Slide Mounted Red Dots by Russel Phagan

Thanks to Tom R. for sharing this.

Russel Phagan has been using slide mounted red dots on his pistols since 2010. He explains in the video above how they are a huge advantage and even mentions the few draw backs to running an optic on your handgun.

He started with an RMR then tried the Aimpoint T1 mounted on a KE arms slide.

He makes a point to mention frame mounted optics cannot fit in carry holsters and while that is true, I am not sure why that is a criteria for competition but there are ways to secure and holster a frame mounted optic pistol.

His final evolution is for a division called Stealth and he built a Roland Special like pistol for this division. He dubbed it the “Stealth Special”. It is a Glock 19 with compensator and a red dot.

The Stealth Special looks rather effective in the footage he showed at the end of the video above. I do find it interesting how much competition has influenced the evolution of duty/carry pistols. First it was optics on handguns and now muzzle brakes. One advantage that the Roland Special type pistols have over your dedicated race guns is the ability to mount a light. Many open style pistols like the STI DVC, SVI pistols and other 2011 race guns do not have rails to mount lights. They are like Nascar race cars, built for speed but no working lights.

As Russel mentions in his video, the Stealth Special is a fantastic little gun that he considered carrying it.



Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • Steve_Bad

    Bravo Concealment has been making holsters for red dot equipped pistols for some time now. I have one for my G19 equipped with an RMR and Trijicon tall suppressor sights.

    • Nicholas C

      Yes they have. He calls out “Frame Mounted” optics. Think of the ALG 6 Second Mount or other frame mounts for attaching optics. Getting holsters to carry those for EDC is difficult.

      Typically frame mounted optic handguns use race holsters which are not suitable for duty use.

      • Steve_Bad

        Maybe I am missing something, or don’t understand, but I don’t see a single “frame mounted” red dot in any of the photos?

        • Nicholas C

          He mentions it only in the video. That is all.

  • Alexander Nguyen

    Uhhh what is this? Not trying to be negative but I’m honestly surprised/curious why this was posted. Patrick writes about Roland specials all the time. This guys thinks we should be getting taught about red dots and Roland specials in 2017? Hahaha uhhhh what? And then his big wow amazing red dot exploration journey ends up with him building a friggin Roland special with an rmr? Uh what exactly did we learn here? Besides why are we letting this guy come up with some dumb new name? Stealth special? Seriously? By calling it a “special” he’s pretty much totally acknowledging he came up with nothing on his own and is trying to pass it off as creative in some way. Seems totally paradoxical to me. Hahaha ok inrange is cool but like dude I did not realize how far behind they are on modern stuff. I just want gun Jesus to tell me about old guns. Stick to your strengths. It’s just so weird how he built the same gun everyone else has and decides he gets to name it something unique. We all know what the hound says about people who name their swords. Whatever people are so narcissistic now haha even if there are 10000 videos and articles (and 100000 instagrams) on pistol red dots and Roland specials everyone and their special ass wants to make a cute video for YouTube so they can have someone film them shooting and looking soooo cool. Is it just me or is this community way too obsessed with getting video/photographic evidence of their manliness? Because putting yourself on display is perhaps the least manly thing one could ever do

    • Russell Phagan

      Did you even watch the video?
      3:15 to 7:00 specifically addresses all your nonsensical criticism here.

      And I’m using a Delta Point Pro,
      Not an RMR thanks.

    • NG

      Keep in mind there are already a large variety of Roland Special variants to include “Fauxland Specials” and they are all for different purposes based on the specific individuals needs and available equipment. In point of fact I know of a users pistol designed around the Roland Special that is a Glock 41 outfitted for hog hunting. Part of what makes the Stealth Special unique is the majority of the components are sourced from one place, KE Arms.

      Please consider sticking to your strengths (enjoying content on TFB and Youtube) and improving in other areas (tact and grammar).

    • Russell Phagan

      I was an early adopter of red dots on Slides and unlike a lot of people that are new to the party I have signficant experience using them in matches around the country under a lot of unique circumstances. I’m one of the people that has actively been pushing this trend since 2010. There was a lot of resistance to it when it started, and only through demonstrating over and over again that is actually works did it gain traction. In 2012 I had contractors and SF telling me they were buying RMRs and slides to go with them because of my videos showing what could be done with them.

      My results using it are quantifiable and published. And I’m not filming videos to look like a “bad-ass”. I was getting people involved in the action shooting sports through my content before InRange and Forgotten Weapons existed. My channel isn’t nearly as popular as it once was, but you can go back and see it all if you like.

      Ian and Karl are friends of mine and I’m glad for their success

      • Anonymoose

        My only complaint is the large amount of stills in the video. Must have been from the pre-GoPro days. lol

        • Russell Phagan

          Correct. A lot of my older video is pre-HD and looks bad by modern standards.

  • Nicholas C

    Glad that works well for you. Not a critique but open division shooters have been shooting frame mounted optics for a while especially in 3Gun. Your experience and evolution may have predated this, people have made holster that contain frame mounted pistols that retain them.

    • Russell Phagan

      Many 3 gun matches don’t have the same level of physicality as the events I go to. I wouldn’t want to climb over walls, through windows, through tunnels, or lie on my side shooting urban prone on top of an optic equipped pistol without full protection for the optic (as pictured in that link)

      You’ll also see those same open shooters remove the pistol from their belts whenever it is not mandated by stage design. Many of the events I go to require the pistol be on the person for every stage whether it is used or not.

      True open pistols are much more rare at events that combine these characteristics. I’ll also note that pistols falling out of holsters is one of the more common reasons people DQ.

      While I have seen a few custom kydex options that come closer to that level of protection with an open 2011, there’s none that I would actually want to use for that purpose. Things that are large and hanging off your body become liabilities. Check out my Hard as Hell 3 Gun videos for an example of the stage designs I’m talking about.

  • Ryfyle

    So dose this up your Crit Chance, or your attack bonus?