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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A couple of recent threads have asked me about my opinions on some of the different dots I have tried and used. There are also (IMHO) a lot of red dot opinions based off people who haven't trained or aren't using dots "correctly" and have a handicapped view of what dots have to offer.

For example, at 50 feet from a holstered draw I can put 3 shots in the IDPA -0 ring in 1.68s total with a dot.



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START OF IMPRESSIONS:
  • Dots are faster and more accurate everywhere and in every situation except heavy rain that can get on the emitter (lens is fine).
People who comment they aren't, just haven't trained well with them. Here is a point shooting versus red dot on (for a gun I don't shoot a lot). Draws are at or under one second to 7 yards.


Not only can you use sights at those speeds, they actually help with speed and accuracy to break the shot confidently.

Here is a 0.66s draw to center. And I still used the red dot sight. At that distance, as soon as you see a red flash on the lens you trigger.

  • Window size matters.
The best iron shooters can "call shots" even when the irons are misaligned because they do the mental trigonometry to say that a crooked sight picture will wind up being a hit where and when on the target.

It’s easier with a larger window. Basically it gives you more options and lets you trigger from all kinds of different positions.

See below, it is a perfect head shot despite the gun being crooked.

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With a smaller window you don’t get that option. You need a more perfect index which doesn’t hold up under extremes of speed and movement. Square range slow fire doesn’t count much for self defense except that if you can’t do it there, you can’t do it under stress and moving.

How many people with irons could see this sight picture and feel confident taking the head shot?
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What about with the dot turned on?
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  • The ability to target focus is important, but more than that you don't have to have the body of the gun blocking out the important parts of the target. Being able to use both eyes in seeing things around the target helps with depth perception and triangulation at speed and with movement.
  • THIS IS THE BIGGEST ADVANTAGE IMHO OF RED DOT USAGE.
This is how traditional iron shooters would aim for the "A" zone of the head box. You can't see the "face" or the body very well. The gun blots out the important contextual parts of the target for your dominant eye.

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But with a proper dot utilization:
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You can see the whole head which helps with binocular depth perception.

Note that when you use the dot properly it floats in the center of the window and you do NOT use the irons in the same view.

That point becomes very relevant when we talk about back up irons at the end.
  • Get the right tool for the right job.
Some people pocket carry LCPs. Some people IWB Glock 20s. What's YOUR goal for carry? Same thing for dots. CCW for a civilian has very different equipment implications than LEO or military. Picking your dot for CCW, competition and range fun should mirror your gun selection. Same thing goes for your BUIS requirement and choices.

  • Adding a dot doesn't add hardly any bulk to a carry gun and doesn't change the draw stroke for me.
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The dot is above the belt line and still doesn't extend outwards past the belt. It really doesn't change anything functional in my carry and can still easily do sub-second concealed draws.

So what tools for what jobs?
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When I started with red dots, the RMR was pretty much the only game in town for a durable slide ride optic. Now we have lots of options.

The following are my opinions only and just like people who carry Glock 20s as their main CCW, YMMV.

  1. Dedicated competition: you want the biggest window possible for the above reasons. It matters in tracking and transition at speed. Ditch the irons because you don't want anything cluttering your window and it doesn't matter if your optic fails, you brought a back up gun anyway, right? SRO is my favorite. The Romeo 3Max (I have broken three) doesn't seem as durable and the button placement isn't my preferred (can accidentally turn off the dot grabbing the slide if you're a rear racker... I added front grip tape and non-issue now). But the 3Max works very well. Both are nice, crisp glass and dots. Leupold DPP is a good choice too, but does give up a little on window height which decreases tracking under recoil. It's a half step behind the SRO and the 3Max for all out competition. My Shadow 2s for USPSA Carry Optics wear the SROs and my TSOs for Open Lite (Carry Optics major for me) wear the 3Maxs. I just moved over one of my SROs to my EDC X9 for IDPA.
  2. Range fun and medium sized carry: Maybe you only have one or two guns and you use it for a number of different things. I personally don't have an issue with milled versus dovetail versus MOS plate guns. They all work fine and there really isn't any meaningful difference in how they work for most people. The MOS type guns are nice in that you don't have to commit to just one footprint. For something like a G19 MOS, you have medium window options that are pretty rugged and will survive drop tests and hard use. The RMR, Holosun 407c/507c/508T and the Leupold DPP are great options. I would lean towards the RMR and the Holosuns because they have usable auto-light adjustment sensors which I find a desirable feature for a carry gun that you might have very different lighting conditions. The DPP’s option is so subtle that I didn’t know it existed until I checked the manual. The RMR has a better light adjustment sensor than the 507c (I don't know if it's improved on newer models). I would go suppressor height sights that don't rise up very much above the optic body to reduce clutter. Doesn't matter to me if irons forward or back because they're not in play when you're using your dot. The one thing I don't like about suppressor height sights is that they sometimes don't shoot POA/POI for a particular gun.
  3. Dedicated carry: For the smallest guns, does an optic even help? I tested and it certainly does for me. https://www.glocktalk.com/threads/jcn-carry-gun-test-part-2-irons-vs-rds.1868396/#post-29782814 It doesn't add much bulk and the accuracy trade off is worth it for me. For a gun like a P365 or P365XL, I do want accurate BUIS and for that I really like the integrated rear sights of the micro dots. Just pick an appropriate height front (usually the stock front is pretty close). The Shield RMSc, Romeo Zero and Holosun 407/507k are ones I own and have tried. I think the new Trijicon offering totally misses the boat by being too tall for this. The Shield and the Romeo Zero aren't really that impact resistant, but for a CCW I don't plan on slamming it around. But for those reasons, I do want a usable and accurate set of back up irons. I chose the Shield RMSc as my favorite because it's the only option with an auto-light adjust sensor and going from indoor to outdoor as potential carry / self defense scenarios I really want that option on my carry optic.
  4. LEO / Military: I would absolutely pick an RMR here as it's the most well vetted option when hard use is expected. I would also choose a Glock as my sidearm for the same reason.
Any questions, feel free to DM me or ask here! Hit a "like" if you appreciate the thought process and effort.
 

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JCN, thanks for taking the time to do this. You are very knowledgeable and I always enjoy your post.

Do you know why I can’t see your videos in a list on YouTube? I can play the links but I’m unable to view old videos. Carry on if you do this for privacy, I was just wondering.

I think most people who have an underwhelming experience with dots just have a weak draw/index. Their draw sucks if they are having to hunt the dot. It sucks with irons also, they’re just ignoring that.
 

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Trijicon Adjustable LED *TYPE 3* RMR
They could make a RUGGEDIZED miniature optic that was more designed for the way most consumers actually use them.
Can you help me understand how most consumers use them?
I can't envision buying another RMR that doesn't share the same physical dimensions as the original.
Like!

I'm definitely interested in the improvements you'd make to the Trijicon adjustable LED type 2 RMR (while maintaining the physical dimensions and mounting footprint) to better align with the way most consumers actually use them.
 

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Suppose if anyone knows it'd be you ;)

Does anyone make a low profile Green Dot that can use standard height sights. Something like the shield, but with green?

From what I've seen Holosun are still bigger. I'm still interested in dots but would really rather keep my CAP sights on my Glock and really think I need he green color in sunlight.
 

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Please do, although I'm already giving you a thumbs down for putting Sig reddots on Glocks and S&W's.




:D
 

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From the googling I've done so far, it sounds like the SRO may not be worth the extra $ and requires obnoxiously tall backup sights (if you want those...and I do). I'm leaning toward the RMR 6.5MOA. I do have a bit of experience with slide mounted red dots. I used to compete with a Glock 34 and 24 that each had Optima2000's on them, 15 or so years ago. Those things had issues with their auto-brightness, sometimes with holding zero, and I had one go bad in a way that it would eat batteries in a matter of hours...and of course Tasco went BK. Having used both 3.5 and 8MOA dots, I think the 6.5 is the way to go.

-JCN-, given you clearly have a bit more experience :) with these things, I'm curious your thoughts on the above observations.
 

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... the SRO <snip> requires obnoxiously tall backup sights
Comical, actually.

Almost half of all Glock slides milled to accept an RMR are cut rear iron sight forward. With the SRO lens extending so far forward, this isn't even an option.

I'm sure -JCN- will address this.

 

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From the googling I've done so far, it sounds like the SRO may not be worth the extra $ and requires obnoxiously tall backup sights (if you want those...and I do).
I’m pretty sure there is practically zero difference between the two in that respect.
 

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In that point-v.-dot-v.-laser video, wouldn't it have been a better comparison if you had used a "regular" stance with the laser instead of shooting from the hip?
 

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OK. I'll bite. There's zero difference between the RMR and SRO in terms of price? Or in terms of the height of iron sights needed to yield lower one-third co-withness?
No need to bite.

I wish I had a more definitive answer. I’m amazed that it isn’t easy to find measurements online given how long the SRO has been available.

What I do know is the following.

Battlewerx recommends .315” tall sights for their cuts for both the RMR and SRO. I suspect there is a slight difference in the sight picture but again I only have what I can find online to base this on.

Jagerwerks seems to recommend the same height sights for both RMR and SRO but has a comment that you need a .395” front for lower 1/3 but I think they are talking about adding the thickness of the BROS guard to the equation.

I’m fairly sure the Trijicon sights would work fine for both RMR and SRO. I stole the picture below of the Trijicon sights on milled slides from this site. Hopefully he won’t mind a repost. I don’t recall seeing any good rear shots of this combo on an MOS pistol with the SRO.

 

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Thank you for taking the time to write this
 
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Wow! Excellent post. Nicely done JCN. That took some effort to put together. Clearly, you have some passion for the subject.

There is so much good in that post I'm bookmarking it to refer to again. I'd love to see this thread made a sticky over in Sights, Optics and Lasers.

Of all the solid truths in the post, none more important than "a lot of red dot opinions based off people who haven't trained or aren't using dots "correctly" and have a handicapped view of what dots have to offer." Well said!

*I tried to post all that yesterday and found that the site was in the midst of the transition to the new format. Had to save it up for this evening.
 
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