Red Dot Sights & Other Improvements From Competition Guns


So I’ve been seeing a growing trend in optics, specifically red dot sights on carry guns. With Glock releasing their MOS series of handguns and more and more red dot sights being mounted on pistols I believe that we are going to see more of these guns coming to the market, and a shift to them being considered a part of a standard CCW setup. It looks as though the world of competition shooting is informing the next generation of handgun innovations.

The benefits of a red dot sight on a defensive pistol or rifle are numerous. Quicker target acquisition, ease of use in low light conditions, ability to focus on the target more and see more of the target without it being obscured by the firearm or the sights. That said there are a number of drawbacks as well. Learning how to shoot with a red dot sight is a bit different that using iron sights and we are dealing with an electronic device. Unlike tritium night sights, we have batteries to replace and complicated electronics that are more easily damaged. Furthermore the reflective material of a red dot sight len’s is always going to be weaker than metallic sights.

That said there are a number of compromise systems that have been developed. The 7.5 FK Field Pistol from BRNO Defense sports an aperture style rear sight and a single dot front sight. The whole configuration is very much like a “iron” red dot sight in its application.

Another good option is the See All open sight. This projects a triangle onto an objective lens and functions much like a red dot sight as well. If everything is lined up correctly the triangle will appear over the target and you can fire. A See All open sight can be mounted on many popular rifles, shotguns, and handguns as well. Below you can see a video review of these sights in action.

Though I personally have yet to try either of these set ups, I like that designers are attempting to replicate the positive aspects of a red dot sight, minus some of the issues like battery life and electronics.

Another adaptation that people have begun to take from competition shooting is the use of magazine wells. These flairs at the base of the grip of the pistol help to guide the magazine into correct position. While not the best choice for deep concealment guns, as they tend to give the gun a sizeable bulge where the magazine well is, they do offer benefits to many shooters. These are especially important on single stack handguns where the magazine is more difficult to replace under duress.

While not all race gun improvements are necessary on firearms, longer barrels, ported handguns, and decreased weight slides are all cues that seem to have originated in the world of competition shooting and are beginning to make inroads in the concealed carry market. I believe that these improvements are great and any changes that make the shooter faster and more accurate with the firearm is a must for a defensive handgun.

What about you? Have you adopted any of these modifications to your Everyday Carry? Does it seem like a waste of time? What would you like to see become more common on concealed carry handguns Sound off in the comments below.