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pros and cons of red dot on edc

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  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,506 Senior Member
    And another hard topic break for observations on the subject of ZEROING:

    I've been finding that zeroing a pistol off an improvised rest to zero usually gives me a need to keep adjusting things once I get off of that improvised rest.

    The method I've been coming around to is to shoot a slow fire ten shot group unsupported with my normal grip, discount any known fliers, and adjust off the center of that group.  Ten shots gives you a good sampling of your normal mode of operation, and reduces the tendency to "chase the spotter".  Seems to save time and uncertainty.  YMMV.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,676 Senior Member
    @Bigslug,  from shooting some HARD recoiling SPs, I have something that will help, instead of resting the handgun, which can alter how it recoils and the resulting POI, rest your forearms. That allows the handgun to recoil naturally and have less effect on the POI.

    The late Dan Johnson clued me in to that
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,506 Senior Member
    I will definitely play with that at distance.  Not so much a factor in the game I'm currently playing.

    For academic nerdiness. . .

    The primary red dots and mounting systems I'm working with are putting the center of the red dot about 1" above bore - - on a 9mm Glock.

    Personally, I like the math on a 15 yard zero.  From between 10 to 40 yards, a 1000 fps 147 grainer is no more than a quarter inch high or low out to 40 yards - so you get pretty much point and click to any reasonably distance you might expect to play.

    HOWEVER. . . a ten yard zero peaks at a little under 1.5" high, is dead on again at 50 yards, AND has two additional advantages in the sense of quick, easy, done-on-to-the-next-one:

    1.  The MOA math for your clicks at 10 yards gets real simple.

    2.  It's pretty easy to shoot half-dollar sized groups at that distance - less spotter chasing.

    I'll no doubt have to get to figuring on what the other likely calibers and gun/mount combos are going to like.  
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,851 Senior Member

    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 6,980 Senior Member
     :D  :D:D
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,851 Senior Member
    edited December 2020 #67
    Slug, while I'm sure "testing" all of this on city money is enjoyable (and I commend you for pulling it off), I strongly suggest you fire up the Google Machine. Look up terms like "Sage Dynamics RDS white paper;" "Modern Samurai Project;" "Scott Jedlinski;" "Press Check Consulting;" "Houston PD pistol red dot;" and other similar terms. 

    I am confident that ALL of the "research" you have done has already been conducted by others, and track records have already been established. Serviceable RDS models, mounting methods and practices, appropriate BUIS, suitable dot size and variations, zero distances, methods of employment, etc et all. Many users have walked this path already and paved it for us late adopters. 

    Instead of stumbling upon a wheel, pushing it down a hill, and claiming you've discovered the function of it, why not look at your neighbor who has attached two wheels to a cart and is offering a free instruction manual?
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,506 Senior Member
    On the topic of durability, I'm with you.  There are a few agencies that have sunk some staggering budgetary effort into insane round counts and deliberate physical abuse.  In general, I'm willing to take their word on what will or won't hold up.

    And I HAVE been picking up good stuff from elsewhere. . .But frankly, I'm taking it all with a lot of salt and trying to draw my own conclusions from my own new and prior experiences simply because it's too damned new and ain't none of it gospel yet. If I haven't used the analogy here already, the whole notion of duty-ready RDS and assorted gear like holsters is basically a little beyond the state of fighter planes in WWI or computers in 1984, or maybe even accessories for the M16 platform right after 9/11.  This tech and the doctrine to go with it are both likely to be advancing a lot over the next few years - - probably with plenty of bad or quickly obsolete ideas that will get discarded along the way. 

    At this point, I kinda consider it my duty to not trust much and verify heavily.

    In other news - got my first look at a Holosun 509 and CHPWS's mounting plate for it today.  The gun it will live on has not joined its owner yet, but basically the same tech with the *apparent* advantage of having the guts more enclosed with front and rear windows that are close to the exterior of the sight.  The back of my 507 is recessed and the front is deliberately recessed with the "stand off" Defender mounting plate.  I did some shooting at 50 yards a couple weeks ago with some dust and goobers on the glass in truly BAD low-and-to-the-front sunlight conditions - it wasn't fun.  Fortunately, I had eyeglasses cleaning stuff in the car and was able to get it passably clean, but the recessed glass on both sides made it a bit of a pain in the ass.  The 509 is going to be A LOT easier to get along with - at least in that regard.  Adequately break or scratch resistant with the greater exposure? TBD.  If it is, I hope to see them do a compact model for the micro guns - it would be a welcome approach in the lint-filled world of CCW.

    And that might be a good mission statement for the folks making this stuff - if it's not as easy to care for as the Glock it's attached to, it may still be a work in progress.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 13,098 Senior Member
    Bigslug brings up my primary concern, I have friends that are LEO's, and I treat LEO's, and I have seen the road rash they get on their persons doing their jobs and I assume there is occasion to wipe snow, dirt, or rain off the lens, how is that working out? Especially in the rain.  
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,506 Senior Member
    Not only rain, but the fogging that can result when transitioning from cold to warm to say nothing of flat out breakage or battery failure.  I still have to toss my Glock in the office mini-fridge and test some of that out personally. 

    Several of my partners got into guest slots at a transition course a neighboring agency offered us - there seems to be a new process of point shooting developing around this concern using various external reference points on the pistol in lieu of sights.  It's certainly not going to give you long range bullseye results, but at close range, just superimposing the window of the sight over your target  in a shoulder-to-shoulder approach works fine.  Back corners of the slide, side of the slide, top of the red dot hood - take your pick.  Having your proper grip sorted out beforehand will obviously be a factor here.

    I've never been one for true point shooting - not because it can't be learned or doesn't work, but because the time and ammo required  to get good at shooting without direct-line visual reference off the gun is really prohibitive in an "industrial" setting.  This "fudge sight" approach is not really point shooting, but rather improvising other sights.  No doubt easier.



    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 13,098 Senior Member
    Thanks BS, the weather in the Northern Midwest yields different results in than the Southwest, I have gotten enough rain/sleet/snow down the back of my collar in the woods and then onto my slung or carried rifle scope to be frustratedly wiping off a scope a lot.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,506 Senior Member
    Yep. . .I'm familiar.  Left Illinois when I was 12.  On my first summer visit back after getting glasses, I walked outside the air conditioned house and experienced total lens white-out before I got across the  front porch. "This is new", I said. :D

    I can definitely see the recessed rear lens of the HS407/507/508 to be a liability in that regard.  The effect is less pronounced on an RMR and the HS509 addresses it entirely. 

    The exposed duty carry holsters from Safariland and Blackhawk have spring-away hoods that should keep the worst of the Evil Bitch (AKA Mother Nature) at bay, but it's not a sealed system.   A parka over the top of it will help, but officers carrying drop downs of any kind will be totally reliant on the holster hood.

    For CCW in the cold, it's safe to assume we'll be deploying sights that are warmer than outside air thanks to body heat, but colder than inside dwellings.  Perspiration moisture building up under your coat or fogging going indoors may be the things to expect.

    OK. . .More stuff to play with. . .
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 13,098 Senior Member
    I am going to ask the local LEO's if they have played with any of the gear in question, I have not noted any of the holsters you have mentioned.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,506 Senior Member
    Safariland 6360 series.  Pretty much their standard SLS/ALS retention with the shell expanded to give room for the RDS.  The SLS "bail" pushes the RDS dust cover out of the way.  Replacing the dust cover requires an extra step to flip it backward after holstering, but if you've been running their old level 3 holsters (last 7 ish years maybe), there are no mysteries to it.

    The Blackhawk dust cover and other retentions all release with the push of a thumb button accessible from the position of a normal firing grip.

    A few of the Kydex CCW holsters we have were easily altered with a little bit of file or Dremel work.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,565 Senior Member
    Well here's an... interesting way to mount an RDS. This seems to be a real miniature MRDS.

    I am not sure a longish, narrow-tubed red dot is really an answer.  Other articles say that you can spend time searching for the dot in fast presentations.

    https://www.gunsandammo.com/editorial/leupold-deltapoint-micro-red-dot-sight-first-look/387195
    Overkill is underrated.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 13,098 Senior Member
    There you go, interesting take on the concept.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,506 Senior Member
    Well here's an... interesting way to mount an RDS. This seems to be a real miniature MRDS.
    That is an interesting approach - depending on the price, it may get those with older, unmilled slides into the game reasonably.   With that rear/downward extension, it's probably not really going to be a valid duty gun option because of how those holsters work.  Also a little irksome in that it has to be removed to "un-gut" the slide for service, BUT, it does seem to be a version of the scope mount kits for mil-surp rifles that don't require modifying the gun.  That's commendable in its own right.

    I am not sure a longish, narrow-tubed red dot is really an answer.  Other articles say that you can spend time searching for the dot in fast presentations.
    A couple methods there.  The one I've adopted is simply a slight modification of the way I find my iron sight picture in which I drive the gun forward with the muzzle slightly high until I start to pick up the front sight, then as my arms get fully extended, I kick the muzzle down to bring it into alignment with the rear.

    I do the exact same thing with a red dot, except instead of the front sight, I reference off the top/center of the RDS hood.  When you kick the muzzle downward, the dot drops right into your field.  I'm still learning it, and it's not exactly 100% foolproof, but even if you have to hunt a little, you've still eliminated the alignment and focus shift elements of iron sights.  Unless you totally botch it, at worst, it's probably a wash - - -although honestly, the kids with eyes that are still flexible are going to be the real fair comparators of speed between the two systems. 
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,565 Senior Member
    Bigslug said:
    Well here's an... interesting way to mount an RDS. This seems to be a real miniature MRDS.
    That is an interesting approach - depending on the price, it may get those with older, unmilled slides into the game reasonably.   With that rear/downward extension, it's probably not really going to be a valid duty gun option because of how those holsters work.  Also a little irksome in that it has to be removed to "un-gut" the slide for service, BUT, it does seem to be a version of the scope mount kits for mil-surp rifles that don't require modifying the gun.  That's commendable in its own right.
    I'm not sure it's aimed at the duty gun market.  Watched an evaluation by one of Clint Smith's guys, and he said it works well for CCW/Off-duty work.  His only vision for it being as a duty gun was if a chief or department didn't want to spring for milled or milling the slides.  But he didn't say he'd tested it with a lot of duty holsers.
    I am not sure a longish, narrow-tubed red dot is really an answer.  Other articles say that you can spend time searching for the dot in fast presentations.
    A couple methods there.  The one I've adopted is simply a slight modification of the way I find my iron sight picture in which I drive the gun forward with the muzzle slightly high until I start to pick up the front sight, then as my arms get fully extended, I kick the muzzle down to bring it into alignment with the rear.

    I do the exact same thing with a red dot, except instead of the front sight, I reference off the top/center of the RDS hood.  When you kick the muzzle downward, the dot drops right into your field.  I'm still learning it, and it's not exactly 100% foolproof, but even if you have to hunt a little, you've still eliminated the alignment and focus shift elements of iron sights.  Unless you totally botch it, at worst, it's probably a wash - - -although honestly, the kids with eyes that are still flexible are going to be the real fair comparators of speed between the two systems. 
    Same guy said it works really well for those who are really used to using standard sights and are having a hard time transitioning to other red dots.  Said for those folks, a closed emitter like the Leupold or others works better, and it seems that the smaller the tube, the more easily folks are adapting to the sight.  I've read similar articles regarding issues some have with red dots on rifles, i.e. Aimpoint vs. EoTech.  

    Overkill is underrated.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 13,098 Senior Member
    edited January 4 #79
    I talked to a friend that just completed his departments sniper training and he was using a dot sight as a back up to the scope, not sure how he had it mounted, moisture was a problem in MN with training scenarios, he did like it at the range. He has not played with one on an EDC yet, he assumes the same problems would exist.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • BamaakIIBamaakII Posts: 335 Member
    edited January 6 #80
    Well here's an... interesting way to mount an RDS. This seems to be a real miniature MRDS.

    I am not sure a longish, narrow-tubed red dot is really an answer.  Other articles say that you can spend time searching for the dot in fast presentations.

    https://www.gunsandammo.com/editorial/leupold-deltapoint-micro-red-dot-sight-first-look/38719

    Colin noir did a video on this sight..  he seemed to like it. said it was the same as shooting iron sites  in how you present and attain sight picture.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,565 Senior Member


    So besides the cost savings of just bolting this on to most any Glock or M&P vs getting a slide that's ready for a MRDS, the commenter hints at I was wondering what the target audience was: folks who want a RDS but are very ingrained into shooting irons, like BamaakII said. 
    Overkill is underrated.
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,851 Senior Member
    I'm curious. May grab one to play with on my spare Glock 19 slide. I'm pretty comfortable with the normal slide mounted RDS, but this one may very well have its niche. 

    I'll still happily EDC my RMR though. 
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
  • BamaakIIBamaakII Posts: 335 Member
    I think its size is what its selling point is.  Lower to the bore as well.  Less profile above the slide.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,506 Senior Member
    One other preference point - perhaps seemingly minor - emerges:  a flat top on the RDS.

    You can't rest the slide of a pistol with a rounded-top RDS like the HS407 and 507 "belly up" while you're cleaning it.  With the 509, "square face" version of 508, or an RMR you can.

    Been softly evaluating the HS509T.  I like the enclosed emitter system.  I like the Picatinny-ish mounting system.  Image quality is a little behind the 507 in that you're looking through two layers of glass instead of just one.  In that category, it's probably equal RMR's suffering from their blue glass and edge distortion.  Both perfectly usable - but neither one like looking through Swarovski binos. 
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • KMT2KMT2 Member Posts: 373 Member
    Pictures please

    If you think OHSA is a little town in Wisconsin you may be in trouble!
    Peace is firing my guns or 60 feet below the surface of the water.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,506 Senior Member
    OK. . .#1  Rear Window:


    Not the greatest pic of my Holosun 509T, but suffices in that the rear glass is all the way at the back of the sight.  This has the advantage of sealing in the emitter that projects the red dot up against the back surface of front glass.  On many of these red dots, the front glass is all there is, and the rear is basically an open, downward-facing "sugar scoop" in your holster, that is free to collect whatever the carry environment throws at it.  My main annoyance with that is the minor difficulty of reaching in to the bottom of that sugar scoop to keep the lens clean, but if you're the sort that lets lint build up to the point that it resembles felt cloth; if you're rolling around in mud puddles with your suspect; or if you're a traffic cop on a motorcycle out in the world of rain and splattering insects, this rear window is extra insurance against the emitter getting blocked by crud, which would put the sight out of business until cleaned.



    #2:  Front window.  A decent amount of recess to protect the glass inside the titanium housing.



    #3:  Controls & mounting clamp.  The 509T kept the big buttons that went away from the 407/507/508.  If you look at my earlier pic of the 507, you can see the smaller buttons.  This is going to be one of those preference issues I think.  I'm leaning toward the small ones because they are less likely to get pressed against your body in CCW mode (worth choosing your holster accordingly), but then I almost never wear gloves, and when I do, the main firearm concern is shooting a deer with a rifle.

    This pic doesn't really tell the story, but the aluminum mounting plates from CHPWS are SUPER well-executed pieces of gear.  If you like old school machine work, they will make you smile.  

    The mounting clamp for the 509 is basically a proprietary Picatinny-esque rail system with a single cross-bolt torqued to 20 inch-pounds.  Most of the others (when mounting on a CHPWS plate) use two screws to attach the plate to the slide (as does this one) and then two more screws to attach the sight to the plate.  



    #4:  What Holosun calls their "Solar Failsafe" system, which they install on their "big gun"optics (thus far, not on their miniature "K" models for guns like the G43X/48 and Sig P365).  This keeps the sight juiced up in event of battery failure (shame on you if you can't manage to change it out more regularly than the roughly 3-year run time).  It also serves as a sensor for an optional auto-brightness control, which, as such things go, is pretty "smart" in how it cranks up and down.

    But more to the point of my last post, the top of this sight is FLAT, so you can field strip your pistol and stand the slide upside down on the red dot and front sight and not have it flop over.  A minor issue perhaps, but that's how I've laid autoloaders out when cleaning them for almost 40 years, and I DESPISE change. :D
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • ThatPunkGirlThatPunkGirl Posts: 7 New Member
    KMT2 said:
    I saw a neat video of a person on his conversion from iron sights to a red dot.
     any thoughts?
     Zee Id like to hear your thoughts greatly.
    how does the red dot compare to the green dot?

  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,562 Senior Member
    Hey Bigslug; in your work preparing to roll these out to officers full-scale, have you had any cause for concern about users being so focused on the red dot that they involuntarily subject themselves to tunnel vision?  
    This may be way off base, but I wonder if looking through a sight like these has any potential to cause the user to temporarily limit their peripheral vision, possibly making them vulnerable to missing details/actions happening around them.
    I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts/observations, as well as those of any of us who have used them. 
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 6,980 Senior Member
    bobbyrlf3 said:
    Hey Bigslug; in your work preparing to roll these out to officers full-scale, have you had any cause for concern about users being so focused on the red dot that they involuntarily subject themselves to tunnel vision?  
    This may be way off base, but I wonder if looking through a sight like these has any potential to cause the user to temporarily limit their peripheral vision, possibly making them vulnerable to missing details/actions happening around them.
    I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts/observations, as well as those of any of us who have used them. 
    I’m not Bigslug but I’ve stayed at a bunch of Holiday Inns.  Tunnel Vision is a byproduct if hyper focus under stress and you don’t need to be in a fire fight to experience it.  I can almost guarantee you that you’ve had it just by training with your own gun.  

    To prove the concept, I’ve stood right next to students and made all sorts of crazy faces and motions while they are intent on shooting a target under the stress of a timer and guess what, none of them have seen me do it.  I know because I ask.

    Think about your last time at the range.  When you where hyper focused on that front sight, do you remember who was next to you?  What they were wearing or doing?  It’s not an actual change to your vision.  It’s your brain excluding all incoming information that it considers unnecessary at the moment.
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,506 Senior Member
    Gun Nut's got it.  Tunnel vision is a product of situation fixation, not your sighting system.  If you're shifting gears to be placing REALLY accurate rounds on your side of a steel duelling tree, or if you're REALLY concerned about the massive gun/knife/bat the other guy is rushing at you with, you are going to experience tunnel vision - to the point that there could be marching bands and elephants five feet to either side of your target and you'd be totally oblivious to them.

    The gun does not typically fully cover the target until you're pretty darn sure it's getting fired.  You SHOULD be watching hands up to that point.  Tunnel vision will be a fact of life by that time whether the gun is up or not.  The trick is not to go there too soon, or stay there too long, and ideally bring friends to the party.  That's a training issue, not an equipment one.

    That said, there is one area in which the red dots may stand to help with the phenomenon - you're supposed to do the reverse of what you do with iron sights, and that is keep your eyes focused on the target instead of the aiming dot.  Gone is the span of time between deciding the target is doing something that requires shooting and shifting back to the front sight and its alignment with the rear, which (a.) a lot of people don't do under extreme stress which is why combat accuracy is generally poor; (b.) older folks with distance-corrected eyes often CAN'T do very quickly or well; and (c.) allows continued perception of the target's actions all the way to bullet delivery - potentially helping with justification of the shoot/don't shoot process.  Essentially, the tunnel vision is still there, but maybe you can now operate more effectively while in it.

    I'm not a full convert to these things, though it may seem like it if you've followed this whole thread.  In my case, I'm learning to deal with onset of age-related eyeball fossilization at the exact same time we're evaluating the sights, so to be truly objective about it, I have to say it's a handy crutch for the momentarily legless IN MY CASE.  But another bit of reality I have to face as an instructor is that try as you might to convince your students to focus on their front sight at the moment of truth, a large percentage of them will continue look to their paper for holes or fixate on the threat in front of them.  In one sense, red dot feels like giving up as an instructor, but the truth of the matter is that correct use of iron sights under stress involves overriding natural responses that are pretty hard-wired.

    But the rubber still has yet to reach the road.  Thus far, it's all been instructor study and evaluation.  Teaching ANYTHING to the level of the unfamiliar student for the first few times often teaches the teacher a lot - I expect this will be no different.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,962 Senior Member
    I’ve gotten away from focusing on the front sight of a handgun (or red dot). You can’t shoot fast focusing on a point at the end of your hand. 
    It was an epiphany when I realized two things:
    -The fight is “out there”, so focus on the fight. 
    -Focusing on the front sight is slow. 

    Teaching to concentrate focus on the front sight after initial understanding/learning of sight picture/alignment is both antiquated and detrimental to improving a shooters speed and situational awareness. 

    I see the front sight/red dot. 
    I use the front sight/red dot. 
    I don’t FOCUS on the front sight/red dot. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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