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I Used a Broken Red Dot Optic on a Police Pistol Qualification

Last week, I shot my department's pistol qualification using a broken pistol mounted optic. This wasn't part of any torture test or experiment, just plain clumsiness on my part. Prior to shooting the course, I accidentally dropped the gun I was using and it landed on the top of the optic housing. The glass shattered, leaving less than half of the remaining glass in the optic and the rest on the ground.




This optic is a Leupold Delta Point Pro. Like other duty rated pistol mounted optics, it is known for its durability, large window, and clear, bright dot. I have an uncanny ability to break even the hardiest of things.


Optics approved at my department for duty pistols include:

HOLOSUN

AIMPOINT

TRIJICON

LEUPOLD

SIG SAUER

407C

ACRO P-2

RMR Type 2

Delta Point Pro

Romeo3XL

507C

RMRcc

Delta Point Pro NV

Romeo3Max

508T

Romeo1

509T

RomeoZero

While my department issues the ACRO P-2 with our department-issued pistols, I prefer the Holosun line of optics for my personal and duty use. The durability, size, cost, and customer service really stand out, especially for someone who needs to outfit many pistols and puts them to hard use (add in clumsy).


Back to the qualification course. It's not your typical police qualification with generous time hacks and little practical skills testing. My friend Thang wrote this course, based off of the LAPD Bonus Course. It goes as follows:


2 Alco Targets BT-5BHPD2 targets (18" x 24.5") side by side on a 24" x 45"cardboard with x-rings 27" apart.


Phase 1: At the 7-yard line, draw and fire 2 rounds on each body, conduct an out of battery speed reload, and fire 1 round on each head. (Par time: 9 seconds) After the phase of fire conduct a tactical reload.


Phase 2: At the 7-yard line, draw and fire 2 rounds on the right body, 2 rounds on the left body, then 2 rounds on the right body a second time. (Par time: 6.5 seconds) After the phase of fire, conduct an out of battery speed reload.


Phase 3: At the 10-yard line, draw and fire 2 rounds on each body, conduct an out of battery speed reload, and fire 1 round on each head. (Par time: 9 seconds) After the phase of fire conduct a tactical reload.


Phase 4: From the low ready, at the 12-yard line, fire 2 rounds on the left body in 2 seconds and return to low ready. Then fire 2 rounds on the right body in 2 seconds and return to low ready. Finish with 2 rounds on the left body in 2 seconds. (Par time: 2 seconds per string) After the phase of fire, conduct an out of battery speed reload.


Phase 5: At the 20-yard line, draw while moving to cover at the 17-yard line and fire 5 rounds on the body of one target, conduct an out of battery speed reload from behind cover, and fire 5 rounds at the other target that's not yet been engaged. (Par time: 20 seconds) After the course of fire, conduct an out of battery speed reload.


Phase 6: At the 25-yard line, using a barricade shooting position, from on-target (safety off, trigger prepped) fire 1 round on each body in 4 seconds. Switch to a support hand shooting grip, with your support hand and primary hands switching roles, and fire 1 round on each body in 4 seconds. Switch back to a right handed shooting grip, and from a kneeling barricade position, fire 1 round on each body in 4 seconds to finish out the course.


At the end course, each target should have a total of 18 rounds in the body and 2 rounds in the head for a total of 40 rounds, or 400 points. I typically shoot 375 and above using my Staccato P Duo and Aimpoint Acro P-2 or Holosun 509T, depending on which optic I'm using.


While using the broken dot, I was late on 2 rounds because I couldn't find my dot quickly enough within the shards of glass but managed to finish with a score of 162 on the left target and 186 on the right target for a total of 348 points. I was able to find the dot in the remaining glass for most of my shots and the optic held its zero, allowing me to make accurate shots and score high enough to earn a Sharpshooter medal.



This experience is a testament to the durability and accuracy of pistol mounted optics. Even with a broken window, the sight was still able to provide accurate and reliable performance. The large window allowed me to see the dot, even when over half the window had no glass or shattered glass.


If you are considering using a red dot sight for your pistol, I would highly recommend it. They are a great way to improve your accuracy and speed.


Additional details:

  • I was playing with a race holster and didn't lock the pistol in properly. Race holsters are NOT my jam.

  • I had to play with my grip angles and attempt to present the gun in a way that placed the dot in the remaining glass (low left), which added time and inconsistency to my pistol presentation resulting in the two late shots.

  • I could have also used iron sights instead of searching for the dot. So for those of you whose departments think you shouldn't run red dots "because they're an additional point of failure," what happens when you only have irons and the irons fail? (I've been there).


If you're interested in learning how pistol mounted optics work and how to run them efficiently, sign up for my 2-Day Pistol Mounted Optics class at Evan's Gun World in Orange, CA. If you don't want to make the investment in purchasing an optic ready pistol and optic, rental equipment is available for a nominal fee. Click the link below to register for my next pistol mounted optic class.




This article was written by Stephanie Y., a competitive shooter, police officer, and law enforcement instructor. Stephanie has taught numerous law enforcement officers and civilians in the use of handguns, semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns, M4/M16 rifles, and more. Stephanie believes in the dot life and hopes to help all shooters become proficient pistol mounted optic users.

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