Thursday, June 23, 2016

Pistol Optics...You can't afford to be wrong?

NOTE: This blog was written by Handgun Combatives instructor Jon Willis. Jon is a full time firefighter, medic, real estate "mogul" and a true student of combative firearms. He took the pistol optic journey and offers is thoughts...

Within the firearms industry we are constantly hearing, or talking, about the next big thing. Folks at differing points on their learning curve rehash old arguments that have no basis in either fact or benefit to either party. These exchanges can be funny to hear…sometimes. Some of the most passionate dialogues include folks who are completely invested in piece of gear or gun to the point of losing objectivity. I have seen this often with folks who have taken the leap into the world of pistol mounted optics.

Now before you shut this down, understand that this is not a position piece on the benefits of pistol -mounted optics. Countless articles have been written on that topic, many of which are quite helpful. You can Google any number of those articles or simply ask your favorite superstar firearms trainer for their opinion. I recognize that shooters will quite simply shoot one set up better than the other. Some environmental scenarios can tend to favor having, or not having, the optic. It is a great thing to have options to most effectively meet one’s needs.

For the record, I have a well-built set up atop which sits a high-end optic. I took a great deal of time to test it out in real training, comparing and contrasting the benefits or shortfalls throughout. I can shoot it well, but at the end of all of that I carry a different well-built handgun, with no optic. The other is relegated to a safe at home. I concluded, “Meh”, and moved on. After all, it’s my journey.

Through my experience to determine if this option was for me, I came into contact with many other people who were doing the same thing. Our discussions would reveal something quite interesting to me. Many folks I spoke with were not going through a process.  They had decided upon the results before their new gun arrived.

No system is, or can be, perfect. A true evaluation must account for as many positive and negative attributes as possible. Only then can one draw an appropriate conclusion. It was becoming apparent to me that when you ask many people what is the cost for a pistol mounted optic handgun, the answer is often, their objectivity!

I know many shooters who have conducted complete and objective evaluations of these pistol arrangements. Many have legitimately made their decision, reflecting on trial and experience. Some others have gone a different direction… the direction of covering bases and justification. Call it pride, maybe it’s ego, but many people have “painted themselves into a corner”. They simply can’t afford to have been wrong! After folks spend $1500 to $2000 to have one of these pistols set up, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to say, “You know what? It’s not for me” or “I still shoot irons better.” If this pistol arrangement is for you, great… you’ve found what works for you. If you spent a ton of money and found it’s not helping you improve, don’t justify it… dump it! It’s your journey. And it may be your life.

A pistol is a tool. No different than a knife, shovel or a hammer. A true craftsman recognizes when a special tool is an improvement to his work. Be a craftsman. In every aspect of selecting your personal defense tools always strive for the best, learn from all your choices and above all else, maintain your objectivity.


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