The first half of that video is spot on.
I have a lot of shooting under my belt on iron sights.
My muscle memory and eye focus has been developed over the years to shoot irons.
I simply do not want to invest the time, money, and effort to learn a totally new system that provides, a negligible to marginal improvement for me in practical use.
4 thoughts on “Ken Hackathorn explains why I won’t do red dots on pistols”
Use what works for you. I’ve thought about lasers and red dots. Not me, I know iron sights and it takes a hell of a shock to damage iron sights, I don’t do long range competition.
Seconding the above, we’re blessed with having choices no reason to limit ourselves so long as it works.
Several of my defensive carry guns have red dots some of them dont. The difference ends up being where I hit during a snap shoot. Muscle memory means I’ll be within an inch or two of the target going back and forth between
pistols with a red dot and pistols without but both are well inside the 9 ring on a B27 target out to about 10 yards without having to consciously aim. That’s after many thousands of rounds through each weapon though.
My father can point shoot the 1911 he’s had for longer than I’ve been alive and reliably hit soda cans on a fence post at well beyond typical defensive distances. It’s like an accomplished athlete being able to snap a ball to someone running without having to consciously calculate their speed or distance they just know from countless hours of experience. But hand him my 1911 with a red dot and he’ll snap it up and then have to bring it back down to hunt the sight then bring it bakc up again.
Now where I’ll wholly advocate red dots on pistols though is hunting guns. A glock 40 (long slide 10mm not a glawk fowdee) or a desert eagle with a red dot and a nice comfy rest is one heck of a hog killer.
First I’ve heard Hackathorn on Red Dots. I concur completely and understand his personal experience having gone through the same transition myself. And it did take a lot of rounds to get comfortable with them. But I have to say, other than nighttime shooting at close self-defense distances, I really don’t use the red dot as it was designed to be used. As I stated in another post, I have suppressor height iron sites on all my red dots. If there is enough light to see, I always bring the gun up to line of sight, index the front sight on target and the red dot always sits at the top of the front post. So essentially, I guess what I am doing is, using the red dot as an assurance that my aging eyes are on target using primarily the iron sights.
Now, where I have found that red dots help me, with my particular problem eyes, is that when I shoot multiple moving targets the red dot is far easier for me to index on the moving target–I tend to lose the front post when moving quickly. And depending on the sun and or lights in the area, I completely lose the front post whereas with the red dot I still have a positive index on the target. And as I get older, this seems to be more true than it used to be.
Anyone who has become ‘At one with a tool of the trade’ knows what I’m talking about when I say, the master of the art intuitively works without deliberate thought getting in the way. For me the red dot is a verification device on my tool of the trade, because I can’t see the head of the nail in some cases as good as is required to accomplish the job at hand.
At close quarters, I don’t use any sights. There’s no time for them. I have been in hell three times in my life and all I can remember was the back plate of the tool, rocking up and down, delivering five shots per second while remaining in the center line area of the ‘point of aim’. I have seen clients shoot as fast with better groups, but not be enough to matter in reality.
So Hackathorn is correct; inside of ten yards a red dot serves no real purpose in reality. In fact, I will go one step further and say, if you try to use a red dot when facing a loaded gun, your dead. And if you believe you’ll be able to see the front sight, you’re in the ER for weeks with an uncertain outcome. I teach CQC Point Shooting. Learn to minimize the rocking of a hot gun that is in the process of emptying the mag. You can eventually keep them all in eight-inch boxes. Once you master that challenge add another target and equally empty the mag into two boxes. Once that’s accomplished, swing both targets in a variety of sequences.
The red dot has increased my performance in this drill since I started using them seven years ago. Keeping the front post and red dot within the window of the red dot when the tool is rocking at full speed is a good place to start. Minimizing that to an even smaller rocking-size within the window did eventually occur. I’ve seen clients achieve this faster than I did. Some people are masters of an art which they’ve never considered. Watching a masterpiece develop…is priceless.
I’ve seen that with guns, bikes, trucks, lots of things. Get a newbie to do something they’ve never considered/done before, and they just do that thing, as if they’ve done it for untold hours before. It is something to watch, when they realize “hey, I can do this shit”. Others, simply can not learn some things.
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