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Five years ago, gun guru Gabe Suarez predicted “there will be many naysayers, but watch, in ten years – every EDC gun will have red dot sights.” Well he would say that, wouldn’t he? Suarez International sells red dot sights for handguns. Maybe that’s because he believes they’re better than iron sights and such. One thing’s for sure: we’re not there yet. My local gun store Sportsman’s Finest has hundreds of handguns in their display cases. Not one has a red dot sight sitting atop the slide. Do you have a red dot on any of your pistols (target, home defense or everyday carry)? Why or why not? [h/t SS]

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  1. Oh yeah. They are the cats meow. Have one on my .22/45 lite and I will have another on the Glock 40 when I get it.
    They rock for fast target acquisition.

        • Same for me.

          I have a dual-illuminated RMR on a Glock rear-sight dovetail mount to test-drive and run for practice, but I can foresee potential problems unrelated to reliability of the dot itself.

          For instance, I’m a big guy, and I sweat. A lot. Regularly, under any moderately warm and/or active conditions. It is not unusual for me to draw my CC pistol at the end of the day and find it covered in moisture. This does not affect the usability of the iron sights at all. However, if I was carrying an RMR-equipped pistol under the same conditions, I can easily see how the optic window could become totally covered and blocked with condensed moisture, making the dot (AND the backup use-through-the-optic iron sights) absolutely unusable. It’s possible that this condensed moisture could even seep into a hooded holster. I have no known fix for this problem at this time.

    • It’s really a question of practicality and purpose. Sticking a red dot on a hunting pistol like a .22 or a TC or a magnum is an improvement. Must have on a racegun.

      But for a CC carry pistol? You’d need to come up with a red dot that won’t cause problems with drawing, won’t print, and will fit on most pistols. I can’t see a PPK or LC9 being a good host for a red dot.

      • I disagree. Provided that one has a holster made to accolade the optic, RMRs are absolutely small enough to conceal on most pistols.

        I’m not advocating them; see my comment below for why they were a hindrance to me for self defense purposes. BUT… from the standpoint of weapons handling, weapons manipulation, draw and concealability the small RMR-like red dots are not a hindrance. And battery life is a non issue also provided one ensures adequate cowitness.

    • I guess individual mileage varies in this regard. While virtually everyone would argue that holographic sights increase speed on rifles, I experienced the opposite with pistols. As I punched out I always found myself searching for the dot. Unlike with a rifle where your head is placed in roughly the same position behind the optic each time, acquiring the dot on the Glock took longer. After much use, I went back to irons for this reason.

      That having been said, red dots absolutely DO expand the use of the pistol. You can make longer shots with a red dot equipped pistol that would be very challenging with irons. However, for my POU pistols are CQB weapons so the added slowness was unacceptable, even in the face of enhanced accuracy.

      I believe I have since read elsewhere that I was not alone in this regard.

      • Get sights that will co-witness with the dot.

        I’ll be putting an RDS on both my Glocks when I can afford it. Maybe next year.

    • Which brand/model is on your 22/45?

      I’ll confess that I use an RMR LED on my Model 41 (Clark fully-railed barrel), but on my 22/45 TB standard weight I use an EO, shooting for speed and moving. The EO brings the 22/45 (sans suppressor) to a well-balanced 42 ounces, the same weight as my 1911’s. With the Bushnell (old original, not the recent Bushnell “22LR” HWS) I’m faster.

      I don’t see RMR’s on race guns, btw, but other red dots with a bigger window. That doesn’t surprise me.

      I use weaver bases on my heavier rifles, my .375 H&H for example. This would seem right up your big game gun alley. Have you tried putting a RDS or HWS on the front Weaver base (or whatever your arrangment) on your buffalo gun(s)?

  2. I bought a 22/45 lite just to try this out. There are *very* few pistols pre-drilled from the factory. Ruger has a couple of them. I bought a $20 red dot from amazon. Verdict: so good! I will be buying a P320 RX as soon as they come out. For all the reasons a red dot is preferable than irons on an AR, the same applies to pistols. Point and click.

  3. I wouldn’t put a red dot on a CC piece. They’re large and bulky and there really isn’t anything they can do to make them smaller without making them a lot less usable. For a range toy, I’d consider it, but for a carry gun? Pass.

    • Agree. Plus I tried one and it was too difficult to get the dot in the glass on a handgun. I put it on a rifle and like it. Rifles are more stable and you have the cheekweld to help get it lined up close enough to have the dot instantly. The speed of alignment is impressive, but only on a rifle. On a pistol they are slower, at least for me.

      • Those are exactly my thoughts. We put one on a Ruger MK II as a test piece and target acquisition speed was much slower.

        • This tells me you have more fundamental issues of indexing a gun. That’s a problem with any sighting system, irons or red-dots, it’s just easier to over come with irons because it gives you more indicators of where the front of the pistol is at.

          Practice indexing with an uloaded gun by this method popularized by Brian Enos:
          holding low ready
          close eyes
          aim gun at imaginary point (doesn’t matter where)
          open eyes
          check index

          Do reps of that every night untill you have it down, then do it from a holster.

          After you can do it from a holster up your skill by:
          close eyes after checking your index
          point at new target at right or left (think at least 45 degrees transition, more is better)
          open eyes and recheck index

          Irons or Red Dot, you’ll get faster either way.

        • I love Brian’s books and target competition advice…but the indexing method you describe, that he teaches, and that I use with my hunting and target guns, does not (at least it seems to me…) cover the range of need for realistic defensive pistol use. For my CCW pistol I want very low sights. Even the small RMR requires grooving a new index. Still, it may be my decade-long use of EO’s …I find myself hunting for the dot on the RMR…especially shooting weak-hand.

        • My day job is not “Tactical Whiz Kid”, and I’m not going to pretend that it is. The point of the exercise was to determine if a red dot or scope would allow us (me and the kids) to hit targets with a handgun beyond the range achievable with iron sights. The answer was yes, and no.

          The red dot was not more accurate (p < 0.95) than iron sights, and was significantly more difficult to allign with the target. The scope (a Bushnell Elite 2-6X32) was significatly more accurate than irons, but was even more difficult to align than the red dot. Lack of a fixed reference (eg: a shoulder stock) increased acquisition time to an unacceptable level even with the marginally helpful red dot.

          Conclusion: Scopes and red dots look cool on handguns, but we won't be taking one into the field any time soon.

    • I agree with this for the most part. As stated already there are benefits (the same as those realized on fighting rifles) to using a dot. I just think that it would be a bit counterproductive on a purpose-chosen subcompact CC pistol. Now on an already big OC pistol in a carbon fiber skinned Kydex holster? Cost restrictions are the only deterrent there…

  4. As a follow up, there’s not a better training aid than a RDS. People don’t really understand “the flinch” until you put a RDS equipped pistol in their hands. Then they watch the dot bounce right before they break the shot. I used one with my brother in law and watched him shrink his group size considerably.

    • You can do that with a laser too – and there are some really cool lasers on the market that just take the place of a pistol’s guide rod.

      • Agree that lasers are better for the training bit. You (or a buddy standing behind you) can note every error in your trigger pull and your action to get back on target. The red dot doesn’t show as much of the story.

  5. I have a M&P fitted with one. Personally, I hate it.

    It works well if you have a perfect presentation–the red dot is easily visible in the optic. However, if your presentation is not perfect, as happens often in unusual shooting positions, or bouncing around when moving, the dot is often not visible. Worse, you won’t know if the dot is low, high right or left, until you transition to your mechanical sights, then shift your eyes back to the dot.

    Also, recoil bounces the dot quite a bit. Yes, recoil bounces mechanical sights as well, but it is not as disturbing to the eyes. The bouncing dot actually slows my shooting.

    I tested mine several time and find mechanical sights to me much better.

        • My Bear revolver is a S&W 329 (Titanium/Scandium .44 Mag, 4-inch barrel). It wears a Leupold Delta Point and rides in a custom high-ride, FBI cant belt holster that stays up above my backpack waist belt. I love it! As long as you present the gun as if it was wearing iron sights (that is, pick up the sights as you bring it up, then punch out to extension) the red dot is picked up by the eye just fine. This is the best field-carry setup I’ve ever used.

          My bedside handgun is a XD tactical with an identical Delta Point. And I’m soon to acquire a SIG P320 for concealed carry, and it’ll be wearing an RMR.

        • Have you got pictures of your S&W 329 anywhere online Defens? I’d love to see that set-up.

    • This is exactly the problem I encountered. When I moved it to a rifle the problem went away. The cheekweld is enough to put the dot almost centered every time. On a pistol I would waste time trying to find the dot. As you said, if it’s not visible one has no idea where it is.

    • If they weren’t faster USPSA open division wouldn’t use them… so… debunked?
      Maybe the barrier to mastery/proficiency is greater?
      In USPSA, and other action pistol circles, RDS are generally the crutch for old eyes to keep shooting competitively because the have trouble going from target and back to front sight fast engouh to keep up with young eyes.

      Disclaimer: I shoot Production division with a stock Glock (except for 10-8 brass bead front sight), because I adhere to the man with one gun concept…

      • Action sports competitors typically use muzzle brakes and custom tune their ammo to their gun to reduce recoil. Red dots work far better in that scenario

        • Rabbi, there is no difference for the most important shot — the first shot.

          And good technique will get the dot back for subsequent shots just as fast as the irons — with practice.

    • I have red dots on 2 pistols: a railed, dot only 22/45 and a Suarez-milled Glock 17, both with threaded barrels for use as suppressor hosts.

      I hate the DeltaPointon the 22/45 and love the RMR on the Glock, tough I am still getting used to it. Why the difference? On the 22/45, the dot is the only sight; on the G17, the dot is cowitnessed with suppressor (tall) iron sights.

      Dot-only gun has to have perfect presentation or, like you, I find myself searching for the dot. With the iron sight/RDS cowitnessed, my eyes go to the front sighlike they lways do, and the red dot is right there. Eyes transition to the RDS naturally. Whatever one’s opinion of Suarez, he got the RDS/suppressor sight cowitness thing right.

  6. They may be great for sport and plinking, but I would doubt you would have time to use one in a close proximity situation. Also, you would need to keep it turned on all the time you were carrying. The time you really needed it, the battery would probably be dead!

  7. Red Dots exist on top of several of my ARs, even purchased a FNX 45 which is predrilled for an RMR. My issue is not their value in quick target acquisition, but in finding a quality holster to protect it properly. Put a $700 plus RMR on your EDC without the proper holster and you have a problem with it getting beat to death and becoming scrap, or it catches on the holster or anything close, and prevents the efficient use of your EDC. Need Galco and he custom holster people to catch up with the technology being used.

    • Blade tech made me a nice holster for my Tac 45 with an attached red dot. Biggest issue is it is super bulky.

  8. I think they would be too bulky for a carry gun.

    I enjoy my Trijicon RMR on my ps-90. Might get another for a G34 or something to play with.

  9. I’ve put one on a target pistol for bullseye shooting. It has its advantages. It’s also really bulky- I carry the pistol in a case.

  10. I have a M&P pro CORE with a Trijicon RMR on it. It is very fast and accurate. Its a lot of fun to shoot and goes down back to the range whenever I go, but it is too big for me to conceal. I milled the slide of an XDs 45 to attempt EDC with a red dot. On a compact gun, the increased profile made concealment difficult for me. The size and weight tradeoff wasn’t worth it, so I am sticking with big dot night sights until a less obtrusive option comes along.

  11. Lost respect for Suarez long ago.

    Suarez :
    AK is the best rifle platform-now, buy an AK from me.
    Empty mags should not be end up on the ground, they should go this neat mag bag-now, buy the bag from me.
    Finger should be on the trigger when holding someone at gunpoint.
    Red dots on handguns are great – now, buy a red dot handgun from me.

    Gabe does things and says things to sell product and training, not because they are necessarily good. No thanks

    I have no problem with instructors or anyone else selling product. But, changing your tactics, technique, advice and hardware in order to sell product is a no go for me.

    • Strongly agree with your take on Gabe. As for an RMR providing speed with a defensive handgun, I haven’t had that experience. With a perfect and standardized presentation under no stress, it’s OK. But that isn’t what a defensive carry pistol is about. Even Gabe tries to sell it by inducing fantasies of making a life-saving shot on a bad guy who is 100 meters away. Laugh. The RMR simply offers too small a window, and one which gunks up fairly quickly in the field. At speed when shooting on the move I found myself, even with much practice, “hunting the dot.” That’s not a good prospect in a real-world gunfight. A bigger window (i.e. an EOTech…or the lighter old ‘original’ Bushnell without the metal shell) model, on the other hand, works great for me….but isn’t a CCW item: it is well suited for a wear-on-the-chest bear defense pistol…IMHO.

      • Not to mention that a “life saving shot on a bad guy at a hundred meters” is not likely to happen ever. A bad guy a hundred yards away is no immediate threat, which is the legal bar to overcome for a claim of self defense. This would only be legal for swat or special forces, and they will have rifles. Who would choose a pistol for a hundred yard shot over a rifle? Apparently, red dot salesmen…

        • Seriously? Who said anything about choosing a pistol over a rifle?

          The point is that if the only thing you have with you is a pistol, your effective range is greatly extended and/or your potential for accuracy is greatly increased. Apply those advantages as you choose, but don’t try to say there’s no point in having them.

        • What I said was that, the vast majority of the time, for the people with only a pistol, a 100 yard shot will be illegal, and for those who could take such a shot, those people will have rifles available. Therefore, basing having a red dot sight available on a pistol, just in case of such an incredibly unlikely event is not logical.
          Try to keep up with what was actually written, OK? When you twist it all around all meaning gets lost.

        • And like I said, the ability to make accurate 100 yard shots also means you are more accurate at ANY distance. The ability to make torso hits at 100 yards means you are more able to hit the fist-sized target in the middle of the skull at close range across the room which is the most guaranteed way you can instantly stop the threat.

          I don’t know about you, but I’m not training to prepare for a mugging, I’m training to prepare for a terrorist or active shooter incident, and 100 yard shots in such a scenario are completely plausible and legally defensible–it’s not very hard to determine at 100 yards that the guy with the AK shooting innocent civilians in the back needs to be shot, and I’d rather engage him at 100 yards than 10 yards.

    • No, not as long as you are willing to bet your life on those averages.

      Note: if you ever actually NEED your pistol for defense, your circumstances have just busted the odds all to hell to begin with, so what makes you think the 3-3-3 will still hold true?

  12. Red dots work great on pistols (and while they work well on AR pistols too, ths comment is limited to more traditional semiautomatics like the Browning Buckmark, the S&W 22A, and the FNX-45 Tactical. They are simply great.

  13. A few years ago, I would have said absolutely not. With my adventures in rapidly changing eye glass prescriptions, I am now seriously thinking about it.

  14. I think we are close to having them everywhere, but not quite yet. Get me about 2-3 times better battery life and they could be useful for EDC. Right now you could burn out the battery in most micro RMR’s in about 2-3 weeks if you forget to turn them off. Get me 2 months always on time and I think they would be on rverything.

    • As someone noted above, with a defensive pistol and shooting under pressure, on the move, you end up hunting for the dot on the small red dots (RMR sized). Further, concealment is hindered. On a long gun the four points of contact assure that the dot will be where it belongs…almost. That ‘almost’ is what keeps the EOTechs on the carbines of many (most?) so-called fast movers. An imperfect presentation under pressure still puts the dot on target though your eye is momentarily a bit off center relative to the window.

      I’m an EO fanatic, even on medium bore rifles in thick brush, and certainly on carbines intended for fairly close-in defense. I own an RMR LED model, but use it for nothing but bullseye type shooting, and as a plinking toy on a .22LR rifle. Even for bullseye pistol shooting I prefer the old bushnell holosight, which still works great more than eleven years on.

  15. I have two Glocks with red dot sights, but they are clearly target “fun guns” and not defensive use or carry guns. The mere fact that you have to turns the sights on before using them, not to mention the possibility of malfunction, dead batteries, etc. make them unsuitable for defensive use.

  16. Put a trijicon rmr on my xdm 4.5 in 40s&w over the winter. Adapter plate from springer precision. Use it for fun competition. Haven’t bern able to shoot it with the crap weather. A lot dryfire though and I don’t have much problem finding the dot. It’s not much different than irons, good presentation is good presentation. I put in on there mainly because I didn’t want to sell it and it no longer had a purpose as it was (9mm xdm replaced it for 3 gun). Why not set it up for open? I may magnaport it or put a comp on it.

    I don’t have one on the EDC because it would make the xds much harder to conceal.

    I think it make tremendous sense for cops, where target focus is important, because they have to (generally) determine shoot or no shoot based on suspect actions. Probably the same for soldiers. Same for EDCers but for the concealment challenges.

  17. Very recently put RMR on a FNX 45 Tactical (finally found a used RMR, so I didn’t have to break the bank).

    It’s cool. There is definitely a bit of a learning curve involved. I think like most things – it has it’s pros and cons. For this gun, since I’m not concerned about size/bulk/weight, it’s pretty cool honestly. I enjoy it. You kinda have to get used to seeing the target and then seeing the dot overlayed, and not focusing on the dot itself. I could definitely see it being an advantage in some circumstances/competition, etc. It doesn’t really do anything for accuracy up close, but does strangely seem to help with accuracy at distance. It can certainly speed up target acquisition, but you do have to get used to it – and just like a laser, you notice every little flinch and can’t get fixated on that too much or else it actually then slows you down. I could never really see myself running one on a CCW personally, mostly because of the bulk – and most SD situations are probably going to be in close/point shooting anyway. The other disadvantage i would think comes if it ever doesn’t work and you’re expecting it to – or if the glass gets fogged up. But it is fun, I have to say. And this is mostly a fun gun anyway, not for HD or CC.

  18. I’ve run a Trijicon RM07 on my carry and fighting GLOCKs for the past few years. The RM07 is always on, and I’ve never had a battery die on me yet. I change out the batteries once a year, but I’m sure they can go longer.

    I carry my GLOCK 19 with RM07 in a Raven Concealment IWB holster. I had to remove a small amount of material to clear the optic. I’m 5’9″ and 160 pounds, and my biggest issue with printing is still the pistol grip. The RMR printing isn’t an issue. I’d probably be better off with a GLOCK 26 or other sub-compact with RMR for carry purposes.

    You certainly can live without a red dot on a carry pistol given the typical distances of most defensive gun uses. However, I like the added capability of hitting eyeball size targets consistently at range. I have back-up night sights, so I just present the gun as normal. When my eyes pick up the iron sights, the red dot is right there.

    For close-quarters point-shooting type situations, press the trigger when the target fills the RMR window. Don’t even need to mess with looking for the red dot. I don’t give up any functionality or reliability when running a red dot on my carry pistol. And for me, the added benefits are worth it.

  19. I’ve got one on my HD pistol (FNP-45T). The FNP-45T’s slide is factory-milled for it. So, I HAD to get one, eh? It’s a Trijicon RMR RM07. Sweet bit of kit.

    Do I think it’s cool? Yep.

    Does it work? Sure does… at least at the range, it does.

    Does it provide quick acquisition of the red dot? With some PRACTICE, yes.

    Would I want one on my EDC (G27)? No way.

  20. Carried a Glock with a Burris red dot for a couple years. Easy to mount by removing the rear sight and using the slot. Concealed well as it is no wider than the pistol. I never had ay trouble on the draw but turning it on does slow you down. There is a learning curve in finding the dot.

    If it works on a race gun, with practice, then the same is true for CC. The one drawback I see is that I don’t trust leaving it on all the time and it takes an additional second to turn it on.

    • For pistols, the RMR is the go-to sight. One reason is the battery life. I replace my batteries annually, which is more than necessary. It eliminates the need to turn anything on.

  21. Trijicon RMR on a FNP-45 Tactical with Surefire X300 and an Silencerco Osprey-45. Sits on my night stand while I sleep.

    • So,,,, I ended up with pretty much the same set up – minus the Osprey can. It was my absolute ideal HD/nightstand gun (and still kinda is). But after some deliberation I decided that, if, God forbid, I would ever have to actually use it for HD, I didn’t want it locked up in an evidence locker for years somewhere, or even sitting on a table in front of a Jury, looking all bad-ass tacticaled up. I know. Might be a cop out. Might be a wuss move. Might be misguided. But I decided instead to use my XDM .45 4.5″ and slap a TLR4 on it. It’s pretty vanilla looking, (especially if you pop off the TLR4 real quick). It’s a bit more replaceable for me. It feels more like a tool for a job than a valued possession. I don’t know, maybe I’ll change my mind back again next week LOL

  22. Yup, Trijicon RMR on my Glock 10mm and Burris Fastfire 3 on my Lone Wolf G34 9mm. Both have backup irons that cowitness. It feels like I’m cheating shooting steel at 100 yards but irons are quicker to pick up for close range stuff. Also have a couple MACs with red dots if those count. I highly recomend trying a pistol set up with one.

  23. No red dot holo sight on my pistol but I do have a Crimson Trace laser grip. Works great, very fast, without having to bring pistol up to eye level (perhaps useful in tight quarters). And tritium iron sights for backup.

  24. For EDC I just don’t get it. So it could potentially lead to a slightly faster target acquisition with a lot of practice but how much faster? So that’s the one benefit and how much of a benefit is very debatable. But there are so many reasons to not have one on a EDC:

    battery life
    something to break/get bumped easily
    bulky/hard to conceal
    can snag on clothing trying to draw from holster
    long learning curve to use
    can lead to being less proficient with irons from repeated use

    I mean, seriously…it MIGHT get you a faster target but the risks far outweigh the debatable advantage that it has for EDC. What’s wrong with just becoming proficient with your irons? I want to keep my EDC simple because my life may depend on it.

    • If you set it up the way Gabe recommends, most of your complaints are negated. The dot is co-witnessed with suppressor-height iron sights, you can have them blacked out or with tritium, and they are always there either to guide the eye to the dot or take over if necessary. Shooting with a red dot only makes you better with iron sights.

      • So how does that negate “most” of his reasons NOT to have one?
        /battery life, malfunction, something to break/get bumped easily, bulky/hard to conceal, can snag on clothing trying to draw from holster(I personally think this is the biggie), expensive, long learning curve to use/ are all still valid objections, even if the salesman’s recommendations are noted. Only the one about forgetting how to use irons, and the weight, which will obviously come down over time, have been addressed. that’s 2 out of 9. That’s 22 percent, or about a fifth. When I went to school “most” meant >50 percent. If that has changed, I missed that memo…

        • 1. battery life: as long as we are talking about the preferred RMR, the constant-on battery life is in excess of 1 year unless the batteries are dead or the unit has a problem. Change the battery once a year on your birthday and it’ll never be a concern. Worst case if the battery is dead your irons are always there and just as functional and useful as if you didn’t have a red dot, so what have you lost?

          2. malfunction: Worst case if the unit is not working properly your irons are always there and just as functional and useful as if you didn’t have a red dot, so what have you lost?

          3. something to break/get bumped easily: the RMR is very durable and difficult to break, there are holsters available that protect it if that bothers you (although many people who try it realize it’s not that essential), but worst case if the unit is not working properly your irons are always there and just as functional and useful as if you didn’t have a red dot, so what have you lost?

          4. heavy: define heavy, please… the RMR adds 1.2 oz including the battery. If that’s too heavy for you and negates the benefits it offers, you’ve got some issues I can’t help you with.

          5. bulky/hard to conceal: depends on who you are and how you’re trying to conceal it. Many of Gabe’s customers and students carry a Glock 19 (or even 17) with an RMR appendix (the hardest place to conceal for many) with no problems, and that’s not with a bulky cover garment but a simple t-shirt or polo. Sure, if your body composition is such that you can’t conceal anything bigger than a .380 pocket pistol, then it’s going to be a problem for you. But that’s a problem with you, not the setup.

          6. can snag on clothing trying to draw from holster: Nothing to snag on the holster because it’s at the top and the first thing out. If it’s snagging on clothing, there’s a problem with your draw. Think about it–we’re talking about something that sticks up one inch above the slide. If that’s snagging on something, you need to practice your draw more.

          7. expensive: Are you telling me that gaining a huge performance advantage with the weapon you are most likely to actually USE (as opposed to play with) in a real-life situation where you NEED it is worth more than having another gun or two in your safe that you hardly ever even take to the range? How many gun guys own just one gun? Very few, I’d wager. We’re talking about the cost of a second gun–would you rather have that second gun sitting at home in the safe or significantly improve your capabilities with your carry weapon?

          8. long learning curve to use: Theoretically there’s zero learning curve. You can keep using your iron sights just like always. However, any time you’d like to start shooting more precisely you’re welcome to switch your focus to the small red dot.

          9. can lead to being less proficient with irons from repeated use: Quite the contrary… if you practice with the dot and go back to normal irons you will find you are better with irons, because the dot is a great trainer (small movements are much more noticeable than with irons).

        • Because delicacy of the RMR, short battery life, and added bulk when concealing is a line of crap. If the only place you can conceal pistol is your pocket; yeah the RMR is a problem…Otherwise not so much.

      • Since you went to the trouble of ordering them I will go by your order:
        1. So long as all anyone will talk about is the “prefered” RMR I will too
        2.The same as #3, it is glass, and glass is easily breakable. What have you lost? The bulk and the expense, that’s what.
        3. same as #2
        4. I admitted they are light and will get lighter, but never less bulky, the big negative.
        5. Although its probably possible to conceal that pane of glass, its much less concealable than irons. Please note that on a CCW sometimes even irons are left off for less snagging on clothing. You can’t seriously expect a person with a brain to believe that that pane of glass sticking up is no more bulky than iron sights can you?
        6.covered under #5
        7. NO. What I am saying is that the performance increase is negligible on a handgun, although it is more on a rifle. And what benefit one receives is not worth the 600+ price tag. Better to have another gun. At least for me.
        8 and 9. I consider these somewhat arbitrary, so I’m leaving them off. Some will probably find it so and others will not. And that’s been my point all along. Dots have advantages and disadvantages, like most things in life. And this means that some will accept those disadvantages, and even gloss over them to the point where it seems they don’t even accept them as a disadvantage any more, kind of like you do when suggesting that the increased bulk is not actually there, because somehow more drawing practice will make the extra bulk just go away, which is, OFC, ridiculous. More bulk equals harder to conceal and easier to snag. Always has, and always will. Full stop. And since they DO have disadvantages, some will accept them and some will not, just like all other things in life. Which means that under no circumstances will EVERYONE have them five years from now. The only way that will change is if tech gets to where the circuitry is all inside the slide and it projects a real hologram upward, no glass and no bulk whatsoever. And it become dirt cheap. THEN maybe everyone will go for them, as all the big disadvantages will have been removed. Until then, one pays his money and takes his choice, as with most things. Meanwhile feel free to have them on all your pistols, just don’t expect me to put one on any of mine(again). Except, if I get a full race gun. Then I will.

        • I think you have an inaccurate perception of the durability of the RMR. People have subjected it to much more abuse than would ever happen in the real world without issues.

          Regarding conceal-ability, have you ever tried this setup? The main issue most people have with concealing a gun is the butt, not the top or back of the slide.

        • That is exactly why my edc is a j frame Smith. Plenty of power, small and light, and all the accuracy one will ever need. Never a worry about the butt printing. It also helps that mine is 1970s vintage, when Smith had much better quality than now. And I won’t even contemplate a dot on such a firearm. It’s far too handy the way it is.

        • “my edc is a j frame Smith”

          At this point I’m starting to wonder if you’re trolling me…

          If you’re actually serious, this is the point where I realize I have completely wasted my time engaging you on this topic.

          I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

        • I’m no troll, I’m 100 percent serious. What you might need to know is that I’m almost 60 years old, and started carrying a Ruger bearcat on my hip at 13 years old on the family farm. I’m no spring chicken and I’ve been around guns forever. Today’s “tacticool” gadgetry don’t impress me none. I do try the stuff, but if it don’t work, or provides little to no advange, I reject it. I’m no technophobe, I have a dot on one of my ARs and a 22RF rifle. I also find flashlights and lasers wanting. Too much crap just makes a nice light good handling carbine into a heavy slow POS. I love LED lights, but in my hand. I can see no reason to mount one on my firearm. IOW, I demand that a gadget provide me a measurable benefit, that well outweighs any disadvantages, before I will use one.
          I don’t consider that “its cool”, or “it looks neat”, or “because everyone else has one”, as a valid, logical reason.That’s why the J frame. I find revolvers to be more reliable, higher powered, smaller and lighter, and a lot less likely to print, since its the butt that is relevant there, and revolvers can have tiny butts. Autos cannot, since that is where the ammo must go.

        • As another example, my home defense shotgun is a 2 trigger, double barrel coach gun. I realize its not the cooles,t sexiest thing in the world, but I have my reasons, and “because its old fashioned” isn’t one of them. I figure that if I really need it, its the same as a gun for lion or other dangerous game. That means it needs to go bang every time, above all else. A two trigger double provides two of everything, so even with a dud round, broken spring, sear, firing pin, etc, I still have another whole gun as a spare in the second barrel. I just happen to believe in redundancy, esp in things that have to function every time That is why the J frame. Something like the old COP, a four barrel 357 might be even better, but that isn’t an option because they aren’t available any longer. I consider that a good revolver is reliable enough, because I have had few failures in many years of expierience, and many thousands of rounds fired. What failures I have had have been true “jams” and not “stoppages” which is what autos are prone to. I have had hundreds of those. Offhand, jams I think I have had maybe three times. I can remember an S&W M29 that tied up its cylinder when the ejector rod unscrewed, A broken hammer spring on a K frame .38, and a ruger 357 that got sand in it in a Montana dust storm. All of those were true jams, they all required complete disassembly on a bench to fix. But even the 44 mag still fired its cylinder full, it only wouldn’t open to reload. And even the ruger could still be fired, one just had to work the trigger forward with a finger each round. So the only time I’ve ever had a revolver fail completely, to where it wouldn’t fire at all, was the broken hammer spring. I consider that reliable enough, esp in light of the number of rounds I’ve fired. I’ve also had dud rounds and such, but those are the ammos fault, and I don’t count those. That can happen to anything, anytime, anywhere. But the double shotgun can even address that issue.

        • Taking you at face value (which is looking more and more like a bad idea, but whatever…), guys like you and me are nowhere near being on the same wavelength so it’s pointless to talk about these things. You carry a J frame, I carry a full-size 9mm (17+1) plus two spare magazines and a backup 8+1 9mm plus a spare magazine. We obviously have vastly different outlooks on the world of concealed carry.

        • Yup. I would say so. But that’s OK. Different strokes for different folks. That is the great part of living in a still little bit free country. You can pay your money and take your choice, and I can do the same. The odds are that your 9MM won’t fail when you really, really need it. It might, but it probably won’t. I just have been around long enough to know all about Mr. Murphy, and he always likes to show up at the worst possible time. I forgot one very important failure, because I was thinking about revolvers. I had to use a fire arm to drive off a knife wielding attacker, and the only thing available at the time was a high standard sport king 22LR. Luckily it went as most DGUs do, the attacker left without a shot fired. The fact that I was clearly ready to shoot him in the head had the desired effect. But the relevant thing was what happened a month or so later, the next time I took that gun to the range. “click”, Tap Rack, “click”, TR, “click”: field strip, broken firing pin. Lucky I didn’t REALLY NEED it that month before, or it would have failed me. That experience taught me quite a bit…

    • @Jodie “added bulk when concealing is a line of crap”?????
      Are you suggesting that adding a bunch of height to a handgun does not add bulk? Have you looked up the definition of “bulk” in the dictionary lately? Let me help: “1. magnitude in three dimensions” -
      Thus whenever one causes an increase in any of the three dimensions, bulk has increased, and whenever that is increased, concealing and drawing has become more difficult.
      Elementary, my dear Watson.

  25. Self defense inside 7 yards, the red dot is ridiculous and iron sights probably would be rather worthless as well. Point shooting would be best. Target or hunting would be totally different. I just never was one for longer range pistol or revolver shooting as a long gun just works better. I do like red dots on something like an AR-15.

  26. I put one on the pistol I use of hunting and it extended my effective shooting range. Don’t plan on putting it on my conceal carry gun or the gun I shoot action pistol with though.

  27. I think time will tell, as more manufacturers make more models that accept them without having to send the slide out for milling, I think they’ll become more popular.

  28. I like target shooting but my primary purpose of having them is self-defense. I value the instinctive shooting ability and ruggedness of a simple iron sight and don’t see that changing.

  29. For me I actually go by the old adage that a pistol is just a tool to get to a real gun.

    If I need to shoot farther than I can see with Iron Sights, I will just get to my Rifle that has a scope.

    your milage may vary.

  30. Can they make (has anyone made) a flip up RDS? The glass would lay flat until you draw or use your thumb to flip it up. That way it wouldn’t print and you’d use it only when you had time to think about it. (So maybe that defeats the purpose.)

    • The latest call of Duty video games have rifles with red dots that I could see being flip ups. It’s kind of a science fictiony thought at the moment, but I wouldnt be surprised if that comes to market in a few years.

    • Actually that sounds like a pretty great idea to me. Flip up pistol-RDS with notches in it that’ll allow it to function as irons when not in use?

      I don’t know how much of a pain that would be to engineer, but it’d fall into “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY” territory for me.

  31. When the prices come down, I’ll 100% buy one.

    The technology gets better each year. Smaller, lighter, cheaper, stronger, and better batter life. New features keep popping up too. Some of them will automatically turn on when the gun moves and awake from sleep. I think that’s important, because if you didnt have an RMR, you wouldnt want to have to turn the thing on.

  32. I have a FNX 45 with a red dot, my bed side pistol and a ruger 10/22 for plinking. I don’t think I’d be interested or need a red dot for everyday cc due to the expected yardage I’d expect to encounter an outside my home DGU situation.

  33. If I can afford a set up sure. Red dots on handguns like the RMR are a bit pricey for your average gun owner who only wants a simple gun for defense, especially because the red dots on handguns have been recently been pushing as a defensive accessories as vital as a flashlight but just like light alternatives to Surefire, there isn’t much in the way of lower priced red dots on handguns to compete with things like the RMR which can cost as much as the gun and only few guns that are designed to take the specific red dot.

  34. Red dots aren’t for everyone. Soccer moms, gunshop commandos, and casual plinkers don’t need them. But serious gunfighters know the benefit.

    My EDC is a G19 with an RMR. My go-to-war gun is a G34 with an RMR. Yes, it has a long learning curve. So what. Train with it. I have always been a good-but-not-great shooter. The RMR pushed me way beyond my prior limits. It had very little (if any) impact on my fast-and-close shooting. At 5m, I don’t see my sights or a dot; I just point shoot. But my shooting at longer ranges is radically improved. I now shoot groups at 100m that I used to shoot at 25m.

    If somebody wants to limit themselves to a J-frame and no reloads because they are convinced that all fights occur within six feet and it only takes two shots to stop the lone bad guy–hey, fine, whatever. I choose to be ready to face a horde of Mongolians wielding AKs, and I like knowing that I can still get hits at 200m, even with my walking-around-town gun.

    If an RMR is too heavy for you, you are a wuss. If it is too expensive, make it a priority. If you can’t manage to conceal it, you have other problems (like a bulging gut). If you take pistol shooting seriously, you should invest in an RMR-equipped pistol.

    • Oh yeah? Your a professional gunfighter? How many gun fights you been in tough guy? Last time I was about to head into one all I was concerned with was how much ammo and water I could carry.

  35. No. Honestly think it’s silly. Then again, I don’t even put optics on my rifles, except for my 30-06. Iron sights all the way for me. But hey, whatever tickles your pickle.

  36. No. It’s just one more thing that old Mr. Murphy can have his way with. The only real advantage they offer over quality night sights is a huge shelf that makes running the slide off your belt or something a little easier.

  37. Yes, but not yet. When I have a real home, I will make sure to have a few in the house for home defense, and maybe one in each vehicle, too

  38. Add ons folks. It’s like all the AR’s sold without any sights on them.

    I have a BSA RD30 on my S&W 22a. Makes plinking more fun.

    • It’s a little tougher saying that for pistols though because the type of red dot you would use for EDC requires a specially milled slide whereas with ARs you just buy the accessory and throw it on top of the rails already there.

  39. Yes.

    I’m infatuated to the point that I think it’ll be a while before I buy another pistol without one. If the RMR holds up like it’s supposed to, I might never go dot-less again except for my backup zombie apocalypse pistol.

    The biggest concern seems to be about finding the dot. Gabe is right. If your presentation is good, the dot will be there. Co-witness sights are a must for training it, but what it boils down to is that the presentation is /exactly/ the same. You pick up the dot just before you would notice the irons are lined up….right before you do the last 1/4″ or so of upwards movement of the gun towards the end of your press-out. The only thing that changes is that in those last few hundredths of a second, you can either press straight out (instead of straight and still a little bit up) to keep the dot more towards the middle of the window or break the shot early as the situation dictates. 25+ yd shots incur zero time penalty compared to 15yd shots this way unless you screw up something else…which the dot will tell you.

    If your press-out doesn’t let the dot magically appear on your target, you did it wrong to the point that your front sight would either be up in the air or hidden behind the rear sight. In that case, you’d either use your peripheral view of the slide profile to fix the sight picture or turn the gun wildly hunting for the front sight. For some reason, people always default to that last one when they can’t find the dot…because they somehow think it’s different.

    The dot is nothing but a paralax free, infinite-focal-plane front sight. Look at your target, drive the gun out, and either the dot will show up where you’re looking right before the front sight does or you really need to train more.

    As for more minor concerns….

    The RDS does not print for me. At all. The grip prints if the holster is not perfect, but that’s because it’s on a full size gun. The only time it’s worse is if you’re carrying just barely behind the hip or with enough forward cant that the optic won’t fit under your belt….both of which are holster issues.

    My body does not adjust the brightness when it’s in the holster. The zero does not drift.

    If you lose the front sight due to recoil or movement, you would have lost the front sight too…you’re just used to getting it back…which will happen with a dot in time. If it does happen, you need to train either your grip or your kinesthetic awareness. Or both. I can shoot at full speed (for me) and never lose the dot. I can walk/move around in high-ready, looking where I’m going, with the dot in view, and never lose it. It works a lot like calling my shots…if I see muzzle flash, the shot is going to be where I called it and the dot will come right back. If I don’t see muzzle flash, my call will be off and the dot will take longer to get back. It’s that simple.

    Gabe Suarez is a polarizing figure, and I don’t agree with all of his sales pitch or everything he teaches, especially for your average CCWer. But he’s right about dots. There’s no downside I can find except for cost and the temptation to never train with irons….which is strong…because they’re just plain inferior.

    • Spot on. Gabe is a salesman, no biggie, just business.

      Shoot with proper aligned irons, rear behind the dot, and you’ll be amazed. You’ll increase your long rang accuracy, dramatically. The key is irons that your eyes and muscles are trained to see, then a hovering red dot right there.

      It is where we will all be by 2020, if you are not already there…..

      • By 2020 everyone will have a dot on their EDC weapon? How much you want to bet that will not happen? I’ll even call “everyone” 60 percent, and still lay you three to one odds it won’t happen!

        • He should have said it this way:

          “In 20 years, everybody (who is serious about being a skilled gunfighter) will have one on their concealed carry gun.”

          The CCW world will always be filled with people who mean well, but do not take gunfighting seriously–their gun is more of a security blanket for them to carry around than anything else.

        • If you define “serious gunfighter” to mean someone who participates in handgun competitions, then I can totally agree.
          For most others, the issue of the extra bulk will take precedence, and keep most from carrying one on an everyday basis. Most carry their piece a very great deal more than they use it, thus weight and bulk will remain a more important consideration than a higher score, or a bit more speed.

        • Nope. A serious gunfighter is somebody who actually expects to some day need to fire their gun in defense of life, and is committed to being as prepared as possible for that day. Weight and bulk are distant secondary considerations compared to the benefits offered by the system we are discussing. The weight and bulk of the second and third spare magazines such a person is probably carrying is probably much more significant anyway. Such a person would probably be committed to the physical side of this preparation and thus there would be no issues with bulk anyway.

  40. I recently bought a generic, variable reticle, holographic r/g dot sight to use with a S&W 22A, which comes with an integral rail between the iron sights. The recoil movement of this relatively heavy .22 target pistol is slight enough not to cause loss of the dot. Shooting seems to me to be more accurate with the dot sight, but I rarely shoot rapid fire. I neither holster not try to conceal this pistol. I anticipate trying this sight with an integral rail air pistol, and several rifles, but have not yet done so.

    I realize this is not the type of dot sight being suggested for CCW. The Ruger SR9C which I use as principal CCW has an under muzzle rail, but would require slide mounting alterations for a red dot sight. Given the price of such red dots and the dot loss issues probable with 9mm recoil movement, I would be more likely to consider a laser sight, of which there are two models I am aware of which are configured to fit this firearm more gracefully than a generic shaped under muzzle box or tube, and at equal or lesser cost to CCW red dots.

    The other two CCW suited pistols I have are a 1971 vintage Walther PP and a 1979 vintage Browning BDA .380, neither of which I would wish to alter to mount a red dot sight, and which seem to me to have adequate daylight combat sights. Still, I will follow up with Ariete from time to time to see whether they have produced detachable underframe laser mounts for either of them, though such a mounting would rather detract from the art deco elegance of the PP’s design.

    Mounting laser sights on any of the CCW suited pistols naturally implies new holsters able to accommodate them.

  41. I’ve carried a Glock 23 with an RMR appendix for about the last year. I’m 6″ and 200 lbs and have no problems concealing it wearing almost anything. I’ve done a reasonably objective test, shooting the IDPA classifier with a standard sighted glock 23 and then one with the RMR. I was only 2.1 seconds faster overall with the RMR, but was 22 fewer points down, so for me it’s an accuracy enhancer for sure.

  42. .I have one on my FN 45 and do like it a lot, since this gun is a bit on the hefty side I do not EDC it however..
    As size and cost drop and reliability increases, look to see more manufacturers selling red dot ready versions of their wares. A G19 with mini RMR would be very nice.
    I predict that they will be very popular with the over 50 crowd

  43. I used to say that red dots were not good, changed my mind and have several on rifles and shotguns.
    They maybe of use on Full size pistols but I don’t see them on compact concealed carry guns,
    It is good to see more manufactures coming out with guns ready to accept red dots.

  44. RMR properly cowitnessed on a glock, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done to a pistol. 100m shots are retardly easy, plus faster acquisition. Pretty stupid to not at least try a properly outfitted one.

  45. M&P C.O.R.E 4.25″ 40 converted to 357 Sig with Docter II reflex sight and Apex aluminum forward set kit, scary precision out to 50 yds, probably not a practical concealed carry gun for oh $#it up close scenarios from 7 yds and less. You have to practice to develop muscle memory for picking up the red dot by first picking up the suppressor sights which allows quick acquisition of the red dot, otherwise you waste a couple of seconds or more trying to find the red dot. The accuracy of a pistol with a quality red dot sight properly zeroed is mind boggling, the only mitigating factor is how efficiently you pick up the red dot and then how steady you can keep the dot on target. To really appreciate the dead nuts pinpoint accuracy, shoot a dialed in reflex red dot from a rest at 50 yds.

  46. This is like any other targeting system. If you don’t train for it, you will not be confident when you need it. Immediately dismissing it because it isn’t your Pappy’s way of doing things is foolish. I do not own a rds equipped pistol yet, but the few times I had the opportunity to shoot one, I was impressed at the speed I acquired the dot, and the range I was accurate. Hitting 5″ targets quickly at 100yds was very gratifying.

  47. Compelling reason for RMR on EDC gun. Poor vision.
    -Not a candidate for PRK or LASIK.
    -Without my glasses, I cannot see my front sight very well at all. My 7 yard accuracy plummets by 200-300%. With the RMR and without my glasses, I can shoot about 15% worse than using my glasses and iron sights.
    -With my glasses, a RMR slows me done .25 to .75 seconds but increases accuracy ~15-20% at distances less than 7 yards and increases my distance for a given accuracy by about a factor of two beyond seven yards (i.e. the accuracy I normally have at 10 yards, I can maintain out to about 20 yards).

    -For me, “the juice is worth the squeeze.”



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