As the combat handgun evolves to accept more and more accessories, emerging lines of durable red dot optics are being seen as viable enhancements for sidearms in the field.

The debate between point shooting and sighted fire lives on. While I do not see a huge difference between the two camps, others vehemently disagree and I doubt the debate will be put to rest anytime soon. There is some interesting research stating it is impossible for the eyes to focus on the front sight while stressed, but I can’t help but think of my own experience. I remember several situations during my law enforcement career where shots were fired and I can clearly remember my bright orange front sight in my field of view. I have discussed this subject with a number of gunfight “prevailers” who also remember seeing their sight. Interestingly, many of these also had a brightly colored front sight, like the plastic red insert that was standard on a Smith & Wesson Model 66 revolver. I have become convinced that if one is going to use their sights in a fast-moving, pandemonium-filled fight, it will have to be of some configuration that will interrupt one’s field of vision.
There is actually some precedence for this train of thought. Several years ago I was at my eye doctor for my annual check up and I asked him about contrasting colors and “combat vision.”

While the doctor was not a shooter, he did have an understanding of what I was getting at and he told me, “Detroit has already addressed this problem.” I looked at him with confusion on my face and he said, “Have you ever been driving down the highway late at night and took a quick look to see how fast you were going?” I answered yes and he said, “How much time did it take to do this?” Less than a second, I replied. “And how were you able to do that?” A look of confusion on my face, “It was due to the contrasting colors on the speedometer,” he said. “You probably saw white numbers on a dark background and a bright orange needle. This bright contrast allowed you to quickly reference the read out.” Huh…never thought of that. While most speedometers are now digital, the contrasting color scheme still applies.

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