Optics Ready Handguns — See Better, Shoot Better By: Editor

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December 10th, 2023

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Optics Ready Handguns — See Better, Shoot Better

Shooting Industry magazine october 2022 optics ready pistol handgun gunsafe

As noted in Shooting Industry Magazine, “optics-ready” handguns have become increasingly popular. These pistols have slides configured to mount Red Dot optics. Some of these handguns are sold with Red Dot optics pre-installed, ready to go. For example, the Smith & Wesson Performance Center M&P 9 Shield Plus (above) is sold with a Crimson Trace Red Dot optic mounted on the slide.

Shooting Industry magazine october 2022 optics ready pistol handgun gunsafe
The new FN Five-seveN MRD is an optics-ready pistol chambered in 5.7x28mm. (Image: FN America)

For IDPA and gun games, a Red Dot sight can definitely help with rapid target acquisition. And for a defense gun, the Red Dot assists aiming at night, even in the dark. And unlike a pistol-mounted laser, the Red Dot does not have a bright, visible beam that pinpoints the gun owner’s location.

The Shooting Industry article explains how optics-equipped pistols have become much more popular: “It wasn’t too long ago optics-ready handguns were little more than a novelty. But today, it’s difficult to talk about the handgun segment without delving into the increasing number of guns coming from the manufacturers with optics already installed, or ready to accept one.”

Shooting Industry magazine october 2022 optics read pistol handgun gunsafe

Massad Ayoob, a respected shooting instructor and gun writer, says optics-equipped pistols are now very popular: “Carry optics are burning up the handgun market today. Some of my fellow instructors tell me they have general defensive shooting classes where more than half the students show up with guns wearing carry optics, a compact version of Red Dot sights. Police departments are going to them [optics equipped pistols] in droves.” READ FULL Story.

If you are interested in a wide selection of optics-ready handguns, check out the Modern Carry: Best Optics-Ready Pistols article in the CheaperThanDirt Blog. This highlights ten production pistols from Canik, CZ, FN, Hechler & Koch, Keltec, SCCY, SIG Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory, and Taurus. Below is the Taurus G3 T.O.R.O (Taurus Optic Ready Option), a full-frame pistol with 17+1 9mm capacity.

Shooting Industry magazine october 2022 optics read pistol handgun gunsafe

Learn More about Red Dot and Reflex Sights for Pistols

Want to learn more about pistol optics? There is an excellent article on the NRA’s American Rifleman website that explains how Mini Reflex/Red Dot Sights function. The huge advantage is that the shooter can simply put the Red Dot on target. He does not have to align front and rear sights. That allows MUCH faster target acquisition: “Red-dot-style sights are faster than irons and better in low light. But they’re also more accurate, particularly at ranges past 50 yards, thanks to fine dots and triangles, generally representing 2 to 13 MOA, that are more precise than the front posts of modern pistols.” SEE AmericanRifleman.org article.

American Rifleman Kahr gen2 premium T9 Shooting Industry magazine october 2022 optics ready pistol handgun gunsafe

The first Red Dot sights were created by Aimpoint: “In the 1970s the reflex sight as we know it was brought to market by the Swedish firm Aimpoint. It contained a battery-powered, light-emitting diode (LED) that allowed these compact, tube-enclosed reflex sights to function in darkness. Its glowing ‘red dot’ soon became this sight’s nickname. It took a little while longer for a few cutting-edge handgunners to discover the red-dot sight’s advantages.”

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Tags: FN Five-seveN, Handguns, M&P 9, Massad Ayoob, Optics Ready, Pistol, Red Dot Sight