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Old September 9, 2008, 04:53 AM   #51
darkgael
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laser

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?
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Old September 9, 2008, 10:32 AM   #52
David Armstrong
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Quote:
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.
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Old September 9, 2008, 10:32 PM   #53
Stevie-Ray
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Unless your shootout takes place in a fog.
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Old September 13, 2008, 07:23 AM   #54
darkgael
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lasers in the rain/fog/mist

"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."
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Old September 13, 2008, 11:49 AM   #55
pax
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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.

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Old September 13, 2008, 01:28 PM   #56
darkgael
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lasers in the rain/fog/mist

"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
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Old September 14, 2008, 09:33 AM   #57
OldMarksman
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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.
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Old September 16, 2008, 12:47 AM   #58
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HD and Retention

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?
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Old September 16, 2008, 10:46 AM   #59
kraigwy
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Quote:
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.
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Old September 16, 2008, 11:58 AM   #60
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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.
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Old September 16, 2008, 12:37 PM   #61
pax
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Quote:
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.

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Old September 16, 2008, 01:29 PM   #62
#20fan
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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.
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Old September 16, 2008, 01:30 PM   #63
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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.
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