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.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
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.