Does it replace the original dust cover or just attach to it?
It replaces the original dust cover with a full dust cover made out of billet aluminum with integrated rail. It also replaces the rear sight, and the rear take down plunger off the recoil spring guide rod assembly.
It holds zero, and returns to zero if you field strip it.
It attaches in the front to the rear sight base trunnion replacing the rear sight, and then in the back it is held into place by an extended tool steel rear take down plunger, that is a little bit over sized so that it forces the dust cover down. Kind of hard to explain.
How would you feel about an Elcan SpecterDR 1-4x with an Aimpoint T-1 2moa mounted on top to supplement the Elcan's shitty battery life?
Personally I don’t think the aimpoint is necessary. The elcan has an etched reticle so it still works without batteries just not illuminated. Get squared away and change your batteries on a regular schedule and carry spares. If your mission calls for both then you make the call. I would just keep buis or maybe stow the aimpoint in my gear. I wouldn’t carry both on the rifle that’s just me.
What kind of pistol would you recommend to someone who has never owned a firearm. Preferably an affordable one to get used to having a gun as far as maintenance, longevity, and practice?
I would try to get to a range and or find a friend who has guns so you can try several guns out. You will save yourself a lot of money in the long run trying before you buy.
Honestly for a first gun I would say a Springfield XDm or an FN FNX in 9mm. Glocks and M&P’s are good too but the extra safety features of the XDM and FNX are better for new shooters. Glocks are more for people who know what they are doing.
Have a realistic budget. $500-$700 for the gun. 3-4 magazines, at least 200 rounds to practice and break the gun in, and the a box or two of hollow points for actual defensive use.
If you insist on saving money buy a used gun. Guns will last several lifetimes if cared for so don’t be afraid of used guns. In fact all my pistols were bought used, and only 3 of my rifles were new.
Some cool used guns to check out are sig p6’s(German police guns), police trade in/used p226, p210’s.