I competed for years in USPSA and rode the wave of optics on handguns, going from a single-stack 1911 by Springfield to High-cap STI open guns with frame-mounted C-Mores. Here is what I know:
1) Optics only really help with speed and accuracy at distances greater than 20 yards; Case in point: My El Presidente times and hit factors were so close to one another, limited vs open that it was almost a wash. I know when I made Master in 1989, my time with a single stack Springfield was 5.5 seconds with all my hits. With an Open gun and a frame mounted C-More at my absolute peak in 1992, it was 5.23 seconds with all my hits.
2) There were other guys that had slide-mounted optics on their guns, but in my opinion you lost speed because with the action of the slide you lost the dot and had to take extra time to re-aquire it. I happened to do an El Prez with one such setup and my time was 5.8 seconds, down 2 points. I blame that on losing the dot during firing. With my frame mounted setup and a properly tuned comp, I never lost sight of the dot. Most of my time was lost on missing reloads, or movement, because I moved like a turtle (and still do, just older now).
So my overall point is this:
For a carry gun and carry distances, optics slide or frame mounted are feel-good tacti-cool accessories meant to assuage the ego and empty your pocketbook. As I learned in USPSA competition, inside certain distances the advantage of optical sights, even compensators were negated and the open gun was on a level playing field with their limited counterparts. The money you spend on that optic could be much better spent on practice time and/or lessons to develop ones' skill and attaining a proper sight picture which will lead to better speed and accuracy overall........
I tried a Red Dot on one of my shooting buddies pistols and i did not care for it very much. They say it takes a while to become acclimated to the new optic compared to the iron sights. At the ranges that I will most likely have to use my pistol in self defense I feel completely comfortable with traditional sights.
I am no stranger to dots as I do have a holographic red dot on my semi auto rifle.
I do not use them on carry guns. As a matter of fact, I do not own a handgun that can accept an optic and most of my handguns won't accept a flashlight either. At work, I have access to just about any crazy combination out there and optic do have a place.
I understand the red dot's place and usefulness however people need to understand the dynamics of most defensive shootings and optics, flashlights, and/or lasers are more of a liability than a help in these types of fights.
IMHO handguns are for close quarters defensive fighting however, a red dot on a pistol can fill the void in between pistol to carbine but it comes with limiting returns. If I need to use a red dot, IMHO it should be on my carbine not my pistol.
Now for competition, I have shot just about every combination, although I don't get optics on a gun like a hellcat, as they make most shooters faster and more accurate at extended ranges. This is the area where optics really shine however optics do not fix shooting related issues such as jerking the trigger or heeling.
Another area where optics makes sense is on a gun equipped with a can.
My routine carry guns are government model 1911s with iron sights. Some of them came with night sights.
My only carry gun with optics is an FNH FNX-45 with a Holosun instant on green dot that is co-witnessed with the suppressor height night sights. It is my go to Portland to visit my wife's elderly relatives handgun.
I am retired and rarely go anywhere at night. I don't have any weapon mounted lights. I do have multiple flashlights stashed in every room of the house. There is a flashlight in the glove box and one in the center console of each vehicle.
Dumb question; Don't you have to turn on the red dot to use it? I can't imagine how that would work in a defensive situation. I'm not trying to be difficult but I don't understand how a red dot would/could be used in a defensive situation. I guess if you have co-witness irons you could use those and turn on the red dot if time permits??? Again I don't understand, if someone explain how the red dot is activated when needed it would help me understand. Thanks
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