We’ve seen handgun optics at serious shooting competitions for years. I can’t even remember when people started using red-dot scopes with custom frame-mounting solutions on semi-automatic pistols.
Fortunately, both gun manufacturers and optics companies have released a wide variety of affordable solutions. Strangely enough, many of the same solutions for older shooters are the very same ideas that attract competitive shooters looking to eke out another few hundredths of a second on their course times.
Guns with optics help young shooters go faster, but they also help older shooters shoot more easily.
This seems to be the year of the optics-ready pistol. Smith & Wesson announced the new Performance Center M&P Ported pistols, for starters. Available in 9mm and .40 S&W, the new models feature two things potentially beneficial to older shooters.
First, the slides are milled to accept optics right out of the box. Smith & Wesson includes five different mounting plates that allow you to use the following optics right out of the box: Trijicon RMR; Leupold Delta Point; Jpoint; Doctor; C-More STS Insight MRDS. The iron sights on the new Competition Optics Ready (C.O.R.E.) pistols are slightly taller to co-witness properly with holographic sights. The setup works particularly well with the Leupold DeltaPoint optic.
Second, these guns also feature ported barrels. Primarily porting is a speed feature, but it also virtually eliminates aggressive muzzle snap, which is a nice extra benefit for aging wrists.
At this year’s SHOT Show, Glock also announced a line of optics-ready pistols under the series name “MOS.”
Like the M&Ps, Glock includes multiple mounting plates to accommodate optics from EOTech, Docter, Insight, Meopta, Trijicon RMR, C-More and Leupold DeltaPoint. MOS pistols also include a cover plate that fills the slide cutout area if no optic is used.