Contribution from Fast Heinz
As the subject comes up regularly, I want to collect what I've found in my searching in one place as a reference for others looking at adding an optic to their pistol. If there's something I leave out or am mistaken on, please correct me. I apologize in advance for length. Cuts are common on aftermarket slides, if you've got a cut slide please skip the section on mounting options Mounting options Mounting options and model fitment seem to be the most common question, so I'll start there. There are 4 common ways to mount an optic:
1. A footprint specific slide cut
2. A modular slide cut
3. A dovetail or back plate mounting plate
4. A frame/rail mount
Both 3 and 4 have serious drawbacks: holster fitment, the loss of the rear sight, and extreme mounting height to name a few. So, I'll not focus much on them. Options 1 and 2 are much more common with some give and take for each. A footprint specific cut mounts the lowest and has the fewest points of failure, but limits you to optics that fit that footprint.
A modular cut system (Glock MOS, Agency Arms) will let you mount just about anything using adapter plates, but that's one more set of screws, and a plate to break or walk loose, along with mounting the optic higher.
"What Optics fit my Cut?"
RMR-In case you aren't familiar, it stands for Ruggedized Miniature Reflex
RMR footprint cuts are the most common for aftermarket P80/Glocks, optics that fit this footprint are:
Trijicon RMR and SRO series optics
Holosun 407c/507c and 508t series optics
Swampfox Optics Kingslayer, Liberty, And Justice
Riton Optics X3 Tactix PRD
NcStar Flipdot Pro
Various models (see link above)
Vortex Venom and Viper
Burris Fastfire 2 and 3
Various C-More optics
Sig Romeo3 1x25
Shield RMS series
Leupold Delta Point Pro
Holosun 407k/507k with modification (see link)
Modular optics systems
MOS systems require that you mount an adapter plate into the cut, and then mount the optic to the adapter plate. This allows a wide variety of optics, though you may need taller sights as backups than you would with a footprint specific cut. One big benefit of Modular cuts is that they allow the use of enclosed optics such as the Holosun 509t and the Aimpoint Acro.
Notes on Selection and Specifications
What optic you choose depends largely on budget and intended use, the "you get what you pay for" rule generally applies. All optics should be mounted with some form of locktite to keep the screws in place, and torqued to manufacturer specifics. On Glock slides some cuts, specifically RMR, may allow the right side screw to interfere with the extractor plunger. On footprint specific and modular mount systems, taller sights will be needed to serve as back up sights on most optics.
Battery life can be an unneccesary hang up, as batteries are generally inexpensive and most optics will get you at least a month of use. Generally, 10k hrs will get you about a year of constant use at a medium setting. Common optics like the RMRs and Holosuns achieve well above that number, and it's generally advised to change the battery once a year (your birthday is a good marker) The Swampfox Kingslayer, for example, gets significantly less than 10k Hrs, as does the Aimpoint ACRO, and it is advisable to change batteries once a month.
Auto Off Feature
If the optic you are looking at has auto-off, but no auto on/ shake awake (Riton PRD, Swampfox Kingslayer), this may not be ideal for a Duty/defensive optic, as you would have to keep turning it back on throughout the day.
Dot size is measured in MOA, or roughly x inches at 100yds. A bigger dot will be easier to find on presentation, but will cover more of your target.
Automatic or Manual Brightness adjustment
Automatic dot brightness is convenient, but may not adjust properly under mixed lighting (you standing in a dark area while your target is in bright light, for instance)
Red is the most common, green may aid with dot issues resulting from an astigmatism.
Another stumbling block, as nobody wants their expensive piece to break on them. The level of durability you need and can afford depends on your preference and intended use. A range hammer or a "try it out" red dot probably doesn't need to be the absolute top of the line dot, on the other hand, it may well be worth buying a more expensive dot to try as it will retain its resale value if you don't end up keeping it, and if you do, you may not want/need to then spend more to upgrade it. I personally hold Aaron Cowan's (Sage Dynamics) durability tests in high regard, and he has tested many common optics and published a white paper with his findings here:
Miniaturized Red Dot Systems for Duty Handgun Use PDF
It should be noted that his focus was Duty use, so he is very harsh on the optics he's tested, what did not measure to his standards may be perfectly fine for your needs. Note: Very interesting read
Other Notes/Things to consider
The Holosun 407c and 507c are, to the best of my knowledge, the same and built of the same material, the 507c has the Multi Reticle System (2moa dot only, dot and 32moa circle, and circle only) and the 407c has a fixed reticle (2moa dot or 8moa circle only) and the 508t has a Titanium frame and a flat top, which helps protect the glass from impact damage. Trijicon RMRs come in Manual adjust, auto adjust, and self adjusting fiber optic/tritium illuminated optics. The fiber/tritium has been noted to wash out/not adjust properly to certain lighting conditions.
The Vortex Viper Red dot has set screws on the back of the optic to lock its windage and elevation adjustments, necessitating that you either remove your rear sight, or have it drilled with holes to access these screws.
Sage Dynamics also has some excellent videos on you tube about how to sight in and use a Dot on a pistol.
Contribution from Glen M
Here is a list of all the red dots I could find minus the cheap clones that fit the RMR and Docter/Vortex footprints. RMR- Red dot sights that share this footprint: ADE stingray Holosun HS407C Holosun HS507C Holosun HS508T NcStar VISM FlipDot Pro Riton X3 Tactix PRD Swampox Kingslayer Swampfox Liberty RMR Swampfox Justice RMR Trijicon RMR Trijicon SRO Vector Optics Frenzy
Docter/Venom footprint- Red dot sights that share this footprint: Burris Fastfire 2 Burris Fastfire 3 Delta Optical MiniDot Delta Optical MiniDot II Docter/Noblex Sight C Docter/Noblex sight 2+ Docter/Noblex sight III Insight/EOTech MRDS Docter/Noblex QUICKsight 5.0 VR Hawke Reflex Leica Tempus MAKdot Noblex Sight G Sightmark Mini Shot Pro Spec* Sightmark Mini Shot M-Spec Vector Optics Frenzy Vortex Viper Vortex Venom Vomz Pilad
What optic are you using ? Come on over and tell us about it.
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