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Thread: Irons and Red Generational User Question

  1. #1

    Irons and Red Generational User Question

    I know this has been done to death. So I am not going to be discussing the pros and cons between the two sighting systems (though I understand that they'll probably still be brought up), but instead posing a user related question. Given that within the try hard community, meaning us, the red dot is considered to be superior in EVERY WAY... Why do many high level shooters, who shoot better than you, me, and many others on here, still use irons? If I'm wrong please correct me, but I know Bob Vogel doesn't care much for dots, neither does Ben Stoeger, Ernest still prefers irons despite using red dots, Gabe White uses irons (and many others). Surely these guys who can wreck the F.A.S.T. or any test/drill for that matter must want to move onto a superior sighting system completely? And yet they don't, they obviously have tried dots, but still continue to prefer and/or use irons (all while remaining superior shooters than MOST of us). Could it be, like those who grew up shooting and using DA/SA revolvers and never switched over to autos, and guys who grew up shooting and using 1911s never switched over to Berettas, and so on and so forth... this is our generation of shooters who are comfortable with their generation's handguns, and don't want to switch over to the next best thing, meaning dots? Or is there some validity to their choices to keep using irons? Lastly, if you have some students, or even speaking about oneself, and you've/they competed with red dots, reached a high level of proficiency with them, but still see themselves/yourself being more comfortable or even doing better with irons, could an argument be made that the person should just stick with irons if they gave red dots an honest to God try, yet still prefer irons at the end of it all? Or should the person continue to strive to be better with red dots since they're supposed to be the superior sighting system and technically there's more potential to be "unlocked" using dots?

    The background for why I'm even asking this question; I myself have always been an irons guy, despite being KINDA young, and being introduced to dots when I was 16, I've found myself preferring irons for carry/defensive use, despite reaching M level shooting in CO (GM is right around the corner!). I invested heavily in red dots, competed with them, reached what I personally feel is a decent proficiency with them, and always find myself enjoying and trusting my irons more. I guess, in some way, I want to see if someone can convince me to continue on the red dot path. Also, I'd like to add, I've spoken to many shooters/instructors in person, and many have personally told me that they prefer irons and/or still carry irons for their CCW piece. Naturally they don't advertise this fact since it could lead to people not wanting to take their classes by thinking of them as "outdated", but you'd be surprised just how many "red dot gurus" or modern shooters still prefer or trust irons. Kinda eye opening.

    I know this isn't really a right or wrong answer. However, I wanted to hear your thoughts on the matter.

  2. #2
    Likes Marmite Clusterfrack's Avatar
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    Irons and Red Generational User Question

    I feel the same. I prefer iron sights on handguns. I’m enjoying playing in Carry Optics, but do not plan to switch either for competition or carry.

    There’s an obvious advantage to RDS for some types of shooting, but I reject that dots are superior to irons in every context.

    I have no patience for fooling with battery life, dot zeros, replacing screws, and failed optics.

    Fortunately my vision remains excellent for iron sights, and my optometrist says it’s likely to stay that way.
    "BJJ is sort of like nonconsensual yoga"
    "You don’t really graduate from certain problems or certain things… like you always have to work on trigger control and pulling the trigger straight. " --Ben Stoeger 1/24/2018

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by IDontDoQuests View Post
    If I'm wrong please correct me, but I know Bob Vogel doesn't care much for dots, neither does Ben Stoeger, Ernest still prefers irons despite using red dots, Gabe White uses irons (and many others).
    For competitive shooters, maybe they are better than their competitors in irons divisions but not as good in the dot divisions, choosing the divisions they are more likely to win in?
    For defensive instructors, maybe they haven't had a chance to get their dot level commensurate to their irons level? Maybe still don't feel that dot tech is reliable and robust enough?

    BTW, I don't think Stoeger doesn't not care for dot. I am pretty sure he took first overall with a dotted Glock in some big match last year, he posts pics of his RDS Glocks regularly. I think he teaches some his clients on them too.

    Quote Originally Posted by IDontDoQuests View Post
    I invested heavily in red dots, competed with them, reached what I personally feel is a decent proficiency with them, and always find myself enjoying and trusting my irons more. I guess, in some way, I want to see if someone can convince me to continue on the red dot path.


    If you're trusting the irons more and, even more importantly, enjoying them more, I would just shoot the irons. I can't think of any legit argument to convince you to stick with the dot.
    Last edited by YVK; 09-13-2021 at 08:44 PM.
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  4. #4
    We’re talking about life and death encounters so what you bring to the dance is up to you.

    I tried a dot and I liked it. But I have astigmatism so where you see a dot, I see a cluster of grapes. I’m looking at Lasik, etc., but I’m all irons all the time until I can put that together.



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  5. #5
    Petulance

  6. #6
    @IDontDoQuests

    CO GM here.

    By that logic we should all shoot rifles instead of handguns because they’re more objectively more effective tools, until they are not.

    You have to define what scope you’re looking at.

    Competition division?
    High overall?
    Carry?
    Enjoyment?

    If you took a Vogel and Stoeger… and you told them there was no longer a dedicated iron sight division…

    They might change their mind on what equipment they use.

    But barring that, they might just like the game the way their game is.

    For carry? Likely any card carrying M/GM is going to be good enough from a mechanical standpoint that their sighting system won’t likely be the limiting factor in whether they win or lose. Carry is about personal religion and superstition, with most choices being made as a magic talisman choice anyway.

    Personally?
    I pretty much only shoot dots these days but I can still rock irons on a snub from 25 yards to an A zone.

    But I switched to a dot on carry to have better low light resolution and have a redundant sighting system. Irons can also get knocked out of whack so redundancy is nice.
    Pointing at cardboard things.... CO GM, working on Open

  7. #7
    I work for an agency that has a very good, but not very progressive firearms program and we're probably more likely to go to being unarmed "coaches" than ever see dot sights on handguns. I've gone to a class where the instructor is a great advocate of the dot sights and does outstanding work with them. For me personally, a monthly match or two; a bare bones draw and dry fire program and an annual pistol class on my dime take up all of the time I have to spare in the realm of firearms skill and maintenance.
    -All views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect those of the author's employer-

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by JCN View Post
    @IDontDoQuests

    CO GM here.

    By that logic we should all shoot rifles instead of handguns because they’re more objectively more effective tools, until they are not.

    You have to define what scope you’re looking at.

    Competition division?
    High overall?
    Carry?
    Enjoyment?

    If you took a Vogel and Stoeger… and you told them there was no longer a dedicated iron sight division…

    They might change their mind on what equipment they use.

    But barring that, they might just like the game the way their game is.

    For carry? Likely any card carrying M/GM is going to be good enough from a mechanical standpoint that their sighting system won’t likely be the limiting factor in whether they win or lose. Carry is about personal religion and superstition, with most choices being made as a magic talisman choice anyway.

    Personally?
    I pretty much only shoot dots these days but I can still rock irons on a snub from 25 yards to an A zone.

    But I switched to a dot on carry to have better low light resolution and have a redundant sighting system. Irons can also get knocked out of whack so redundancy is nice.
    By WHAT and WHO's Logic exactly? I don't know what you're referring to. I posed a question. And made sure not to infer anything with the exception that perhaps people on here consider the dot to be superior (a belief that I will neither confirm or deny).

  9. #9

    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Clusterfrack View Post
    I have no patience for fooling with battery life, dot zeros, replacing screws, and failed optics.
    This is one of my bigger reasons for sticking with irons but since it's probably been discussed to death I chose not to bring it up. But you've opened up a can of worms buddy! I've had TWO Trijicon RMR's with wandering zeroes that had to be returned. And they were completely replaced. The replacements HAVE held zero, but it was pretty eye opening nonetheless. To not once, but twice, be in situations where the bullets are hitting all over the place during a range session, and then you check the dots relation to the back up sights and realize the zero has gone haywire. These are sights that had not been knocked around with the exception of the forces from the reciprocating slide mind you. However, I know thousands of shooters have had zero issues with red dots, so I will chalk it up to bad luck. (though I do see a disproportionally high number of reviews from people complaining about broken red dots, and you almost never hear anyone complaining about their irons purchase). That is my continuing allure for irons, the simplicity. But to be fair, I do have to replace the tritium sights every 10-15 years, so there's that.

  10. #10
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