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  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Beyond The Wall
    Posts
    44,791
    DON'T BUY A CHEAP AND CRAPPY RED DOT

    Wednesday, August 15, 2018

    When Suarez International began the study of the Red Dot Pistol in 2009 I had no idea that it would become such a popular and mainstream idea. And yet today, almost a decade later, we are seeing more pistols with red dots than pistols without them. I predict that it will be a rare thing to see a pistol in a combatant’s holster that does not have a red dot as a sighting system.

    However what invariably happens is a desire to shortcut the system, and to get the benefits on the cheap. With that we see the proliferation of low quality red dot sights mounted on pistols. And by “low quality” I mean sights whose greatest attribute is that they are cheap. But “cheap” never brings quality.

    Now I understand very well that not everybody can drop $500 on an optic but an optic on a handgun that will be carried 24-7 in a holster is vastly different than an optic on a rifle that will sit in the safe until the weekend. Weapons meant for fighting (or “self-defense” if you need to be careful with your thoughts) require certain attributes. Professionals, or those following similar standards, cannot afford an optic to fail. Look if you are a sportsman or a hobbyist and you never intend to carry that Red Dot Pistol concealed, in a holster, in the real world, in anticipation of a gunfight, then read no further because I have nothing of value to offer you. On the other hand if you carry your Red Dot Pistol daily, then you like the professional, cannot accept failure of any kind.

    Your installation of the chosen red dot on your pistol will follow a certain pattern. And the red dot that you choose must have certain attributes. And there is a price for those attributes. As of December 2016, the optics that I would suggest as “suitable for a carry handgun” are as follows.

    1). The Trijicon RMR in its various permutations. It is and remains the king of the hill.
    2). The Leupold DeltaPoint Pro.
    I suggest a 2.5 MOA Dot and not the7.5 MOA Triangle. Battery life is nowhere near as long as an RMR so be ready to change batteries far more frequently. It will also require a much taller set of cowitness sights

    3). The Shield RMS from the United Kingdom
    . They are quite suitable for some narrower slide handguns intended for light duty such as the Glock 43. They are not nearly as as robust or rugged as an RMR or a DP Pro but they are quite suitable for CCW carry. They are not waterproof, nor will they withstand the impact that an RMR will withstand, so I would not use them for a hard duty weapon.

    We get inquiries about other red dot sights and I advise the customer that we won’t work with them for the simple reason that they will not work well on a combat handgun and I will not put our name to an installation involving them. Here is the short and sweet on red dot sights. Some of them are pure crap, and will not withstand any sort of daily concealed carry or duty use.

    And don't tell me about someone's lifetime warranty. A lifetime warranty on a weapon is as useless as on a car's airbags.

    Things that would disqualify a red dot sight for combat handgun usage.




    1). Cheap. Look…everything has a price and a cost.
    There is no bargain eye surgery, or cheap college education. We know the cost of manufacturing a great and robust red dot sight. And if we see a sight being sold for extremely lower price points than the top units on the market, rest assured that somebody cut corners in manufacturing, components, or assembly. A $200 Burris Fastfire may be really popular because it is cheap and has a great warranty, but trust me…there is a reason why it is only $200.



    2). External, and easily activated, “on-off” buttons placed where they will be activated by holster use.
    The Leupold DP Pro and the Vortex razor have the buttons inside the red dot unit itself. The Trijicon RM06 and RM07 have them set up so that they must activated in unison and with a heavy direct pressure that is unlikely in holster use.

    The Fastfire (again) and the SIG Romeo are unsuitable for serious handgun use for that very reason. Yes...I know SIG will tell you all day long and twice on Sunday how tough their Romeo red dots are...but they are not. We get a large number of SIG RX owners wanting to convert their slides to RMRs for a reason.

    3). Waterproof, Impact Proof, and Ruggedness. If an optic is not waterproof, I would disqualify it from any sort of serious usage. The Shield is a grey area as it is the only smaller sized red dot that I would consider for use on Glock 43s...but not on a full use duty weapon. If it breaks easily, or stops working due to an inadvertent impact, I would disqualify it from use.


    4). Ability to install with Back Up Cowitness Sights.
    I am astounded that some people still want to argue the point about this. The taller the Red Dot sits, the taller the cowitness sights that will be necessary. That has been the main complaint with buyers of the Glock MOS system. The cowitness sights need to be so tall that holster selection becomes a potential problem as well as lateral pressure on the front sight possibly damaging it.

    Some optics do not lend themselves to use with properly installed cowitness sights. The Insights MRDS for example has an “On-Off” button that would interfere with those sights, as well as being quite tall in its design.

    If you are considering advancing your skillsets and equipment to the Red Dot Pistol, take considerable time to research your choices. The bargain of the century may not be what you think, nor work as well as advertised. There is a price for quality, and there are no shortcuts to it. As the old TV ad noted, “You can pay now…or you can pay twice as much later”.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,470
    Have you had any success re-milling an RX Sig to accept an RMR?

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Beyond The Wall
    Posts
    44,791
    I will ask downstairs.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    2,447
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dan Choi View Post
    Have you had any success re-milling an RX Sig to accept an RMR?
    No. You can go from RMR to Romeo, but not vice versa

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    222
    I am confused.

    SI and crew have been running various red-dots HARD and “for real” for years. They have to come to a reasoned conclusion, based on actual, real-world experience and destructive testing, of what works and what doesn’t when your life is on the line.

    Certain Special Operations units/teams in the military and a few in Law Enforcement have now done a lot of the same research and testing, and come to the same conclusions.

    To paraphrase: “The Trijicon RMR is the best “combat-ready/carry” red dot for a handgun right now. Full stop. The Leupold DeltaPoint is also very good and serviceable. The Shield is good for lighter duty carry.”


    Yes the lesser red dots can “work fine” on certain firearms in certain roles. I would be fine putting a Romeo or FastFire on my Ruger Mk III .22 pistol or other “toy gun.”

    Capt. Beach: I also worked for several years in a gun store/range that rented guns. (Moonlight gig when I was still full-time LE and then full-time as their Director of Training in CA and NV.). There were occasional, individual guns from makers that weren’t supposed to be “good enough” that ran great for months and sometimes more than a year. But there were lots from the same makers that we were always sending back for warranty work/repairs. A huge part of what sets Trijicon and Leupold apart (and part of what you are paying for with those brands) is their very high-level quality control and amazing consistency of quality. I have 3 RM06’s on 3 guns. All have been bulletproof. The one on my EDC G19 has at least 10k Rounds through it. About half of those were 180gr. .40 S&W, as the gun started life as a G23. It went to an SI class, a couple of week-long LE Instructor cert classes, and a lot more.

    I know you have a TON of experience. I don’t mean this to sound condescending. Just my thoughts and that you really end up way ahead in money and time if you go with the best, most tested kit available.


    Let’s be glad and grateful that all that money and time to obtain and carry and evaluate and often test to destruction was done for us.

    We can simply get what has been proven best by a truly reliable source, and move on to training with it so we can be that which we need and want to be.
    Last edited by Marco Innocenti; 08-24-2018 at 07:38 PM. Reason: Info, tone on the first was too snarky. Sorry.
    VIRES HONOR VIRTUS FIDES

  6. #16
    Please do yourself a favor and don't waste your money or your slide on a Romeo. I wanted so badly to like it. This lens fractured with minimal trauma. It lasted for several months, maybe a thousand rounds. Then I was taking a dump. My gun stayed in my holster, but my belt cascaded to the floor and must have struck the floor. A fall of about two feet or less. Sig said they would replace it, but waining on a return. Cant imagine an RMR doing that.


    busted romeo.jpg

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