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Old 03-29-2012, 10:38 AM
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Default Revolvers & Red Dot Sights For The Mature Shooter

I never thought it would happen but it did. After six decades of eating carrots both cooked and raw I have started to have trouble seeing close. It is time to add some visual aid to my hand-gunning.

I'm considering every option from Burris Fast Fire type to UltraDot tube type and fiber optic front sights. Looking for stuff that works with revolvers for hunting, target shooting and plinking from 22 rimfire through 44 mag full power. Currently the only optics I am experienced with is Leupold scoped 629 & 617 but I am looking to red dot sights

Advise and pictorially stimulate me please.....Thanks
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:39 AM
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Unrelated question but how do you get the NRA logo next to your name as such. For the life of me can't figure out how to do it. I set it as an Avatar but doesn't look as good.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:42 AM
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Unrelated question but how do you get the NRA logo next to your name as such. For the life of me can't figure out how to do it. I set it as an Avatar but doesn't look as good.
Go to USER CP and edit "your details". There are check boxes in there that you select which then cause the icons to display.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:44 AM
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You are asked to fill in some questions when you register and one of them is "NRA Membership". Just write in "Member" and the NRA logo will appear in your posts.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:59 AM
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I use a Nikon Monarch
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:31 AM
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If it's appropriate to the weight and bulk of the gun, the Aimpoint Micro is hard to beat for performance and features, and the Burris FastFire seems to be a good value, although I haven't put mine through the wringer. I've found that, because I apparently have some degree of astigmatism, the red "dots" are misshapen, appearing like cartoon "voice ballons" or sperm cells, not perfectly round, and with little "tails", which is not a problem, particularly at handgun ranges --- you simply cover the intended point of impact with the bulk of the dot, or use a six o'clock point of aim, and ignore the aberrations in the dot's image.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:49 AM
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The first thing to do is get some prescription shooting glasses made for handgun shooting. I recommend Decot glasses because the lenses are easily removable. I have 2 right lenses - one for shotgun and the other for handgun. They are very knowledgable at Decot and will fix you up.

I use the Burris Fast Fire on my M41 and a Hakko sight on my Ruger 10/22. I like both except there aren't any click adjustments. I also have an older Leupold tube type red dot which has the click adjustments but the dot is too small (1 MOA dot)for everything except bullseye shooting.
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:37 PM
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As you can see I'm a bit of a fan of the J Point Reflex and J P Rifles mount for it.



This particular setup produces a sight with a low degree of offset from the axis of the barrel, so at closer ranges you won't see the problems that happen with a lot of offset between the sight and barrel. In addition it sits in a position that makes if VERY easy to modify a standard off the rack holster to accept the gun with the sight mounted. One final plus for the J Point in particular is that it features a sight notch molded into the casing and that can be a real aid when you are at the "find the dot" stage.

BTW, since I mentioned the "find the dot" issue that will be a mild irritant with any open frame reflex sight when you first start shooting with one. Basically, you'll stand at the firing line waving the barrel around until you finally see that dot come into view. With the J Point that rear sight notch allows you to use the front sight to guide you in. Now, one bit of good news is that with practice you develop your pointing skills so that you'll point the gun naturally at your target and the dot will then be visible, however it does take practice.

Another issue with a reflex sight is that you can become too dependent on them. I've basically set my reflex equipped revolvers aside for the last 3 months in order to regain my skills for shooting with out of focus iron sights.

Following is a link to JP Rifles and the page for the J Point Reflex. I'll also warn you that they are a bit pricey.

JP Rifles
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:56 PM
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I have a 629 PowerPort 61/2" with a Warne Maxima steel base (gives the option of having backup sights on the gun if the batteries die). A Ultradot Matchdot is mounted on top in Warne Quick Detach Rings and returns to zero when remounted well. The system works well. The Ultradots adjustable "shaded filter" and extention tube are nice accessories. The only "bad" thing is the reddot ends up being mounted very high relative to the bore.
This setup was also on a 686 6" at one time before I acquired the 629.

Woody
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter123 View Post
As you can see I'm a bit of a fan of the J Point Reflex and J P Rifles mount for it.

Following is a link to JP Rifles and the page for the J Point Reflex. I'll also warn you that they are a bit pricey.
JP Rifles
That really looks good. Checking JP site, there isn't much info on the S&W mounting adapter.
I presume that you have to drill the gun to attach it?
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:18 PM
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Had the same problem, spent an hour in the garage drilling and tapping the frame and about $60 for materials. Yes, it looks stupid but at least I can now use it.



And finding the Dot can be an issue with it. I use it just for the range, would never use it for defense.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m4bgringo View Post
Had the same problem, spent an hour in the garage drilling and tapping the frame and about $60 for materials. Yes, it looks stupid but at least I can now use it.



And finding the Dot can be an issue with it. I use it just for the range, would never use it for defense.
Me either ....for defensive purposes I don't want anything with batteries. I just added a dab of orange paint to the front blade on my 442. That made a world of difference for me.

Lots of ideas ....thx
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:29 AM
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Here are some of my revolvers with Red Dot Sights:

625-8 JM special (4" .45 ACP)



Model 16-4 (6" .32 H&R magnum):



1911 Custom Auto (5" .45 ACP):


SP-101 (4" .32 H&R magnum):



Model 41 S&W (5" heavy .22 Rimfire):



Model 520 S&W (4" .357 Magnum);



Model 629 Light Hunter S&W (7" .44 Magnum):


All in all, one might say I am addicted to Red Dot Sights...

Dale53
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:29 AM
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While I've seldom been accused of being mature I am getting older and my vision has suffered. I've worn glasses since I was a kid but now it's progressive bifocals and finding the "sweet spot" when shooting hand guns has become a pain. I still qualify no problem and do well in competition but I'm not as fast or as accurate as when I was a (slightly) younger man. I read up on the mini red dot sights (there's a ton of info on Gabe Suarez's site) and bought a new FNP-45 Tactical and mounted a Trijicon RMR on it (I know, not a revolver, but the principle is the same). What a difference!!! It is a completely different way of shooting! Instead of having to tip my head back and try to focus on the front sight I'm able to focus on my target and superimpose the dot onto it, both the target and the dot stay in perfect focus. It's like point shooting at longer distances. It has taken some getting used to, finding the dot an be a pain at first but on the FNP the dot cowitnesses with the sights just like on my patrol rifle. If I press the gun out as though lining up the sights instead of trying to find the dot, the dot appears right there on top of the front sight. So, now my sight picture is reversed, my target is in focus with a dot on it but my sights are fuzzy. And if the dot fails I still have the sights available. I'll be qualifying with this new rigin May, along with the 1911 I carry now, it'll be interesting to see if there's a difference and how much.
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krehmkej View Post
That really looks good. Checking JP site, there isn't much info on the S&W mounting adapter.
I presume that you have to drill the gun to attach it?
The S&W mounting adaptor uses the 3 mounting holes provided in any adjustable sight revolvers made after 1993. If you have an earlier target sight equipped S&W you'll have to have the top strap tapped to the new pattern. The way this sight mounts is you remove the rear target sight and replace it with the mounting plate for the J Point reflex.

BTW, I've tapped my 67-1 and 617 no dash with the new mounting pattern and the new holes do not interfere with the old mounting hole for the rear sight, however the front hole in the new pattern is close and the tap can hit the rear of the barrel. To keep from hitting the barrel on my guns I shifted the pattern to the rear by 0.03 inch relative to the factory locations on the newer frames.

For a fixed sight revolver the only option would be to machine the top strap to duplicate that on a target sight equipped revolver and then tapping the new pattern in the frame. IMO it's not really a viable option for a revolver with fixed sights, it's going to cost too much and you'll never be able to restore that gun back to it's original appearance.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:00 AM
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Gentlemen,
Forget all that expensive glass to cover up a problem that needs to be fixed. If you have cataracts, get 'em fixed. If your eyesight is failing because of old age, get 'em fixed. Lasik with wavefront technology is the answer and in the long run far cheaper than buying optics for all your guns. Best decision I ever made. 20-10 both eyes. Literally, in and out in 5 minutes, both eyes. I never saw this good before. Here's the gratuitous pic.



And yes my eyes are blue. I still have to wear glasses for up close work, 58yo. WC145 this is especially for you. So dig your way out of the snow mound you call a house and run, don't walk to your best Lasik Clinic around. You may have to go allaway to Boston to find a good one.
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Last edited by Tyrod; 03-30-2012 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:49 PM
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There has been a trend recently to trying RDS on autopistols, mostly Glocks and M&Ps. I have seen a lot of good work done and written up on another forum (14 pages now). It looks like the hot setup will be the T1 on a good mount, just like on an AR. There is even a new Safariland duty holster being developed for pistols set up that way.
I have not yet moved that way for a lot of reasons, mostly money. I have, however, followed the information with real interest. It seems that a good bit of dry practice presentations are required to get used to the dot. Until enough have been done, it is a frustrating time, but after - good to go.
I am sort of thinking of one more .357 revolver project, and have to admit that a 6" barrel with some sort of optic for better long range utility has some real appeal. Again, not a front burner project.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:18 PM
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There has been a trend recently to trying RDS on autopistols, mostly Glocks and M&Ps. I have seen a lot of good work done and written up on another forum (14 pages now). It looks like the hot setup will be the T1 on a good mount, just like on an AR. There is even a new Safariland duty holster being developed for pistols set up that way.
I have not yet moved that way for a lot of reasons, mostly money. I have, however, followed the information with real interest. It seems that a good bit of dry practice presentations are required to get used to the dot. Until enough have been done, it is a frustrating time, but after - good to go.
I am sort of thinking of one more .357 revolver project, and have to admit that a 6" barrel with some sort of optic for better long range utility has some real appeal. Again, not a front burner project.
I do like my 629 & 617 both wearing Leupold 2x scopes. I hunt deer out of a box blind with the 629 and it is possible to get a solid rest. Practicing with the scoped 617 keeps my sight picture the same when I grab the 44. With the scopes I am not fast on the target by no means and an unsupported shot is out of the question. Important thing for me is my accuracy off a solid rest with optics @ 50 yards is the same as open sights @ 50 feet. The red dot sights are something I want to explore for a few other guns.

Last edited by mchech; 03-30-2012 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:18 AM
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Of all the different red dot sights I have used, I like the Doctor Optic best.

Its dot seems the most round, most clear to me.

For the price the Burris Fast Fire is good.

I would not want anything bigger and heavier on a handgun.
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrod View Post
Gentlemen,
Forget all that expensive glass to cover up a problem that needs to be fixed. If you have cataracts, get 'em fixed. If your eyesight is failing because of old age, get 'em fixed. Lasik with wavefront technology is the answer and in the long run far cheaper than buying optics for all your guns. Best decision I ever made. 20-10 both eyes. Literally, in and out in 5 minutes, both eyes. I never saw this good before. Here's the gratuitous pic.



And yes my eyes are blue. I still have to wear glasses for up close work, 58yo. WC145 this is especially for you. So dig your way out of the snow mound you call a house and run, don't walk to your best Lasik Clinic around. You may have to go allaway to Boston to find a good one.
What about if you're far sighted . I wear a +2.0 lens to shoot .
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:29 PM
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Just got back from the range, mounted a reflex sight on my S&W 686 6" this weekend using the factory drilled/tapped mounting holes and a Weaver mounting rail. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! No more trouble trying to focus on the sights and the target at the same time, and 2" groups at 25 yards, with 158 grain SWC's. It's not even an expensive sight, a 80$ Sight-Mark unit. Now that I have tried it I will be looking to add reflex sights to some of my other S&W's and Dan Wesson's. If you have thought about, it give the reflex a try.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:37 PM
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Ruger 22/45 Burris Fastfire 2


617 Burris Fastfire 2


25-15 Classic Fastfire 2

The dot is a bit big for real precise target shooting. I have the 3 coming with a slightly smaller dot.

It is plenty accurate for clay birds on the hill at 40+ yards, and the small pieces.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:40 PM
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Two point plan for the Mature Shooter: Order prescription glasses set up specially for the handgun shooter and using model paint color the front sight to make it more visible. No need to clutter up your beautiful S&W revolvers with optics.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:18 PM
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I chose the Ultradot Matchdot have been very happy with it on my Ruger SBHH in 45 Colt.
I have scopes on plenty of pistols, glad I went with the red dot on this one.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:05 PM
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Note: Jdickson397, I tried red,orange,white and yellow paint on the sights,different rear blades etc., and at least 4 different pairs of "special shooting lenses" glasses no help, the reflex does the job, I agree they aren't "pretty" but they work for me...
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:53 AM
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I posted this a while back.
My new 629 with JPoint sight
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrod View Post
Gentlemen,
Forget all that expensive glass to cover up a problem that needs to be fixed. If you have cataracts, get 'em fixed. If your eyesight is failing because of old age, get 'em fixed. Lasik with wavefront technology is the answer and in the long run far cheaper than buying optics for all your guns. Best decision I ever made. 20-10 both eyes. Literally, in and out in 5 minutes, both eyes. I never saw this good before. Here's the gratuitous pic.

.
Even with 20-20 vision, iron sights accuracy falls off quickly at distances greater than 15 yards. Many studies confirm (google). With the OP shooting .22 rimfire and .44 mag, I would guess that 25 yards would be near a minimum, and 50 yards or longer may be common. Red dot or scope will improve this distance better than any eye doctor correction could.

Of the dozen or so friends of mine that had Lazik done, all have had additional issues as they aged, and while Lazik is great, does not stop eyes from aging, and they too now need reading glasses 5 years or so later.

With my 20-20 eyes mysteriously getting worse as I hit 50, light reading glasses of 1.0, then 1.25 helped a lot. Still, great accuracy was limited to the 30 foot range. Unlike a scope, Red Dot allows you to look through the red dot device, and only need to focus on the target. One focal point, the target. To me, one focal point is the largest advantage. Both eyes open naturally, and dominant eye automatically picks up the red dot displayed on Target. Also, holding a heavy 8 3/8" S&W 500 steady is made much easier, and much faster, if all you need to is focus on target.

I choose the Ultra-Dot 1" version so that it would sit lower and is shorter than the 30mm version. Only adds a few ounces of weight. One of only a couple that can hold up to recoil. Getting the low profile QD rings was the best thing done, and in a couple seconds I can remove Red-Dot from the 500 and toss it onto a Ruger Mark II 22/45, or my 4095TS Carbine.

An MOA of 4 doesn't hurt accuracy. Yes, it covers 4" of target at 100 yards, but you still have 1/4" click adjustments at 100 yards with MOA of 4. You could get 1/4" groups at 100 yards with a 4 MOA red dot properly adjusted, if you and your gun are also that good. At 50 yards, something more pratical for handguns, that becomes 2" of target covered, and 1/8" fine tuning per click.

Last edited by RobsTV; 05-07-2012 at 09:01 AM.
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