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School me on using red dots on handguns

johngalt2

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I thought I understood how to use them (had tried them on some rentals), but I don't.

So - I put a Holosun on my new Walther PDP. And I am way off when I try to use it.

Some context:
  1. The red dot is zeroed. Confirmed it with the range guy.
  2. Irons alone work fine for me.
  3. The red dot worked fine too - as long as I co-witnessed (at 1/3 height) with the irons (duh).
  4. But if I sighted with the red dot anywhere else in the window, I would be way off.
What might I be doing wrong? Am I wrong in thinking that you can sight with the red dot in the center of the window?

I am sure I am doing something dumb. Please help me figure out what.
 
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For me both eyes open was a revelation, so new I just didn't know that was what you did. Both eyes open, superimpose the dot on the target. Target focuses.

I'm not the best shot but the Red Dot was a huge improvement for me. Plus I've got bifocals and an astigmatism, red dot made shooting easier for me.
 
I'd say I'm a pretty good shot.

Expert in the Army. Decent on the trap range and in the field with rifle and shotgun.
But I could never really shoot a handgun to save my life.
I must admit I never really worked at it and never got any formal training.

About 6 months ago I bought a P365 and put a Holosun 507 in green on it.
I spent an hour with an instructor at MFS (50% holiday gift certs) and I must say I can shoot that gun really, really well with that set up.... The way I've always wanted to shoot a pistol.

Both eyes open and I finally got my grip figured out....

Not sure I get this: "4. But if I sighted with the red dot anywhere else in the window, I would be way off."

Are you shooting both eyes open and getting a consistent sight picture each time you bring gun on target?
 
Not sure I get this: "4. But if I sighted with the red dot anywhere else in the window, I would be way off."
Like I said, if I co-witness with the irons, I am on target (but that is kind of obvious). Note that the irons are at 1/3 height.
But if I put the red dot in the middle of the window, my shots are off. So I am doing something wrong using the red dot.
Got some good input elsewhere, which I am going to try.

Are you shooting both eyes open and getting a consistent sight picture each time you bring gun on target?
No, just using one eye. Maybe this is my problem?
I learned a neat trick another place, where you cover up the optic in the front with tape, then use both eyes to put the dot on target. One eye sees the target, the other only the dot. The brain combines the 2 images. That guys shoots competition like that. I am going to try this next time.

I didn't realize using a red dot was more complicated than putting the dot on the target and shooting. Am reading up now.
 
Red dots don’t need the shooter to be bright. Point the gun at the target, focus on the target, see the dot, pull the trigger. So I’m very confused how that could be going wrong.
What can I say. Something is going wrong. I can only conclude that it is more complicated than either of us realizes.
I think other people have pointed out that it may be the fact that I am using only one eye (kind of mimicking how I use irons).
 
Wow - yes! Low left. Does that mean something?
Likely a grip problem. I suspect that as you pull the trigger you are increasing the strength of your grip. Keep your right hand grip firm but your left hand grip with more pressure. Focus on pulling the trigger without changing the grip pressure in your other fingers.

Start doing dry practice. Have no ammo in the room. Spend 15 minutes per day. Your goal is to be able to pull the trigger without disturbing the red dot.

The issue that you are having has nothing to do with the red dot.
 
Wow - yes! Low left. Does that mean something?
If you’re right-handed, maybe. Everyone tends to anticipate down and away from their dominant hand.

Generally speaking, if you miss with a handgun, that’s why. It’s usually not sight picture, or grip, or the way your standing, or who does your taxes, it’s anticipation. USPSA GMs and beginners alike.

My only guess is something in your brain changes a bit when you’re fiddling with the dot. It’ll probably resolve with practice!
 
Generally speaking, if you miss with a handgun, that’s why. It’s usually not sight picture, or grip, or the way your standing, or who does your taxes, it’s anticipation. USPSA GMs and beginners alike.
Try this dry. Aim your gun at a target. Increase the strength of your strong hand grip. Watch your sights or red dot. As you increase your grip, the muzzle will dip. Yes, it is anticipation, but also a fault in grip. As you anticipate the recoil, you increase the strength of your grip as you pull the trigger and the muzzle dips as you are pulling the trigger.
 
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Like I said, if I co-witness with the irons, I am on target (but that is kind of obvious). Note that the irons are at 1/3 height.
But if I put the red dot in the middle of the window, my shots are off.
When you say "cowitness" do you mean you're just using irons or that you're using both? What distance was the dot zeroed at?
 
Yes, you're flinching
Flinching only with the red dot? I have mentioned I do OK with straight irons.
In any case, even if it's flinching, it has to do with how my brain is working using the red dot. I need to figure that out.
 
Would this exercise help him? (I think I'm remembering this right)
Years ago, at a class at Sig, the instructor had us:
1) empty gun
2)point gun lightly against wall, with a spent shell balanced on the end/top of the barrel
3) practice pulling trigger without having shell fall off

as you get it.... move back from wall and practice that way
 
Likely a grip problem. I suspect that as you pull the trigger you are increasing the strength of your grip. Keep your right hand grip firm but your left hand grip with more pressure. Focus on pulling the trigger without changing the grip pressure in your other fingers.

Start doing dry practice. Have no ammo in the room. Spend 15 minutes per day. Your goal is to be able to pull the trigger without disturbing the red dot.

The issue that you are having has nothing to do with the red dot.
Actually, I did discover dry firing with the red dot (when I first got it) that the gun was twitching to the right on trigger reset. I have been working on that.

This seems to be something different. The shots go low left. I'll reiterate that I do OK with irons alone. Which would suggest that I do have some of what you are saying sorted out. My brain is just not working too well with the red dot somehow.

I have learned that a promising culprit is that I am using just one eye. I am going to fix that next time and see how it goes. Will also try the optics occlusion technique too. That seems fantastic to me.

Will try your suggestions too. Thanks!
 
If you’re right-handed, maybe. Everyone tends to anticipate down and away from their dominant hand.

Anticipate what? I suppose I can google that. Thanks for the advice!

My only guess is something in your brain changes a bit when you’re fiddling with the dot. It’ll probably resolve with practice!

I just started with the red dot. So, yeah, I'll be working on it.
 
Actually, I did discover dry firing with the red dot (when I first got it) that the gun was twitching to the right on trigger reset. I have been working on that.

This seems to be something different. The shots go low left. I'll reiterate that I do OK with irons alone. Which would suggest that I do have some of what you are saying sorted out. My brain is just not working too well with the red dot somehow.

I have learned that a promising culprit is that I am using just one eye. I am going to fix that next time and see how it goes. Will also try the optics occlusion technique too. That seems fantastic to me.

Will try your suggestions too. Thanks!
You can practice with an occluded dot in dry fire. Empty the gun, no ammo present. Put a paster on the front of the dot. Aim at the target with both eyes open. Slowly press the trigger.
 
Anticipate what?
Anticipating the recoil. Try this next time you are shooting live fire. Have someone load your magazine for you but put in a couple dummy rounds somewhere in the magazine. I'll bet that you'll see the muzzle dip when you pull the trigger on a dummy round. It's hard to see the muzzle dip with live fire because you distracted by the noise and recoil (and might be blinking anyways and miss it).
 
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