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Red Dot/Reflex Sights on Pistols....


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...is it just me, or is it really hard to find and maintain a good sight picture through one?

 

Got a little one to put on the Desert Eagle the wife bought me for Christmas.  For the Call of Duty-ness look. 

 

But moving about with it, the dot vanishes, the slightest twitch and its gone.  Definatly a detriment to effective aiming. 

 

The dot is so much easier to use on a stable rifle platform, so I guess I will stick with just irons for now unless anyone has any advice

 

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nope, it's a known thing.

 

problem is unlike video games you gotta put some effort into finding the dot, which to my thinking defeats the purpose because by the time you use the irons or part of the slide to get lined up to then use the dot you've lost the time that the dot is supposed to be saving.

 

for precise target shooting where you can hold the dot through multiple targets yeah it makes sense, but for airsoft purposes i tend to split pistol engagements into 2 categories:

if they're close just instinct shoot (aka hip fire)

if they're far use the irons.

 

if they're too far to hit quickly by hip firing, and too close for you to take your time with the sights, then you'll have plenty of time on the walk back to respawn to consider that you should have been using a rifle :P

 

at least with rifles you can use the stock to reliably hold your head in the right place, which is where the likes of the pistol carbine kits are useful.

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I wonder how many militaries use red dots on pistols? Can’t say I ever saw one in my time however maybe they do somewhere. Personally I don’t see the point as the effective range of most pistols in the average shooters hands is no more that 30m. Iron sights are more than good enough. 

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31 minutes ago, Adolf Hamster said:

 

 

if they're too far to hit quickly by hip firing, and too close for you to take your time with the sights, then......

 

 

.....throw the feckin thing at em!

🤭🤭

Regards 

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I use red dots on all mine, BUT as has been said, I only use them for shooting competitions. All I will say is, it takes practice, practice practice to get a good line on the red dot all the time.

It makes a massive difference the size of the sight window, from the smallest Docter style up to Trijicon SRO size.

 

I don’t see the point, based upon other people’s opinion, using them for skirmishing, apart from looks

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17 minutes ago, GenuineGerman said:

I wonder how many militaries use red dots on pistols? Can’t say I ever saw one in my time however maybe they do somewhere. Personally I don’t see the point as the effective range of most pistols in the average shooters hands is no more that 30m. Iron sights are more than good enough. 

 

generally i'd assume pistol issuance in militaries falls into 2 broad categories:

people who aren't really meant to be using them that much if at all (officers, cooks, engineers, tank crew etc, you can say the same for infantry sidearms too because they're meant to use a rifle)

 

spoopy special forces people, who presumably will be so well practiced that using a dot or irons would be as much a matter of personal preference/particular mission as anything else.

 

16 minutes ago, Shamal said:

.....throw the feckin thing at em!

🤭🤭

Regards 

 

i cant tell if i should interpret that as you being really bad at hipfiring pistols or really good at throwing stuff :P

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yeah I kinda like the looks, but can definately line up the ironsights much quicker.  likely just leave it on for a skirm and decide after, tis only a £20 dot. 

 

considering i had to file down the sight to get it to fit the not to spec rail, its basiacally useless of any other gun.

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9 minutes ago, kasaran said:

yeah I kinda like the looks, but can definately line up the ironsights much quicker.  likely just leave it on for a skirm and decide after, tis only a £20 dot. 

 

considering i had to file down the sight to get it to fit the not to spec rail, its basiacally useless of any other gun.

 

thought the DE was standard 20mm just without most of the slots cut?

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50 minutes ago, Adolf Hamster said:

 

thought the DE was standard 20mm just without most of the slots cut?

 

It might be, or the cheap dot was a fraction narrow and too shallow to reach the grooves (though it did fit my fine on the rail on my TM M14 socom).  I filed the sight not the gun to get it to fit

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9 minutes ago, kasaran said:

 

It might be, or the cheap dot was a fraction narrow and too shallow to reach the grooves (though it did fit my fine on the rail on my TM M14 socom).  I filed the sight not the gun to get it to fit

 

fair enough, maybe one of those "compatible-ish" kinds of things, have you tried the sight on a standard rail now its been filed? might still be good.

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I use red dots on a lot of my pistols. I started doing so for competition style shooting, but now I use them whenever I can as It makes target acquisition a lot faster.

 

The problem is it is only a lot faster if you practice a lot with the pistol sight combination you are going to use. You need to develop a level of muscle memory so the dot is naturally in your field of view when you present your pistol to the target. When I change pistol or sight it takes time to get that muscle memory back. That being said there are some techniques that can help.

 

 

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As has been previously said. 

The issue is less the sight and more your lack of ability with it.

I have spent the last week with my pistol randomly practicing and getting the muscle memory. 
Now when i pick up my pistol and sight it.. Boom, there is the dot...

 

I am not sure yet if i prefer it to the irons, but I know it will be more useful to me in games once I have made the full mental move.

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I’ve considered one for night use under NVG, but I don’t think the ones I have seen available dim to a suitable level. The TM one looks OK at £55, but probably too bright not to bloom. Sod spending on RS, it’s just not money well spent IMO. 

 

Sticking to a carbine is probably better, or maybe some half decent tritium irons on the pistol?  Depth of field isn’t a strong point of any NVG, so any irons are going to be challenging.

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I got the TM rds for my fnx45 and it looks super cool but like others have mentioned it takes time to develop the line of sight. 

The fnx uses raised irons which are visible through the rds anyway which kind of ruined the appeal. Took it off in the end 

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I think what a lot of you guys are missing is the point of a red dot sight, on a pistol or rifle.

 

It’s for fast target acquisition. Good red dots have zero, or almost zero, parallax error.
 

If you not aware what this means (I only found out about 18months ago), you do not have to point the irons of a gun along your line of sight.

You set up the red dot, then as long as you have proper parallax error (i.e. almost zero or zero ) as soon as you see the red dot (reticule), you can pull the trigger, and all things being equal, that is what you will hit.

As has been said, with practice, you will hit targets much faster. 
 

This first video, a clone Romeo4C from ppt-outdoor (£70), you can see as I move the camera, emulating your eye coming up to the sight, it doesn’t matter where you eye is in relation to the sight, the reticule stays on almost exactly the same spot. This is very low parallax error.

Bear in mind this at only about 5m range.
 


This second video is a red dot with very poor parallax error, it’s a £90 Romeo8T clone from eBay, and it’s going back on Monday. As I move the camera around, again emulating your eye coming up to the sight, you can see the reticule moves around as your eye moves, so it has large parallax error.

 

Again, approx 5m range


 

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10 minutes ago, rocketdogbert said:

I think what a lot of you guys are missing is the point of a red dot sight, on a pistol or rifle.

 

It’s for fast target acquisition. Good red dots have zero, or almost zero, parallax error.
 

If you not aware what this means (I only found out about 18months ago), you do not have to point the irons of a gun along your line of sight.

You set up the red dot, then as long as you have proper parallax error (i.e. almost zero or zero ) as soon as you see the red dot (reticule), you can pull the trigger, and all things being equal, that is what you will hit.

As has been said, with practice, you will hit targets much faster. 
 

 

oh absolutely for rifles even the cheap red dots without any real parallax correction have a lot of utility. it's especially useful that you can keep both eyes open and on target and just move the gun in front of your eyes without any shift in focus required. of course as you say decent parallax on a dot just makes the whole process easier and faster.

 

the argument for pistols isn't that the dot can't be used to make quick shots once you see it, it's that getting the pistol lined up to find the dot in the first place loses a lot of the time that you'd be saving on a rifle.

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So heres some real steel context, from someone whos worked on a top tier range for the last several years. Dots are certainly faster. Dots work in any light. If you have good recoil control dots can allow for faster follow-up shots. The main issue you have Kasaran is how far forward your dot is. Thats just going to exponentially increase your dot's sway. Now, for airsoft theyre... less important. Yes, you can still find a sight picture faster than irons. Yes, they still work in the dark. But if you can't control the recoil of your gun in airsoft then go back to nerf haha. Plus, the only real use for a pistol in the military is for someone like a sniper with a long gun whos going close range (same with MEDs), or for when you run out of ammo in your primary (more difficult in the world of midcaps and high caps). Finally people tend to spam-fire in airsoft anyway, not even giving themselves time to reacquire the sights after a shot. I personally have dots on two of my many pistols: my TM G18 that I use as a dryfire/training gun more than a skirmish gun, and my mk23. It usually stays in my pack at MilSims with a lot of indoor play, as I like to find a dark corner and essentially assassinate people with the silenced mk23, and the dot helps me make sure my first round is going to be at least aimed properly. So they arent really all that useful in airsoft compared to the real world.

 

Oh, and while many militaries shy away from dots due to much harsher conditions for their guns and gear, many LEO forces are going to them. Probably 2/3 LEO members that come through our school have dot guns now, and are either in the process of transitioning themselves or their department over to them. Its easier to teach "put dot on target" than " make sure this post is centered between these two posts, and then make sure the top of that post is even with those two posts. Dots also make longer-range shots much easier. We ran a new course this past Fall that we told our SEAL instructors to make as an "Advanced Operators" course (pretty much meant: "go crazy, we dont even want yall to be able to clear this course), and on long range (25 & 50 yrds) distances the guys using dots statistically scored a fair bit high both on shot accuracy and number of shots on target in the timed scenarios. 

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