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Old January 18, 2013, 06:18 AM   #26
thedudeabides
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I never found the laser to be useful.

I've seen several shooters freeze up during target drills because of a malfunction or they couldn't see the dot in certain lighting conditions, and most H3 night sights are meant to be VERY visible in day and night conditions.
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Old January 19, 2013, 03:08 AM   #27
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As a training tool I think they are fine. I would never put one on a gun I intended to carry outside of the house.
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Old January 19, 2013, 07:39 AM   #28
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I tried a P229 with a crimson trace and I didn't care for it. I found myself chasing the dot all over the target. I don't think I gave it enough time or effort. People with more experience then me seem to like them very much. I can see how it would be useful for SD, maybe even a deterrent.
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Old January 19, 2013, 09:20 AM   #29
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Could be very useful in a low light situation...especially at home. My wife has a Crimson Trace on her S&W M637 revolver for that reason, and the same gun doubles as her CCW...that Crimson Trace does not add any bulk.

As a training aid, lasers are fantastic for trigger control and grip consistency problems. As to seeing the sights and your tartget, at night, at any distance over 6 feet or so, tritium sights or a laser are about the only way you're going to be able to get hits, short of a shotgun. Try it sometime...with or without flashlight in the crossed wrist mode...you'll be a believer. I'd opine that most defensive shooting is done in low light situations...you be the judge. Rod
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Old January 20, 2013, 11:13 AM   #30
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As to seeing the sights and your tartget, at night, at any distance over 6 feet or so, tritium sights or a laser are about the only way you're going to be able to get hits, short of a shotgun. Try it sometime...with or without flashlight in the crossed wrist mode...you'll be a believer. I'd opine that most defensive shooting is done in low light situations...you be the judge. Rod
I can manage about 10-15 feet accurately after that the light difference between the sights and the target make it difficult to get the pistol pointed in exactly the right direction. After you get muzzle flash from the first shot than everything goes to pot.
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Old January 21, 2013, 04:36 PM   #31
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As a training aid they are great. Very easy to spot if somebody is doing something wrong like jerking right before they pull the trigger.

I have one on one of the bedroom guns. My thought is this....should something ever come up, chances are I am going to be a little groggy, my hand eye coordination may not be 100% and chances are its going to be dark.
I feel more confident that the laser will aid me in staying on target in that type of situation as well as lighting up the area somewhat. Definately don't see it as a crutch.
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Old January 22, 2013, 06:31 PM   #32
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They're useful in a small number of situations. A crutch in most others. I typically train for simplicity. That is, I try not to train for using different techniques/equipment for different situations, when one technique/piece of equipment will work for those multiple situations.

For example, some people teach Tap, Rack, for a level one malfunction (failure to fire), teach the Rack and Roll for a level two malfunction (stovepipe), and Rip, Rack, Rack, Reload for a double feed. When I train malfunctions, I train that when my gun goes click instead of bang, to Tap, Rack and Roll since that will clear both Level 1 and Level 2 malfunctions. It's a bit slower, but I don't have to think about the type of malfunction, I just work off instinct.

Same goes for lasers. I don't feel like training on a sight system that will only work for me in a small number of situations. I'd rather train to use the iron (night) sights for all situations. That way, when I am in one of the fairly uncommon situations where a laser might be better, I don't have to think about using a different system. I already know what I'm going to use instinctively.

Having said that, I've seen good arguments for people using them because their eyesight is bad (though, if it's bad enough, I'd slap a reflex on there instead since it'll work in bright light also). In the end, use what works for you.
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Old January 24, 2013, 02:00 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Gaerek View Post
They're useful in a small number of situations. A crutch in most others. I typically train for simplicity. That is, I try not to train for using different techniques/equipment for different situations, when one technique/piece of equipment will work for those multiple situations.

For example, some people teach Tap, Rack, for a level one malfunction (failure to fire), teach the Rack and Roll for a level two malfunction (stovepipe), and Rip, Rack, Rack, Reload for a double feed. When I train malfunctions, I train that when my gun goes click instead of bang, to Tap, Rack and Roll since that will clear both Level 1 and Level 2 malfunctions. It's a bit slower, but I don't have to think about the type of malfunction, I just work off instinct.

Same goes for lasers. I don't feel like training on a sight system that will only work for me in a small number of situations. I'd rather train to use the iron (night) sights for all situations. That way, when I am in one of the fairly uncommon situations where a laser might be better, I don't have to think about using a different system. I already know what I'm going to use instinctively.

Having said that, I've seen good arguments for people using them because their eyesight is bad (though, if it's bad enough, I'd slap a reflex on there instead since it'll work in bright light also). In the end, use what works for you.
Please explain tap, rack, roll, rip, and reload in the context of a malfunction.

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Old January 24, 2013, 02:28 PM   #34
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Bigkrackers

Some people bad mouth lasers because they don't want to spend the money or are just set in their ways.

I got my first laser for an LCP because the sights were so bad. After I used it a few times the light went on. Now I have lasers on all my "business" guns. My range toys (1911) are without lasers.

Like someone else said when the time to use it comes it will be probably somewhere where light conditions make sight acquisition difficult. And those that argue with night sight are obviously night sights salesmen. A laser is the ultimate night sight, point and shoot.

While at the range one day a guy next to me was trying to teach a woman (not his wife) how to shoot at the 5 yard target and she was having a difficult time. I offered her my LCP with the laser, after 3 shots (right on target) she quickly said "That's the gun I want." This was in daylight.

Having said that I can't see the red dot in the bright Houston sun further than 10 yards, but if the sun is behind the clouds I can it it at 15 yards without any problems.

Regarding the comment about not trusting your life to anything that has batteries and circuits, I find that very funny. Do you use a car? About flying an airplane. Obviously you haven't thought this through. Think again...
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Old January 24, 2013, 03:33 PM   #35
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Please explain tap, rack, roll, rip, and reload in the context of a malfunction.
These are just easy to remember steps for clearing malfunctions.

Tap - Tap the magazine (solves failure to feed because mag isn't seated)
Rack - Rack the slide
Roll - Roll the gun 90 degrees towards the direction of the ejection port (combined with a rack, will clear a 'stovepipe' style malfunction)
Rip - Remove the magazine (In cases of a double feed, the mag won't drop free, so you have to hit the mag release and literally rip it out of the mag well. Alternatively, you can lock the slide back before dropping the mag if you don't have the strength to rip it out.)

A failure to fire will feel the same as a stovepipe, so without investigating, sometimes (not always) you won't know which malfunction occurred. Doing a tap, rack and roll ensures that you will clear anything that makes the gun not go bang, whether it's a failure to fire (misfire), failure to feed, or stovepipe. Double feeds are another beast altogether, and require a much more involved drill. If you aren't sure what malfunction you have, many places teach that your automatic response should be a Tap, Rack (roll is usually omitted as part of the mnemonic, but should still be done). If that doesn't clear the failure, it's most likely a double feed, and the Rip, Rack, Rack, Reload should clear it. You really do need to rack twice because a lot of the time the extractor won't be engaged on the first rack. If you only rack once, you're setting yourself up for another double feed.

Keep in mind, the way I learned it, train it, and do it is just one way. Everyone does these drills a little differently. This is what I've learned and how I do it.

Quote:
Regarding the comment about not trusting your life to anything that has batteries and circuits, I find that very funny. Do you use a car? About flying an airplane. Obviously you haven't thought this through. Think again...
A battery dying in a car isn't usually a life or death situation. I've driven my car without a battery in it (long story...don't ask), it did some funny things, but I was able to drive it the few miles where I needed to go. Even with an electrical failure in the car, the worst thing that happens is you're stalled on the side of a road. In most cases, hardly a life or death situation. Call AAA, get a tow, and you're back in business.

Airplanes are a different story, of course. My Dad has his A&P and was a mechanic on H-60's for over 20 years. Aircraft are incredibly regulated. If there's even an inkling of any kind of electronic malfunction, the aircraft is grounded until it can be solve. This is one of the reasons why it's so safe to fly commercial aircraft. Almost every system has a redundancy, and on critical systems, the redundancies have redundancies.

You simply can't compare a laser sight that can literally mean the difference between life and death, to cars (where a failure is almost never deadly), or to airplanes (which are so heavily regulated, and have all sorts of redundancies built in). You might come back and say that your iron sights are your redundancy. Ok, I can go with that. But if all you're doing is training with a laser (not saying you are...) those backup irons are going to be tougher to use.

It appears you're right. There is, in fact, someone who hasn't thought this through. Cars and airplanes make a terrible analogy to a laser sight.

EDIT: Saw this on your post also.

Quote:
While at the range one day a guy next to me was trying to teach a woman (not his wife) how to shoot at the 5 yard target and she was having a difficult time. I offered her my LCP with the laser, after 3 shots (right on target) she quickly said "That's the gun I want." This was in daylight.
This pretty much proves the laser is a crutch. I'm assuming he was teaching someone with little or no experience. Basically, instead of using the "always on, always reliable" iron sights, she's going to buy a gun and make sure it has a laser, and rely on that, because it's easier. That's pretty much the definition of crutch...something that makes something easier to make up for a lack of skill/ability.

Quote:
Having said that I can't see the red dot in the bright Houston sun further than 10 yards, but if the sun is behind the clouds I can it it at 15 yards without any problems.
Shooting at a square range, at immobile paper targets that aren't trying to kill you is one thing. Are you certain that in a dynamic gun fight, where you're moving, the bad guy is moving, your adrenaline is pumping, you're trying to assess the situation (are there innocents behind this guy, etc), you'd be able to see that dot at 10 yards? I'm not saying you won't be able to, but I don't think it would be all that easy for you, or anyone for that matter. That's one of the great things about iron sights...they're always where you left them, no searching.

Quote:
Some people bad mouth lasers because they don't want to spend the money or are just set in their ways.
I spent the money. I trained on them. I tried to like them (because I wanted to justify the $300 price tag of the TLR-2 I bought). At best, they were hardly better than night sights in situations where lasers are supposed to really shine. At worst, they were far slower for me than iron sights. In any situation, they were less accurate than iron sights. This was discovered after doing IDPA style scenarios with both night sights and lasers in low light and near complete darkness. Sure, I'm set in my ways. My ways were also confirmed (for me) with testing.

Quote:
Like someone else said when the time to use it comes it will be probably somewhere where light conditions make sight acquisition difficult. And those that argue with night sight are obviously night sights salesmen. A laser is the ultimate night sight, point and shoot.
Not a salesman...I just talk about what I know. In low light, night sights are still faster. In darkness, target acquisition is near impossible with either night sights or laser...you need a light, and that will immediately negate much of the benefit of the little red dot.

In the end, my mantra is to use what works for you. I tried to like lasers (see above) and still found them to be slower to get on target, and slightly less accurate, especially out past 10 yards. I ended up trading my TLR-2 to my brother for his TLR-1 and $80. It's been 4 months, and I still don't regret it. I think he just sold it a few weeks ago himself, or at least he told me he was going to sell it, for much the same reason I did. He wanted his TLR-1 back...I laughed at him.

Last edited by Gaerek; January 24, 2013 at 05:08 PM.
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Old January 24, 2013, 03:42 PM   #36
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I practiced with mine alot when I 1st got it and it's very useful for developing muscle memory without using alot of ammo. I have a Crimson Trace on my M9 and have practiced enough that I can draw and shoot without aiming and get consistent center mass shots on a target at 10yds(practical SD distance). It could come in handy, if being shot at to hold around a barrier and peek from a different angle to minimize exposure; far better than spray and pray!!
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Old January 24, 2013, 04:41 PM   #37
lcpiper
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I had a pistol with a laser on it. The laser was cute at first, then I realized I would have to learn a whole different aiming/presentation method.

No way, it's gone. You need to train the same way every time, hone the muscle memory. You may be the kind of person unable to really think well when rattled.

If you are, I suggest you learn to start shooting before you get all jumpity
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Old January 24, 2013, 05:06 PM   #38
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Yup, lasers on pistols are a crutch, that's for sure. I'm one of those that is happy to admit that I take advantage of that crutch for my HD weapons. Figure that if I need to use it, it'll most likely be at night, when I can't find my d... glasses.

Now, on the other hand. Outdoors on the 25yd and 50yd line, I tend to use a red-dot as my crutch of preference over irons, when shooting bullseye. Much easier for my old eyes to get on target.

AFAIC, ALL sights are a crutch of one type or another. It's just up to each one to find out which one works best for them under the circumstances. You'll never know for sure unless you give them a try though.
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Old January 25, 2013, 07:57 PM   #39
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I have an older friend who has great difficulty seeing iron sights, since we put a laser on his pistol, he is back to enjoying shhooting. Maybe it is a crutch.
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Old January 25, 2013, 09:44 PM   #40
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"I realized I would have to learn a whole different aiming/presentation method"

Can you explain this?

I draw / aim the same way with or without the laser.
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Old January 26, 2013, 12:54 AM   #41
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My thought is this....should something ever come up, chances are I am going to be a little groggy, my hand eye coordination may not be 100% and chances are its going to be dark.
Actually the chances are if something ever really comes up most everyone's hand eye coordination is going to be far, far less than 100%. Some folks really think that when they see a guy who might be reaching for something they are really going not be looking at the guy at all anymore -- they are instead going to be looking at their trusty irons and never need to take a peek again to see what the bad man pulled out of his pocket or if he's really a threat. Really? Who's going to shoot a guy who you thought might have a gun, but you never actually saw it? Anyone with a decent head and instincts will take a another good long peek before shooting. Once you take that peek you are going to have to refocus on your irons... probably in dim light, when your hand/eye coordination is total crap because you are experiencing a bigger adrenaline dump than you've ever imagined in your life. Why do you guys think hit rates in self defense shootings are what they are given the close ranges that the shootings take place at? It is because of the factors above.

At least the laser shortens the aiming process and lets us keep our eyes where they need to be in a tactical situation -- on the threat. Some believe that training can override millions of years of evolutionary instincts that are built into us humans. When we are threatened we tend to instinctively focus on the threat (seems reasonable doesn't it).

I'm not among those who think that attempting to acquire an iron sight picture and going against my natural born instinct to focus on a threat that would be severe enough to cause me to draw a gun in the first place is a good idea. I feel like if I was faced with such a terrible threat, I'd need to see every detail of what's threatening me right up until, during, and after every pull of the trigger. Lasers and rectile type sights are the only devices that let a person do that.

We are all handicapped. We can't focus on the front sight post and make out all the details of what a threat may be doing at the same time. This handicapped person is taking a crutch.
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Old January 26, 2013, 10:42 AM   #42
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"I realized I would have to learn a whole different aiming/presentation method"

Can you explain this?

I draw / aim the same way with or without the laser.
I have the same problem he does. I'm used to focusing on the front sight. So when I try a gun with a laser it takes me a bit longer because instead of focusing on the front sight, I'm focusing on the target and trying to find where the laser is.
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Old January 26, 2013, 11:10 AM   #43
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Thank you j3ffr0

Thank you j3ffr0 for taking the time to explicitly explain the reason why laser are superior.

However, just as there are people who still believe that the Earth is flat, there are people who will continue to insist that iron sights are better, and no reason is going to convince them. My dad used to say the "The strongest force in the universe is a closed mind, nothing can pry it open".
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Old January 27, 2013, 06:33 PM   #44
Gaerek
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Originally Posted by Eppie View Post
Thank you j3ffr0 for taking the time to explicitly explain the reason why laser are superior.

However, just as there are people who still believe that the Earth is flat, there are people who will continue to insist that iron sights are better, and no reason is going to convince them. My dad used to say the "The strongest force in the universe is a closed mind, nothing can pry it open".
Loving the pseudo insult here.

I've tested both irons and lasers in as stressful an environment as I can without actually being in a gun fight. Irons were still substantially faster at acquiring a target.

If lasers are so great, how come they aren't standard issue for police? How come, even though the military has them, they don't really use them? (From my Army Major brother-in-law who says that except for a few select and rare circumstances, they're all but useless). If lasers were this amazing thing that are far better than iron sights we'd be seeing huge adoption of them by major police forces in the US, except, we're not seeing that.

http://www.realpolice.net/forums/archive/t-32135.html

Police forum where the majority opinion is they aren't very helpful or useful. I understand that police needs are different than SD needs, but the rationale being given is that lasers are superior to iron sights in nearly every way. If that we're truly the case, police would be using them.

I'll still go back to one of my original statements. If it works for you, fine, it works for you. But you can't come here and claim that lasers are this wonderful end all be all, when the evidence to show that is almost nil.

As to the OPs question, yes, lasers are a crutch. It's something that is used because its simpler (simpler is not always better) and more intuitive to use, and makes up for a lack of skill or ability. This is not an insult. If you have bad vision, you need a crutch, the same as if you have a bad leg. Irons are proven to be quicker to use and more accurate. This isn't an opinion.

Anyway, this is a topic that's already been beaten to death. The evidence is there, some just choose to ignore and and believe what they see on TV and on movies. This being the case, I'm done with the thread. I know what works. I know what the pros say on this topic. A few contrary opinions by what is perceived by me to be random people on the Internet isn't enough to sway me or anyone else who knows the truth in this matter.

Last edited by Gaerek; January 27, 2013 at 07:02 PM.
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Old January 29, 2013, 11:45 PM   #45
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Reading through these posts has been interesting. But if I'm not mistaken, mounting a laser on a gun does not replace the iron sights. Both are available. The key is to practice with both, and to not rely on either one alone.
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Old January 30, 2013, 08:02 AM   #46
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You are correct. A laser supplemets the iron sights, and as I mentioned earlier, in bright sunlight (most of the times I go to the range) you need them.
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Old January 30, 2013, 10:30 AM   #47
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I recently injured my foot, and I find a crutch to be extremely useful. The two are not incompatible.

That having been said, the most dramatic use I've seen of a laser is in building clearing. A couple of years ago I was dispatched to the local high school where a motion sensor was screaming. We got there about the same time as the principal, who unlocked the door for us. My partner stepped into the darkened hall, drew his pistol and illuminated a guy standing in the hall with his laser. "Get down, get down, get down!" The perp saw the laser on his chest and went prone. We cuffed him, charged him, drove him downtown.

Disclaimer: I don't have a laser on my handgun, but this single incident was very educational. Oh, and the foot is getting better, thank you. I should be back at work in another week or so.
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Old January 30, 2013, 11:21 AM   #48
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Here's my story. I was out trimming my trees in the front yard, I live at the end of a cul-de-sac, and my Dobermann puppy (6 months) was with me. I was training him to stay close by letting him drag a 25' rope. While I was tying a bundle of branches a pick up truck came in the cul-de-sac and stopped. I had my back to the truck and my dog. When I turned around about a minute later I saw the guy had gotten out of his truck and picked up the rope and was taking my dog back to his truck. I called my dog and he tried to come but the guy held him back, so I called out to him while walking towards him. I asked him what he was doing and he said that he had lost the dog and now was taking him back. I told him that was my dog and he responded that it was his dog. I told him the dog was microchiped and I could prove it was mine and any of my neighbors will attest to that. I was about 20' away.

To put in things in prespective, I'm close to 60, 5'8" and weigh 156 lbs. the other guy, I call Bubba, was about 3o years old, 6'4" and husky. My dog is 6 months old, friendly, beautiful and costs me $3,000.

Bubba looked at me and he said this was his dog and he was going to take him home. I had my LCP with my Crimson Trace laser in the front pocket of my jeans and my hand was on it. I pointed to his zipper and said " Do you see that red dot by your zipper?" He looked down and while he did so I drew my pistol and aimed right on his family jewels. Then in a calm voice I said "That's were the first bullet is going to go if you don't let go of that dog."

He looked up and saw the gun in my hand, Bubba's eyes got as big a silver dollars and he simultaneously dropped the rope and said "S**T!!" and remained frozen. I told him to get back in his truck and that if I saw him again I would assume that he means to harm me and that I would shoot first and ask questions later.

He got in his truck and I haven't seen him once in the last four years.

I am firmly committed to conflict avoidance, deterrence and defense.
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Old January 31, 2013, 07:41 PM   #49
Munkster
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Shoot and become proficient with your weapon and only after that imho i would think about a laser. If you start looking for the lasers dot before you line up your sights your in trouble
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