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Should I stay with iron, red dot or both of them?


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I shoot Cz Shadow 2 for IPSC, Glock 34 Gen 5 for IDPA and Glock 17 Gen 5 for self-defense. I’ve become a senior and the view of the sights is not so clear as few years ago (+1.5 diopter). I thought I could shoot better with red dot so I started to train with Shadow 2 OR, firstly in parallels with iron sights. Although I worked hard wit red dot (live and dry fire), I've rarely beat myself on the same stages or drills versus iron sights. I have no problem with griping or indexing the pistol. The dot appear fast in my field of view at the first shoot, transition or moving, but I can’t follow it in the recoil time for rapid shoots as I m use with iron. So please give me some hints: to return to the iron sights, to continue only with red dot, to shoot both of them, or...

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My vote is use the dot exclusively.  It is superior sighting system and you just have to get more used to it.  Perhaps you are focusing on the dot instead of the target because you are used to focusing on the front sight?  Putting a piece of tape over the front of the dot will help (tape goes on the muzzle side).  That makes you have to focus on the target

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I was  in the same boat you’re in and made the transition to CO and never looked back. One thing I did which I think really helped was remove the iron sights completely. That way I’m not distracted looking for them and I only concentrate on using the dot. It’ll work for you, just commit to it and give it time. Hope this helps. 
 

Edited by dapribek
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14 hours ago, Uomu said:

 but I can’t follow it in the recoil time for rapid shoots as I m use with iron.

 

Classic symptom of trying to focus on the dot as if it were the front sight.

 

You need to stop doing that.  1000% of your focus needs to be on the target.  The best way to train yourself out of it is to cover the font of the lens with a dark tape.

 

Go look on youtube for videos on the subject, but really the only way to learn is to force yourself to focus differently.

 

You also need to accept the fact that you can shoot while the dot is still moving, as long as it's moving within the desired area of the target that you want to hit.  You simply cannot wait for it to stop for the majority of shots.

 

I'll be 55 this year and I've already converted all but one of my semi autos to optics (including my carry guns), and that one will get done in the next month or so.

 

 

Edited by SGT_Schultz
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At times I still shoot some arrays of targets faster with my irons as I shot with them way longer than my dot gun.  The longer distance stuff and steel is where the dot shines.  Target focus is the answer, and at times I am looking for the dot on close up stuff where i would just index with the irons and get good hits.  I need to do the same with the dot gun on the closer shots.

You just need enough focus to make the appropriate shot. and I still focus too much with the dot at times.........

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Thanks for these good advice.

I think I'm  waiting too much for the dot to become static and I have perception that the frame of red dot is limiting my field of view.

I have normal sights who are bellow of my line og view. I think I'm focused on the threat but is apear that not quite good

Are you carried for self defense pistols with red dot too?  You know.... similar platform and sights for the same reflex

Have you a link with these taped red dot? I can't understend how to focus on the target without seeing throught the window....maybe looking over the frame or keeping frame as a reference point?

 

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1 hour ago, Uomu said:

Thanks for these good advice.

I think I'm  waiting too much for the dot to become static and I have perception that the frame of red dot is limiting my field of view.

I have normal sights who are bellow of my line og view. I think I'm focused on the threat but is apear that not quite good

Are you carried for self defense pistols with red dot too?  You know.... similar platform and sights for the same reflex

Have you a link with these taped red dot? I can't understend how to focus on the target without seeing throught the window....maybe looking over the frame or keeping frame as a reference point?

 

 

From everything you say, I'm convinced that you're focusing on the dot which forces your field of view into the tiny optic window.

 

Watch this, but I warn you this has to be learned through doing.  Forget the frame of the optic.  ALL of your focus needs to be on the target.

 

 

Also listen to Yong Lee describe the process in this podcast: https://firearmsnation.com/yong-lee-yong-is-back/

 

This works because we have binocular vision.  Each eye sees a different image and the brain superimposes them into one picture.

 

And yes, all my self defense pistols have optical sights.

Edited by SGT_Schultz
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I ve just seen the video and I could say just Woawww! I ll coment after my first season of dry fire. I know him, he is moslly a Glock shooter I think from Canda.

I m use to shoot without sight, indexing the pistol and looking along the barrel: strong hand only at 7-10m in A/C zone, pistol in concealement, no round chambered in 1.20s (best 0.95, worst 1.40). For 2 hands I'm slower with 0.20-03.s

 

 

 

 

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I shot my wife’s dot gun just at the last match of outdoor season in anticipation of using the dot for the indoor winter season.  (That got lock-downed and didn’t happen  )

 

I had such a huge grin on my face after that match that I decided to ditch irons for good.  I’ve struggled with shot calling yet at the match with the dot it just happened subconsciously. And this was only the 3rd time shooting the CZ (I shoot revo mostly).  It felt like cheating is was so easy and so much fun!! 

 

I think my issue is I can’t get around the slow feeling that is transitioning from target focus to front sight focus.  Or that it is really slow, my eyes have really gotten old this past year.  It’s funny I’ve seen other iron guys complain about the switch to the dot and try the tape trick.  I had non of those issues, I Think I’m just 100% target focused all the time?  Open here I come.

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2 hours ago, SGT_Schultz said:

 

From everything you say, I'm convinced that you're focusing on the dot which forces your field of view into the tiny optic window.

 

Watch this, but I warn you this has to be learned through doing.  Forget the frame of the optic.  ALL of your focus needs to be on the target.

 

 

Also listen to Yong Lee describe the process in this podcast: https://firearmsnation.com/yong-lee-yong-is-back/

 

This works because we have binocular vision.  Each eye sees a different image and the brain superimposes them into one picture.

 

And yes, all my self defense pistols have optical sights.

 I like very much the Yong Lee's Podcas becouse he adress the isues from competion and self defense too. Lot of true... in high stress arousal you will see only the threat nor the sights or dot. 

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I was curious and I’ve made for 10 minutes dry fire (static and dynamic) with the yellow band on the red dot’s lens. From the beginning I saw the target through the yellow-colored lens and the red dot in the middle. I thought that one tape is not enough for cover the window and I put two. Extraordinary how our eyes could fool our brains or vice versa. I felt a little tired in my left eye so I remove the tape and continue dry fire another 10 minutes and the dot apear now to be more static.

 

Thanks! That's how I eliminated the fact that I look at the dot and not at the target. At the next live shoot, I will try not to wait for the point to calm down and shooyt n the A areea. I think the red dot's movement is exaggerated because it has only 2.5 MOA - Leupold. I also did this test with the other pistol, with the covered iron sights, but the iron did not appear extremely clear as the red dot on the target.

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2 hours ago, Uomu said:

I think the red dot's movement is exaggerated because it has only 2.5 MOA

 

The dot's size won't make it appear more steady or wobbly.  I have 6.5, 5, and 2 MOA dots on my pistols and it makes no difference in that regard.

 

The dot just shows you how shaky or steady you are.  That movement has always been there, it's just that our eyes can't perceive it very well with irons.

 

When you see the dot on target even though the lens is covered, you're not seeing through it (obviously).  One eye sees the dot (typically your strongest eye), the other sees only the target, and the brain combines both images.  That's why it seems that you can see through the tape.

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I’ve gone back and forth from irons to red dot in uspsa for several years, and have always been frustrated with red dots because I’m almost always slower, both subjectively, in that I feel slow, and objectively, as my uspsa/3gun performance is universally worse when shooting with dots.   
 

soooo, after reading this thread, I put tape on my g34’s vortex and spent 10-11 minutes drawing and presenting.   First slow, and gradually speeding up.   
 

The next day I went to the range for live fire practice.  Again, painters tape over front lens.

 

 When working on patterning new muscle memory I do intense, short sessions with multiple reps, so I ran Brian’s Transition Drill 3 times, VERY slowly, trying to draw and present as intentionally and with as much focus on each step as I could, and to make sure I executed as close to perfect as I could. 
 

I paused long enough to police up some brass left by previous shooters, then ran the drill again, trying to go at a natural place, no rushing, no trigger braking unless I was certain of calling the shot an A, focusing on NOT focusing on the dot or gun.  

Ran the drill 9 times, then took another break

 

By the time I ran it 27 times I was confident that I’m not going back to irons except when concealed carrying.  
 

my average time on the transition drill is now firmly 1.2 seconds faster with the red dot than irons.   I’ve run this drill at least 1000 in the last 9 years (I wouldn’t be surprised if the actual number was 3 or4 times that) and I’m pretty shocked, because my red dot times have always been slower. 
 

 

THANKS guys!!


 

 

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38 minutes ago, rmantoo said:

I’ve gone back and forth from irons to red dot in uspsa for several years, and have always been frustrated with red dots because I’m almost always slower, both subjectively, in that I feel slow, and objectively, as my uspsa/3gun performance is universally worse when shooting with dots.   
 

soooo, after reading this thread, I put tape on my g34’s vortex and spent 10-11 minutes drawing and presenting.   First slow, and gradually speeding up.   
 

The next day I went to the range for live fire practice.  Again, painters tape over front lens.

 

 When working on patterning new muscle memory I do intense, short sessions with multiple reps, so I ran Brian’s Transition Drill 3 times, VERY slowly, trying to draw and present as intentionally and with as much focus on each step as I could, and to make sure I executed as close to perfect as I could. 
 

I paused long enough to police up some brass left by previous shooters, then ran the drill again, trying to go at a natural place, no rushing, no trigger braking unless I was certain of calling the shot an A, focusing on NOT focusing on the dot or gun.  

Ran the drill 9 times, then took another break

 

By the time I ran it 27 times I was confident that I’m not going back to irons except when concealed carrying.  
 

my average time on the transition drill is now firmly 1.2 seconds faster with the red dot than irons.   I’ve run this drill at least 1000 in the last 9 years (I wouldn’t be surprised if the actual number was 3 or4 times that) and I’m pretty shocked, because my red dot times have always been slower. 
 

 

THANKS guys!!


 

 

 

Put a Trijicon RMR on your carry gun and forget about irons there too.

 

I have

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5 hours ago, SGT_Schultz said:

 

Put a Trijicon RMR on your carry gun and forget about irons there too.

 

I have

 

I almost exclusively pocket carry (99% of the time) a P365 in my front right pocket.  No way that would work with an optic on it, and that my absolute favorite style of carry.

 

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11 hours ago, SGT_Schultz said:

 

 

The dot just shows you how shaky or steady you are.  That movement has always been there, it's just that our eyes can't perceive it very well with irons.

 

That shoold be the reason for my delly in shooting with dot vs iron

 

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7 hours ago, SGT_Schultz said:

 

Put a Trijicon RMR on your carry gun and forget about irons there too.

 

I have

 You recomend the RMR for CCW too. Here I find no use for sights or dot due 3-7 m distance where 90% of combat scenario will occur in acordance with FBI statistics. They find that majority of officers don t use sights at all and they are threat foused over the sights or dot. Who are interested I could send these documents.

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1 hour ago, Uomu said:

 You recomend the RMR for CCW too. Here I find no use for sights or dot due 3-7 m distance where 90% of combat scenario will occur in acordance with FBI statistics. They find that majority of officers don t use sights at all and they are threat foused over the sights or dot. Who are interested I could send these documents.

I’m not worried about the 90% there. I’m worried about the other 10%. 

In any scenario where shot placement might be a big deal, I’ll go dot every time.  

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I have been transitioning to dots from iron out of necessity. I'm getting old and my eyes, especially at arms length, just don't focus the way they used to. It this pont, even with new shooting glasses iron sights are just a blur. I have always shot mostly on index, using the sights only in the last instant before firing to confirm proper alignment. Since the dot is higher than iron (at least on my guns) it has caused me problems because my brain still wants to go on the "old" index for iron and that put the dot out of alignment and I have to constantly readjust. It takes a lot of practice to get the index perfected to begin with, having to make a significant change to that index is going to take at least as much effort. It's been a slow process but I'm getting there.

This past Wed. I went all .45s at the range and it was a good way to test my index 3 ways. I have one .45 with irons, one slide ride and one static mount. As I said I can no longer see iron sights with any degree of accuracy, so I shot it purely on index and worked on learning to index the dots while still confirming the alignment at the last moment. This was the result: all shot at 40 ft freehand, top 2 were with iron, bottom left with static dot, bottom right with slide ride.

DSCN1422.JPG

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2 hours ago, Uomu said:

 You recomend the RMR for CCW too. Here I find no use for sights or dot due 3-7 m distance where 90% of combat scenario will occur in acordance with FBI statistics. They find that majority of officers don t use sights at all and they are threat foused over the sights or dot. Who are interested I could send these documents.

 

I've heard of all the statistics.  I don't assume that my fight, if it ever comes, will fit inside the statistics. 

 

I would not use the average police officer as an example of a good shooter.

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I started transitioning to the red dot when my vision started getting worse with age (63). It got to the point where I could no longer see details in the target and just saw a brown blur. I transitioned to red dot and it helped a lot. I trained with the tape over the red dot’s glass but still was seeing the targets the same, but accuracy was much better.

 

I went to see an Ophthalmologist and was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. I had cataract surgery and my vision returned back to normal. 20/20 in left eye and 20/15 in the right. 

 

I started dry firing with irons, took videos of myself shooting red dot vs irons and found myself shooting better and faster with irons. 

 

Us seniors/super seniors are at the age that we start to develop cataracts and maybe that will be the solution. Not saying that it applies to everyone but just a thought. 

 

Hope this helps.  

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After you have cataract surgery, aren't your eye focused to distance only?  Since there is no lens to focus up close, how do you see the iron sights?  I had my surgery and have 20/30 left and 20/20 in the right, but I can see irons unless it is bright and sunny.  Just curious as to how this works, thanks.

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12 minutes ago, BadShot said:

After you have cataract surgery, aren't your eye focused to distance only?  Since there is no lens to focus up close, how do you see the iron sights?  I had my surgery and have 20/30 left and 20/20 in the right, but I can see irons unless it is bright and sunny.  Just curious as to how this works, thanks.


Yes. I can only see distance and need reading glasses. I can also clearly see the the fiber too...even indoors. 
 

I shoot target focused so all I need to see is a glimpse of the fiber on the A zone. Same as with the red dot. 

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That is right Schultz ......I would not use the average police officer as an example of a good shooter......... but some of my fellow are quite good. Anyway the training and tactics for police, self defense and competition are so diferent due theis objective (protect citizen, own survival and obtaining the best score)

 

For sure red dot represent the future, beeing an advanced gear, and the company involve in this bussines will make them better. So I'll try to improve my dot shooting for the competition due your recomendations and train with iron or no sight for the other aspects. 

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