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View Full Version : Purpose of laser sight on a rifle?


Bartholomew Roberts
February 22, 2009, 04:53 PM
Lately I've seen a few discussions for laser sights on rifles. Now I certainly understand the desire to try out the latest gear and have fun with it; but I just don't get the purpose of a laser on a rifle outside of these two scenarios:

1. Use with helmet/head-mounted night observations devices to aim a weapon.

2. Designating a point target for a squad or fireteam.

In either case, both of those roles seem better suited to IR lasers and not visible lasers.

Am I missing something? Is there some role for a visible laser where it serves a purpose that an Aimpoint or Eotech cannot fill? Does it do something better than anything else out there on the market right now?

JohnKSa
February 22, 2009, 05:08 PM
I always thought that they were used mostly on carbines and light rifles that were intended to be "universal" weapons. In other words, that lasers were primarily put on rifles that were expected to do at least some short-range work.

Of course they could be used at longer range in the proper lighting.

IZinterrogator
February 22, 2009, 05:17 PM
In Iraq, we used rifle-mounted green lasers as a warning device. Sweep it across someone's eyes as they bear down on you at high speed and they'll figure out you're already in position to make them stop if they don't want to.

fisherman66
February 22, 2009, 05:19 PM
Sweep it across someone's eyes as they bear down on you at high speed and they'll figure out you're already in position to make them stop if they don't want to.

That kinda what I was thinking (preventative to violence). I can also see how they'd be a good training tool.

publius
February 22, 2009, 06:58 PM
I cannot think of a better sight system for low light situations. The laser is easy to pick up, when it is on target pull the trigger. No lining up front and rear, you just put the laser on target, which can be done with both eyes open and from unusual positions. I use one on my AR for hog hunting, I can see the laser on target way past the time my irons become useless.

PPGMD
February 22, 2009, 08:33 PM
publius,

An Aimpoint will be even faster and more accurate overall, and doesn't give away your position.

kozak6
February 22, 2009, 11:07 PM
It's possible to use a laser sight without shouldering the rifle.

troy_mclure
February 22, 2009, 11:12 PM
ive used lasers on rifles and shot guns for night coon/fox hunting. its too dark to see the sights, and looking thru a red dot all you see is the dot.

ppgmd, i dont think hogs are going to return fire. lol

PPGMD
February 22, 2009, 11:34 PM
Hogs may not return fire, but I am sure that they can see a moving point of light.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 23, 2009, 08:04 AM
its too dark to see the sights, and looking thru a red dot all you see is the dot.

I've had the same thing happen with tritium sights. When you get way out in the country and your eyes get adjusted to the ambient light, that tritium can be bright enough that it messes with your ability to see targets that you could see if you just had a white or gold dot on the front sight.

I haven't had the problem with Eotechs or Aimpoints though. On both of those, I just dial the illumination down and since they adjust down to levels that even a PVS-14 can use, I can tone them down to where they don't interfere with my eyesight at night.

I am guessing you don't get a whole lot of range, even at night with the laser - though I suppose if you are hunting hogs/what-have-you with eyesight at night, you probably aren't shooting too far to begin with :)

Hogs may not return fire, but I am sure that they can see a moving point of light.

Yes, I am curious about that too. Hogs strike me as fairly smart animals. Do you get any reaction from them when they see the laser?

ZeSpectre
February 23, 2009, 08:49 AM
I've only had a laser on two things so far.
A home defense shotgun and a .22LR rifle and both were intended for close to moderate range "varmints".

In that role (at least with the .22, never used and hope to never have to use the shotgun) it worked extremely well.

onthejon55
February 23, 2009, 11:20 AM
putting one one a carbine HD weapon makes it easier to maneuver around your home while always knowing exactly where you are aiming. Seeing a laser is also a deterant for most BGs in the same way racking a shotgun is.

troy_mclure
February 23, 2009, 05:10 PM
Yes, I am curious about that too. Hogs strike me as fairly smart animals. Do you get any reaction from them when they see the laser?

a hog cant look back along its own body, and their eyesight aint the best. i dont know if they can see a 1/4" dot or not. i dont know if they are colorblind or not either.

Brainflex
February 25, 2009, 04:21 AM
Used right a laser can also be used for approximate range finding. Set your zero and have the laser set for the point of aim. Dot above or below aim point gives you approx range, provided the laser is directly above or below and inline with the scope. Practise required.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 25, 2009, 07:59 AM
a hog cant look back along its own body, and their eyesight aint the best.

I wasn't thinking about the target hog so much as the other hogs in the group. I was wondering if they react to it or learn from seeing it that bad things are about to happen? I guess if you haven't noticed any behavior like that, then probably not.

Double Naught Spy
February 25, 2009, 09:57 AM
i dont know if they are colorblind or not either.

Even if they are, they would see a red laser simply as a light, but not know that it is red light. In other words, it would not be invisible to them and hence would potentially notice it.

I wasn't thinking about the target hog so much as the other hogs in the group. I was wondering if they react to it or learn from seeing it that bad things are about to happen? I guess if you haven't noticed any behavior like that, then probably not.

Maybe, maybe not. They would both have to see the laser and then come to associate it with a negative event. Only the pigs that saw the laser, made the connection, and then survived would be influenced.

Double J
February 25, 2009, 10:15 AM
My M4 DPMS has one sighted for 25 yards. Works good for those close critters in the barn-lot. Drives birds nuts. Doesn't show up too well on skunks in the dark. Seems their fur absorbs most of the light. Makes for a fair fight.