Seeing is believing when it comes to optic-ready handguns. These five will make you a believer.
The world of handguns has grown by leaps and bounds in the optics-ready category. We love optics-ready guns, and the gun-buying public has eaten these things up. With so many out there, you might be wondering who makes the best, what makes them the best, and why you should choose an optics-ready handgun. I plan to answer all of those questions now with my list of the top 5 optics-ready handguns.
The CZ P10 C is an optics-ready option that is also one of the best compact pistols on the market. CZ has mastered the compact pistol platform with the P10 C, and it's been one of my favorite handguns since it was first released. The Optics Ready model comes with plates for the Trijicon RMR and Leupold DPP footprints.
These two footprints are quite popular with the optics-ready crowd and open up a whole host of options. An optic on a CZ P10 C will give you a faster, easy to react with firearm for defensive distances. The dot conquers both day and night ambient lights and allows for faster, more accurate engagements than irons sights.
Glock's method of naming pistols always amuses me. A Glock 40 is not a 40 S&W but a 10mm variant with a long slide. MOS stands for Modular Optic System and is designed to accommodate well over a dozen different optics via an interchangeable plate system. Vortex, Trijicon, Holosun, Leupold, Burris, and beyond are compatible with the Glock MOS system.
A red dot on the Glock 40 takes full advantage of the 10mm's long-range power and 100-yard potential. A dot is generally easier to aim with over distances and is less obstructive of your target. Tough to hit a target 100 yards if you can't see it due to your sighting system of choice. The MOS system takes optics-ready to a new level.
The SIG P365 XL is the big brother in size but little brother in age to the fantastic P365. This slightly less little fella is also one of the first subcompact pistols to be optics-ready. The P365 features a slide cut to accommodate the ultra micro Shield RMSc footprint. That particular footprint is growing like a weed in the micro-optics world with options from Shield, Holosun, SIG, Riton, and Swampfox.
A little optic on a little gun gives you that speed factor that's often needed in a defensive shooting, along with a decisive precision option. Most of these optics' low cut keeps it centered nice and low and allows a subcompact to remain carry-friendly.
Springfield surprised everyone with the Hellcat. The Hellcat challenged the P365 in its dominance of little guns with high capacities. The problem with little guns is a short sight radius makes them challenging to shoot at various ranges. Do you know what problem a red dot eliminates?
Sight radius issues. The Hellcat RDP is the latest from Springfield and wears both an optic and compensator to make the weapon more effective at both range and close quarters. Optics-ready subcompact guns are easier to shoot with precision and deliver impressive performance, and Springfield took advantage of that with the new RDP.
I couldn't leave this list without a wheel gun present. The wheel gun I've chosen is the S&W 327 TR8 which is about as tactical as a revolver can get. The TR8 incorporates an eight-round cylinder, a full-sized frame, and comes cut for moon clips for fast reloads. On top and bottom of that is two rails. One for a light, and one for an optic. Unlike the other guns on this list, the TR8 can take whatever optic you toss at it.
This includes full-sized red dots should you so choose. However, a more traditional red dot might be manageable. The TR8 is a modern fighting revolver with all the modernization you could ask. Without a slide, there is nothing moving, so a red dot is even easier to track between shots and allows you to take full control of the 357 Magnum's powerful potential.
Modern handguns require modern solutions, and the mini red dot realm provides modern solutions. A red dot on your optics-ready handgun will allow you to shoot faster with greater accuracy over longer ranges. Optics-ready handguns are the future. If that tickles your fancy, then check out any of the above guns. Also, don't forget you'll need a holster to haul them around, and Crossbreed offers a ton of optics-compatible holsters for all your needs.
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. Travis has trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army.
He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and pursues a variety of firearms-based hobbies.
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