Although I have been shooting pistols with mini dot sights for 18 years, I recently contacted the National Rifle Association’s police competitions department to apply to have our PFI SOPS-Compact mini red-dot approved for PPC(Precision pistol competition or Police Pistol Combat). All firearms, optics, and even iron sights used in the production categories have to be approved by this committee. Great news! We got the approval!
We have been manufacturing the SOPS-Compact since 2002 and achieved quite tremendous things with it including contracts with the US military forces and then foreign military allies thereafter. In fact, our mini dot sight was rated #1 during field testing by the Australian SAS over 9 years ago!! It’s amazing to see how popular it is to run MRD’s with pistol, since we’ve been doing it for about 2 decades. We’re glad to see the world catch up!
With the advent of the good news, I removed the rear sight from my Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm pistol and mounted one of our MRD sights where the rear sight was previously located.
Instead of having my slide milled out to receive the MRD, I used an EGW one-piece mount to put the sight on my pistol. PFI also offers a mounting plate and dove tail bar to be used for this purpose, but since EGW sent me one of their mounts, I decided to give it a try.
If you ever find yourself mounting a MRD on the Smith & Wesson M&P, note that on a S&W pistol there is a firing pin safety plunger that is spring loaded, so when you remove the rear sight, the spring and cover plate can fly out if you are not careful. Once the sight was mounted, I went up to my local range and zeroed at 25yards. At seven yards, I found that I’d have to aim at the top of the X ring to hit center because of the higher bore-to-sight.
I shot a PPC match at Riverside Sheriff’s range in Riverside, CA, shooting my PPC Revolver, my PPD semi-automatic, and entered the “production auto with an optic” match. The match is a 48-round course. I decided to use factory 124 grain 9mm ammunition made by Precision Delta because my pistol works best with factory ammo. The match starts at 3-yards with the pistol in the holster. When the target faces, you have 8-seconds to draw and fire 6-shots using one hand only (your choice of hand). The next stage is at 7-yard with gun holstered. When the target faces you, you have 20-seconds to fire 12 rounds with 6 in the gun and a reload of 6 rounds. At this point a new target is posted, and we move back to the 15- yard line. The gun is loaded with 6-rounds only again. When the target faces you, you shoot 12-rounds in 20 seconds with two hands unsupported with one reload during the phase. The next stage of fire is at the 25-yard line. The gun is loaded with 6-bullets and holstered. There are two extra magazines loaded with 6-rounds each. I keep an extra mag loaded and available in my pocket just in case of a malfunction. The other two magazines are in the appropriate mag pouches. When the target turns, the shooter takes a kneeling position behind the barricade and uses the barricade for cover. I shoot 6 shots using my right hand in a two-hand grip position using the right side of the barricade for support. Then, the next magazine is loaded and the next position is standing using the left hand to hold the gun and shoot 6-shots from the left side of the barricade. There is one more reload, and the next position of fire is the right handed two hand grip standing behind the barricade for cover. The three phases of fire and completed within 90-seconds.
Some may say that’s lots of time to shoot, and it is, but to keep all the shots in the 10-ring is not an easy feat especially using a stock production firearm.
The red-dot sight makes it much easier to shoot. Just keep the dot in the center of the screen, put the dot on the target, and SQUEEEEEZE the trigger!
If you use the EGW or PFI mount to put your sight on the gun, it works great especially If you have a taller front sight on the gun, so you can find the dot quickly using the front sight as guidance in the window. You can also purchase a pistol with the rear of the slide milled out for mounting MRD sights. If you buy a Glock and similar pistols, the #4 plate works perfectly with the PFI SOPS-Compact.
Check out the photos of my PPC S&W 38 Revolver, Nowlin Semi Auto 9mm long slide, and the Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm I used to shoot the match. My targets are also here for you to check out.
Be safe, and always shoot straight and accurately. As Wyatt Earp always said, “Speed is fine, but accuracy is paramount!”. Another one of my favorites is, “You can’t miss fast enough!”.
– John H Pride