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Are any of you running a mini red dot on your side arm? How do you like it?


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  • Are any of you running a mini red dot on your side arm? How do you like it?

    I'm transitioning from a 1911 to a FNP-45 Tactical with a Trijicon RMR mini red dot sight. I really like the set up although the red dot took some getting used to, it is a different kind of shooting since you're focusing on the target and not the sight. After lots of dry fire and presentation practice it is becoming more second nature and I find that the dot is right where it ought to be and I'm not hunting around for it. I'm going to try it in an IDPA match this weekend and see how I do with it, we qualify in a few weeks so it'll be good a good little shakedown for the new gear.

    Anyway, just wondering if anybody else here is using a red dot on their duty pistol and how it working out for you.

  • #2
    Interesting. I take it your department doesn't have a policy regarding optics on duty weapons?


    • #3
      I have never seen such a thing. I'd be curious to see how that works with a higher level retention holster.


      • #4
        Ahhh to be an Army of one...... Must be nice being to sign off on your own cool new toys.... I can't wait to see how it works out for you chief.

        Now I did notice that you left last weeks training once they handed out the toilet paper... err I mean certificates.

        It was fun to hang out with you again... hope to do it again
        some time.
        Forti Fors Bona


        • #5
          "Are any of you running a mini red dot on your side arm? How do you like it?"

          I do not, but have some trigger time with Glocks modified to incorporate RDS. I liked it. It is an increasingly popular option, allowing for quickly and accurately placing rounds on targets beyond the capability many have using only iron sights. Also, shooters with "older" eyes report increased performance; they don't have to strain as much, apparently. As for holsters, some work, and others can by modified.

          There are an increasing number of vendors. The ones I shot happened to be from One Source Tactical. http://www.onesourcetactical.com/tsdcombatsystems.aspx

          Some ideas on holsters, here:


          • #6
            If you're going to do a MRD on your pistol, the RMR is definitely the way to go. Those little buggers are tough as hell and have a decent battery life. Using a red dot on a pistol can be a very fast sighting system, just look at any IPSC open division shooter :-p
            Eat Meat, Build Mass!



            • #7
              How accurately can you shoot if your red dot goes out (ie dead batteries)?

              and can those things handle abuse pretty well? I might be concerned about it snagging if you can't keep it covered?
              Last edited by jannino; 04-15-2012, 11:27 AM. Reason: more questions


              • #8
                I've heard the RMR's are very durable but I've been in a few scraps where my holster and weapon took a pretty good beating. I would be worried about the optic taking a beating as well. I'm all for optics (anything really that helps us shoot faster and more accurately) but I believe you need BUIS on your weapon if you're running optics. The RMR's are small but still not conducive to use with BUIS in my opinion.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jannino View Post
                  How accurately can you shoot if your red dot goes out (ie dead batteries)?

                  and can those things handle abuse pretty well? I might be concerned about it snagging if you can't keep it covered?
                  RMRs appear to be the way to go for durability. For back up sights use the higher profile "suppressor sights" and you should be OK with a failure of the RMR.
                  Ut humiliter opinor


                  • #10
                    That is a nice piece. Pricey, but from all accounts, it appears to be worth the schillings.


                    • #11
                      Deep Blue - Can't have any optics that magnify, that's the only rule on optics/red dots. Policies are not specific to long guns vs hand guns.
                      I ordered the holster from Blade-tech and they sent one that doesn't cover the RMR by mistake. They're making me another one that will cover it so it won't bang on stuff or get hung up on anything.

                      Jannino - I'll post some pics of the gun and the holster at the end of this. The Trijicon RMR is supposed to be as rugged as an ACOG, hopefully I'll never have to find out. The FNP-45T has taller "suppressor ready" sights that you can see through the RMR and cowitness with the dot, just like on a patrol rifle. If the dot craps out I've still got the iron sights.

                      fyrdog - It was good to see you again. I fully intended to stay for the rest of the show but had my own animal emergency at home that I had to tend to. My bullmastiff had been sick several times that afternoon and since he's almost 12 years old we all worry that anything that happens to him is going to be the end. Thankfully by the time I got home he was fine.

                      Erik - The information I read from OST/warriortalk and David Bowie sold me on the idea, especially because my distance shooting has been suffering thanks to progressive bifocals. Once I had the rig in hand I could see what everyone was talking about and I've been impressed with how well it works. It is definitely different, though, since your just dealing with one focal plane instead of three. I like it well enough that I also bought an FNS-9 from OST that they had milled out and set up with an RMR to see if it would be cost effective to try and sell them like they do the Glocks. Turns out there's too much work and expense involved so they scrapped the idea and sold the gun as a package for the cost of the gun and RMR. It's pretty slick and small and light enough for concealed carry. I just need to order the tall sights for it.

                      Anyway, I shot an IDPA match with the FNP-45T yesterday to see how it felt. Before that I'd only had time to shoot about 50rds through the gun, most of my practice with it has been dry fire. It works very well but it is very different because you're focusing on the target, not the front sight, and superimposing the dot on the target. Through the first few stages I found that I was still looking for the sights then I started to get settled down and the system began working for me as it should. By the 4th and 5th stages it was target-dot-bang, very fast once you start trusting that the bullet is going where the dot is. Even though I've used dots on rifles for years it feels a bit alien on a pistol at first, just takes time to get used to. One thing it does is illustrate to you just how much your gun is moving around, I could see when I was getting too loose and I was able to tighten up and make better shots. The gun itself was great, functioned perfectly, very accurate, and everything is in the right spots like on my 1911s.

                      Here's a couple of pics of the gun and the holster. It is a Blade-tech WSR level 2.

                      The replacement holster they're sending will cover the red dot something like this one -


                      • #12
                        Here's an article you may be interested in:



                        • #13
                          Note: Plain black sights seem the way to go; they present a less "cluttered" view and allow the eye to pick up the dot faster.


                          • #14
                            Interesting. Thanks for all the info. As technology improves and optics get smaller and smaller I could definitely see more and more departments putting optics on the pistols. You would definitely shorten the learning curve for individuals who have never fired a weapon before entering the academy.

                            I'm old fashioned and like the idea of people being able to shoot with iron sights, but this might be an idea that catches on.


                            • #15
                              He's done a great job of selling me on it. I think one of these will be my next purchase. I am curious though how it might negatively impact my use of traditional sights.


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