Given the significant trend among an increasing number of well-known manufacturers to equip their service pistols with slides ex works that are designed for subsequent attachment of a mini red dot sight (MRDS), one can foresee the possibility that at some point in the future there may be an IPSC division known as "production pistol with sight." Aficionados know that under the rules set forth by the International Federation International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC), which incidentally is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the "Production Division" has the largest number of participants in the sport of dynamic shooting. The regulations on match pistols are quite simple and straighforward.
The most commonly used are the 9 mm Luger service pistols such as the Beretta 92 FS, CZ 75 / CZ SP01 Shadow, the Glock G17, Heckler & Koch USP / P30 / SFP 9 and the SIG Sauer P226 / X-Five Allround with an open sight. There is only one minor power factor of 125, which can be achieved using standard 9 mm Luger ammunition fired from standard length barrels. A trigger weight of at least 2,270 grams is mandatory, along with a maximum barrel length of 5 "/ 127 mm. 15 rounds are allowed, regardless of the original magazine capacity. Minor modifications are permitted. All licensed arms are listed on the regularly updated "IPSC Production Division List".
A supplementary class with MRDS might also make sense, since that would allow IPSC/action marksmen who are getting on in years and suffering from age-related vision problems to be able to take better aim – though MRDS can be helpful to shooters of all ages, particularly where long-range/difficult targets are involved.
A Bright Future
In the US, modern polymer pistols are booming in both full-sized as well as compact formats with MRDS on the slide (along with any additional equipment, such as a weapons light or light laser module on the grip's dust cover), and as defensive weapons for use by the military or police as well as by civilians (with concealed carry licenses). In the United States in particular, Austrian-based Glock has become a major player through its production facility in Smyrna, Georgia, reaching a 65 percent market share in service pistols supplied to government agencies.
They've been at home in the US market for 30 years now and for the last 25 years have been involved in the US Sport Glock Shooting Sports Foundation (GSSF), which they established. This is not without a certain element of irony if one considers that when it originally premiered in the US, the Glock pistol was vilified as a "terrorist weapon," with structural components that allegedly could not be detected by airport security devices. But that’s a long time ago!
Prefer a bit less?
Following on the heels of the "long" sport pistol models G34 (9x19), G35 (.40 S & W), G40 (10 mm auto) and G41 (.45 auto) in the "Modular Optic System" (MOS) configuration with a milled pocket on the top of the slide and adapter plates for various MRDS, Glock has now taken the next logical step in light of US trends by presenting "the" classic service pistol, the G17 Gen 4 and its compact version, the G19 Gen 4 in 9 mm Luger in an M.O.S. variant, at this year’s IWA. Behind closed doors at a renowned US manufacturer we had an opportunity to marvel at prototypes of MRDS with red-dot optics that can be flipped up with the snap of a finger.
When folded down, this MRDS has a silhouette that is no higher than a fixed, open rear sight (which it also has by the way)! Even now, many standard holsters, depending on their design, are compatible with MRDS pistols without the need for modification and a "flip-up" MRDS would be the next step in terms of practicality.