University Study Reviews Pistol Red Dots vs. Iron Sights

    The first formal university study (that I know of) has concluded that for new shooters the use of red dot sights on a pistol leads to statistically significant higher hit ratio on paper and higher accuracy over irons.

    Authors James E. Ryan and Robin Adler or Norwich University provide the following Executive Summary:

    This project examined the comparative effectiveness of traditional iron pistol sights with
    Trijicon, Inc.’s red dot optic sight. Twenty-seven students from Norwich University participated by undergoing a simulated training course of fire using International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) silhouette targets for four different stages. Thirteen students used iron sights and 14 students used the optic. The results of the project indicated that there was a statistically significant difference favoring the optic for “hits on paper” in Stage 1 (15 yard slow fire) and for accuracy (hits near the center mass of the target) for all four stages of fire.

    Of note, the shooters were all students simulating new recruits for military or law enforcement. To help account for the small sample size (only 25 shooters), the authors used surveys to gauge shooting experience. Detailed breakdowns of survey results and analysis of shooting performance are included in the study text.

    You can read Soldier Systems‘ original post here and download the full text of the study.

    Cover page for the study. It is a fascinating read.

    Cover page for the study. It is a fascinating read.

    What do you think? Do you think the results would apply equally to experienced shooting? Do you believe that RMR’s or similar red dot sights are more effective that typical irons?

    Feature image provided by Trijicon’s community.

    Nathan S

    One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

    The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.