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Old July 16, 2009, 01:32 PM   #1
jg0001
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Green Lasers a Tactical No-no?

See title.

As I ponder a RED or GREEN laser for my upcoming LWRC M6A3 (AR15 style, piston based) I spent a good deal of time checking out ViridianLaser.com 's lineup.

One thing I noticed (and this has been repeated in user comments elsewhere, including on this board) is that unlike it's RED brethren, the GREEN laser is a lot quicker to actually show up (I'm referring to the beam, not the dot) with even just a mild amount of dust/darkness. Look at their own videos in fact... the beam is fully visible. Are their videos just setup a bit too much to show the beam (note: they show a red laser at the same time and it's beam is not visible at all)?

Would this not be a tactical disadvantage in giving away your location, effectively painting a line back to you? I suppose as a deterrent, in close quarters, it may be an asset... but in a firefight, I imagine this would be bad... no? [The Viridian brand doesn't seem to offer a switch on an extension pad (pressure switch), near as I could tell, anyway... LaserMax makes a green laser (the Uni-Max) that offers a pressure pad...]
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Old July 16, 2009, 02:03 PM   #2
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I would think it would be a tactical disadvantage. I use a 5mW green laser for pointing out stars to people from the back yard. It definitely draws a distinct, highly visible line to infinity and right back to your location. That's what makes the green laser beneficial for public demonstrations. Our eyes are much more sensitive to the green light than the red, a red beam must be much, much more powerful before the beam becomes visible.
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Old July 16, 2009, 02:09 PM   #3
neon
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I still believe either one would make a BG crap his pants.
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Old July 16, 2009, 02:16 PM   #4
stargazer65
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I still believe either one would make a BG crap his pants.
Well...I don't know about that, but the cool factor is definitely much higher for the green than the red. So I guess it depends on whether you want to go for the cool and scary effect or the sneaky effect.
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Old July 16, 2009, 02:50 PM   #5
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When used properly, the laser does not activate until the shooter is in the very act of firing the weapon; it is an alternate sighting device to be used while actively shooting and not otherwise. In that circumstance, the muzzle flash will give away your position just as thoroughly as the laser will.

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Old July 16, 2009, 03:03 PM   #6
stargazer65
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When used properly, the laser does not activate until the shooter is in the very act of firing the weapon
I should comment that I've only used lasers as a public demo starpointers, so I don't know much about the proper tactical use of them on a gun. Still, I thought people activated them to get a line of sight to the target, or is that only a movie thing?
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Old July 16, 2009, 03:06 PM   #7
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stargazer,

Nope. You activate 'em to put a dot on the target, and immediately fire when the dot is there.

Some people find lasers to be "slow"; this is almost invariably because they are trying to look through the iron sights to the dot, or because they don't trust the dot when they see it.

A line is unnecessary and not really helpful. You just have to see the dot and fire immediately when it's there.

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Old July 16, 2009, 03:46 PM   #8
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I use red and green lasers for therapy in my practice, not for shooting, but I have had fun at night and in dark rooms with them. Any dust or mist in the air and the red beam will show-otherwise it's just a dot on the target. The green, OTOH, has a very bright shaft of light that shows under almost all conditions and throws a LOT of light off to the sides--seems to be a much less coherent beam. I've actually used it as an ad-hoc flashlight at times, which I'm sure perturbs my neighbors. It is much brighter (and has a higher tacticool factor!), but there is that disadvantage of a very bright line leading directly back to your shootin' iron. It's fun to practice sighting-in on street signs--they light up good!
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Old July 16, 2009, 03:49 PM   #9
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When used properly, the laser does not activate until the shooter is in the very act of firing the weapon; it is an alternate sighting device to be used while actively shooting and not otherwise. In that circumstance, the muzzle flash will give away your position just as thoroughly as the laser will.
In a scenario where you'd be popping in and out of cover to fire, a continuously on laser with a visible beam just seems like a bad idea (as you'd be broadcasting your movements, though otherwise behind cover)... not having it 'on' (until you pop out) seems like it would rendered less useful...

Hrm....
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Old July 16, 2009, 03:51 PM   #10
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Unless you're a grand master mall ninja, this seriously is not something to get wrapped around the axle about.
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Old July 16, 2009, 04:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
In a scenario where you'd be popping in and out of cover to fire, a continuously on laser with a visible beam just seems like a bad idea (as you'd be broadcasting your movements, though otherwise behind cover)... not having it 'on' (until you pop out) seems like it would rendered less useful...
Any form of continuously-on light can get you into trouble, visible beam or no.

Having worked around cover in the dark many times in classes and practice, including an occasional run with moving targets, it's not a concern. You learn to activate the laser as you bring the gun to bear on target, and to leave it off otherwise. It is not difficult. If you can see the target, you can hit it.

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Old July 16, 2009, 05:08 PM   #12
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...exactly how I've employed a weapon-mounted light. Works really, really well.
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Old July 17, 2009, 05:40 AM   #13
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you'll be fine as long as you ignore that hollywood crap of leaving it on constantly. This goes for both light and laser. One of the flip sides to the laser beam being more visible, is daylight operation whereas teh green is easier to pick up than red.
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Old July 17, 2009, 05:47 AM   #14
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i will take green over red anyday,red washes out in brite sunlight fast.i the idea is speed on target,paint it pull trigger then off until another target presnts an oppertunity.
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Old July 17, 2009, 06:35 AM   #15
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If a target is sufficiently visible to bring my sights upon it, I'm not sure of the necessity for the laser. To me, it's just one more unnecessary thing to have to worry about. No lasers for me.
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Old July 17, 2009, 12:50 PM   #16
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too dam cheap...

If you are looking at a laser go for the green.

It's brighter and you can actually use it during daylight and see the dot for some distance out to 100 yards.

So, the title says it all... I'm too cheap to buy a laser. Man, they are expensive and not worth my time. With that said. It's all about practice.

If you have one you must practice with it. As mentioned by Pax the proper way to deploy a laser is to activate it when you are going to shoot.

Just like carrying a 1911 you have to get used to the functions of what system you have. In the case of a 1911 you have to drop the safety. If you carry a laser you have to activate it by some means and depending on your system... simply gripping your gun will activate it or some button or knob.

I do hear a lot about "Oh, the bad guy will s**t his pants when he see's a laser on his chest." Hmm... I don't think the BG is looking at his chest when he's aiming or shooting at you. I know we see it on TV but it only works when No one is shooting and you make the BG look down. Like a hostage scenario on TV.

A laser is great when shooting in low light or very little light but let's think about that. You need to identify your target! So you got to be able to see, at the very least a silhouette of some kind. Shooting in the dark is exactly that shooting in the dark. So what if you can put a dot someplace.... if it's not on the target your still shooting in the total dark. A laser is also good when shooting in awkward positions, upside down or sideways or whatever you can imagine the scenario to be.

If you have it or not. It all comes down to practice.

As for the original OP - the "beam" is brighter and you got to be in one dusty place to follow that beam back. Of course, most shootings are within 50 feet so it's more than likely you'll be able to see each other anyways. I guess if you want to convince yourself the red is just as good. It's a lot cheaper.

The green is better though IMHO. But I'm too cheap.
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Old July 17, 2009, 01:53 PM   #17
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Green are of course brighter (like everyone says) but if you are trying to stay covert in a dark area most of the time, stick with the red. Now if civilians could only get a hold of the Inf beams...
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Old July 17, 2009, 06:13 PM   #18
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Whatsa laser?

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Old July 17, 2009, 07:10 PM   #19
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hogdogs, A laser is a teeny flashlite that you can buy at the JiffyMart for about $3, it can also get you in a heap of trouble.

One ol' boy around here got drunk and started pointing it at airplanes on take off, that was a REALLY bad move and he won't be drinkin' for a few years.

A kid was playing with one and thought it would be fun to 'scare the cops', another plan gone wrong.

I bought a real one for my S&W 9mm about 13 yrs. ago. It was so unreliable that I took it off and used it to drive the ol' lady's cat nutz. She just got a new cat the first of this year and it's still fun to watch a cat try to climb a wall.
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Old July 17, 2009, 09:50 PM   #20
jg0001
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I have two Crimson Trace grips (red lasers) so am familiar with the red variety.

I ordered up a Viridian X5L (green) laser+light combo. I chose that over the Lasermax b/c the Lasermax lacks a constant on mode. A pulsing beam would prob give me a headache under some circumstances (including using the laser to help sight-in other optics once the laser itself is setup.
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Old July 18, 2009, 12:07 AM   #21
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I have several green laser on gun I own.

While the green trace does lead back too you,,,there is another factor nobody has mentioned.....If you have a "Target" hitting him in the eyes with the green laser will blind him for a few minutes...so not to worry about being targeted. He can no longer see you.

Some of the guys running road block in Iraq, found it was way easier to get the cars stopped for road blocks when the driver was blind...(saved a lot of ammo and bad press).

Nice thing is it does no permanent damage. That is what the trigger finger is for.

So you maybe want to re-think the red/green applications and adjust you tactics to take advantage of this factor.
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Old July 18, 2009, 01:23 AM   #22
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"...referring to the beam, not the dot..." If you're using a laser sight as your only sight, the dot is the only thing that matters. The beam means nothing.
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Old July 18, 2009, 01:38 AM   #23
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When used properly, the laser does not activate until the shooter is in the very act of firing the weapon; it is an alternate sighting device to be used while actively shooting and not otherwise. In that circumstance, the muzzle flash will give away your position just as thoroughly as the laser will
I agree with this statement. One of the downside to lasers is I have noticed they tend to make people a little too cavalier about pointing a weapon at someone as a means of intimidation. Just when would I be feeling threatened enough to put a laser dot on someone when they are not aware of my position but not threatened enough to shoot?
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Old July 18, 2009, 04:00 AM   #24
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Go for green!

Green 110%. I have both. one I got one used when I bought a 1911 (Red) and I ordered a Viridian Laser for my SR9 (Green) I find the red one unless in almost perfect darkness can get "lost" while moving it around. The whole point of a laser is to increase the speed and accuracy of shots in high stress situations, IMHO. So time searching for where your laser is... thats time wasted... Might as well use your sights.

Now the green laser is the exact opposite. Day or night, indoors or outdoors I can see it easily its zeroed right above my front sight in the longest part of my house so its mostly for close range. 30ft roughly. If I'm fighting for my life I wanna have something I can see immediately on my side. Odds are if he can see it there is already a bullet on the way.

It's piece of mind as well. My Girlfriend is becoming an avid shooter but if I am not around and she needs a weapon for self-defense my SR9 is all ready to go 17rds and a green laser, is mine shes not familiar with it, but between her knowledge and the Viridian I am confident she can handle herself.
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Old July 18, 2009, 04:04 PM   #25
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One of the advantage of green lasers is the eyes sensitivity.

It is not uniform across colors, and green is the most sensitive color in human vision.

At equal power levels green will appear brighter than red.

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