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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you guys have any tips/resources/thoughts on using a reflex sight in a close quarters scenario?

I'm interested mostly in things like footwork, sight picture, cornering, etc. - more handling/maneuvering drills than actual trigger pulling. Indoor or outdoor around obstacles.

My concern is defensive: not so much getting to the threat to disable it (i.e., law enforcement/military) as navigating a situation as a private citizen trying to survive to subsequently meet with his attorney and make a statement.

For the sake of discussion lets say the scenario is a mentally troubled person who is trying to murder-suicide you.
 

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Good question, Scott. I'm looking forward to all your replies.

I recently added Holosuns to my P365 and P320. Just sighted in the P365 and will do the P320 next week. I'm trying out Bravo Concealment's OWB holsters that work well for me between 2 - 3 o'clock. I preferred AIWB up until now, but I just can't find the holster I'd prefer with the optic.

For now, it practice draw and getting consistent with the sight picture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm new to reflex sights. It was obvious right away that my dual-illuminated RMR is a game-changer for my gun handling.

For example I can hold the gun close and actually go through a 28" interior door sideways with an excellent sight picture. Would seem to open a whole new world of handling tactics.
 

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I don’t know about reflex sights. I’ll do range sessions where I practice shooting at the target without looking at my sights. Just the target. We can’t work from a holster so I put my EDC on the shelf in front of me in the same condition I carry (P365 round chambered safety on). I have a free app on my iPhone called Shot Timer. You can set a random “ding” to pick up the weapon and engage the target.

On a second note, Sig Sauer Academy has a class titled Reflective Shooting. I going to take that class in the summer.
 

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I agree with @GCV - practice point shooting from retention and at different arm lengths. You’ll be surprised how close you can get to the target just from proper indexing of the gun and consistent arm extension. With repeated practice, it will become instinctive. I expect that in a very close quarters situation, I’m not going to have time to get a sight picture with anything - red dot or iron sights. I want to keep the rounds on target and stop the threat as quickly as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would guess several here have had "active shooter" training at work. The scenario there is you have some armed person intending to do harm, presumably take others down with them in murder-suicide.

The training goes into things like barricading, improvised weapons, and escape. Take that, add the twist of being armed yourself, and that's more or less what I'm thinking of. If I come around the corner and find a gun pointed at me, if I go for my gun - super-fast or not - I'll get perforated.

I've only been attacked a few times, but in none of those was split-second timing important. However deliberate action was critical in each case. So I'm interested in the context surrounding the triggerwork more than the triggerwork itself.
 

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I train for "point shooting" technique in close quarters. The time you would take to aim a reflex sight could get you killed.

This is why I also don't use a reflex sight on my concealed carry firearms (aside from the added bulk)...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
The time you would take to aim a reflex sight could get you killed. . . .
In my particular case I switched to a reflex sight because I missed at 10 ft - 3 times. It was a dog, was grazed, stopped the attack but . . .

I have a long history of shooting, including "defensive" shooting. I can put shots on target quickly and accurately. But the dog attack drove home really quickly how it is that so many shootings involve misses. My performance during the incident was not at all like my performance on a range. A really sobering experience.

It caused a lot of reflection, sorting out what went wrong. Short version, I didn't take the split second to aim. Did I have a quarter second to do that? Yes, but I didn't take it. It was a case of fast is slow, slow is fast.

My gun had a red front, plain black rear sight. I found the front, put it on target, pulled the trigger. Given the stress of the situation I couldn't find the rear, didn't take the time to. And I missed.

I switched to 3-dot, which is a lot better, but still has the same problem. Finding one mark to put on the target is doable. Finding two marks, lining them up, putting that on target . . . probably asking too much.

Hence the reflex sight.

Edited to add:

I should point out that my defensive training was to concentrate on the front sight. Put the gun up, put the front sight on target, pull the trigger, don't stop puling the trigger until the threat abates. I did exactly as I was trained.

It worked out well enough. I grazed the dog and it ran off. But it was a big dog, about 120 lbs and not much smaller on presentation than a human.

If it was an armed human? I'd probably be dead.

I've been missed before too, had a Glock emptied at me unsuccessfully while I was singularly focused on escape. That's a lot of times to be missed. So it happens to attackers too.

My strategy now is to recognize the performance degradation by high stress and work within those bounds. I'm putting my money on simple and deliberate: fast is slow, slow is fast.
 

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One tip for close shooting, like 5 yards and in, just fill up the window of the sight with the chest and shoot. No need to look for or line up the dot at that range. You will get solid body hits. Kind of like point shooting but you have the reference of filling the window of the sight with the target body. Not pin point shooting but that is not the idea in a fast moving short range encounter.
 

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Depends on how close. In competition I don't use my sights inside 5 yards, just point and shoot if there not a close non-threat, I can get A's or 0's all day long that way. While I'm trying to get use to reflex sights I find them the best and long or precision shots.
As for point shooting I think it's practice and how your gun fits you. With my 229's and 2011's I find that I don't even have to bring the gun up for close shots and maybe is muscle memory or fit when I do bring it up with a reflex sight it's right on. The mistake I make and what slows me down is trying to verify the dot is on target.
 

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?Do you shoot silhouettes or round targets when you practice. Or other times. WHAT you practice shooting at makes a difference.

I also believe a LARGE red dot is helpful. No one is going to be using these for precision shots at 25 yards. Take a 6 minute dot and try it at 25 yds for head shots - it works fine AND you're quick to locate the dot and shoot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
?Do you shoot silhouettes or round targets when you practice. Or other times. WHAT you practice shooting at makes a difference.

I also believe a LARGE red dot is helpful. No one is going to be using these for precision shots at 25 yards. Take a 6 minute dot and try it at 25 yds for head shots - it works fine AND you're quick to locate the dot and shoot.
My RMR is 7 MOA amber: https://www.trijicon.com/products/details/rm04

At the moment I don't have much time for live fire, but I do squeeze in a few minutes every week for a quick stop by my indoor range. I park, sign in, hang a B-3 target at 50 ft, draw, fire one shot - usually one-handed by flashlight because I don't bother turning the range lights on - and then I leave. I break the shot as soon as the dot is on target. I'm always in the black. I cannot do that with irons.

What I am training for is putting my gun to effective use from a cold start. No "junk volume," to use a strength training term.

I do have time to practice though, but not where I can do live fire. So I do handling, dry fire, and maneuvering drills. It's mostly advice on maneuvering I'm interested in.
 

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My RMR is 7 MOA amber: https://www.trijicon.com/products/details/rm04

At the moment I don't have much time for live fire, but I do squeeze in a few minutes every week for a quick stop by my indoor range. I park, sign in, hang a B-3 target at 50 ft, draw, fire one shot - usually one-handed by flashlight because I don't bother turning the range lights on - and then I leave. I break the shot as soon as the dot is on target. I'm always in the black. I cannot do that with irons.

What I am training for is putting my gun to effective use from a cold start. No "junk volume," to use a strength training term.

I do have time to practice though, but not where I can do live fire. So I do handling, dry fire, and maneuvering drills. It's mostly advice on maneuvering I'm interested in.
Check out WPSN. John's pistol 2 course is available there, and it includes some of what you're talking about

Sent from my SM-N981U using Tapatalk
 

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If you had your front sight on the target inside 7 yards and missed, you jerked the trigger while shifting your focus back toward the Threat. Welcome to the real world. It happens, which is why lots of people who should be dead aren't, and those who shouldn't, are.

BTW, RMRs are not reflex sights. They are Red Dot Sights. Different optical systems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you had your front sight on the target inside 7 yards and missed, you jerked the trigger while shifting your focus back toward the Threat. . . .
No, it was a rear sight problem. Or rather, a sight alignment problem. I have body cam video of it. The gun stayed steady through trigger pull. There was no trigger jerking.

I was using a revolver, a Ruger GP100, and trigger pull was solid. I grazed the dog at least twice.

The whole thing was actually pretty deliberate. I remember bringing the gun up and recalling my training: put the front sight on the target. I did, right where the neck met the chest. I couldn't find the rear sight (again, old-school plain black) so gave up and concentrated on keeping the front sight on target during trigger pull.

The first shot was high from my aiming point, went through one ear. Windage was good, elevation way high. So what I did was focused so much on the front sight I did not pick up the rear as being too low. Elevation error was completely explained by that mechanism. Subsequent two shot executions were messier, but same idea.

My usual carry at the time was a 1911. I grabbed the GP100, tucked it in my waistband, basically appendix carry, when I saw this dog attacking another down the road (which I reported to law enforcement). I didn't want to fuss with the 1911 and its holster, so just grabbed my "outdoors" gun, my GP100.

The grip angle of the GP100 vs the 1911 is such that when I bring the GP100 up the front sight is high. So on presentation I was aiming high and didn't catch the error.

The other thing I changed aside from completely modernizing my sidearm is to just stick with one gun. No more adjusting to different ergonomics, just one thing to get used to.

So the misses were completely on me, but there were two main contributing factors: poor sight alignment and being used to a different grip angle. Shot execution was otherwise solid.
 

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Scotty brings to the fore another truth about combat shooting: use/carry what you carry and train with. Had he been using his customary 1911, it's highly likely that the dog would be pushing up daisies, not trampling them down. In any combat/self-defense (or hunting) situation, we need to take "just enough" time to refine the sight picture so as to guarantee a solid hit. This is going to be completely dependent on the size of the target area that needs to be hit. The mantra, "Aim Small, Hit Small" is a good one, even if it came from a movie. The area we generally train to hit on the square range is an 8"-diameter circle, predicated on a humanoid silhouette target. What if said humanoid is turned 45 degrees in any direction and moving thataway? Dogs are much smaller - faster, too. As my late friend used to advise, "Take your time - fast."
 

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The 7MOA dot of Scotty's Trijicon RMR RDS could be a future contributing factor toward near-misses and less-than-desired off-center, peripheral hits. The 7MOA dot subtends (covers) >7 inches at 100 yds., about half that at 50. I would go for no more than a 3.5MOA dot for a pistola, and a 2MOA dot for a carbine. Amber also tends to wash out against bright light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
The 7MOA dot of Scotty's Trijicon RMR RDS could be a future contributing factor toward near-misses . . .
My front sight is about 21 MOA. I figure, if I'm defensively shooting at anything anywhere near as small as the 7 MOA dot I'm pushing my luck.

I do aiming and dry fire drills when I lift weights, as training for dealing with suboptimal conditions. Shaking is often around 50 MOA. It's good training to practice trigger control under such circumstances.

Unless I was forced to chance it, I would not attempt a defensive shot against anything smaller than around 50 MOA. The dog I shot at was well over 100 MOA. [Edit: the dog's rib cage would enclose a circle about 10" in diameter. At 10 ft that's 300 MOA.]

Using a dot tightens things up to maybe half the size irons would do. Front-back sight misalignment adds around the same error as shake, for me, but depends on sight radius.

No such thing as sight misalignment with a dot.
 

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Trigger control is half the battle. The other is sight alignment (with irons). The dot of a RDS is a bit of a challenge. One must zero the firearm such that the round impacts in the center of the dot's "circle". Shots will then fall somewhere within the area subtended by the dot as distances to target increase/decrease - along with the "wobble". With irons, if one zeroes such that the desired point of impact is just on top of the front sight, making hits is easier at any distance than if the irons are zeroed such that the desired point of impact is (somewhere) "under" the top of the front sight aka: the "combat zero". I am underwhelmed by "combat zero", which presupposes that, under pressure/contraints of time, you can accurately divide the intended target into equidistant halves and that you are able to keep said front sight in that area, rather than simply plopping it (target area) on top of the front sight and tracking the blob. I would encourage everyone to read Elmer Keith's thoughts on sighting in handguns and the various sight pictures and zeroing theories, as found in his classic, Sixguns. YMMV.
 
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