Village Praxis: Driving Pistol and Rifle Red Dot Optics by Bill Buppert

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

― C. S. Lewis

Publisher’s Note: A combination of blog fatigue, a busy life and the general ennui that always follows a seismic shift in political temperament at the Offal Office informs my scarce writing lately. While the Mango Emperor has his detractors and character flaws, he remains the only occupant of that awful office to have not started a new war in four decades.

No mean feat with the pressures for war ever present in the alien Necromonger ecology of Mordor on the Potomac. A place where decency and morality is always trumped by power and institutional greed for it.

I have always thought that electoral fraud is built into any franchise system by one or more parties competing for power but never thought I would see the sloppy and manifest evidence of it so apparent and visible.

The Marxian Proglodytes have pulled out all the stops to prevent their fellow New York City progressive from getting a second term for reasons only the interested can discern. I suspect the Human Mollusk and Commie-la will be there to be given the keys to the zoo in January. I hear all the noises from the usual suspects on the “right” crowing about violations of the Constitution but that sordid documents is running as smoothly as designed by Hamilton and his proto-communards in the eighteenth century. The Supremes rubber-stamp ALL predations on individual liberty, it is their charter. There has been no individualist party in America in its entire existence. In the end, the Constitution is a suicide pact. I want no part of it.

Give a man a helicopter ride and he’ll fly for an hour, give a man half a helicopter ride and he will fly for the rest of his life. Communists view all human life as state property so in the end you are merely destroying state property.

Historically, the scorecard for the Pinochet regime was approximately three thousand humans in 17 years and the Communist Allende regime was 2095 murdered and 1102 disappeared between 1970-73 prior to the General’s housecleaning of the progressive vermin.

The only answer is opting out, partition and secession at whatever level self owners choose because you either own yourself or you’re livestock. You can guess the position on that question the political zookeepers choose. There is no in between.

This is the best the communists can offer. Comrade Joe is the best proof you have that the CPUSA is the largest pool of intellectual and moral defectives on Earth.

If you aren’t dry-firing on a consistent basis and going to the range to diminish your dwindling ammunition supply, you will regret what the future has in store for you. I am heading to Dillon Enterprises tomorrow in Scottsdale to tune up my reloading needs.

As I have mentioned before, these events provide you a great gaps analysis exercise to see how your preparations, skill sets and inventories are conditioned and what needs to be addressed in shortages and reconstitution.

As I tell my lads, every morning when you wake up, the first thought should be: “Why do I still suck” And proceed to unfuck yourself.

What Would Michael Collins Do?

Do what you can. Your life literally depends on the decisions you make now. -BB


Between eyes and hand mechanics, no two organic items on your body allow you to optimize delivery of that tiny projectile to its destination better than those. I’ve written on hand mechanics before so I wanted to briefly cover optics. Fortunately, there is no shortage of available optics on the spectrum for rifles and pistols (if you are relying on a shotgun, you have not thought any of this through) in this time of ammunition deserts in the marketplace.

For rifle, Low Power Variable Optics (LPVO) or red dots? Well, that depends. If shooting past 300m, the former can give value added but if shooting below that threshold, then a red dot with a 3x magnifier is just the ticket. And, yes, I still employ Backup Iron Sights (BUIS) but I am becoming convinced with the bulletproof nature of evolving red dot technology and reliability that if weight is a concern, don’t mount them.

I run the gamut in optic expenses on my cosmetically offensive rifles from the high dollar Vortex Razor Gen II-E 1-6×24 to the Aimpoint PRO with a Vortex magnifier. I even have one on my Garand (Fulton Armory rail forward of the action) but I have not moved to put these on bolt guns which makes an assumption on the deliberate shot sorties I will have with a dedicated long distance long arm. The future may portend otherwise.

A preamble that applies to both rifle and pistol, irons require one clear and focused focal plane of the three we service on a target, the front sight. Human eyes can only clearly focus on one of the three vertical planes (rear sight, front sight and target) and conventional wisdom makes that the front sight. This wisdom also dictated that you closed one eye.

Learn to shoot with both eyes open. You will still have a dominant eye that tracks precisely. Don’t know your dominant eye? Cheap trick: with both eyes open take your dominant hand and index finger and place it on that light switch or door knob three to five meters in front of you. Close your left eye and if you are right hand/right eye, that tip of your index finger should be right on the object. Converse for left-handed. Are you cross-dominant with right/left or left/right? Then both eyes open will be even easier for you. By the way, this index also allows you to service targets at approximately five meters and closer with no irons or sights at all by simply pointing your index finger along the frame of the weapon in your dominant hand and striking an eight-inch pie-plate with minimal practice.

With that out of the way, I cut my teeth on irons because that is essentially all we had. As a member of the Pacific Regional Highpower rifle team in the Navy in the early 80s, we had nothing else and engaged out to 600m. I love irons but technology now makes me five times faster mounting a pistol to service targets with a red dot system.

Five times.

I have taken a red dot course with Scott Jedlinski at Modern Samurai.and couldn’t recommend it more.

I have been running red dots on the Glock fleet and with after-market barrels, I can put ten rounds in the same hole at seven meters; I would suggest that with sufficient range time, you can do the same. Can I do that with irons? The blossom is a little bigger but the speed is not there. Plaid the Impaler recently did a superlative video on recoil control that I commend everyone’s attention to. Red dots and recoil management in a pistol is making speed and accuracy with a pistol so much more attainable for the average shooter. This is a paradigmatic shift in rounds on target.

On pistols, I run Trijicon RMRs with an adjustable 3.25 MOA red dot and tend to dial the brightness down to make it more accurate for longer target ranges. I recently picked up two Swampfox optics that I am experimenting with that are half the cost of the Trijicon devices and fits in the same footprint; I now have two and mounting the second one on my G24 after I get it back from Boogeyman Customs.

The secret to mastering pistol red dot gunnery is to practice and perfect the same draw from the holster through repetitions and drills during dry fire and live fire coming to rest with both eyes open on the target (the third focal plane). Combined with high grip, recoil management and follow-through, you can drive your pistol much like you drive your rifle.

The web-verse is chock-full of all kinds of data, analysis and reviews of red dot equipment, I simply wanted to provide a brief overview by exception of my thoughts.

A note on reviews and manufacturers: I buy all my own kit and have no sponsors so I will let you know if something is shit.

Remember, you can drive a rifle or ride a rail car.



11 thoughts on “Village Praxis: Driving Pistol and Rifle Red Dot Optics by Bill Buppert”

  1. I too just purchased a swampfox liberty for my p229 in .40. Willing to compare notes once installed and fired a few hundred times.

  2. Don’t lose heart, men! I can only think of the western gunfighter who attributed his success to, “knowing before that I would kill the guy.”

    Are we there yet?

  3. Jimmy Carter was the last president to not get this country involved in another war. Red dots on pistols should probably not be a priority for most of us. The reasons are myriad, but for far too many people, they give a false sense of security. The investment in time, money, and gear are probably best expended elsewhere.

  4. Bill:

    The problem I have conceptually with slide mounted electronic sights is that they bang back and forth.

    The conservative engineer in me says that this sort of sighting system is a failure waiting to happen; I have had enough trouble with keeping iron sights on pistol slides let alone electronic sights. A laser mounted under the frame is not subject to the same stresses, but has other issues.

    I run tritium irons on self loading pistols.

    Now, a scope or dot sight on a revolver makes a bit more sense.


    1. Historian,

      I have to tell you I have been running red dot on pistols for nearly five years with no failures. As a fellow engineer, they have really proof-housed the design for the red dot sights on a violent action sequence of battery movement of the slide.

      Per irons, the sights on my Unity Tactical have given me fits on my Roland Special.


      1. Bill:

        I know your experience is not atypical, and I know that these sights are supposedly designed to take that whacking.

        I know that lots of competition shooters run them and put far more rounds downrange in a year than I do. I hear you about being faster with dot sights, and I get that. On an AR, where I can deploy tritium BUIS in a few seconds if the dot goes out, I’m good with a dot. Having trained with dot sights as well as LPVO on carbines, I like the lighter weight and speed of target acquisition a dot offers. My eyes are getting old, and I tilt my head up to get a good front sight picture with my bifocals, which takes a split second longer to do. With irons, if the front or rear sights fall off or loosen I still have some sort of visual index. With a dot sight, which blocks the front 2/3 of the slide, not so much. Also, Murphy has a wicked habit of demonstrating his law, and I would feel really stupid getting killed because of an equipment malf.

        I may install a dot slide and see, but it will be a while before I carry with a dot sight.

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