I am a big fan of Keeping It Simple, Stupid (K.I.S.S.). But I hate when the idea is used wrongly. K.I.S.S. should be used to help prevent failure both in equipment and operator, not as an excuse to save money or reduce capability.
With regarding firearms, I often see the argument for K.I.S.S. used when a fighting long arm is set up with only iron sights, and no accessories. Now if your gun is only a toy, set it up however you have the most fun with it. But if you intend to fight with a firearm, wouldn’t it be foolish to not give your self every advantage you can get when your life is on the line?
A basic iron sighted AR is often shown when the term K.I.S.S. starts getting thrown around.
We know guns are expensive. It can hurt to have to open the checkbook again to cover the cost of an optic. But are iron sights really a better choice for a fighting weapon? I’ve seen people say that iron sights never fail. I don’t know about you guys but I’ve bent several front sight posts. To get to my main argument on sights, I think it is clear that optics are far simpler to use than iron sights.
When you put a gun into the hands of a complete novice, you will see that they are much quicker and more confident with an optic. Especially something simple like a red dot or duplex reticle. Many of us may say that it is better to start training someone with iron sights, but the benefit of any optic becomes extraordinarily clear when you put a firearm in the hands of a novice. Those advantages don’t disappear when you put that same firearm in the hands of an experienced shooter. Optics provide greater speed, target identification, and just general ease of use over iron sights. Really, trying to argue otherwise is foolhardy.
Once I had someone tell me that scopes were only for people too lazy to shoot with iron sights. I asked him if our U.S. Military Snipers were too lazy to use iron sights and he sorta hemmed and hawed with out giving me any sort of real response to that question.
It would be foolish to say that it is quicker and easier to “center a front sight in a rear sight while focusing on the front sight not the target or the rear sight” instead of just putting an optic’s reticle on a target.
Some extremely useful tools are very complicated. For example would be pairing night vision with an IR aiming laser. This is not only complicated but very expensive. It has many potential points of failure. It would be easy to point out that both a Night Vision Device (NVD) and an IR laser each would need their own batteries. Each have their own controls. An IR laser would need to be zeroed. A NVD would need to be focused. It takes a great deal of work to run a setup like that, but it is what makes the difference between stumbling around blind in the dark or being an apex predator that owns the night.
A bicycle would be the K.I.S.S. alternative to an automobile. I think most of us would gladly pay the additional cost and risk the additional points of failure just so we could have the much greater capability of the automobile.
Think about weapons the same way. Sure there are plenty of stuff we don’t need, but some are massive force multipliers should we need that capability. Not ever gun needs a scope, bipod, light, or laser but there are some guns where you would be massively improving their capabilities and ease of use by adding some of these things.
Don’t try and set up the simplest/cheapest firearm, but make the firearm that excels at the job it needs to do.