There’s been much hullaballoo over the use of red dot sights like the Trijicon RMR, Shield MiniSight, Leupold DeltaPoint, and SIG Sauer Romeo on handguns. Some credible trainers claim they’re the best thing since sliced bread for defensive use. Other equally credible trainers have found the exact opposite—that searching for the red dot can cause confusion and slow reaction. Actually, this type of contradiction among experts happens a lot, so how do you figure out which advice to take?
When I face this type of quandary, I like to test things out on my own. Why? Because what works for one person may or may not work for me. Our brains are all wired differently (thankfully) and our eyesight and coordination skills are all over the map. We all dedicate varying degrees of our life to things like practice and training. Planting a stake in the ground that claims expert-recommended method X is the only possible right answer while expert-recommended method Y is the stupidest idea ever is short-sighted. Oh, it’s also intellectually lazy.
I recently decided to give the whole concept of optical sights on a handgun a semi-formal test to see if they were a good idea for me. Here, I’ll share my experiences and learning in detail, not to convince you that one method is better than the other, but rather to provide some food for thought for your own decision-making process. I went into this little experiment not really having a horse in the race. Sure, optical sights are cool, and I’m always open to new technological solutions provided they’re reliable. On the other hand, I’ve been shooting iron sights for a long time so the optical sights would have to deliver a convincing performance for me to encourage a switch. I’m writing this introduction before firing the first shots of my test, so we’ll see what happens together.