Deryck Poole

Maximizing the Value of a Red-Dot Sight

Deryck Poole
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Duration:   3  mins

Deryck Poole, co-host of PDN’s Training Talk, has been getting a lot of questions about red-dot sights on defensive pistols. The price of red-dot sights has come down significantly, and more manufacturers are making pistols pre-cut and ready for a red dot to be added, with some even shipping their guns with the red dot already attached to it.


This means more self-defense oriented shooters are interested in using red-dot sights but have questions, such as when and how they should use a red-dot sight. Deryck wants to help shooters get the maximum value out of a gun with a red-dot sight attached. The red dot has some definite advantages as compared to iron sights. With irons, we have to line up the front and rear sights, and we have to get a clear front sight post and a fuzzy target behind that.

With a red-dot sight, we have only a single focal plane. We are looking in the direction of the target, looking for the red dot and putting it on top of the target. If we apply enough trigger control and enough deviation control on the gun, we will get the hit we need.


At the “average” defensive shooting distance, nine to 15 feet, we can hit a high center chest target without using sights, but using kinesthetic alignment. (To learn more about kinesthetic alignment and shooting without sights, check out Rob Pincus’s video on The Myth of Defensive Sighted Fire.)

If you use a red dot at these distances, you’re slowing yourself down unnecessarily as you take the time to verify that the red dot is sitting on top of the target. However, if you are aiming at the head or any small target, or you are farther away, you should use the red-dot sight. Slow down and take the time to verify that the red dot is on top of your target.


Deryck answers this question in detail too, so be sure to watch the entire video!

Maximizing the Value of a Red-Dot Sight Join Personal Defense Network to continue watching for $10.00 per month / $112.00 per year