Expert: This Popular Gun Gadget is ‘Extremely Overrated’ By: News Wire


Did you guys see the latest episode of “The Gun Guys” with Ken Hackathorn and Paul Howe?

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Brought to us by the Wilson Combat YouTube channel, it was a bit controversial because it was all about the utility of gun gadgets – specifically, the ever-popular red dot sights and weapon-mounted lights on handguns.

Ken and Paul weren’t just talking tech; they’re digging deep into the practicality (or impracticality) of these tools, especially when it comes to home defense. What they said may surprise you…

It seems like every other pistol photo these days sports a light. But is mounting a light on your pistol always a good idea?

Paul brings up some critical points here. He notes that while it might look cool, the reality of using a gun light, especially in a home defense scenario, is more complex.

Unintentionally sweeping family members with your gun light while searching your home? Not ideal.

Instead, Paul prefers a handheld light, reserving the weapon-mounted light for more specialized situations like SWAT operations.

Ken, with his vast experience in small arms training and a foundational role in IPSC and IDPA, agrees. While these lights have their place in specific scenarios, he suggests that in most private sector situations, they’re “extremely overrated.”

“Okay, you carry a gun, and especially if you’re in the private sector, you’re not a soldier and not, you know, in law enforcement,” said Ken. “When if you carry a gun with a light on it, when’s the last time you needed that? And most people, if they’re honest, will tell you, well, not really.”

He was careful to add, “Again, if it’s the gun on your nightstand, that’s different. But I’m even like you. I’ve got a gun on my nightstand with a light on it, and there’s a Surefire flashlight right beside it.”

Ken stresses the importance of mastering strong hand-only shooting and proper (handheld) flashlight techniques. It’s all about practice and proficiency, not just slapping on the latest gadget.

Next up, Ken and Paul tackle the big question: compact or full-size handguns?

Ken observes that while many opt for the convenience of a ‘pocket rocket,’ it might not be the wisest choice in a life-threatening situation.

Ken emphasized a scenario where you walk into a corner store during a hold up. He posits, “Okay, do you want a little pocket rocket, or you want a big gun you can shoot well? At that point in time, the gun you took for convenience is now suddenly become probably your worst decision of your life, as far as now your life is on the line.”

Paul echoes this, emphasizing the importance of being able to make precise shots under pressure, regardless of the gun size.

“Would I take a hammerless, my .22 mag, and shoot that? Yes. Can I make the hits? I look at, can I make a head shot with it at seven yards on a hostage-type scenario? And if I can’t do that, then it’s not a viable gun,” Paul explained. “It’s a comfort gun. It’s—and so, you said it in the day.”

Ken and Paul on the Wilson Combat YouTube channel.
Do you agree with Ken and Paul?

When it comes to magazine capacity, Ken and Paul break it down with some hard truths. While having a high-capacity mag might seem like an advantage, in most real-world scenarios, you’re unlikely to need more than a precise few shots.

“And that’s a big argument today, and what I tell people is, from my belief, based upon my experience of training military, law enforcement, and the private sector, is generally speaking, I would say a minimum of a 10-round magazine, probably a maximum of 15,” said Ken.

“And if you look in the private sector, very rarely do people fire more than three or four shots, generally because in that three or four shots, one of three things have happened. One, they’ve ran away. Yes, two, they’ve went down. Yes, three, they’ve given up,” he added.

The ultimate key? Accurate, effective shooting.

Finally, the duo delves into red dot sights. Paul admits he was slow to adopt them even on rifles, pointing out the mechanical issues, maintenance demands, and the need for precision.

As far as handguns, Paul had this to say, “You know, like we said, I’m going to go to the grave: iron sights on a pistol.”

Ken likens red dot sights to 1911 pistols – they’re for enthusiasts who are willing to put in the extra work and training. Without that dedication, they might do more harm than good.

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“Yeah, and I tell people, if you’re willing to put the time in and the effort, and I tell people, to me, a red dot sight is like a 1911 design pistol. It’s an enthusiast tool. It takes a higher level of skill and maintenance to keep it going,” said Ken.

“If you’re in that lifestyle, if you accept that, then putting a red dot on your gun will make more sense. But if you’re not willing to put the effort and the training and the trigger time in, I think it’s probably a bad pursuit,” he added.

In conclusion, Ken and Paul bring us back to the basics: fundamentals (trigger, stance, target acquisition, etc.), training, and understanding the real-world application of any gadget or accessory.

It’s not about the coolest gear; it’s about what works best for you in the situations you’re likely to face.

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