Why Red Dot Sights On Pistols?
With our adoption of the red dot sight concept for the CCW pistol, we have received lots of inquiries about its use and methodology. Here is some of what we have discovered. CCW people have always followed the traditional sighting concepts with its required front sight focus. With the red dot system, the application is a little different.
I want to remind everyone that at the intervals where one would normally be focused on the threat and not looking at, or for, the sights nothing has changed. We are not suggesting that you will now be looking for a red dot at 3 yards or anything of the sort. Rather you operate as usual, physically indexing the pistol on threat and firing the necessary shots, looking only for the visual input needed to make it work. Sometimes that input may be minimal and you will simply be using the hand-eye coordination to get the hits. At other times, with iron sights, you are noticing various “indexes”, commonly called “meat and metal”. Again, nothing has changed. In the case of the red dot sights, you are still using the silhouette of the pistol when needed without seeking the dot, and you are still looking through the tube that is “filled with target”, without seeking the dot for those fast and dynamic close range shots.
It is when the distance interval increases or when you need that precise shot that we see a difference. Traditionally, shooters have been taught to look hard at the front edge (specifically the very top edge), but that, although it can be learned, is counter intuitive. When using the RDS (Red Dot System), you look to the center of the target and notice the dot as it reaches that spot. You look precisely where you want the bullet to go, and not at the dot itself. Of course you notice it, but never look specifically “at it” as you would with a front sight.
With the RDS, you must learn the visual input from the dot. Conceptually it is the same as the use of the iron sights, but it looks a little different, and is executed differently. With the RDS, the input is peripheral. Always look at the targets—exactly where you want each shot to go, and then wait until you have enough feedback from the dot for the shot to fire. Those of you who have done the point shooting training courses already know how to do this.
One drill that we suggest, and this one to teach both keeping both eyes open, as well as looking at the target, is to simply tape over the objective lens of the optic…the side facing the target. Now if you look at the dot, you cannot see the target. But if you keep both eyes open and look at the target, you will see the target with the dot superimposed upon it.
I recall back in the 1990s the 1911 crowd darn near gave birth when they saw the Glock take off. You could hear all manner of “tupperware” this and “hefty bag” that. But today, when you go to class, the majority of pistols are all polymer and have a Glock style design (the M&P and the XD are basically Glocks), and 1911s are in the minority.
There will be many naysayers, but watch, in ten years – every EDC gun will have red dot sights.
At TSD Combat Systems we offer red dot sights on Glock, M&P and SIG pistols. We sell complete pistols and pre-milled slides, or we can mill the slide from your pistol for a red dot mount. Order your red dot pistol from One Source Tactical.