini RDS equipped pistols and are comparing apples and oranges. Shooting a pistol with a mini RDS on a dovetail mount is not the same as shooting one with the RDS mounted on a milled slide with cowitnessed irons. Also, the JPoint and whatever it is that Tangle has on his gun (he described it but I didn't see where he said what brand and model it is) are not necessarily representative of the quality and ruggedness of the newer crop of sights like the Trijicon RMRs and the Leupold Deltapoint. I carry a Trijicon RMR02 equipped FNP-45 Tactical on duty. I also have a FNS-9 that has had the slide milled and it also has a RMR02 mounted on it. The Trijicon RMRs are pretty much the top of the line mini RDSs right now. The RMR02 has an 8MOA LED dot and automatically adjusts the intensity of the dot using a forward looking light sensor. The dot is always on and battery life is 2+ years. The Trijicon sights are supposed to be built to the same level of ruggedness as their ACOG and other milspec optics. The FNP-45T comes RDS ready from the factory with a milled slide and tall "suppressor sights" that cowitness with the dot.

    Using a RDS on a pistol is really no different than a rifle with the same advantages and disadvantages and I think that if you really want to make the best use of one you need to approach it with that in mind. It is easier to hit accurately with a RDS than iron sights and once you become accustomed to the sight picture it is also faster and, as ScottM has pointed out, cowitnessed iron sights are a huge help in that regard. IMO, the biggest advantage a RDS on a pistol gives you is the ability to stay focused on your target at all times. When using iron sights your target is blurry and front sight sharp, with the RDS you focus on your target with both eyes and superimpose the dot on it, the dot will also be in focus, like a laser. If you're using your pistol for self defense this is a huge advantage because it's eyes on target all the time.

    Like anything else they're not for everybody. They're unconventional, good ones are expensive, proper mounting requires altering your slide or buying a gun with one that is already modified, and yes, there is a learning curve. Anybody will shoot more accurately with a RDS but if you want to be fast as well, it takes some practice to make proper presentation habitual. Of course, that's not a negative as it's no different than learning to shoot with irons or a scope, proficiency always takes training and practice, that should be expected. Personally, I think the good outweighs the bad and I'm very happy with my guns, I switched from a 1911 to the FNP-45T and the optics capability was a big part of that decision. However, just like I don't have an RDS on every one of my long guns, I don't have them on all my handguns and one of my favorite off duty guns is a compact 1911 with conventional sights, even though I do prefer the RDS I'm just really comfortable with the 1911 the way it is so I'm willing to give up that advantage to carry it. But, I'm making an educated choice when I pick one over the other and I suggest that anybody that is interested in these mini optics find out as much info as they can and try them out for themselves. The Warriortalk forum has a big section on RDS equipped guns, anyody thinking of getting one would do well to read through their discussions - Red Dot Combat Pistols

    “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

  4. #63
    Member Array TinkMan308's Avatar
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    I have a hard time aligning my iron sights. Will this make it easier to get on target. IE, If the dot is on the target, I will hit it...

  5. #64
    Senior Member Array WC145's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinkMan308 View Post
    I have a hard time aligning my iron sights. Will this make it easier to get on target. IE, If the dot is on the target, I will hit it...
    Basically, yes. Once the RDS is sighted in you put the dot on the target where you want to hit it and squeeze the trigger. You do have to take ammo and trajectories into consideration when determining the distance you want to zero the sight at.
    My wife has trouble using irons, but she's a bullseye shooter with the FNS-9 and RDS. It takes the guess work out of sight alignment for her.
    Last edited by WC145; July 11th, 2012 at 05:08 AM.
    “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

  6. #65
    Ex Member Array ScottM's Avatar
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    Agreed with WC145.

    If you look all the way back to post #8, I did say the RMR was the best. A JPoint was what I had at the time and TSD milled guns for other=than RMR's when I had mine done.

    I plan to do a 19 and have an RMR put on it.

    No, every gun I own won't (or can't) have an RDS installed.

    I feel 'auto-off/on' features like the Deltapoint has add nothing to the unit since battery life is long already.

  7. #66
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    WC145,

    Your first post is essentially what I've been trying to say. As you say, "...they aren't for everyone...", that's all I've been trying to say as well. I pointed out that they are not just install and go, you corroborate this with, "...but if you want to be fast as well, it takes some practice to make proper presentation habitual...." That's all I was saying. In fact, another poster said the same thing.

    You also said the RDS I used was not of the same grade/quality as the newer ones. I also posted that and went on to say that's why I bought a later model. I'm waiting for the mount to come in. Of course, now we know it's a waste to put a RDS in a dovetail cut mount. Boy I wish I had known that before I bought my new RDS.

    I think we're making way too much out of very little. It's gratifying to finally see somebody else mention they have advantages and disadvantages. You say the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, and that may be true.

    The difference is recognizing there are some disadvantages and deciding for oneself that the advantages out weigh the disadvantages rather than denying they exist. But should one not be aware of the disadvantages from the start? To recap the only things I've posted:

    - from the pro-RDS posts, these things are not worth mounting unless the slide is milled for it - $200 - $250.
    - I and others have experienced incorrect dimming - probably minor, but worth mentioning
    - Compared to a laser, the RDS/gun has to be brought to eye level to use
    - Some people have eye problems that aren't compatible with close up RDSs
    - RDSs require a gun/slide to be committed to the sight due to the milling.

    WC145, do you disagree with any of those, or would you say, that's pretty much sums up the disadvantages?

    I think it is worthwhile to present the disadvantages so people can decide if they want to go that route. People with eye issues might realize they need to actually look through some of these to see if they'll work for them rather than order one from Amazon.

    Shouldn't they also realize that if they're going to do this they need to plan on the expense of having the slide milled also? Since as you and Scott point out, these things don't really work that well in a dovetail mount, that could very well be a deal breaker. Some might be willing to dovetail mount one on their 1911 but would not be willing to have their 1911 slide milled, or any other gun for that matter. Now that it's clear that the RDS will not work well from the dovetail mount, they know what they're getting into from the start.

    Now they know. I wish I had known before I bought my RDS that it would be practically useless without a milled slide mount. I wouldn't have bought it, I just don't want to pay some $500 for a sight that will only go on one gun. Now that I have it, I'm kind of stuck and committed. I either have to pay out more to have the slide milled for that one sight or be stuck with the sight.

    WC145, you said, "...adjusts the intensity of the dot using a forward looking light sensor..." I can't find a pic of an RMR that shows where the light sensor is located on it. Could you possibly post a pic of the unit showing the sensor - I'd much appreciate that. The forward looking sensor is something I'm interested in.

    Oh, and the best price I've found for a RMR02 is $521, is that about right or do you know of some places that have better prices?

    So with the milled slide we'd be looking at about $520 + $225 ($520 for the RMR02; $225 is Bowie's price for the RDS milling and a dovetail cut for the rear sight, right?) or about $745 per gun?
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  8. #67
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    This thread is a good thread with worthwhile merit.
    The idea is to put the ball out there so that lots of people can "kick it around" & that is what forums are all about. That is exactly what Tangle did with his own expressed opinions. Based on personal experience.
    Sometimes there are as many opinions as there are participating members usually for the better.
    If you disagree with him. Great! State your argument but, do it without making it personal.
    I have never known him to object to a good, healthy, honest debate of a topic filled with differences of decently and respectfully presented personal opinion.


    Jim Grover AKA Kelly McCann has a highly practiced and consistent draw-stroke which puts the dot in the window during the presentation out to the threat.
    Good things can come from constant repetitive practice no matter what sits atop your defensive handgun.
    I think that initially (and naturally) some folks are going to be playing "find the dot" until the fundamentals of the draw stroke are ingrained.
    Much the same with a standard front and rear until a shooter gets technique locked down.
    One thing that I have learned moderating this forum for years is that NOTHING is for absolutely Everybody!
    So Tangle would be 100% correct on that point.

    See this McCann VIDEO snippet. Notice the various assorted problems that fairly new defensive shooters are having getting the firearm out toward the threat.
    They are initially going to have the exact same problems no matter what is sitting atop the slide. Nothing is a panacea.
    Also there is a strong tendency for shooters unaccustomed to dot optics to attempt to scope the dot rather than allowing the illuminated dot to superimpose while focusing on the threat.
    It's a common problem even in the military with seasoned shooters who grew up with only iron sights. Their focus always gravitates to the firearm if not initially then often for reaffirmation before pulling the trigger.
    Just my personal opinion on all of this for what it's worth.
    For better or for worse handguns mounted w/ Illuminated Dot Optics are the "icecream...new flavor of the week" for defensive firearms and like pretty much everything else will (hopefully) continue to improve.
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  9. #68
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    Thanks, QKShooter, for the clarification about what we're about here.

    It has not been my intent to talk anyone out of considering a RDS, but rather to give them as much info as possible before making an expensive purchase.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I think because I have posted some downsides that I and others have experienced, that some have inferred (correct usage, meaning to think, deduce, or conclude, i.e arrive at a conclusion based on information received) that I'm against RDSs. That's not true at all. I'm now toying with the idea of perhaps returning the Burris and ordering a RMR. Now that's expensive, but I have an advantage most don't. I can machine a slide in my shop on my milling machine and it costs me nothing to have a milled slide. So that's another temptation for me.

    I see the same issues in product reviews that I have posted.

    But for most, they'll have the price of a RDS which is purportedly of minimal benefit unless the slide is milled and co-witnessing sights are installed. That brings the price up to about $460 - $725 for a sighting system for one gun - just the sight.

    Another option, BTW, Bowie will machine a slide for a RDS for $175 without co-witnessing sights, but if one desires co-witnessing sights, it costs another $50 for the dovetail cut in front of the RDS and a higher, suppressor rear and front sight.

    That's another thing that isn't mentioned: the co-witnessing sights are not the stock sights, but suppressor sights which mount higher than stock sights. You can see that on the upper gun in the pic WC145 posted. Not sure what's on the lower gun, I can't see if there's a rear sight mounted or not.

    I figured to just dovetail mount the Burris, similar to what Trijicon shows on their website:

    http://www.trijicon.com/images/banners/banner2_RMR.jpg

    Now it seems that that's not gonna be very useful so to get the co-witnessing sights and machined slide, I'm gonna have $460 in one sight that can't be used on any other handgun. All that for a SD gun - I'm just not sure I want to do that.

    Although, out of 161 reviews, the Burris FastFire II got 4.5 stars out of 5.0 and none of them mention getting the slide machined. Maybe I should try it in the dovetail. Got some thinking to do.
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  10. #69
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    This has been a good thread to read. I still don't think that I would put a RDS on a handgun (I don't see the personal need for one) but I have considered putting one on my M1 carbines which are our primary home defense guns.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

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  11. #70
    Senior Member Array WC145's Avatar
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    I agree this is a great conversation about a pertinent subject. I think we're all looking for every advantage we can get when it comes to self defense but you have to be able to make an educated decision, especially when you're talking about something as expensive as these optics, because most of us have to weigh the cost vs the benefit. That being said, I think that the cost needs to be put into perspective - you can buy a TSD Glock already equipped with a Trijicon RMR starting around $1300 (you could do it ala carte and save some money but for this example we'll use their package price) - compare that to the cost of many popular 1911s, the ones that folks consider "duty ready" out of the box, which are in the same ball park, and also consider that the cost of a quality EBR equipped with Trijicon, Aim Point, or EOTech and you'll be well above the admission price of an RDS equipped handgun. Also, the prices of these mini RDSs are in line with those of the quality long gun RDSs of similar quality and technology. Now the $1300 (or less) that you're paying for that RDS equipped handgun doesn't seem so unreasonable for what you're getting. Not only can that investment help you become faster and more accurate if you put in some training time and effort, the RDS can also extend the useful range of your handgun dramatically allowing shots that you might never have been able to make before. Of course, you can also become faster and more accurate at any range using irons if you put in the training and practice time, but there will be a point that your eyes and sights reach their limit, a RDS can help you push beyond that. I guess it's like hot rods - speed costs money, how fast you wanna go?

    I'm going to address the questions and comments above in the order they're posted so I don't get confused-
    I feel 'auto-off/on' features like the Deltapoint has add nothing to the unit since battery life is long already.
    Got to agree with this, I think the on/off thing is novel but not needed, one more thing to have an issue with. I change the battery in the RDS on my patrol rifle at spring qualifications, I'll do the same with my pistol. It's cheap insurance, the same reason we change the batteries in our smoke alarms.

    Of course, now we know it's a waste to put a RDS in a dovetail cut mount. Boy I wish I had known that before I bought my new RDS.
    - from the pro-RDS posts, these things are not worth mounting unless the slide is milled for it - $200 - $250.
    I won't say that it's a waste to use a dovetail mount, I will say that because the dove tail mounts don't allow for cowitnessed iron sights they make it harder to quickly acquire the dot in your sight picture because you don't have the sights to use as a reference so you have to work much harder on your presentation to consistently get the dot in your sight picture and on target. Obviously, it is doable since 1000's of folks use RDSs in competition without back up irons.

    - Compared to a laser, the RDS/gun has to be brought to eye level to use
    The same can be said about irons and you can still point shoot with a RDS equipped gun. Also, lasers have their own issues, like being very hard to see in bright light. My BUG is equipped with laser grips but I don't consider lasers as comparable to RDSs, they do a different job and do not have the distance advantages of the RDS.

    - Some people have eye problems that aren't compatible with close up RDSs
    True. As I understand it some folks with astigmatism see the dot as fuzzy or distorted, an individual issue, people need to do their homework and make informed choices.

    WC145, you said, "...adjusts the intensity of the dot using a forward looking light sensor..." I can't find a pic of an RMR that shows where the light sensor is located on it. Could you possibly post a pic of the unit showing the sensor - I'd much appreciate that. The forward looking sensor is something I'm interested in.
    I don't have any idea where it is or what it looks like. I do know that it sense the light in front of you so that it automatically increases intensity as you move into a brighter area and dims as you move into a darker area. The transition is smooth and very fast, I can't see it happen, it just does.

    Oh, and the best price I've found for a RMR02 is $521, is that about right or do you know of some places that have better prices?
    I bought mine from Slim's Tactical $430.66 + shipping, somthing like $446 total. It's the best price I've found anywhere and they're still available - Trijicon Ruggedized Miniature Reflex Red Dot Matte 8MOA RM02 - put one in your cart to see the actual price.

    See this McCann VIDEO snippet. Notice the various assorted problems that fairly new defensive shooters are having getting the firearm out toward the threat.
    They are initially going to have the exact same problems no matter what is sitting atop the slide. Nothing is a panacea.
    Also there is a strong tendency for shooters unaccustomed to dot optics to attempt to scope the dot rather than allowing the illuminated dot to superimpose while focusing on the threat.
    It's a common problem even in the military with seasoned shooters who grew up with only iron sights. Their focus always gravitates to the firearm if not initially then often for reaffirmation before pulling the trigger.
    Interesting video. I had to make similar changes to my presentation so that I now draw vertically and then press the gun out into my line of sight while I focus on the threat/target like they showed. I used to draw and start more of a swing upward as I cleared the holster and my eye would be drawn from the target to the sights as the gun came level to get a sight picture. Now, I have my sight picture first, since I stay focused on the target, and I draw the gun to it instead, putting the dot into my sight picture. I'm drawing that way with my iron sighted guns as well and I've found that I'm getting on target with my sights lined up better than they used to be, so in this case my RDS practice helping with my non-RDS shooting.

    I already have $235 (including local tax) in a RDS and now I'm told that it's of minimal benefit unless the slide is milled and co-witnessing sights are installed. That's another option, BTW, Bowie will machine a slide for a RDS for $175, but if one desires co-witnessing sights, it costs another $50 for the dovetail cut in front of the RDS and a higher, suppressor rear and front sight.

    That's another thing that isn't mentioned: the co-witnessing sights are not the stock sights, but suppressor sights which mount higher than stock sights. You can see that on the upper gun in the pic WC145 posted. Not sure what's on the lower gun, I can't see if there's a rear sight mounted or not.
    The sights on the FNP-45 Tactical in the pic are the factory sights (taller than normal Trijicon night sights), the gun is set up for use with a RDS and suppressor as it comes out of the box. I've read a lot of posts where people balk at the price of the FNP but the cost of the sights, millwork, and two different mounting plates plus screws to accomodate different brands of RDS are included in that price.

    The FNS-9 came with regular height Trijicon night sights from the factory. The rear sight was removed when the slide was milled for the RMR the front sight is still in place but it is useless since you can't see it through the RMR. The work on this particular gun was done by TSD/OST as a trial but they decided the cost was too high for them to offer a package like the Glocks they sell and scrapped the idea. I bought the gun from them with the RMR02 in place. I'm using it to train my wife to shoot with a red dot only, emphasizing presentation and target focus. I'll add cowitness sights as she builds her proficiency and confidence with the RDS. See, like I said, the RDS only set up (like a dovetail mount) is useful, you just have to put more work into it.

    I'm seriously thinking about returning the Burris and just go with iron sights. I have some money to play with, but if it takes nearly $500 to add one sight to one handgun, I'm gonna have to do some serious re-thinking about that.
    Please refer to the opening paragraph of this post.
    “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

  12. #71
    Ex Member Array ScottM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    I think that initially (and naturally) some folks are going to be playing "find the dot" until the fundamentals of the draw stroke are ingrained.
    Much the same with a standard front and rear until a shooter gets technique locked down.
    To a certain point, I believe you are correct.

    From my experience, and others I have read about, 'chasing the dot' results in longer training time and more frustration. You are basically looking for the red dot in the window and then trying to align it with your target. It's what I did when I had the dovetailed mount on my pistol.

    With the co-witness irons, once the gun is zeroed, you just look for the sights like you have did (hopefully) 1000's of times before in both dry and live fire. When you acquire the familiar sight picture, there is a little red dot sitting on top of the front sight.

    People with co-witness sights are still guilty of 'chasing the dot' if they haven't read or heard of looking for the familiar sight picture instead.

  13. #72
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    This is one of mine.. No regrets..


  14. #73
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    I ran across this on WarriorTalk and am reposting it with permission:
    Quote Originally Posted by tb1911
    RMR in total darkness...

    I was experimenting with my new TSD RMR02 slide in different light - everything from normal, to strong backlight, to being in near total darkness shooting in to a well lit area, to total darkness. The dot was always there and always the right brightness. Excellent technology.

    In total darkness, the dot was still there (very dim).

  15. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottM View Post
    I ran across this on WarriorTalk and am reposting it with permission:

    That is correct. The dot does not wash out on the LED RMR's. I own 3 of them and they are excellent performers.. The dual illumination has issues in total darkness or when running a Weapon mounted light at times..

  16. #75
    Ex Member Array ScottM's Avatar
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    My latest purchase:


    TSD upper (RMR and Trijicon suppressor night sights) on an already owned G19 frame. The grip length has been trimmed to G26 dimensions.

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