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Old May 1, 2018, 05:36 AM   #1
OhioGuy
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Proficiency with red dot sights

I recently got an RMR sight on my range/target gun. It replaced the rear iron sight, so there's no way to co-witness. The ability to accurately hit targets up close, or down range, with both eyes open and target-focused just blows my mind

It's also really hard to not lose the dot! Whether on presentation, or when moving and aiming simultaneously. All advice I've read basically boils down to "practice a lot" but I'm wondering if anyone has found methods more specific than that, that allow you to get better at always finding that dot quickly.

I'm guessing that co-witnessed irons would make it a lot easier, although it would also require you to shift focus while aligning the sights, then return to the target when the dot is acquired...?

I'm still new to this sighting system, so maybe it really will just work itself out over time. But advice is appreciated.

Does anyone use an RDS for carry, home defense or both? Batteries and "where's the dot!?" aside, man, it seems like an awesome defensive tool for accuracy and situational awareness combined.
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Old May 1, 2018, 05:56 AM   #2
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"I'm guessing that co-witnessed irons would make it a lot easier, "

Why? You have to align the gun with the target at some point regardless of sighting options. You don't start "looking at the iron sights" until you're mostly "on target" anyway.
Far too many people are much too enamored by this "co-witness" CRAP. Maybe it's an advantage in combat but I haven't seen a single instance where BUIS/co-witness/other nonsense is of much value to the majority of the users. Make up your mind as to whether you want an open sight or an optic and learn to mount the firearm properly so the optic it aligned with the target w/o head bobbing or searching for that dot.
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Old May 1, 2018, 06:27 AM   #3
OhioGuy
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Originally Posted by Mobuck View Post
"I'm guessing that co-witnessed irons would make it a lot easier, "

Why? You have to align the gun with the target at some point regardless of sighting options. You don't start "looking at the iron sights" until you're mostly "on target" anyway.
Far too many people are much too enamored by this "co-witness" CRAP. Maybe it's an advantage in combat but I haven't seen a single instance where BUIS/co-witness/other nonsense is of much value to the majority of the users. Make up your mind as to whether you want an open sight or an optic and learn to mount the firearm properly so the optic it aligned with the target w/o head bobbing or searching for that dot.
I'm only speaking from a few weeks of experience now, but if I bring the gun up into my field of view and my sights aren't aligned, I have sights that are visible from any angle and I can tell almost instantly which direction I have to shift the gun to get my sights to align. But if I bring up the red dot Window and there's no dot In it, I have no point of reference to know whether I need to tilt the gun left right up or down.

In practice maybe this really doesn't make any difference if I have both sighting systems on my gun.

Most of the reasons I see given for always having iron sights together with the optic is for the backup aspect, that one in a billion times when you need to defend your life but oops the battery is dead. Some people believe in that religiously, other people think it's a doomsday scenario that will never happen so long as you actually check to ensure that your battery is still working well.

If the majority of defensive use happens at effectively point shooting distances, sights may be irrelevant to the majority of situations anyway
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Old May 1, 2018, 06:37 AM   #4
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I have taught the punch draw, forever! In pushing the pistol forward, much dry fire required. The trigger is pressed as the pistol stops! Three green dots (TruGlow fibre optics) are quicker than an electronic red dot IMHO. On an M4? Red dot, perfect.
The cheek weld puts your eyes in the right place!

Last edited by Brit; May 1, 2018 at 07:34 AM.
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Old May 1, 2018, 04:22 PM   #5
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Point of reference should be your front sight. Put the front sight in the window of the RDS and the dot should be there.
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Old May 2, 2018, 10:44 AM   #6
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Just keep shooting and the transition will take care of itself.
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Old May 2, 2018, 12:16 PM   #7
OhioGuy
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For those who use them...ignoring concerns about battery failure or other malfunction, or any concealibility issues, would anyone NOT carry a red dot on their firearm once they were proficient with it?

The major complaints against them usually are:
1. They can fail
2. They add bulk and can make it harder to conceal
3. You can lose the dot from your sight

So if all those were taken off the table, it would seem there's absolutely no reason why someone would not carry one, given the advantages of 2-eye, target-focused shooting it confers.

What am I missing?
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Old May 2, 2018, 01:18 PM   #8
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I wouldn't want one on a CCW. I like to carry a single stack 9mm usually and don't want the extra bulk or weight. Been using iron's on pistols all my life, and my eyesight is still good enough to not need change. Now for a home defense/range double stack pistol, sure why not.
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Old May 2, 2018, 02:43 PM   #9
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Don't immediately look for the dot. Focus on your target. Then with a proper grip, bring the gun up into your line of sight, and the dot should be in your field of vision.
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Old May 2, 2018, 03:30 PM   #10
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Don't obsess about co witness....to me the iron sights just get in the way, I like the dot and nothing else in there.
Red Dots are a God Send to older guys , or in my case detached retina problems, who can no longer see / use open iron sights any longer . After not shooting for several years a red dot mounted on a Ruger MKII pistol let me enjoy shooting and hitting the target again . I soon mounted them on other guns and was enjoying the shooting sports again.
I don't really like having to use them but it beats sitting at home watching reruns of Jeapordy and Gunsmoke !
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Last edited by gwpercle; May 2, 2018 at 03:35 PM.
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Old May 2, 2018, 03:38 PM   #11
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The cheek weld puts your eyes in the right place!
Does that pair well with the "punch draw"?
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Old May 2, 2018, 09:11 PM   #12
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learn to mount the firearm properly so the optic it aligned with the target w/o head bobbing or searching for that dot.
This^^^^^. Practice. It will become second nature.
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Old May 3, 2018, 05:02 AM   #13
Brit
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Quote:
Does that pair well with the "punch draw"?
The punch draw is a repetitive action, that culminates in a shot breaking at the exact time as the pistol ends its forward motion. The view of the sights being exactly on target, at the moment of ignition, is in effect a snapshot of the target.

Mostly followed by the second round fired (a double tap)
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Old May 3, 2018, 07:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brit View Post
The punch draw is a repetitive action, that culminates in a shot breaking at the exact time as the pistol ends its forward motion. The view of the sights being exactly on target, at the moment of ignition, is in effect a snapshot of the target.

Mostly followed by the second round fired (a double tap)
So in the case of iron sights, at that last "snapshot" moment, are you closing one eye and focusing on the front sight?

When I first began shooting, my tendency was to basically go through 50 rounds with one eye permanently closed and I never did much practice with transitioning from "full situational awareness" to "front sight focus" and back. I've become fairly good at it now, on the range and in training classes. But in the few force-on-force situations I tried, I could not for the life of me get one eye to close, and then focusing on that front sight just blurred the world to me and I wasn't even sure what I was aiming at! So I mainly tried to point shoot my plastic pellets. Pretty much everyone did the same, and beyond 15 feet or so, just about any good hit was attributable more to luck than aim.

One trainer I watched a lot was all about training yourself to get the gun on target instinctively (and through lots of repetition) with your focus shifting to the front sight as instantaneously as possible, only as long as necessary to take the shot. Apparently that's doable over a whole lot of practice. He also advocated the "press out" (which I think is what you're basically calling the "punch draw").

Part of my interest in the red dot is that the first time I actually got to use one, it was like "Holy crap, all that stuff kind of disappears and you just bring the gun into alignment and the bullet goes where the dot is." It was like my speed AND precision doubled at the same time (does that make me 4x better?) so long as I could find the dot And out at 60' (with careful aim) I could still hit 3" circles that weren't even visible to me anymore when focused on a front iron sight.
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Old May 3, 2018, 07:42 AM   #15
OhioGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
Don't obsess about co witness....to me the iron sights just get in the way, I like the dot and nothing else in there.
Red Dots are a God Send to older guys , or in my case detached retina problems, who can no longer see / use open iron sights any longer . After not shooting for several years a red dot mounted on a Ruger MKII pistol let me enjoy shooting and hitting the target again . I soon mounted them on other guns and was enjoying the shooting sports again.
I don't really like having to use them but it beats sitting at home watching reruns of Jeapordy and Gunsmoke !
Gary
This is one of those Things where I see all kinds of conflicting advice, from "you'll die without iron sights on your gun as backup" to "get over it, they're useless anyway and your dot will be there." Some say the cowitnessed sights make them quicker to get the dot on target. Others say they're distracting and slow them down, because they always want to get the dot aligned with the iron sights rather than just trusting the dot wherever it is. Some say the cowitnessed sights become a crutch, and it's better to just train with the red dot alone until you can find it every time.

I got to shoot one guy's gun that had the rear iron sight milled in front of the red dot (from back to front of slide, i.e. the optic is closest to your eye, and the rear iron is only visible through the window). It seemed that I noticed those iron sights far less (if at all) than when I used one with the rear irons behind the dot.
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Old May 3, 2018, 08:12 AM   #16
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Old May 3, 2018, 09:30 AM   #17
OhioGuy
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Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer View Post
That was a really interesting read! The takeaways (to me) seem to be the following:

1. Nothing will make up for poor fundamentals. Crappy shooting is crappy shooting.
2. With sufficient training to "find the dot," the benefits of RDS increase with distance to target, with very little obvious benefit inside of 10 yards (and I know I've read that a "typical" defensive encounter often takes place inside of 5 yards or even closer, where full extension isn't even possible)
3. No discernible improvement of RDS vs. highly visible green lasers (I've experimented some with laser sights and find them useful and quick...although if my laser shifts off target, my eye is drawn to the far end of the range rather than remaining on target!)
4. If you find the RDS appealing, decide whether it's worth the cash to you.

One thing not considered here, that RDS advocates would make a lot of, is the relative value of RDS under stress. Some sources argue that it's almost physiologically impossible to shift your focus when under direct threat (and others disagree of course).

Inside of 15' I can point shoot pretty effectively, or else get a both-eyes-open flash sight picture that's good enough to land hits. Between 15' and 30' that starts to fall apart (for me, and I'm hardly a Navy SEAL) and my shots get sloppy unless I shift focus. But with an RDS or laser, it doesn't fall apart. So I guess there's value in that.
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Old May 3, 2018, 03:16 PM   #18
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brit
The punch draw is a repetitive action, that culminates in a shot breaking at the exact time as the pistol ends its forward motion. The view of the sights being exactly on target, at the moment of ignition, is in effect a snapshot of the target.

Mostly followed by the second round fired (a double tap)
I understand your concept of the 'punch draw'.
I was poking at how you transitioned from the 'punch draw' with handguns, to a cheek weld, with only 21 characters separating the concepts via an awkward segue.

I, personally, would not be attempting a cheek weld with my handguns.
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Old May 5, 2018, 03:45 AM   #19
Brit
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Cheek weld. Rifle! Reference the ability to not aim, unless one eye closed?

I use both eyes open, always when firing my Glock 19, have done for many years. You need to see more, hence both eyes open.

Reference my ability to be an English Major? Started School at aged 5 (1940) my School was damaged by an incendiary bomb, in 1941? Living 8 miles from the heavily defended Liverpool Docks! Our district was blessed by German pilots who did not like the Spitfire receptions, so swung around the docks, dumped their bombs, and tried to return home undamaged.

1950 Started work. Our war started in 1939. Still being around, relatively healthy, at 82 YOA, not too bad. Left the UK in 1965, off to Australia, 1968, new Country, Canada. Dec 2003, off to Florida. Now a US Citizen.

Carry a Glock 19 4th Gen Pistol, every day. TruGlo night sights. Love Orlando!
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Old May 5, 2018, 07:35 AM   #20
OhioGuy
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Brit, I've tried to learn to shoot with both eyes open and inside of about 7 yards I seem to be pretty good at it, at least in range drills. Beyond that the sight picture becomes so confusing I can't really aim.

That's partly why I'm pushing toward the red dot. It seems to solve all those issues.
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Old May 6, 2018, 11:19 PM   #21
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Some can use both eyes open, some can not! If you can't, go dot!
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Old September 18, 2018, 11:36 AM   #22
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I lost my right arm at 17 40+ years ago. Using both eye works part of the time. Closing my right (dominant) eye always works.
Love the dot +iron. Best of both worlds and my brain sees whichever one is most visible at the time.
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Old September 18, 2018, 02:47 PM   #23
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Not for carry

I love the RDS on my Ruger Mk. 3. Makes hitting at distance easier, at least for me.

That's the thing, extended range shooting at humans? I'll leave that to the police and military.

In addition is the extra bulk and weight, esp. the bulk. Holsters also become a challenge with an RDS. Then there are those pesky batteries.

OP: The key to finding the dot in the window is your presentation. You will get the hang of finding the correct angle of the weapon.
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Old September 19, 2018, 12:40 AM   #24
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I've been interested in the issue of RDS sights on a handgun for six or seven years. I've read a lot of info on different forums and Gabe Suarez's book on Red Dot Sights and done some shooting with borrowed guns.

(I've shot USPSA at the local level for 40 years. About 20 years ago or so optical sights began to be commonly used by shooters with open class guns but I didn't pay particular attention because my interest is entirely defensive. When the first generation Trijicon RMRs came out, my interest increased. Last year I bought a G34 from a friend that had the slide cut for an RMR and a few months ago I bought an RMR06 series 2 and had it installed)

A few weeks ago I took my G34 with an RMR06 type 2 to the range for some practice sessions for the first time. I ran 250 rounds through it doing some of my regular practice drills on IPSC targets (a couple of modified police qualification courses and a modified version of the QC that Glock used to use in their instructor workshops)The time limits on all those drills were pretty generous so I wasn't pushing for speed.

I found it easy to find the dot on the presentation. My gun has suppressor sights on it, and I use the sights to guide my eye to the dot. I'm not really sure how to explain it -- achieve a flash sight picture with the iron sights and the dots there and I take the shot.

The indoor range I was on for my first practice session has shadows in some spots and it was easier to be accurate at distance (out to 50 feet) with the RMR RDS.

The second practice session was out doors on the police range in bright sunlight. Shot the state DOJ Handgun QC twice. Didn't drop a point either time.

The next few practice sessions were on the indoor range again. I discovered that the dot needed to be adjusted slightly down and to the right to get a good co-witness on the top of the front sight at 25 yards.

I have to resist the temptation to try to shoot too fast with the dot. A trigger slap will still pull the shot off target regardless of your sighting system.

The shooting project until next spring will be to get familiar with the RMR and get classified with CCO in both USPSA and IDPA.

I'm 60. Been nearsighted all my life. I had cataract surgery in 2010 and they put new lenses in which has been mildly life transforming and improved my vision from 20/800 to 20/40. Still, that front sight was getting hard to focus on unless I was in bright sunlight. That's the big advantage of the RMR RDS for me so far -- works really well on an indoor range with spooky lighting.

I don't know if I'll put an RDS on my duty gun for work. I'm an instructor, and most all of the people I'll be instructing will still be using iron sights, and I've always felt that, to have credibility, you need to run the same equipment your students are. (In one agency the issue gun is a G22 Gen IV and in the other officers provide their own weapons and most are running Glocks)

Everybody sees the sights differently it seems. Differences in binocularity and convergence and which hand is dominant and which eye is dominant and are you near sighted or far sighted and etc.

I found using the iron sights to quickly guide my eye to the dot worked really well (My rear sight is mounted in the normal location behind the RDS). Your experience may be different
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Old September 24, 2018, 08:04 AM   #25
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Im actually better with irons.
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