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Are we doing this all wrong?

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The placement of the Romeo Red Dot sight between the two iron sights on the new P320 RX Compact and Full sized pistols is pretty much the accepted industry standard. However, I begin to wonder if this is something that might bear some more thought behind it. Is there more to this than meets the eye?

When others have asked how to use the RX red dot sight in shooting, the answers given seem to be what I consider to be correct. It's certainly consistent to what I've encountered and found to be correct. I do understand though that this being a relatively new system to the pistol/shooting community, it's not exactly an apparent or natural process. It bears being more intentional in its approach.

I have recently viewed a video by Aaron Cowan of Sage Dynamics which seems to me to be well thought out and presents some interesting perspectives. I was wondering what some of you might think about it as well.

Here's the video:
https://youtu.be/zrrlxEwUaRM
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Quite interesting. One thing is for certain: with his shooting skills I hardly think he even needs the RMR. Which really has me thinking the red dot on a pistol, although cool looking, is an unnecessary adornment.
You are probably totally correct for a shooter in his 20s or 30s.
But, us geezers in the 50s, 60, and 70s really understand the value of the red dot. :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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Jason has his own sight focus issues that cause him to prefer his rear sight in front of the optic . What ever works for him is good ! He is a good shoot but beyond a persons shooting skills his understanding of when to use a sight focused shooting style and a target focused shooting styles is spot on .

A started hunting with revolvers back in the mid '70's and learned quickly when sight focus was as equal as target focus at longer ranges yet at short ranges a type of point shooting skill becomes needed for defensive shooting . With a red dot at shorter ranges 25 yards and under and basic Defensive shooting your really focused on the target and the dot should appear in your field of view where you want the bullet to strike even if and if the dot is in a corner of the lens with no iron sight focus .. Then theres the dot size for the distance each person need to cover . I use a 2moa dot on my revolvers for good bullet placement at longer handgun distance where most shoots are more offensive in nature . Defensive shooting at short ranges might be more of a 6moa dot to 9moa dot for quickest dot on target shooting at shorter yardage . 2 and 3moa for me an my old eyes is too darn small for fast dot on target shooting as it makes my "look" for the dot and that's not good for defensive shooting need . A 6 to 9moa dot still only covers 1.5 to 2.25" at 25 yards .

Dot optics are great but time needed for the skills to become natural can takes take time to develop and plenty of rounds fired too . Might be a target focused shooting skills like NSSF - Flash Sight Picture video on you tube might help with basic short range defensive shooting with iron sights yet it will transfer to optics far quicker .

My eye sight is not good but not bad enough for me to commit to a dot optics on my carry handgun yet but wife has a fun gun - m&P core 4.25 with a RM5g trijicon on it that I play with occasionally .

The other thing I might have missed in the video is Dot Optics lens have a lens coating on them that reduces light transfer and simple put takes away from your low light visibility and a light my be a requirement for low light to nigh time needs with a dot optic on a hand gun . You can see the loss of visibility in the video but not brought up .
 

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+1 aging eyes make Red Dots so incredibly beneficial IMO.

As far as where the irons are placed this is not a new debate. I think it's Suarez, or maybe Bowie, only sets them up with the red dot to the rear, and the sights in front.

Most of the reasons in the video above, I don't agree with at least for me in my experience. I have never been confused by the rear sight, when using the dot...not even a little bit. I have trouble believing anyone would have that problem, and if they did, the sights are still there adding confusion whether before or after the dot?

He also talks quickly about the focal length of the target and not the dot...which I don't think he is wrong, just missed a very important point, and maybe wasn't as clear as he could have been...and I get it, it's a tough thing to explain, without showing someone, and you have to see it in person to fully appreciate it. The focus of the target and the dot are actually the same. If you need glasses for distance the dot, will be blurry without your glasses. I have the problem of the iron sights are in focus without my glasses and the target is only in focus with them, so with iron sights I can't have both the sights and the target in focus at the same time. With the red dot, the dot and the target are in focus at the same time. If you need glasses for distance, when you try out a red dot for the first time, wear your glasses or the dot looks like junk because it is blurry.

The reasons I have seen for the Irons all in front of the red dot, that actualy made more sense to me, was so if you did need the irons both woul look the same rather than the rears clear and virgin, while the front was tinted by the red dot wondow. Also there is an argument to be made that the iron sight could add a little protection for the red dot, for racking off a belt, and ffrom stray ejection. I'm not sold on these either and I had my CC gun milled for the dot in front of the rear sight.

If you are new to red dots on a handgun, I like people to know, if you are bringing the gun on target and cursing the dot because you can't "find it" you should realize that with that presentation, the iron sights would not be aligned anywhere near correctly either...it's just a poor presentation. Yes the dot takes some getting used to, but on target is on target no matter the sight...don't get discouraged, just train a little more.
 
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Makes complete sense.
We never use our BUIS on a rifle when we have a functioning red-dot for similar reasons. The BUIS come up when the red dot fails.

I don't compete but I recall that some classes of competition are what "brought" the rest of us to the world of red dots on pistols. But I think most of them have them on bridge mounts that place the red dots above the iron sights on the slide, essentially accomplishing the same thing the video discusses. They are taking the iron sights "out of the picture" by bringing the red dot above the iron sights.

I wonder if the manufacturers that have started doing this, like SIG, Glock and Springfield, are doing it the current way because "the other guys are doing it" that way and selling their pistols? Or if it is a cost-cutting measure? They don't have to re-configure a milling machine to cut rear dovetails in a different place than their other slides AND make the MRD cut. They can just take the standard slide that has the dovetail cut in the typical location and add the MRD cut.

But I do agree with the idea. Though one has to wonder that, if the pistol's MRD fails and you have to go to the standard iron sights as backup, would the now non-operational MRD cause the same problem he is avoiding, in the added stress of aligning on the rear iron sight that is now forward of the MRD.

It would seem to be a trade off either way.

However, most of the time you can assume that the MRD is operational and simply add a operational check on the MRD before holstering it for carry, in the same manner as you might do a press-check for a loaded chamber.

As I previously discussed, it might increase cost of manufacture for companies like SIG - which they would pass on to the consumer. In that case, SIG has to consider if a potential buyer would pay the extra for that unique configuration, or if the consumer would just by "Brand B" that makes them the way that they do now. Or they could just tell us to purchase a standard slide and send it to a competent shop to have it milled that way if we want.

Overall, I think his way is better.

But I think I could learn to look past the irons with the current configurations.
 

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It's interesting that he bases his argument on doing something that should not be done (focusing on the rear sight first) which he would never do, so why is it a problem for him unless, in his mind, it's in his way. He says he wants the dot first but the rear sight is just as likely to be quite visible in front of the window as it is behind the window. I can't see how for an expert shooter like him, after thousands of rounds, this could be a problem. He is obviously a great shooter and an expert.

His point on sight radius is true unless you use your gun for target shooting and then radius is always a plus.

Everyone is different, but when I shoot my RX I focus on the target immediately. When I shoot my Less Baer with iron sights, I focus immediately on the front sight. Sight alignment is a subconscious act both ways for me.
But that's just me. I train that way.

He says people focus on rear, then front, then target then front. Who knows. As a shotgun instructor for 20 years I know how difficult it is to teach a beginner to focus on the target and not the gun or lead. I tell them to sense the lead, not measure it.

One other point, Reflex optic sights are relatively Parallax free so I naturally tend to center the dot on the glass without focusing on it. The dot is now well above the iron sights. For me, this makes the "in front" or "behind" argument mute.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Awesome!

All input so far is greatly appreciated. I am a newcomer to shooting pistols as this P320 RX is my second pistol, and I am an old phart with 55 yr old eyes.

I do know that my shooting has GREATLY improved with the RDS, and I can be effective as is. Perhaps I tend to over think and "what if" too much.

Thanks for the input!
 

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It works for him....that's good. One difference between him and me,,,,besides he is a lot more accurate, is when I present the weapon, I am looking for the front sight first, its just the way I have always done it. Once the front sight is on target, then I find the rear sight. When shooting fast, I focus on the front sight once its back on target I take another shot.
If my RDS fails, I can transition to iron sights easily by just looking in the bottom of the RDS to co-witness. If you haven't tried it, you may be surprised how simple it is.
When I first bought my 320 RX it shot low and left out of the box. New gun...new sight...okay maybe I am pulling the shots?? After the first magazine, I decided to try the iron sights, POA and POI were right on at 10 yards. So I knew it was the RDS, made the adjustments to the sight and its POI is the same as POA.
I guess their isn't really a right or wrong....its what works for you. My 63 year old eyes probably don't see the same as someone's younger eyes, so If I can hit what I am aiming at, I consider that good.
 

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All good points.

Outerlimits made a good point (and I liked the original series). :D

It takes practice with any weapon and any sighting system. Some people will adjust to shooting a red dot easier than other people.

I can see his point based on my use of my Aimpoint on my M400. I have never shot a pistol with MRD on it.

The guy makes sense in his theory. But I would have to try both setups to convince me that it would make a difference for me.
 

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whatever works for the shooter. some people clearly like to go against the grain to stand out. He shoots well in the video but why would an "expert" focus on the rear sights first? Ugh.

Either way he should omit the buzzwords and terms like "physiologically" & "evolutionary combat" which in the absence of degrees in Bio science come off as faking it. His resume doesn't mention undergrad or grad school only armed forces -> contractor -> LE if so he's not a credible "expert witness" on the science he uses.

Quite interesting. One thing is for certain: with his shooting skills I hardly think he even needs the RMR. Which really has me thinking the red dot on a pistol, although cool looking, is an unnecessary adornment.
Pat I believe I generally share your viewpoints & some common firearms but like the laser debate it's probably not about "unnecessary adornment" but learning a tool that might really be useful sometime unexpected. Undoubtedly it is the future as costs drop and gunmakers differentiate their Tupperware similar strikers. Early days. I bet revolver guys were snickering at shooters with 9mm browning hi power back in the day. The reddot is fun to shoot and we all shoot quite often for fun don't we? :)
 

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I found the video interesting but not convincing. I think the RDS on a pistol is a solution in search of a problem. I'm a point shooting advocate for ranges 10 yards and under and time is critical. Even aimed shooting is possible when multiple shots are required and the front sight is back on desired point of aim and impact.

One reason I am a 320 fan is that it is a forgiving, accurate, and natural pointer for me. I can go from grip and low ready position to firing position and have almost perfect elevation sight alignment and only minor windage adjustment. The ergonomics for me are amazing.

I'm in Pat's camp.
 
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