Admittedly, I don’t spend enough time practicing with iron sights and red dots. During a recent range trip, this became painfully obvious when I wasn’t able to consistently produce anything less than 6 inch groups (at 50 yards) while using iron sights. My performance with a red dot sight wasn’t much better.
My first reaction was to blame it all on aging eyes. And in all honesty, I really could tell that my sight picture wasn’t nearly as clear as it was a few years ago. However, despite my woe-is-me vision excuse, I still realized that some additional practice could help.
The first step was to set up a rifle for my “back to the basics” training. I decided to dedicate the Windham SRC (Sight Ready Carbine) to the task. For optics, I selected the Samson Quick Flip Sights and the Trijicon MRO red dot. Also of interest is the new Samson QR Trijicon MRO Base. This quick release mount allows me to quickly attach and detach the MRO, without losing zero.
Now that the rifle was ready to go, it was time for my first iron sight and red dot training session. My son came with me to act as a spotter, because as I told him, “I can’t see shi#.” Clearly, I was already coming up with excuses as to why performance would be so bad.
This next part is important…
When we arrived at the range, my son and I stopped by the range office to talk with the owner, who happens to be retired SWAT. As always, he was very inquisitive as to what I would be testing on that particular day. When I told him about my issue with iron sights and red dots, he threw a little advice my way that I am SO thankful for.
Prior to this range trip, I have always used a center mass hold when using iron sights. But after some conversation with the range owner, he had me convinced that I should give the 6 O’clock hold method a try. He thought this would be especially beneficial given my description of my less-than-perfect eyesight. For the red dot, he suggested a 12 O’clock hold.
So, how did the new hold methods work?…
First up were the iron sights. I’m not going to beat around the bush… I saw immediate improvement using the 6 o’clock hold method. In fact, I was so shocked with the improvement that I initially thought my son was messing with me each time he called out a hit. The following Birchwood Casey targets give you an idea of the kind of groups I was producing with the iron sights. The ammo used for testing was HPR 223 Rem 55 gr FMJ.
Next up, the Trijicon MRO, using a 12 o’clock hold. I’m going have to report that my red dot results during this range trip are a bit inconclusive. However, I really don’t think it has much to do with my hold method, or even my eyesight. I think my main issue was that the red bullseye on my targets drowned out the red dot of the MRO. The following targets show my performance with the red dot.
As of now, I am totally sold on the 6 o’clock hold position while using iron sights. As for the 12 o’clock hold position with the red dot… Due to the red bullseye issue, I’m not quite ready to make any judgments regarding that hold method. During my next practice session I’ll use targets with a different color bullseye to see if that helps.
On a separate note…
Thanks to my son for helping me out and being patient with me as I complain about my eyesight! He did a great job spotting for me with the Meopta MeoPro HD 80 Spotting Scope.
Windham Weaponry SRC (Sight Ready Carbine) Specs:
- Model: R16M4FTT “SRC”
- Weight: 6.30 lbs (without magazine)
- Length Overall: 36.125” (32.375” with Telestock collapsed)
- Model: R16M4FTT
- Caliber: .223 Rem. / 5.56mm NATO
- Type: Rifle
- Action: Semi-Automatic, Gas Impingement System
- Capacity: 30 + 1- Ships with one 30 Round Magazine (accepts all std. sizes)
- Safety: Manual Lever with Indicator Markings on Both Sides of Receiver
- Receiver: M4A4 Type Flat Top Upper Receiver
- Receiver Material: Forged 7075 T6 Aircraft Aluminum with Aluminum Trigger Guard
- Receiver Finish: Hardcoat Black Anodize Finish
- Bolt Material: Carpenter 158 Steel
- Barrel: 16” M4 Profile, Chrome Lined with A2 Flash Suppressor
- Barrel Material: 4150 Chrome Moly Vanadium 11595E Steel w. M4 Feed Ramps
- Rifling: 1 Turn in 9” – Right Hand Twist
- Stock: 6 Position Telescoping Buttstock with Windham Weaponry Logo
- Forend / Pistol Grip: M4 Double Heat Shield Handguards / A2 Black Plastic Grip
- Rear Sight: None – Ready for optics or other type accessory sights
- Front Sight: None – Picatinny Rail Gas Block – Ready for accessory sights
- Packaging: Hard Plastic Gun Case with Black Web Sling & Operators Manual
- More Info: Windham Weaponry
Samson QR Trijicon MRO Base:
- Material: 6061 T6 aluminum with steel QR mechanism
- Coating: Type III mil spec hard coat anodized
- Weight: 2.3oz. (0.14375 lbs)
- More Info: Samson QR Trijicon MRO Base
Samson Quick Flip Front & Rear Sight Package:
- SKU: QF-HK-A2-PKG
- Material: 6061 Aluminum
- Quick Flip Spring Deploy
- Front Sight: HK Halo
- Rear Sight: A2 Dual Aperture
- Front Sight Weight: 1.31 oz
- Rear Sight Weight: 1.55 oz
- More Info: Samson Manufacturing
Trijicon MRO (Miniature Rifle Optic):
- Magnification: 1x
- Objective Lens: 25mm
- Clear Aperture: 0.805 in (20.4mm)
- Adjustments: 1/2 MOA per click
- Adjustment Range (Windage): 70 MOA Total Travel
- Adjustment Range (Elevation): 70 MOA Total Travel
- Dimensions (LxWxH): 2.6×1.7×2.0in (66x43x51.0mm)
- Weight: 4.1 oz (116g) – with battery and without mount
- Illumination Source: LED Powered by a CR2032 Lithium Battery
- Battery Life: 5 years of continuous use on Day Setting 3 (5 of 8) at 70°F
- Waterproof Depth: 100 ft (30m)
- Brightness Settings: 8 Total Settings (2 for use with Night Vision devices, 6 day settings, of which 1 is super bright)
- Housing Material: 7075-T6 Forged Aluminum Housing
- More Info: Trijicon