Okay...so my A1/A2 VS A3 thread seemed to spark some interesting and thought provocing responses last week and it was all good...lots of good points and information presented from both camps which was cool...and appreciated by most including myself as we were able to keep the flame throwers out of what was...intelligent debate. Kudos to all.
But as this past week went by?...more than several other thoughts and related past experiences entered my mind...points, thoughts and yes..."questions" that weren't addressed in the previous thread..and it is once again my intention to share them here with the knowledgable many at arfcom...as follows.
When I picked up my 16" BM Patrolmans Carbine A2M4gery my FFL dealer bud immediately tried to demonstrate to me some goodies he had available...two of which were an inexpensive gooseneck A2 rail mount and a simmons red-dot that we quickly tossed on my A2 carbine so he could demonstrate how the combo would cowit the red-dot with the irons of my A2...and I hafta admit...it was cool but both items were of inexpensive low quality as first off...I would never buy a $50 simmons red-dot and the $40 gooseneck he demonstrated only utilized the single through carry handle bolt and with just lightly applied finger pressure the thing was like mounting a red-dot on a spring-board...and I took a pass knowing that much better hardware (such as A.R.M.S. & Aimpoint which I have been looking at) was out there if I did in fact want to apply such...now here's the twist...
I had quite a bit of experience with red-dots as a former I.P.S.C. competitor....I used a 50mm Tasco PDP4 (Beer Can) on a B-square frame mount on my Glock 24L and I also used a C-More on several custom race 1911 variants in mens "Open Class" ipsc...for several years...after which I..like many of my like minded friends and competitors happily returned back to the Iron Sights and non-ported/comped barrels of the "Limited Class"....for two reasons...those being?..
1. Dependability and...
When we first mounted up our red-dots on our favorite race guns we all noticed right away that these technologically advanced sighting systems could quickly and easily turn a novice level shooter into an above average shooter...or an above average shooter into a near Master Class Pro....as times immediately decreased and points scored immediately increased...and we all had that "dirty feeling" cause it was almost like cheating...but the matrix was NOT perfect...as follows..
Red Dot Sights brought with them a plethora of issues and anomolies....as follows...
Those That Were The Result Of..."Operator Error":
1. Dead Battery: Most common responses?..."D@mn! I left my sight on!!!"...closely followed by..."D@mn! It was working yesterday!"
2. "I Forgot To Turn My Sight On!": which after the start timer/buzzer sounded would leave the shooter frantically flailing his muzzle about searching his tube for a red dot that simply wasn't there as precious seconds ticked by in silence....very embarassing for the shooter.
Those That Were The Result Of..."Equipment Failure":
1. Burned out Diodes
2. Shorted Out Batteries (most common on the early model C-Mores where the "Coin Style" batteries would develope "Flat Spots" for and aft from repeated recoil)
3. "A Washed Out Dot" (where the sun over-rode the red-dots ability to outshine it rendering it useless or next to it)
And it was these issues (along with the fact that red-dot sights, or any sight that you hafta "turn on" and/or "relies on batteries") that drove me and a handful of my compadres to re-examine the practicality of our red-dot equipped race guns and exactly what skills it was we were honing here...as it became glarringly obvious that none of use where willing to stake our lives on such folley as a practical, tactical, carry gun...as we'd all seen enough to know that....iron sights was the way to go....and as I and a few buds went back to the iron sights of "Limited Class"?...after a few months of practice, competing and getting "Re-Acclaimated" to our iron sights?....we discovered that something miraculous had happened...and we were all heads and tails faster and more accurate with our iron sights than we had ever been before...some of us even giving the top level red-dot competitors a run for their money...and on rather frequent occassion even posting slightly faster times and better scores...and suddenly it was no longer written in stone that top match honors would go to the man with the biggest red-dot...as on several occassions I and my iron sighted compadres walked away with it...by an ever so slight margin...but still...and the startling fact was...our pistols were still "Practical"...and could be used as a carry gun...yes...we were bad. LOL!!!
But enough bragging and lets leave the race guns behind and fast forward 10 years...as I stood there ooohing and ahhing the little red bouncing ball atop the front sight post of my new A2M4gery...and my questions are as follows...
1. Isn't that front sight post one heck of a distraction during rapid fire as that red-dot is bouncing all over hells 1/2 acre?
2. With the carbines short sight axis and the large rear peep flipped into position and that HUGE picture of a front sight post I find the M4's irons stunningly quick to the eye...do you guys feel you are truely faster with a red-dot?
I live in southeast florida...Port Saint Lucie to be precise...I'd love to get together with a few of the locals here and find out the answers to these questions....but meanwhile?...please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions here and....
1. Sorry for the long post...
2. If you didn't find it informative?..at least I hope you found it "entertaining".
T.I.A., Stay Safe & L8R, Bill.
I like simple, irons for me. I do have an inexpensive scope I swap the carry handle out with just for giggles.
The M2 and M3 Aimpoints address any of the concerns you have mentioned. The Aimpoint has an incredible battery life, 50,000hrs on the new M3s. Mounting with cowitnessed irons should address any concerns you have about "forgetting" to turn it on (although to me, forgetting to turn my Aimpoint on would be akin to forgetting to chamber a round). The Aimpoint is bright enough to not wash out the vast majority of the time. However, as I just stated, cowitnessed irons, or simply running it with the front cover closed make this a non-issue. I feel like you're thinking of it as a reflex-sight OR irons proposition, instead of both at the same time.
While I appreciate you experience with red dots on IPSC guns, most of that variety are NOT military-grade tough.
I have been trained to do your pre combat checks anytime you go out the door/gate or getting ready to assualt. Same time I do my press check to make sure there is a round seated in the chamber I check the optics/sights. That way I have no surprises. Now when surprised, I know the conditions of my weapons status and take proper action. (ie. we have to have no rounds in chamber and no mag in weapon on post unless during highten alert status ) However, anytime we go out the gate everything is a red status (HOT!!!) Red dots have increased troops response time with rounds on target and with all added aspects of combat (IBA, promask, helmet falling in your face, akward shooting positions, returning fire, etc).
When I'm home the only electronic gear I have is a set of CT laser grips on my carry M1911 and a Aimpoint Comp C on my AR for fun/hunting/SD.