Recently, and I mean VERY recently, I’ve started toying with pistol-mounted miniaturized red dot sights (MRDS). This is another very trendy topic, so I’ll do my best to avoid the aspects that have already been covered by other, more experienced folks in this space. The purpose of this article is purely to share the experiences of a pure novice, and hope to articulate some of the things that might interest you if you’re flirting with the idea of putting a dot on your gun.
In short, the dot frees up bandwidth. What do I mean by this? Well, for me at least, there was a certain amount of brainpower and focus that I had to dedicate to ensuring proper sight alignment; that is making sure the front sight post was in the rear sight notch as well as ensuring that whole package was where I wanted it on the target. When you’re a mediocre shooter like myself, and still need to focus on your grip and trigger, that’s a lot of different directions to pull your attention all at once. By reducing the number of things I have to focus on in the sighting process, I’m suddenly much more aware of what’s going on with my trigger press and grip.
For me personally, my eyes don’t work well together. Something about them both vying to be the dominant one. I dunno, I never really paid it much attention, but suffice it to say for me it takes some active concentration to stick with either front sight focused or target focused shooting. Plug the red dot into that process, and now it’s a lot easier to stick with threat focused shooting and the dot just kind of existing in between my eyes and the target.
There’s another added benefit, especially for newer shooters that are still trying to master their draw, trigger press, and recoil control. The dot is a lot easier to keep track of unconsciously than even a fiber optic front sight. That means that if you do an analysis immediately after a string of fire, it will likely be much easier for you to actually identify what you’re doing well and what you may need to correct.
Using myself as an example, if you look at my Instagram post from November 13th, this was literally my first day shooting the dot. And even though I didn’t shoot as well as I do with conventional iron sights (no surprise) I was able to better articulate why and what needed to be fixed. The dot gives you a ton of info as to what your gun is doing in recoil, if your grip is truly consistent, how good your presentation is, etc.
If you are going to go down this path, there’s 2 basic options you can go with: Either A) you get an MOS or other modular platform that takes mounting plates if you really don’t know what kind of dot you want to get or B) since pretty much everything other than the ACRO and Delta Point uses an RMR pattern, just bite the bullet and get a slide cut for an RMR type optic. I was fortunate enough to have purchased a gun that just happened to already be cut for a red dot.
If you find yourself struggling trying to improve your draw and presentation, or if you’re fighting yourself and just can’t seem to put a finger on what exactly you’re doing wrong, spending a little time with a dot gun might give you the necessary info to self diagnose. Before I shot those FAST drills, the only time I had behind the dot was maybe 30 minutes of just dry draws (no timer). I was able to pick the dot up about 90% of the time, without having to hunt for it.
Currently I do occasionally find myself searching for the dot on the draw, and alot more if I’m shooting from the high ready like in some of the CSAT drills. Mostly I think the thing that’s costing me the most time is over-confirming the dot on the target, but I’m not exactly sure yet. More experimentation is needed, and I’ll be making another IG post about shooting that CSAT course of fire (not at the actual class, a local range likes to use that series as part of their monthly skills & drills)
If you’re like me, you sometimes wrestle with the idea of “Do I really deserve to explore this upgrade, or am I just trying to buy the skill I don’t have?” Well the videos make it pretty apparent that just sticking a dot on your slide won’t make you a better shooter, but it just might give you the information to help you progress to being a better shooter.
If you’re interested in actually taking a formal red dot pistol class, the best ones out there that I’m aware of are offered by Scott Jedlinski of Modern Samurai Project (Whose class I’m hoping to get into at Tac-Con 2020), Aaron Cowan of Sage Dynamics who is basically THE industry expert (or at least keeper of data) for MRDS info, Steve Fisher of Sentinel Concepts. That’s not to say there aren’t other worthy instructors out there, those are just the 3 I’m immediately aware of that teach dot specific coursework.
What are your thoughts on the pistol red dot? Are you dot-curious? What other questions did I leave unaddressed? Let me know!
If you do want to get yourself some MRDS gear, you can get dot-ready slides and optics from Big Tex Outdoors. Use the promo code SUITUP and save 15% at checkout!
Both Dark Star Gear and KSG Armory make dot compatible holsters as well. SUITUP saves you 10% with both of them.
I don’t get anything by you using those discount codes, they’re just good people who believed in me and have offered me guidance and support. They deserve your business. Go check them out.
2 thoughts on “Why You Should Consider A Red Dot On Your Pistol.”
Tried every method but unable to find this post on your website. Even a site search turns up nothing.
Take care, Ken
Please double check. I think the post originally got published prematurely, and it’s been reposted.
If you still can’t see it, let me know!
Thanks for the feedback.