The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 19, 2018, 05:17 PM   #26
DaleA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2002
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 4,297
Quote:
Personally, I think lasers are a waste of time and money.
Yeah. I thought I would really like a laser but I've tried 'em and didn't care for them.

However I suspect most folk if they trained hard with them could come to like them a lot.

Subjective stuff.

Maybe a crude analogy. I hated touch pads on computers until I was forced to spend two weeks with a laptop that had one and no plug in mouse was available. Now I use the touch pad without complaint. The same might be true for a laser if I really put some effort into using it.
DaleA is offline  
Old September 19, 2018, 05:51 PM   #27
AK103K
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 1, 2001
Posts: 9,803
Spend enough time with anything, and youll probably stand a chance of getting pretty good with it.

Assuming you can see it in all light, and can track it while you move and the target moves, etc. I just dont think that will ever be the case though.

I also think if youre going to do it, youre probably better off taking the other sights off the gun and working with the laser alone.

Unlike a cowitnessed red dot, the laser normally doesnt coincide with the sights, which just adds to the confusion, especially if you/your brain are used to seeing the sights when you shoot. I think it causes sensory overload, and it causes you to start to focus on why the discrepancy, and not focusing on the target and shooting it.

At the distances the laser is likely to be most effective, you really need no sights at all to make good hits on target, and very quickly as well. Looking for that dot slows things down and breaks that target focus.

I wonder how many who advocate them, shoot them in an active manner, as opposed to standing still and "shooting groups".

While it is pretty amazing how tight you can shoot by just using the dot on a static target, I think its a totally different experience, when youre moving, or both you and your target are moving and trying to get those hits, when youre looking for a dot, that may be out in the ozone somewhere, and not on the target, and with a dot that is hard enough to pick up in bright light when everything is static. Lower light is a bit easier, but still, your being distracted from the target, and your focus is on the wrong thing.
AK103K is offline  
Old September 19, 2018, 06:01 PM   #28
TXAZ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 5, 2010
Location: McMurdo Sound Texas
Posts: 3,618
To you question:
Shoot as much as you can afford time or $ wise.

As to the Lasers, they are much slower for me. But that might improve with more practice.
But particularly at home at night, I don't particularly care to alert an intruder with a light beam coming back to me.
__________________
!أنا لست إرهابياً
TXAZ is offline  
Old September 19, 2018, 06:06 PM   #29
Rangerrich99
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 20, 2014
Location: Kinda near Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,098
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioGuy View Post
In your direct experience what is the quickest way to acquire a good sight picture with both eyes focused on the target?

So -- without commenting on batteries dying and getting you killed -- or "iron sights were good enough to win a world war and they're good enough for me --

What have you personally found to be the quickest way to get an accurate hit on a target without shifting focus away from the target?
Strictly answering your question, in my experience, green lasers are without question faster than any other sighting system.

Last year I started taking low light defensive handgun classes for the first time. They were real eye-openers for me and my preconceived notions going in.

First, I quickly found out that the ambient light could be low enough to have a hard time properly aligning my stock three-dot sights, but still have enough light to be able to see and identify my target(s). The following week I ordered a set of tritium night sights, and found that the I-Dot two-dot system was much easier and faster for me to see and line up. This proved out at my next low light class.

Second, those that had some type of red-dot on occasion had difficulty transitioning from one target to the next, or had issues reacquiring their red dot after a tactical/combat reload. These were fairly well-trained shooters so none of them took longer than an extra second or two to locate their dots, but it was obvious to anyone watching that they had a hiccup now and then.

Third, the two individuals that had lasers mounted (one red one green), had zero issues putting rounds on target, regardless of range (5 to 35 yards), nor any issues with transitioning from target to target to target.

After class I asked one of those gentlemen if I could take a run at our last drill with his laser enhanced gun. The course of fire involved 10 targets at varying ranges from 5 to 35 yards, at varying heights and sizes. The shooter was required to move parallel to the target line, and execute at least one reload. I finished my first run through with my weapon in just of 21 seconds, with 3 misses, all on the 25 and 35 steel targets.

With the gun with the laser I ran through the same course in 18 seconds and zero misses. Is one run-through by one shooter hard science? No, of course not. But it was a significant improvement.

I discovered a couple things about lasers. When you're at the range, standing still and trying to get precise hits on a paper target, the "bouncing dot" is a little distracting. When moving and shooting, everything is bouncing and the dot's movement isn't nearly as obvious. Or at least it's much easier to just ignore.

Two, you're not trying for perfectly centered hits when your 'running and gunning,' so to speak. You tend to see the dot enter the COM area, and press the trigger. You know that if you got a decent trigger press, the bullet went where the dot was.

This proved to be true when shooting at the 25 and 35 yard steel targets; as soon as the dot found steel, I pressed the trigger and was rewarded each time with a satisfying "ping." Very confidence-inspiring.

Other things I noticed about laser vs. red dots vs. night sights. With lasers there's no "where'd my dot go" issues due to improper alignment. In fact, one can make those longer shots from the hip, no sights required. With the other systems you are necessarily required to bring the gun up to your eye line and align the sights/dot with your eye before you can expect to get a good hit.

There is no such requirement with lasers. Simply look at the target and press the gun out towards it; the laser dot will tend to go where you're looking. I found that most of the time the dot found the center of the target before I had brought the gun up to my eye line. Safety requirements on the firing line prevented me from firing before I had located the sights, but if I had just skipped that part, I'm sure I could've run the course a few seconds faster.

Note: I'm not saying that lasers are the best, ultimate, do-all sight system. I'm just answering the above question staying strictly within the parameters of the question. From this admittedly limited shooter's experiences. YMMV.

Just my two cents.
Rangerrich99 is offline  
Old September 21, 2018, 02:38 PM   #30
gnystrom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 30, 2006
Posts: 199
Learn to point shoot. 30' being a good number.
I use a SIRT gun for practice in the home or teaching on the range. They come in three configurations, a Glock 17, M&P full size, and a newer generic pocket pistol.
Really good for teaching and practice. https://nextleveltraining.com/

gnystrom is offline  
Old September 21, 2018, 07:03 PM   #31
rodfac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 22, 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 2,924
Uh, Uh, Uh...front sight-pressssss, front sight-pressssss, front sight-presssssss. Use it for all shooting beyond 'bad breath' distance encounters. Target focus, with both sights a blur, beyond that distance is a prescription for expanded groups...with all that that entails.

Lasers are all well and good in dim light (if the battery and your hand position allow their use), and they also may teach you some things about your trigger manipulation that are not evident in any other type of training, but....any shooter of the short gun persuasion, needs to be able to use the original issue iron sights and get good consistent hits where they count. Bright sunlight conditions or the failure of one of the laser's critical components, will severely hinder a shooter dependent on them.

YMMV, Rod
__________________
Cherish our flag, honor it, defend what it stands for in word and deed, or get the hell out. Our Freedoms are not free, they've been paid for many times over by heros in uniform. Far better men than I, died that we could be FREE.

USAF FAC, 5th Spl Forces, An Loc, lll Corps, RVN, 69-70, Vietnam Vet '69-'73

Last edited by rodfac; September 21, 2018 at 07:09 PM.
rodfac is offline  
Old September 23, 2018, 07:34 AM   #32
Nanuk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2005
Location: Where the deer and the antelope roam.
Posts: 2,522
For me? Dawson Precision plain black back sight and a fiber optic front sight. You should practice enough so that you just use your sights to verify what you already know.
__________________
Retired Law Enforcement
U. S. Army Veteran
Armorer
My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.
Nanuk is offline  
Old September 23, 2018, 08:18 AM   #33
jetinteriorguy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 28, 2013
Posts: 989
For me I practice point shooting at 5 yds or less. I set a blank sheet of paper at about chest height and pull the trigger as fast as I can until empty. I'm thinking if I actually am ever involved in a self defense scenario this is the way I would be most likely to react. With practice it's a relatively easy thing to learn and does become quite automatic and natural to do. I feel less likely to develop tunnel vision this way and have better situation awareness. YMMV
jetinteriorguy is online now  
Old September 30, 2018, 12:51 PM   #34
Cheapshooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 2, 2007
Location: Missouri
Posts: 7,769
"Instinct" point and shoot. Practice, practice, practice.
__________________
Cheapshooter's rules of gun ownership #1: NEVER SELL OR TRADE ANYTHING!
Cheapshooter is offline  
Old October 2, 2018, 12:07 AM   #35
hdwhit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 22, 2017
Posts: 971
Quote:
Ohio Guy wrote: "...with both eyes focused on the target?"
Never. None.

From the time I was a child, I took my cues from television and always closed the non-sighting eye. When I started shooting, my grandfather (an instructor at the Infantry School at Ft. Benning during World War II) who taught me, did not try and correct me.

So, in my case there is no "quickest way to acquire" a sight picture with two eyes open.

In the case of acquiring a sight picture with one eye open, it has been a matter of training myself on 1) the proper grip of the pistol, and 2) developing the muscle-memory to bring it to the same position relative to my head each time by extensive practice.
hdwhit is offline  
Old October 3, 2018, 09:50 AM   #36
OhioGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 11, 2016
Posts: 861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangerrich99 View Post
Strictly answering your question, in my experience, green lasers are without question faster than any other sighting system.

Last year I started taking low light defensive handgun classes for the first time. They were real eye-openers for me and my preconceived notions going in.

First, I quickly found out that the ambient light could be low enough to have a hard time properly aligning my stock three-dot sights, but still have enough light to be able to see and identify my target(s). The following week I ordered a set of tritium night sights, and found that the I-Dot two-dot system was much easier and faster for me to see and line up. This proved out at my next low light class.
I find 3-dot sights almost useless. I've begun using the Big Dot system and find it much easier, especially when I can't focus clearly on the front sight. I can still quickly get a good enough picture, in good lighting, to get good hits on a center-mass target.

That said, in anything other than very good ambient light, even those sights are not that easy to pick up and align on the move. The bright tritium vials in the sights really don't become visible until you're in near total darkness, and they're tiny. The rest of the sight isn't terribly visible in dim lighting either. Thus, for a very large majority of cases, I find iron night sights to still not be that easy to acquire vs. any of the electronic options.

After putting a green laser on my gun with the XS sights, I found a few things that echo your experience:

1. In very bright sunlight, I could still see the green dot pretty well out to almost 21 feet.
2. In that same sunlight, I can pick up the irons MUCH faster because they're so well lit and that big dot is a BIG WHITE DOT in good lighting.
3. In any lighting scenario in which the front sight is becoming harder to quickly find, the green laser shows up very well.
4. In rapid target transitions, shooting on the move, etc. the bouncing of the dot was not distracting to me at all -- in fact less distracting than the bouncing of iron sights. So in transitions I was much quicker and more accurate.

Quote:
Second, those that had some type of red-dot on occasion had difficulty transitioning from one target to the next, or had issues reacquiring their red dot after a tactical/combat reload. These were fairly well-trained shooters so none of them took longer than an extra second or two to locate their dots, but it was obvious to anyone watching that they had a hiccup now and then.
I fall in that category. I very rarely lose the dot anymore and have done a lot of practice with transitions and shooting while moving. My auto-adjusting Trijicon RMR handles light transitions well and the dot is easy to see in any lighting. I still, however, have three major issues:

1. As you said, every so often I have a "where the hell did it go???" moment, and have to hunt for it.
2. In one-handed shooting, or unconventional positions where little movements are amplified, losing the dot becomes almost guaranteed. Under pressure, I'm more likely to overcompensate the tiny corrections required which worsens the problem. And getting a good sight picture while lying prone, or on my side, is very difficult.
3. My auto-dimming function works almost TOO well. When I transition from a brightly lit area to a dimly lit area (coming into a doorway from outside, etc.) the dot instantly drops in brightness, but my eyes take another 10 seconds to adjust accordingly, and the dot is hard to see until that's happened.

Quote:
Third, the two individuals that had lasers mounted (one red one green), had zero issues putting rounds on target, regardless of range (5 to 35 yards), nor any issues with transitioning from target to target to target.

After class I asked one of those gentlemen if I could take a run at our last drill with his laser enhanced gun. The course of fire involved 10 targets at varying ranges from 5 to 35 yards, at varying heights and sizes. The shooter was required to move parallel to the target line, and execute at least one reload. I finished my first run through with my weapon in just of 21 seconds, with 3 misses, all on the 25 and 35 steel targets.

With the gun with the laser I ran through the same course in 18 seconds and zero misses. Is one run-through by one shooter hard science? No, of course not. But it was a significant improvement.

I discovered a couple things about lasers. When you're at the range, standing still and trying to get precise hits on a paper target, the "bouncing dot" is a little distracting. When moving and shooting, everything is bouncing and the dot's movement isn't nearly as obvious. Or at least it's much easier to just ignore.

Two, you're not trying for perfectly centered hits when your 'running and gunning,' so to speak. You tend to see the dot enter the COM area, and press the trigger. You know that if you got a decent trigger press, the bullet went where the dot was.

This proved to be true when shooting at the 25 and 35 yard steel targets; as soon as the dot found steel, I pressed the trigger and was rewarded each time with a satisfying "ping." Very confidence-inspiring.
I'd say I had similar experience. After a few sessions with the laser, I kept thinking "haters gonna hate, but I kinda like this thing."

Quote:
Other things I noticed about laser vs. red dots vs. night sights. With lasers there's no "where'd my dot go" issues due to improper alignment. In fact, one can make those longer shots from the hip, no sights required. With the other systems you are necessarily required to bring the gun up to your eye line and align the sights/dot with your eye before you can expect to get a good hit.

There is no such requirement with lasers. Simply look at the target and press the gun out towards it; the laser dot will tend to go where you're looking. I found that most of the time the dot found the center of the target before I had brought the gun up to my eye line. Safety requirements on the firing line prevented me from firing before I had located the sights, but if I had just skipped that part, I'm sure I could've run the course a few seconds faster.
Agreed again, from much experience now. I think red dots are the ultimate shooting tool when you have a correct sight picture, but when you lose it, irons are probably better -- hell, I usually use the irons to reacquire the dot!

Advice I've been given, that works well, is to not get sloppy with lasers and shoot from a poor position just because you can. Bring up the gun and always train with irons, and still bring it up to eye level where a good sight picture would occur. In almost every instance you'll see the laser dot before the irons, and off you go. In those few situations (sunlight, dead battery, etc.) where the dot doesn't appear, you're still aligned and likely to get a hit.

Quote:
Note: I'm not saying that lasers are the best, ultimate, do-all sight system. I'm just answering the above question staying strictly within the parameters of the question. From this admittedly limited shooter's experiences. YMMV. Just my two cents.
Two cents, and worth every penny!

For the most part, any time I'm carrying into a low-lit environment, I'm always carrying the gun with the laser. I know that in almost any indoor situation, and every dark situation, that green dot will be there.

I just have a romantic attachment to red dot sights because when I'm on my game, I'm really on my game. Plus I prefer to carry my CZ P-07 which is where I run the RMR, and I can't find any good, "carryable" laser solution for it -- Crimson Trace Railmaster is the best I've found, but it then requires a custom holster, and adds a ton of bulk under the muzzle.
OhioGuy is online now  
Old October 5, 2018, 05:07 PM   #37
Model12Win
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2012
Posts: 5,854
Point shooting.

Threat focused?

As opposed to what?? More tacticool psychobabble.
Model12Win is offline  
Old October 5, 2018, 09:49 PM   #38
OhioGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 11, 2016
Posts: 861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Model12Win View Post
Point shooting.

Threat focused?

As opposed to what?? More tacticool psychobabble.
I have no idea what you're saying.
OhioGuy is online now  
Old October 6, 2018, 02:38 PM   #39
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 15,997
I'll offer up a different and less contemporary view.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioGuy
… beyond about 15' it seems that the "ghosted" front sight becomes too blurry to be usable when I keep focus on the target and not the front sight.
There's a reason for this. I learned it eons ago in bullseye (NRA Conventional Pistol) target shooting matches, which, while less popular than when I started to compete, are a good challenge to anyone who thinks they understand sight picture and trigger control well enough. The problem is not so much that the front sight is fuzzy. The problem is that when the front sight is fuzzy due to focussing beyond it, the rear sight becomes even fuzzier to such a degree you can't accurately reference it even subconsciously to tell exactly where the gun is aiming.

A second issue may be more controversial, but as a practical matter, I and any number of other target shooters from my Conventional Pistol match days all came to agree it was easier for sight alignment to come apart than for alignment of the pair of sights with the target to come apart. That is, the exact alignment of the sights with the target was less important than the exact alignment of the sights with each other. Some element of that has to be psychological, but at least one element is mechanical and that is the inertial mass of the weapon. Your hands could mover a little up or down or left or right or orbit the bull's eye or whatever, but inertia seemed to retain at least some of the barrel's angular orientation in space for short periods so that even when you seemed to be going from aiming at the ten-ring to aiming at the nine-ring, if the gun happened to go off as that shift registered with you, it often scored in the ten-ring, nonetheless.

The bottom line here is that focussing on the target is getting your priorities out of order for precise shot placement. The front sight matters more.

You can prove the focus problem to yourself easily. At the range, focus on the front sight and get good sight alignment and adequate target alignment with the sight pair. Fire a few rounds this way so you can find their average point of impact. Then bring the gun up with eyes focused on the target and with the front sight blurry. Fire another few rounds. For the average person (we are not counting trick shots or others who can train every day of the week) they won't go in the same place the aimed shots did and the group will be bigger. If you are dry firing, try simply watching the target as you bring the gun up and then, without moving the gun, shift your focus to the front sight so you can make out its alignment with the blurry rear sight. The average person will see they are not aligned 90% of the time they try it, and if they then move their head until they have a good sight picture they see where the gun was actually aimed and it's not at the same spot every time. Hence the bigger groups.

When I took my rifle instructor's certification the NRA Councilor teaching the class was Web Wright, who, IIRC, still had two world records in International Rifle standing at the time. He would do a demo with the pistol in which he would raise it and look at the sights and then move his view to the target, trying to keep the blurry front sight and extra-blurry rear sight in alignment, but since the double blur spoils the eye's ability to do that, he asked rhetorically: "Now who's watching where the gun is pointing?…Nobody!"
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member and Golden Eagle
Unclenick is offline  
Old October 12, 2018, 09:08 AM   #40
ManyMag
Member
 
Join Date: September 17, 2018
Location: Kerrville, Texas
Posts: 53
That's a great explaination.
In addition to what you said, even though the target may not be perfectly in focus your mind will fill in some blanks and without conscious thought align your sights to center of target/mass.
ManyMag is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:25 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08364 seconds with 8 queries