Laser sights or not

Laser sights or not

This is a discussion on Laser sights or not within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi. I’m a new member to this site and wanted to ask you, the more experienced shooters your opinion on the use of laser sights. ...

View Poll Results: Will these type of sights add value?

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  • Yes.

    47 72.31%
  • No.

    18 27.69%
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Thread: Laser sights or not

  1. #1
    Member Array rhawk's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Winston Salem, NC

    Question Laser sights or not

    Hi. I’m a new member to this site and wanted to ask you, the more experienced shooters your opinion on the use of laser sights. Not just for target shooting but as a primary sight for my conceal carry rig. I just received a demonstration of one such sight. The laser it’s self is mounted in the grip and activated automatically as the shooter grips the pistol in the normal way. The beam can be adjusted to what ever range you prefer to set it to. What I need is your opinion of these sights and are there other less expensive options out there. By the way my CCW is the Glock model 23 in .40 cal.
    Last edited by rhawk; December 20th, 2006 at 06:58 PM.
    As a citizen of this country I consider it a legal right but yet a privelege to carry a handgun for defensive purposes. I'm also comfortable knowing there are others out there that feel the same way.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
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    nope no value i think some like to use them

    but what ya gona do when the lazer is dead and you need it unless you pratice all the time with the sights i dont think it is of much use

    your mileage will vary

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Fitch's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    So. Central PA

    Yes, a laser sight is good for civillian SD.

    The benefits to a laser sight as I see them:

    1) You can hold your weapon below your line of sight, keep your eyes on the assailant's hands (the hands will kill you so watch them), and because the laser dot is on the assailant, "know" where you are aiming.

    2) In a home defense situation, where cover may require using the weapon with the weak hand and may make obtaining a good sight picture nearly impossible with out undue exposure, the laser sight enables knowing where you are aiming if you only have one eye and the gun around the corner.

    3) There is a chance that the laser dot will adjust the expectations of the assailant downward to the point that he/she retreats and ends the assault or home invasion with out a shot being fired. It is only a chance, there isn't any reliable data on it other than some anecdotal evidence, but it is better than not having that possibility.

    4) If some one is coming at you and continues even after seeing the laser dot projected on their body, that is about as good an indicator of their intentions to inflict death or grave bodily injury as you will ever get - commence fire!

    I have a LaserMAX in my Glock 19 HD gun, and CT grips on my wife's 686 HD gun. My carry gun, a PPK/S doesn't have a laser. My wife's carry gun, if she decides she wants one, will have it because it will be a short barrel DA revolver. When firing those little guns double action, they are easier to make COM hits with when using a laser.


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  5. #4
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    South West PA
    Opinions will always vary This subject is a regular one too!

    I agree with most plusses mentioned above - tho do not put much store by anyone seeing the dot on them - mainly because they may not see it! They might tho see the source - not tho a factor that bothers me.

    I have six sets - 3 on revo and 3 on semi's - which includes my EDC carry 226.

    Bud mentions the battery deal - it is no biggie IMO because - the laser sight is secondary - purely an adjunct - and so if we use the right technique we bring the gun up normally, as if no laser assistance. To treat the laser as purely primary is a mistake IMO - then perhaps a battery failure might matter.

    If light is at all reduced from bright daylight - I will see the dot without any searching - I bring gun up with no thought of finding it - but if seen it is a great help.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!." - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  6. #5
    Senior Moderator
    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
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    Central Florida


    That depends upon the measurement and by whose standard...

    I would not have a laser on any of MY weapons. I would not pay extra to have one...I can not see using one for my purposes!

    I am considering getting one for my wife's 'snubbie' .38. Sometimes I think that if I put her in a 360' target range, she'd have trouble hitting a wall. The 'value' for her could be as a training tool. I have seen the use of a laser to see how an individual is shooting...pulling the trigger?...pushing the weapon when shooting?, etc. Additionally, with her right-handed grip and left-eye dominance, she may gain some confidence in shooting by seeing the 'red dot'.

    Her snubbie is for defense purposes jump into her car uninvited, or come into our home looking for'll be leaving with an 'airconditioned' sweatshirt! (laser or not)...this I know she will do (it would be like the 'express line' at the food thinking it over...'boom', ALL DONE!)


    Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”

    Certified Glock Armorer
    NRA Life Member

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    no not for me. it looks good on tv. but in the real world when it "hits the fan" you don't have time to pickup the red dot. it comes down to point shooting with no time to look for the red dot. it is eazy to find/see the red dot when you are on the range. paper targets don't shoot back. any way we can not have them on our '"raids" gun.

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array JimmyC4's Avatar
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    A good example of a laser sight in proper use can be seen on COPS when they apply a tazer shot...they are at a relatively close range and are able to keep their eyes focused on the subject and surroundings rather than a sight picture. Personally, I think it's an aid that could help combat tunnel vision in a tight situation.

    From what I've seen in demos and videos they are in fact used by professionals, so I'd not write their effectiveness and value off too quickly.

    And, yes, I've done some shooting with Crimson Trace grips on my wife's S&W 642. She likes revolvers because they are reliable and simple and finds the laser sights to be the same.
    "It's a big gun when I carry it, it is also a big gun when I take it out” – Clint Smith

  9. #8
    Member Array foreveryoung001's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Too answer your poll question, I'd say of course it will add value. If you put a $300 laser grip on your gun, you've just increased the value by $300.

    Now, as to my opinion of them....

    I think they can be good in certain circumstances. I do like the crimson trace lasers, that are integrated into the handle. A friend has a laser mounted on his tac rail, and once when we were doing some cover drills, he kept hitting the laser on some of the cover, and it was definetly "off" by quite a bit by the end of the day.

    I don't own a crimson trace, but have shot with them with my shooting buddies, and I don't think you would have the same problem with them.

    As for shooting in a true highly tense, self defense situation, I don't know how handy it would be... Let me re-phrase.... I don't think you would have time to pick up the laser anymore than you would have time line up your sights.

    Any tool can be helpful, but I wouldn't get to a point where I'd rely on it for defending your life.

    for plinking.... they are a blast, and I have often thought about making the investment myself.
    When the messenger arrives and says 'Don't shoot the messenger,' it's a good idea to be prepared to shoot the messenger, just in case.

  10. #9
    Member Array Nate's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Alexandria, Va.
    I had one on a Baby Eagle I had a while back. It wasn't made all that great, and didn't fit the gun too well. But, it served it's purpose.

    I voted yes on the poll, but with one major caveat. As mentioned before, you absolutely CANNOT allow it to become a crutch. Unless you have a very dedicated mindset/training regimen, or have other weapons you frequently use without the laser sight, it may very well become easier and easier to "wing it" with the friendly red dot at the range, which could possible affect your muscle memory.

    Crimson Trace grips are nice, and really, the only ones viable (IMHO) for a defense situation. I hardly think most (at the very least, some) people will have the wherewithal to flick a switch and turn the thing on in a high-stress/high-adrenaline moment. Especially not if it's a close-quarters engagement, which, as most of us know, statistics show they most likely will be.

    For a home defense pistol, where you might hear breaking glass or a door getting pried open, sure. You have time to grab your Glock or what have you with the M6 on it, and run a quick mental checklist. But for carry purposes, I'd rely on the stock sights or point shooting.

    I don't have any lasers for my current weapons, but I've been ruminating over picking up a LaserMax for my Kimber. Perhaps once I get a raise it might go on the To-Do list.

    Of course, YMMV.

  11. #10
    Member Array MN Lefty's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    North Mankato, MN
    I shot my 642 w/CT lazer at an IDPA bug gun match last summer and beat the next fastest by 1.5 seconds. I am not that fast without them. My accuracy is also better at speed. Everyone has their opinion. I have them on my carry J-frames and always will.

  12. #11
    Member Array kikr's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Jacksonville, Fl
    My humble opinion are that laser sights are awesome for shooters who have vision problems, or have corrected vision. They are also a great training aid in dry firing. I recommend not using them for regular range practice and to not build a reliance on them but they are a valuable tool.
    We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
    George Orwell

  13. #12
    VIP Member
    Array goawayfarm's Avatar
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    Most of us are gun nuts & as such we tend to be gadget freaks as well.

    If you want a laser, go for it, just remember the Cons as well as the Pros to using it. Most have been covered, just keep in mind that don't let it be your primary mode of sighting.

    Also, don't let it cause you to form bad habits. One example would be using without lining up your sight as well. It can effect your muscle memory & bad habits are hard to break. If you have an eye dominance issue, it may cause you to not look down the sight, but make you lift your head & not only ruin your front sight picture, but ruin your stance as well.

    Get used to your sights FIRST, then if you want a way to target without them using a laser (or even for the fun factor).......ok.
    A vote is like a rifle, its usefulness is based on the character of the user -T Roosevelt

    If you carry a gun, some will call you paranoid. If I carry, what do I have to be paranoid about? -C Smith

    An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it. -J Cooper

  14. #13
    Member Array Velocette's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Ft. Lauderdale Fla
    Three of my 4 carry firearms have Crimson Trace laser sights. My primary carry piece, a Kimber Stainless Compact II has Tritium night sights and the laser.
    They are issued to many military and police forces
    Laser sights are not a deterrent as the BG will in all probability not see the red dot of death on himself.
    Used with any reasonable good sense, (yes you will have a red light shining out, telling the BG exactly where you are.) and you should practice as if the laser has gone dead, they are an excellent tool in your bag of self defense tricks.
    Remember to only activate the laser when YOU need it and be ready to fire when you activate it AND be aware that if the BG sees the red glow, he / she may react with violence.
    Overall, they are a great advance in defensive weaponry.


  15. #14
    Member Array profshadow's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Florida (The Gunshine State)
    I like the CT grips on our 642s.

    That "red dot" lets you know where the bullet is most likely going, and given an up close and personal attack, to me that is "a good thing."

    The CT laser comes on when you grip the pistol. No need to switch it on. It does have a master switch on the bottom of the grip and we practice without the laser as well.

    As for the batteries, I change 'em when I change the smoke detector batteries. Or if I "feel" they need to be changed because the laser looks a little weak.

    For self defense every advantage you can have is a good thing.
    Armed & Dangerous...and Inconspicuous...

  16. #15
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    No, they add nothing.

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