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Old August 29, 2020, 09:10 PM   #1
reteach
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Lasers on handguns

I did a search and didn't find anything recent specifically about laser sights on handguns. I'm sure if I missed something somebody will tell me

I'm "elderly" and near-sighted and getting the sights lined up on target quickly has become more difficult. I'm a convert to lasers. I have CT green lasers on my LCRX .327 and my Glock 42. One thing that helped greatly with that decision was two great sales at Midway.

I can get on a hand-sized target at 25 feet quickly with the laser sight. I can get back on target for followup shots quickly. I don't have to change anything about how I grip or present my gun. I pocket carry most of the time, and the lasers do not interfere with that. I like the feel of the CT grip on the LCRX.

One complaint I have seen about lasers is that a person could become too reliant on the laser and then the laser fail just when it's needed. I do still practice without the laser. I also practice point shooting without the laser or the iron sights.

I did a side-by-side comparison with a gun that has a CT red laser. The greens really do show up better in daylight.

So, what are your experiences with laser sights on handguns?
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Old August 29, 2020, 09:11 PM   #2
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I love it for training, it's easy to see how steady you're holding the weapon as you pull the trigger, and I feel it makes my aiming smoother / more accurate.
For self defense, I prefer iron sights for fast target acquisition, with a laser close behind. At night it's another adjunct weapon if you use it as a less than lethal blinder.
I like the green laser much better than the red. I purchased the Firefly because it's SUPER BRIGHT, small, rugged and is rechargeable.

YMMV.
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Old August 29, 2020, 09:58 PM   #3
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Lasers for Carry Handguns

Having used both, I tend to agree that the newer green lasers are definitely more useful, in that their aiming points show up better in broad daylight.

Right now I have lasers mounted on my primary and backup guns --- a Smith & Wesson M&P9 and a first-generation Ruger LCP. Both are Crimson Trace units.

I also used to have a Lasermax unit on my Glock 23, but quickly discovered that having the laser's emitter less than an inch from the pistol's muzzle tends to degrade the quality of the laser's aiming point quickly. After firing 100 rounds, the emitter lens gets so dirty that it's projecting a red smear with no precise point that can be used for aiming.

This leads me to believe that Crimson Trace's idea of positioning the laser unit far behind the muzzle is a better idea --- it avoids the build up of firing residue on the laser's lens. They haven't been able to do this for laser units on the LCP just yet, though.
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Old August 29, 2020, 10:16 PM   #4
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I normally sleep with an FNX Tactical 45 and a shotgun by my side, except the time I had surgery and was laid up in bed for over 6 months. I got an infection on my surgical sight and it would not heal or close . Had an open wound (8") in my belly which made it difficult and very painful to move and reach for the 45. During my recovery I depended on my 642 with crimson laser grips as the gun was right next to me. During that time I practiced aiming and shooting from a lying position. I would aim and than turn the laser on and could see how terrible I was. The laser is definitely a great tool to use under certain circumstances.
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Old August 30, 2020, 03:19 AM   #5
Hal
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Year ago - like 20 years ago or so - my wife was having problems figuring out the sights of her new Buckmark Micro.

I tried everything I could think of to try to get her to comprehend how to line up the front sight with the rear sight.

I stuck a cheap laser on the Buckmark and once she saw where the dot was on the target & how that lined up with the sights - it all clicked.
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Old August 30, 2020, 10:27 AM   #6
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There is no downside to lasers. They work. Besides their normal and usual use, a laser equipped gun can be accurately aimed from any contorted or unusual position. The added benefit of the psychological effect of being targeted by a laser can or may end encounters without life changing shots.

I'm also an old guy and I want every advantage I can have. Lasers and optics are the great "eyesight equalizers" of our day. Perhaps the perfect gun would have bright iron sights, a laser and an optic.
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Old August 30, 2020, 10:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reteach View Post
I did a search and didn't find anything recent specifically about laser sights on handguns. I'm sure if I missed something somebody will tell me

I'm "elderly" and near-sighted
"Elderly". 65, and not quite there yet, but I can see the need coming.

Quote:
and getting the sights lined up on target quickly has become more difficult. I'm a convert to lasers. I have CT green lasers on my LCRX .327 and my Glock 42. One thing that helped greatly with that decision was two great sales at Midway.
The "factory overrun" sale? Yep, I got 2 off that. Both red, and I wonder if I should have spent the extra for green. Oh, well.

Quote:
I can get on a hand-sized target at 25 feet quickly with the laser sight. I can get back on target for followup shots quickly. I don't have to change anything about how I grip or present my gun. I pocket carry most of the time, and the lasers do not interfere with that. I like the feel of the CT grip on the LCRX.
I have Crimson Trace lasergrips on both my snubbies. They are as you describe. Wonderful seamless integration, didn't even have to look for new holsters.

The Laserguard unit I got for my XDS, ahhh, not nearly so much. It requires a new holster, and I haven't found one yet that works well, including the Blade-Tech Ambi-Klipt that CT bundles with it. None of them I have tried have very good retention. Kydex holsters tend to do that at the trigger guard, and the Laserguard changes that, so you can't just get your Dremmel tool out and tweak your old holster to work.

Quote:
One complaint I have seen about lasers is that a person could become too reliant on the laser and then the laser fail just when it's needed. I do still practice without the laser. I also practice point shooting without the laser or the iron sights.
Non-issue.

Quote:
I did a side-by-side comparison with a gun that has a CT red laser. The greens really do show up better in daylight.

So, what are your experiences with laser sights on handguns?
For my snubs, love them. They make good hits possible to much greater distances, and help for practice in trigger control. I was able to change from "look down the sights" shooting to "look at the dot" shooting, almost without trying.

For the XDS, not using currently, may just try to sell it off, becasue of the holster issue. Because I think a good holster is more important that I think most realize. Too bad.
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Old August 30, 2020, 11:36 AM   #8
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I prefer red-dots to lasers; easier to see in full daylight. I've got two Rugers with Bushnell TRS-25's on them.
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Old August 30, 2020, 12:14 PM   #9
reteach
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Glad to see there are plenty others who like and use the lasers.

Quote:
a laser equipped gun can be accurately aimed from any contorted or unusual position
PSP I meant to include that feature in my review. I haven't practiced at shooting from unusual positions yet, but from the hip the laser is a huge benefit.

Quote:
It requires a new holster
lee n. field I haven't really carried the Glock in the Blade-Tech that came with the laser. I tried it on, but haven't left the house wearing it. The pistol still fits in a pocket holster, and that's how I carry. I should probably sell the Glock since I pretty much stopped carrying it once I got the LCRX. But I probably won't.

Quote:
I prefer red-dots to lasers
berettaprofessor I have a red-dot on a Ruger Mark II. Absolutely love it for range fun. How do you carry your red-dots guns? For a dedicated pocket-carry guy like me, the extra bulk of a red-dot won't work. But I wonder about the bulk in an owb or iwb holster. What's your experience?
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Old August 30, 2020, 12:24 PM   #10
reteach
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Quote:
it's easy to see how steady you're holding the weapon as you pull the trigger
Quote:
saw where the dot was on the target & how that lined up with the sights
Quote:
aim and than turn the laser on and could see how terrible I was
TXAZ, ms6852 and Hal - I think lasers are good training tools for both newer and experienced shooters. I had read in other places before I got mine, and can now confirm that the laser makes a good dry-fire practice tool, too.

Quote:
avoids the build up of firing residue on the laser's lens
Tygus.Shooting - I haven't used a Lasermax. You make a good point about any laser, though - make sure the lens is clean, dust- and lint-free, etc. as part of the routine before you carry the gun.
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Old August 31, 2020, 03:44 AM   #11
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I also had the Lasermax on a Glock 26. While the concept was good, the practicality was really bad. They replaced the takedown piece with a wider one to use as an on off switch. This basically made it impossible to find a holster that fit. You had to pushed the takedown to the left or right to activate the laser, which wasn’t that fast or intuitive. It also allowed the laser to be accidentally activated, Leaving you with a dead laser. This is in addition to the problem mentioned by Tygus.Shooting

I put the Crimson Trace Laser Guard Pro on my Glock 43 and really liked it. It mounted right on the trigger guard and had a strong flashlight and a laser. It may be a bit chunky for some, but it actually breaks up the outline of the pistol somewhat. Activation was completely intuitive via a pressure activated button right on the grip.
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Old September 2, 2020, 01:04 AM   #12
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lasers

My agency acquired about 18 or so Crimson Trace units to fit P-series SIGS, this about 15 years ago. All the young guys wanted them. Took them to the range with their new users and ran them through qualifications and they took them afield.

There were quite a few durability issues. On a duty gun, with every day use, on a duty belt, in and out of vehicles, afoot, sometimes a tumble in the woods, all sorts of weather, sometimes for extended (hrs) exposed. In about 2 years they had all crapped out. Another issue was the port/tunnel the laser projects from becoming obstructed, one had to be constantly cleaning same with the little doo-dad the mfg. provided. Other wise your dot may or may not be visible, and your dot might well become a very faint star burst looking thing.

Lasers may well have come a long way since then, but at the time, those units were not up to duty use.
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Old September 2, 2020, 08:09 AM   #13
reteach
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Good comments here. Thanks.

I haven't tried any laser other than Crimson Trace. I know that on my guns they work well. I have found that the lasers are not on target out of the box. I had to sight them in on both guns. It only took a couple of minutes, but it still had to be done. That might sound like a no-brainer, but some of CT's advertising would lead one to believe that the lasers are dead on out of the box. That's not a complaint. I wouldn't rely on any new sight without thorough testing first. Again, for most of us that's a no-brainer, but some new owners might need to see that.

For sure, if I'm going to have a laser on my carry gun, maintaining the laser has to be part of my routine. That means checking that the battery is good, keeping the laser clean, and checking that the laser is lined up with the iron sights. And always practice/train without the laser so that if that dreaded moment ever does arise and the laser chooses that moment to fail, I can still aim and shoot effectively.
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Old September 2, 2020, 08:49 AM   #14
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@reteach,

I don't think it is reasonable to expect a laser to be sighted in from the factory unless the gun comes with the laser. That is why there are adjustment screws. The amount of adjustment is so minute due to minute of angle multiplied over distances, that I don't believe it is really possible to be dead on from factory. The LaserMax guide rod lasers had better be very precise since there aren't any adjustments for them.

When you mount a scope on a rifle, do you expect to be exactly on target? I guess that is why you don't really see it as a complaint.

As for reliability, My Crimson Trace has functioned reliably for a few years. This is under pretty much daily carry and sweating all over it. My only concern is the rust that developed on the mounting screws. They sent replacements with the batteries.
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Old September 2, 2020, 08:59 AM   #15
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aside from lasers helping the shooter with training and confidence, the laser can have a deterrent factor when a criminal sees the dot moving toward or on them. don't count on it but if it helps to avoid the confrontation, great.
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Old September 24, 2020, 08:46 AM   #16
reteach
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OK, going to revive my own thread here. JERRYS wrote:

Quote:
the laser can have a deterrent factor when a criminal sees the dot moving toward or on them
I've seen this on another forum, too. It makes sense and I think it's probably true. But my next question is, has anyone seen this to be the case in a real-life situation? Links to articles or personal experience welcome. I would like for this to be true, but need to see some verification.
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Old September 24, 2020, 11:00 AM   #17
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Concur with Jerrys opinion. That's the experience prison guards have had. Dunno about police officers but few had laser sights to supplement their iron sights.
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Old September 24, 2020, 11:49 AM   #18
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Ever since I put a crimson trace laser guard on a Ruger LC9S that I ended up giving to my mom, I’ve loved having lasers for pretty much all the reasons presented here. However, I currently don’t have a laser on my new XDE because crimson trace doesn’t make one for this pistol because even though the XDS is pretty much the same pistol as the XDE, Springfield just had to for some odd reason make the trigger guard just a little bit different to where crimson trace has to design a whole new laser for this gun.

I did for a while have the green GTO laser from ArmaLaser but I’ve long since removed that POS from my gun because it’s a piece of junk. Great concept with the gun-specific flex strip that uses two metal contact strips near where the grip and the trigger guard come together for easy activation of the laser just by simply gripping the pistol but with the laser losing its programming all the time- in stock form without the flex strip, the laser itself has the same metal contacts on the side that you just simply touch to activate and touch again to turn off but when you use the flex strip, you have to program the laser to only turn on while your finger is making the continuity on the strip. Grab the grip, laser turns on; let go of the grip and the laser turns off. It kept reverting back to stock setup so I just took it off.

I’d love to have a CT but they don’t make one. I thought about trying that one from laser max that essentially works on the same principle as the GTO but instead of using a button or two metal contacts to turn the laser on, this one here has a focused motion detector aimed at that same spot for when you grip the pistol, it senses that motion and turns the laser on but they were a lot more money for that one.


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Old September 25, 2020, 07:33 AM   #19
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corneileous, The Crimson Trace CMR 206 may fit your XD-E. Pretty much fits anything with a rail.
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Old September 25, 2020, 08:07 AM   #20
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corneileous, The Crimson Trace CMR 206 may fit your XD-E. Pretty much fits anything with a rail.

Yeah, I forgot they had universals for pretty much anything but I’d rather have the laser guard or something with an automatic power switch, something that I don’t have to remember to turn on when the lightning quick crap hits the fan....lol. If that were the case, I could just continue using my ArmaLaser GTO. Even in stock form, it doesn’t have a mechanical switch to manipulate but it still has a touch switch that you still have to reach out there with either index finger to turn it on, but thanks tho for reminding me of that.


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Old September 25, 2020, 08:16 AM   #21
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Lots of good reasons here to have a laser on your handgun, so I won't rehash them all. There really isn't a downside. It is important to train without the laser as well, so your are proficient with your gun's iron sights.

I have a CT Laser guard (red) on my Khar CM9 and a Viridian C5L (LED light/green laser) on my Taurus PT145. Both work well, but the green laser is FAR more visible in bright light. If I were to buy a Laserguard today, I'd definitely pay the extra money to get a green laser.

The C5L is a great unit! IT's the smallest light/laser combo you can find (I purchased several and measured) and the only one that would stick way out past the muzzle of my PT145. I wanted something that could be used for HD duty but still be a small enough package to carry concealed. It has a lot of really cool features, too. One of those is the ability to turn it on and then holster it (in a Viridian holster or one with a magnet added) and the laser will turn off. When you draw the weapon, the laser/light with activate automatically.




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Old September 25, 2020, 12:10 PM   #22
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Not a fan of lasers.

I haven't put more than 100 rounds through pistols with lasers as I find them distracting. I'm just too used to iron sights -- Front sight, press! --. I do think that I could make the transition, but I think I'd have to give up on the iron sights and relearn my shooting. I'm more inclined to try red dots, even with my astigmatism. For pistol distances, that red dot/semicolon should work just fine. Also, it seems it's less bulky to have a red dot on the slide than a laser under the barrel for CCW.
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Old September 25, 2020, 12:39 PM   #23
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I have CTC laser grips on both my 1911. I love them. Just grip an it’s on, instinctive. Yes green is better.

Ps I’m 76
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Old September 25, 2020, 01:31 PM   #24
Bill DeShivs
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People don't look at their own chests, which is where the laser should be pointing. They can't even see their upper chests-so the deterrent effect of lasers is way over rated.
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Old September 25, 2020, 02:28 PM   #25
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People don't look at their own chests, which is where the laser should be pointing. They can't even see their upper chests-so the deterrent effect of lasers is way over rated.
Agreed. I've tested this and unless it's pointed out to me that there is a dot on my chest I'll never notice it. Especially if I was engaged in some sort of altercation.
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