Red dot vs iron sights on carbine; reaction times

Before anybody hits me with the stupid stick, I thought long and hard about asking this in the Optics subforum, and then Crusader Hall afterwards. But here goes:

Does anyone have any real world studies (Force Science, etc) or quantifiable data from your experiences regarding just HOW MUCH faster and more accurate a given shooter can be with a carbine with a red dot as opposed to iron sights medium to close range?

What I mean by this is, I'm looking for info to absolutely donkey punch a certain firearms instructor who had the misfortune of making the statement "for patrol rifle work, everyone I've talked to said iron sights are better".

Putting aside the utter stupidity of that statement for a moment, I can't come right out and tell him he's a moron because A) he's one of my bosses, and B) he's a "firearms instructor" (taken with a grain of salt).

So I'm looking for some sort of scientific info or study from an accredited source, that I can point to and say "look, these guys did SCIENCE, and you're wrong". If the answer was as simple as saying "Here's LF.net, you argument is invalid", I would have done so already.

Letters/memos from heads of units or large LE departments or DoD or DoJ or ANYTHING helpful is appreciated. If you want to be discreet you can PM me for an email address.

I think it goes without saying that if someone thinks this definitely should have been in the other section, feel free. Since it's pertaining directly and exclusively to carbines and iron sights as well, I thought it could fit here.

Thanks

 

 

 

 

Joined:      14 January 2010                Location:     Lobster emoticonMAINELobster emoticon

Original Post
Something to ask yourself is even with all the science in the world, will it even make a difference? If so, carry on, but it really sounds he has made up his mind. Who is everyone he has talked to and their frames of reference? Or why irons are better vs RDS's? If he's not willing to share that if asked respectfully, then he's made up his mind and things aren't going to change unless it comes from higher, or he has a revelation where he makes the discovery that RDS's are better than irons for reasons XYZ.

"You have a duty to evaluate the effectiveness of your intervention!" Doc Spears Alliance OH 2012 www.10-32solutions.com Eruditio Venit Superessendam

The first thing that comes to mind is something my grandpa told me. "Never get into an argument with an idiot. People walking by might not be able to tell the difference."

That being said his statement may be true in his frame of reference. If you take 10 guys give them shitty Red dot sights and no training on how to use them they will probably prefer iron sights.

If you give the same 10 guys aimpoints and show them how to properly use them the outcome will of course be very different.

I have never met this guy but he is probably one of those old school, "I used to assault the communist hordes at Chosin"(loosely stolen from Buck) types. Your not going to prove him wrong with science. If you still want to prove to him what you already know, the best way to do it is on the range with a shot timer.

I have had many a student think their way was the only way until I put them on the clock and show them a more efficient and subsequently faster way technique.

Just my 2 cents
I should have specified, the reason I'm putting data together is because I'm planning on going over his head and sideways to the other firearms guy (who won't do it on his own, but can be swayed). The big boss man can also be swayed, but only with good cause (some hard data and a reason for disregarding the word of the firearms guy). I imagine the point will be conceded when I have a bunch of info and whatnot to present. Step 2 is getting him to the range and saying "here's a T-1, here's your iron sights. Try them both out and pick which is easier"

Thanks for the input!

 

 

 

 

Joined:      14 January 2010                Location:     Lobster emoticonMAINELobster emoticon

Depending on your time push, you might be able to get some working guys here to jot down thier split times optic vs. irons, as well as specific type of optic etc. It might take you a little longer but if you can show him specific data from 6+ different agencies on the time improvements, it might help. I'd be more than willing to take some notes for you when I hit the range this weekend.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -You have never lived until you have almost died. For those who have fought for it , life has a special flavor the protected will never know.

 

You cant look dignified when your having fun!

 

 Location: Georgia

Another angle to look at is low-light. I think that would be a more realistic angle than speed. When it comes to true accuracy with group sizes, the irons are better, as you can't get quite as fine on a bullseye with a dot as you can irons. What the RDS dot does do is get faster hits on a threat than irons, so groups can easily be 5-6 inches. Show scores at a low light shoot with a RDS then Irons.

Iron sights are probably better in my opinion for patrol work if the RDS option is anything except an Aimpoint. My personal experience is that only the Aimpoints have what it takes to survive. I have an agency in my area that is fielding EoTechs and Vertex RDS's, with wandering zeros and all. They don't care about anything but $$ saved. Is that a factor in his thinking at all, or the responses that he's gotten from his sources? How old is that information he's gotten?

I guess I'm asking these questions as I'm looking at other arguements you maybe also want to head off ahead of time. Your best resource for the RDS vs Iron arguement is probably going to be one of Pat's SWAT articles otherwise as a start for sources.

"You have a duty to evaluate the effectiveness of your intervention!" Doc Spears Alliance OH 2012 www.10-32solutions.com Eruditio Venit Superessendam

Never fight a battle of wits with an unarmed man.

I am good with irons, I'm better (faster) with an Aimpoint.

Something to keep in mind when talking with whomever you are going to end up talking with is lighting conditions. Too many LE instructors have been away from the street for too long. What they preach on a square range on a sunny day may work. But try that in a alley on 3rd shift some time.

They tend to forget that our officers work and may engage individuals on overcast days, at night, in the rain, in the snow, what ever.

Many instructors also do not comprehend how much the environment has changed as to the weapons and tactics used by suspects. When I started 19 yrs ago, most gun runs involved a single suspect armed with a 32 or a 380. It was rare to see a 9mm or a 45. Ten years ago, 9mm's started showing up, but long guns were rare. Now... Multiple armed suspects and/or SKS's and AK's aren't that big of a deal to encounter.

Even if I were as fast with irons, (with 46 yr old eyes, I find an additional benefit from a RDS. Don't ever get old, it's overrated!) the benefits of the RDS in low light is enough to justify them.

 

 

 

Joined: 4-23-04                                          Location: SW Ohio

Doc and Beat Trash make excellent points. Also consider things like the use of a pro-mask, and non standard positions.
Judging "speed" by doing "up drills" on the flat range on a sunny day, is pointless.

Judging "speed" by running an O course that requires shooting on the move, and from awkward positions, would be a much better comparison.

SOF figured this out in 1970

Bob

----------------------------

"Good landing, good fight, and good luck" James M. Gavin 09Jul43

 "they say if it works, it's a good tactic...I say anything can work once" 

You might be able to get some data from 3 Gun competitions by doing averages of Tactical Division(optics) vs Limited or Tactical Irons division.

It has nothing to do with fighting with a gun, but I am willing to bet the optics group will have faster times. If that's the data you are looking for.

Is minic a bhris béal duine a shrón.

 

Joined: 10/11/07                  Location: Colorado Rockies

Just after 9/11 we did a little of that in the Canadian Forces.
In static drills, the irons did well. In low light, or with a moving target or with the shooter moving, the red dot was VASTLY superior.
When you put low light, moving target and moving shooter it was not even close.

Now if you shoot at a static target on a sunny day from a static spot, irons are good to go, of course thats not really realistics...

I had all that data on a computer years and years ago, and I probably posted some on the net, but its easily quantifiable with 5-6 guys and some range time.

______________________________

Kevin S. Boland

Manager, Federal Sales

FN America, LLC
Office: 703.288.3500 x181 | Mobile: 407-451-4544  | Fax: 703.288.4505
www.fnhusa.com

 

Joined: 10/8/03  

Get the bosses to the range at some point. Set up a course of fire where they have to access the rifle from the vehicle, load it quickly and engage close range and mid range threats. Time them for record and also question them as to how long they felt it took to get the job done with RDS and with irons. If you make them do some moderate physical activity prior to the drill and get their hot rate pumping a lottle, they will see the benefit of the RDS. You just have to make sure you teach them a little about it before the drill. I shit you not some guys thought you had to line up the dot in the irons before we clarified the matter.
quote:
Originally posted by DocGKR:
There is a reason the entire U.S. military has moved away from irons and is using an RDS or other optic...


Beyond the "science" itself, I'm thinking DocGKR's comment should service as enough proof.

" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. " -George Orwell Celer, Silens, Mortalitas "Swift, Silent, Deadly"

I have been using an Aimpoint in some configuration in the Army Infantry for years to include combat. When we go to qualify we zero our irons and our CCO's and then quaify with our CCO's. That should tell you something.
quote:
Originally posted by Blackwind:
quote:
Originally posted by DocGKR:
There is a reason the entire U.S. military has moved away from irons and is using an RDS or other optic...


Beyond the "science" itself, I'm thinking DocGKR's comment should service as enough proof.


I have no clue where to find this info, but wouldn't the Army have testing data on this? In the interest of getting Lobster the data he's looking for, does anyone know how you go about getting your hands on Army testing info?

I'd also be interested to see it. Our agency doesn't use optics in patrol either.
----------------------------

"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."


Friends, in your life I hope you do four things; lie, steal, cheat, and drink. When you lie,do it to save a friend. When you steal, steal someone's heart. When you cheat, cheat death. And when you drink, drink with me.

Joined 06/02/09.        Sierra Nevadas, Ca.
Here's one official source, it might help.

http://usarmy.vo.llnwd.net/e2/c/downloads/215919.pdf

One excerpt: "In post combat surveys, 85 percent of Soldiers rate the CCO as an effective optic and regularly comment on the sight’s effectiveness for close quarters combat."

I didn't dig deeper for more science, but it might be a start.

"Hope is not a course of action" - A. "Bucket" Pryor

Thanks for the help dudes. I know this isn't the most interesting or ground breaking topic because obviously those of us here recognize sheer, unadulterated stupidity in motion.

But that's for taking the time to help out anyway.

 

 

 

 

Joined:      14 January 2010                Location:     Lobster emoticonMAINELobster emoticon

We still have these folks on our cadre of instructors as well. These are the same folks who think weapon lights are dangerous, Serpa Holsters are awesome, EoTechs are tits, a Millet Red Dot s the same as an Aimpoint, and all you need is 55gr FMJ for any situation. Also the same guys who dictate that we have to remove our optics every time we qualify, so "We dont cheat."
Lobster -- I'm sure John E at Aimpoint can help you.
Seeing is believing, see if your brass will come watch a demo.

______________________________

Kevin S. Boland

Manager, Federal Sales

FN America, LLC
Office: 703.288.3500 x181 | Mobile: 407-451-4544  | Fax: 703.288.4505
www.fnhusa.com

 

Joined: 10/8/03  

quote:
Originally posted by LobsterClaw0351:
Thanks for the help dudes. I know this isn't the most interesting or ground breaking topic because obviously those of us here recognize sheer, unadulterated stupidity in motion.

But that's for taking the time to help out anyway.


Please follow up with what worked and what didn't, since we all end up fighting the same battles, just different places...

"You have a duty to evaluate the effectiveness of your intervention!" Doc Spears Alliance OH 2012 www.10-32solutions.com Eruditio Venit Superessendam

I'm pretty sure Kyle Defoor posted something on his blog in the last year on this very topic.

You may also want to try and get in contact with Chief Jeff Chudwin of the Olympia Fields, Illinois PD. He has been long considered an expert on the subject as is known in these parts as the "Godfather" of the patrol rifle.

I'm not at liberty to give out Chudwin's email but I'm sure you can get in contact with him by contacting his agency directly. He also authors articles for LawOfficer.com magazine.

I will see if I can dig up the article from Kyle Defoor.

"Fortuitous outcomes reinforce poor tactics & training"

I'd try calling Aimpoints LE sales division. I would be surprised if they didn't have a powerpoint or reams of documentation on the topic.



.

But every once in a while, you get to take a bad guy off the streets for good... and that, my friend, is God's work.----Ofc John Cooper, Southland

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