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Sasquatch the Reaper 02-28-2016 03:16 PM

Pistol questions
 
This is somewhat related to my previous thread.

When did the trend of putting red dot sights on pistols (specifically Glocks) really take off?

Excalibur 03-01-2016 09:21 PM

The trend has been around since IPSC in the 90s. There has always been a market for putting red dots on handguns. It's only recently in the passed few years where people have decided it might work as a defensive/offensive option on your carry gun/duty gun/ sidearm.

An excerpt from a blog post:
History and Evolution:

Red Dot equipped pistols have been around for over two decades. In the 1990 USPSA Nationals Jerry Barnhart used a red dot scope to win and the same year Doug Koenig won the IPSC World Shoot with a red dot equipped CZ.

The first defensive gun I saw with a red dot was in a Kelly Mccann video back in the late 90's. He had a Doctor Optic mounted to a Glock 19 and I thought it was the most revolutionary thing I had ever seen. After getting one and shooting with it, I quickly lost interest. The window was too small, the optic was too fragile and I had no back up sights.

Fast forward to 2010 and I was reading about Gabe Suarez mounting an Aimpoint T-1 to a Glock. While I liked the idea, the T-1 was still way to big for a carry gun.

A few years earlier, David Bowie of Bowie Tactical, was starting to mill Glocks and M&Ps to accept micro red dots. The major difference between what Bowie and Suarez offers is where the rear sight is positioned. David strongly prefers to put the rear sight in front of the optic and Suarez prefers to put it behind the optic.

In the last year an exciting new mounting option has come out from Unity Tactical. The ATOM mount allows users to change the mounting plate to accommodate the use of different optics. I see this as a critical feature moving forward to provide a platform that can evolve with optics technology.

Sasquatch the Reaper 03-01-2016 11:28 PM

So it wouldn't make sense for a PD's SWAT team in the 90s/early 00s to have red dots on their sidearms, would it?

Mandolin 03-02-2016 12:03 AM

I've never looked, but I don't think any police units uses red dots on handguns.

Pistols with optics is to my limited knowledge limited to IPSC-style shooting competitions and hunting.

Excalibur 03-02-2016 02:28 AM

I have yet to see any police force rocking red dots on their handguns today.

So it would be really weird...unless you're writing a story taking place in some alternate world were firearm techniques and technologies is 20 years ahead of the times

commando552 03-02-2016 02:39 AM

Very recently you have started seeing some police with a red dot on their pistol. The reason that it is only happening relatively recently is that it has taken a while for the technology to get small yet rugged enough to work on a carry sidearm. When they were originally used in the 90s for competition shooting they were large enough that they could not be mounted on the slide and used mounts that attached to the frame. It wasn't until about 2000ish that you started getting sights that could be mounted on a slide.

I believe that the grand-daddy of all of them was made by a British company called Firepoint (sold in the US as the Tasco Optima 2000), who went out of business in 2002 and subsequently the same sight was made by JPoint, and a metal bodied version by Doctor. By the mid-2000s they were being used in combat by some Special Forces experimentally, however at this point in their development they were not particularly reliable. A sight mounted on a slide takes a bit of a beating, and the sights tended to suffer from wandering zeroes, coming loose of their mounts, or just breaking all together. In the early 2000s some companies did start actually mounting these sorts of sights onto their guns at the factory (you could get CZs fitted with Firepoints on the slide), but these tended to be more for competition rather than military/police use.

These days slide mounted sights are a lot more rugged and reliable, so they have gotten to the point where military/police are starting to actually trust them (for example regular uniformed police are starting to use them more, not because they are tacti-cool but because some older officers with not perfect eyesight prefer them). This wouldn't have been the case in the early 2000s though, they were still more of a novelty/competition thing.

If you want to give them something special, give them Crimson Trace grips. They have been around since the mid 90s and would be more likely to actually be used.

Excalibur 03-02-2016 02:46 AM

There's still a stigma with any electronic optics even today in our tacti-cool world. Red Dots on long guns are the norm, but just a few years ago, I know Marines that today are meh with red dots because all they got were iron sights, so to them, technology is something you can't take for granted and what works better 100% of the time are iron sights. So especially in the 90s when red dots are as of yet proven technology, no one would really want to issue them en mass unless they are special forces.

Sasquatch the Reaper 03-02-2016 06:39 AM

Well, the story is kinda in a slightly futuristic setting, even though it's in the 2000s.

Technology is pretty advanced in it. So I suppose firearms tech could be advanced too.

Commando, it alright if I message you?

commando552 03-02-2016 09:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sasquatch the Reaper (Post 42404)
Commando, it alright if I message you?

Sure, go ahead.

Yournamehere 03-02-2016 09:11 PM

Red dots on pistols is still a relatively new thing (2010s and later), mostly for the reasons stated previously (technology becoming effective enough for the application). There may have been red dots used on pistols as early as the 1990s but they were big, clunky, and not very reliable.

In fact, the COMP series which gave rise to the M68CCO used on US military rifles was originally designed to be used on pistols (Aimpoint's website details this). Before that, competitors would use old Tasco sights on their guns which were so heavy and so unreliable that competitors would have three different guns because one would be broken and need to be sent in for repairs, one would break during competitions, and one would be the spare gun (this was from an article in Guns and Ammo).

Additionally, that clunky old red dot scene, while worth noting to some degree, it still something that only really happened in competition shooting prior to 2010, and most definitely not tactical shooting. Moreover, their limited used in this arena (pun intended) doesn't air legitimacy to the use of of a red dot on a pistol by an average joe in 2007. The red dots we see fairly often now (and arguably still not that often for a number of reasons) weren't around in 2007, save for the Aimpoint T1 (which had just come out and probably wouldn't be widely available) and Trijicon's forerunner to the RMR (which would be in the same situation as the T1). Not to mention that installing either of those would require customization via drilling or milling out the slide of a pistol and function checking to make sure the added weight didn't make the gun unrelaible. 9 times out of... 9, if a guy has a pistol in 2007 in any operational or any other capacity, it will have vanilla sights and nothing else.

And this is before the general discussion of whether or not to have a red dot on a pistol now, hehe.

S&Wshooter 03-02-2016 09:14 PM

I second the suggestion of going with Crimson Trace; I remember way back when they were the hottest thing ever, super hyped in gun mags

commando552 03-02-2016 11:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yournamehere (Post 42409)
The red dots we see fairly often now (and arguably still not that often for a number of reasons) weren't around in 2007, save for the Aimpoint T1 (which had just come out and probably wouldn't be widely available) and Trijicon's forerunner to the RMR (which would be in the same situation as the T1).

Agree with most of what you said, but just to correct this point there were actually quite a few mini red dots that were pistol mountable by 2007. They were actually around in the very late 90s I believe, and by the early 2000s there were companies who were factory installing them (e.g. CZ was selling CZ75Bs with sights fitted at least as early as 2002). People had used them in the military in the early 2000s but only a very small number as at this point they were not very reliable, or perhaps more importantly were believed not to be very reliable.

Sasquatch the Reaper 03-02-2016 11:05 PM

Ok. So no red dots unless it's just recently.

Yournamehere 03-03-2016 01:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by commando552 (Post 42412)
Agree with most of what you said, but just to correct this point there were actually quite a few mini red dots that were pistol mountable by 2007. They were actually around in the very late 90s I believe, and by the early 2000s there were companies who were factory installing them (e.g. CZ was selling CZ75Bs with sights fitted at least as early as 2002). People had used them in the military in the early 2000s but only a very small number as at this point they were not very reliable, or perhaps more importantly were believed not to be very reliable.

Really? What kind of mini dots existed before the T1 and the RMR that are of similar size and dimensions? And can you elaborate on CZs factory option? That's really interesting.

To a similar effect, I actually remember seeing/reading about old C-More and C-More style sights on frame mounted rail systems, so you've got something there. In fact, I was watching xXx (2002) the other day and was surprised to see the C-More on several rifles and a lot of the custom built pistols in the film. And obviously I'm not a complete expert on the history of red dots in all applications including military use, but I think it's safe to say that they haven't been a mainstream upgrade until the advent of the T1 and RMR and other competing optics. Moreover, the models we have are much smaller, lighter, and different in a multitude of ways from previous pistol red dot combos. And when someone nowadays thinks of a red dot on a pistol, they're conjuring up an image based on RMRs and Deltapoints attached to a milled slide, not COMPs and C-Mores from 10 years ago. I still think using a red dot on a pistol for any time before the last 5 years or so would seem a bit too cutting edge and anachronistic.

Jcordell 03-03-2016 02:20 AM

I just added a flashlight to my Glock two years ago. They were authorized by my department four years ago. Our SWAT team has aim points and lights on their rifles now.

S&Wshooter 03-03-2016 02:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jcordell (Post 42416)
I just added a flashlight to my Glock two years ago. They were authorized by my department four years ago. Our SWAT team has aim points and lights on their rifles now.

Thinking of lights, I have mixed feelings about them, not sure what to think; sure you might need a light, and it can disorient a suspect, but it also shouts "HERE I AM, SHOOT THE LIGHT!"

Excalibur 03-03-2016 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by S&Wshooter (Post 42417)
Thinking of lights, I have mixed feelings about them, not sure what to think; sure you might need a light, and it can disorient a suspect, but it also shouts "HERE I AM, SHOOT THE LIGHT!"

Well it depends on the situation. Training tells me to only use lights in bursts, not to shine constantly. If you are searching, you shine for a brief moment to get an idea of what is in front of you, watch out for what you're shooting at and push forward. If you spot someone, you shine directly into their eyes and a good flashlight will blind them. I know a cop who had a flashlight he personally bought that was 700 lumens while his department issued Surefires that are just over 200 and the story was he shined it on a suspect in the dark and the guy just gave up.

commando552 03-03-2016 04:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yournamehere (Post 42415)
Really? What kind of mini dots existed before the T1 and the RMR that are of similar size and dimensions? And can you elaborate on CZs factory option? That's really interesting.

I'll just quote form an earlier post as this answers part of this:
Quote:

I believe that the grand-daddy of all of them was made by a British company called Firepoint (sold in the US as the Tasco Optima 2000), who went out of business in 2002 and subsequently the same sight was made by JPoint, and a metal bodied version by Doctor. By the mid-2000s they were being used in combat by some Special Forces experimentally, however at this point in their development they were not particularly reliable. A sight mounted on a slide takes a bit of a beating, and the sights tended to suffer from wandering zeroes, coming loose of their mounts, or just breaking all together. In the early 2000s some companies did start actually mounting these sorts of sights onto their guns at the factory (you could get CZs fitted with Firepoints on the slide), but these tended to be more for competition rather than military/police use.
Bear in mind that "RMR" stands for "Rugged Mini Reflex", and in itself it is derivative design intended to be a more durable (and hence militarily more viable) alternative to earlier designs. Before this point to most common would have been the Docter, and this was also the sight that would have been mounted most commonly over ACOGs before the RMR came out. I don't know when the Docter was released exactly, but in 2002 there were experimental prototype mounts made by KAC for the military to fit them to ACOGs in the place of the rear sight ring, so that gives you some idea that they were around and used earlier than you might assume.

As for the CZs, I don't know much but apparently they were introduced in 2001 and were a factory option only for a year or two. They were fitted to CZ-75B type pistols on the rear of the slide such as this, along with on the .22 Kadet pistols. They did it a bit different to what is typical today, with the sight being mounted on a sort of saddle to give it a flat surface rather than milling a flat on the slide. This has the advantage that it doesn't need a modified slide (it also means that these sights can be mounted without modifications on other CZs such as this late model Pre-B), but has the disadvantages of having a higher profile and possibly a less consistent fit. At the same time they also sold a variant for competition use called the CZ-75M IPSC which mounted the optic on a frame mount which was a much more secure and proven method. I really like the look of this variant, especially the compensator with the little blast shield for the optic.

S&Wshooter 03-04-2016 04:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Excalibur (Post 42418)
Well it depends on the situation. Training tells me to only use lights in bursts, not to shine constantly. If you are searching, you shine for a brief moment to get an idea of what is in front of you, watch out for what you're shooting at and push forward. If you spot someone, you shine directly into their eyes and a good flashlight will blind them. I know a cop who had a flashlight he personally bought that was 700 lumens while his department issued Surefires that are just over 200 and the story was he shined it on a suspect in the dark and the guy just gave up.

I'm just afraid of getting shot in the hand/arm by some dipshit aiming for the light; it's like how untrained folks instinctively aim for the GUN ("OH SHIT THAT GUY HAS A GUN!", ETC), but a little intensified

Excalibur 03-04-2016 05:02 PM

If you are in a dark room, you need a light to see where you are going and if the person popping up behind a door is a threat or a love one. If you are on the street outside, it also depends on the situation. A light helps, and it depends on training and how well you move and or use cover. They are just as likely to hit you as if you are just a shadow in the dark and if you are shooting in the dark, the muzzle flash will give away your position anyway.

So in a home defense situation, it helps ID who you are pointing the gun at. In an offensive situation, it can blind a threat so you can see how much of a threat is in front of you.

Jcordell 03-09-2016 06:20 AM

Over the past couple of years it's been nice having the light on my Glock. When doing a building search, walking up to a vehicle where there are no street lights, needing to get a glimpse of what or who might be hiding in a defile where there is no light illuminating it. Then with the light being on my pistol I have a free hand if necessary. I still carry a light on my belt for when it isn't appropriate to draw my pistol and what not,but I have found that light very useful. Like all tools one just needs to understand that it isn't a Magic Bullet. Something we tend to fall prey to in law enfocement.

SPEMack618 03-09-2016 07:02 PM

Having a light on my M-4A1 was super nice in Iraq. Lots of building searches. Lots.

Afghanistan we had better NODs and a lot less structures to clear. So no light.

Excalibur 03-09-2016 07:40 PM

I talked to an older Marine who back in the late 90s knew guys who taped 3 D cell Maglites on their rifles

SPEMack618 03-09-2016 08:01 PM

Pop used hose clamps to put a Mini-Mag on his GAU-5 in Grenada and Panama.

Excalibur 03-09-2016 10:26 PM

This is a good read on what some of the old school Delta guys used once upon a time ago http://soldiersystems.net/2013/11/19...unter-carbine/

SPEMack618 03-09-2016 10:33 PM

The Delta guys, whom Pop always refers to either as passengers or customers, is where Pop and the guys in what was then 1st SOW got the hose clamp idea.

Jcordell 03-10-2016 09:15 PM

See Chuck Heston with his S&W Model 76 and the flashlight clipped onto the barrel in "The Omega Man". That was in 1971.

http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/...psijyfuevx.jpg

Mandolin 03-11-2016 03:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jcordell (Post 42440)
See Chuck Heston with his S&W Model 76 and the flashlight clipped onto the barrel in "The Omega Man". That was in 1971.

http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/...psijyfuevx.jpg

Early 70s/80 attempts to put flashlights and/or lasers on guns tend to be hilarious with just how big and bulky they were.

Excalibur 03-12-2016 04:57 AM

Even older precursor rifle of spec ops is this

http://soldiersystems.net/2015/11/19...1-cqbr-part-i/

If they made this rifle for the COD Black Ops game, it would have been more authentic


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