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Old January 12, 2013, 10:51 AM   #1
bigkrackers
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Laser: Crutch or Useful

I have never had a laser on any of my guns. I'm wondering if they are useful in conceal carry or home defense or if they promote bad habits and also, should new shooters use them?

I am not a new shooter but my wife is.
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Old January 12, 2013, 11:03 AM   #2
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Useful for training. Limited usefulness in certain self defence situations. But, not a replacement for marksmanship. Never trust your life to something with batteries, and circuits! The problem with new shooters is if they learn to rely only on the laser they are inefective if it doesn't work, and may waste valuable time trying to get it to work.
Great aid in learning instinct shooting though.
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Old January 12, 2013, 12:44 PM   #3
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Crutch? Iron sights are a crutch if you think about it. Anything that you use to make a job easier can be called a crutch if you want to give it a negative connotation, or called and "aid" (which a crutch is an aid) if you want to give it a positive connotation. It all depends on knowing how to use the tool properly and how you perceive using it.

Many professionals rely on batteries and circuits every day. There are good products and there are poorly made products, be that for electronics, guns, ammo, etc.

I do think lasers have a more limited use than many people perceive them to have. Folks often have the impression from TV that lasers work really well in broad daylight, that bad guys know when laser dots are on them, and that a dot on a bad guy always is very stable even from long distance free held guns, and these are not realistic perceptions most of the time.
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Old January 12, 2013, 01:35 PM   #4
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Crutches are very useful for some folks.
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Old January 12, 2013, 01:49 PM   #5
mySig229
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Both. Depending on your situation.

Crutch - dark environment and unsure of shooters location. Laser gives you up. If it's a pressure switch you may have nerves running a mile a minute and not be thinking about it.

Useful - Dusk/dark environment and shooter/mugger close. Laser makes them crap their pants.

Doesn't mean you should trust it. Stuff happens, things go wrong, etc...

Personally I'm going to be buying a sub-compact with a laser because they're small and harder to aim. Plus the crap their pants thing. Lol

Really though, I do muscle memory drills at least once a week. Use your carry gun and practice with it unloaded, with snap caps. Start with just holding the gun by your side/waist. Quickly pick a target/object and snap the gun up fast to where you think it should be aimed and FREEZE.

Don't adjust your aim. Look down the sights and move your HEAD to line the sights up and see where you aimed.

Pick another target and continue. You should see yourself getting better. Once your doing OK...try the snap cap after you've aimed to help with trigger control too.
You "should" be good enough to hit a man sized target @ 20ft without missing from muscle memory. But I don't usually recommend live fire exercises
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Old January 12, 2013, 04:12 PM   #6
481
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As a training aid for novice shooters lasers have their place, but care should be taken to ensure that they do not become dependent upon them.

For self-defense, in low light situations they can help, but the issue of target identification and confirmation remains an important consideration, too.
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Old January 12, 2013, 10:09 PM   #7
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My C5L greatly helped me figure out my trigger pull.

Now I shoot with it mounted but laser off. No doubt in a high stress environment that it would improve a quick shot accuracy.

It also has a light, so no ID issues.
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Old January 12, 2013, 10:26 PM   #8
AndyWest
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My P226 came with a light/laser (STL-900L). It's perfectly zeroed at 25yd but for some reason I just can't shoot it reliably when aiming with the laser. It's... distracting somehow. That said, the P226 is my nightstand gun as it also came with tritium sights, and I LOVE SIGs.
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Old January 12, 2013, 11:12 PM   #9
arizona98tj
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You see this question asked fairly often....and a good question it is.

You'll often see someone make a snide response about the laser being a toy or crutch or some such thing and used only by people that can't figure out how to use iron sights. Of course, that same person has optics on all of his rifles....I guess that too is a crutch....if he can't hit a deer at 300 yds with iron sights, he shouldn't be out hunting.

I have Crimson Trace laser grips on my Ruger LCR. Of all the handguns I own, it is the only equipped in such a fashion. I did it because I could and also because the crude sights on the LCR can't help but benefit from the laser.
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Old January 13, 2013, 08:57 AM   #10
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Useful for training.

Good for intimidation and deescalation.
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Old January 13, 2013, 09:26 AM   #11
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+1 training. When dry firing it is very easy to see various bad habits.
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Old January 15, 2013, 10:14 AM   #12
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Many people are faster and more accurate with lasers. It works for me, but you won't know if it works for you until you try it. They are VERY useful for self defense -- a situation in which most people don't use their iron sights and miss the majority of their shots because they are too focused on the threat.

As far as reliability -- CT lasers are more reliable than the guns they are on. I've been using lasers for 20 years without a malfunction. I've been shooting for less than a year and have already had more than a half dozen malfunctions relating to guns or ammo.
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Old January 15, 2013, 05:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Useful for training.

Good for intimidation and deescalation.
I heartily agree and add that they "may" be useful in more fluid situations. Situations where maybe you can not be able to get to a good position to aim properly and yet you still need to be able to hit a target. The real world is not as simple as a pistol range.

How useful they are depends upon the situation, training, shooter and equipment.
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Old January 17, 2013, 07:45 AM   #14
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ive tested the lasers out, lets just say its not good for me. period. in broad daylight just put the lasers on a sw bodyguard through the modes. pulse flash mode gave me something like an epileptic fit.

thats in broad daylight, imagine not knowing that could happen when you need it in a dark room at night when that lovely criminal is trying to beat your head in with a hammer.
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Old January 17, 2013, 08:32 AM   #15
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They are the prefered sight of the Navy SEALS. Must not be too bad.
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Old January 17, 2013, 09:05 AM   #16
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I would have added "toy" to the poll. Yes, I consider the gun lasers toys. But, what the heck, I have other junk I put on guns that could be classified as "toys" too, and I enjoy having them.

I will say that about the only laser system I really like is the Lasermax internal guide-rod lasers - I'll admit, I've thought about buying this for my Glock 17 on several occasions - price was the only thing that stopped me.
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Old January 17, 2013, 09:25 AM   #17
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Best laser in the world wont improve your shooting skills if you don't have basic competence. They are a good, maybe even great tool, but just a tool!
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Old January 17, 2013, 09:26 AM   #18
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Quote:
They are the prefered sight of the Navy SEALS. Must not be too bad.

Laser sight are not the preferred sight of the Navy Seals. Infrared laser sights are a sight frequently used by the Navy SEALs in low light situations for certain applications where they do not expect their enemies to have NV capabilities. Visible laser sights are not used nearly as often as daylight point shooting, iron sights, and optics works great. For a group that relies on stealth, visible laser sights take away an element of being stealthy.
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Old January 17, 2013, 09:42 AM   #19
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Quote:
For a group that relies on stealth, visible laser sights take away an element of being stealthy.
I am guessing that often after the shooting starts being stealthy is no longer important?
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Old January 17, 2013, 09:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alabama Shooter View Post
I am guessing that often after the shooting starts being stealthy is no longer important?
Yes, because clearly Seals would never use a silencer. Or get trained how to kill silently without a gun.
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Old January 17, 2013, 10:37 PM   #21
springer99
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"I have never had a laser on any of my guns. I'm wondering if they are useful in conceal carry or home defense or if they promote bad habits and also, should new shooters use them?

I am not a new shooter but my wife is. "

I don't consider lasers to be anymore of a crutch than using night sights or a telescope on a rifle. My ultimate goal when picking up ane firearm is that I need to see the sights clearly enough to define the target involved. If that involves a target at 100yds or more, then I prefer a scope. If it involves a much closer target in low/failing light, I'm happy with either night sights or a laser. Of course, if I'm awakened in the middle of the night without my glasses on, then the laser is just the ticket for me. But, that's just me.
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Old January 17, 2013, 10:57 PM   #22
Double Naught Spy
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Quote:
I am guessing that often after the shooting starts being stealthy is no longer important?
As noted, the SEALs certainly do make use of a lot of covert methods to accomplish their goals, but visible light lasers don't seem to be a normal part of their covert or overt methods most of the time, certainly not as their preferred sight.
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Old January 17, 2013, 11:06 PM   #23
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"I'm wondering if [lasers] are useful in conceal carry or home defense..."

With a big enough battery the laser is all you need. "Bullets be damned!"

But seriously, I'm planning to have a laser and a flashlight on my Judge as a home defense weapon, but no laser on my carry weapon. I'll have the weapon loaded with two .410 rounds and 5 .45 LC's.

My assumption is that home defense will most likely take place in the dark or in close quarters. In neither situation am I or my wife likely to have the gun stretched out at arms length attempting to aim through the sights at the intruder. It will be down at my side or close to my chest to ensure it is not taken from me. The flashlight is to ensure the intruder is a bad guy, and the laser to to reduce the chances that I will miss and hit someone else.
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Old January 18, 2013, 02:44 AM   #24
mySig229
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Originally Posted by Big-Blue View Post
The flashlight is to ensure the intruder is a bad guy, and the laser to to reduce the chances that I will miss and hit someone else.
If someone is in my house at night coming down the hall...they're a bad guy. No one has a key to my place and everyone knows, I shoot first. Plus, my 100 pound German Shepherd is a good early warning system. If they got past him...they're probably hoping I'm armed anyway
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Old January 18, 2013, 04:16 AM   #25
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If you find yourself in a fair fight, something went wrong. Call it a crutch if you want but it can be useful and possibly life saving when used properly. Conversely it might potentially give away you position so use discretion. As mentioned earlier, don't forgo training with irons just because you have a laser and don't use it as a substitute for training either. And don't cheap out either. They're not terribly expensive and you may trust your life to it so spend the money and get a quality one.

Everything has limitations to go along with the advantages so always know what you and your equipment are capable of.
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