A Close Look At: Sights & Optics

Eyeballing Sights & Optics. Six Quick Problem Solvers

Technology is exploding and much of that forward thinking in our industry is geared toward making sights and shooting easier for we boomers. If you’re like me, you’re still a die-hard iron sight sort of a fellow. But while playing with a Mossberg AR pistol in .22 LR recently, I realized the value of plunking an affordable dot sight on that rail and making it even more fun — to have fun. Herewith is a compendium of ideas to keep your peepers happy and round-out your shooting prowess. We’re just touching on things here, and keep in mind there’s about a gazillion more options if you just nose around a bit. Like, in the ads on our pages! Ha!


Vortex’s. The SPARC AR red dot sight delivers, according to Vortex: “Simple, Fast, Effective, Point and Shoot” in a compact package. Easy control placement, and the 2 MOA dot powers up to the last brightness setting. The 12-hour auto shut-off saves battery life of the common AAA battery. Great for those AR-style pistols!

Crimson Trace

Crimson Trace continues to get shooters’ attention with the Laserguard Pro LL-801. A 150-Lumen LED white light and red (or green) laser sight combination, the Pro LL-801 is designed specifically for Smith & Wesson’s M&P Shield semi-auto pistols chambered in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 Auto. It’s easy to change modes, attaches securely to the triggerguard and blasts out 150 lumens in the white LED light. Blade-Tech can supply a holster.


The SlideBoot isn’t an optic or sight but can protect both! These patented protective covers for handgun slides are constructed of quality neoprene laminated with nylon for durability. The shock and moisture absorbing neoprene also means your slide/sights/optic is safe from scratches, dirt or abuse whether in storage, a range bag or in the field. What a great way to protect semi-autos in the safe!


Truglo’s Tru-Tec 20mm Red Dot is affordable, very compact and proven. The 2 MOA reticle allows precision aiming, the digital push button controls make adjustments easy and fast and has ultra-long battery life from its single CR2032 cell. It’s waterproof and fog proof, has a wide field of view and unlimited eye relief. Mounts on any Weaver/Picatinny style systems.


Viridian’s X5L is attractive (that dark earth color is great!) and explodes with a 224-lumen taclight and eye-popping green laser combo. Dozens of custom modes allow you to adjust it to your needs, then make changes on the fly if needed. Made for a full-sized duty-type pistol, it fits on virtually any railed handgun or rifle. The ECR (Enhanced Combat Readiness) means you can adjust the settings, holster the gun in a Tac Loc holster, and when you draw, the light and laser are automatically on!

Advantage Tactical

The Advantage Tactical Sight Dark Diamond concept is to present your eye with a simple geometric shape (a triangle). Your eye will find it fast and you simply put your target at the point of the triangle. With dozens of color combinations, they say it’s great for aging eyes, while still offering speed and accuracy. Less of the target is covered and it means you can shoot with both eyes open more easily, according to the info supplied. They also offer “glow in the dark” front sights which glow up to eight hours after being exposed to bright light.