I've been dreading this article for quite some time. Reason being, I'm still not entirely sure what I think about shooting with an optic. But, my time with the Glock 45 MOS is coming to a close and in anticipation of the pistol and optic review, I thought I'd start by sharing my experience with a red dot.
My experience with a pistol optic is very limited. I've only really ever shot with one on a few different occasions. A couple times at SHOT Show, and that one time I ran a few rounds through a different gun and said “nope, that's not for me.”
I wanted to give it another try so I requested a pistol and optic that I thought would be a good combination for a series of reviews, as well as highlighting my experience.
I would say that I'm a complete newbie when it comes to pistol mounted optics, or really, even rifle mounted optics. I learned how to shoot on irons for both rifle and pistol, and think that's an important place to start.
Learning the right way:
I think it's important to instill the knowledge of proper shooting fundamentals the old fashioned way, by using your sights. I'm a strong believer of stacking as many weights on my side as possible, and learning how to shoot with irons is the beginning of that, at least for me.
Even if for no other reason than if you had to pick up a gun to defend yourself with, you should be able to shoot it regardless of the sighting system on it.
And that is really one of the indicators of a good marksman. A good marksman can pick up any gun and shoot it regardless of the sights, triggers, grip angle, etc.
That's also why I decided to give this red dot thing a second chance. If I'm going to work in the gun industry (which I have been doing for several years now) I have to be able to shoot ANYTHING. Period.
I'm not going to lie, there was a learning curve for me.
My main issue with learning how to shoot a pistol with a red dot, at least at first, is that I couldn't find the dot when I got on target. To help me find the dot, I found that it was a good idea to do some dry fire training with it.
I'd start at the high compressed ready position, and extend to target getting faster and faster with each set of repetitions.
After a while of that, and then going to the range and doing a lot of live fire shooting, I can say that I got the hang of finding the dot.
Another issue I was having, is that my eye was distracted by the wobble in the dot. This is going to be hard to properly explain, but I'll make an attempt.
When I say “wobble” what I mean is that the front sight, or muzzle, of anyone's gun is going to shake a little bit. Most people don't see it because they use their iron sights. When you use a red dot optic, it's AMPLIFIED. A lot.
In fact, at first, after I was able to find my dot, all I saw was the wobble. I couldn't see anything else because it was so bad and I had no idea I shook that much when fully extended. I'm sure the big cups of coffee I drink each day don't help, but I had to learn to see the red dot, but totally ignore what it was doing with the exception of being on target.
Once I realized that my wobble is what it is, I was golden.
There are some aspects of shooting with a red dot optic on my pistol that I really like, and other things that I'm not a huge fan of. I'm not going to dive into that this time around, because that is a long article in and of itself.
Suffice it to say, for now at least, that I'm working up to being a fan of this type of shooting. I think I might get a red dot and a pistol for one at some point in the future, if for no other reason than to keep those skills active.
Do you use a red dot on your carry gun? If so, what do you use? Let us know in the comments below.