View Full Version : CrimsonTrace Laser or Iron Sights

January 13, 2008, 01:57 AM
I purchased Crimson Trace grips and thought it would be a great buy, but it seems as if my shot times are much slower as I am attempting to react to the laser light then simply placing the iron sights on target.

What type of training can I do to make my purchase better or should I just take it back and rely on iron sights?

matthew temkin
January 13, 2008, 08:35 AM
My advice is to practice point shooting up close and rely on the iron sights for longer distances.
I like lasers, but I feel that they are best when shooting from behind cover and/or from a contorted position where it is not possible to bring the gun up to eye level.

January 13, 2008, 10:10 AM
Upper mass point of aim with the laser. Using torso targets will work best. Dont think pin point... you will get too involved in the laser instead of the hit. the iron sights will lead you into more precise shooting as your concentration will be of more effort aligning your sights. As with anything else you should just practice more and the efficiency will come.

January 13, 2008, 10:12 AM
An excellent how-to by Kathy. http://www.corneredcat.com/Gear/lasergood.aspx

Using lasers correctly takes time, but they are great tools.:cool:

January 18, 2008, 10:56 AM
Most people won't use either when it hits the fan, so go with the one that you prefer.

Hard Ball
January 18, 2008, 11:22 AM
"My advice is to practice point shooting up close"


Covert Mission
January 18, 2008, 01:34 PM
Lasers are meant to complement or supplement iron sights, and weapon (or handheld) lights.

They are not a lot of good in higher ambient light imo, in which case being good with your irons takes precedence (and is a must-have basic skill anyway).

They are very good for precision shooting at longer distances in low or low-ish light. You can do things with a S&W J-frame with laser grips at 25 or more yards that I know I can't do often if at all with the irons, for example. Same with the red dots...I shot a friends Glock 27 that had a small Doctor Optic red dot on it, on an IDPA course. I was doing head shots at 50 yds, and no way could I do that consistently with irons on that gun. Same advantage using laser in low light, though interestingly, I don't have good vision at distance w/o glasses, and so I think I might have trouble seeing the laser dot on target farther out but don't with a red dot on the gun.

They are also good to aid point shooting up close, even from the hip. Put dot on target, pull trigger. That would be for an ugly, up close scenario at 3-5 yds, and good point shooting or flash sight picture technique might not require a laser.

My first time shooting a lasered gun I thought "Dang...that dot sure jumps around." You see movement of the dot on target that you would never notice with irons. Distracting to me, but I think you could get used to it. There is good video out there of Todd Jarrett on an indoor range with lasered gun, and you can see the dot jumping but it doesn't slow him down. Just have to get used to it, I guess.

Here's a situation where the laser was invaluable, and changed the minds of some trainers in a major metro LE agency. My friend was the detective working the officer-involved shooting, and he told me the story. He became a believer:

Two uniforms rolled up to an unknown disturbance call. Before they could exit the car they started taking incoming rifle rds...one exploded the mobile computer as they dove for cover. They were pinned down behind the wheels and engine taking rounds, as the guy shot from the shadow of an alley at night (with an AK type rifle, it turned out). They couldn't even get a good iron sight picture to return fire w/o exposing themselves.

One deputy had just gotten laser grips. As he peeked out he could see a cloud of smoke with muzzle flashes coming from it and that's all. He watched for the flash, and then held the pistol out and put the laser dot on the cloud of smoke just behind the flash, where he guessed the shooter would be on the gun, and started dumping rounds. After about 6 shots he put the BG down, dead. He said he couldn't have done that shot nearly as easily or safely w/o the laser. Many of the dept firearms training guys, some of them grizzled vets and who had dismissed lasers as a gadgets, apparently had a change of thinking after that incident.

I want Crimson Traces for my J-frame...a big improvement for that gun. One built into a weapon light like the Streamlight TLR seems good too maybe, though I don't know about POA/POI retention, or if they have to be readjusted often.

Like anything, you have to practice to become proficient with them, as others have pointed out. They're not magic.

Rifleman 173
January 21, 2008, 03:55 PM
Your laser sights should be secondary to your metal sights. Your metal sights don't work off of a battery and they will probably be there when your laser's battery fails you. Practice this: Concentrate a lot more on watching your target. Practice without using the laser aligning your sights at high speed. Once you have it down pat, then turn on your laser but continue to use your metal sights. What you'll eventually learn is that when you automatically go to your metal sights, your laser sight also follows to the target. This is a sort of rote learning program but it works. Keep doing that everyday for about a month and your body and eyes will automatically fall into the sighting program. Remember, you will re-act the way you practice when the Clintons hit the fan.

February 4, 2008, 02:24 PM
One thing that I've learned is that the old school trainers and the gun game-players are stuck in their own world of laser sight denial. They just don't get it. They're good because they've trained with hundreds of thousands of rounds downrange....but, who cares!

In the real world ninety nine percent (99%) of handgun owners have that gun 'strictly' for self-defense.
They barely practice, they don't play gun games and handguns are not in their realm of recreation. Many are aged or are physically challenged, have poor eyesight, need bi/tri focal glasses. Some are handicapped, obese, frail, bedridden, live alone, etc.

Advanced training is nearly non-existent for these folks. But, they can train themselves and perfect their aiming by unlimited dry-fire practice in their home with a lasergrip.

Nearly everyone can instinctively point shoot at close range if necessary. And fortunately, nearly everyone can lay a laser dot on a threat and press a trigger.....from just about 'any' position without using sights.

Most defensive shootings occur at very close range and under great stress.
In a real self defense situation everyone will focus on the threat, thereby verifying that threat. With a lasergrip sighting system they can pinpoint the POI on the threat while looking at that threat....and especially so in low light and darkness where 80% of encounters occur.

Below is an excellent laser equipped setup for the barely trained self defense shooter.


Biff from Oxford
February 8, 2008, 12:03 AM
I bought the crimson trace for my glock 27 and the 642 airlight. I am still out on them as far as how I will incorporate them into my close self defense program.

Keep in mind I train only for close self defense and don't care nothing about putting a hole in the paper from a long way away.

My gut feeling is they will give me a bit more speed or increase my skill.

So if you think the way I do then an extra 500.00 bucks is not a lot if it makes you stay alive longer. Just my opinion.

By the way I am going to steal the picture from the guy above me so I won't have to take a pic of my own 642. I am very conservative.. He did it, it's what I need and makes the statement I won't to make, we need to incorporate that into our self defense guns..Less is more.