There have been a variety of improvements created for firearms since their creation. Human beings are innovators, and constantly seeking to perfect mechanical advantages. One of the more interesting improvements for handguns, popularized over the past decade in defensive shooting circles, is putting a red dot sight on the handgun. Is this a groundbreaking innovation, or just technological fluff? Keep on reading and decide for yourself!
Our eyes can only focus on one thing at a time. Traditional iron sights require focusing on the front sight while the rear sights remain blurry. However, when under stress(say, from a life or death threat), visual acuity can be a dodgy proposition. Having a red dot removes the requirement for multiple points of visual focus, provided the red dot has been properly sighted.
Having a red dot on your firearm makes target acquisition quicker. In a self defense situation, the sooner you can acquire a target, the faster you can get rounds on target. This speed could be the determining factor in a violent confrontation.
With the wider window of the red dot sight, it can be easier to not get sucked into tunnel vision during a violent encounter. With training, it will be easier to keep your field of view wide in case of other threats. This wider field of view can also help you accurately assess the results of your shooting(i.e. if your assailant is down and not moving) without having to change your focal point at all.
Similar to the points above, many shooters find transitioning between multiple targets easier with a red dot sight. With only one focal point, and the wider sight window, it makes sense that transitioning from assailant to assailant. Unfortunately, many violent altercations involve multiple attackers, and so target transitions are a key consideration. You’ll have enough to consider when firing the weapon; recoil management, decision making, etc. Make everything as easy as you can!
One of the main barriers to entry when considering a quality red dot sight is the price. Cost has decreased over the past few years(as more have been introduced into the marketplace) but price is still going to be prohibitive to some people. Consider the fact that almost any model pistol comes with a set of iron sights, included in the cost of the weapon itself! Consider all of your choices if you are seeking a red dot sight.
God-willing, you’ll never have to use your pistol in a real life combat encounter. If you are a civilian, then, the durability of any modern red dot sight will be fine. If you are carrying a pistol in a law enforcement or military capacity, however, and are going to be drawing and utilizing that weapon on a fairly regular basis, durability may be a concern. A red dot sight is an electronic device, unlike iron sights. No matter how well made, they will still not be as hardy as a good set of iron sights.