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Reasonably Priced Red Dot for a Pistol

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Jamison Jamison 7 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #59588
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    So I’ve been wanting to play around with a red dot equipped pistol for a proof of concept.

    So yea if I decide to use one for “life and death” use I’ll buy a high quality version. However I am not spending that kind of money at this point to see how I like using one.

    So any thoughts on a plinking quality red dot?

    #59589
    Profile photo of Darkrivers
    Darkrivers
    Participant

    I think the vortex sparc is a good option, pretty good quality for under 150.

    If you're gonna fight, fight like you're the 3rd monkey on the ramp to Noah's Ark... And Brother, it's starting to rain! James from Texas

    #59590
    Profile photo of TC
    TC
    Participant

    Vortex also makes the VMD‑3103 Venom 3 MOA for $230, their version of the RMR. Brownells currently has it for $210 shipped with coupon code M8Y.

    SE Florida ☆ CQBC 2017 ☆ CTT/DA 2017 ☆ CLC 2018

    #59591
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    Here’s a little more background, as I age my eyes aren’t what they used to be. While still usable, pistol sights are getting more difficult, so exploring possible future options.

    As most are probably aware, some are using various red dots to overcome these issues.

    I’ve had some limited trigger time with a .22 Burris FastFire equipped pistol, but this was several years ago.

    #59597
    Profile photo of Barry Subelsky
    Sam Brady
    Participant

    Joe,
    I have used the pricey RMR from trijicon for several years. They are sturdy and have an excellent track record. I highly recommend them

    #59598
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    I have used the pricey RMR from trijicon for several years.

    That’s what I was thinking if I decided to get serious about using one.

    What was your reason to go the red dot pistol route?

    #59600
    Profile photo of Roadkill
    Roadkill
    Participant

    Hey Joe I use the RMR. Reason, old eyes. The Plus is focus on threat; no longer different focus points, rear sight, front sight, target. Focus only on target. With a G19 I can hit a normal torso with head steel target from 100 yards. Off hand. No way can I do that with irons. Many people find the red dot much slower. This is usually due in some extent to training. If you pick up an inexpensive unit and mount it with a dovetail adapter it will sit high on your pistol changing how you would normally acquire your sights. It will seem awkward. Along with that you won’t have switched your irons to suppressor height, so you won’t be able to see your irons. Without being able to see your irons you will be searching for that elusive red dot. When using a red dot it is imperative that you still use your iron sights; when you do the red dot will be there for you. When you decide to take the plunge you will most likely need to have your slide milled for whatever sight you decide to go with. When your slide is milled the sight sits a little lower giving you a nice sight picture and allows you suppressor back up irons to be bottom third co-witnessed. There are a few other issues but these are the major ones.

    RS/CTT Nov 16
    HEAT1 Aug18

    #59616
    Profile photo of Barry Subelsky
    Sam Brady
    Participant

    Joe,
    Aging eyes. I can use the RMR with glasses, without glasses, with contacts day or night. Takes some real getting used to. I have had almost no problems with
    TrijiconRMRs

    #59618
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    I appreciate all the feedback giving.

    Aging eyes.

    Did you try anything else before going this route?

    The last few years my near vision has worsened quite a bit. I can still use standard sights, but it is beginning to get harder. So I figured it’s time to explore options.

    I am going to try some modifications to sights to see if that helps, maybe even a fiber optic front. Though that is probably just a stop gap measure as higher visible doesn’t mean clearer, but it’s a cheap start.

    My biggest problem is I like my M9 and they aren’t really a good platform with current reflex technology.

    Ernest Langdon is experimenting with a Beretta PX4 Storm and if he comes up with a effective option this could be promising for me.

    For those not familiar with current PX4’s they have a very similar manual of arms to my Beretta and my prefered double to single action.

    So just some thoughts behind my search.

    Not in a rush now and hope some advanced planning will help find the correct solution before it’s a must have. ;-)

    #59650
    Profile photo of First Sergeant
    First Sergeant
    Moderator

    From everything that I have seen, the way to go is with Trijicon.

    If you want something that will last.

    I have a mount for my HK that utilizes the rear sight dovetail. I just haven’t decided that that’s the way to go right now.

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #59653
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    I just haven’t decided that that’s the way to go right now.

    That’s sort of where I am right now.

    Since I am not desperate at the moment I will look for a used option for testing and getting my feet wet.

    Meanwhile try some higher vis options with existing sights.

    #59662
    Profile photo of Roadkill
    Roadkill
    Participant

    There are some after market slides pre milled for the different red dots. Once you mill your own slide you are committed to one particular red dot. It would be good to test shoot a version if anyone had one before you commit your own. I’ll have mine there in August if during any downtime someone would want to shoot it.

    RS/CTT Nov 16
    HEAT1 Aug18

    #59664
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    It would be good to test shoot a version if anyone had one before you commit your own.

    Good advice and a generous offer. :yes:

    #60000
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    The last few years my near vision has worsened quite a bit. I can still use standard sights, but it is beginning to get harder. So I figured it’s time to explore options.

    I am going to try some modifications to sights to see if that helps, maybe even a fiber optic front. Though that is probably just a stop gap measure as higher visible doesn’t mean clearer, but it’s a cheap start.

    Meanwhile try some higher vis options with existing sights.

    Some overlap between my Threads so for continuity thought this worth posting here.

    As noted in other Threads I’ve been having difficulty seeing my pistol sights.

    Have been exploring various options.

    Standard Sights on my M9.

    This is my first attempt at a solution.

    I blacked out rear half moon dot and applied Testor’s florescent Red to Front Sight White dot.

    This is much better for me!

    The photo doesn’t do this modification justice, it appears much brighter than depicted.

    I lack the knowledge to properly explain all the various factors related to aging eyes, but this is a significant improvement.

    I may apply this Red to entire rear of Front Sight to duplicate old revolver Front sight inserts popular back in the day, but will wait a week to evaluate current modification.

    #60167
    Profile photo of Jamison
    Jamison
    Participant

    I’ve been running a g19 with an rmr for close to 4 years now, give or take.

    I originally bought my pistol and a custom slide for it when very few places made them. I bought it because if the amount of reading and research that I had done prior, and I’m a gadget guy. Since then the g19 has turned into my primary carry, pretty much the only pistol I carry anymore.

    I originally looked at it like this: we use optics on rifles all the time now with tremendous benefits, easier to shoot, easier sight acquisition, faster followup shots. Why not the same for pistols? It truly has made a world of difference.

    To follow up with what others have said.

    Optic:

    Optic of choice is the rmr, from what I have witnessed it’s probably the most robust optic you can get currently. With mine, I change the battery once a year, and re zero the optic. When I do my part it’s got incredible accuracy. I get quarter size groups at ten yards, face shots at 25 are easy, and body shots out to two hundred yards.

    Mounting:

    I would encourage you to have it mounted directly to the side via milling. For example the g19 has the optic ready model from factory. There are issues with the mounting plate that you get, I guess they have snapped off at the screws. The dove tail adapters are okay. But if you can co-witness your rds then you have a distinct speed advantage with finding the dot. The training time to get used to the rds is significantly reduced. And on top of that if the rmr ever does break, whether you’re just carrying or in a fight, you’ve got the irons to rely on.

    I won’t get into platforms or anything like that, but I don’t think you’re going to be able to rmr a 92, I’m not sure about the px4, but somebody out there might be able to do it.

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