I haven't come across any relevant threads in any forums I frequent, so I'm starting one here.

Recently I've developed a fascination with the use of red dot sights for self defense shooting after having seen Kelly McCann use one on his Glock in one of his video series. His assessment was that they make pistol shooting almost like cheating, provide commonality with the optic on his carbine and make it easier to rack the slide offhand. Obviously, the interest in these optics outside of competition appears to be marginal so I'm asking you guys what your opinions are on this subject.

Are red dot sights useful and/or practical for your self defense or carry pistol? Do any of you have one installed?
Original Post
Well I think its a holster issue at this point or we would see more ppl running them. That being said looking at my serpa I could probably make it work. Biggest drawback I see is IWB would be nearly impossible or at least uncomfortable. Their is a discussion about this at M4carb, with photos of a M&P/dot combo, looks friggin sweet.
I saw the Kelly McCann (or Jim Grover) video series as well and albeit it was made in the VHS era (do people even have those still?) I was wondering about the validity as well. I stopped by the JP booth during shot 08 and they had a Glock 17 with the "melted in" Doc Optic. It was very appealing and low profile similar to the FN picture posted in the link above. I think it comes down to an issue of battery life. I haven't found anywhere where they post/advertise the Doc optic's battery life.

One thought i had mentioned to a friend while discussing this is that if the optic went down/ died/ etc it would be nice to have a co witness like maybe a notch in the rear of the Doc optic so that if you had to you could line the rear notch with the front post (similar to what you would do anyway).

I know the system has flaws but I would be willing to try it.
Yeah not sure of battery life on any of them. This was the one mounted on the M&P, I like the "Forward looking sensing" meaning as you bring the gun from the holster lvl to target the led comes on and shuts down when re holstered or pointed down. I'm curious to know how fast the dot comes on, battery life etc, I'm waiting for a reply from the company.

Yes I realize the name is the ghey.
http://www.rapidreticle.com/sopscauto.htm
I thought I remembered reading a thread some time ago where one of the Mods mentioned running one of these small red dots on handguns. I'm not sure, but I think it was M4Guru or Timmy. Perhaps whoever it was will stop by and enlighten us.
I have a G34 with a Docter on it. I could take it or leave it. It is fast and their are no sights to align, but I feel this develops bad shooting habits as well as sometimes it is hard to reacquire the dot during recoil.
M4Guru, I assume you are running your Docter with an adapter. What kind of adapter are you using? Also, would you (could you?) conceal carry this setup? I heard varying reports about the durability of the lens cover as well, but I was conflicted because I've seen it used for slide racking as well.
I have thought about putting one on my G35 and the FN model with the backup iron sight is a real inspiration. I've got one of the Burris Fast Fire mini red dots floating around and it would be easily adaptable. I'm thinking the slide could be machined down just a bit to lower it and then drilled and tapped for the two screws that hold the sight to the base. The slide becomes the base. I think it could be mounted low enough that stock sights might be visible for a co-witness. The problem then becomes accessing the screws on the rear for zeroing.

I think that it could work for CCW with a low mount. With the dot on an auto setting and the gun concealed, it would actually cause the dot to shut off, similarly to attaching the cover. If the holster has a slightly low cut front, it should clear.

The red dot also appears to solve the problem you may face with a suppressed gun as well where the diameter of the suppressor causes it to block the iron sights. With a standard height, the dot should easily be visible over a suppressor.
I think this is an emerging technology trend. The battery life on these is getting longer and the size is getting small enough that they can be shoehorned into many holsters. The battery life on many of these is around 6 months or so now, though they don't necessarily last that long and sometimes the auto-adjusting brightness feature leaves a little to be desired. I do not think these are quite advanced enough yet.

Give it a few more years of advancement, and you will start seeing these on duty/tactical handguns. I don't think it is quite there yet, but it is close; if they had the life and brightness of a T1 in a Docter/Jpoint/FastFire sized package with a properly functioning auto-adjust for brightness levels, then you would have a viable system.
quote:
in a Docter/Jpoint/FastFire sized package


Personally, I've been thinking a microscopic occluded gunsight would be the best solution for the size involved on handguns. Replace the front sight with a dot-generating box. Just like the white dot or night sight, but it's a bright, wide-angle-visible, focused-at-infinity dot.

This would also have the advantage of working hand in hand with conventional shooting technique, so if it got too glarey, dirty, broken, etc. you can just go to irons without really transitioning, just changing where you focus.
I wish I remember the brand, but someone made a Jpoint/Dr mount that fit in the rear dovetail. It still is considerably higher than irons, but much lower than the bridge mounts.

Lonewolf (and I assume many others) would mill the slide to fit the dr as low as possible.

Either one of those will work with a SERPA level 2 or most kydex holsters, with a little trimming.
quote:
Originally posted by J. Winger:
I think this is an emerging technology trend. The battery life on these is getting longer and the size is getting small enough that they can be shoehorned into many holsters. The battery life on many of these is around 6 months or so now, though they don't necessarily last that long and sometimes the auto-adjusting brightness feature leaves a little to be desired. I do not think these are quite advanced enough yet.

Give it a few more years of advancement, and you will start seeing these on duty/tactical handguns. I don't think it is quite there yet, but it is close; if they had the life and brightness of a T1 in a Docter/Jpoint/FastFire sized package with a properly functioning auto-adjust for brightness levels, then you would have a viable system.


Agreed, with all of this.

Off-hand, has anyone tried to mount a T-1 to a handgun?
I'm really thinking about doing this. The Burris FastFire is 25mm wide, which happens to be the width of a Glock 35 slide. The screw spacing of the two screws that secure it to the base is 13mm, which means there is plenty of meat in the slide at those points. The slide can be milled down approx 3mm, reducing the height and the sight can be screwed to the slide, eliminating the need for the base altogether. The rear of the sight is 8mm high without the base, which we don't need. If it is inletted into the slide, then only 5mm will project into the sight line of the iron sights. Unfortunately, my iron sight are about 5.5mm above the slide so I'll need some slightly higher sights (front and rear) to clear the red-dot and allow a co-witness. Anyone know who makes tall sights for the Glock?

Mounting the red-dot forward of the iron sight position will still allow it to fit in most of my holsters. Some minor trimming on a Blade-tech. The hood on a 6004 will clear, but the front of the holster will require substantial trimming to clear the optic.

FYI, with the sight turned on and the hood in place, putting the dot at minimum intensity, battery life is estimated at 4 years. Real world use will be considerably less since you would want the sight on when it is in the holster and unless it's night time, it will draw more power.

Also checked it in a dark room with white light illumination from an M3. No problem seeing the dot in deep dark and then suddenly lit with the flashlight. So it is workable in a defense situation. If I can get higher sights. I don't want this on a defensive gun unless the irons are also instantly accessible.
quote:
Originally posted by Dorsai:
Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner! Thanks Matt. Time to order some sights.


Just remember to let me check things out as they progress. It had crossed my mind to try the same thing with my CCF G24, just haven't ever gotten around to it.

Might be easier to watch someone else go through the trial and error, er...... "R&D" Big Grin of getting everything set up correctly.
The setup I was thinking up would have the sight all the way at the rear similar to McCann's set up so that you can access the optic and adjust it. Here is the picture on JP's website. It is the one I fondled at shot show.

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