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I've decided my wife of 43 years is simply never going to become a gun person. She likes having a gun for her purse and by her bedside (we sleep in separate rooms), but she refuses to practice or even go to the range once a year to prove she knows how to handle her LCPII safely and without forcing a jam due to limp-wristing or a high left hand grip impeding the slide (ouch).

Rather than give up, I'm looking into a S&W 642 or 442. Our son has a couple of J-frames, including a 642 that he's willing to part with and he's puzzled why she wouldn't like one with a Crimson Trace laser. She had a snubbie a few years ago and seemed to like it, but I traded it away for a semi-auto, perhaps even a Glock 26 if memory serves. I think she'd prefer the thinner OEM grip for less bulk and fewer things that can go wrong mechanically.

I know, I know, this is the wrong approach to buying her a gun, but after lengthy discussions I'm ready to just make the move and debate it later on. Basically I view a snubbie in her hands as more of a talisman and 'get off me' weapon, certainly not a weapon of precision.

I'm wondering, however, if a CT laser could also act as a deterrent to someone like a burglar who might attempt to get into her bedroom window. If someone is 'lit up' by a red laser, are they likely to hightail it out of Dodge City? Has anyone had that experience? I recall how the sound of a 1911 being racked in the dark can stop folks from my time as an MP sentry dog handler (another story), and I've talked with LEOS who say the sound of an 870 or Mossberg pump gun being racked has brought an abrupt halt to potential aggression.

So, is the same thing true about lasers? Thanks for your response.
 

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No, but if you're wearing laser goggles and run across their eyeline with a 100mW or higher laser they'll definitely leave you alone.
 

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I used a laser one time. Long story, but we had a man and his wife having a violent argument in their car stopped in front of our house. He saw us sitting on the front porch and for some reason decided we must be the cause of his troubles. He started advancing on us. Mrs OldChap got on the phone to 911 and I started warning him to stop. He kept coming.

I had a laser/light combo on a Glock 21 and I finally turned the light and laser on so I could see his hands, which I couldn't anyway. He had his right hand behind his waist so I put the laser spot in the middle of his chest and started taking the slack out of the trigger. He was about 10 feet or less from the porch. Oddly enough (or thankfully as it turned out) his wife was walking beside him, cursing him and us, but she noticed the red spot and called his attention to it.

They both turned around and ran back to their car and fled. My one and only experience was one to give thanks for not having to use the gun. I was very, very close with the trigger.
 

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Thanks OldChap. I'll take that as encouragement. Never having been on the receiving end of any laser, I would think someone would definitely notice if it hit them in the eyes. Aren't airlines pilots always complaining about such stuff? Wouldn't they see the red dot even if they don't see the beam aimed at their chest? Glad you didn't have to pull the trigger. It would be a hard man/woman who welcomed the opportunity to shoot another human being …. now a vicious dog is another matter. I thought I was going to have to shoot a pit bull once with my LCPII, but things turned out for the best. I'd hate to test a .380 against an enraged large animal like a pit bull.
 

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I've decided my wife of 43 years is simply never going to become a gun person. She likes having a gun for her purse and by her bedside (we sleep in separate rooms), but she refuses to practice or even go to the range once a year to prove she knows how to handle her LCPII safely and without forcing a jam due to limp-wristing or a high left hand grip impeding the slide (ouch).

Rather than give up, I'm looking into a S&W 642 or 442. Our son has a couple of J-frames, including a 642 that he's willing to part with and he's puzzled why she wouldn't like one with a Crimson Trace laser. She had a snubbie a few years ago and seemed to like it, but I traded it away for a semi-auto, perhaps even a Glock 26 if memory serves. I think she'd prefer the thinner OEM grip for less bulk and fewer things that can go wrong mechanically.

I know, I know, this is the wrong approach to buying her a gun, but after lengthy discussions I'm ready to just make the move and debate it later on. Basically I view a snubbie in her hands as more of a talisman and 'get off me' weapon, certainly not a weapon of precision.

I'm wondering, however, if a CT laser could also act as a deterrent to someone like a burglar who might attempt to get into her bedroom window. If someone is 'lit up' by a red laser, are they likely to hightail it out of Dodge City? Has anyone had that experience? I recall how the sound of a 1911 being racked in the dark can stop folks from my time as an MP sentry dog handler (another story), and I've talked with LEOS who say the sound of an 870 or Mossberg pump gun being racked has brought an abrupt halt to potential aggression.

So, is the same thing true about lasers? Thanks for your response.
If I want to light them up, I would much prefer a 2000 lumen flashlight. It has the added benefit of blinding them momentarily as I move on to the next phase of the encounter.
 

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People have been charged at while actively shooting at someone else. A laser might be a deterrent, but I wouldn’t bet my life on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Mike and Havok: Agreed. My personal flashlight is rated at 700 lumens and will do that job. However, I have an advantage over my wife due to the fact that regularly shoot in IDPA matches, often strong hand only or weak hand only. I've done a little reading on the subject of using a light and a handgun but none of my matches are considered 'low light' encounters, so I have to trust my limited training and Army experience from 50 years ago.

I think in her case she'd need both hands on the gun. I'm not even that worried about flash, noise and recoil because she has very limited points of comparison. I'd expect her to keep pointing at center mass and pulling the trigger until the threat has stopped or she runs out of ammo. I might try to find her some low recoil wadcutters for the gun and I'd hope to get her out to the range at least once for five shots, but even that isn't guaranteed … she's THAT resistant.
 

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I should have been clear about this. Nothing I said indicates you should carry a laser - much less your wife. I simply related that there are a few very specific uses for lasers. I went through some tactical training with our SWAT guys and what I learned is that the best uses for lasers are few and far between, but when you encounter such a situation there is nothing else that will work.

I think that were I faced with your dilemma, I would not consider the laser for her. It takes training to understand those rare times when a laser will benefit you, and the other times when it benefits the threat.
 

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The light beam you see from the lasers in the TV and movies is a special effect, unless you're in a dusty or foggy situation. Not many people look at their own chest during a confrontation.

Now a light saber, ...that could work.
 

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Yes, lasers HAVE served as deterrents. Nothing is guaranteed of course.

The red lasers are best in low light. You won’t see the beam unless there is dust or smoke.

Green lasers work in all lighting, including bright sunlight. You will see the beam. That can be good, or bad. They cost more than red lasers.

Be prepared to check zero DAILY. I had Crimson Trace lasers on all my carry guns, until I noticed the zero would shift with impacts just from carrying. I got rid of them all because of this.

I cannot speak to other brands.

If she won’t train, a revolver is a good choice...IF she can manage the DA trigger.

Good luck.
 

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I have heard.....that an angry woman with a 28" Little League Baseball bat is about as nasty thing as any intruder/bad guy/husband would ever want to encounter. So I have heard....no first hand experience. Really, not kidding. :ticking:
 
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While psychological deterrent value may be a byproduct of any piece of defensive equipment you own, it is a byproduct only and you should never count on that effect in a defensive encounter.

If it happens, and you don't have to shoot, count your blessings.

If you draw, though, be prepared to shoot if/when necessary, as OldChap related in his story, without "waiting to see" if it has some deterrent effect.

If you are EXPECTING some kind of deterrent effect, and wait for it, even after you decide that the situation is the gravest extreme and warrants drawing your gun, that moment of hesitation could cost you your life.
 

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In limited cases, yes, it can be a deterrent, as in OldChap's case. But remember, it was only after the wife saw it that it became a deterrent. In one likely scenario in my life, when I'm out with the pack for some reason and the perp or his or her family show up and open fire, there's going to be lots of return fire (half the pack carrying is a conservative estimate), I can see a gun mounted laser flashed across their eyes as a definite deterrent, or at least an effective distraction technique to stop incoming rounds. Outside of that, in a dark environment, I can see the red or green dot being a deterrent. YMMV.
 

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I keep a laser (TLR-2 HL G) on my carry pistol, which is also my "go to" for HD. The reason I keep a laser, is in case there's ever the situation, my wife or one of my kids has to pick up my pistol, and defend us. Of course, this assumes, for whatever reason, I am likely already out of the fight.
I run them through, sight alignment/picture, but they don't get a lot of reps at a range. They still get some trigger time, with an airsoft pistol, and even some dry fire. They all can run a trigger fairly well. I keep a laser on my pistol, so when adrenaline and fear take over, they have that bright green dot sitting out in front of their sight, to help guide them to alignment. At the very least, they will get rounds within the BG. Maybe not precision shots, but some combat accurate shots.

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I have had lasers on two guns and taken an advanced low light shooting course with one. For me, they just don't work well in an under-pressure, force-on-force, low light situation for a variety of reasons. I go with tritium sights and a good flashlight.

I don't believe in the idea of an "in the moment deterrent" theory like shotgun racking, lasers, etc. Yes, it occasionally works and on those rare occasions it's fine, but it absolutely cannot be depended on and as someone said, if you wait for it, that could cost you. I take a dim view of the use of threats of any kind as an intentional SD strategy, and definitely not if you can't back up the threat. I think action movies have made way too much out of the "laser as a threat" thing.
 

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I have had lasers on two guns and taken an advanced low light shooting course with one. For me, they just don't work well in an under-pressure, force-on-force, low light situation for a variety of reasons. I go with tritium sights and a good flashlight.

I don't believe in the idea of an "in the moment deterrent" theory like shotgun racking, lasers, etc. Yes, it occasionally works and on those rare occasions it's fine, but it absolutely cannot be depended on and as someone said, if you wait for it, that could cost you. I take a dim view of the use of threats of any kind as an intentional SD strategy, and definitely not if you can't back up the threat. I think action movies have made way too much out of the "laser as a threat" thing.

I too go with tritium night sights and a quality flashlight. Depending on the platform it can be rail mounted or handheld. I was trained before railed mounted flashlights were common and still revert to that most of the time.

As for a laser being a deterrent, I have seen the laser sights off a Taser calm quite a few agitated individuals down (some extremely agitated). However, I would not want to defend myself with a laser by itself. In these situations the individuals could see the Taser and knew they had about 3 seconds to comply or they were going to ride the lightning.
 
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