When it comes to handgun sights, there are two main options: traditional iron sights and newer red dot sights. While both have their advantages and disadvantages, many shooters are now opting for red dot sights, and for good reason.  

Red Dot v. Iron Sights

First, let's define what we mean by red dot sights and iron sights. Red dot sights use a small illuminated dot or reticle projected onto a glass lens to help the shooter aim accurately. Iron sights, on the other hand, use a combination of a front and rear sight post to create a visual alignment that helps the shooter aim.

Why Make the Move to Red Dot Sights?
  1. Faster Target Acquisition: Red dot sights allow for faster target acquisition, especially in close-range or fast-moving scenarios. The shooter can simply place the red dot on the target and shoot, without the need to align two separate sights.
  2. Improved Accuracy: Red dot sights offer improved accuracy, especially in low-light or high-stress situations. The illuminated dot or reticle helps the shooter focus on the target and maintain a consistent sight picture, even when shooting from unconventional positions or under duress.
  3. Easier to Use: Red dot sights are easier to use, especially for shooters with vision impairments or other physical limitations. The dot or reticle is easy to see and requires less eye strain and alignment than iron sights.
  4. More Versatile: Red dot sights are more versatile than iron sights, as they can be used with a variety of handguns and shooting scenarios. They can also be adjusted for different shooting distances and environmental conditions.

Why Iron Sights are Still Relevant
  1. Simplicity: Iron sights are simple and easy to use, and they have been the standard for handgun sights for centuries. They consist of two posts, one at the front and one at the rear of the gun, and require the shooter to align them to aim accurately.
  2. Durability: Iron sights are durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear, making them ideal for handguns that may be used frequently and in harsh conditions. They are also less prone to malfunctions and errors than electronic sights, which can be affected by battery life, weather conditions, or other factors.
  3. Cost: Iron sights are typically less expensive than electronic sights, which can be a significant factor for shooters on a budget. They also require less maintenance and replacement, as they don't have electronic components that can break or malfunction.

While red dot sights do have some drawbacks, such as battery life and cost, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages for many shooters. If you're considering upgrading your pistol sights, we highly recommend trying out a red dot sight and experiencing the benefits for yourself.


At Six Eight Training Group, we offer a variety of firearms training programs for all levels and interests, as well as, private lessons, taught by experienced and certified instructors. We have created a course specific to shooters that have recently purchased and equipped a Red Dot Sight for their pistol and are looking to gain confidence and proficiency.

If you have any questions or would like to sign up for our training classes, please don't hesitate to contact us at 410.231.3445 or email operations@sixeight.training

 We look forward to hearing from you and helping you achieve your shooting goals.