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After watching videos, what should I carry?

  • P365 iron sights

  • P365XL RMSc

  • P01 DPP

  • EDC X9 507c

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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Background:
I have spent most of my competition practice with a Shadow 2 with either a DPP or an SRO and started as USPSA Carry Optics “B” in 2019 and made “Master” in 2020.

I have spent the last few months working on an iron sight Limited TSO to improve my non optic shooting.

I can do this with iron sights:

My carry gun was a P365 with manual safety in a Hidden Hybrid Holster.

But I’ve been feeling a little unsettled about carrying a gun that I don’t shoot the best...

When I do GT challenges, I usually use a P365 milled for an RMSc along with other guns. But I still carry irons thinking that it’d be “good enough” and simpler.

July challenge here with the red dot P365.

I went to my range yesterday and was trying the FAST drill (draw from concealment, 2 shots to a 3x5 index card, slide lock reload and 4 shots to an 8” circle in under 5 seconds).

I could clear it with a CZ P01 (probably the carry gun I shoot best) but when I tried it with iron sight P365 it was a disaster.

A combination of the thick front sight with no daylight gap and “combat hold” doesn’t help much for rapid accuracy.

Since I had spent a couple months just with irons, this was about as good as it was going to get without putting in a LOT more work or changing equipment.

I was very unsettled and felt like I really needed to vet it further.

Equipment:
7FD12AFA-7683-4AE4-B084-0D6A3E624168.jpeg


5E28CC4A-F1ED-4C32-8B78-36FF5329D69B.jpeg


Methodology:
I used the FAST target which is normally a 3x5” head box and 8” body at 7 yards. This was reduced scale size for use at 5.25 yards.

I picked the Gabe White standards due to no reloads (not a priority for my carry gun).
http://www.gabewhitetraining.com/technical-skills-tests/

I can do these standards at the “Turbo” level with gamer guns, ammo and gear.

But for this test I went from concealment (get 0.25s time credit for doing it from concealment) and used full power ammo to be more realistic. I picked par times that would be halfway between “light pin” and “turbo pin.”

IMHO, if you don’t challenge time and accuracy you can’t tell the difference between guns.

Course of Fire:
Sight in 6 shots on 2” dot
Dry fire string twice, shoot it twice.

From concealment:
  1. Six shots to body from concealed draw, approx 2.5s
  2. Two body, one head from concealed draw, approx 2.25s
  3. Two head shots from concealed draw, approx 2.5s
  4. Four body, two head from concealed draw, approx 3.5s
Results:




Impressions:
I’m retiring the P365. If I had to keep that gun with iron sights, I would probably change to a narrower and shorter front sight so I could get quicker feedback from a flash front sight picture. In slow fire, I’m accurate with the stock front. But when things are moving fast, this sight doesn’t work well for me.

I have a P365 milled for an RMSc but I prefer just going for the XL for the lack of primer swipe and for better co-witness of factory sight (due to slide length, I needed a taller front for my milled P365).

The P01 has a grip angle like my competition Shadow 2 and is DA/SA instead of a manual safety like the other guns. I think that probably helps, but in GT challenges that’s the carry type gun I consistently shoot best.

The EDC X9 is sweet but the slightly different grip angle slowed me down just a little.

Thoughts:
I have suspected this, but for me red dots are faster and more accurate than (some) irons, even up close. I seem to be able to get more feedback quicker from a dot and I think there’s probably no downside to carry a dot as long as I have a good back up set of sights. In transition drills (like the Federal Air Marshal drill the red dot still wins).

Might start carrying the P365XL and might put the Holosun 407k on it for ruggedness. But the RMSc has auto-light adjust.

@Fatboy2001 @Deputydave When I get back out again, I’ll repeat the test with a red dot P365 and a red dot G43x. In past testing, I generally shoot the Sigs a little better than the G43s, but I do have a new trigger in the Glock...

Hit a “like” if you like my thought processes and testing! Also if there are any questions or thoughts, would love to hear them.
 

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I know that I would be interested in your opinion on the P365 vs P365XL. One of my buddies had the P365 but went with the XL and loves it.
 

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Absolutely would be interested.

I just drew up notes yesterday for my next trip to the range where I'm going to run a couple of drills to compare my G43, P365, with my new P365XL and the mix and match P365L.

Once I have a winner, I plan to compare it using the same drills on the next trip to a full size M&P and my K6s.
 

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JCN, I was going to post a request. I'll use this opportunity. Been thinking about one of these.
glock-43x-mos.jpg

Excellent iron sights against excellent optic (same gun or close). Test: speed acquisition of front sight vs. red dot. Three targets - left - center - right and at say, left ~10 yds, center ~7 lads and right ~12 yds. Drill, low ready - center - left - right. Repeat, center - right - left.

Is there a difference (I won't say significant) time and hits. I still can't believe the red dot can be acquired as fast as a good iron front sight (like the 365's).
JCN, I always like your posts. :flag:
 

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I'm interested...

I've found I'm a touch faster with the smaller guns like the Shield and P365 versus larger guns like the G19 and G17.
 
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JCN, thanks for the efforts. My question: do you lose the "dot" on swing shots on five to seven yard swings apart. So, do you lose the dot on swing shots (left right - right left). Not trying to be obtuse, but moving the gun left - right + right left at distance - can the dot stay with irons.

Perhaps I'll buy a G43x with a dot and try it (if I can find one). IMHO, moving the gun - left right or right left is the test. FAST is straight ahead - with reload. IMHO, moving the gun (sight) is a tougher test regardless of time or reload.

Thanks again! :cheers:
 
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Discussion Starter #8
JCN, thanks for the efforts. My question: do you lose the "dot" on swing shots on five to seven yard swings apart. So, do you lose the dot on swing shots (left right - right left). Not trying to be obtuse, but moving the gun left - right + right left at distance - can the dot stay with irons.

Perhaps I'll buy a G43x with a dot and try it (if I can find one). IMHO, moving the gun - left right or right left is the test. FAST is straight ahead - with reload. IMHO, moving the gun (sight) is a tougher test regardless of time or reload.

Thanks again! :cheers:
I have some strong impressions from shooting a dot gun in USPSA. I just took the XL out of the safe and checked in dry fire.

I have a good mechanical index so when I draw, the dot appears on target. Same thing after the reload.

Same thing with transitions. I don’t track the dot through a wide transition, I move my eyes and head first and then “snap” the gun to target and the dot appears on target.

Narrow transition you can track it, but don’t have to if your index is good.

My strong, strong suspicion is that the advantages of a dot on a small, fast target will still hold given my previous trials of the Federal Air Marshal test that has three 4” wide targets on 3 yard transitions with a tight time requirement with these guns.

I’ll have to come up with an appropriately difficult transition test and vet the P365 iron sights vs P365 RMSc vs P365XL RMSc vs G43x Romeo Zero.

Maybe 4x6” targets at 7 yards with a 7 yard transition from a table start under tough time standards. I’ll have to think about it. Maybe like you said, have different distances too.
 

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Seemed like you were most accurate with the CZ but actually faster with the XL.

I also transition like you to other targets. Look at the target and bring the gun to it. Dot is magically there.

I have the 365 XL with a romeo zero on it. I need to do alot more practice with it. That flat trigger is something new for me and I don't know if I like it. I've been doing a lot of dry practice with it the last couple of weeks so when I get a chance at the range I'll see how it improves
 

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Always enjoy your posts JCN. It took me a very long time of practice and dry fire to get used to a dot on a handgun. I don't think it helped being over 60. Had the hardest time focusing on the target and imposing the dot over it. I think from habit I was focusing on the dot after years of "front sight focus". One steel match though, it clicked! Now I don't want to shoot without one. I haven't timed myself, but I think my target transitions are faster than iron sights now.
 
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First off, nice videos :)

Secondly it was a really tough choice between the XL and the P01 in the poll. I finally choose the XL in the poll. You seemed very smooth with it and like the old saying goes, 'smooth is fast'.
 

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Nice write up, but I'll admit I'm a bit surprised by your conclusion that you'd drop the P365.

In my humble opinion, CCW is a compromise between size, concealability, and shootability, and for me, the 365 fits that bill nicely. I think you may be diving too deep in the water when you're basing your decision down to which gun you shoot faster by tenths of a second.

When you're at master level USPSA, the Indian can shoot any arrow well and in defensive encounters, high-level competitive shooters are typically incredibly dominant, regardless of what they're shooting.

But you're you, so you're going to do what you think is best for you, which is how it should be.

I appreciate the content. :cheers:
 

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Seemed like you were most accurate with the CZ but actually faster with the XL.

I also transition like you to other targets. Look at the target and bring the gun to it.

I have the 365 XL with a romeo zero on it. I need to do alot more practice with it. That flat trigger is something new for me and I don't know if I like it. I've been doing a lot of dry practice with it the last couple of weeks so when I get a chance at the range I'll see how it improves
"Dot is magically there." With all due respect pgg00, I don't think it is magic. ;)

BTW, if I get the 43x with a dot I hope I can conjure that "magic".

Look forward to JCN's swing and distance test - iron vs dot. :cheers:
 

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I was doing some similar testing with dot guns the past few weeks with my Glock 19 (MOS slide vs 19X slide on the same frame) and I just come to the opposite conclusion.

My index is good so time on target is largely the same, and on transitions the dot does help some if it's cloudy, but if it's bright sun, like it was last trip, I just lose the dot and have to just go straight to backup irons. Dry fire, slow fire, everything on a cloudy day I really like it, but I don't want to have to change my sight picture if it happens to be sunny out.

Basically, I love the dot indoors and hate it outdoors.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Seemed like you were most accurate with the CZ but actually faster with the XL.

I also transition like you to other targets. Look at the target and bring the gun to it. Dot is magically there.

I have the 365 XL with a romeo zero on it. I need to do alot more practice with it. That flat trigger is something new for me and I don't know if I like it. I've been doing a lot of dry practice with it the last couple of weeks so when I get a chance at the range I'll see how it improves
Funny you should mention that, I like the curved trigger better too. So much that I swapped my XLs to curved triggers. I like rolling my trigger finger and with the flat trigger the sensation is weird on that gun to me. I like flat triggers on some other guns, but for this one I like the curved. It’s a cheap swap and people will clamor to buy your flat one if you want to sell it later.

Nice write up, but I'll admit I'm a bit surprised by your conclusion that you'd drop the P365.

In my humble opinion, CCW is a compromise between size, concealability, and shootability, and for me, the 365 fits that bill nicely. I think you may be diving too deep in the water when you're basing your decision down to which gun you shoot faster by tenths of a second.

When you're at master level USPSA, the Indian can shoot any arrow well and in defensive encounters, high-level competitive shooters are typically incredibly dominant, regardless of what they're shooting.

But you're you, so you're going to do what you think is best for you, which is how it should be.

I appreciate the content. :cheers:
Points well taken. I normally carry a P365 with the 12 round magazine so the difference in size and weight between that and an XL is pretty minor. The accuracy was so much better with the XL and the red dot that I have a hard time settling for less.

What I’ll test next is a P365 with red dot versus a P365XL with red dot. I didn’t do it this time because I didn’t have the same holster for a P365 cut for a dot... but silly me, I could have just used the XL holster. I’ll do that next time along with the G43x with red dot.

I was doing some similar testing with dot guns the past few weeks with my Glock 19 (MOS slide vs 19X slide on the same frame) and I just come to the opposite conclusion.

My index is good so time on target is largely the same, and on transitions the dot does help some if it's cloudy, but if it's bright sun, like it was last trip, I just lose the dot and have to just go straight to backup irons. Dry fire, slow fire, everything on a cloudy day I really like it, but I don't want to have to change my sight picture if it happens to be sunny out.

Basically, I love the dot indoors and hate it outdoors.
I’ve noticed that comment from you in the past, and I am 100% confident that you would change your mind with a different dot. Not all dots are created equal. Some are really feeble in brightness.

Holosun, Trijicon and Shield make some crazy bright dots. If you love it indoors, then you just need a better dot for outdoors and you will love it.

(IIRC you’re using the FF3, that one when I have used it doesn’t get very bright).

I think differences really come out with very vertically constrained targets and irons. I passed the Federal Air Marshal COF with the iron P365 but I had a hard time resolving vertical accuracy with the “combat hold” sight picture on these guns when it came to the 3x5 head box FAST target.
 

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I’ve noticed that comment from you in the past, and I am 100% confident that you would change your mind with a different dot. Not all dots are created equal. Some are really feeble in brightness.

Holosun, Trijicon and Shield make some crazy bright dots. If you love it indoors, then you just need a better dot for outdoors and you will love it.

(IIRC you’re using the FF3, that one when I have used it doesn’t get very bright).
I have a Vortex Venom, so not top of the line by a long shot. But I've tried a Trijicon and a Sig Romeo (or whatever).

I think part of my issue is my colorblindness and the red dot in the sun. I've looked at a few Holosun green dots in the past and in the bright shop the green seems to to work better, doesn't blur as much from my astigmatism either from my brief investigations.

Ideally I want something the size of the Shield, so I can use my favorite CAP as backups, and green.
 

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Funny you should mention that, I like the curved trigger better too. So much that I swapped my XLs to curved triggers. I like rolling my trigger finger and with the flat trigger the sensation is weird on that gun to me. I like flat triggers on some other guns, but for this one I like the curved. It’s a cheap swap and people will clamor to buy your flat one if you want to sell it later.



Points well taken. I normally carry a P365 with the 12 round magazine so the difference in size and weight between that and an XL is pretty minor. The accuracy was so much better with the XL and the red dot that I have a hard time settling for less.

What I’ll test next is a P365 with red dot versus a P365XL with red dot. I didn’t do it this time because I didn’t have the same holster for a P365 cut for a dot... but silly me, I could have just used the XL holster. I’ll do that next time along with the G43x with red dot.



I’ve noticed that comment from you in the past, and I am 100% confident that you would change your mind with a different dot. Not all dots are created equal. Some are really feeble in brightness.

Holosun, Trijicon and Shield make some crazy bright dots. If you love it indoors, then you just need a better dot for outdoors and you will love it.

(IIRC you’re using the FF3, that one when I have used it doesn’t get very bright).

I think differences really come out with very vertically constrained targets and irons. I passed the Federal Air Marshal COF with the iron P365 but I had a hard time resolving vertical accuracy with the “combat hold” sight picture on these guns when it came to the 3x5 head box FAST target.
I may swap that trigger. I'll give it a few more goes and then see what I think.
 
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Nice write up, but I'll admit I'm a bit surprised by your conclusion that you'd drop the P365.

In my humble opinion, CCW is a compromise between size, concealability, and shootability, and for me, the 365 fits that bill nicely. I think you may be diving too deep in the water when you're basing your decision down to which gun you shoot faster by tenths of a second.

When you're at master level USPSA, the Indian can shoot any arrow well and in defensive encounters, high-level competitive shooters are typically incredibly dominant, regardless of what they're shooting.

But you're you, so you're going to do what you think is best for you, which is how it should be.

I appreciate the content. :cheers:
I think DaleGribble makes a valid point.

Your shooting is so good, that I think you can easily count on ANY of these to do the job at hand. From the looks of it, a coroner would have to have a ruler to distinguish which defensive shot was "better", with all being more than sufficient. The times are fast enough to leave 99%+ of your potential adversaries in the dust. One can always improve, but that continuum can lead one down many long and winding paths.

While you like to test and seek the "best" solution (which is fun to read, and I enjoy your contributions!), I do think this is bordering on analysis paralysis (in a good way, not a criticism). That isn't to say "stop thinking it over", or "stop testing". You should absolutely continue...

... but if you find yourself on a hot day thinking "Man, it is HOT! I am already uncomfortable, should I just grab the smaller, more comfy gun to carry today?", I think you should feel very comfortable going with "comfy" with a small 365, no optics, and feel very, very secure in your decision! Once you have narrowed things down to guns you are good with (which you have!), I do believe it is safe for you to rely a smidge less on objective details, and let some subjective feelings enter the equation to help with daily carry decisions. The equation would now shift from "IF something horrible happens, and I need every nanosecond of time and every femptometer of accuracy" to "Given such a situation is so unlikely to arise that it approaches zero, how many millimeters and fractions of seconds am I willing to forfeit in exchange for more comfort today, knowing that I have zero known pending threats?". Of course, this assumes you find a smaller gun more comfortable, which may or may not be true for you.

Regardless, a fun read (again). How much your criteria push towards speed/accuracy will dictate the size and comfort of carry, and I look forward to seeing what you end up feeling is right for you. Have fun!

And sometimes the fun lies in the chase. That isn't a bad thing, right? If I recall correctly, you are a medical doctor. When going to and from work, how does firearm size impact your daily dress and function?
 
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