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Old 12-24-2016, 02:21 AM
AuProspector AuProspector is offline
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Default C.O.R.E. Type Pistols in Defense?

I recently looked at a M&P C.O.R.E. and really liked it.

Awhile back, a friend had a Glock (C.O.R.E) with a Burris sight on it. I'm remembering an "on/off" switch. I didn't like it then and thought it was gimmicky.

These CORE pistols have been round for awhile now and I was wondering if they have a place in Defense (with a Trijicon RMR)?

I'm a very experienced shooter but my eyes aren't what they once were and have caused me to rethink the CORE's merits. (High Def sights have helped the eye issues.)

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

PS. I've never seen one on a cop's hip.

Last edited by AuProspector; 12-24-2016 at 02:34 AM.
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Old 12-24-2016, 08:34 AM
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I know all about the eyes... mine seem to be going down hill as well.
In almost all self defense cases you have a split second to make a shot. And are usually in close proximity... and then you have the adrenaline rush also. So it comes down to a point and shoot scenario. My opinion is use what ever gun feels comfortable in your hand and practice with that gun and it's functions. I just seen you are a LEO so I'm not telling you anything you don't already know... lol

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Old 12-24-2016, 09:27 AM
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I'm not an expert, but my guess is that in a self defense situation like mentioned above you probably won't have much time to be finding the red dot on the rmr. IMO they are good for HD or Target Shooting might be wrong. I have a CORE but haven't installed an RMR yet still undecided.
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Old 12-24-2016, 09:32 AM
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My nightstand gun is a .40 cal CORE with a Trijicon RMR. Its cowitnessed. I doubt the red dot will help much but it can't hurt IMO.
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Old 12-24-2016, 10:36 AM
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RMR equipped pistol is a great for defense / carry.

In a close range situation, which most are , if you see it in
the window, you'll hit it. Don't even need to look for the dot.
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Old 12-24-2016, 10:44 AM
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IMHO, the way to say it is, If you don't have time for sights, then it doesn't matter, and if you do have time for sights, it's a blessing with old eyes like ours.

With enough training many have been able to "find the dot" much faster than with traditional sights. I have heard champion shooters explain it as, You have a target, a front sight and a rear sight to line up, and all at different focal lengths. If you change that to 1 "dot" and a target both at the same focal length, you are ahead of the game. Those that say, it takes to long "to find the dot" Haven't spent enough time using one.

in actual practice, if you can forget the dot is on the gun, you would bring up the gun as you always have with normal sights, and the dot has to be right there, the target in relationship to the barrel doesn't change. Assuming all sights ("dot" and iron) are properly adjusted, they all have to align in the same position. So how can it be any different? The problem is when people (including myself) bring up the gun looking at the little window and hunting around for the dot...it's just practice.
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Old 12-24-2016, 01:11 PM
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I compete with a 9L CORE in club and USPSA matches. My eyes are a problem, so I have to either wear special glasses or shoot with a dot. Leupold's first version of the Deltapoint was a low mount, co-witness with iron's 7.5 moa that didn't wash-out in the dark when using a flashlight. It is motion activated so it's ready when you are. It's on my personal defense pistol, for that reason. For me the progression is faster, looking for the rear sight leads me into the dot, the big dot which I see on top of the target, no further sight alignment needed. I use a Burris Fastfire III in competition because it does have a on/off switch and my life does not depend on getting it turned on. I have tried all versions of the RMR, and for me they wash-out in a dark room when using a flashlight. Low mounts usually require removal for battery change, but co-witness, even Leupold's Deltapoint sits higher now, but doesn't need to be removed for a battery change. For me a big dot is faster for 25yds or less, most use a 6 moa or less, I use an 8 moa.
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Old 12-24-2016, 01:19 PM
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Are you really asking whether a pistol slide mounted red dot sight (RDS), such as on a CORE, works for various kinds of self defense?

There are two questions here and the answer is yes to both. The gun works. The sighting system works particularly well for pistol self defense.

For concealed carry, I think the 5" CORE version would be too long for AIWB which I prefer. The shorter 4.25" CORE works fine with a red dot.

For OWB or kept in a quick access safe for just home defense, I would use the 5" version.

RDS are starting to gain popularity on self defense pistols. They increase accuracy and speed when you need to use sights. At close range for point shooting they provide an even better index on the top of the gun for alignment without looking through the window. This is not a handicap.

The red dot floating in the window allows you a much greater (still small, though) margin of error for sighting onto a target in a stressed situation. If you can see the dot and it is on the target, the bullet will go there.

For instance, if the dot is in the lower right quadrant of the window, but on the target, your iron sights (which you are NOT using) would be out of alignment. Your front sight would be almost invisible behind the right side of your rear sight. If you were trying "to focus on the front sight", it wouldn't be there, but you don't know whether it is out alignment by a lot or a little.

But it doesn't matter if you see the dot. Your sight alignment does not have to be so precise. The dot/window combination gives you more alignment latitude.

Only when the dot is right on top of your properly aligned iron sights and on target will the two different sighting systems be co-witnessed. So, if you point your pistol naturally so your iron sights are aligned and on target, as you should with a lot of practice, the dot is going to be there. The advantage comes when your irons are slightly misaligned but the dot is visible, you shoot with confidence--while ignoring the irons.

Now, for all those who claim to be able to predict when and how you may be called upon to use your self defense pistol: BS. You can't prepare for the lowest common denominator and then expect to win a fight when the conditions are different. You cannot predict what kind of deadly encounter you will encounter. Prepare for the worst with the best training and equipment and you can handle the simpler stuff. Not all pistol use today is the classic 0-10' close encounter of the worst kind with one adversary.

Active shooter? Multiple assailants? Increased accuracy for a head shot? Long range justified shot? Sure, you won't take the shot if you don't have the equipment (your BUG .380 that is so easy to carry) or training and confidence to do so, and you get to relive people getting killed because of your decisions.

A 5" (or 4.25" if carried concealed) CORE with a Trijicon RMR and good co-witnessing suppressor height iron sights, and an enhanced trigger as your equipment will hit head shots at 30 yards and CoM at close to 100 if you can do your part. This would be a measured, calculated shot that can still be absolutely legally justified.

If all you have is hammer, then every problem needs to be a nail. If your self defense pistol has more capability, you have more capability. Accurized pistols with modern sighting systems are a change, an upgrade, and people resist change. Just as an RDS on a .556 carbine has proven to be advantageous, the pistol RDS will become very commonplace for extending the pistol's capabilities.
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Old 12-25-2016, 09:24 PM
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Despite the reassurances here by others and personal practice, I found the red dot too time consuming to acquire in the dark on my CORE. So I would not use it without adding equal height night sights to guide me to faster red dot acquisition for low (but not complete dark) light before turning light on. (Borrow one and take it into a dark room to try to find the red dot before buying or setting up yours that way.)

So while I love my CORE with a Trijicon RMR06 for range fun, and hunting, it is not currently my HD/bedside gun. I would reconsider if I broke down and put night sights on it too.

I've got a different M&P with night sights and laser grips that seems much faster to acquire target for me as a HD gun and am also considering that combo for b/u while hunting in bear country for things that might go bump in the night.

On the topic of on/off switches, have that feature on both the Trijicon and Burris FFIII. No problem. Just turn it on and leave it on any time you carry, put it bedside, whatever, or just leave it on constantly and replace the batteries once a year.

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Old 12-26-2016, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Ron AZ View Post
Despite the reassurances here by others and personal practice, I found the red dot too time consuming to acquire in the dark on my CORE. So I would not use it without adding equal height night sights to guide me to faster red dot acquisition for low (but not complete dark) light before turning light on. (Borrow one and take it into a dark room to try to find the red dot before buying or setting up yours that way.)
What you describe is not a fault of the RDS sighting system. It is a training issue with the operator. Seeing the dot consistently is the result of mastering the basics of pistol presentation. If you have to "find" or "hunt for" the dot, it is a result of improper presentations. RDS are not for everyone; there is a skill level required for them to work effectively.

Now, lest I sound too much like a complete know-it-all, I am still not as expert on presentation as I would like to be. I have thousands of dry presentations over the past year and a half, and I am probably about 90% consistent. I often practice with the RDS off, concentrating on the iron sights. If you can't do it first with irons, you won't be able to do it with a dot either. However, I know what I am trying to achieve.

In truth, the same basic skill set that produces the quick and accurate iron sight alignment that is necessary for competitive or defensive accuracy is the exact same skill set necessary for the dot to consistently appear in the window. Proper consistent grip, pistol level in front of the eyes, aimed at the target with front and rear sights aligned.

Acquiring iron sight alignment in order to find a red dot is a training procedure. It will not be necessary after learning consistent, sight aligned presentations. If you are slow to find aligned iron sights when pointing to the target, you will likely not be able to find the dot.

With or without a RDS, if your presentation doesn't quickly provide you with natural iron sight alignment, that's what you need to practice. Once you can regularly present your pistol onto a target with aligned sights and then move the pistol to other targets while keeping that alignment, THEN the RDS will work for you and allow you a greater margin of error, nite or day.

Proper, consistent presentation allows you to see (not find) the dot because your pistol is pointed in correctly, even in the dark.

If you can't "find" the dot, your iron sights aren't aligned either. If your iron sights aren't aligned, you often can't see your front sight, whether a night sight in the dark or any sight in the daylight. You don't know where that front sight is--low, left, or right. It is obscured. So you have to wave the pistol around until the front sight appears, then align it. Then get on target. This is not good pistol work. If this is what you have to do to shoot, you are going to be slow in competition and further behind the curve in defensive pistol work--irons or RDS.

An RDS is not a crutch or an easy path to accuracy; it is an enhancement to good, fundamental pistol skills. A laser is a crutch. You're pointing the laser dot, not aligning your sights. The laser will compensate for poor pistol presentation.

Once you can present properly and consistently, the iron sights truly become backup sights that you don't use unless the RDS fails. As such, three glowing tritium dots plus a red dot in dark conditions confuse the eyes (both eyes open shooting with the RDS). Maybe for training initially but ultimately unnecessary.

If one must go the nite site route, try having just the front a tritium but not the back. It is less confusing.

One of the big advantages of the RDS is that the sighting focal plane is the target (which is natural--threat focused) with the dot superimposed on it. Adding focus on another focal plane, or two more, degrades the advantage of the RDS.

When that dot starts appearing regularly and you find yourself not looking for the irons, you will smile and say, "Ahhhhhh. I get it!" It's like riding a two wheel bike. Impossible at first, then all of a sudden everything clicks and away you go, getting better much faster.

Properly co-witnessed suppressor height sights with the windage adjustable rear closer to the shooter than the RDS and the front above the muzzle (CORE) seen through the lower part of the RDS window will get you to competent RDS use pretty quickly. Compromise on any of these requirements and you will probably remain frustrated for a long time, or give up.
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Old 12-26-2016, 01:02 AM
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I've never seen one on a cop's hip.
Don't hold your breath.

Red dot sights were "never going to happen" on US military rifles either, until they did. Now, everyone has one.

I think it will be that way in the future with handguns also. But don't expect the police or the FBI to be at the forefront of this.

The hobbyist has always been at the forefront in matters of the defensive use of firearms.

The auto pistol was the way to go with knowledgeable people long before it became mainstream in LE circles.

Rifles have all but replaced shotguns as defense long guns in private hands, while the policeman is saddled with the pump shotgun instead of an M4.

The red dot on defensive pistols may not have been invented by Gabe Suarez, but he has done more research, and put more effort into figuring out what works than anyone, and he and his associates now use red dot-equipped pistols for concealed carry.

You should take a look at his forum, Warrior Talk, if you want to see just how deeply those folks have gotten into the pistol equipped with a red dot. The have duty pistols, concealed carry pistols, and very small pistols all being used with red dots. I think red dots are the wave of the future on defensive handguns.
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Old 12-26-2016, 01:35 AM
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Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Those based on first hand knowledge of the subject--like investing time, effort and money, not just parroting some other unqualified opinion--tend to be more obvious and informative.

Red dot sights on pistols are not a sight panacea. If you are a lousy pistolero, a RDS probably won't help until you get some basics down. As long as there are mediocre pistol performers out there, content with their current skill set and not striving for improvement, there will be nay sayers re: RDS.

Some have tried RDS and couldn't adjust to the skill level needed to benefit from them. Or, their installations or equipment were wanting. There are numerous approaches being tried to skin this cat, and many of them are garbage.

It's new, and there is a lot of ignorant misinformation out there. It's natural to resist change, but that does not invalidate the change.

You won't see RDS on LEO's guns because many cannot shoot well enough to benefit from one. And it is true, for close range, non-sighted point shooting, an RDS may not be any better than a handgun without one. Therefore many will say they don't need one. That's true if you can guarantee what all your gunfights will be like, and if mediocrity is acceptable.

I believe I could show anyone the advantage of a properly set up RDS in 10 minutes at a range. However, it would take the average pistol shooter a few months to acquire the basic pistol skill sets necessary to get competent with an RDS, and most are not willing to put in the time, effort or money.
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:05 AM
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Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Those based on first hand knowledge of the subject--like investing time, effort and money, not just parroting some other unqualified opinion--tend to be more obvious and informative.

Red dot sights on pistols are not a sight panacea. If you are a lousy pistolero, a RDS probably won't help until you get some basics down. As long as there are mediocre pistol performers out there, content with their current skill set and not striving for improvement, there will be nay sayers re: RDS.

Some have tried RDS and couldn't adjust to the skill level needed to benefit from them. Or, their installations or equipment were wanting. There are numerous approaches being tried to skin this cat, and many of them are garbage.

It's new, and there is a lot of ignorant misinformation out there. It's natural to resist change, but that does not invalidate the change.

You won't see RDS on LEO's guns because many cannot shoot well enough to benefit from one. And it is true, for close range, non-sighted point shooting, an RDS may not be any better than a handgun without one. Therefore many will say they don't need one. That's true if you can guarantee what all your gunfights will be like, and if mediocrity is acceptable.

I believe I could show anyone the advantage of a properly set up RDS in 10 minutes at a range. However, it would take the average pistol shooter a few months to acquire the basic pistol skill sets necessary to get competent with an RDS, and most are not willing to put in the time, effort or money.


I must be missing something. Other than initial setup I spent very little time or effort getting good results with Trijicon RMRs on my CORE Pro .40 and Sig P226. You are dead right about money. Those suckers are expensive.




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Old 12-26-2016, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by AuProspector View Post
Awhile back, a friend had a Glock (C.O.R.E) with a Burris sight on it. I'm remembering an "on/off" switch. I didn't like it then and thought it was gimmicky.
For competition or just at the range, this type of sight is fine. However, for self-defense you can't rely on having time to turn it on. The last thing you need is to try to fumble with a switch.

So, yes, a Trijicon RMR is the way to go. The battery version lasts for years when constantly on. The dual illumination version never needs batteries. They are as durable and as tough an optic as I've ever seen. I've beat the daylights out of mine and it holds zero and functions perfectly. Expensive? Yes, but worth every penny.

And, yes, those of us with old eyes can benefit greatly from the red dot.
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Old 12-26-2016, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Aldonola View Post
I must be missing something. Other than initial setup I spent very little time or effort getting good results with Trijicon RMRs on my CORE Pro .40 and Sig P226. You are dead right about money. Those suckers are expensive.
If you were immediately, or even very quickly able to aim the pistol,with the reflex site, as fast as with traditional sights, From what I've read, and my own experience, in a very small group. Most shooters, have to adjust to the "new" way to find the aim. I think if nothing else focal point of your eyes, on the target and reticle X yards away, vs the front sight 2.5-3 feet away, takes an adjustment for most, and for many looking in the window and finding the dot takes practice.

I had been practicing quickly being on target, with good sight picture and alignment with traditional sights, and working on that muscle memory. So it didn't take an hour to find the dot, but definitely took longer at first.after about 1000, rounds or so, I would say now I am about the same timing usually, but I still get the "huntsies" (hunting around for the dot) every now and then and it might take a second or so extra. That second feels like forever though. Eventually from what I've heard, and how I feel from personal experience, I will be faster than traditional sights.
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Old 12-26-2016, 05:08 PM
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Got it. Thanks for explaining


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Old 12-26-2016, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by CB3 View Post
What you describe is not a fault of the RDS sighting system. It is a training issue with the operator. Seeing the dot consistently is the result of mastering the basics of pistol presentation. If you have to "find" or "hunt for" the dot, it is a result of improper presentations. RDS are not for everyone; there is a skill level required for them to work effectively.

Now, lest I sound too much like a complete know-it-all, I am still not as expert on presentation as I would like to be. I have thousands of dry presentations over the past year and a half, and I am probably about 90% consistent. I often practice with the RDS off, concentrating on the iron sights. If you can't do it first with irons, you won't be able to do it with a dot either. However, I know what I am trying to achieve.

...

In truth, the same basic skill set that produces the quick and accurate iron sight alignment that is necessary for competitive or defensive accuracy is the exact same skill set necessary for the dot to consistently appear in the window. Proper consistent grip, pistol level in front of the eyes, aimed at the target with front and rear sights aligned.

Proper, consistent presentation allows you to see (not find) the dot because your pistol is pointed in correctly, even in the dark.

...
Never said it was a fault with the RMR or RDS, just inherent in the system that alignment is important to viewing the dot and unlike with night sights, there are no visual cues in the dark. Disagree on your comment that a laser is purely a crutch, especially when considering non traditional shooting positions. But that is a topic for another thread.

So as I understand your post, you can acquire and line up the iron sights or red dot purely on muscle memory with no visual cues (ie. no night sights). If you pick up your hand gun in a pitch black room and sight, then a light gets turned on, your front and rear sight will already be in alignment on where ever the pistol is pointed and no further sight lineup is needed. Because that is what I understand you are saying.

(If you can not achieve that, then there is also some possibility that the red dot won't be lined up sufficiently to be visible either. And I am not talking about where there is some foreground light as that provides visual cues to quickly complete sight alignment and others have already mentioned other techniques like just getting the target in the RMR window in that lighting situation.)

If you can do that GREAT! You are correct, I don't have that level of proficiency or training. I am wondering how many others that shoot and practice often can currently achieve that?

Secondly, I understand that night competitions are growing in popularity. How many of those competitors, that are professionals with presumably extensive training, practice and expertise with red dot sights from daytime competition, are using a red dot as primary sighting device (i.e. no night sights) in nighttime competition? I am asking because I don't really know the answer and it seems relevant.

But from what I have read, the night shoot competitors, where speed acquiring a sight picture and getting shots on target is important, who have available any sight combination they want, their preferred sights are night sight + laser combination for night competition.

(None of this is to imply that I don't like and use a red dot sight on handguns. I've had 2 and have one mounted currently and the combination: accurate gun, decent trigger, and a red dot sight to compensate for poor but corrected vision and old eyes, is my most consistently accurate, very tight grouping gun. My current thinking is I just will not use it for night HD without adding night sights too to add visual reference to rapidly complete sight alignment in the dark. But I concede that I have not tried it yet and I understand your point that it could get confusing having 4 "lighted dots". That's why I stuck with a separate gun with night sights and a laser, and no red dot, so far for night HD.)

Last edited by Ron AZ; 12-26-2016 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 12-26-2016, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron AZ View Post
So as I understand your post, you can acquire and line up the iron sights or red dot purely on muscle memory with no visual cues (ie. no night sights). If you pick up your hand gun in a pitch black room and sight, then a light gets turned on, your front and rear sight will already be in alignment on where ever the pistol is pointed and no further sight lineup is needed. Because that is what I understand you are saying. (If you can not achieve that, then there is also some possibility that the red dot won't be lined up sufficiently to be visible either.)

If you can do that GREAT! You are correct, I don't have that level of proficiency or training. I am wondering how many others that shoot and practice often can currently achieve that?

Secondly, I understand that night competitions are growing in popularity. How many of those competitors, that are professionals with presumably extensive training, practice and expertise with red dot sights from daytime competition, are using a red dot as primary sighting device in nighttime competition? I am asking because I don't really know the answer.

But from what I have read, the night shoot competitors, where speed acquiring a sight picture and getting shots on target is important, who have available any sight combination they want, their preferred sights are night sight + laser combination for competition.
Presenting my pistol is no different in the dark than in daylight. Muscle memory gets things sufficiently lined up to show me the dot in the window. The RDS has a slightly greater margin for error because the dot anywhere in the screen, placed on target, will hit, even if the iron sights are not perfectly aligned.

To identify the target if not already done, I turn on my X300 light with the grip mounted switch. I don't find that it washes out my dot when at the midrange settings of the RMR 06. That turns night into day. This is my gun dressed for night shooting:

MP RMR X300.jpeg - Google Drive

I don't know what night shoot competitors are doing. A light and a laser might be very effective. However, I'll bet those who are fast and accurate, no matter what their chosen sighting system, are able to point their pistols directly at the target by muscle memory and require only small quick movement to improve a sight picture. They are not muscling a laser to a target following imprecise pistol presentations.

A key to good, accurate, fast pistol shooting when sights are needed is consistent, predictable presentation day or night. Consistent good grip and presentation also help with instinctive or point shooting, even retention shooting, at close ranges without sights. Improperly held and pointed pistols can be inaccurate at any range.

Most of my work is dry--i.e., no ammo, at various times around my home. I probably perform 100 or more dry presentations/fires/reloads for every one shot I take at the range.

When I can I shoot outdoors in a canyon nearby so I can move and vary distances. In winter I go to the local square range where I see lots of pistol folks who are proud of a 10" CoM group at 5 yards--I guess some call that "combat accuracy" and find it acceptable. Their grip and especially follow up shots, after their grip changes due to recoil, are awful. I'd say 3 of 4 shooters I see fit this profile. I usually spend some of my time teaching these other shooters some basics. Groups tighten up immediately.

It does take time and effort to get good with a pistol. One can see the progression, but intermittent efforts weeks apart do not set muscle memory very fast. Shooting and dealing with recoil is actually a slower method of learning than the dry work.

Last edited by CB3; 12-26-2016 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:41 PM
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In this thread, I did not push my point about acquiring the red dot in the dark and the helpfulness of night sights to acquire the sight picture faster because I had not yet mounted night sights on my CORE.

Got a set of Dawson Precision tritium fronts and rears mounted that are the right height to co-witness with the Trijicon RMR. It is just great!

Good visibility of the front sight through the RMR window. Easy and very fast to acquire a good sight picture for the night sights only or the use the night sights to quickly acquire the red dot in low light and the dark. And absolutely no confusion over the sight picture over what's the right sight picture. The red dot is red and sits over the 3 tritium dots that are greenish, so you can't confuse them.

I really like the setup.

Last edited by Ron AZ; 01-10-2017 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:01 AM
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...but my eyes aren't what they once were and have caused me to rethink the CORE's merits...
The older I get so do my eyes unfortunately. Bought the M&P9 and could not see the sights/targets. To make a long story short, sent my M&P to get milled for RMR. Made the biggest difference for me.

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