Lasers: the good and the not so good

This is a discussion on Lasers: the good and the not so good within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; For those of us that are older and suffering from eye site problems including night blindness I think a laser is a wonderful addition. I ...

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Thread: Lasers: the good and the not so good

  1. #16
    Senior Member Array Maverickx50's Avatar
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    For those of us that are older and suffering from eye site problems including night blindness I think a laser is a wonderful addition. I do agree training should include non-laser shooting. Lets be honest tho. I'm betting you all, like myself, do 99% of our shooting in the day light. Where probably 75% of the shootings at BG's take place in low light
    I carry to protect myself and my loved ones from the BG's. Not to solve societies problems. That said: if more carried the deterrent would only have a positive overall effect on those problems.

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  3. #17
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    Don't forget lasers are not real helpful when the space between you and the target is filled with smoke, rain, snow or other forms of water. You may see the beam like a Star Wars episode, but... not necessarily your target.
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  4. #18
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    I have CT's on my SP101 and I can see some situations where they would be a lifesaver. First, they're the best grip for the SP101 I've found and I've tried a lot. I do all my training with them turned off. I'll shoot one or two cylinders full through them at the end of each session, mainly to check the zero and function.

    I use the SP101 as one of my bedside guns. It's there if some BG enters my room before my eyes are awake and completely focused, or if I need to shoot from bed. I point shoot pretty well, but don't practice from a horizontal position, so the dot helps.
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  5. #19
    Senior Member Array bklynboy's Avatar
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    In my case, I find that with a laser I acquire targets faster,especially moving targets. They have also helped me to improve my point shooting at close ranges. It may well have to do with the fact that with my middle aged eye it is easier to focus only on the target and the laser aids in getting the impact point on that target. I am sure that some people are entranced by the dancing red dot and take longer to get on target, but hell, my iron sights are often not rock still either.

    I still prefer having the laser than not having it, but this episode reinforced one truth; if you expect the laser dot to be there and it suddenly and unexpectedly is not, it will take some additional time to transition back to iron sights and you need to make a decision, do you want to bring your focus back to the front sight or do you want to transition to a point shooting sight picture. Based on what happened to me, I plan to experiment a bit the next time I get to the range, see what works best for me and then train to do it.

  6. #20
    Senior Member Array MotorCityGun's Avatar
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    One more thing to keep in mind if you've got or are using a laser on your weapon. It may make it easy(er) to JUST focus on the little dot, but we all know that you must also look beyond your target...rule #4.

  7. #21
    Senior Member Array Maverickx50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MotorCityGun View Post
    One more thing to keep in mind if you've got or are using a laser on your weapon. It may make it easy(er) to JUST focus on the little dot, but we all know that you must also look beyond your target...rule #4.
    This is the primary reason I prefer large slow projectiles like the 45 as opposed to the 357 mag. IMO more likely to stay in the target if hit at center of mass rather than go clean thru.
    I carry to protect myself and my loved ones from the BG's. Not to solve societies problems. That said: if more carried the deterrent would only have a positive overall effect on those problems.

  8. #22
    VIP Member Array livewire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverickx50 View Post
    This is the primary reason I prefer large slow projectiles like the 45 as opposed to the 357 mag. IMO more likely to stay in the target if hit at center of mass rather than go clean thru.
    Yeah, but you're not perfect (if you are, you need to come train me)... if you miss, that heavy slow projectile is going to stay in the target you didn't intend to hit just as well. You ALWAYS need to know what's behind your target.
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  9. #23
    Senior Member Array Maverickx50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by livewire9880 View Post
    Yeah, but you're not perfect (if you are, you need to come train me)... if you miss, that heavy slow projectile is going to stay in the target you didn't intend to hit just as well. You ALWAYS need to know what's behind your target.
    Nobody could argue with that.
    I carry to protect myself and my loved ones from the BG's. Not to solve societies problems. That said: if more carried the deterrent would only have a positive overall effect on those problems.

  10. #24
    Member Array 5POINT56's Avatar
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    Lasers are a subject that get mixed reviews. In my opinion and that of many others, lasers can and are an indispensable advantage, particularly on small guns like the J-Frames.

    Larry Vickers has a few thoughts on this as well, a guy who's not only served 20 years in U.S. Special Operations, but also a guy who's probably forgotten more about guns than most people will ever know in the 1st place.


    Visible Lasers & CTC Lasergrips

    "As many of you know I am a consultant for Crimson Trace Lasergrips. I am sure some of you will quit reading right now expecting this to be a “puff piece” talking about how great they are and not admitting any downside. Those of you in that category certainly don’t know me very well. The following is the reality of visible lasers & CTC Lasergrips according to Larry Vickers with no punches pulled.

    I used to think, like many others, that pistol lasers were a joke. Fortunately for me I have not had to eat as much crow over this topic as my good friend Ken Hackathorn but I have eaten my fair share. After giving them an honest assessment here is what it really boils down to: a laser on a pistol offers much the same advantages as red dot reflex sights on a carbine or SMG. Under stress shooting scenarios they make shooting a handgun a much easier task; they are a very useful tool in the toolbox.
    I highlight CTC lasers in my night fire portion of my handgun instruction along with night sights and white light principles and techniques. At night and in conditions of limited visibility they are nothing short of awesome; they make accurate handgun shooting easier than any other sighting system currently on the market. Don’t get me wrong, night sights and white light have their place but a visible laser at night rules. Period. Anyone who has had one of my classes or been taught by Ken Hackathorn can attest to that. They dramatically improve the shooters ability to get accurate hits at night. Of course like anything else visible lasers have pros and cons and we will highlight those in detail.

    1) Where and when to use lasers – a rule of thumb is any time you have any degree of difficulty seeing your pistol sights then a visible laser will be an advantage. For instance coming into a building from outside even during the day the laser will be of value indoors. Out in bright daylight I prefer my iron sights and find the laser a bit of a distraction. Anytime you combine low or reduced visibility with shooting on the move or unconventional shooting positions the laser is a distinct advantage. Police have found that visible lasers to be a distinct advantage while using a shield; that would fall into the unconventional shooting position category mentioned above. They are also excellent training aids for watching shooter trigger control as any movement during the trigger squeeze will show up on target. When first using the laser shooters will try and eliminate all movement and early on this can cause shooters snatching or jerking the trigger. Once you learn to accept your wobble zone (which is now more visible due to the visible laser on target) then fast and accurate shooting comes more naturally. Once mastered you can shoot faster and more accurate under low light conditions than you ever could with regular pistol sights or even night sights for that matter.

    2) Special Considerations with lasers – As a battery operated device occasionally they will need new batteries. Crimson Trace advertises a 4 hour continuous run time on their laser grips. That is sufficient for most use as I can attest; I have not had to change any batteries to date. Oil, solvents, water and dust can all play a part in making the visible laser less than 100% functional. Because of this they do occasionally need maintenance and cleaning. I know that is a shocker to many but it is probably a good idea once in awhile to make sure your pistol is properly cleaned, lubricated, and maintained. That would include your visible laser aiming device. I am a believer in having your laser separate from your white light for a couple reasons. You will always have an enhanced night fighting capability even when your white light is removed and you can have serious issues with retaining zero depending on the light/laser mounting system. For these reasons and others I prefer Crimson Trace Lasergrips over accessory rail mounted light/laser units. One downside is CTC does not make Lasergrips for every service pistol on the market so depending on your gun you may not have an option.

    3) Durability and reliability – CTC has sold thousands of M9 Beretta Laser Grips to the US Military. They have been received with overwhelming positive feedback. Remember the M9 does not even have night sights so the Lasergrips add a low light capability that simply did not exist before. This is a huge advantage and many of the troops appreciate it. The visible laser is also very useful for crowd control as the “red dot” seems to cross all language and cultural barriers. As we know combat is the ultimate test bed and CTC has taken lessons learned in the sandbox and is moving forward with a true milspec M9 Lasergrip: water and dust proof. It is being developed as this is written so it is too soon to project a date when they will be available.

    My personal favorite CTC Lasergrips are the S&W J frame versions (every J frame on the planet should have them; it is nothing short of a revolutionary shooting aid on that gun), the model 401 M1911 version, and the M9 Beretta Lasergrips. I use and endorse all three of these. That is not to say these are the only ones worth using just that they are my favorites. Another little trick is to send the plastic Lasergrips to David Bowie (not the singer) at Bowie Tactical Concepts Home Page for his superb stippling. This makes them less slippery and because of the way Dave stipples them it actually enhances the appearance of the grips. I was the first to start this trend with David and I would not use a set without it. Highly recommended.

    I will close this by saying if you have not tried a visible laser you should. Especially if CTC makes a pair of Lasergrips for your favorite blaster. Remember they are meant to augment the standard pistol sights, not replace them. They are simply another tool in the tool box."
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  11. #25
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    I ran a little LCP recently in a low light pistol class, with CT laser. I strongly recommend them. Many complain how difficult the LCP is to shoot accurately, but with the laser, I never missed the target - not once - during the entire class. I was the only student there with anything resembling a shot group on the target's vitals.

    There are those who will never like lasers - whatever. I saw the results myself, while under stress. ALL my carry handguns will have a CT laser - period.

    That said, I do most of my training without them, because of all the usual reasons. With them, getting fast accurate hits in the vitals becomes so easy, it feels like cheating. And if I need to defend myself or a loved one, that's a good thing.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  12. #26
    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    I do not have an application for a laser. I will keep it simple stupid.
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

  13. #27
    VIP Member Array livewire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryball View Post
    I do not have an application for a laser. I will keep it simple stupid.
    Just buy one, you don't need and application

  14. #28
    Member Array 5POINT56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    I ran a little LCP recently in a low light pistol class, with CT laser. I strongly recommend them. Many complain how difficult the LCP is to shoot accurately, but with the laser, I never missed the target - not once - during the entire class. I was the only student there with anything resembling a shot group on the target's vitals.

    There are those who will never like lasers - whatever. I saw the results myself, while under stress. ALL my carry handguns will have a CT laser - period.

    That said, I do most of my training without them, because of all the usual reasons. With them, getting fast accurate hits in the vitals becomes so easy, it feels like cheating. And if I need to defend myself or a loved one, that's a good thing.
    I agree 100% with everything you said.

    Self defense is a high stress, spontaneous event that happens at a time and location of the criminals choosing. Every single advantage one can give themselves is well worth it.....you're already at several disadvantages out of the gate.

    A CT laser allows shot placement without the use of front or rear sights and that is an enormous speed advantage. Speed + accuracy makes all the difference. Obviously one should always be proficient with irons first and foremost.

    That being said, J-Frames, LCP's, LCR's and other small pocket/carry guns (really any carry guns) are significantly enhanced in their ability to provide a winning advantage with the application of a good laser.
    كافر AMERICAN INFIDEL كافر

  15. #29
    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by livewire9880 View Post
    Just buy one, you don't need and application
    LOL, Ill keep things simple. I have friends that have lasers on their weapons. I do not need another hobby within a hobby..
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

  16. #30
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    I have become a BIG believer in lasers for ccw. As my eyes age, it's more difficult to pick up my front sight, but a properly calibrated CT grip will put the dot right on top of the front sight. That helps. Also, the dot does not require that you expose yourself in one of those rare moments that you might be tucked into an awkward position of cover. Agreed it should never become a crutch, but it does have validity IMHO. I put a green Veridian with an integral light on my home defense gun and I'll be having a holster made for it by Pure K Kustom (site supporter) so I can carry it as well. The features of the C5L include the ability to strobe both the beam and the light. I think that's a significant edge in a confrontation. I took this video of my range session of a CT laser on my old XD45 (right before I sold it so I could get something else) THIS is where I became a big fan of the laser since I was filming with one hand at about 15-20 feet and shooting from the hip with the other. ‪LASER on XD45‬‏ - YouTube I believe the group was to the left because I'd zeroed the laser for about 30 feet and that it was closer was a byproduct of the location of the diode on the right of the grip. If that makes any sense. Certainly close enough to COM for government work! I plan on having a laser wherever possible on all my carry guns. The exception will probably be the new Glock M30 SF because CT doesn't make one for the Short Frame. I'm still thinking of a Laser-Lyte rear sight that has the diode located there.
    Last edited by ExSoldier; August 4th, 2011 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Format, spelling and add a bit.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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