Development Of The TSD Combat Pistol
When I finally arrived at this solution, it was so clear that I almost did one of those facepalm things asking why didn’t I think of this? It began when I had several older students at classes in a span of four months complain that they could not see their sights. Not a really big problem when all the shooting is on big targets up close as we have learned, but for the longer or more precise shots, point shooting was not the answer. These poor guys had been trying fiber optics, peep sights, big dots, and all manner of rube goldberg solutions unsuccessfully.
We had just been set up with Aimpoint and had a boatload of the excellent Aimpoint Micros sitting around. Along with the dealer package we got a few special mounts…one of which was a dovetail mount for a pistol/Micro. Curious about the application, I looked up an old DVD with Kelly McCann’s Docter/Glock combo. More curious, I put the Micro on a Glock and ran a few hundred rounds through it to test the concept.
It worked well, but there was some difficulty picking up the dot. The difference was that with a rifle, you have the additional points of reference provided by shoulder and cheek on the stock. This gives uniform eye placement. But this was lacking with the two (or one) handed pistol. We tried a number of alternatives…specially when we discovered the Trijicon RMR.
The RMR was a definite improvement, but the “hunt the dot” problem remained. The pistol came up and the eye wanted to find the dot, but there was little success in quickness. I tried working up a ghost ring type system with the “tv screen” and the front sight, but that was also imprecise. We worked with Fastfires and Leupolds and even that J-point unit whose advocates claim has a built in rear sight. All were found to be less than optimal, although the RMR led the way with ruggedness. The RMR was the only unit that survived our testing. But the execution on a pistol was still not optimal.
Then I saw an FN45 with a Docter sight on it and still sporting the iron sights. Interesting idea. I took one of my Glock slides an RMR and tracked down some tall suppressor sights. I took it to several gunsmiths. All said it was “unnecessary”, “impossible”, and all manner of other excuses. I finally found someone at a gun store that said they would do it. Thus the first TSD type pistol was born.
As soon as we unveiled it, the detractors rolled out from under their rocks. I have seen this so many times before I was only surprised about how long it took them. “Its a fad”…”Its stupid”…and on, and on. Well, its been a couple of years at least and the momentum has not stopped. We still see guys trying to tell us that they sights need to be in front of the RMR. I will tell you why they say that. They have invested a great deal of money, advertising, and effort into selling the concept WITHOUT back up sights. And now their customers, seeing the advantages of the TSD application, came back complaining. In an business-saving effort, they added a rear sight as an after-thought, to placate the complaints. More on this later. As well, attempts are made to subsititute something “cheaper” in place of the RMR. In the early days we would work with other red dot systems, but abandoned them as we found our sales reps turning into customer service reps for Burris and J-Point and others. Now it is Trijicon RMR or nothing.
On the rear sight placement thing. Here is what I refer to.
They install the sight foreward of the red dot. Now lets fire up the bullsh*t meter. How many repetitions do we have bringing the pistol up into eye level, catching the rear sight and using that as a visual anchor to run the eye toward the front sight? Thousands? Try hundreds of thousands. Change that up and those body indexes hard wired into the muscle memory (eye muscle memory as well) are gone. We set a pistol up that way. The one in the picture is mine. I ran that one, and my other properly set up pistol, head to head for 500 rounds noting accuracy, times, and overall impressions. The sights forward unit was visually clumsy, slower, and more challenging to do well with. The standard unit, on the other hand, was almost effortless. If you take an honest look at the situation, rather than trying to create a “patch” for a poor execution of concept, you must agree that the sights belong in their traditional positions.
Eventually, we made our own slides. Better slides than the OEM system. We were able to incorporate spage-age finishes, and aerospace fabrication methods to produce what has become in many experienced eyes, the truly ultimate combat pistol.
Here is a US Special Forces soldier with his TSD RMR Glock. Let’s just say that TSD has been to many “interesting places” around the world in some very deadly hands.
And we are not anywhere near content, comfortable, or complacent. Our quest for excellence is all consuming and a driving force that propels us and our personnel onward and forward…always forward.