You have used red dot sights on your competition weapons and find them to be an advantage when shooting steel and paper targets. There have been pros and cons with the size and brightness of the dots as well as their durability, so far making the consideration for everyday a definite no. It seems the durability along with the co-witness backup sights help you worry about the failure factor, but sometimes you struggle to find the point in full light. You hate to admit it, but your eyes aren’t what they used to be and the dots, especially when facing the brightest levels, don’t appear round; they look more like a smear than a dot. Your interest is in knowing what considerations, especially dot size, should be taken into account when considering a red dot sight for an everyday carry pistol (EDC).
There are a multitude of opinions regarding red dot sights. The important thing to remember is the main application of the sight on the platform it is mounted on.
In the application of daily porterage, it should be understood that there are different situations that must be considered as opposed to range shooting or even in competition.
Historically speaking, statistics tell us that the majority of encounters with lethal forces take place as short-lived, close-range events in less than ideal lighting conditions. Of course, avoidance is the best option if possible, but preparation is a better option when choices are at a minimum.
For EDC, a larger dot of 6, 8, or even 10 MOA in diameter will serve you much better than the currently popular small dots of 1, 2, or 3 MOA. The reasons are almost endless, but some more obvious than others.
Assuming time is running out when engaging an opponent with your EDC Pistol, the speed at which the red dot can be located and superimposed on the target is of supreme importance. The bigger the dot, the easier it is to find and aim at the target. Some may argue that a big dot is not as precise as a small dot and therefore might not be as effective because it covers the target too much. Let’s stop and examine this thought and do a little math.
A 10 MOA point covers approximately an area 10 inches in diameter at 100 yards. It comes down to 5 inches at 50 yards, 2.5 inches at 25 yards, and 1 inch at 10 yards.
I will not judge another person’s shooting abilities under the stress of a life or death situation, but it would appear that a point of 10 MOA would be sufficient considering the statistics of the encounter being near. To the average citizen, my definition of proximity can be seen as the inability to escape the situation, making the use of a lethal weapon the only choice available to avoid serious bodily harm or death. This is not legal advice, just my point of view. Keep in mind that time and distance almost always impact each other during a dynamic event.
Under changing lighting conditions, brightness and dot size have different effects on usability. In order for smaller sized red dots to be visible in normal daylight or brighter conditions, their brightness level must be increased to a level that causes the dot to flare or distort when transitioning to a light. scaled down. The larger red dots are more easily visible without the effects of distortion under varying lighting conditions and in some cases may be transparent to allow for an improved sighting image.
When you consider how the EDC gun is used defensively, the brain and eye try to glean all the information possible to meet the conditions presented. It is likely that the eyes are focused on the threat. When it is justified to engage the threat, it is much easier to superimpose the larger dot on the target and pull the trigger than to align the sights or find a smaller dot.
Bigger points make a lot of sense for defensive transport purposes, especially for shooters with aging eyes.