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Thread: Optics on handguns

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Optics on handguns

    Just curious what is everyone’s opinion on optics on a carry pistol, looking into the shield+ 9mm and m18 as possible replacements for my shield 9mm. I have never shot an optic on a pistol but now that I am 42 my eyesight is getting worse (wear bifocals now) I think this would help any insight and recommendations are welcome!!


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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I have optics on almost all of my full size handguns. However, none on my carry pieces. They would be too intrusive, for me. Even a mini reflex, like the one I have on a Sig P320 RX Compact.

    What I do use and highly recommend, on carry pieces, are Crimson Trace laser grips (revolvers) or Laserguards on semiautomatics. I'm 70 years old and they make a world of difference in terms of shoot ability. One can literally shoot from the hip. Excellent tool for learning DA trigger control.

    Winelover

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Sasquatch-1's Avatar
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    Most civilian shooting are going to take place at less than 15 yards. Spend the money on ammo and do more practicing. Remember also, depending on the optic you will probably have to spend more on holsters.
    A vote for anyone other then the conservative candidates is a vote for the liberal candidates.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    As a long time,, (lifetime of over 50 years) handgunner,, I can say I've watched the world go from no optics on handguns,, to a variety of options.
    Red dots have their place.
    As noted,, as eyesight goes,, red dots can & will allow easier sight acquisition. In competition,, red dots are THE fastest at this.
    But,, if self defense is your main purpose,, you need to consider a few things.
    It takes practice to use them easily. A proper grip is necessary,, AND while in use,, the gun must be mostly aligned with your eyes. In a SD situation, you may NOT be able to do this.
    And in a SD physical attack,, many people who have not experienced it,, subconsciously focus on the threat & NOT their sights. (Just ask a combat Vet about **** or their first time,) As such,, you may not actually get the gun aligned & focus on the dot.

    Red dots are a good tool, and with practice,, can be very effective. Especially for range shooting & competition,, or even hunting.

    And as noted above,, a laser is also a good tool for SD. A laser does allow for the active, physical engagement with a thug,, where you are not able to grip & use a handgun "normally." Think; "On the ground, primary hand disabled, fighting with an attacker,, and you only have your off hand capable of bringing your gun into use. A laser can be activated,, and if you are focused on the threat,, you'll likely see the laser dot. If the dot is on the thug,, pull the trigger."
    I use this scenario,,as an example,, for a very simple reason. My mother was attacked,, sprayed with pepper spray (3) times & attacked. She was NOT able to get her handgun into use. She switched handguns after that. Her new gun had a laser.

    But since the OP is asking about red dots,, yes,, they can help ageing eyes a lot. Just realize they are not the final word in sights for all applications.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Sasquatch-1's Avatar
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    The question of optics also brings up the question of battery replacement. Are you the type that is OCD about changing batteries? If not and the battery is dead when you need it the optic is worthless.
    A vote for anyone other then the conservative candidates is a vote for the liberal candidates.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    Attachment 300321 Here is my solution for carry gun. Mine is a Ruger EC-9s and I used a white paint pen to put the dots on. Easily touched up and needs no batteries or special holsters. As far as the Shield, I hope you have better luck than I did.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it. NONE of us are as smart as ALL of us!

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    I have optics on some rifles but only one handgun. It is a revolver I use for hunting.
    My carry guns have either lasers or flashlights, the flashlight makes the sights easer to see even in moderate light (not of use in bright daylight).
    I found the optic to be too bulky being on top of the slide, the laser is by far the least obtrusive followed by the light mounted under the slide.
    I had to buy a custom holster for the light, just had to customize a standard holster for the lasers.
    The laser is easy to see except in bright daylight.
    It is a risk that an attack may take place in broad daylight but it is a tradeoff that is worth it to make the tool easer to carry.

    Hope this helps comming from someone with ageing eyes as well.

    Jaaymar

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    Red dots are pretty bulky for use on a concealed carry hand gun. Lasers: If you can point the gun well enough to put the laser on the target, you don't need the laser. The laser is a great training tool but not much of a sighting system in most circumstances.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master armoredman's Avatar
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    I tried lasers, Crimson Trace, and they have some trade offs, as well - a jerkily moved laser is hard to see in sunlight, for one thing. Trying to do that one handed while grappling would probably be fun, but I definitely see the point. I used Crimson Trace on my P-01 for years, even survived being dropped in a toilet, (CLEAN WATER), after drying out, but the rubber center became so sticky over time it was unusable, and the laser gave up the ghost, so I gave the set away to an electrical engineer who fixed them. I just paid for a red dot to be mounted on a Glock 43X slide for the wife of one of my best friends in the world, so she can see something - her eyes are unable to pick up the white dots well anymore, and she can see a bright red dot quite well. As for me, personally? I have a dot on my defensive carbine, and a 3X prism on my BREN 2, but my carry sidearm doesn't even have night sights on it.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master armoredman's Avatar
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    On second thought, maybe LAGS can mount a dot to my T/C Renegade? Wouldn't that be a winner?

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Unless I am wearing my prescription shooting glasses I no longer can see the front sight. My carry gun is a Sig XL365 with a Holosun HS507K X2. Battery life is 50,000 hours and it has a built in rear sight. As a carry gun I love it but I admit the Springfield Hellcat has a better iron sight setup for optics.

    As to the Holosun I love it. I can shoot it quicker and more accurately than irons. I have since purchased two more and more will follow. The only down side I see is with with daily carry you need to clean the lint that accumulates on the lens. You can't beat them for low light usage.
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 05-19-2022 at 05:32 PM.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master





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    Quote Originally Posted by contender1 View Post
    As a long time,, (lifetime of over 50 years) handgunner,, I can say I've watched the world go from no optics on handguns,, to a variety of options.
    Red dots have their place.
    As noted,, as eyesight goes,, red dots can & will allow easier sight acquisition. In competition,, red dots are THE fastest at this.
    But,, if self defense is your main purpose,, you need to consider a few things.
    It takes practice to use them easily. A proper grip is necessary,, AND while in use,, the gun must be mostly aligned with your eyes. In a SD situation, you may NOT be able to do this.
    And in a SD physical attack,, many people who have not experienced it,, subconsciously focus on the threat & NOT their sights. (Just ask a combat Vet about **** or their first time,) As such,, you may not actually get the gun aligned & focus on the dot.

    Red dots are a good tool, and with practice,, can be very effective. Especially for range shooting & competition,, or even hunting.

    And as noted above,, a laser is also a good tool for SD. A laser does allow for the active, physical engagement with a thug,, where you are not able to grip & use a handgun "normally." Think; "On the ground, primary hand disabled, fighting with an attacker,, and you only have your off hand capable of bringing your gun into use. A laser can be activated,, and if you are focused on the threat,, you'll likely see the laser dot. If the dot is on the thug,, pull the trigger."
    I use this scenario,,as an example,, for a very simple reason. My mother was attacked,, sprayed with pepper spray (3) times & attacked. She was NOT able to get her handgun into use. She switched handguns after that. Her new gun had a laser.

    But since the OP is asking about red dots,, yes,, they can help ageing eyes a lot. Just realize they are not the final word in sights for all applications.
    Totally agree. I have red dots on two defensive-type pistols; a Glock G19 and my XDM Elite 3.8" 10mm. The red dot is on the Glock because I don't carry it and it is strictly a range toy. The XDM is wearing a red dot because I am in the middle of developing loads for it and need absolute accuracy at the range.

    Red dots simply add too much bulk, complexity, and are too easy to compromise due to mechanical failure or obstructed view for CCW.

    Essential for me at 53 with tri-focals to get 1" groups at the range, but I find I personally shoot slower with them. Probably because I just don't want to invest the time and money training to get good with one.
    "Luck don't live out here. Wolves don't kill the unlucky deer; they kill the weak ones..." Jeremy Renner in Wind River

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Training with the red dots teaches FOCUS on the threat/target. The dot is visible over the threat and you have the focus where it needs to be to evalute the threat. you have to retrain your brain to focus on the target instead of rhe "front sight"

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Red dot on a Ruger SBH in 44 mag. Red dot on AR also. Removed AR red dot, replaced with scope.
    CLose quarter sights do close up work. Love th reddot on the Ruger. Just my opinions.

    I agree with learning the red dot....... focus!
    I firmly believe that you should only get treated by how you act, not by who or what you are!!

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I'm not a big optics fan. I used to have one on a recreational target .22 pistol, but that's all.

    For a red dot on a carry gun, check out the Crimson Trace company and their laser grips.
    The laser is made into the grips and is almost un-noticable.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    Unless I am wearing my prescription shooting glasses I no longer can see the front sight. My carry gun is a Sig XL365 with a Holosun HS507K X2. Battery life is 50,000 hours and it has a built in rear sight. As a carry gun I love it but I admit the Springfield Hellcat has a better iron sight setup for optics.

    As to the Holosun I love it. I can shoot it quicker and more accurately than irons. I have since purchased two more and more will follow. The only down side I see is with with daily carry you need to clean the lint that accumulates on the lens. You can't beat them for low light usage.
    Went to the local gun store today and really liked the hellcat and P365 along with the m18


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  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    Did an experiment today. Have two 1911 in 38 Super, one with open sights and 1 with a red dot.Using a timer and drawing from the holster time to draw, pick up sights and fire was very close to the same. The most accurate was the red dot. 15 yards

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub
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    The more I think about it I think the hellcat rod will be my choice


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  19. #19
    Boolit Bub PrestoColumbus's Avatar
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    I am trying to convince myself to put an optic on my HK45c. Currently have the adaptor but have not put it on my firearm. I want to do this but just... haven't.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master





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    Quote Originally Posted by gunrunner5.56 View Post
    The more I think about it I think the hellcat rod will be my choice


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I bought the P365 and my dad bought the Hellcat. They are both GREAT carry guns. So close that it just comes down to personal choice. I chose the Sig because it had been out for 3 years and all the bugs worked out, plus, I wanted the option of a safety and I liked the modularity of it.

    I took them both to the range for a side by side comparison and shot both of them equally well. I liked the sights of the Hellcat a little better, but the P365 was just a little easier to hit with.

    Really, so close as to being statistically insignificant.

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    "Luck don't live out here. Wolves don't kill the unlucky deer; they kill the weak ones..." Jeremy Renner in Wind River

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