USPSA started creating different equipment divisions in the 1990s. Prior to that, there was almost no restriction on what could be used. While detractors, including the original founders that had purposely created this no-restriction environment to allow for free experimentation, derided the “race gun” that had become the runaway favorite for serious competitors as “rooney guns” as something simply unsuitable for street and service use.

The sad thing about this is these same people always used “rooney guns”.

After other competitors began surpassing their ideas did this evolution of experimentation begin to be deemed unsuitable.

Now, don’t tell anyone, but equipment divisions are far less important than most people realize, especially those complaining about them:

Police have begun issuing “rooney guns” already. The military is following as well.

Trijicon Inc., Wixom, Michigan,* is awarded a $7,626,587 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a five-year ordering period for handgun reflex sights for the miniature aiming system – day optics program. The handgun reflex sight is a low profile, wide field of view, passive sight for rapid day and night pistol target engagements in confined spaces, while prisoner handling, or in extremis after the primary weapon malfunctions. Work will be performed in Wixom, Michigan, and is expected to be completed by August 2023. Fiscal 2018 defense procurement funding in the amount of $1,158,052 will be obligated at the time of award and funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with three offers received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Indiana, is the contracting activity (N0016418DJQ25).

At the beginning of the last year, it became known that the US Navy has accepted the M17/M18 pistols to become its next sidearm after these handguns were chosen by the US Army. About a year later, the US Navy has announced the procurement of 60,000 M18 MHS handguns. Both versions of the Modular Handgun System pistols have a provision to mount a reflex sight.

All of these guns would be competitive IPSC Modified guns (anything goes, just fit inside the box). Again, this has been the trend for years now and isn’t a new development, just military and police further and formally authorizing their use:

This part from Houston PD is most important:

The resulting data from required qualifications (scores using a red dot versus irons), fielding (models, mechanical/electronic failures) battery life and other variables will be important to law enforcement and civilian shooters alike. Real-world field testing is invaluable when it comes to picking the best guns, sights, holsters and related gear. Let’s hope that Houston PD is willing to share sanitized data.

Here’s the sad downer. The Department of Army first adopted general-issue optics in the mid-1990s and retained the same qualification procedures and course for two decades after. Even the Training Circulars released starting in 2016 that replaced this qualification were not fully implemented for years after that. With a quarter century of common, general issue optics qualification scores did not change. As always, it’s the indian, not the arrow.