Enhancing Precision and Performance: Pistol Optics in Shooting Sports

In the ever-evolving world of shooting sports, staying ahead of the competition often requires embracing cutting-edge technology. One of the most significant advancements in recent years is the integration of pistol optics. Traditionally, optics were associated with rifles, but today, they have become a game-changer for handguns, revolutionizing how shooters aim and significantly enhancing their accuracy.

Best Pistol Optics

In this comprehensive article, we will delve deep into the benefits and advantages of using optics on pistols, with a particular focus on five prominent options: the Trijicon SRO, Holosun 507Comp, Leupold Delta Point Pro, C-More RTS, and Aimpoint ACRO.

Hunter Constantine shooting Smith & Wesson M&P9 with the Holosun 507 Comp.
Here I am shooting my Smith & Wesson M&P9 with the Holosun 507 Comp. This is the main competition optic that I use.

1. Trijicon SRO

The Trijicon SRO (Specialized Reflex Optic) is a standout in the world of pistol optics, known for its exceptional performance. Designed with competitive shooters in mind, the SRO offers a wide field of view and a crystal-clear sight picture. Its red dot reticle aids in rapid target acquisition, making it an excellent choice for practical shooting competitions. The SRO’s large window allows for quick target transitions, which is crucial in achieving top-tier results in fast-paced shooting events.

2. Holosun 507 Comp

The Holosun 507 Comp is renowned for its versatility, reliability, and affordability. Equipped with multiple reticle options and shake-awake technology, this optic provides shooters with a dependable aiming solution that excels in various lighting conditions. Its robust construction makes it equally suitable for recreational shooters and those who demand unwavering performance in competitive environments. The 507Comp is the current optic that I shoot to shoot with! It has one of the largest objective lenses on the market. 

3. Leupold Delta Point Pro

The Leupold Delta Point Pro has gained immense popularity among pistol optics enthusiasts due to its compact design and precision. Ideal for concealed carry and competitive shooting, the Delta Point Pro features a precise 2.5 MOA red dot reticle. This level of accuracy ensures rapid target acquisition and consistent shot placement, even in high-stress situations.

4. C-More RTS2

For competitive shooters seeking a low-profile and lightweight optic, the C-More RTS2 is a top choice. This open reflex sight offers rapid target acquisition and boasts a range of reticle options, including the renowned “Click Switch.” Shooters can effortlessly customize reticle patterns to match their preferences and the specific conditions of their matches.

5. Aimpoint ACRO

Aimpoint, a trusted name in the optics industry, introduced the ACRO (Advanced Compact Reflex Optic) specifically designed for handguns. The Aimpoint ACRO is built to withstand the rigors of competitive shooting and duty use. It features a crisp red dot and an enclosed design, ensuring durability and reliability even in adverse conditions. Shooters can depend on the ACRO for consistent accuracy and performance.

Aimpoint ACRO on M&P competition pistol
Here is the AImpoint ACRO. The closed emitter system makes it ideal for inclement weather.

Advantages of Using Optics on Pistols

Now that we’ve explored some of the leading pistol optics available let’s delve deeper into the extensive advantages they bring to shooting sports:

1. Pistol Optics Can Enhance Accuracy

One of the most significant advantages of using optics on pistols is the dramatic improvement in accuracy. Traditional iron sights require shooters to align the front and rear sights with the target, which can be challenging, especially under pressure. Pistol optics eliminate this need by providing a precise aiming point in the form of a red dot or other reticle. It allows the shooter to go from three focal planes down to two focal planes. That makes it very easy to stay target-focused. This simplifies the aiming process and results in more accurate shots. This advantage cannot be overstated in competitive shooting, where fractions of an inch can determine victory or defeat.

2. Rapid Target Acquisition 

Red dot sights, such as the ones mentioned above, enable shooters to acquire targets quickly and efficiently. Unlike iron sights that demand meticulous alignment, red dots allow shooters to focus on placing the dot on the target. This significantly reduces the time it takes to aim and fire accurately, making it a game-changer in dynamic shooting sports. Whether it’s transitioning between multiple targets or engaging moving targets, the speed of target acquisition is a crucial factor in success.

3. Improved Low-Light Performance

Many pistol optics come equipped with adjustable brightness settings, night vision compatibility, or both. These features ensure that shooters can maintain accuracy in low-light or no-light situations. In competitive shooting, matches often occur in varied lighting conditions, and being able to consistently and precisely aim in low-light scenarios is a significant advantage. Additionally, for those using pistols for self-defense, the ability to aim accurately in low-light environments can be a matter of life and death.

4. Pistol Optics Reduce Eye Strain

Traditional iron sights demand that shooters focus on three points: the target, the front sight, and the rear sight. This requires the eye to continually shift focus between these elements, leading to eye strain during extended shooting sessions. Optics simplify this process by allowing shooters to focus solely on the target, reducing eye strain and fatigue. This increased comfort can lead to improved concentration and better overall performance, especially during long matches or training sessions.

5. Customization Options With Pistol Optics

One of the compelling aspects of modern pistol optics is the range of customization options they offer. Shooters can tailor their sights to their specific preferences and match conditions, giving them a competitive edge. Most optics allow users to adjust reticle brightness, switch between reticle types (such as dots, circles, or crosses), and fine-tune windage and elevation settings. This adaptability means that shooters can optimize their optics to suit their shooting style, vision, and the specific requirements of different matches.

Best Pistol Optic
An EMG Customs Open 2011 equipped with the C-More RTS2.

Choosing the Right Optic

Selecting the right optic for your pistol can be a daunting task, given the myriad options available on the market. To make an informed choice, consider the following factors:

  1. Purpose: Determine your primary use for the pistol. Are you primarily a competitive shooter, a concealed carrier, or a recreational shooter? The intended use will influence the type of optic that suits your needs.
  2. Reticle Type: Different optics offer various reticle types, such as dots, circles, or crosses. Choose a reticle that you find easy to acquire and align with your target quickly.
  3. Durability: Consider the durability of the optic, especially if you plan to use it in challenging conditions or for duty purposes. Look for optics with rugged construction and water-resistant features.
  4. Battery Life: Battery life can vary significantly between different optics. Opt for an optic with a battery life that meets your requirements, and consider models with auto-off features to conserve battery when not in use.
  5. Mounting Options: Ensure that the optic you choose is compatible with your pistol’s mounting system. Some optics may require specific mounting plates or adapters.
  6. Budget: Pistol optics come in a wide price range. Determine your budget and explore options within that range. Remember that a quality optic is an investment in your shooting performance.
On the left is the Leupold Delta Point, and on the right is the Trijicon SRO.
On the left is the Leupold Delta Point, and on the right is the Trijicon SRO.

The New Era of Pistol Optics 

The integration of optics on pistols has ushered in a new era of precision and performance in shooting sports. The Trijicon SRO, Holosun 507Comp, Leupold Delta Point Pro, C-More RTS, and Aimpoint ACRO are shining examples of the myriad options available to shooters today. These optics provide enhanced accuracy, rapid target acquisition, improved low-light performance, and reduced eye strain, ultimately enabling competitors to reach their full potential on the range.

As technology continues to advance, we can only anticipate further innovations in the realm of pistol optics. These advancements will undoubtedly raise the bar for shooting sports, making them even more competitive and exciting. Whether you’re a professional shooter or a recreational enthusiast, embracing pistol optics is a step toward. 

Taran Tactical Sand Viper with the Trijicon SRO. Pistol Optics
Taran Tactical Sand Viper with the Trijicon SRO.
I am a professional competition shooter that travels the country sharing my knowledge, competing, and, most importantly, having fun. My love for firearms and the gear started at a young age but didn't come to fruition until later in life, in 2019. I have climbed the ranks in USPSA, achieving Grand Master classification in only 14 months. My educational background is in marketing, graduating with my MBA in 2017. At the end of the day I am someone who enjoys being on the range all day and being able to share that experience with other.

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