It has now been more than 3 months since we published an article called the Cult of Kiss. It generated a fair amount of discussion and I am still getting emails about it. Many of these emails are from readers sharing stories of someone who can utilize iron sights with the same proficiency as a red dot sight as if this somehow disproves the thrust of the article.
Interestingly, I have yet to receive an email from someone who can, themselves, use the iron sights to that level of proficiency. All of the emails so far have been about someone that the writer of the email knows of – often a competition shooter or high profile trainer (one talented trainer in particular has come up frequently).
Many have used these talented shooters as justification for their own use of iron sights but it seems to me that this whole situation points out a fundamental issue with many shooters… including myself. We tend to buy and configure gear based on what works for Superman rather than what is realistic for our own requirements/skill level.
That high profile trainer is a high profile trainer for a reason. They have the experience, skill level, and ability to practice enough to maintain the highest level of proficiency. Just because they can utilize iron sights to nearly the same effectiveness as a red dot sight does not mean that you can unless you build a similar level of experience, a similar skill set, and suddenly find yourself with the time to practice daily like it is your job.
The fact that a highly trained person who shoots for a living can utilize iron sights with red dot sight like efficiency is not a reason for you to stick with iron sights. In fact, it is the exact opposite. It shows what it takes to reach that level and unless you have the time to do what it takes, you would be better off using gear that works for you. None of you would council a father of 4 to buy an F1 race car when his needs would be better served with a mini-van. Yes, Sebastian Vettel can drive an F1 car with incredible success, but it simply does not fit the needs of a father of 4.
This issue extends beyond just iron sights and red dot optics. Well known trainer X uses open top magazine pouches but it may be that, given your requirements, closed pouches would be better. Competition shooter Y uses a certain technique on a barrier to great effect but that doesn’t mean it is valid for your situation. Military unit Z makes use of a certain type of sling but, given a realistic assessment of your needs, there may be better choices for you.
Don’t choose gear and techniques based on anyone’s requirements other than your own. You need to build your own filter to pass all of these ideas through to determine if they are valid for you. It is time that you and I quit chasing Superman.