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View Poll Results: Your options are multiple choice - what works for you?

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Thread: Irons Only, Red Dot or Laser enhanced

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Valley of the SUNs, AZ

    Irons Only, Red Dot or Laser enhanced

    So my vision is getting worse, but they say the cataracts are not bad enough to operate on.

    I have equiped guns I use for defense in the house with laser's
    some had nite sights some only Irons. But the bottom line is
    I needed help so the wife is starting to become more interested
    in her guns and we took one of mine with laser to the range and
    she's shooting good with that laser.

    Now I have put Red Dot's on several long guns but see lots of
    slide mounted mini Red Dots - I picked up a friends and noticed you
    had to be almost spot on to even see the dot - not at good as the laser
    but it be another tool in the handgun chest.

    So those with fading / bad eyes what do you think?
    je suis charlie

    It is better to live one day as a LION than a dozen days as a Sheep.

    Thomas Jefferson Quotations:
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    scb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    G20 & Burris Fastfire
    Friend said he "Had to have it" so it's gone. Never really cared for the Glock. I can squeeze into a size 12 glove and that Glock frame was too big. Thinking of replacing it with a 10mm P220. If I do it'll have a red dot.
    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety".
    Benjamin Franklin

    Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.
    James Madison

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    LUCKYDAWG13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Northern Illinois
    My carry gun's have night sights only my H/D have flashlight but subject to change as needed
    kids that hunt and fish dont mug old ladies

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Use your laser with iron/night sights.
    In a urgent situation, keep it simple. Use what you know.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Lefty Red's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Benton IL
    With weapon mounted red dot sights, it's all about training. Repetitive training, drawing and bringing the weapon up for the shot. It can be done and very fast. But, majority of self defense usages of a personal firearm doesn't mimic stages on the gun course. Doubt the user will be standing, or the light is good, or numerous other different factors that differ in real life and fun times at the range.

    Plus the sights are expensive ($350-$500) and then getting them mounted is expensive (milling and refinishing $300-400). Hell, I though a Crimson Trace Rail Master was expensive! But it's a bargain compared to this.

    Yes, you can watch the laser dot too much at the range. But everyone that I know of that uses lasers on their personal carry weapons say the same thing, it's like any other bad habit you do when you get lazy. And correct execution of proper form cures you if that and other bad habits people do.

    I'm looking hard at biting the bullet and getting a good CT for my G26. Only reason I haven't is I don't know if I'm carrying the G26 or G19 this winter.

    But your sights are your primary source of aiming your pistol. A laser is an aid for when you can not bring your weapon up to eye level or shot from a traditional shooting stance. Options are good.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I'll be needing that for squirrels and such.....

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Give me a flashlight and iron sights. My sights are a blur with my eyes but I can still chew up a 2" bull @ 10 yards so a torso at 10 feet shouldn't be a problem.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    marlin39a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Paulden, Arizona
    Night Sites on my CCW firearm. Iron works best for me.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Fargo ND
    I have a pair of Ruger Mk III, 22/45's. Both have a truglo 60$ red dot mounted on them.

    Both will put 10 rounds in a pop bottle top at 20 feet with either myself or the wife at the trigger. I'm 64 and she is 60, neither of us is doing well with iron sights anymore.

    My buddy had a Beretta 92FS with the laser.
    In the dark with a threat around the corner it is perhaps a better option.

    But at the range I could way outshoot my buddy when he tried to use the laser.

    I would use the laser once, to find out where the sights where. Once the first round hit the target I knew how to hold to put them all in the same spot.

    You try to hold that laser on target IMO the small muscles start fighting and first thing you know your drawing 6" then 8" then 12" circles on the target.

    With the red dot as I pull the gun down from recoil, the red dot crosses bullseye, trigger gets stroked, and away we go again.

    But the secret is as soon as the dot is crossing the center squeeze it off.

    Now many will probably not agree, but for me this is what works. YMMV.

    But for serious shooting I'll take a red dot every time.

    I also think that if the pressure switch is not mounted in the right location for your hand it can cause extra stress just making sure it stays on. Nothing worse than a laser sight that disappears as you start to pull the trigger.

    Red Dot you turn it on and it stays on till you turn it off. And the newer ones will run for a LONG LONG time.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

    Bzcraig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Nampa, ID
    My carry gun is still iron sights, HD gun is iron sights with light, rifles either scoped or peeps. I'll need cataract surgery in next 18 months. For self defense I'm more confident in my ability to point and shoot than to retrain myself with the others. In the immortal words of Clint Eastwood in Magnum Force, "every man needs to know his limitations."
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same......." - Ronald Reagan

    "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived." - George Patton

    The second amendment is a nail on which hangs a picture of freedom - member Alex 4x4 Tver, Russia

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Josh Smith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Wabash, IN

    One primary pistol has a green glowing front sight. The other has black-on-black but will be getting a tritium front sight when I think about it.

    Have shot with dots and lasers and am not all that impressed.

    I turn 40 in November. Could be that I'll see value in holographic sights as I get older. I cannot see ever becoming a fan of the mounted laser. If you're close enough to use it effectively, you're close enough to point shoot effectively.


  11. #11
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    west central Illinois
    I like the laser with iron sights. If I can see, I can use the irons. If things are blurry or I don't have time/can't get the gun up to eye level, the laser is still good.
    The laser itself can be a weapon if needed. Flash his eyes and he can't see for a few seconds.
    You can do the same thing with a powerful flashlight.
    I like the laser for shooting around corners when you don't want to stand in the hallway. Point the gun around the corner at waist level and look around the corner head high. The bad guy will probably shoot for the laser thinking your head will be there. If he is good enough to hit the laser, at least your head isn't there.

  12. #12
    Boolit Man

    Pistolero49's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Chama, NM-"Our little piece of Heaven"
    I use Crimson Trace laser grips on my S&W 640 nightstand gun.

    NRA Life Member
    Glock Certified Armorer * GSSF Member
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    Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, Inc.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    winelover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    North Central Arkansas
    CT laser grips on HP, Bulldog, 357 LCR, and two 642's, no need for night sites.

    CT green rail master on SA Model 2 Sub-compact.

    Night sites on Nano......Laserguard would interfere with my current holsters, otherwise......

    Mini reflex on Sig 320 RX Compact with night sights (both are standard)

    Red dots on my hunting handguns (RH & BH & MK II) as well as on all lever action carbines.

    Been using red dots, since the 80's, mostly Armson/Trijicon OEG's. Have a half dozen and were a bargain for $99 (MSRP $160) Sadly, Trijicon no longer supports (relamps) them. They still are operational but no longer in total darkness.

    Guess you could say, I'm a dot junkie. Once you get use to them, there is really no alternative. Lasers on handguns are not only visual aids, but deterrents. They are also a boon for gun retention. No need to extend your arms to obtain a sight picture. You can literally, shoot from the hip with amazing accuracy, once you master trigger control.


  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Im a keep it simple iron sight fan. Nothing to get knocked around or quit working. I'm also a point shooter inside 5 yards. Long time shotguner and every handgun i have gets the " does it shoot where I look" test.
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    gardners pa.
    I am a firm believer in the kiss method. { keep it simple stupid }. with irons you have less to go wrong like a battery dying at the wrong time or a add on sight getting knocked out. plus less baulk to carry.

  16. #16
    i like to irons, but i'm afraid one day i'll go to burris fastfire.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    The Lowcountry
    Run a K9, you will like having a 800 lumen light and a green laser, on your duty weapon!!!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Central Maine
    I have always been an Iron Sights guy, but have gone to red dots on my families AR's with BUIS's attached. On a rifle I have found nothing faster than a red dot scope for self defence range (say under 100 yards) and a 1 or 2 MOA dot is still accurate enough out to 300 or more yards if needed. When I tried my first red dot on a rifle I realized not only how much faster it was, but there are also two other major advantages.

    First is the ability to have both eyes open. It doesn't sound like much, but its a big advantage in relation to situational awareness being able to have the peripheral vision of your non-shooting eye.

    Second, and this is the biggest (to me) advantage. The ability in pitch black conditions to see your sights perfectly. I know it may seem minor, but grab your normal iron sighted rifle or pistol and try to aim at something you can make out at night. Good luck. The ability to use your sights even when its very dark is critical.

    So that's my thinking on rifles. Recently I began to see mini red dots atop handguns so I machined the slide of a Glock-17 for a Burris Fastfire. Did all the work myself, and have $200 ish into it. Wow is all I can say. Why I never thought of doing it years ago I have no idea. All the reason's I went red dot on my AR's work just as well on the Glock. Fast accurate and still has backup sights.

    Anyone who has not tried red dots really should. To say they are game-changing is an understatement.

  19. #19

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    For home defense, perhaps the light/laser combo.

    For the range a red dot for sure.

    I have streamlight TLRs picatinny lights. Work awesome. Point and shoot. The lights are basically centered on my shot pattern.

  20. #20

    ShooterAZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Flagstaff, AZ
    I am totally sold on the Burris Fastfire 3. They are small, it's very easy to acquire the red dot, and they are very rugged. I have them on multiple firearms and love them. Most recently I mounted one on an Inland M1 Carbine with the UltiMAK M6-B rail. I'm now considering putting on on a M94 Win AE in 30-30. You can get adapters/mounts to mount them on just about anything. Lifetime no questions asked warranty too.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check