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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking about getting a laser for a rifle, and maybe for a pistol. I don't know anything about them other than that green is supposedly better than red. I have read that some of the really cheap ones, usually from China, might be underpowered or under-focused? I seem to see 5 mw listed as output, if it even lists the output. Whats a good baseline for cost versus performance for either rifle use or pistol use? Thanks for your help!
 

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5mw is the legal output for any of these lasers. I could be wrong on the wave length as I am going by memory on this but the red ones I think are 565nanometers and the green ones are 535nanometers. The red ones are ok by night and low light situations, suck in daylight. The green ones are no more powerful but are much better in higher light levels due the way the eye sees. The cheaper ones don't generally work as well in cold weather. I once built a Star Trek type phaser using a blu-ray laser, it would put out about 100 to 150 mw, it produced a visible whitish/blue beam that kind of twinkled. I could light matches, burn holes in paper and pop balloons from 20 feet away. It now resides in pieces in a plastic shoe box as it keep burning out laser crystals, at $40 a pop they got too expensive for me. The higher power lasers seem very fragile. While it worked I had fun shooting spiders in my basement. A word of caution to anyone that may build one of these. They are dangerous, they WILL blind instantly. So please be careful.
 

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The above is correct except the red lasers are usually 632.8nm and the green at 532nm, the most common colors for laser pointers. When you go above the 5mw (maxim for laser pointers) level things get real complicated, real fast.

You'll find that the green lasers are more expensive than the read, this is because producing the green beam is more complicated that the red.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies. Still wondering if there is a price point or particular company that is recommended?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think I'll stay with the cheaper versions.... thanks! Interesting applications for those expensive ones, though....
 
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