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 Fri 09 Feb 2018, 8:01 pm

First topic message reminder :

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 Gary Wells on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 6:24 pm

I chose a Ultradot "MatchdotII" & Jon Eulette to mount it up on my SA CS TGO1. I'm new to scopes but old age & Glaucoma in what was my dominant right eye left me no choice. Maybe later down the road I might be changing to 1 of the Aimpoints but for the first scoped gun I'm hopijng to do OK. I'm an indoor shooter shooting no farther than 50 ft & I think it will do me well.

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

Post by jmdavis on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 7:44 am

Personally, I would have shot the adco until it broke or I determined that I did not like it for some other reason. 

I have a variety of Ultradot 1" scopes that range from 20 to 2 years old. I also have one Matchdot with a field limiting extension from Jerry Keefer so that I'm not as distracted at 25 and 50 yards. 

I have had 1- 1" Ultradot stop adjusting on me. It was used and came on a Benelli MP95 Atlanta model that I bought well used in 2012 or 2013. It died in late 2017.
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by mikemyers on Fri 16 Feb 2018, 8:55 am

Aimpoint arrived yesterday.  It's mounted, but won't get sighted until tomorrow.  

I'm a photographer, and work with a lot of lenses and cameras.  The Aimpoint, compared to the Matchdot II, seems to me to have a brighter and sharper image.  The dot is smaller (2 MOA) but more than bright enough that I'll ever need.  In dry-firing, it's like a brilliantly lit pinpoint on the target.  I think the image is larger too.


  • Being waterproof is good (but I don't think I'll need that).
  • I think the Kodiak mount might be needed ???
  • The reduction in weight from the Matchdot II is huge, at least for me.
  • People have told me that the Matchdot II is heavier than it should be for a slide mount. ??
  • The "photographer" in me definitely prefers the optics, compared to Matchdot II.
  • I like the way the adjustments are made, using the cap for the adjusting screw.


I didn't buy it years ago, because I figured the Matchdot II was more than good enough for me.  That's probably true, but even back then, had I compared them, I'd have saved up a little longer and bought the Aimpoint.
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by mikemyers on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 3:14 pm

Addendum - got to the range today with the Aimpoint H-1 on my gun, got it sighted in, and all seemed well.   What I should have been doing was constantly checking the tightness of the Aimpoint on the gun.  It loosened up after 20 rounds or so, which didn't do my grouping any good...   :-)

Set everything up again, but instead of tightening the screw 1/4 turn, (using the provided tool), I tightened it 1/2 turn.  From then on, every time I loaded a magazine, I tightened up the screw until it felt "tight" again.  Towards the end, all of 65 rounds, it finally seemed to stay tight.

I called Aimpoint Tech Support, and they said their mount was never designed to be used on a 1911 slide mount pistol.  They recommended the Kodiak mount.

Kodiak is now on order from KC Custom Creations.  

-------------------

As a test, since it will probably take a while for the Kodiak to arrive, I will try to continue using the stock mount, but checking the tightness every time I am about to load another magazine.  I'm curious if it is going to continue to loosen.
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by zanemoseley on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 3:54 pm

I would also recommend getting a Fat Wrench torque wrench. That way you can set the screws to the manufacturer suggested torque instead of just guessing. I use mine all the time. Also don't listen to Aimpoint's BS about not being designed for a 1911, I guarantee a magnum hunting rifle generates much sharper recoil than a 1911 with softball loads, they're just making excuses. In their defense you may have been under torque.

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

Post by mikemyers on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 4:32 pm

This?

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1007367010/wheeler-engineering-fat-firearm-accurizing-torque-torque-wrench-screwdriver



Sure, I'll order it today.

To be fair, Aimpoint instructions told me to tighten up the screw until it started to get tight, then turn it 1/4 to 1/2 more.  I figured I'd start with 1/4 turn.  I should have kept checking, obviously.  

Thanks for the advice.  I never heard of this thing before.  I've got a torque wrench somewhere, but it has a 1/2" drive socket at the end, a wee bit overkill I guess.
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by zanemoseley on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 5:07 pm

Yup that's it. Its a mini torque wrench that goes down to inch pounds not foot pounds. I use it constantly when adding or checking optics to pistols or rifles.

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

Post by mikemyers on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 5:13 pm

zanemoseley wrote:.....I use mine all the time.....
How much torque do you set yours to?  Does Aimpoint give a spec somewhere on their data sheets?
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by LenV on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 5:27 pm

Define tight and another half turn. Very Happy
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by zanemoseley on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 5:54 pm

Mike, I don't recall if the Aimpoint dots spec a torque, they should. All Vortex optics always come with a tag in the box stating the recommended torque. Usually 15 inch pounds is a good starting point, I got up or down from there. If its bolts into aluminum threads I would start closer to 10 inch pounds, bolts into steel you can usually lean toward 20 inch pounds. If its a base clamping onto a picatinny rail they sometimes spec upwards of 50-60 inch pounds. 

The FAT wrenches also come in handy tweaking action screws on target rifles.

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

Post by mikemyers on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 7:42 pm

I need to do some thinking about this - as in, is this really necessary, rather than using your sense of feel for how much to tighten the screw?

There is also this guy:
www.weaveroptics.com/gun_smithing/torque_wrench/  available from several shops including Midway USA:
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1009242036/weaver-torque-wrench-screwdriver



It might be just one more thing I haven't been paying attention to, but are there lots of bits and pieces in our handguns where the experts use a torque wrench?
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by zanemoseley on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 8:34 pm

Sure you can do without it but I love mine. If it were stolen or lost I would buy again quick like, I can't say that about everything I own.

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

Post by Bullseye_Stan on Wed 21 Feb 2018, 4:55 am

Personally, I'm a loc-tite user.  There is the purple, for low torque use, blue for medium, and red for high strength.  The green, which is a wicking type, is also useful.  IIRC, the numbers are 242 for blue, and 290 for green.  I don't recall the red and purple numbers. 

FWIW, the concept of torque is to apply a pre-load (or force) on the screw so it stretches and friction keeps the threads from loosening.  It works, but for small steel screws in aluminum mounts the amount of torque needed can approach the aluminum limits.  That means the aluminum threads strip. 

There is also a product called Vibra-Tite VC3 which works very well as an alternative to loc-tite products.  It's useful for nylon and non-metal fasteners, but also works well with metal.  For a pre-assembled sight base, the green (290) loctite is probably the easiest to apply, since it requires no disassembly for application.  However, on removal, heat or penetrating oil (I prefer Kroil) will probably be needed.

Not to say this is superior to a torque wrench, but it's another approach to fix the same problem.  Good luck!

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

Post by jglenn21 on Wed 21 Feb 2018, 6:48 am

Don't have a torque wrench? Simple method is  to use the short end of the Allen wrench. Pretty darn close to 20 inch lbs
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by Chris Miceli on Wed 21 Feb 2018, 7:47 am

tighten till you hear creaking then turn another whole turn. Then remove broken bolt and replace
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by Sa-tevp on Wed 21 Feb 2018, 8:01 am

On the topic of using threadlocking compounds, here are my suggestions for replacing the Aimpoint base in another thread:

Re: Aimpoint Micro mount for .22 grooved receiver
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by LenV on Wed 21 Feb 2018, 8:17 am

Chris Miceli wrote:tighten till you hear creaking then turn another whole turn. Then remove broken bolt and replace
+1 That is what always happens to me when I go a half turn after getting them "tight". I'm hard on 1/2" bolts Laughing
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by 1joel1 on Wed 21 Feb 2018, 5:08 pm

I always just tightened it until the bolt breaks.... then back it off a 1/4 turn.

Oh, there's also the German spec:   gootentite.

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

Post by mikemyers on Wed 21 Feb 2018, 7:40 pm

I remember when I used torque wrenches so that I could evenly tighten head  bolts on a motorcycle.  I imagine there are applications where the settings must be precise, and repeatable.

I'll probably get my Kodiak tomorrow or Friday, so I can see (and hopefully understand) what everyone is talking about, but it doesn't seem to be something that requires precise torque settings to clamp the support onto the rail.

I did see some of the videos on the Midway USA site, showing some uses of the torque wrench that make a lot of sense, such as tightening the sight rings on a rifle.  Gee, these things must be top secret - I did some searching on the internet about mounting the H-1 and Aimpoint on a 1911 slide, and came out empty handed.  I finally got some information, only by talking to KC directly.  

Once it arrives, I'll take some detailed photos of it to post here.
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by Chris Miceli on Wed 21 Feb 2018, 7:57 pm

mikemyers wrote:I remember when I used torque wrenches so that I could evenly tighten head  bolts on a motorcycle.  I imagine there are applications where the settings must be precise, and repeatable.

I'll probably get my Kodiak tomorrow or Friday, so I can see (and hopefully understand) what everyone is talking about, but it doesn't seem to be something that requires precise torque settings to clamp the support onto the rail.

I did see some of the videos on the Midway USA site, showing some uses of the torque wrench that make a lot of sense, such as tightening the sight rings on a rifle.  Gee, these things must be top secret - I did some searching on the internet about mounting the H-1 and Aimpoint on a 1911 slide, and came out empty handed.  I finally got some information, only by talking to KC directly.  

Once it arrives, I'll take some detailed photos of it to post here.
I think you are overthinking a lot of this. It’s just a few turns of some Allen heads
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by LenV on Fri 23 Feb 2018, 7:16 am

Mike, something else for you to think about. I just got a new Vortex Crossfire and tried to mount it on my 952. The Vortex is another Aimpoint clone but constructed a little better then the Holosun (in my opinion) I could not get the scope to mount square. When I tightened it down it wanted to twist a little. Upon inspection I found out that the mount really uses three contact points. One is at the cross slot where the bolt goes thru and the other two are on the ends of the base. If the scope protrudes past your base or goes into a void such as the ejection area then the scope will not mount true and no amount of torqueing will make it better. I gave up and mounted it on my 22A. The Holosun mounts the same way. Just food for thought.

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

Post by Bullseye_Stan on Fri 23 Feb 2018, 8:04 am

As a clarification, because sometimes comments on the internet get misinterpreted and/or are vague, I don't automatically Loctite every fastener or screw.  Only the ones that come loose after a reasonable amount of torque (or force on the end of a hex wrench) is used.  I have a couple of in-lb torque wrenches, but use them only when it's a critical application and some manufacturer's information is available on how much torque is recommended. Then, I generally check the torque wrench calibration.

And, not that I'm particularly lazy, but after tightening a screw with a short hex wrench and it still comes loose: I retighten then use wicking Loctite (green 290).  If it comes loose after that, I start looking for another type of mount.

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

Post by Chris Miceli on Fri 23 Feb 2018, 8:19 am

Bullseye_Stan wrote:As a clarification, because sometimes comments on the internet get misinterpreted and/or are vague, I don't automatically Loctite every fastener or screw.  Only the ones that come loose after a reasonable amount of torque (or force on the end of a hex wrench) is used.  I have a couple of in-lb torque wrenches, but use them only when it's a critical application and some manufacturer's information is available on how much torque is recommended. Then, I generally check the torque wrench calibration.

And, not that I'm particularly lazy, but after tightening a screw with a short hex wrench and it still comes loose: I retighten then use wicking Loctite (green 290).  If it comes loose after that, I start looking for another type of mount.
Nothing wrong with 290 on everything
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

Post by Bullseye_Stan on Fri 23 Feb 2018, 8:32 am

I'm somewhat careful with 290 after having to use heat for a steel 4-40 set (grub) screw in aluminum.  I was concerned the set screw hex socket would be ruined and need to be drilled out.  It took heating with a small butane torch before loosening.  I have since became part of the Kroil club, and learned the value of patience.  After my experience with 290, I read the directions.  It turns out 290 is a medium strength thread locker, similar to blue (242).

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

Post by Chris Miceli on Fri 23 Feb 2018, 8:40 am

Bullseye_Stan wrote:I'm somewhat careful with 290 after having to use heat for a steel 4-40 set (grub) screw in aluminum.  I was concerned the set screw hex socket would be ruined and need to be drilled out.  It took heating with a small butane torch before loosening.  I have since became part of the Kroil club, and learned the value of patience.  After my experience with 290, I read the directions.  It turns out 290 is a medium strength thread locker, similar to blue (242).
My bad I got 222, that’s great stuff
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Re: Choosing a red-dot sight for a 1911 wad gun

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