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Milling vs. Full Optic rail

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Milling vs. Full Optic rail Empty Milling vs. Full Optic rail

Post by Grouse Fri Sep 09, 2022 11:13 am

Are there any advantages to putting a full red dot rail vs. milling a slide for mounting a red dot? Disadvantages either way?

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Post by james r chapman Fri Sep 09, 2022 12:15 pm

Full rail can be changed back to original.
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Post by SingleActionAndrew Fri Sep 09, 2022 4:34 pm

The rail would raise the height but support more choices. Also adds weight. Maybe that's a good thing.
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Post by John Dervis Fri Sep 09, 2022 5:41 pm

A rail will give you more choices for the dot plus where you can place it on the slide.  It will also be a bit higher which is good for reliability since it gives more clearance for ejection.  I have seen a few people with a dot mounted directly to the slide but a majority will use a rail.

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Post by Pinetree Fri Sep 09, 2022 8:41 pm

I have a WEIG-A-TINNY® mount on my Kimber. The sight doesn't move with the slide (like my M41), and I like it.


For what it's worth, I'm the only one on our league with this arrangement.
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Post by Grouse Mon Sep 12, 2022 12:14 pm

Thanks for the insight folks!

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Post by mloo382 Thu Sep 15, 2022 3:43 am

Grouse wrote:Are there any advantages to putting a full red dot rail vs. milling a slide for mounting a red dot? Disadvantages either way?

The plus is that it doesn’t alter the firearm, it doesn’t require taking my pistol out of service for milling & refinishing. The only con I can think of is it basically puts the sight in a cantilevered position from the dove tail. That is why I think a good manufacturer is important.

Milling: pros- a solid mount to slide. Con - shield hast to ne cut & refinished. Milling is for a specific RDS, this might make changing later difficult or require reworking.

I’m not sure of cost of milling & refinishing, but the mounting plate is about $50 (it has to be better quality than the $17 one on Amazon)

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Post by Tripscape Thu Sep 15, 2022 4:55 pm

So if you don't have a tube-micro-reflex bias, if you don't have bad eyes (astigmatism) and are not using pistol for specific discipline then the choices are:

- Cut slide for reflex of a specific mount - will always be lowest possible on the slide.  I personally value lower on the slide.
- Cut slide for reflex plate - will be higher on the slide but still lower than the micro or tube sights
- Put reflex adapter plate into your existing dovetail - will be even higher on the slide, but still lower than the half or full rail. This is the only option that does not require slide alteration. 
- Half-rail - you have to tap slide, good for reflex and micro sights.  Also you can mount Ultradot Micro to this one, which I do like.  it is a longer tube sight that has only one leg as a base. 
- Full rail - you have to tap slide. Use anything you want, but only makes sense to do so if you like tube sights and more mass. 
- You can also cut slide for pic rail at the back end, like Bunker Arms, or cut slide rear flat (as one would for the very first option) but then put a pic rail on top of that flat.  This will give you a reflex or micro or Ultradot Micro mount that sits low.  Have to watch the height though for the ejection issues. 

Bullseye shooters prefer tube sights or micros with shades.  Action shooters and self defense prefer reflex.  A mixed martial artist prefers micros.  Nothing wrong with either of them as long as you have a good technique and as long as your eyesight allows it.

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