Reflex Sights mounted on defensive pistols are becoming more and more popular. Traditionally, red dot and reflex sights would only be seen on competition guns. Some people seem to turn away from the idea of using anything other than iron sights when talking about handguns for self defense and concealed carry. There is fear that it is not reliable and will fail when needed most. However, with the correct equipment and proper mounting, a pistol mounted reflex sight can be extremely dependable and a valuable tool for increasing your self defense shooting abilities.
With a Texas License to Carry, there are no restrictions on the pistol you carry or what can be mounted on it. Iron sights must be used for the LTC qualification, but once that is completed, the pistol can be modified in any way you wish.
Going off of Aaron Cowan’s (with Sage Dynamics) recommendations from his testing of reflex sights, I would only recommend the Trijicon RMR or Leupold Deltapoint Pro sights. These were the only two optics to pass all of the tests in order to be trusted on a duty or self defense gun. Both of these sights, especially the Trijicon, are expensive, but the cost is worth the quality and dependability they offer.
There are a few options available for mounting to a pistol. Because the Smith and Wesson M&P and Glock pistols are commonly used guns, I will be referring to options for them. Smith & Wesson offers the M&P CORE series pistol and Glock offered the MOS series pistol. Both of these pistols come from the factory with a cut in the slide meant for mounting a reflex sight. Using a mounting plate, either the Trijicon or Leupold sights can be mounted. The other option is to send your standard stock slide to a company for it to be milled to accept a reflex sight. This means that the company will mill the slide on the top in order to mount a reflex sight directly to the top. There are a couple primary advantages with having a slide milled, but they rely on a quality company to do the work. Reputable companies that mill the slides will ask for you to send the reflex sight in with the slide. This way the slide can be milled exactly to the dimensions of your sight. This prevents the reflex sight from being able to shift or move even when dropped or struck against something. The zero will not move even when removing the sight to replace a battery.
The most important part of using a new weapon platform is to practice and train with it! With practice, a reflex sight mounted on a pistol is very accurate, easy to shoot and a great additional for a concealed carry pistol. However, if no time is put in to learn how to use the new platform, shooting will be slower and more difficult than it was with iron sights. Developing muscle memory is crucial to consistently and quickly acquire the red dot. Training is the most important aspect when it comes to carrying a gun. In Texas, attaining your License to Carry is extremely easy and the only shooting required is a 50 round qualification. It should be every LTC holder’s top priority to go way beyond this easy requirement to become as proficient as possible with whatever they are carrying.