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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
Depends on the optic. Newer models have "shake and wake" modes in which merely handling the gun turns the optic on. Also, battery life these days is measured in hundreds if not thousands of hours, so if you simply turn the dot on when you put the gun on and turn it off when you retire the gun for the day, you're changing a battery no more often than every couple of weeks.

Here in the Phoenix East Valley, two major city PDs (Mesa and Gilbert) now allow officers to carry duty weapons with optics if they've undergone some additional training. This has taken place over the past 2-3 years, and one of the Mesa cops I shoot with said now about 30% of the patrol staff is certified to use carry optics. What convinced the PD management was watching patrol staff train and compete with optics and seeing the results in hit probability.

What I see with new CO shooters is a failure to consistently find the dot when the gun is drawn and aimed. There are committed shooters who take the time to practice and master the optic so that losing the dot is unlikely, but I see far more (in competition) for whom it is not a natural act, and they struggle for a long time with it.
 

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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
Yes, you have to turn it on. It's one of those things where if you are caught unprepared, it won't by itself do you much good.
 

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Yes, you have to turn it on. It's one of those things where if you are caught unprepared, it won't by itself do you much good.
My Leopold, Trijicon and RMS Shields are on all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
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
The battery life of these red dots is 1-2 years so mine are left on and never turned off.
 

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Depends on the optic. Newer models have "shake and wake" modes in which merely handling the gun turns the optic on. Also, battery life these days is measured in hundreds if not thousands of hours, so if you simply turn the dot on when you put the gun on and turn it off when you retire the gun for the day, you're changing a battery no more often than every couple of weeks.

Here in the Phoenix East Valley, two major city PDs (Mesa and Gilbert) now allow officers to carry duty weapons with optics if they've undergone some additional training. This has taken place over the past 2-3 years, and one of the Mesa cops I shoot with said now about 30% of the patrol staff is certified to use carry optics. What convinced the PD management was watching patrol staff train and compete with optics and seeing the results in hit probability.

What I see with new CO shooters is a failure to consistently find the dot when the gun is drawn and aimed. There are committed shooters who take the time to practice and master the optic so that losing the dot is unlikely, but I see far more (in competition) for whom it is not a natural act, and they struggle for a long time with it.
Regarding finding the dot, the new ACSS Vulcan reticle from Primary Arms may be a game changer for red dot use.

The reticle has the center dot plus a huge 10 moa circle. That circle can't be seen when the dot is centered, but if the gun is presented off center with the dot outside the window, the guide circle shows where the dot is.

Sounds like a great reticle for people to make the iron to optic switch. It's like training wheels.

For experienced optic users it's also a good tool for potential defensive use from unusual shooting positions, such as when knocked to the ground or shooting around obstacles that impede a flawless gun range presentation.

I really hope the reticle makes it to more optic platforms such as the Shield RMS line.


As for needing to turn on optics, most of mine are perpetually on, and I change out batteries annually on my birthday. One of mine needs to be turned on, a Vortex on my 10 mm, but I just turn it on when getting the gun out of the safe and off again when putting it away.
 

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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
My concern involves making myself a target. Every non-military laser designator I've seen shines bright red within about 45 degrees of the target.

I'm thinking a properly designed one wouldn't be visible at all outside of an extremely narrow cone, perhaps 1" radius at 100 yards.
 

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My concern involves making myself a target. Every non-military laser designator I've seen shines bright red within about 45 degrees of the target.

I'm thinking a properly designed one wouldn't be visible at all outside of an extremely narrow cone, perhaps 1" radius at 100 yards.
Not sure about 1" cone at 100 yards, but with the current crop of RDS you won't perceive the dot from downrange (looking uprange at the gun) unless you are pretty much in line with the optic.
 

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My concern involves making myself a target. Every non-military laser designator I've seen shines bright red within about 45 degrees of the target.

I'm thinking a properly designed one wouldn't be visible at all outside of an extremely narrow cone, perhaps 1" radius at 100 yards.
Are you talking about a laser designator where a laser beam is projected directly at the target, or about red dot optics that put a much lower powered red dot on glass that's attached to the gun? Big difference.
 

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If you don't at least have one of these, you aren't one of the hi-caliber, hi-cap tacticool kids.
351959
 

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Yes, a Trijicon RMR Type 2. Some people are anti red dot and even anti night sites, but I'd basically would only have the option to point shoot without them. My eye sight is that bad especially in low light. To each their own though. Do what works for you.

 

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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
Yes, you have to turn it on. It's one of those things where if you are caught unprepared, it won't by itself do you much good.
Some are designed to never need to be turned off. Others turn on automatically when there's movement. Some generate a dot via fiber optics so they're always on.
 

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A laser is not an optic, I think (I could be wrong), but I have a crimson trace instinctive activation green laser (visible in the day) on my LCR 327 compact revolver. I've never had to put it to actual use, but in practice it just feels like it would decrease time to fire in a sudden, panic situation. Also note, it comes with an off-on switch in case I needed to take careful aim.

Just my thoughts.
 

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A laser is not an optic, I think (I could be wrong), but I have a crimson trace instinctive activation green laser (visible in the day) on my LCR 327 compact revolver. I've never had to put it to actual use, but in practice it just feels like it would decrease time to fire in a sudden, panic situation. Also note, it comes with an off-on switch in case I needed to take careful aim.

Just my thoughts.
i borrowed a set of laser grips once for a smith j frame....just to try working with them....It did not last long as somehow i got a fleck of oil on the laser lens.

it took hours of cleaning with specialized q-tips to finally stop the kaleidoscope effect on the dot. I have no idea how that fleck of oil {guessing that is what it was) got thru the tunnel onto the lens.....but it reinforced my thought about never giving up on the irons and don't trust electronics completely.

the laser concept still holds some interest....but as auxiliary and not as main.
 

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For about the last 3-4 years, I have only carried a pistol with optic (makes life easier with my old eyes). It offers no added problem with concealment but does slow my first shot from holster by a slight amount. On the other hand, I am faster with followup shots and much more accurate at distance. As suggested above, there is a learning curve to become proficient in using a red dot set-up.
 
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