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Why don't they make smaller RMR sights for handguns?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Kano383, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Kano383

    Kano383 Member

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    Looking at RMR sights perched on top of a handgun slide... Every time I wonder: these things were designed for rifles, and it shows.

    Why don't they make smaller models to fit on handguns?

    They are definitely way better than any iron sight, but so bulky and plain boar-ass ugly on a handgun that I can't bring myself to get one for that purpose.
     
  2. Mike M.

    Mike M. Member

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    We're just starting to see them. The Shield RMS and RMSc, particularly the latter. And the Docter, if you can find one. Although a 3/4 sized Trijicon RMR would be fantastic.

    It doesn't help that the gun makers keep thinking in terms of an adapter plate, which effectively raises the whole setup 1/8 inch from where it could be. A milled slide without an adapter plate is a far better setup. And some of the RDS manufacturers don't seem to quite get the idea that these can be carry sights, not just range sights.
     
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  3. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Dont believe technology is there to go smaller quite yet.
     
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  4. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Ruggedness and also window size. A bigger window is better for tracking the dot.

    Shooters in sports that don't have to worry about size/concealment generally go for quite large sights with big windows for just this reason. They're advantageous to performance.

    What is the actual problem with the size of the current red-dot sights? Just aesthetics? They're small compared to the rest of the gun.
     
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  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Might be true, but if there is enough demand, they'll figure it out.
     
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  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Remember when the norm was huge red dots on the guns? I still have an old Tasco that I need to find a pic of.
     
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  7. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    For a while, KC Eusebio had this, which is just absurdly large:

    Zev-660x334.jpg
     
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  8. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Yeah, then the C-More's came along. They give about the same window size, but with a lot less bulk/weight. They're still huge compared to the slide-riding things.
     
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  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Here is a gun (.45 ACP) I picked up after it was retired, it had the Tasco sight on it which is even bigger than the Nikon in the pic.
    Silver Team WD 2.jpg
     
  10. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    That kinda my point. Look how long it took to go from giant tubes to what we have now.

    Scaling further might take a heck of a long time to figure out
     
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  11. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    Sig is about to release the Romeo Zero. Meanwhile:

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    Trijicon just scaled their latest RDS up rather than down. One of the biggest criticisms of the RMR was the small window size and difficulty in acquiring the dot. The C-More and Leupold with their much larger windows had gained a reputation for being much easier to use. The RMR is primarily regarded now for its ruggedness and little else.

    For a red dot optic to carry smaller but not have a troublesome small window, we'd need to see a technology that allowed windowless dots. I haven't seen that yet.

    In my mind, it's much more important that the dot be easy to acquire than it be easy to carry. If RDS have any advantage over irons, it's a slight one and one that may only apply to particular circumstances like unusually long ranges or especially poor eyesight. Making a RDS even harder to use by shrinking it farther than current technology allows will certainly negate any benefits it could provide. Shrinking the RDS makes it easier to carry, but not easier to use.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  13. Kano383

    Kano383 Member

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    The problem is that they're sized for competition, not carry, and especially not concealed carry. Yet, they have so many advantages: good in any light, fast, fantastic for those who need reading glasses, accurate...

    Window size? How big is the window size on iron sights? The size of your front sight, plus two slivers of light on the sides...

    The lens can be reduced, the housing and circuitry too, and the battery as well. Sure, you'd lose battery life... Today some sights can go years always ON before changing the battery, you may have to change every year or every six months for a smaller size... Small price to pay IMHO.
     
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  14. Kano383

    Kano383 Member

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    Why is it difficult to use? Never tried on a handgun, but on rifles and SBR they are very fast to acquire, faster than irons.
     
  15. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    Karl Rehn did some research comparing RDS, irons, and lasers. Massad Ayoob published some articles on the results. Generally speaking, RDS proved to be harder and slower to use than irons, but you can draw your own conclusions: https://americancopmagazine.com/red-dots-for-carry/

    https://gundigest.com/reviews/optics-reviews/carry-optics-red-dot-green-dot-iron

    My conclusion is that red dots need to allow for faster acquisition of the dot before they can prove superior to irons in most situations. That faster acquisition is going to come from larger windows, not smaller, and that's exactly the trend we're seeing in dot optics happening now. Admittedly, this is focused on competition first, and carry will follow because of the additional challenges of ruggedness and size.
     
  16. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Uh, no, true current competition-oriented ones are sized like this:

    czechmate.png

    That's a competition-oriented sight.

    The slide-riding dots are sized for carry and "tactical" use.


    Please don't take this the wrong way, but how much experience do you have shooting dots on pistols?
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  17. Kano383

    Kano383 Member

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    ATLDave, can't take that the wrong way... It's there in my last post: "Never tried on a handgun"... :D

    I shoot mostly irons on rifles, peep/ghost ring with fiber front, and have used dots on rifles, shotguns, carbines, SBRs - only shoulder weapons. No handguns.

    That's why I ask "Why are they hard to shoot?"...
     
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  18. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Try it, and your questions about why making the window any smaller would be affirmatively bad will go away.

    Red-dots offer a significant performance advantage for handgun shooters who learn how to use them, particularly for high-speed shooting. Significant. But the big challenge is that, when the dot is out of the window, you have only your index/kinesthetic sense to find it. So having the dot in the window over the widest range of view angles is very, very important.

    Let's say you draw an iron-sighted gun. Let's say you miss your draw just enough that the sights aren't perfectly aligned when you get the gun up to the target. Your eyes will notice where the front sight is (or, if it's grossly low, that it is missing); you will know immediately which direction to pitch or yaw the gun to get the front sight into the notch.

    Now do the same thing with the red-dot. If the dot is not exactly centered, but still in the window, no problem, you still have the same amount as corrective information as before, and can "fix it" very fast. But if the dot is not in the window, you have no visual information from the sights to tell you which way to pitch or yaw the gun... you have no visual information to tell you whether the dot is above the window, below the window, left, right, etc.

    This is why it is very common for shooters who are new to using red-dots under time pressures (in a shooting match, timer-involved practice, a class, etc.) to draw lots of figure-8's in the air as they frantically "hunt for the dot" after they miss their draw. This is NOT GOOD.

    The larger the window, the wider the range of not-perfect presentations will still let you see the dot, even if not centered. The smaller the window, the greater the likelihood of losing the dot.

    This same dynamic presents itself in miniature after every shot. As the gun oscilates in recoil, the dot will move up (or sometimes diagonally up depending on the user and the gun), leave the window during the full extent of muzzle-flip, then move downward again as the slide closes and the gun recovers from recoil. If things are going well, and the gun and ammo and shooter are all well-tuned, the dot will return on its own to the same position. If the slide closes relatively hard, the dot may travel back through the window and then dip below, and then bob back up again.

    While the dot is out of the window, you have no visual information to use for where the bullet would go if you pulled the trigger at that instant. You have to wait for the dot to re-appear - and your brain also has to process the dot's appearance and location, which is not instantaneous, though it is very fast. The larger the window, the greater the fraction of time during recoil the dot is visible.

    The more time you can see the dot, the faster you can shoot. Really proficient shooters shooting fast "shoot the streak," firing as the dot, still in motion, moves through the acceptable target area. It's easier to shoot fast with dots than to shoot with irons BUT ONLY WHEN YOU CAN SEE THE DOT.

    A smaller window would be BAD, not good. The gun would shoot worse.

    Here's a video showing a shooter's-eye view in slow-motion of how the dot moves on a purpose-built competition pistol with a big window (same type of sight I pictured above).

     
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  19. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    They are not really hard per say. However, there are quirks about them. Unlike rifles you have no mount point. So switching to an RDS changes your mount point from what you have been used to all your life.

    In addition, slide mounted sights will bounce the dot around the window. You have to wait on it to settle before the next shot.

    Other than that you can nail stuff you never thought feasible with a pistol at long ranges without a second thought.

    I am kinda sold on them. However, I have yet to carry one everyday. I've got two guns with them mounted (G34 and 2011) neither are conductive to concealed carry.
     
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  20. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    After watching the before-and-after shooting of a bunch of guys who went from shooting production or limited to carry optics, I am totally sold on them in terms of performance. There is no question they make shooters "better" in terms of objective performance. No doubt in my mind whatsoever. It's like asking whether it's easier to play shortstop barehanded or with a baseball glove.

    I won't be buying any more carry/SD guns without dot sights (either at purchase or installed afterward). Got a couple of existing guns I'll probably get milled for them in the next year.
     
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  21. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    For comparison. The DPPro is one of the larger RDS's
    HVluE1K.jpg
     
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  22. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Yeah, that's a beefy one for a beefy gun... but it probably doesn't change how that hog carries.
     
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  23. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    I have RMR's on my M&P Pro competition guns and a Romeo on my p229. I've found that the key to quickly acquiring the dot is practice enough to bring up the dot through indexing (muscle memory). When I use my dots for fast drawing, if the dot is not immediately visible, it is off to the upper left for me and a small movement brings it into the picture.

    IMHO the Romeo is slightly easier to acquire for me than my fiber optic RMRs because the dot is much brighter. This may be just my perception, I haven't timed it.
     
  24. wally

    wally Member

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    Nothing wrong with a current RMR on a carry gun. Here is mine:
    [​IMG]

    S&W Shield .40
    Sure it hangs over the slide a bit, but for racking its even better than the "ears" on the HK VP9
    :)
     
  25. ROCK6

    ROCK6 Member

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    Doctor Optics has one of the smaller ones on the market:

    DA248966-221E-4AB8-8A55-BE809835476A.jpg

    9C36AEE1-6975-43A3-B694-A03FA8D993EB-660x355.jpg

    ROCK6
     
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