Designed for fast, responsive target acquisition and accuracy, open reflex red dot sights, or pistol-mounted optics, are quickly becoming popular among experienced and novice shooters. We sat down with SIG SAUER Academy Director of Training Scott Reidy to discuss the advantages of red dot sights and how the Academy is putting them to good use.
At age 35, eyesight begins to deteriorate which can lead to what is known as the aged-eye shooter. But with a red dot, you are able to resurrect your shooting career, giving you the opportunity to see your sights and be target-focused. Reidy, who has spent the past 30 years of his career in law enforcement and who has also served 4 years active duty with the United States Marine Corps, says that’s why police agencies like red dots. “They allow police officers to focus on the threat, make a good use-of-force decision and then superimpose the red dot on the threat.” Competitive shooters and anyone looking for a self defense gun can also reap similar benefits. “In low-light engagements, it allows you to see and to make good, solid hits.”
Younger officers and novice shooters are a quick study with red dots, according to Reidy, “They’re not pre-programmed to think ‘top of the front sight, top of the rear sight, equal light on either side,’ as is often the case with older or more trained shooters. They just know to put the red dot on the target and press the trigger straight to the rear so, it’s a distinct advantage. However, you still need good trigger control, you can’t go up there and smash that trigger.” When shooters see they’ve hit the X ring on their targets, confidence is propped up dramatically, something Reidy says is a regular occurrence at the SIG SAUER Academy where currently three courses are offered that specifically address pistol mounted optics:
Check out the videos below as Reidy discusses the benefits of using red dot sights and classes offered at the Academy specific to red dot sights as well as how to zero your optic.
The other advantage with the red dot is that it’s a great marksmanship training tool. If you have an imperfect trigger press, the sights will let you know. When you press that trigger to the rear, if you’re smashing the trigger, that red dot will go low left.
As for any perceived negative effects for concealed carrying, Reidy says there are no differences than carrying a pistol without an optic. For the past nine months, he has been carrying a P320 XCompact with ROMEO1 and a Streamlight TLR7 flashlight in an appendix holster. “It conceals very well, it’s nice and compact and it has a 15-round magazine in it. It’s everything I need for concealed carry on a daily basis.”
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