SIG Sauer Academy continues to expand their instructional opportunities with the addition of a pistol mounted optics instructor course coming in 2019. Over the last several years, the addition of red dot/reflex optics to pistols has seen an enormous expansion. This growth perhaps saw its biggest growth in the competitive shooting fields highlighted by the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA), and the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA), but has in recent years expanded well into the civilian defensive pistol market.
This expansion in red dot/reflex optic popularity is not a simple trend either. Just as red dot/reflex optics provide rifle shooters incredible advantages over traditional iron sights or magnified optics, the same benefits can be found when using a red dot/reflex optic on a pistol. In fact, some say the benefit of a red dot/reflex optic is experienced more when using a pistol over a rifle or shotgun. These optics can provide incredibly faster and more accurate shooting, designed to draw the shooter’s eye to a specific and lit aiming point rather than pairing up a front and rear sight.
The SIG Sauer Academy began operation in 1990 as the SIGARMS Academy. The Academy is dedicated to instructing shooters, armorers, and firearms instructors on SIG Sauer firearms, but also general firearms skills with the shooter’s chosen firearm as well. Though many have believed the Academy will only teach shooting on SIG Sauer firearms, one of the Academy mottos is, “No matter what firearm you shoot, we’ll make you a better shooter, guaranteed.” The Academy provides courses in handguns, shotguns, rifles, precision rifles, and even enhanced tactics.
SIG Sauer Pistol Mounted Optics Instructor Course
The SIG Sauer Academy has achieved a very high reputation for some of the best firearms instruction available in the United States. The Academy and its staff are well-trained professionals from a wide range of backgrounds. Instruction is developed under strict guidelines to ensure student/instructor safety while pushing the students to learn critical skills outside of their comfort area. The multi-million dollar investment into the SIG Academy is a testimony of SIG Sauer’s commitment to excellence in firearms production, but also in training responsible shooters a mastery of those arms.
This course will cover just about everything a pistol-mounted optic user would want to know and learn to master their shooting skills with the improved optic. In addition to an overall overview of optics and mounting systems, the SIG Sauer Academy course will teach students how to properly sight, and apply marksmanship skills using the optic. This may seem basic, but using a red dot/reflex optic on a pistol does require some adjustments from traditional sight alignment.
The course then expands into more practical shooting skills, proper use of barricades, multiple shooting positions, low-light shooting engagements, and the critical skill of accurately shooting on the move. One-handed shooting with primary and secondary hands will be covered, along with 2-handed shooting. This course will test the student’s abilities at engaging multiple targets, conducting magazine changes under time restraints, and how to stay in the fight should the pistol-mounted optic fail. Once the instructor student’s master their practical skills, the SIG Sauer Academy will focus instruction on developing a performance-based training program, weapon maintenance and inspection, and policy considerations for military, law enforcement, and armed security firearms instructors.
SIG Sauer Academy’s Pistol Mounted Optics Instructor Course is a restricted course. Students must show proof of passing the SIG Sauer Academy Semi-Automatic Pistol Instructor’s course, or a nationally recognized firearms instructor course covering a minimum of 5-days (40-hours) instruction. The Pistol Mounted Optics Instructor course is not designed to be an introductory firearms instructor course. Rather, this course is specifically designed to enhance a previously certified firearms instructor’s abilities to provide quality and appropriate training for shooters using red dot/reflex optics. Students will be required to bring a handgun with a pistol-mounted optic, or they may select to use a SIG Sauer Academy P320RX with SIG Romeo optic at no extra charge.
Pistol Mounted Optics Instructor Course Outline
Pre-Requisite: Must be a Certified Firearms Instructor through SIG Academy or other approved provider
- Comprehensive review of PMO types and mounting options
- Advantages and limitations of PMO
- Proper PMO sight-in
- Application of marksmanship fundamentals with a PMO
- Alternative shooting positions in and around barricades, variable lighting and shooting on the move.
- Single hand, dominant hand, and non-dominant hand shooting with a PMO
- Multiple target engagement techniques with a PMO
- Down optic drills
- Review holdover and offset adjustments with a PMO
- PMO training techniques and policy considerations
- Establishing performance-based training for PMO students
- Equipment inspection and maintenance
- COST: $500.00.
SIG Academy Pistol Mounted Optics Instructor Required Equipment
- handgun equipped with PMO – note: SIG Sauer Academy will provide a P320RX with SIG Romeo optic if desired/needed
- three magazines minimum
- holster – duty or OWB
- magazine pouch
- ear protection
- eye protection
- PMO adjustment tools
- spare batteries for PMO
- knee and elbow pads
- water and hydration carrier
Over the last several years BlueSheepdog Crew members have had the opportunity to shoot several handguns with a mounted red dot/reflex optic. The ability to come on target, and deliver highly accurate shots with these optics are incredible. The sight alignment on target is so much faster than traditional 3-dot or similar sighting systems. The biggest drawback in years past was the lack of appropriate security-level holsters for pistols with mounted optics.
This was by far the biggest drawback and prohibition of law enforcement transition, as most of the holsters for optics mounted pistols were in the form of competition rigs. These rigs are designed to secure a pistol, but leave the top open and easy for a fast draw to reduce time. Great concepts in competition, and deadly or fool-hardy designs for on-duty use.
However, in recent years several holster manufacturers have begun making Level III security holsters for on-duty use of pistols with mounted optics. The Safariland 6360 RDS is specifically designed to fit Glock, SIG Sauer, and Smith & Wesson M&P pistols with some of the most popular pistol mounted optics. These Safariland 6360 RDS holsters offer the same Automatic Locking System ALS and Self Locking Systems as their traditional counterparts.
As the availability of optic mounted pistol holsters continues to grow I’m confident we will see more police agencies switching to pistols with primary red dot/reflex optics. The benefits are enormous, and with larger State contracts, the added expense of the optic can be brought into the affordable range. This SIG Sauer Academy course will likely be a national leader in instruction, and we’re thrilled to see the Academy jump ahead on this important development.