Red dot optic on handguns for LE/Military use

codyadams

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2015
Messages
3,508
Location
Southwest Wyoming
I know this forum isn't a tactical/LE/MIL type forum, but I know there are lots of guys on here with experience in these matters.

I'm going to be installing a RDO on my issued Glock M22 for testing for my Department to see if it would be a viable/reliable option for our guys. From my research, I think it could be a good option for some to transition to. I know it takes a lot of practice to get used to the different sight elevation, but from everything I'm seeing, it generally has an across the board improvement in scores/accuracy, and eventually with enough practice, on speed. I have had rdo's on rimfire pistols before, and shot a couple open class guns with frame mounted optics, and one glock M17 MOS at a training before, and though my experience is limited, I personally would have to agree thus far.

Our Glocks are not the MOS versions, just the standard gen 4's, so I'm using an outer impact dovetail mount for the Leupold DPP for testing. We have had these pistols in service for a while, and may be getting new ones before long. If my testing goes well, I'm gonna push to get pistols that have optic ready slide cuts, so there is a lower mounting point, as well as lower cost of install.

Anyway, I have done research on it, talked to other Departments that use them, and feel like I have a pretty good idea of what all it involves, but if anyone has any personal experience in the use of red dot optics for duty use, or even in competition, I would appreciate any further input and discussion on the subject. More information is never a bad thing!!

Thanks guys!!
 

xsn10s

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2016
Messages
1,926
John Pride might be a guy to contact about that. I know he was using one on one of his personal carry pieces over 25 years ago. So he'd have real world knowledge on them.
 

xsn10s

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2016
Messages
1,926
I used them on competition piece around the same time. I didn't care for it as it changed the height of my aiming. Meaning the red dot mounting was higher than my iron sights so I had to lower my pistol in releation to my eye. This changed my muscle memory so I didn't care for that for real world situations. But for new shooters I could see the need or usefulness of a dot system.
 

codyadams

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2015
Messages
3,508
Location
Southwest Wyoming
I used them on competition piece around the same time. I didn't care for it as it changed the height of my aiming. Meaning the red dot mounting was higher than my iron sights so I had to lower my pistol in releation to my eye. This changed my muscle memory so I didn't care for that for real world situations. But for new shooters I could see the need or usefulness of a dot system.
I have heard that, many people that have had extensive use of exclusively iron sighted hand guns have a hard time transitioning, and if they do it takes a lot of repetition to perform equally to iron sights. Unfortunately, a lot of law enforcement personnel have relatively very little experience with handguns. Some of the people I have trained had never shot a handgun in their life prior to getting the job!! So it is a pretty tall order to get them battle ready....

In those cases, I think a red dot could help immensely. Also, those with aging eyes that have a hard time focusing the sight picture and target seem to benefit as well. Now, I also believe that all red dot type optics for duty use should be co-witnessed with irons, and one should be proficient with them as well. A dot should be looked at like an accessory, not a requirement. The fall back will always be the irons.
 

xsn10s

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2016
Messages
1,926
I have heard that, many people that have had extensive use of exclusively iron sighted hand guns have a hard time transitioning, and if they do it takes a lot of repetition to perform equally to iron sights. Unfortunately, a lot of law enforcement personnel have relatively very little experience with handguns. Some of the people I have trained had never shot a handgun in their life prior to getting the job!! So it is a pretty tall order to get them battle ready....

In those cases, I think a red dot could help immensely. Also, those with aging eyes that have a hard time focusing the sight picture and target seem to benefit as well. Now, I also believe that all red dot type optics for duty use should be co-witnessed with irons, and one should be proficient with them as well. A dot should be looked at like an accessory, not a requirement. The fall back will always be the irons.
Yes even back over twenty years ago many cadets hadn't even been in a physical altercation, that include siblings lol. So yes many might have an issue transitioning to a optic. That's why i mentioned John Pride, he had one on his carry piece actually it might have been in the early 90's. i'd say if you had one that cowitnessed it would be ideal. Mine wasn't, but with coowitnessed then the same muscle memory would come into play. If the same system, both pistol and optic, was used for concealment even better. I'd say since it's winter see how the optic reacted to extreme cold. Maybe leave one out in the cold and try it. Also when training with the dot if you train with both eyes open and also trained with one eyed shut you'd be pretty well covered. Just some opinions from the peanut gallery.
 

codyadams

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2015
Messages
3,508
Location
Southwest Wyoming
Yes even back over twenty years ago many cadets hadn't even been in a physical altercation, that include siblings lol. So yes many might have an issue transitioning to a optic. That's why i mentioned John Pride, he had one on his carry piece actually it might have been in the early 90's. i'd say if you had one that cowitnessed it would be ideal. Mine wasn't, but with coowitnessed then the same muscle memory would come into play. If the same system, both pistol and optic, was used for concealment even better. I'd say since it's winter see how the optic reacted to extreme cold. Maybe leave one out in the cold and try it. Also when training with the dot if you train with both eyes open and also trained with one eyed shut you'd be pretty well covered. Just some opinions from the peanut gallery.
Absolutely. Ya the little time I had with a slide mounted optic, it was co-witnessed. As long as I just focused on finding the front sight instead of looking at the optic itself, the red dot would just show up and naturally your focused switched over to the dot, and while I didn't time myself, I didn't notice a significant lack in speed. If I focused on finding the dot however, it was actually harder
 

xsn10s

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2016
Messages
1,926
I noticed that with pistols especially with smaller dots. Rifles/ carbines it's fast. I think more contact points to index the weapon.
 

xsn10s

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2016
Messages
1,926
Could be a training issue. Spend some time behind one and maybe assess after that. My pistol was set up for Bianchi cup and Action Pistol so not an apples to apples comparison.
 

Deputy819

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2016
Messages
2,121
Location
Frankfort, Ky
Hey, Cody! Last week I picked up a SIG P320F that has the factory mounted Romeo 1 RDO (3 moa) and co-witnessed night sights and I really like it, however I’ve only put 1 box of ammo through it so far (only due to lack of availability) and I’m still trying to get a ‘feel’ for it. I’ve always been a Glock guy up until now. This is my first pistol with an RDO and I find that I have to really concentrate on keeping my wrist(s) locked/set or I’ll lose that dot with the recoil impulse and have to hunt for it occasionally. I’m sure with more practice and increased familiarity it won’t be an issue at all and will run like a champ.
F14E8D64-5A9D-440B-8DA3-F6F10DC69FB1.jpeg
 

jpd676

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2010
Messages
517
Location
Jackson Hole, WY
It has been my experience it is easier to shoot accurately at distance with a RDO, as in 50 yards on a steel target is easy. It does take old iron sight shooters longer to get used to the new wrist position to naturally pick up the dot. With training, I think it is better but for those officers that don't train much it isn't as good as iron sights. I have seen many different brands break the screws when mounting to the plate in the cut out; most suggest purchasing an after market screw for the mount. I've seen more than a few break during a shooting school and the optic fall off.
 

codyadams

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2015
Messages
3,508
Location
Southwest Wyoming
Hey, Cody! Last week I picked up a SIG P320F that has the factory mounted Romeo 1 RDO (3 moa) and co-witnessed night sights and I really like it, however I’ve only put 1 box of ammo through it so far (only due to lack of availability) and I’m still trying to get a ‘feel’ for it. I’ve always been a Glock guy up until now. This is my first pistol with an RDO and I find that I have to really concentrate on keeping my wrist(s) locked/set or I’ll lose that dot with the recoil impulse and have to hunt for it occasionally. I’m sure with more practice and increased familiarity it won’t be an issue at all and will run like a champ.
View attachment 237794
Nice!! When we get new pistols, I want to look at the sigs and the S&W M&P's as well as the glock MOS, my dad (WHP Trooper 24 years) loved his M&P when they switched over from glocks, and I have shot it a good bit and like it too, but I am also fond of my limited class Glock M34. I still need to shoot one of the sigs, but they feel good in my hand and I really like their triggers!
 

Recent Posts

Top