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Saab1911
September 3, 2008, 10:31 AM
I think laser sights have their novelty appeal, but I have some issues with
them.

1) POI and laser dot can be off by as much as 3" at 25 yards.

2) Lasers need batteries.

3) Lasers will not help with proper trigger pull. So, essentially it only helps
people who don't need help.

Are laser sights just gimmicks or do they have a purpose in self defense
situations?

cheers,

Jae

kpitt
September 3, 2008, 11:06 AM
I have a M6X light/laser on my duty gun. If used right, it can be useful.

First off there is the mental advantage for having a laser. If I stop a car and a guy or two or three gets out, the fact there will be a laser dot on one's chest may be enough to stop whatever they may have up their sleeve. People think about the movies when they see a red dot on them....

Second, they can be helpful when shooting in odd positions, such as under a car....it gives me an option when I may not be able to line up the sights.

However, those points being made, I also like to have the option to turn it off when I may not want to give my position away. It is a useful tool but I would never rely totally on it.

Be safe!

spamanon
September 3, 2008, 11:11 AM
1) POI and laser dot can be off by as much as 3" at 25 yards.

2) Lasers need batteries.

3) Lasers will not help with proper trigger pull. So, essentially it only helps
people who don't need help.


The crimson trace on my SIG are within an inch at 25 yards, good enough for self defense.
I have had the same batteries since I bought them, and the dot is still strong. It has been about 5 months. I use them about once a month.
Lasers can be really useful if you are wounded, or shooting while tied up, or shooting weak handed while bleeding. Since these scenarios are rather unordinary, they are a little gimmicky.:rolleyes: I do use them for dry-fire practice. Nothing keeps your aim right like trying to let that dot move as little as possible while pulling the trigger.

Also, a red dot on the chest is a sure way to stop most BGs who otherwise would, from wanting to charge you into a drawn weapon. I think as long as they aren't used as a replacement for practice and proper training, they have their purpose, but I agree that they are mostly gimmicky. Still I have them and enjoy them.:cool:

Brian Pfleuger
September 3, 2008, 11:48 AM
They are standard issue for at least one local agency. They do seem a little "mall ninja" but I can see the usefulness (see LE post above).

Smaug
September 3, 2008, 12:03 PM
I think they're a great idea. People would like to not like them because they are expensive.

But lasers do indeed solve one problem. As one lines up one's sights, you only have as much resolution as you have sight radius. Some guns, this is 4", others 10" or more. But a laser has pretty much an infinite sight radius. This is a huge benefit on something like a snubbie. It allows the full accuracy to be had despite the shorter barrel.

Some of the reasons noted above, I had not thought about, but they make sense too.

Smaug
September 3, 2008, 12:04 PM
One last thought: Aren't lasers banned in certain shooting competitions? Probably because they give an unfair advantage to those who can afford them.

Kind of like how recumbant bikes were banned from certain bike races for the same reason.

Saab1911
September 3, 2008, 12:08 PM
Kind of like how recumbant bikes were banned from certain bike races for the same reason.


Aren't recumbent bicycles strictly for people who can't afford Segways?

Isn't the idea to look as dorky as possible to drive women away
so that one does not have to bother with fathering children?

sholling
September 3, 2008, 12:10 PM
They aren't intended for IDPA or target practice. They're a self defense tool and we have discussed on here 8 zillion times.

Smaug
September 3, 2008, 12:57 PM
Saab1911 - As we say over on sport-touring.net: "Thank God I'm not cool. Now I can do whatever I want." :D

Jermtheory
September 3, 2008, 02:45 PM
go to the Crimson Trace site and order the free video.

they do a great job of demonstrating the advantages of a laser.almost everyone ive heard say "they're a novelty/gimmick" have changed their minds after some real trigger time with them,especially in low light.


1.depends on the laser and how you zero it,a properly zero'd CT grip should better than that at even 50 yards.

2.four hours isnt bad if you make sure to keep fresh batteries in them.i change them out for practice and carry/HD.

3.they most definately help training proper trigger pull.

darkgael
September 3, 2008, 03:27 PM
"Aren't lasers banned in certain shooting competitions?"
As far as I know lasers are banned from ALL shooting competitions. I believe that they are similarly banned for hunting.
I don't see that a laser gives an unfair advantage. It's a sight; if the shooter holding the gun wobbles, the dot will too. Don't know exactly why they are banned.
Pete

astromanluca
September 3, 2008, 03:35 PM
They might be useful at night, but if you can afford a laser, you can afford night sights.

Was at the range last week and saw someone a few lanes down with a laser. They were wobbling all over the place and the target had holes all over... at the edges, in the middle, in between... I think a laser is a poor substitute to knowing how to actually aim a gun! But they still have their uses as others have pointed out.

Brian Pfleuger
September 3, 2008, 03:42 PM
I believe that they are similarly banned for hunting.

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense doesn't it? Ban something that can help make accurate shots lessening the likelihood of a wounded animal. It's not like a laser makes the gun more effective or gives you longer range, all it does is show you where the bullet is going.

Don Gwinn
September 3, 2008, 04:03 PM
Jermtheory is the only one I've seen mention it so far, but we used Crimson Trace grips at the Para/Blackwater gun blogger weekend. I'd never really used one before, and Todd Jarrett was teaching the class. He's a huge proponent (well, he works either for or with Crimson Trace now, so I guess you'd expect that) of the laser as a training aid. He says it was the single biggest leap in shooting ability he's ever made when he started using a laser with dry fire and group shooting.

He could watch the dot and tell exactly what everyone was doing wrong, and it's not just trigger control. The follow-through, returning the sights to the target for the next shot . . . . the laser doesn't let you get away with anything. It's harsh and honest, which is what you want in an assessment tool.

tschmittel
September 3, 2008, 05:58 PM
I have them and consider them usefull for self defense situations. In the event that I need to use my weapon, I'm not sure it would be easy to concentrate on the front sight instead of looking at the threat. A red dot on the threat would be visual confirmation. I know everybody thinks they will focus on front sight and squeeze but when shtf and adrenaline is flowing and heart rate is racing and stress is high I think they can be helpful.

Rmart30
September 3, 2008, 08:34 PM
1) POI and laser dot can be off by as much as 3" at 25 yards.

3 inches off POI/dot on a 18x24 torso wouldnt concern me at all....

I can definently see where especially in LE work where they would be a asset.

okmic1
September 3, 2008, 09:10 PM
My buddy has a crimson trace on his S&W 9mm. I can't even see the thing during daylight, so I'm not considering getting it for one of my XDs. I might get a Viridian Green laser down the road though. It's a lot easier for me to see.

treg
September 3, 2008, 09:11 PM
A lazer pointer taped to your barrel while dry firing can be an invaluable training tool.

vox rationis
September 3, 2008, 09:32 PM
A lazer pointer taped to your barrel while dry firing can be an invaluable training tool.

Yeah but if you are properly focusing on the front sight while dry firing, you'll see minute movements that you might even miss by watching that laser, so using the sights while dry firing is still superior.

To me the only use for lasers is in low light, for poor eyesight that can't focus on the front sight, or in certain cases where a traditional grip and aiming is tactically impossible. I suppose it is better to have the laser and not need it than to need it and not have it, but personally I am comfortable with the night sights on my weapon and am not planning on getting a laser anytime soon.

FM12
September 3, 2008, 09:57 PM
I've not seen enough in action or tried one to be able to intellegently make up my mind. The biggest potential problems I see are relying on them instead of a proper sight picture, and them either failing or becoming knocked out of alignment. As a range officer for department qualifications I watched one of our retired officers use a laser sighted 229/.357 Sig at night. He used the laser instaed of his flashlight, so didnt know if he would be able to id the target or not. I can see some good, but the POSSIBILITY for bad also. If you rely on them and need them in bright daylight, you might be watching for the dot and not paying attention to what is going on. I dont rely on night sights either, for what it's worth.

I've been handgunning since my US Navy days in the early 1970s, and full time LEO since 1975. I'm a FBI trained, state APOST certified firearms instructor since 1983, and do more shooting than the average gun owner and police officer. In my opinion, less is better, but there is always room for improvement, as long as the improvement dosent pose more liabilities than benefits.

As an aside, I shot alongside the above mentioned retired officer during rifle quals, which is only 10 rounds at 50 yards. He had a Bushy in .223 with lights, a laser and a HOLO sight. I outshot him with an iron sighted Marlin 9MM camp rifle.

I see a lot of shooters buying add-ons hoping to make up for poor shooting habits and seeing the latest piece of equipment as a fix for poor scores or large groups. A new $2000 custom 1911 will "surely" fix their poor scores and large groups caused from trying to "wish" and"spend" themselves into a class A shooter's position. These are very much like the golfer who is convinced the newest set of clubs will make up for his failure to practice or get professional help from a local pro.

As I see it now, and have for 30+ years, you can't spend your way out of poor shooting habits and failure to praqctice.

Please, no flames, there is no intent here to rain on the laser parade. This is just from 35 years of handgunning/policing/shooting/instructing, and what I've observed first hand.

robhof
September 3, 2008, 10:45 PM
I've got a Crimson Trace on my M9 and it's great for point shots from any angle. With several hundred rounds fired with the laser, I've developed muscle memory to the point that I can point the pistol without the laser on and get center body shots on a target at 10 yds(normal self defense distance). The CT's and most good lasers are adjustable and sturdy enough to handle many rounds. Even my wife, who is a very novice shooter was able to put an entire clip into the 9-10 rings by watching the red dot on her first time shooting a 9mm at 7yds.

vox rationis
September 3, 2008, 11:05 PM
I've not seen enough in action or tried one to be able to intellegently make up my mind. The biggest potential problems I see are relying on them instead of a proper sight picture, and them either failing or becoming knocked out of alignment. As a range officer for department qualifications I watched one of our retired officers use a laser sighted 229/.357 Sig at night. He used the laser instaed of his flashlight, so didnt know if he would be able to id the target or not. I can see some good, but the POSSIBILITY for bad also. If you rely on them and need them in bright daylight, you might be watching for the dot and not paying attention to what is going on. I dont rely on night sights either, for what it's worth.

I've been handgunning since my US Navy days in the early 1970s, and full time LEO since 1975. I'm a FBI trained, state APOST certified firearms instructor since 1983, and do more shooting than the average gun owner and police officer. In my opinion, less is better, but there is always room for improvement, as long as the improvement dosent pose more liabilities than benefits.

I see a lot of shooters buying add-ons hoping to make up for poor shooting habits and seeing the latest piece of equipment as a fix for poor scores or large groups. A new $2000 custom 1911 will "surely" fix their poor scores and large groups caused from trying to "wish" and"spend" themselves into a class A shooter's position. These are very much like the golfer who is convinced the newest set of clubs will make up for his failure to practice or get professional help from a local pro.

As I see it now, and have for 30+ years, you can't spend your way out of poor shooting habits and failure to praqctice.

Please, no flames, there is no intent here to rain on the laser parade. This is just from 35 years of handgunning/policing/shooting/instructing, and what I've observed first hand.

Great points.

At the last pistol course I took, the instructor told us that he had a fellow there with one of those laser units that fit on the front of the trigger guard, but he had trouble seeing it in the very bright and sunny day and his shooting was very poor because unfortunately he didn't know how to properly use his sights, and was essentially using his laser as a crutch, something that was wasn't working for him in a very bright outside environment.


As an aside, I shot alongside the above mentioned retired officer during rifle quals, which is only 10 rounds at 50 yards. He had a Bushy in .223 with lights, a laser and a HOLO sight. I outshot him with an iron sighted Marlin 9MM camp rifle.

classic! this reminds me of that scene in the movie "This Boy's Life" where Robert DeNiro's character with the tricked out target rifle and the fancy shooting outfit and hunter's hat, is out shot by his wife using a good old pump action 22 with dovetail sights..(pretty good movie I thought :)) Robert DeNiro's character then goes on to berate his, latest, in a series of many we are to understand, rifle, and how it too was no good, and how the sights were junk, etc etc :D

Jermtheory
September 3, 2008, 11:30 PM
i think everyone would(should) agree that there are no magic fixes...and that technology shouldnt be used to try and replace proper training or building the proper skills.

but that shouldnt be used as an excuse to ignore potential benefits(if used properly and with the right mindset).

for every person who uses some piece of equipment as a crutch...theres another who misses out on something which can be a great tool.

kozak6
September 4, 2008, 12:04 AM
What I have seen with red lasers is that they are worthless in daylight, but can be handy indoors or in low light.

How are green lasers in daylight and brighter situations?

Jermtheory
September 4, 2008, 12:09 AM
based on what im always hearing are "realistic handgun ranges",the Crimson Trace is far from worthless even at high noon in my experience.

pax
September 4, 2008, 12:19 AM
In ordinary indoor lighting, they are incredibly fast.

Absolutely nothing is faster or more intuitive in low light. Nothing. Don't let anyone tell you that night sights are the same, because they're not. When you are moving and the target's moving and the lighting sucks, you want a laser.

They slow you down in sunlight. If you're silly enough to try to use a laser in daylight you deserve what you get.

If you're good at pointshooting anyway (as anyone who wants to be truly competent with a pistol will be, because your sights won't always be there for you), the laser gives you one more threat-focused index.

And if the battery burns out? *shrug* I've still got my sights and I haven't forgotten how to pointshoot. They're a tool, not a crutch.

As an instructor, I love being able to pick up a laser-equipped firearm and demonstrate why the shots are going low when someone yanks a trigger, or show them the circle of safety drawn by the muzzle in compressed low ready, or prove that position Sul doesn't actually point at any body parts -- nor come near to doing so -- when done correctly. I love being able to take a laser-equipped dummy gun and show exactly which body parts are at risk during a sloppy draw or a clumsy-stupid two hand reholster. It's a great teaching tool.

pax

Stevie-Ray
September 4, 2008, 12:31 AM
I've found it perfect for my KelTec PLR-16; thought so from the beginning, but had to prove it to myself. This is definitely a laser kind of gun. Now, I'm going to get a decent one.

David Armstrong
September 4, 2008, 09:56 AM
1) POI and laser dot can be off by as much as 3" at 25 yards.
2) Lasers need batteries.
3) Lasers will not help with proper trigger pull. So, essentially it only helps
people who don't need help.
In order:
1. It's not bullseye shooting. For combat use that is just fine for almost all problems. If it is not, you still have the iron sights.
2. Flashlights need batteries. Cell phones need batteries. Lots of things need batteries. Yet we use them regularly and expect them to work. Lasers are no different.
3. Iron sights, scopes, etc. will not help with proper trigger pull either. Trigger pull is completley separate from the sights used.

The laser is an effective tool. Most of the folks who bad-mouth them or talk about the "problems" have not had proper training in how to utilize them. Most of the folks who have been trained with them don't take them off their guns.

Jermtheory
September 4, 2008, 12:52 PM
They slow you down in sunlight. If you're silly enough to try to use a laser in daylight you deserve what you get.



they obviously dont have the same effective range in bright daylight.but one example that comes to mind where they can be very usefull is at close range shooting from the gut...where you cant fully present and weapon retention is high priority.a postition which would normally offer no form of sighting at all.some would say you need no sighting in such a situation,but i fail to see anything but benefits to having that feedback.

Brian Pfleuger
September 4, 2008, 01:00 PM
Daylight effectiveness of a laser is typically only a factor in the cheaper units or at ranges WELL BEYOND anything in SD. A good laser will be visible in daylight, maybe not blazing sunshine, at 100yds and if your shooting at anything like that distance you've always got your sights.

Saab1911
September 4, 2008, 02:02 PM
Daylight effectiveness of a laser is typically only a factor in the cheaper units or at ranges WELL BEYOND anything in SD. A good laser will be visible in daylight, maybe not blazing sunshine, at 100yds and if your shooting at anything like that distance you've always got your sights.


But at 100 yards, the laser will be off by as much as a foot from POI. That's
an entire ground hog! :eek:

:p

Brian Pfleuger
September 4, 2008, 02:40 PM
But at 100 yards, the laser will be off by as much as a foot from POI. That's
an entire ground hog!

True but if it's a cheapy it will be a foot in diameter too!:D

Most of them are adjustable as far as I know. I do wonder about the kind that replace the recoil spring holder bar doodad (that's a technical term, hey I don't own a handgun yet I haven't memorized all the parts:o). I assume they are pointed where they're pointed and thats it.

Saab1911
September 4, 2008, 02:43 PM
recoil spring holder bar doodad


Recoil Spring Guide Rod

Brian Pfleuger
September 4, 2008, 02:46 PM
Recoil Spring Guide Rod

That's what I said?!;)

Jermtheory
September 4, 2008, 04:30 PM
the Lasermax guide rod isnt adjustable and it can be off by up to 2" at the recommended zeroing range right out of the box.ive also heard alot of complaints with them not holding up to heavy use.

But at 100 yards, the laser will be off by as much as a foot from POI.

if so...only due to trajectory.

im not sure where a dead zero at 25 yards would put you at 100 but...

one method of zeroing is to simply align it with the bore.this will put you off at any range by a small ammount(a little low and to the right with the CTC),but the benefit is that you eliminate cross-over and will always be off by that same ammount(aside from bullet trajectory).

there's a far better description given here...

Ideally, you zero your CTC Lasergrips just like you'd zero any other off-axis laser like a PEQ-2 or ATPIAL. On a Glock, the CTC laser is roughly 0.5" to the right of the bore and 1.0" below the bore. If you zero your laser to hit 0.5" to the right of your POI, it will "always" be 0.5" right of the POI. By the time you hit 10 yards, the 0.5" offset gets absorbed in the group size. Basically, your laser "should" run dead parallel to your boreline. This prevents crossover at any range and your horizontal offset will never exceed the original 0.5".

Crossover is the real enemy here. With the laser being on the right side of the pistol, if you zero at 25 yards, the laser will be further and further to the right anywhere past your zero distance. The closer the zero, the further it will be off axis as the range increases. This off-axis laser v. boreline will be far worse than the original 0.5" offset zero.

The elevation doesn't really matter. We are always dealing with elevation issues because of iron sight offset and trajectory. However, the further off you zero, the more consistant your hold-off. IE, zero at 25 yards (with the 0.5" offset) and the POI will always be above the laser dot out to 25 yards. If you zero at 50 yards, the laser dot will always be under the POI to 50 yards (absent trajecory issues).

Also, the further out you zero, the more you minimize the laser to bore angles. This prevents the crossover issue and simplifies life signficantly.

Zero at the maximum range that you expect to use the pistol. For me, I zero everything including J frames at 25 yards.
David Pennington

http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=14785&highlight=crimson+trace

Chindo18Z
September 4, 2008, 05:57 PM
Lasers are tools. Useful within their limitations (sometimes incredibly so).

If you are a bad shot, you'll still be a bad shot with a laser.

As pax noted, they make great instructional training aids.

One thing they are useful for is tiered escalation of force. We find that roping visible lasers frequently gets the attention of Iraqis we'd rather not shoot. There are many non-enemy Darwin Award Candidates over here who will drive/walk right into audible gunfire or verbal commands. They tend to freeze, pull over, or retreat indoors after getting splashed by lasers. It saves everyone a lot of unwanted drama.

Brian Pfleuger
September 4, 2008, 06:27 PM
One thing they are useful for is tiered escalation of force. We find that roping visible lasers frequently gets the attention of Iraqis we'd rather not shoot. There are many non-enemy Darwin Award Candidates over here who will drive/walk right into audible gunfire or verbal commands. They tend to freeze, pull over, or retreat indoors after getting splashed by lasers. It saves everyone a lot of unwanted drama.

Amazing they can be so dumb and in a third world country and still know what a laser means. You'd think by the time they knew about lasers they'd be dead if they were that stupid.

jaydubya
September 4, 2008, 08:12 PM
Sholling said: They're a self defense tool and we have discussed on here 8 zillion times

Concur. I have Crimson Trace grips on three of my four handguns. They aren't made for my JC Higgins .22 revolver or my wife's .380 Colt Pocket Model, or else they would have them too. At 77, I am happy to grab any handle that gives me an edge. I shoot weekly at my range, half iron sights and half CT laser. Therefore I know that lasers help me.

Another point. According to some, cats love to chase the red dot, but I doubt if perps would notice the red dot dancing on their chests. They will be looking at 1) the weapon in my hand, or 2) the dazzling red light on it.

It is so easy to reject new things. The first time I tried my first CT-equipped revolver, I was stunned at how the red dot danced all over the place. Then I realized, "Hey, that's me doing that, not the laser!" The red dot still wanders, but I concentrate on trigger pull and let nature take care of the rest. I throw a few, but I usually put most of my rounds into the nine ring of a #24 target at seven yards. I'm happy.

Cordially, Jack

HoraceHogsnort
September 5, 2008, 12:13 AM
I'm think'n to myself, "What is the probability that if/when I get into a SD shooting it will happen after sunset?" I'm not suggesting that I can walk around in condition white between sunrise and sunset, but in all likelihood, the SHTF after the sun goes down. That's the time when the laser sight really shines (good pun, huh?). I like'm and I'm use'n them but they are not the solution to every problem.

#20fan
September 5, 2008, 03:59 AM
My Kimber came with CTs. After some problems with the laser CT replaced them because of a bad diode. This set has been on for over a year now and the laser is strong as ever.
The main reason I got the CTs is my eyes are getting older (or my arms are getting shorter!) and I don't focus as well as I used to. Three dot night sights are getting blurry. The video that comes with the grips is very informative.
However, I have read some things presented as facts by the authors (I don't know if they are true) that give me reason to be very glad that I have these grips.
I am not LE. I don't have the same level of training as LEOs. I'm just an average guy with an average life. The articles I've read state that LEOs in a sudden deadly threat situation miss the threat target up to 85% of rounds fired from 7yds or less. I have watched videos of LEOs in a sudden fight pull thier weapon and start firing one handed, looking over the top of the gun never using the sights. Some of these officers have 20yrs or so of training.
I go to the outdoor range and practice firing one handed, from the hip, from behind a telephone pole, while seated at a bench, etc. All with the laser on as I feel it would be in a sudden deadly situation. I doubt I will have time to draw my weapon and bring it up in a nice two handed grip picking up the front sight as I drive it toward the target and squeeze the trigger with the threat lunging at me or pulling a weapon from 5yds. or closer, or worse yet already be in bad breath range or already on the ground. But the chances are good that I might see that red dot on him somewhere.

ringworm
September 5, 2008, 06:28 AM
thats excatly what i want is a shooting situation or building clearing...
A red light on the end of my gun for the perp to aim at.

the only positive thing i can say about lasers is "glazing" perps. that works. but its not a common enough occorance as to justify the risk of using one.

Saab1911
September 5, 2008, 09:53 AM
I think we're done here. Thank you for enlightening me. You guys are the best.

12-34hom
September 5, 2008, 05:12 PM
I put a set of C.T. on my 1911, they work great.

Day or night. At 25 yards - no problem there either.

12-34hom

Jermtheory
September 6, 2008, 12:09 AM
thats excatly what i want is a shooting situation or building clearing...
A red light on the end of my gun for the perp to aim at.


if you're using it correctly than they could just as easily be aiming at your muzzle flash.;)

pax
September 6, 2008, 01:39 AM
thats excatly what i want is a shooting situation or building clearing...
A red light on the end of my gun for the perp to aim at.

The laser is not a flashlight. It is a sighting system. It is not supposed to be lighted up at any time except when you are in the very act of firing the weapon.

If you use the laser as it is intended to be used (as a sighting device, not as a flashlight), the only time the perp is going to see your laser is at the very moment the shot is fired. And the perp will have other things to think about right then...

pax

CzCasull
September 6, 2008, 03:29 AM
Many good points are made here in this thread. One that comes to mind is a laser increases the safety in certain situations. -you can never ever be too safe with a firearm)
The dot gives a near precise reading of the direction you're pointing.

As far as a combat situation it is great for corners and other sorts of scenarios in urban style environments.

Skyguy
September 7, 2008, 07:01 PM
Are laser sights any good?

Yes.

I was beginning to think that nearly everyone knows how great they are. Guess not.

My only suggestion to non-laser folks is...do not accept a money-challenge to compete against a CT laser equipped shooter....in twilight, the dark, without your spectacles, from awkward positions, off-handed, from the hip, over the top, under the leg, etc.

You will lose. :)

http://photos.imageevent.com/leemutlee/colt/Dsc02985.jpg

indie
September 8, 2008, 09:47 AM
i agree with Pax.

Lasers are FAST.

I have a laser on my primary HD gun, and i feel that in an event that might require fast target acquisition without having to raise the gun to eye level, or get into a proper shooting stance, a laser is invaluable.


Good tool for dry fire practice too.

David Armstrong
September 8, 2008, 11:01 AM
thats excatly what i want is a shooting situation or building clearing...
A red light on the end of my gun for the perp to aim at.
Others beat me to it, but I'll add mine anyway: Not if you are doing it right. The laser should only be visible to the perp when you have decided to put it on him to verify the location where you are about to shoot him.

ThePBM
September 9, 2008, 12:52 AM
i put my green laser pointer on my taurus tracker 6.5" 22lr and it was a hoot. never shot with it like that, but if you've never seen a green laser dot next to a red laser dot during the daytime, you just can't comprehend how much brighter the green dot appears. human eyes are more sensitive to that green wavelength which is a huge factor in how easily you can see your own dot.
i was kind of a gadget nerd and bought my green laser pointer when it was about $160. i think they go for about a third of that nowadays. granted, mine was modified....

darkgael
September 9, 2008, 04:53 AM
Great practice tool.
"The laser should only be visible to the"
True most of the time....the instances where it "might" be a liability are when it is misty, rainy, foggy, smoky. Not often, of course, but under those circumstances, more than just a dot of light on your gun or a muzzle flash, the laser presents a highly visible line of light leading directly back to the shooter. Even minimizing "on" time doesn't change that. Don't get me wrong, I like the things and carry one but I was surprised a tad when I clicked it on one drizzly night while out with the dog.
I'm curious, though, about how visible that line would be to someone on the other end of it. My assumption is that it can be seen easily but I have no first hand knowledge of that. Is it even worth worrying about?
Pete

David Armstrong
September 9, 2008, 10:32 AM
My assumption is that it can be seen easily but I have no first hand knowledge of that. Is it even worth worrying about?
I wouldn't think so. As mentioned, the laser isn't a flashlight, it's not going to be on all the time, etc. Even given the possibility, the backtrack is no different than that of a flashlight beam, which apparently few if any seem to worry about. And in the FWIW category, Todd Green (formerly with Beretta and Sig) found with his testing that unless the other guy was within a cone about 15 degrees of the laser it was pretty much undectable by the BG.

Stevie-Ray
September 9, 2008, 10:32 PM
Unless your shootout takes place in a fog.:D

darkgael
September 13, 2008, 07:23 AM
"Unless your shootout takes place in a fog."
True. I've been curious about this for a while. It may be a small point but then, again, maybe not.
It was raining all day here in PA yesterday (and today, too). Last night was a good time for an experiment. Got out a firearm w. laser. Turned it on. In the mist it was a VERY visible beam (red). Put the gun down, laser still on, pointed up the drive way - a long driveway. Walked up the drive way, some yards off to the side of the beam - visible the whole way easily. Stood 90 deg. from the muzzle, only a couple of feet forward of the gun position. Visible easily. It was DARK out.
Maybe not important but now I know. I wouldn't be leaving the thing on for long lengths of time in a "situation", at least that's the plan, but you know what is said about plans. When it's on, under these conditions, it's a marker saying "here I am."
Pete

pax
September 13, 2008, 11:49 AM
Again.

Proper light discipline is important when you are using the laser.

The laser is not an intimidation device.

It is not a target identification device.

It is simply another set of sights for your handgun, an alternative sighting device that works best in challenging low light situations.

It is designed to be turned on at the very moment you raise the gun to the target to fire.

It is not designed to be turned on in advance of that moment.

If you turn it on in advance of that brief moment, you're doing it wrong.

If you try to use the laser in ways it is not designed, you're going to be disappointed at best. If you fail to develop good light discipline, you might be worse than disappointed.

But it won't be the laser's fault.

pax

darkgael
September 13, 2008, 01:28 PM
"If you turn it on in advance of that brief moment, you're doing it wrong"

Yep. Guess that's why they come with momentary switches.
Pete

OldMarksman
September 14, 2008, 09:33 AM
I was advised by a local police instructor who works in a gun store to stay away from lasers for various theoretical reasons. However, at my concealed carry class, the instructor, who still uses his favorite model 1911s at the range, said he has laser sights on his DA-only SD handguns. He emphasized two relevant and related things: range shooting and self defense are two entirely different things; and in a close range SD situation with a rapidly approaching opponent, the short time available to draw and fire and the close distance to the large moving body mass make a sight picture irrelevant.

On the strength of that I bought the laser and have been practicing with it. No regrets.

I am "programming" myself for an entirely different reaction from my years of range experience. The quick shots at a big blank target--forget groups in the ten-ring--are part of this, and another is to avoid single action shooting. With my 642, that's a non-issue, but it has to carry over to other weapons.

I think the laser is invaluable.

Seeker
September 16, 2008, 12:47 AM
I have Crimson Trace sights on my carry pistol (FEG 9HP) and I'll admit that I too felt lasers were gimicky, but I did some rersearch.
CT is integral the the grips - the activation button is "right there" on noth sides - instant on/off.

the battery just keeps going - I live away from other foks (and got no ol' lady) so I "play" as I see fit - and after a LOT of playing around and practice pointing from the hip the batery is still stong after 9 months.

I, also, agreed w/ Pax. Lasers are no substitue for compentency.

However a couple of additional points:
1. I wear glasses - but only to see, not to sleep. Sights are useless to me
without my glasses (re: Glasses, refer to Murphy)
2. CT comes in sighted in at 50 ft.
- you may have trouble explaining why you were in a gunfight at 50'
at that range SD is E&E - the Bad guy is no longer a direct threat,
typically
Bear in mind this is self defense, not the Nationals - COM!
3. Last and most importsant in my mind, is RETENTION! Your HD gun is worse than useless if the BG takes it away from you (new a girl once hwo had worked in a Vets (animal doc) office, she tired to use a broom to 'shoo' a chimp back in to his cage - he didn't like the idea and took the broom from her and beat her with it).
In the various SD handgun classes I have taken (&reading I have done), taught by the the guy the designs the C O F for the state law enforcement, Weaver or a variation of Weaver is taught. However, if done correctly, at self defense range (3 to 15 ft) it places your handgun 2 to 3 ft from your person and above your center of gravity. This makes your pistol/hands/arms a very nice lever to throw off your balance and disram you (my old army Hand to Hand Combat FM shows a varity of ways to take a handgun from a person within self defense range). My point is that using the Weaver, as we are taught, presents our pistol to the BG so we can be disarmed and enter into a wrestling match with he BG. Using the CT grips in a dark house, w/out my glasses of course, I can see where the bullet will go while my sidearm and gun hand are "locked" against my hip bone. This steadys the pistol and keeps it away from the other guys hands.

***
Additionally, for non lethal HD a SURE FIRE should do it - don'y have one yet, but was silly enough once to glane (indirectly) at the yhing at a gunshow. I was instantly queasy and had a headache for the next hour. I don't know what it would do to a BG in a dark home whse eyes have adjusted to the dark. I imagine the BG would vomit.
***
re: use in rain / fog. Sure the beam will be visible to you and the BG, but the beam will be visible to you and the BG - that is to say there will be no doubt on anyones part where the bullet will go - kinda like the the internationally know sound of a shell being jacked in to an 870. Your cover is blown, but your cover is blown,. Savvy?

kraigwy
September 16, 2008, 10:46 AM
I think laser sights have their novelty appeal, but I have some issues with
them.

1) POI and laser dot can be off by as much as 3" at 25 yards.

2) Lasers need batteries.

3) Lasers will not help with proper trigger pull. So, essentially it only helps
people who don't need help.

Are laser sights just gimmicks or do they have a purpose in self defense
situations?

1: you sight them in like any other sights
2: yeap but so do pace makers, only with laser batteries, if they go you have your iron sights so they are worse off. Batterys on CT lasers are suppose to last 2 years. I shouldnt take 2 years to get on target. They are cheap, if thats a concern, change them every six monts.
3; lasers are no differant then any other sights, you still have to use your marksmanship fundamentals. Regardless of what sight or sight picture you have you can screw it up with poor trigger control.

They are not a gimmick, they work in low light situtions where you cant see your sights. Example, late at night, you're in bed, its never totally dark so you can see shadows. You cant see your sights, but you can see the red dot on the shawdow walking through your house. yeah you need to know if that shadow is friend or foe, but you need to do that with iron sights also. Also if you are old like me, you dont have to hunt up your glasses to see the front sight.

Just because you have a laser dosnt mean you have to use it. I do 99% of my practice with my 642 using the iron sights. Which by the way also helps with using the laser.

You need to stick with marksmanship fundamentals with or with out a laser, excepting getting on the front sight.

Best thing I can recommend is you got to the range with someone who has one and try it. You'd be supprise.

Lasers sure as hell arnt gimmicks.

Wuchak
September 16, 2008, 11:58 AM
Go take a defensive training course where some people have lasers and some don't. The difference in speed of target acquisition and accuracy (unless the person shooting it is a complete novice) will make you a believer.

They are not a replacement for practice but they can provide an edge. If I ever have to use my handgun I'll want all the edge I can get.

pax
September 16, 2008, 12:37 PM
2: yeap but so do pace makers, only with laser batteries, if they go you have your iron sights so they are worse off. Batterys on CT lasers are suppose to last 2 years. I shouldnt take 2 years to get on target. They are cheap, if thats a concern, change them every six monts.


I change mine out at the same time I check the batteries in my smoke alarms -- on the days we switch from daylight savings time and back again.

pax

#20fan
September 16, 2008, 01:29 PM
I have CTs on my carry gun. As far as batteries go I was told that there are different "grades" so to speak and to replace the factory ones with medical grade, that they will be stronger and last longer. (sounds like a commercial!) Don't know if that's true but have the same batteries in mine nice and strong for almost a year now.

SGT-MILLER
September 16, 2008, 01:30 PM
First off - I'm obviously new to these forums, and my first impression is - GREAT JOB!!!

On topic - I am in the Montana Air Guard with a RED HORSE unit. I am also the lead Sergeant in charge for our combat defense team. We've discussed the idea of lasers over and over again, and I think it's up to the person and situation. Mounted lasers can be of great help. Regardless of how well you train, trying to put your sights on center of mass, in the middle of the night, 20 seconds after you are awoken by a burglar, and with a frightened wife/child/lover/whatever screaming in your ear can be a challenge. Having a properly "sighted in" laser can be a great aid.

On the other hand, I feel a better aide would be a nice tactical flashlight. There are a myraid of models out on the market, and you also gain the disorienting effect it has on the target (especially the strobe models).

My advice is always use what works for YOU. Some people in my defense squad will only feel comfortable if their M4 Rifle is outfitted with every accessory available. Others like their rifles "bone-stock".

My bottom line opinion is that lasers work well for what they are intended for, but are not for all applications or people. Use whatever you need to use to gain any advantage possible when faced with a "shoot-or-die" situation.