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Old September 27, 2007, 12:20 AM   #1
gvf
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Night SD Aids: Lasers, Night Sights etc. ?

I ccw almost exclusively at night when on foot. It's in a city so 90% of the time there's street light, ambient light etc. Still, I wonder about laser sights, and/or night sights and have ambivalent feelings: I can see them helping, or distracting when aim in an emergency would best be quick sight or point shoot.

Any thoughts on this? Experience using them?
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Old September 27, 2007, 01:14 AM   #2
sholling
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I'm a belt and suspenders kinda guy and I have night sights on every pistol that I keep primarily for self defense. I also keep lasers on two of my primaries (soon to be 3) that accept Crimson Trace grips. I'm also going to two colors for my next night sights.

Ok here's why. Mainly because my near vision ain't what it used to be. In low light I can line up 3 glowing dots a whole lot faster than a black notch and blade. The lasers are just an additional tool and not my primary sighting system. I can come up with a half dozen scenarios where the extra speed or the ability to fire on target before the sights line up could be handy if things unravel too quickly. They are strictly an edge. In a hostage situation a red dot on a bad guy's forehead could be a nice edge.
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Old September 27, 2007, 01:25 AM   #3
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Lasers are great for a point and shoot situation. They will show you just how accurate your pistol can be too, but don't rely on just the laser...if you get one practice with your iron sights too. I have laser grips on my main CCW and laser grips plus a mounted light on my nightstand pistol. I think they are great tools to have.
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Old September 27, 2007, 01:46 AM   #4
FS2K
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I believe in and use Night Sights.

They are a nessesity on a Self Defense gun in my humble opinion. Lasers on the other hand, while being very effective training tools for aiming aren't a good idea on your primary handgun. On a Carbine or rifle? Maybe, but noy on a handgun.
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Old September 27, 2007, 08:27 AM   #5
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I have to respectfully disagree with the advice against lasers on a primary handgun. I just ordered a POS cheap for plinking. If I were still working I would have spent the bread on some lasergrips.

In my experience (security in D.C. public housing, and Northern VA) the red dot inspires cooperation and makes it less likely that you will have to shoot. In D.C. we had to carry 6 shot .38 4"bbl revolvers. My lasergrips were a great comfort.

When I left the trade I got almost the full price for them.

The only caveat I have heard that rings true with me is that a laser identifies the point of impact, not necessarily the target.
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Old September 27, 2007, 08:41 AM   #6
Manedwolf
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Lasers on the other hand, while being very effective training tools for aiming aren't a good idea on your primary handgun.
I disagree. The laser lets you fire the weapon from an other-than-optimal position if you're unable to bring it up...such as if you're in a hostage situation in a business, or if a BG is currently tackling you, if your strong arm is injured, many other possibilities. As long as the dot is on the target, you know where it's going to go, especially at close range.

A clunky toy laser on the rail, no. Lasergrips or a Lasermax, yes.
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Old September 27, 2007, 08:49 AM   #7
hoytinak
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A clunky toy laser on the rail, no. Lasergrips or a Lasermax, yes.
Very good point. I usually don't believe in "you always get what you pay for" but I've learned (the hard way) when it comes to weapons lasers this is very true. I prefer the Crimson Trace but the LaserMax are nice too.
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Old September 27, 2007, 08:49 AM   #8
rampage841512
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Night sights seem like a good option for you. I'm not a big fan of lasers myself. Niether of my pistols have night sights on them at the moment so I keep a small, push-button flashlight on me at all times until I can get the night sights.
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Old September 27, 2007, 09:13 AM   #9
Lurper
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Neither are necessary if you are properly trained. Both can be liabilities because you will be looking for the dot(s) when you should be shooting. Too many think that a laser will magically make them more proficient. Rather than train to increase their level of skill, they search for the "magic bullet" because it is human nature to try to find an easier way and both devices can become a crutch. Particularly when someone has not learned proper technique before using them. Those who have realize that while night sights have some utility, lasers don't and that they need neither to hit their target in low light situations.
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Old September 27, 2007, 09:18 AM   #10
Manedwolf
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Neither are necessary if you are properly trained. Both can be liabilities because you will be looking for the dot(s) when you should be shooting.
Sorry, that sounds to me like "Those newfangled semiautomatics will never catch on, all you need is a single-action revolver."

As I mentioned, a laser lets you hit a threat from a position other than an optimal two-handed grip with a proper sight picture, and I consider that a valuable asset.
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Old September 27, 2007, 11:25 AM   #11
Lurper
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No offense Maned, but if one is properly trained, you need neither sights nor optimal position to hit your target nor do you need lasers or night sights.
The entire laser argument boils down to people wanting to shortcut the learning curve because it can be a lot of work. If lasers were the be all to end all, why do you not see the top shooters in the world using them or why don't you see organizations that train to the lowest common denominator of skill (LEO) issuing them to rank and file members?

A person who is properly trained will be no faster or more likely to hit the target using lasers.

Oh, BTW I have had the opportunity to use lasers for more than 20 years now, so I don't consider them "newfangled", just another fad.
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Old September 27, 2007, 11:29 AM   #12
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lasermax guide rod for your gun is a perfect tool. Part of the gun, no one knows it's there until you turn it on, and leaves your accessory rail free
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Old September 28, 2007, 09:56 AM   #13
David Armstrong
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No offense Maned, but if one is properly trained, you need neither sights nor optimal position to hit your target nor do you need lasers or night sights.
The basic problem there is that most people are not and will not be properly trianed. One can either deal with what the real world is like or with what you wish the real world was like. Heck, if one is properly trained a single-shot .22 should be sufficient for any one-on-one encounter.
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The entire laser argument boils down to people wanting to shortcut the learning curve because it can be a lot of work.
No. The argument is that the laser gives one an alternative means of sighting the weapon, just like 3-dot sights, or night-sights, or an Express sight or a peep sight and so on. It always amazes me to hear the same arguments being said about lasers that I have heard over the years for so many other sighting systems that we take for granted today.
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If lasers were the be all to end all, why do you not see the top shooters in the world using them
I think the better argument would be if they are so ineffective, why do so many shoting competitions ban them from use? And of course while we don't see them being used much by shooters in competition, we regularly find those who have to operate in the real gunfighting world have them on multiple firearms.Maybe those guys who actually have to put their lives on the line have a different perspective than those guys who are just shooting for a trophy?
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why don't you see organizations that train to the lowest common denominator of skill (LEO) issuing them to rank and file members?
Cost is a big one, as evidenced by the fact that many LE agencies do approve them as an officer-purchase item.
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A person who is properly trained will be no faster or more likely to hit the target using lasers.
There is that "properly trained" thing again. Let's try another: A person who is properly trained with the laser will have more options of firing an aimed shot than one without the laser. Of course, there are numerous examples of shooters across the board who have reported both an increase in speed and accurracy when using the laser.
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Old September 28, 2007, 05:24 PM   #14
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i couldn't see any arguements to where night sites or lasers would be disadvantageous in an SD situation. im not a fan of lasers, but i definately see the use and advantages to night sites.
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Old September 28, 2007, 06:29 PM   #15
gvf
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I Started The Thread So:

My experience with night aids is 0 or I wouldn't have posted. But they are expensive and for me the range-time that I spend quite a bit of $$ on would suffer - so it's practical. I've had my CCW (and 1st Permit) for 5 mos and have been to the range around 30 times. Between ammo and range-fees it's a lot for me. But I feel it's ridiculous and not ethical to walk around with a loaded gun and not know well what you're doing. That's the way it is and I knew that when I decided to get my permit.

I shoot well and for close shooting am trying to develop a point-shoot feel if I have but a second to react. One fear I have has been voiced already: habit of finding the laser-hit or illuminated sight might waste time in such a situation. Yes I know that's a choice: to use it or not, but that's sitting here. In an emergency SD I think pure raw habit can take over.

So both that and necessary choice of where best to spend $80-$300 are concerns. As is the fact that it's hard to train much in the dark, so I don't know really what an SD at night would actually visually be like. Sometimes I feel that all this range time in a well-lit place will come for nothing when I need at night.... don't really know...
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Old September 28, 2007, 06:46 PM   #16
MyXD40
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glow in the dark gel pen, color in your current sight holes with it, and you have glowness
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Old September 28, 2007, 08:01 PM   #17
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Neither are necessary if you are properly trained. Both can be liabilities because you will be looking for the dot(s) when you should be shooting.
I too must disagree with your basic premise.

Necessary? Perhaps not. That does not mean that niether can be used to good effect.

While I have a laser on one of my 1911s, it is neither my nightstand gun nor my primary CCW. However, it is a very useful as a point shooting training aid.

As far as night sights go, I have one pistol so equipped, but have yet to install them on my primary CCW. I will when the discretionary income is available.

To summarize, I can and do shoot with and without each. I own one pistol with each (not both) and don't use either as a "crutch". Technology is not a replacement for training, it is a supplement to it.

Don't throw out the baby with the bath water.
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Old September 28, 2007, 10:40 PM   #18
Deaf Smith
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Just go to a indoor range that will turn down the lights and let you test various ways of low light shooting. After a while you will be able to shoot well using one of several methods, from flashlight techniques to night sights to lasers to simply bringing the weapon up just as if you could see the sights and firing (it works quite well if you shoot a fair amount.)

The sad part is, 99 percent of the people who even shoot never practice in low light.

I'm kind of lucky as I have a airsoft Glock 26 I turned into a dedicated laser pistol! It fits my Glock holsters and I 'shoot' almost every other night in 'night combat' in my living room with the lights off. I don't need night sights nor lasers because of that.

I've posted here before what my laser glock looks like and it still shoots even after I've had to replace the batteries once already!
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