How much of a deterrent is the red dot of a laser?

This is a discussion on How much of a deterrent is the red dot of a laser? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have CT lasers on my M&P9c and my Kahr PM9 (my usual CCW gun), but I wonder just how useful they really are for ...

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Thread: How much of a deterrent is the red dot of a laser?

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    Member Array SnareMan's Avatar
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    How much of a deterrent is the red dot of a laser?

    I have CT lasers on my M&P9c and my Kahr PM9 (my usual CCW gun), but I wonder just how useful they really are for a CCW gun. I mean, most encounters occur within 8-12ft or so? And at that distance I can likely hit you without the need for a laser to aim. In the movies, you put that red dot on someone's chest and they quickly stop what they are doing, but how practical do you think it is in real life for that type of purpose? Or alternatively, the need to shoot someone farther away and want a little extra help in aiming?

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    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    Pay no attention to the movies.

    My thoughts:

    - Lasers are excellent for practice of good trigger control
    - Lasers are probably useful only if you cannot get a typical eye-to-sights picture (i.e. shooting from under furniture or a blockade of sorts where the sights cannot be aligned with the eye)
    - I don't think most average shooters, in a home invasion scenario, will have the cool to actually make sure his laser dot is pointed where it should be
    - Lasers can and will give away your position
    - Lasers rely on batteries to operate. Iron sights or night sights work without batteries.
    - If someone is far enough way from you to doubt your accuracy with a pistol, then you either need a rifle, shotgun or they may be far enough away that they are not an immediate threat.
    I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.
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    I would say it's no deterrent whatsoever. It could also be distracting from the job at hand.

    It would be nice for the range though, instant feedback.

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    Member Array SnareMan's Avatar
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    I have found that at the range I am much accurate farther away with the laser, but I am also taking much more time to aim with a slow press. I know the movies aren't real. Just throwing that out as an example. Like you said though - I'd wonder that in a real encounter I'm likely not going to have lots of time to actually think about aiming. Its more just point and shoot.

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    Distinguished Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    First, let me say that I haven't had any experience drawing a firearm on an assailant indoors or out. I hope I'll never have to find out, but my sense of things is that a laser is unnecessary in a CCW context. For HD, there's a case for lasers, especially for apartment dwellers who cannot afford stray shots. For street defense, your firearm is not a deterrent - that would be brandishing. You draw if you are prepared to fire.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

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    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnareMan View Post
    I have CT lasers on my M&P9c and my Kahr PM9 (my usual CCW gun), but I wonder just how useful they really are for a CCW gun. I mean, most encounters occur within 8-12ft or so? And at that distance I can likely hit you without the need for a laser to aim. In the movies, you put that red dot on someone's chest and they quickly stop what they are doing, but how practical do you think it is in real life for that type of purpose? Or alternatively, the need to shoot someone farther away and want a little extra help in aiming?
    My advice is to stop listening to Hollywood.. no one is gonna notice a red dot on their chest in the few seconds and encounter will last.
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    kpw
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    Personally, if I was a determined boogerman, I'd probably want to move to get away from the dot and shoot the guy holding the target beacon. Tally XD summed up their usefullness pretty good.
    "In a republic this rule ought to be observed: that the majority should not have the predominant power." -
    -- Marcus Tullius Cicero

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    Quote Originally Posted by ctsketch View Post
    My advice is to stop listening to Hollywood.. no one is gonna notice a red dot on their chest in the few seconds and encounter will last.
    IMHO THAT is your real answer, so in a word, none!!
    Rick

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    None. I'd whip out my pocket mirror and reflect it away. Then the bullets would follow it away. They are laser-guided, aren't they?
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    Distinguished Member Array Chaplain Scott's Avatar
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    well--I will say that I read a Federal LEO training document that reported a significant decerase in officers actually having to fire, based upon the target's backing down when they did see the red dot on there chests. So, for my take, if it can potentially spare a life, I will use it. If it will help my point shooting in a stressful encounter, I will use it. Will I train with my iron sights--you bet!!
    Scott, US Army 1974-2004

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    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Cool

    Never used one on a firearm but it works great on my issued taser. Used it three times and never had to tase the individuals, they just gave up and complied. They don't notice the red dot on their chest, they see the red light on the taser first.
    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".

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    Member Array SnareMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old School View Post
    Never used one on a firearm but it works great on my issued taser. Used it three times and never had to tase the individuals, they just gave up and complied.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chaplain Scott View Post
    well--I will say that I read a Federal LEO training document that reported a significant decerase in officers actually having to fire, based upon the target's backing down when they did see the red dot on there chests. So, for my take, if it can potentially spare a life, I will use it. If it will help my point shooting in a stressful encounter, I will use it. Will I train with my iron sights--you bet!!
    So there are 2 that point back in the other direction. Although I wonder with the difference of a taser vs a gun if the bag guy is more fearful that you might actually shoot him with the taser since its a lot more common and less bad than actually shooting someone. I've seen a lot more people come into the ER tased by cops than shot by them. If you are pointing a taser at someone, especially as a LEO, you probably have more time than if involved in a violent encounter as a civilian. As a LEO with a taser I'd imagine its more often a "You'd better calm down or I'm going to tase you!" type situation.

    And for the 50 of you that battered me with stop listening to the movies - I thought I inferred it in my original post that I don't think movies are accurate and was just throwing it out as an possible reason to use them. I know that if there was some time in the encounter and the other person got a dot on me I'd probably be a little more likely to comply.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    If you think you can't miss at 8-10 feet,it's very possible for people who don't practice shooting skills,In a stress situation,people may jerk the trigger,etc.
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    Distinguished Member Array bladenbullet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    If you think you can't miss at 8-10 feet,it's very possible for people who don't practice shooting skills,In a stress situation,people may jerk the trigger,etc.
    and the laser doesnt change that...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaplain Scott View Post
    well--I will say that I read a Federal LEO training document that reported a significant decerase in officers actually having to fire, based upon the target's backing down when they did see the red dot on there chests. So, for my take, if it can potentially spare a life, I will use it. If it will help my point shooting in a stressful encounter, I will use it. Will I train with my iron sights--you bet!!

    Hey!!!!!! No fair bringing FACTS into this. People who don't own them, have never used them, and probably have never seen one have their minds made up. Me? I have two, and have used then for 7-8 years.

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