Laser sight question

This is a discussion on Laser sight question within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; warning this may get a bit long. A little over a year ago I became sold on CT Laser Grips. Primary reason is that when ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array rideandshoot's Avatar
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    Laser sight question

    warning this may get a bit long. A little over a year ago I became sold on CT Laser Grips. Primary reason is that when I imagine a real life senario with threats shooting or charging and moving in and amongst cover and things I do not want to shoot it seems like no matter how many cardboard silhouettes I shoot practicing I'm still going to focused on the threat. The beautiful thing about the dot is that it's in the same focal plane as the threat. It all makes sense. What is bugging me is that I shoot better (at cardboard silhouettes) with my sights. To be mor specific. First shot is equivalent if not faster with the laser. But my doubles slow down as do single shots on multiple targets. I'm not sure but I think its because my brain isn't letting me pull the trigger until the dot is just right. Has anyone else experienced this? Another question I have is does anyone successfully deploy a hybrid where you use the dot for the first shot and then mentally switch to sights for doubles? Any other combinations? For now, for the reasons I mentioned above my handguns all have Laser Grips but I'd like to get to a point where follow up shots with the Laser feel as natural and quick as the do with sights. I'm interested to know if anyone else has experienced something similar especially if you have figured it out.

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Practice & learn to use iron sights, period. Laser dots are auxiliary sighting devices, they're (IMHO) never intended to replace iron sights. Batteries die, lens break, screw strip & systems fail. Iron sights are anvil tough & low-tech reliable. Yes, lasers have their place & CT are among the best. When shooting from behind cover or from the hip on your back? Lasers (pardon the pun) do absolutely shine. But I DO NOT want to slow my response to a deadly threat by looking for a little red dot against a red plaid shirt when putting my front sight squarely center-mass will do just fine. Most defensive shootings are at bad-breath distances anyway. And a number of well-respected instructors tape off lasers & sometimes even sights to make that point clear.
    GetSmith, pir8fan and 357and40 like this.
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    Distinguished Member Array lchamp's Avatar
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    I practice with both sights. My primary sight is the iron sight, but I have frequently used the laser for that first shot when still bringing the gun to eye level...it is not all that accurate in that mode, but I always hit the target, perhaps a fraction of a second sooner than if I bring it up to "iron sights level".

    When dry firing at home, I use the laser for "knocked onto the floor" type shooting.

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    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    You aiming and not shooting. To worked up over that sniper shot rather than hitting target. You answered you own question.
    If you ever find yourself having to deal with multiple targets you had better get it through your head hit center mass now and move on.
    This can happen in a real fight with soldiers getting to worked up over a prefect sight picture instead of reflex fire.
    If you feel your going to be in a gun fight and must train for that you need to cover the target a shoot.

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    VIP Member Array SmokinFool's Avatar
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    As far as daylight conditions, I practice mostly with my sights. In night time or low light conditions I practice with a flashlight, and still use the sights most of the time. The laser is simply backup. That said, if you want to use your laser more (and many people do), then practice with it so that you get past the mental block of firing followup shots only when the dot is exactly placed where you feel it should be. If you force yourself to practice firing as quickly with the laser as you do with your irons, then you will become proficient enough to get fast but accurate shots on target, which will translate to fast and accurate shots in a SD situation. If you can't get past the mental block against firing quickly with the laser, then you should do away with it and just use the sights.

    Also, replace the battery in the laser on a regular basis. How frequently you replace it will depend on how often you use the laser. The battery should last a long time, but you don't want to have it go out on you because of a bad battery when your life may depend on it working.

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    Ex Member Array Ogien's Avatar
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    Iron sights for me. I don't want or need laser sights. The last thing I want is to be frantically looking for a little red dot instead of shooting at my target. In a stressful situation you could easily not see the little red dot but if you've practiced with the iron sites and just general (finger pointing) type of shooting then you're less likely to get lost.

    IMHO Laser sights are great if you're looking to give away your position and get shot yourself. That's just my opinion on them.

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    What you are experiencing is a training issue.

    I have only one thing with a laser. A WM light/laser combo and the only reason I have it is that it was a really good deal on it. It is mounted on my house gun but when I shoot with it I must make a conscious effort not to look the sights and concentrate on the laser. What you are doing is natural to most shooters you want to use the sights, that is the way we were taught.

    The easiest way to overcome it is as mentioned above, tape off the sights and use just the laser when practicing or do not bring the weapon up to eye level and strictly use the laser to acquire your target. Personally I would use the laser strictly for times when a normal sight picture could not be obtained like as mentioned "on the ground" type situation.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    I have a CT grip laser for my G23. I love it and practiced with it. It's a useful tool but in the overall sceme of things I felt it took-away more than it 'gave' me. It's in the box it came in and has been there for awhile. I won't part with it, it still has too many uses.... trigger training being the most signifcant.... and I'll put back on again I'm sure, but nothing beats knowing your own skill level with your sidearm. A laser, IMO, is one more thing for your brain to 'process' and in a very stressful, traumatic fight (that hopefully never happens) looking for that 'dot' just isn't a good thing to be doing.

    I actually purchased my CT after a cop/SWAT buddy of mine (my neighbor ATT) began using a light/laser combo and LOVED how all the BG's he had to pull his gun on became so much more 'placid' after seeing his red 'dot' run accross thier faces. That was actually the the primary reason I got my laser, but I decided I don't require that level of intimidation.... I'm not a cop and I don't have to 'brandish' or employ my sidearm during course of my day.... and don't want to either.

    ...and like all lasers, be it laser pointers, my grip laser, the laser in my old TV remote, etc., it became more of an entertainment 'thing' because the dogs and cats chasing that 'dot' is one of the funniest things to see IMO.
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

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  10. #9
    Senior Member Array Skygod's Avatar
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    I like them for unorthadox shooting positions. They augment your irons and give you a slight advantage in low light and dark conditions. I use the Surefire X400 and Insight M6X.
    Perhaps your sole purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others.

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    Distinguished Member Array GlassWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    Practice & learn to use iron sights, period. Laser dots are auxiliary sighting devices, they're (IMHO) never intended to replace iron sights..
    I disagree with this. Shooting with both eyes open, with full extension, co-witness your front sight and the laser. This may help you some. You'll always be faster using iron sights than you will with a laser. Even the guys promoting lasers admit this. The purpose of the laser is more for shooting when irons aren't an option, such as shooting from retention, or AS you extend for full-on iron sight targeting. If you're shooting at an immenant threat, you'll want the ability to shoot from your draw/retention position, and keep firing as you extend to full arms-out Iso or Weaver, or whatever you use. Sometimes, you may not even get that opportunity if the person is close in. Some may argue that at that range you can just point and shoot with an indexed position, which is probably true as well, but the laser has the ability to help you acquire a target when you can't get extension to use the iron sights, which to me is it's big advantage. Unorthodox shooting positions. If you can acquire a sight picture with the irons, use those first and foremost.

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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlassWolf View Post
    I disagree with this...
    So, by disagreeing, you think the OP; shouldn't practice & learn to use iron sights...or that laser dots are intended to replace iron sights? And then you continue to generally agree with the previous posts. With what are you disagreeing?
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  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array GlassWolf's Avatar
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    Maybe I misunderstand your statement. You said that a laser is an auxiliary tool, which to me sounds more like it's just meant for co-witnessing and nothing more. I probably just misinterpreted your meaning. I just woke up. I had to get up early to play alarm clock for someone else, and my brain is still fuzzy.

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    Member Array nathanjns's Avatar
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    OP
    I was against lasers for all of the reasons mentioned here - and then some! I can remember thinking they were too slow and too unsteady on target. I can remember telling my best friend that he would probably get shot dead while he was looking desperately for the red dot on his adversary. It took me a long time to even agree to try one out. And I had the same issues you are having when I finally did give one a try. If you have a CT laser, chances are you also have a DVD that came with the packaging. If so, watching the shooters using it on that DVD might eliminate some of the problems you are experiencing. Just turn down the sound and watch what they actually do! That helped me get past the slow followup shot issue you described and learn to trust that red dot ( which I think was my biggest issue ).

    I actually shoot faster and more accurately with the laser. I almost never bring the gun to eye level when employing the laser from 0 -25 yards. At the closer ranges I generally fire with the gun somewhere between waist and chest level and not fully extended in front of me. At the longer ranges, I extend a little more but still not to eye level. I do not look at the gun when firing, I look at the target. As regards followup shots, I press the trigger the instant the red dot appears in the area in which I intend for the shot to go ( ignore the apparent wobbling of the dot ). These things work very well for me and I have confidence in my ability to get the results necessary to make the laser worth using. I think it is worth mentioning that most of my laser sight practice is done outdoors in the daytime.

    The folks here who stated that the laser should not be a replacement for your iron sights are absolutely right, and you should practice as much with the irons as with the laser. ( In bright sunlight I ignore the laser and use the iron sights exclusively. It has been my experience though, that the laser is still very visible and useable out to about 10 yards in all but the brightest sunlight. ) The battery issue is a weakness I suppose, but they will last a long time if you just use them for gun work ( I have a laser pen I use to play with my cat and we both love it! ) I think it is recommended that batteries be replaced yearly. Additionally, I suspect an externally mounted laser ( like the one on the grip of my Glock ) would likely be broken if the gun took a hard fall onto a hard surface ( but I've seen that happen to iron sights as well ).

    Sorry to be so long winded, just wanted to pass on some of the things that work well for me, and might for you. Good luck with your laser.

  15. #14
    New Member Array rideandshoot's Avatar
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    First, thanks for the replies. It's good to know I'm not the only one who noticed this. As of right now I'm thinking that I will practice with both. I would really like to try moving targets in and amongst moving 'no shoots' to see if the ability to stay target focused with the laser helps as much as my gut tells me it would. Has anyone tried a laser on a moving target?

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    Member Array revldm's Avatar
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    I had to get a CT for LCP. As an older man my eyes are not what they used to be and the iron sights on a LCP are almost not even there for me.

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