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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This has been discussed before but it is still confusing to me when a handgun is moved from use indoor (dark) to outdoor (light) and trying to choose between iron sights, red/green dots and glass.
 

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I love the idea of a red dot / holographic sight on a handgun or any other firearm IMO for closer ranges and out to 100 yards.

However, with that being said, most of my handguns are EDC concealed carry guns. I have a hard enough time carrying something like a M&P9c, Kahr CW series, or XDMc as is...... putting a red-dot on it for me just wouldn't work.

I tried an XS Big Dot sight on a Glock I had, and while I really LOVED that huge big white dot up front for daylight and the large green dot at night / low light, it wasn't accurate enough for me. (Gun and or sights didn't work).

I do think that high contrast sights like the Trijicon HD, Ameriglow or Tru-Glo (forget the model) can be a great help in lower light. During day, the high contrast markings help, and then at night the glow will be better than nothing.

There is also the view that you really need to be able to ID your target, so a weapon mounted light should be a consideration. (Non-starter for me again see above).... but definitely a thought.

You mention above that a Sig Romeo wouldn't work in the dark..... ???? ... um... not sure why not... it is an illuminated red dot...should excell in that situation. Typo??
 

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Good and timely topic!! I just shot my new XD-M Elite Compact 3.8" with a Holosun red dot! What a difference trying to get used to this thing! Not the best shooting I've ever done. I got the red dot because my eyes aren't the greatest any longer.

Now, the Elite doesn't co-witness the standard "iron" sights with the red dot - I doubt they do with the Hex red dot either. So, when I first do a target acquisition, my eye is drawn to the front sight, and then it takes another second to find the red dot. Anyone else have this issue?

My thought is to remove the front sight red fiber optic so I won't go looking for it. I don't see a reason to have the stock slide sights since you can't use them. If your red dot runs out of battery (mine is also solar charged) what good is it having iron sights when you can't take off the red dot??

Oh well...
Peace,
Michael J.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
You mention above that a Sig Romeo wouldn't work in the dark..... ???? ... um... not sure why not... it is an illuminated red dot...should excell in that situation. Typo??
As I understand it the red dot is illuminated but the target would not be (in a dark room). I have the TLR-2 HL G on a Sig P320 .45 ACP and I love it but the Sig 320F-9-B-RXP P320, 9MM, 3.9IN may not need another dot but would probably need a light to illuminate (and identify) the target in the dark.

This glass/laser/light situation is somewhat confusing which is why I am asking what others are doing.

it seems like I fell asleep in an iron sight world and woke up in a glass/laser/light world.
 

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The first thing a person has to think about is the layout and illumination of their home. You have the advantage of knowing your home and where (hopefully) everything is placed. Hallway night lights that come on with movement can alert you, surprise an intruder and also illuminate the intruder, even if it’s from the rear. Practicing proper grip on your gun an live fire practice of point shooting will help you hit your target without using a site. The problem with using an red dot is fumbling around in the dark to turn it on and once it’s on if it’s too bright, there goes your night vision. A mounted flashlight would actually be better as it could blind the intruder plus illuminate them. Plus if it’s bright enough you’ll see your sites good enough. You best know the layout and entrances/exits of your home and also how to set things up to your advantage. I don’t claim to have all the answers right or wrong this is just some of the stuff I think of.
 

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Truglo TFX pro... Or TFO. I haven't been in a situation of light they didn't work well in.

I happen to have a TLR-2 w/ green laser. With a fresh battery, the laser itself illuminates a room well enough for me to see. I don't have a lot of training in shoot hoses or clearing buildings... The light Lazer, or sights are fine for anything I'll be in. I like lasers more for the fact I don't have to align sights... point and shoot. I can't see a relex sight being better. I have no issues with red dot, but only have them on rifles.

It's not "confusing" though. What are you finding confusing on the subject.
 

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Been carrying red dot (RMR) pistols for about 8 or 10 years. EDC, concealed, IWB.

The pistol is in the holster I can't tell if it's one with an RMR or not - in the holster. Only if I reach down, grab it through my shirt can I tell if it's a P07 with, or without an RMR on it.

It's just there, the RMR sticks out of the front of the IWB holster maybe 1/2"?? and it's pretty tight up against my side with the belt/waistband of the pants sticking farther out to the side than the RMR.

Practice. Practice. Practice. Unload the pistol, put it in the concealed carry holster (or any holster that you will carry the pistol in) and practice drawing and pointing it at a target. With practice your body/brain will work together to have the pistol/red dot lined up with your eye so it's "there" when you are in position to fire. Just like it does now with iron sights.

All my carry pistols with red dots have back up iron sights. You can tell me all day that RMRs and holosons are so reliable that I don't need back up sights but I'm an old guy who's seen too much stuff break. It's why I carry a spare and a jack in the car/truck. Why I carry two pocket knives. Why I carry back up magazines. Etc, etc, etc.

Don't make too much of "co-witnessing" sights. You want to be able to see the back up iron sights to use them if you need them but you don't need them sticking up there in the way of you using the red dot (green dot, amber dot, chevron, etc.) You want them to be there - in your sight picture, in case the red dot that is always there just isn't there. You don't want to be fumbling the pistol around trying to find the iron sights.

Honestly, for me, the focus is "where is the dot in relation to the target." I know the iron sights are there, in the window, but I don't know there there. Okay? There, but I don't notice them because the focus is on the red dot being where I want it on the target. If you want to shoot nice groups on a piece of paper you want the red dot on the same spot on the target every shot. If you want to put a hole in something that is trying to hurt you waiting to get the red dot lined up in the same exact spot every shot may not have the same satisfying results as doing it on paper. Again, practice. Your body and your mind will work amazingly well with each other if you give them the practice they need. You might be surprised how well you can do in a stressful situation, with practice. Really, is someone/something trying to hurt you going to stand still for you like a paper target does?

As far as red dot/green dot? What do you see well? Eyes are different person to person. I have two DI RMRs on CZ pistols. The green dot is a waste for me. It's on a range gun now (P09 9MM). The amber dot on the P07 is right there, all the time, under less than ideal conditions (for a DI RMR the worst conditions are you in a darker/less well lit location and the target in a bright light location. The dot can be really hard to see if your DI RMR isn't getting enough light to light it up against the well lit/bright target. The green dot, for me, is basically impossible to see under those conditions. The amber dot stands out just fine.

On the other hand, for me, a green fiber optic front sight works much better than an amber fiber optic front sight. My XDM 9MM 5.25" has an amber FO front sight. I hate that damn sight!! It's like someone attached a basketball to the front of the pistol. Bright, fuzzy, hard to keep lined up, etc. I just hated FO front sights after shooting that pistol. Then I got a CZ Tactical Sport (used, too good a deal to pass up) with a green FO front sight and dog gone it that's a nice looking front sight picture. I don't mind green at all. I shoot it pretty well and I'll keep that front sight.

Some red dots have a function that changes dot intensity/brightness based on the light intensity where the pistol/red dot are located. In bright sunlight the dot is brighter. At night the dot is dimmer.

Unfortunately, red dots, like holsters (and kayaks) get bought, then get used, then get replaced with something the user thinks he/she will like better due to different features.

Me? I'm sold on red dots. If my glasses fall off my nose I can't tell you if my pistol has a front sight or not. I can't see it anyway. With the red dot (RMR or Holoson) if my glasses fall off my nose then I can see a fuzzy amber ball on the target. Not sharp and crisp, but fuzzy. I can put a fuzzy amber ball on the target till I run out of ammo.

My main consideration for spending the money for a red dot, slide milling/refinishing is - Is the pistol reliable enough to carry for self defense? If so, does it shoot good enough groups to be worth the added expense? Maybe there's one more. Is it a pistol I'm willing to have altered for a red dot? I've got a CZ75B in .40 S&W that I really like. Fit/feel in my hand, the way it looks, the way it shoots, ....but I just can't bring myself to paying someone to machine that slide for a red dot and rear sight. I have other pistols I can have that done to.

Never talked about reliable red dots, affordable red dots, etc. It was tough for me to decide to send that first pistol slide off for milling/refinishing. I hated to spend the money. The P07 and P09 have more than doubled in cost. The RMRs cost as much as the pistol did initially. The milling of the slide, the cost/milling/installation of the back u sights added to the cost so those two pistols have over $1,000 in each one. Still worth it if I ever need them for more than putting holes in paper.
 

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Why do I suspect that when the OP uses the term “Green or Red Dot”, he means a laser, not a MRDS.

Perhaps a clarification of terms would be helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Truglo TFX pro... Or TFO. I haven't been in a situation of light they didn't work well in.

I happen to have a TLR-2 w/ green laser.

It's not "confusing" though. What are you finding confusing on the subject.
Perhaps I should have said that my experiences have been confusing to me.

The P320 .45 ACP with a TLR-2 HL G works great in my dark bedroom where the flashlight is great and the green laser perfectly tells me where the shot should impact.

Motion detectors should give me ample warning if there is an intruder.

I have other older guns but they lack a Picatinny rail so another TLR-2 HL G is not an option for them.

One option is the XD-M® 5.25″ .45 ACP and perhaps adding a TLR-2 HL G to it.

When I go outside the TLR-2 HL G’s green laser can be difficult to see on a bright cloudless day. The same goes for my Crimson Trace red or green lasers (green works better for me).

I also tried an S&W 22A with an optical red dot (not laser & brand unknown) but the iron sights were hidden and useless. I was forever hunting for the red (it also has green) dot.

This is not a life or death for me. At night I feel safe other than as stated.

During the day I feel any 9mm, .40 or .45 with iron sights will do.

For now I don’t think I would trust any optical sight with my life but that really is what this is all about.

My terms may not be correct (I’m still learning).

I appreciate all the responses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Why do I suspect that when the OP uses the term “Green or Red Dot”, he means a laser, not a MRDS.

Perhaps a clarification of terms would be helpful.
Sorry, I’m still learning the terms. I usually mean a Streamlight or Crimson Trace laser but I don’t know the correct terms for the glass optical sights. I don’t know what an MRDS is. 😳
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
My main consideration for spending the money for a red dot, slide milling/refinishing is - Is the pistol reliable enough to carry for self defense? If so, does it shoot good enough groups to be worth the added expense? Maybe there's one more. Is it a pistol I'm willing to have altered for a red dot? I've got a CZ75B in .40 S&W that I really like. Fit/feel in my hand, the way it looks, the way it shoots, ....but I just can't bring myself to paying someone to machine that slide for a red dot and rear sight. I have other pistols I can have that done to.

Never talked about reliable red dots, affordable red dots, etc. It was tough for me to decide to send that first pistol slide off for milling/refinishing. I hated to spend the money. The P07 and P09 have more than doubled in cost. The RMRs cost as much as the pistol did initially. The milling of the slide, the cost/milling/installation of the back u sights added to the cost so those two pistols have over $1,000 in each one. Still worth it if I ever need them for more than putting holes in paper.
I appreciate your comments.

What has worked best for me have been the Crimson Trace Laser Grips and Rail Masters no modification to any gun was required and I have never had a failure.

Most of my target practice has been with the Beretta .22 LR’s.

The targets are hanging round steel plates painted white and the red and green lasers show up great on the white plates but disappear when moved off the plates - which is why I only trust them for target practice.
 

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Sorry, I’m still learning the terms. I usually mean a Streamlight or Crimson Trace laser but I don’t know the correct terms for the glass optical sights. I don’t know what an MRDS is. 😳
Mini Red Dot Sight—something along the lines of a Trijicon RMS, Trijicon Deltapoint, Vortex Venom, etc...what you are seeing on the optics equipped pistols now, outside of race guns.

Instead of using “dot”—which usually refers to an optic/scope/MRDS—just use red or green laser.
 

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I have been using rifle mounted optics - dots, low power prism sights for 20+ years now as well as scopes. I have had handgun optics in use, off and on for about 8 years, mostly off. None of my carry guns have optics. Try as I might, I can easily find a way in which I need to shoot off angle; bad position, but the only shooting position available and the dot assembly obscures the sight picture to the point that it makes indexing the gun difficult, costs time and frustrates the daylights out of me.

After a warm up period that is different for each person, you can make draw and present time a wash.
On a square range, target transition time is vastly improved with a dot, all the time, every time.
Once things become dynamic, now your posture becomes critical.
  • this is where a MRDS can encourage bad habits. With a red dot, once you zero, the sight alignment and picture become less significant in making a hit. You can be looking well over your sights, dot on target and still ring steel all day long. But your sight picture is bad, because you’re looking over your sight. No matter how good you are, eventually you’ll fatigue, or try to improve and lose that perfect sight alignment and let the red dot forgive the sin of poor sight picture but you still make the hit.
  • now you’re off the square range, and try to pie a corner with your hand gun. where’s your dot? or your sights? Now, how about prone shooting around an obstacle? or you’ve been knocked to the ground and have to engage a target from on your back.

These are things that on a timer, reliably, the MRDS costs me time again and again. Almost all other shooting where posture can be perfect, the MRDS allows me more precise shots at more distance and does it quicker. I see the MRDS eclipse my irons at about 15 yards and beyond from a draw. With controlled pairs or triples, maybe about 13 yards or so.

YMMV. I continue to work with the MRDS and just added OSP hellcat and elite 9mm to the equation. I’m really liking the elite w/ an RMR.

Transition from light to dark is really good on modern LED optics, even if you’re aiming from a totally dark area into an area with bright sunlight. The only optic I’ve seen give me difficulty in this regard is the RMR with tritium fiber optics. that scenario will completely wash out the fiber optic and the remaining illumination is just not bright enough for overcoming the sunlight.

IMO, MRDS is a solution you need to want and dedicate to in order for it to work for you effectively.
 

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I have the gun on order but I have never seen one yet.

As I understand it the red dot is illuminated but the target would not be (in a dark room). I have the TLR-2 HL G on a Sig P320 .45 ACP and I love it but the Sig 320F-9-B-RXP P320, 9MM, 3.9IN may not need another dot but would probably need a light to illuminate (and identify) the target in the dark.

A loaded P320 .45 ACP with a TLR-2 HL G is already heavy and bulky. The Romeo would add to the bulk and weight.

This glass/laser/light situation is somewhat confusing which is why I am asking what others are doing.

it seem like I fell asleep in an iron sight world and woke up in a glass/laser/light world.

Thanks,

Jerry Mc
The laser on your TLR-2 hl g can be on or off, there is a switch on the rear bottom of the unit that allow you to choose, light only, laser only, or both.
I have the same unit on my edc, I have tlr-1 on my competition gun.

To me the Trijicon RMR (red dot) is used day or night, the light or the tlr-2 is used as needed, if I can't identify the target I flash the light quickly until I can Identify the target. The laser for me is last resort in a defensive situation, I do use it for dry fire though.

I highly recommend a low light training class if you run a weapon light, you don't know, what you don't know, until you know it.

I also recommend a RDS class if you opt for using a red dot sight.

I don't know of any quality RDS that have a green dot. I refuse to even consider Halosun because it is a Chinese company selling a Chinese sight. I try to stay as American as possible. When I have to go foreign I try my best to eliminate China when ever possible.

I personally use the Trijicon RMR with black suppressor heights, having to much to look at wastes time.

If you don't use an RDS look at either Trijicon HD or Meprolight night sights, those are two completely different style sights but MY eyes worked good with both.
 

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The first thing a person has to think about is the layout and illumination of their home. You have the advantage of knowing your home and where (hopefully) everything is placed. Hallway night lights that come on with movement can alert you, surprise an intruder and also illuminate the intruder, even if it’s from the rear. Practicing proper grip on your gun an live fire practice of point shooting will help you hit your target without using a site. The problem with using an red dot is fumbling around in the dark to turn it on and once it’s on if it’s too bright, there goes your night vision. A mounted flashlight would actually be better as it could blind the intruder plus illuminate them. Plus if it’s bright enough you’ll see your sites good enough. You best know the layout and entrances/exits of your home and also how to set things up to your advantage. I don’t claim to have all the answers right or wrong this is just some of the stuff I think of.
Any quality red dot is already on (either shake awake like the foreign sights or the RMR is just always on), most auto adj the brightness. My RMR is manual adj for brightness but after 10 hours it turn to auto adj, it is always on, and I just change the $1.00 battery once a year. They claim three year battery life but I change mine yearly to be safe.

Any RDS that you have to manually turn on (Burris Fast Fire comes to mind) in my opinion is NOT for defensive use. Put it on a .22 range plinker.
 

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I put lasers on the two M&P Shield 9MM pistols. Both green. Both are grip operated. There are buttons to turn them off, but if you want it to put the laser dot on something you just grab it/grip it as you would as if you were going to fire the pistol.

Why green? I've played with red lasers in the past and for me they are harder to see on a target on a bright day.

Weird. Amber/red on a red dot sight is better for me, green fiber optic sights and lasers are better for me vs. red. No idea why. Just is.

I really have not spent time practicing with the laser/Shield. I should. Even though the dot/laser paints the target without me having to find/push a button, it is a different thing for my brain vs. putting the red dot on a target (red dot of an RMR/Holoson sight).

One other thing. Red dot sights have batteries (unless its a dual illuminated (DI) model RMR as they use tritium and fiber optics to light up the dot. The big difference is the batteries for the red dot sights can last a year (DP Pro and RMR) or several years (holoson). A laser is more like a flashlight, the batteries last a couple hours, maybe three. I know you won't typically run the laser like you might a light on the pistol's rail, but the life is really limited vs. the red dot sights. So, who carries batteries for the laser with them?

My Shield is in one of those Shield bag/kits many stores were selling a few months back. I have a pack of spare laser batteries in that bag, just in case. The bag goes with me when I take the Shield somewhere.

I never worried about the DI RMRs croaking on me as the life of the tritium can be 10 to 12 years (night/low light) and the FO feeds to the sight during daylight work as long as the sun shines. But, when my wife started carrying her CZ75 Compact with the DP Pro on it I started carrying a couple spare batteries in the bag when we go on trips. Easy to change the battery in the DP Pro vs. the RMRs and Holosons.
 

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I think the ability to see green, blue better is dependent on several things. Men in general are more likely to be color blind or have some sort of color blindness. Colors in the yellow, green and blue spectrum are of higher frequencies than red and also give off more energy by almost a third. I too can pick up on green faster and it seems sharper to me also.
 

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Any quality red dot is already on (either shake awake like the foreign sights or the RMR is just always on), most auto adj the brightness. My RMR is manual adj for brightness but after 10 hours it turn to auto adj, it is always on, and I just change the $1.00 battery once a year. They claim three year battery life but I change mine yearly to be safe.

Any RDS that you have to manually turn on (Burris Fast Fire comes to mind) in my opinion is NOT for defensive use. Put it on a .22 range plinker.
Thanks for that info, I didn’t realize that you could just leave them on. I thought the shake to awake would eventually shut itself off. Learn something new everyday!
 

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This has been discussed before but it is still confusing to me when a handgun is moved from use indoor (dark) to outdoor (light) and trying to choose between iron sights, red/green dots and glass. My eyes are not very good with iron sights but dots are hard for me to quickly find except on large solid color backgrounds.

Some examples are:

Home defense (anticipating 1 or 2 home invaders).

Situation 1: In a dark bedroom where intruder probably does not expect an armed homeowner.
Current preference: Streamlight TLR-2 HL G with bright light illuminating intruder and green laser to target him.
Works! Hopefully not too close and enough time for the target negotiate. Other wise like Mr. T said "I pity the fool"

Situation 2: Outdoors in bright sunlight
Current preference: Iron sights as red or green dot seems to get lost in background and glass seems awkward to use.
Iron sites for sure. Focus on the target and not worry about what color the front sight is. IMO

I would like to know how they (you?) decide what to carry and possibly bet your lives on.
Every Pistol I carry it's not a question of bet your life. Life is what life is. You do the best to prepare up to what is. If I choose a full-size, carry, or compact I make sure I have extra mags. If I EDC and I am driving somewhere, I have a back-up in my vehicle with it's own extra mags. If I am out and about, camping, going to the city lakes to hangout bbq. My EDC would be my sig M18, and in my 511 grab and go bag is my Sig M17 with 4 extra mags.

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for all the well-thought-out replies.

I have added an Alexa (voice) controlled spotlight focused on the door which works very well for hand guns with lasers but no light.

I was surprised how much lighter they are.

There was never any particular sense of danger as much as the feeling that things were not as secure as they could and should be.
 
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