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Dave Spaulding’s opinions, in the latest Tactical Wire newsletter. I have experience with red dots on carbines, but not on handguns. He brings up some potential issues I had not considered:

The following are my thoughts on red dot sights on COMBAT pistols based on my experiences over the last decade plus:
• The sights are fast and accurate. Though I don’t overly abuse my sights, they seem to hold their zero through normal-to-rugged use. Losing zero concerns me more than the sight losing its dot. If the dot is still there, I will be looking at it not realizing it is no longer accurate which could be a serious problem in a fight! If the screen goes blank, I will just revert to an alternate sighting method.
• When going from cold to hot environments and vice versa, the sights can fog over. I tried several different defog products and most worked as advertised with ‘Cat Crap’ being the best. I found that wiping the sight with saliva worked well, much like on a scuba diving mask and I always have a supply of that on hand.
• The sight got in the way of older rotating hood-style police duty/SWAT holsters. A thumb break worked just fine, as well as open top concealment holsters, which is what I use most of the time. More and more duty holsters are now being made for these sights.
• The sight window can be chipped by extracted brass that ejects back instead of out. This doesn’t affect the sight or obscure the dot in my experience, but it can be frustrating on a relatively expensive unit.
• The sight was no harder to conceal in a proper belt holster than traditional fixed pistol sights and was just as fast to draw from the holster once the deliberate action required is mastered (see next).
• The BIG problem with using the MRDS is PRESENTATION to the target whether it be from a ready position, holster, following a reload or stoppage manipulation, especially at close distances. The sight is great at distance, which is obvious, but can be a challenge to use close up. Biomechanics can overcome this problem.
• Overhand manipulation of the slide can result in a sweaty palm print on the forward side of the optic lens.
Dave Spaulding is a professional firearms instructor with 36 years' experience in Law Enforcement and Federal Security. The recipient of the 2010 Law Enforcement Trainer of the Year Award from the International Law Enforcement Training and Educators Association (ILEETA), Dave has worked in all facets of law enforcement including communications, corrections, court security, patrol, evidence collection, training and investigations. He was a founding member of his agency’s SWAT Team and acted as its training officer for 8 years. He spent a year in an undercover capacity and was the commander of a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force, has been an adjunct instructor at the former Heckler & Koch International Training Division and the Tactical Defense Institute. In addition to his many published articles (over 1,400), Dave is the author of two acclaimed books, Defensive Living and Handgun Combatives. He currently operates his own training company that focuses exclusively on “the combative application of the handgun”
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