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The Red-Dot Dilemma

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The Problem
You have decided to take the plunge and go the route of a red-dot sight on your everyday-carry gun. In getting familiar with the new sighting system, you are having trouble finding the dot in the lens. At first you thought it was your own inability to find the dot, since that phenomenon is a common occurrence with many gun owners in the early stages of making the transition from iron sights to red-dot sights. However, through further investigation, you found that the battery was dead and therefore the dot was not there when you were looking for it. Despite having a reliable optic, you realize batteries will die. Aside from trying to align the dot with the iron sights on the gun, you wonder if there is there a quick fix to getting the gun on target in an emergency situation when the light goes out.

The Solution
Two points need to be addressed with this situation:

The first has to do with the reliability of your everyday carry gear. If there is any doubt as to whether it will work when you need it to, replace it with something you have confidence in through actual experience and prac-tice. The last thing you want to be worried about in a dire situation is your equipment, so replace those batteries before they die.

The second point speaks to the application of your everyday carry gun in an instance where it is put to use for the very reason you have it on your person. In this instance, statistics tell us that a confrontation would most likely be in a close proximity to the threat, last a relatively short time, with a probability of low-light levels and against one or more adversaries. In a case such as this, a properly fitted gun coupled with your natural eye/hand coordination has a high likelihood of getting the muzzle on the area of interest at bad-breath distances and perhaps a bit beyond. To expound further, your hand/eye coordination allows you to point your finger directly at anything that has your visual attention. If your gun fits you properly, it will point at anything your finger points at, getting the muzzle on the target. This can be followed by pulling the trigger as many times as necessary to solve the problem, if justified. With distance being a variable, there are a few other suggestions that will aid in paving the way to success aside from referencing your back-up iron sights through the blank lens of the red-dot sight.

You should be able to see your gun superimposed on your target peripherally if not directly. Your hand/eye coordination works with both your peripheral vision and your direct or central vision. If the outline of your gun falls within the outline of the target, that is usually sufficient to yield hits in the intended area of the threat. The slide—or in the case of a revolver, the cylinder—will give an adequate horizontal and vertical reference of the gun’s muzzle on the target, providing the sufficient perspective necessary to pull the trigger with the confidence of getting successful hits.

Should the outline of the gun present a picture appearing greater in size than the target, that usually indicates the distance from the target likely requires you to utilize the back-up iron sights to deliver accurate shots. Alternatively, often a better choice is to simply escape the situation by leaving the area, if possible.

It is prudent and recommended to practice these techniques at varying distances and on multiple sizes of target to validate your success in putting them to use. That will also allow you to see the general distance where you will need to make use of the iron sights as opposed to point shooting.

It’s always a good idea to have a back-up plan for equipment failures, in addition to unanticipated situational changes. Taking such extra measures will enhance the likelihood of the outcome most favorable to your efforts.


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