Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

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Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by mikemyers on 2/9/2018, 10:01 pm

I've got lots of questions, but I'll keep this short.

What are the (dis)advantages of this red dot sight, for use on a 1911 ?

https://www.adcosales.com/sights/adco-a1n-reflex-sight-with-mounts-adco-a1n



Is it appropriate for a 1911 wad gun?
Is it similar to an Ultradot Matchdot II ?
Any reasons to recommend it, or to avoid it?

I just got the Salyer gun I purchased through this forum (thanks to Dan!!), and he included this sight, as he will be putting his Matchdot II on his new gun.  I assumed I would be ordering a Matchdot II for this gun, but at first glance, the ADCO seems like a reasonable product, at a lot lower cost than the Ultradot products.  I'm assuming the Matchdot II will either be "better", or "more durable", or both.  Any opinions on the ADCO?

For that matter, there are red dot sights for a 1911 from $30 or so, up to many, many hundreds of dollars.  Are any of these noticeably better than the competition, and if so, in what way?  

(I have no interest in "trick" stuff - a small red dot is all I want.  Triangles, or other fancy shapes, would be a waste of money.  The ability to shoot under water would be a similar waste.  To me, the lighter weight the sight is, the better. )


One other question - if the choice came down to an Matchdot II or an Ultradot L/T, would one be preferable to the other?  The Ultradot is certainly a lot lighter - not sure if it's as durable on a 1911.
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by zanemoseley on 2/9/2018, 10:21 pm

I've been on the forum for several years and have never heard of that brand, its likely a copy of the Ultradot. If you are trying to get decent at bullseye without getting frustrated I'd suggest nothing less than Ultradots / Matchdots, if you have the cash get Aimpoint, its the no excuse red dot. If you're fine with extra weight get the 9000SC, I've got 4 now, if you're weight sensitive get the Aimpoint micros but be warned they aren't cheap.

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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by mpolans on 2/9/2018, 10:38 pm

I've heard of them (Adco has been around for at least a decade), but don't know much about whether they're good or bad.  Since it's included, why don't you give it a shot?

I probably wouldn't put much faith in a $30 red dot.  For example, I recently tried a cheap Bushnell TRS-25 for $60...sort of a cheap knock off of an Aimpoint H1.  It literally did not last 10 rounds on my wadgun.  The front lens start coming out the front of it.  Biggest piece of junk I've ever seen.

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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by LenV on 2/9/2018, 11:01 pm

I have three of them. Nice round dot and so far have held up to everything I have put them on. Have not risked putting them on a magnum. The new models get close to the cost of an Ultradot. But I would still pick one up if the price was right.

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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by Tim:H11 on 2/10/2018, 5:58 am

I was using an Ultradot 30mm model on my 1911 45 then switched to an Ultradot 1” Model. Just changed my mind in what I prefered for field  of view is all. But both the 30mm and 1” model have been fine on my 45. Ultradot has been a bit of a standard choice for a long time from what I understand. Anything less would probably be ok for a 22 but may not hold up to a 45. Anything more pricey and you might as well buy Aimpoint. A lot of top shooters use those. Not that these are your only options, but these are the two I commonly see. Your option listed above, I’ve never heard of. And for $50 or $60 more you can get an Ultradot which has a lot of use in this sport.
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by JKR on 2/10/2018, 7:12 am

I got one of these little Adco sights in a gun trade. I never used it but sold it on a 22 pistol to a friend who I shoot with. That was six years ago and it's still going strong. I don't know how it would stand riding the slide on a 45 but since you have it, why not give it a shot. I can tell you that I've had my problems with UD's too. 

Jim

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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by mikemyers on 2/10/2018, 9:01 am

Maybe I should start with a more basic question.  When the sight is being purchased ONLY for bullseye competition, to be mounted on a 1911, and excluding other factors such as water resistance, etc., is there a logical reason to purchase either a tube-style sight, or one of the shorter sights without a tube?

     

And as a follow-up, again, only for Bullseye, in what way might a $600 sight be better than a $100 sight?   ....and does this make any difference to a Bullseye shooter?

Or, worded differently, if I could have any sight I wanted, why might one style or brand be a better choice?  Does one of them make it easier to shoot better, or is it all irrelevant, with only the shooter's ability determining how well the sight will work?
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by Wobbley on 2/10/2018, 9:15 am

mikemyers wrote:Maybe I should start with a more basic question.  When the sight is being purchased ONLY for bullseye competition, to be mounted on a 1911, and excluding other factors such as water resistance, etc., is there a logical reason to purchase either a tube-style sight, or one of the shorter sights without a tube?

     

And as a follow-up, again, only for Bullseye, in what way might a $600 sight be better than a $100 sight?   ....and does this make any difference to a Bullseye shooter?

Or, worded differently, if I could have any sight I wanted, why might one style or brand be a better choice?  Does one of them make it easier to shoot better, or is it all irrelevant, with only the shooter's ability determining how well the sight will work?
The rationale for buying a more expensive sight is for ease of adjustments and reliability.  The less expensive models tend to not hold zero or even quit working on 45s.  The tube sights are preferred because the dot can be washed out on the reflex sights due to ambient light glare.  The dots are much easier to acquire in the reflex models.
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by Tim:H11 on 2/10/2018, 10:46 am

Something like an Ultradot dot ($150 or so) compared to an Aimpoint ($450+) you might see more consistency in clicks for zeroing a gun or making adjustments in your zero. Consistency meaning the same amount of distance change from one click to another. And also holding zero over thousands of rounds of use be it hotter loads or lighter loads. Not to forget you get better quality in the glass perhaps with a more expensive product and maybe a cleaner looking dot too. 

I like tube dots vs the straight up and down TV screen looking deals because I can recovery from recoil, pick up focus on the dot again and get it back on target faster. I found with a flat TV screen looking optic I lose the dot pretty easily and recovery is slower. But that’s just me. Tube sight just works well for me. I can see down the tube if the gun isn’t lined up right because I will see the inside walls of the tube. When it’s lined up I won’t see hardly any or if I do it’s even all the way around. With the TV screen type I just get lost. And I get a glare or more chance for a glare off the glass. With a tube type with the option of sun shades and extensions you can battle that and work in almost any lighting condition a match may be held in. Overcast or sunny and bright, or gloomy out before, during, or after a rain. I just like a tube dot better because I think they’re easier to work with.
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by Chris Miceli on 2/10/2018, 10:54 am

The only choice is aimpoint
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by mikemyers on 2/10/2018, 11:28 am

Based on what you both just posted, and from looking around the web, Aimpoint seems to be up at the top (although it's not what most of the "what is best" websites suggest).  So, suppose I accept that Aimpoint is the best way to go for Bullseye.  Is this the appropriate sight for Bullseye?  From the specs, it sounds like this is the way to go.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1018264617/aimpoint-micro-h-2-red-dot-sight-2-moa-dot-matte

If so, does this sight mount directly onto the same rail to which one could attach a Matchdot II, or is there a need for a special mounting kit?  There are SO many options on the Aimpoint website:

https://us.aimpoint.com/product/aimpoint-micro-h-2/




To Tim:H11, what you posted sounds like a reasonable reason to select a tube style sight for Bullseye.  If one were to ignore the price, is the Aimpoint H2 likely to be much different than, say, the Matchdot II?   I have a Matchdot II.  I've never seen the Aimpoint.  I assume you have one, and are using it?
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by mpolans on 2/10/2018, 12:07 pm

Tube advantages:
1.  Can add extensions which protect the front and rear lens from getting raindrops on it when it rains.
2.  Can add polarizing filter for sunny conditions.
3.  Larger field of view (some don't care about it).
4.  Adjustments tend to better (repeatable, finer, positive clicks)
5.  Some folks think sighting along the tube makes it easier to find the dot when recovering from recoil (but this really shouldn't be a problem).
6.  Cheaper.

Disadvantages:
1.  Heavier, leading to quicker arm fatigue and if slide mounted, can make reliability more tricky.
2.  Dot is higher from bore axis.

Tubeless advantages:
1.  Lighter.
2.  Greater flexibility for mounting fore and aft.
3.  Can mount lower, closer to bore axis.

Disadvantages.
1.  Adjustments tend to be worse (coarse, less repeatable).
2.  No protection from rain, means lots of ghost dots if you're caught in the rain.
3.  No tube to help you acquire the dot when recovering from recoil.
4.  No polarizing filter in bright conditions.
5.  Good ones tend to be more expensive.

Aimpoint Micro-type advantages:
1.  Lighter.
2.  Can add Totts tubes, giving all of the advantages of tube sights.
3.  Can mount closer to bore axis than traditional tube sights.

Disadvantages:
1.  Cheap ones tend to be *really* crappy (i.e., Bushnell TRS-25); top of the line ones (Aimpoint) tend to be a lot more expensive than top of the line tube sights.
2.  Field of view tends to be noticeably narrower than 30mm tubes.
3.  Cost of needed accessories (Kodiak Machine tubes and base add $140).

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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by dronning on 2/10/2018, 12:36 pm

I shot mostly Matchdot II's until I had a couple of failures where the dot would quit working then come back on even with new batteries, always happened during matches of coarse.  That frustration caused me to switch out my UD's to Aimpoints (H1 & 9000SC) on my match guns at least.

I miss the Matchdot II's elevation knob Sad
-Dave


Last edited by dronning on 2/10/2018, 1:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by james r chapman on 2/10/2018, 1:14 pm

The previous owner keeping his MatchdotII for his gun could be considered a clue of sorts.
I like the Matchdot II on my Clark,
Keep a Holsun on my Nelson.

but,I don't shoot 10k rounds a year either.
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by Dr.Don on 2/10/2018, 1:55 pm

Put the sight you have on the gun.  If you don't like it or it doesn't hold up, then replace it later.  By then you will have more of your own opinions on what you want.  You do not have to spend $600 putting your first red dot on your first 45.  I'm a Matchdot II guy myself......
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by mikemyers on 2/10/2018, 2:40 pm

'dronning', how does your Aimpoint 9000SC compare to the Aimpoint micro h2 when used on the slide of a 1911?

(This is not my first red dot sight, nor my first 1911.  It will be my first 1911 with red dot sight.  I already have a Matchdot II on my Model 41, and I liked it more than the Ultradot L/T on another Model 41.....   I'm not as interested in saving money, as in making the appropriate choice.  To rephrase the question, if they all cost the same amount, which one might be preferable, specifically for bullseye shooting, on a 1911, slide mounted.)


'mpolans' - thanks for the comparison table.  What you wrote is better than anything I have yet found on the internet.  It is certainly helpful to me, in eliminating some of the choices I was wondering about.
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by dronning on 2/10/2018, 3:57 pm

mikemyers wrote:'dronning', how does your Aimpoint 9000SC compare to the Aimpoint micro h2 when used on the slide of a 1911?
Both are great optics you can't go wrong with either one, much of this is personal preference.  I'd still be shooting Ultradots if I hadn't lost confidence in them.  Thousand's of Bullseye competitors still use them with no issues.  I'm sure having 2 fail on me within a few matches was a total fluke but the damage was done, I didn't want to have that in the back of my mind, so I decided to switch to Aimpoint.

I don't shoot the 9000SC on my slide mounts, I use the 9000SC on my frame mounts since the H1 won't fit my Red Buff frame mount.  The H1 I currently use is on my Nelson conversion.  KC is replacing the Red Buff frame mount on my main 45 match gun (he built for me), with his integral slide cut (slide mount) and an H1 with Tots tubes and base.  I will continue to use the 9000SC on my 38 Super (frame mount) for winter leagues.

- Dave

I prefer the H1 over the H2 (2mm larger aperture & axis is 2mm closer to bore center line). 
The 9000SC has a 3mm larger aperture than the H1 (23mm verses the H1's 20mm the H2 is 18mm) but sits higher from bore centerline.  Also the 9000SC weighs 210g (without mounts) verses 84g for the H1 (without shades and mounts).
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by mikemyers on 2/10/2018, 4:21 pm

Thanks again Dave.

Having thought about what you wrote, I got to do some more searching, and found this on our forum:

www.bullseyeforum.net/t6327-aimpoint-h1-or-h2

https://kcskustomcreations.com/product/kodiak-base-aimpoint-micro-h1-h2/


Now I need to sort out what they're talking about - I never heard of a "Kodiak".  Is this something better to use on a 1911 slide mount?   

It's fascinating - every time I think I learn something here, I find myself with more questions, and more things to try to understand.   Fun!
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by mikemyers on 2/10/2018, 8:06 pm

dronning wrote:
mikemyers wrote:'dronning', how does your Aimpoint 9000SC compare to the Aimpoint micro h2 when used on the slide of a 1911?
... I prefer the H1 over the H2 (2mm larger aperture & axis is 2mm closer to bore center line). 
The 9000SC has a 3mm larger aperture than the H1 (23mm verses the H1's 20mm the H2 is 18mm) but sits higher from bore centerline.  Also the 9000SC weighs 210g (without mounts) verses 84g for the H1 (without shades and mounts).

Dave, I spent much of this evening watching things on YouTube about the various sights.  Among others, was the 9000SC, the H1, and the H2.  I guess I'm a total novice at this stuff.  What I thought I knew, and why, doesn't match what I've been learning.  Among other things, I found these two videos on the H1 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skOayj8HKok ) and the 9000SC ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZsbM3bnQRU ).  They are both very impressive.  

My impressions right now are that getting a 9000SC is way beyond what I need, not to mention it might not be good for a slide mount.  The H1 (not H2 for the reasons you posted) seems like a good answer, although the Matchdot II might be good as well.  If I exclude the cost, the H1 seems to be a perfectly reasonable choice.  I haven't yet read anything negative about it, from anyone.   I guess it's time to put this aside for a few days, see what others have to say, and make some kind of decision by Monday or Tuesday.  Thank you.
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by mikemyers on 2/12/2018, 10:08 am

After a lot of searching, reading, and corresponding with the people I respect the most when it comes to these things, I ended up with three choices, Matchdot II, and Aimpoint H-1 or H-2.  The ADCO I will add to the tables at the next club "swap shop".

The Matchdot had a few things going against it, the added weight to the gun, some failures in the hands of experts, the warning from (Katie??) at Matchdot as to how to attach the Matchdot II so I wouldn't have failures, and an expert opinion that the Matchdot II "may be too heavy for good functioning".   

This left the Aimpoint H-1 or H-2, and I went with the H-1.  It's now on order from Midway USA.
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1393860656/aimpoint-micro-h-1-red-dot-sight-matte
(If needed, I might also get the Kodiak mount, but that's way off in the future.)



Thanks for all the useful advice!
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by LenV on 2/12/2018, 11:56 pm

Also from Midway. I can get 4 or 5 of them for the price of an Aimpoint. On sale for 129.99. Vortex Crossfire. They are 229.00 on Ebay. I have one coming just to find out about them. Midway just started listing them.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/909052/vortex-optics-crossfire-red-dot-sight-1x-2-moa-dot-with-picatinny-mount-matte

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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by jglenn21 on 2/13/2018, 8:37 am

Sure wish someone would make a 4 moa dot on those H1 copies...
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by zanemoseley on 2/13/2018, 8:45 am

I've got (4) of the 9000SC's, (2) are on 22 conversions and (2) are on 45's that are slide mount. They work fine on slide mount, just drop in 10 pound springs and raise your powder charge till it cycles reliably. Yes it will take more powder & FPS to make it function but the recoil impulse / felt recoil won't go up due to slide mass, if anything the extra FPS may help a tiny bit on accuracy versus total powder puff loads. 

We warned that the 9000SC will be heavier than the micros or Match Dot II, I think my 45's weight right at 3 1/8 pounds with a full length picatinny rail.

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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by zanemoseley on 2/13/2018, 8:46 am

Also I may still be shooting Match Dot II's had their customer service not totally pissed me off. There's also the slight negative magnification issues and some reported reliability issues, none of which you have with Aimpoint. I also miss the elevation dial.

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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by Jon Math on 2/13/2018, 10:26 am

I have always shot the tube style dots, but I had to be dragged kicking and screaming to them.  I shoot iron sights as well or better than I shoot dots, and my front sight don’t need batteries.

I just put a Vortex on an 1911 using one of the mounts that replaces the read sight using the same dovetail slot.  Maybe they are great for an action shooting game but for bulls eye I’m not overly impressed with the set up and can see the slide going to a smith for some drilling and tapping for a full length rail and a tube dot install.
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