Adam's pocket dump
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Adam’s pocket dump features a modified GLOCK 26. We’re talking Talon grips, Magpul GL9 12-round extended mag, Streamlight 69272 TLR-6 (with white LED light and red laser) and a Trijicon RMR 6.5 MOA LED Red Dot Sight. Red dot sights are excellent for . . .

training. Nothing teaches you to keep your gun steady better than trying to hit a target exactly where the red dot shines (before you pull the trigger). I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Oh wait. I meant the laser! Red dot sights? Not so much . . .

Don’t get me wrong. With enough practice, putting a handgun’s red dot sight’s red dot on a target becomes fast and instinctive. As you’d expect, given that the world’s best handgun shooters use red dots in competition.

But concealed carriers aren’t professional shooters and a defensive gun use (DGU) isn’t a friendly competition.

During an adrenalin dump shooting skills degrade significantly. The question isn’t which sighting system — red dot of iron sights — is better in highly skilled hands. It’s which sighting system is more effective for most shooters during a DGU.

Who knows? If you’re rocking a red dot, maybe you should give it some thought.

Bottom line: train as you mean to fight, no matter what equipment you carry. The time to find out that less is more isn’t when your life is on the line.

edc everyday carry concealed carry

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  1. Red dots are fantastic for defensive and close quarter use. If they weren’t then everyone would be using irons during DAs.

  2. If I had the money and time, I’d get a red dot for my carry pistol. As it is, I just can’t.

  3. Soooooo…. you think lasers are better for DGU than a red dot? or vice vs? This EDCer evidently likes both.

    Competitive shooters often have lotsa tech on their pistols since they don’t have to conceal them.

    I dont have a lazer since i shoot better in MOST conditions with irons. I do shoot better in the dark with a light, so I have one on my pistol.

    Skills with any sighting system are going to degrade and electronic tech alone is not going to overcome poor accuracy. Plus the tech is the thing most likely to break down.

    Nothing against red dots or lazer. Red dots take up more room so i am not a fan.

    This guy seems comfortable with it.

    • It’s not dark if you have a light on (even your gun light);-)
      What are you off doing in the dark anyway? I stay in the light (except when I’m in the shower like everybody else);-)

      • Yok-yok-yok….lol

        My weapon is not very bright so its kinda like being in the dark…just not as dark.

  4. “The question isn’t which sighting system — red dot of iron sights — is better in highly skilled hands. It’s which sighting system is more effective for most shooters during a DGU”

    Well then the answer here would be NONE OF THEM.

    Training and practice are the things that will get to the place you need to be when the SHTF. Iron sights, laser sights, or red dots…none of those are the weakest links when it comes to “most shooters”

  5. Robert, I would highly recommend you re-think the concept of red dots on pistols. Single focal plain shooting is the way of the future and they are way more capable ensuring accurate shot placement as well as proper identification of targets. With standard sights you have three focal planes to shoot with, rear sight, front sight, and target. You can only focus on one so we focus on the front sight. This prevents you from being able to ensure perfect rear sight alignment and prohibits you from seeing your target clearly. With a red dot sight you can focus on the target and simply put the dot on it and squeeze. Here is a link to a paper written by Aaron Cowan of Sage Dynamics on the matters. He has a military background as well as law enforcement and is a firearms instructor.

    On another note, I carry a Glock 19 MOS with a Trijicon RMR07 every day and find that I’m a much better shooter because of the red dot. Plus I can shoot out much further than I can with iron sights because the sight radius is unlimited. Food for thought….

  6. So you wrote a whole article disparaging red dot sights, but your whole argument is that you need to practice with what you have?

    Top notch journalism, Salon would be proud.

  7. Robert, you are absolutely correct. Iron sights will never be supplanted by red dots in any situation where people are actually going into harm’s way. Pay no attention to all the Aimpoints and Eotechs on military carbines. Oh, and welcome to the 21st century!

  8. I think the g26 needs more stuff on it. A bipod would be handy. On the bright side the mags work in the new Ruger PC Carbine.

  9. I use the four point sighting system, the firearm is pointed 180° from the way I face, and a handheld mirror.

  10. I remember when the DAGR was just starting to supplant the PLUGR as the standard issue handheld GPS for the Army, and the old-timers were claiming the device would never replace a map and compass. These same “old-timers” had been shooting bad guys with Aimpoints and ACOGs for over a decade, mind you. And they somehow forgot the bitching I’m sure they heard back then from THEIR old-timers about how “these fancy new optics will never replace irons.”

    • Current training guidance is exactly that. Train for GPS denial environments. And speaking as an old timer, we weren’t saying don’t use optics. We were saying don’t rely on optics. Always maintain iron sight proficiency.

  11. I thought it would be a great idea until it rained & the water drops completely made sight & red dot warp for target acquisition. The co witness iron sights my p320 also warped sight picture. I will stay with good old iron sights & keep the p320 RXfor range use only. Maybe if I thought the 9mm was better than a 40 or 45 I would consider it for home as well but for now it stays a toy. I am a retired veteran & I have seen results first hand of 9 vs 40 & 45. The power of a heavier bullet is more efficient.

  12. Wow! What every woman would want, purple holster with orange gun. Must be trying to make a “Fashion” statement.

  13. I thought this was Everyday Carry, not Roast-What-I-Carry as it seems to be the trend to question every single thing someone else whenever I drop by..

    Carry what is comfortable for you and be damned to anyone who questions something that’ll aid you as a shooter..

    • this site is terrible. I wish people could not post ANYTHING online without their true identity because of sites like these.

  14. I would love to have a red dot on a pistol, but cheap dots won’t survive the recoil, and I’m unwilling to spend several hundred dollars just to experiment with the concept. With that said, it’s my understanding that a properly set up pistol with a red dot has cowitnessing iron sights, so nothing is really lost by adding the red dot.

    There’s no doubt that iron sights have their place, especially for quick and rough aiming. Likewise, point shooting is even faster and less precise. A red dot is on the other end of that spectrum, requiring more time to find the red dot, but the dot allows for more precise aim at longer ranges.

    You can argue that must defensive situations happen at short ranges that don’t require such precision, and you’d be right, but the same argument could me made for iron sights, too. The simple fact is that a red dot increases a shooter’s capability under a certain set of circumstances, while having very few downsides.

    • The primary limits on the accuracy of a handgun are the shooter’s ability to hold the gun steady, and the short sight radius that limits the shooter’s ability to aim well. Optics eliminate the sight radius issue, allowing a 3″ barrel to shoot as well as a 6″ longslide.

      So although it might seem counterintuitive, a G26 actually benefits a lot from a red dot sight.

  15. Way too much stuff on the pistol. How much time do you think you are going to have? I’ll tell you, about 3/4 sec from “Oh shit” to reaching for your weapon. Once you get your hand on your pistol, you better be getting rounds down range in the next 1-1/4 to 1-3/4 seconds. If it’s too dark to see without a light, then how do you know what the problem is? If you can see the threat, you should be able to shoot the threat. You aren’t going to have time to turn on lights, look for red dots, put on your lipstick or take a selfie. You better be getting rounds on your threat before he or they fully process that you are armed and are going to be shooting at them. If the threat is so far away that you need a red dot, how much of a threat is it? It seems that too many are thinking tactical/military/law enforcement/tacticool when they need to be thinking “Get the weapon out and up faster than I ever had and the micro second it’s level, trigger press.” Worried about the dark? Get a set of tritium sights.

    Here’s a question: how many of you have actually done any amount of training under low light to no light conditions? How often? Once? Once a year? How dark? The more extras you put on your pistol, the more you have to train to use them.

  16. The keyboard warriors on this site are amazing. Real easy to talk shit, anonymously, and without posting your own gear. It’s always the ones who have nothing that tear apart everything.

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