If Red Dots On Pistols Are So Great Why Doesn’t Everyone Have One?

I have long advocated having a red dot optic mounted on your EDC fighting pistol. I have said that it makes you faster, more accurate, more capable, and that it is the future. So if I am right then why aren’t they in 90% of the holsters out there?

Of course there are as many reasons as there are gun owners. The truth is there are a lot of them out there and the numbers are growing quickly. When I started carrying a Sig 228 with a red dot six years ago I had to basically have it built. Mill the slide, add suppressor sights, and buy the optic. Today five major manufactures offer some form of optic ready pistol right out of the box. That would not be happening if there were not a market for it. There are, of course, the people that will never be interested. They still carry flip phones and if they shoot they want a real gun like a Smith & Wesson 38 police special. To them red dots are sci-fi mall ninja stuff. There are also plenty of people that just can’t see their way to the added expense.

I had a customer talking to me about getting the new Sig P320 RX and his brother asked him “Why do you want the red dot? It just gets hung up when you draw.” Of course when he was telling me this all I heard was “you’ll shoot your eye out kid”. So there are those people with reasons beyond reason that just aren’t on board.

Finally there is that group that are serious shooters. Guys that don’t care if it is not a ‘wheel’ gun and don’t think you are a sissy if you don’t carry a 1911. People that have the money or will come up with it if they really believe that something out there will make them better. So why aren’t all of them sporting this type of firearm?

I think the number one reason is they have not seen it done right. Imagine if your friend told you about this awesome shooting sport called skeet. He got you all excited and worked up. You go out to the field and he explains how the clays work and then hands you a 22 rifle. Sure some freak would love the challenge but most of us would figure out that this skeet thing is not much fun in about 10 minutes. The reason is not that skeet is not fun, the reason is you are doing it wrong. Glock should have had one of the biggest booms in years when they came out with their MOS. They should have had record sales. However I saw customer after customer pick up one of the guns in the store, with an optic added, and after canting the gun all over the place looking for the dot, shake their head and put it down dismissing the idea as a viable self-defense weapon.

I understand that there are no absolutes, and especially when it comes to firearms. However to date there is only one way to “do it right” with a red dot pistol if you want it to be a faster, more accurate, reliable fighting pistol. The pistol must have its iron sights, both front and rear, in their normal position and configuration on the pistol. The red dot must be mounted between them in such a manner as the dot co-witnesses the iron sights. This usually means milling the slide and using suppressor sights. So far no other method allows for the rapid acquisition of the dot to make the pistol a reliable fighting platform. You start acquiring your target picture just like you always have, lining up the iron sights, and the dot just appears before you have to finish that operation, allowing you to fire those fractions of seconds faster.

If you are a serious shooter and you work with the platform I describe, regardless of brand, with a reputable instructor, that has experience with red dots on handguns I think you will agree it is the future. Regardless of the shooters experience or skill I think I can make any shooter faster with a red dot than he is without it in less than an hour of instruction. That is from holster to hole in target.

Feel free to comment or ask questions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *