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Z3ro Solutions – more on the mini red dot sight

We recently ran an article about red-dot sights (MRDS, or mini red dot sight) for pistols here on RECOILweb. It was written Chad Mercer from Z3ro Solutions and not unexpectedly, it generated quite a bit of commentary. There were questions and concerns (always a Good Thing when discussing something academically), some criticism (also a Good Thing, if delivered cogently without too much scorn and profanity), and then some astonishingly misinformed and occasionally idiotic statements (not a Good Thing, if you're trying to be constructive). This held true on our own page, on our Facebook page and elsewhere too. On at least one forum, one instructor started a forum thread entitled RECOIL “discovers” the red dot handgun” – as though trying to provide information about a red dot equipped handgun to curious readers was somehow analagous to reinventing the wheel. That  instructor's acolytes (not the instructor himself) seemed to somehow interpret Mercer's article to mean RECOIL was “just discovering” the red-dot sight (RDS), or that the Mercer was unnecessarily repeating what they seemed to deem old, if not common, knowledge. Apparently those adherents are stronger on loyalty than they are on reading comprehension and common sense.

What might be old knowledge to some is by no means old to others. Boyd's been dead a while now, but we'd have no problem running someone's article about the OODA loop if we thought it would help a reader's situational awareness, no matter how many OODA loop articles have been run elsewhere before. So we're clear, much of what is published here on RECOILweb is not going to be news to everyone. Of course it won't be groundbreaking (not all the time anyway – hopefully we can pull it off once in a while). Part of our job is help educate and edify our readers, all of our readers. Many of them do not know what the “high speed low drag” minority already know – and make no mistake, the really tuned-in, savvy shooters are absolutely a minority, whether civilian, military, LEO or just humble scribes.

The red dot sight on a pistol is a concept that has been around a while. This one is Iain Harrison's early 90s Tanfoglio 9mm major open gun with a Tasco pro point red dot. There are still a lot of people who don't understand the whys and wherefores.

Iain Harrison Tanfoglio ajor open gun 9mm

Sometimes, we will be running articles by authors who vehemently disagree with each other, and we look on that as a feature, not a bug. Conflicting or opposing points of view can be a valuable asset when performing due diligence. This is part of the same logic that compels us to urge our readers to seek opinion and instruction from multiple sources, so that Thou Shalt Not Become Inbred. Mercer's article was one op-ed piece on his decision to utilize an RDS; I asked him to explain his rationale for the benefit of our readers because I thought he did a good job breaking it down. That said, his opinion and/or expertise should not be the only one you seek. See what your local instructors have to say – there are lots of very good trainers out there who have no “celebrity” status. Look up what Matt Jacques has said, or Kyle Lamb. See also Mike Pannone, Michael Lamb, Daryl Holland, Matt Graham, Dave Merrill, Aaron Cowan, or Gabe Suarez. Maybe even especially Gabe Suarez, since it's acolytes who seemed the most incensed.

“That m'fer in Prescott has done a good amount of pioneering on this shit.” (There; hopefully that will mollify his disaffected fans.)

Don't limit yourself to “celebrity” instructors either.


If we belittle other shooters who know less than we do, for the crime knowing less than we do, then we offer a disincentive to learning and do the entire community a gross disservice. At the same time, if a reader comments merely in response to a headline or a picture without bothering to read the article, it's hard to avoid looking like a complete Piers.

But we digress. For those of you who had some questions sparked by Mercer's RDS article, here is his video response. In it he tries to address some of the more prevalent or significant comments that came up on the Facebook thread. You can read the original article again here if you'd like to put it in context. At 16 1/2 minutes, it's long, but you might learn something (or at least find a new point for discussion among fellow shooters.)

Chad Mercer is the owner of Z3ro Solutions. When he's not busy escorting prisoners and gutter scum from the streets and dungeons of King's Landing to the Wall, he teaches armorer classes, as well as shooting skills from fundamental to advanced. You can learn more about them here or download their brochure to host a course.

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