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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Arvinator Posted - April 30 2017 : 4:39:30 PM
Not asked anyone but I was asked. Lasers? If used as a close range, quick/rapid use but STILL train the majority of the time with sights. Yes? No? what say you?

I'll admit I'm a fan, but only after at least all of my daylight shooting and 2/3 of my low light shooting I use the sights. I know batteries can fail on me so I train like they are not there, then shoot a mix of sights and/or laser in lower light. I do like the Crimson Trace grips I have on a few of my pistols.
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
heavyweight Posted - June 26 2017 : 11:01:22 AM
I bought a Ruger LCP with an integral laser only because it was on sale ($227). Prior to that I never gave lasers much thought. Since that purchase I have realized that they DO have a place in low light L.E. and personal defense applications.
Barnacle Bill Posted - June 26 2017 : 10:43:14 AM
I bought a used (pre-lock/MIM) S&W Model 640 that came with a set of Crimson Trace laser grips which the previous owner had installed. I left them on because it seems a reasonable alternative for a handgun for which it would not be easy to install tritium night sights (which is my preferred low-light solution). In all honesty, though, beyond zeroing the laser to my load I haven't shot it much. My wife liked it enough to request that I also put a set on her Model 60.
tdbmd Posted - June 25 2017 : 3:34:15 PM
I have a couple of lasers on a few of my smaller handguns, J frame, Kimber Micro 9, M&P 9c and I like them, especially in low light but I do still shoot with iron sights more than the lasers on all of these guns during practicing.
revjen45 Posted - May 07 2017 : 1:01:45 PM
Maybe the fact that so far I haven't been able to afford such fripperies isn't such a bad thing. I started with iron sights and don't have to worry about devolving to confusion at a critical time. Note that cataract surgery has taken my vision from Mr. Magoo to Top Gun, thus extending the useful time for irons.
jle3030 Posted - May 06 2017 : 10:00:19 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Christian

Thanks for that info. I have a better understanding now. A red dot optic would, IMHO, be a poor choice for "dim light home defense". They can bloom and fade erratically in varying light levels. I have to change brightness settings routinely between dimly-lite indoor ranges and bright outdoor ranges, and that takes time. Those reflex sights without an adjustable brightness feature are very difficult for me to use indoors.

My first choice is the instinctive activation laser. Second choice would be replacing the front night sight. At close range you really only need the front sight anyway. The faster you can find it the better off you are. That, or the laser, will be the fastest way to get on target, and in that situation speed is critical.

I hope that helps.

Thanks. That helps a lot.

Jeff
Chris Christian Posted - May 06 2017 : 08:48:25 AM
Thanks for that info. I have a better understanding now. A red dot optic would, IMHO, be a poor choice for "dim light home defense". They can bloom and fade erratically in varying light levels. I have to change brightness settings routinely between dimly-lite indoor ranges and bright outdoor ranges, and that takes time. Those reflex sights without an adjustable brightness feature are very difficult for me to use indoors.

My first choice is the instinctive activation laser. Second choice would be replacing the front night sight. At close range you really only need the front sight anyway. The faster you can find it the better off you are. That, or the laser, will be the fastest way to get on target, and in that situation speed is critical.

I hope that helps.
jle3030 Posted - May 06 2017 : 07:44:19 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Christian

quote:
Originally posted by jle3030

Is this uninformed person getting that in a the dark the laser can put out enough scatter light to act as a bullet magnet?

Jeff



I'm confused. Which 'uninformed person' are you speaking of. If the target is visually acquired... by silhouette or whatever... and the gun is presented... and the grip tightened to activate that laser... then the scatter light from the laser... IMHO... is a non-factor because the TIQ (Target In Question)should already be hit, at least twice, and repeat if needed.

Bullet magnet? Yes, if you flash it around like some sorta Star Wars light sabre. But, in real terms, that 'scatter light' is a lot less of a bullet magnet than a flashlight held next to the gun.

I'm confused. Please educate me on this

The uninformed person in question would be me. I have a couple guns with dimming night sights and am considering an upgrade to either lasers or red dot optics. I'm just trying to weigh the pros and cons.

Much thanks for your informed opinion

Jeff
Chris Christian Posted - May 05 2017 : 2:37:50 PM
quote:
Originally posted by jle3030

Is this uninformed person getting that in a the dark the laser can put out enough scatter light to act as a bullet magnet?

Jeff



I'm confused. Which 'uninformed person' are you speaking of. If the target is visually acquired... by silhouette or whatever... and the gun is presented... and the grip tightened to activate that laser... then the scatter light from the laser... IMHO... is a non-factor because the TIQ (Target In Question)should already be hit, at least twice, and repeat if needed.

Bullet magnet? Yes, if you flash it around like some sorta Star Wars light sabre. But, in real terms, that 'scatter light' is a lot less of a bullet magnet than a flashlight held next to the gun.

I'm confused. Please educate me on this
jle3030 Posted - May 05 2017 : 12:51:47 PM
Is this uninformed person getting that in a the dark the laser can put out enough scatter light to act as a bullet magnet?

Jeff
Jim Higginbotham Posted - May 05 2017 : 11:58:27 AM
quote:
Originally posted by BobM77

I've thought it might be a benefit to a person with poorer vision. For example, homeowner awakened by sounds of ab intrusion grabs the pistol but not his eyeglasses.



I think that might be true - OTOH, the ranges in self defense are normally pretty close and precise sight alignment is not as critical as at longer ranges.

Jim
BobM77 Posted - May 03 2017 : 11:30:00 PM
I've thought it might be a benefit to a person with poorer vision. For example, homeowner awakened by sounds of ab intrusion grabs the pistol but not his eyeglasses.
Chris Christian Posted - May 02 2017 : 3:46:19 PM
They will... if used under the appropriate lighting condition (indoor ranges)darned sure show wobble.. and sloppy trigger jerks.

But LGS is no real solution to 'lack of training'. But, give one to a trained shooter and... under the right conditions... they will be more effective.

Match the tool to the task, and train. LGS will not solve a lack of training.
Jim Higginbotham Posted - May 02 2017 : 07:34:13 AM
quote:
Originally posted by hopleyyeaton

quote:
Originally posted by Uncle Mike

Hi, I don't own a laser. I have been told that in a combat situation the shooter loses time by positioning the dot. This I believe can be corrected through training. I have shot a highly tuned Beretta 92 and found that the dot shake was disconcerting. I know they are popular but they just don't work for me, regards, Mike


When I first put a red dot on my bullseye gun scores actually dropped for a while until I got coached to accept the natural wobble. Where iron sights seemed rock steady the dot was dancing around the bull like a moth around the porch light. I've not used a laser but I can imagine it to be similar, and something to get used to. Let the dot dance, concentrate on trigger control, and trust that the dot is spending most of the time in the bullseye.



Yes Sir, the wobble is apparent. One thing for sure that I forgot to mention - lasers are great for teaching trigger control!

Jim
Chris Christian Posted - May 01 2017 : 5:50:21 PM
quote:
Originally posted by LittleBill

quote:
Originally posted by Chris Christian

I'm a fan of the instinctive activation Crimson Trace lasers for certain specific uses. For me, the primary use is in home defense. I have one on the GP-100 parked on my night stand.

If I have to jump out of bed suddenly in the middle of the night I may not have time to find my eye glasses... or grab the flashlight next to the revolver. That makes iron sights pretty useless for me in that situation. The laser is bright enough under those dark conditions to throw some light off of my white walls. It will show me a target at in-home distances. To turn it on I grip the revolver firmly. To turn it off I loosen my grip. It's pretty simple in that role and is an excellent tool.

I have played with various lasers quite a bit. I have found them (even the green ones) to be virtually useless outdoors in daylight, under even heavily overcast conditions and short range. I'll stick with irons. However, they work well in any indoor situation... even in a box store with big windows and bright lights... and for extensive (over 20 yard) distances. I could see some use for them in a security application of that type.

As for getting comfortable with them, it ... like anything else... requires some practice. BUT... in a threat situation it has been pretty much proven that the eye is naturally drawn to the threat. If one presents the weapon properly, that dot will be where the eyes are naturally drawn to.

I consider the right laser to be a useful 'accessory' tool for certain applications... and use them myself in those roles.


So would it be fair to conclude that in your experience, the laser is a great solution on a bedside gun--- where lighting conditions can be counted on to be consistently predictable, and the laser illumines the threat as well as serves as an aiming device--- and good in pretty much any indoor situation--- but that it isn't to be relied on in the 'outside world'--- where lighting conditions can render it inoperative?

I guess my worry would be that after spending time training with the laser, I'd find myself searching for that laser dot in an outside situation.... of course, you've trained much more than I have, so YMMV...

I too wear glasses, and see very poorly without 'em; but the Big Dot tritium front sight on my bedside Sig is plenty visible even without my specs.





Indoors yes. Any indoor situation. Outdoors, no. Go to iron sights. Don't hunt for the 'dot'. A Big Dot tritium is a very nice 'night stand pistol tool'. At those ranges it's really all you need to see. But it won't help 'light up the room' like a big laser will. You'll see the silhouette of the perp and put the big dot on it. The laser will let you see if he's smiling while you double tap him.
LittleBill Posted - May 01 2017 : 5:00:37 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Christian

I'm a fan of the instinctive activation Crimson Trace lasers for certain specific uses. For me, the primary use is in home defense. I have one on the GP-100 parked on my night stand.

If I have to jump out of bed suddenly in the middle of the night I may not have time to find my eye glasses... or grab the flashlight next to the revolver. That makes iron sights pretty useless for me in that situation. The laser is bright enough under those dark conditions to throw some light off of my white walls. It will show me a target at in-home distances. To turn it on I grip the revolver firmly. To turn it off I loosen my grip. It's pretty simple in that role and is an excellent tool.

I have played with various lasers quite a bit. I have found them (even the green ones) to be virtually useless outdoors in daylight, under even heavily overcast conditions and short range. I'll stick with irons. However, they work well in any indoor situation... even in a box store with big windows and bright lights... and for extensive (over 20 yard) distances. I could see some use for them in a security application of that type.

As for getting comfortable with them, it ... like anything else... requires some practice. BUT... in a threat situation it has been pretty much proven that the eye is naturally drawn to the threat. If one presents the weapon properly, that dot will be where the eyes are naturally drawn to.

I consider the right laser to be a useful 'accessory' tool for certain applications... and use them myself in those roles.


So would it be fair to conclude that in your experience, the laser is a great solution on a bedside gun--- where lighting conditions can be counted on to be consistently predictable, and the laser illumines the threat as well as serves as an aiming device--- and good in pretty much any indoor situation--- but that it isn't to be relied on in the 'outside world'--- where lighting conditions can render it inoperative?

I guess my worry would be that after spending time training with the laser, I'd find myself searching for that laser dot in an outside situation, rather than looking for my front sight.... then again, you've trained much more than I have, so YMMV in that regard...

I too wear glasses, and see very poorly without 'em; but the Big Dot tritium front sight on my bedside Sig is plenty visible even without my specs.

LittleBill Posted - May 01 2017 : 4:55:48 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Christian

All too often we see people embracing the "latest gizmo syndrome" (LGS). Those so afflicted feel that since they have the "Latest Gizmo" they are totally Good-To-Go and why bother with range time now... technology is my salvation!

It's a fallacy that gets people killed. The most bulging checkbook in the world won't save someone who doesn't take the time to learn the tool. And, that's all lasers (and red dot sights) are -- tools to perform a task.

I left bullseye competition before red dots became popular. But I have three red dot sights on current competition guns that I shoot in USPSA/Steel Challenge. Back when I had functioning eyes I could run the tougher Steel Challenge stages (10 & 12 inch round plates at 10-20 yards and spread in a 75 degree arc) with an iron-sighted 9mm... starting with my wrists above the shoulders in the Surrender Position and drawing at the beep... in the 4.5 second range. I can't see iron sights that well any more so I have a red dot on a virtually identical gun.

I'm now doing it in the 3.8 second range... and I'm five years older.

That single point red dot aiming system is no different than a projected laser.Does it bounce more than the iron sight picture I used to think was rock steady? Of course. Does it bounce enough to keep me from being faster and more accurate? Nope.

Did it come to me magically overnight? Nope. I had to practice. Did that pay off? Yep!

In the example Jim cited above about officers with (admittedly) minimal training... it illustrates LGS. Tools are great... but training is required. My guess is that if they understood their "Latest Gizmo" and spent more time with it, they wouldn't have 'red hands' and be confused about 'dots on the wall'.

Just ramblin'.. YMMV


Good points! I'm sure we all appreciate being able to benefit from your experience, Chris, I know I do. Like Jim's ramblin', yours always seems to lead somewhere worthwhile.

One difference between the red dot on your weapon-mounted sight, and the red dot projected by a laser, is that the red dot in the sight doesn't vary in brightness--- while the projected laser dot can tend to 'disappear' at distance, in daylight, or against a red garment.

LittleBill Posted - May 01 2017 : 4:39:39 PM
I've not used the newest generation of Crimson Trace lasers, with a pressure pad on the front of the grip, as opposed to the older version with the pressure switch on the side; but several reviewers have complained that (for them) it takes an un-naturally-tight squeeze to activate the newer version.

I've got a green older version of the CT on my bedside Sig. I like it as a training device to fine-tune my pointing skills.

Chris Christian Posted - May 01 2017 : 11:52:01 AM
All too often we see people embracing the "latest gizmo syndrome" (LGS). Those so afflicted feel that since they have the "Latest Gizmo" they are totally Good-To-Go and why bother with range time now... technology is my salvation!

It's a fallacy that gets people killed. The most bulging checkbook in the world won't save someone who doesn't take the time to learn the tool. And, that's all lasers (and red dot sights) are -- tools to perform a task.

I left bullseye competition before red dots became popular. But I have three red dot sights on current competition guns that I shoot in USPSA/Steel Challenge. Back when I had functioning eyes I could run the tougher Steel Challenge stages (10 & 12 inch round plates at 10-20 yards and spread in a 75 degree arc) with an iron-sighted 9mm... starting with my wrists above the shoulders in the Surrender Position and drawing at the beep... in the 4.5 second range. I can't see iron sights that well any more so I have a red dot on a virtually identical gun.

I'm now doing it in the 3.8 second range... and I'm five years older.

That single point red dot aiming system is no different than a projected laser.Does it bounce more than the iron sight picture I used to think was rock steady? Of course. Does it bounce enough to keep me from being faster and more accurate? Nope.

Did it come to me magically overnight? Nope. I had to practice. Did that pay off? Yep!

In the example Jim cited above about officers with (admittedly) minimal training... it illustrates LGS. Tools are great... but training is required. My guess is that if they understood their "Latest Gizmo" and spent more time with it, they wouldn't have 'red hands' and be confused about 'dots on the wall'.

Just ramblin'.. YMMV
hopleyyeaton Posted - May 01 2017 : 11:11:03 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Uncle Mike

Hi, I don't own a laser. I have been told that in a combat situation the shooter loses time by positioning the dot. This I believe can be corrected through training. I have shot a highly tuned Beretta 92 and found that the dot shake was disconcerting. I know they are popular but they just don't work for me, regards, Mike


When I first put a red dot on my bullseye gun scores actually dropped for a while until I got coached to accept the natural wobble. Where iron sights seemed rock steady the dot was dancing around the bull like a moth around the porch light. I've not used a laser but I can imagine it to be similar, and something to get used to. Let the dot dance, concentrate on trigger control, and trust that the dot is spending most of the time in the bullseye.
Jim Higginbotham Posted - May 01 2017 : 10:40:14 AM
One agency I used to train started out with about 50% of their officers carrying CT lasers on their Glocks.

This was active shooter training and we spent one day on the range and one in the Live Fire Shoot House.

After watching their AAR videos they asked questions like "Why does my hand glow red?" - well you had the laser on (and the trigger finger was appropriately straight). "Oh no I didn't, I made sure not to squeeze hard when searching" (obviously not!).

The other was "What is that red dot that shows in the room before I come through the door".

My fellow instructor, always the wit, told them that was the "red bug of death" that precedes officers when entering a room and lets the bad guy know what is behind it.

It took a year for the everyone in the department to cycle through (we only did 8-12 per class so they would not have to leave the streets unprotected). The second year the only lasers were the few that had one on their flashlight and those typically were turned off.

I find a laser useful for shooting vermin at night but I use it in conjunction with a light so I have good target ID - and RDS would (and does) work just as well.

I have a laser on my hide out gun (more of an experiment than anything). One day the son and I were on the range and we decided to try some Pepper Poppers at 10 yards with this DAO snubby.

We figured that if there is an advantage it would happen at further rather than closer range.

For both of us the first round hit took twice as long from the low ready as when using the iron sights - I'd point out that I don't use it much and he never uses one so it might be a "learning curve" thing. I should point out that this is daylight! One should probably experiment in dim light as well.

I could see one being useful for a home defense thing where you "fort up" and don't go searching.

Like Chris, I'm only interested in the ones that come on with a grip, not having to flip a switch or a paddle - but I also would not have one that did not have an off switch (well OK I do have one without a switch on a Glock 17 but that is not something I'd carry).

As with anything and everything, you have to work out your own salvation - get one and go test it to see if you are actually better with it!

Jim
Chris Christian Posted - May 01 2017 : 10:23:28 AM
I'm a fan of the instinctive activation Crimson Trace lasers for certain specific uses. For me, the primary use is in home defense. I have one on the GP-100 parked on my night stand.

If I have to jump out of bed suddenly in the middle of the night I may not have time to find my eye glasses... or grab the flashlight next to the revolver. That makes iron sights pretty useless for me in that situation. The laser is bright enough under those dark conditions to throw some light off of my white walls. It will show me a target at in-home distances. To turn it on I grip the revolver firmly. To turn it off I loosen my grip. It's pretty simple in that role and is an excellent tool.

I have played with various lasers quite a bit. I have found them (even the green ones) to be virtually useless outdoors in daylight, under even heavily overcast conditions and short range. I'll stick with irons. However, they work well in any indoor situation... even in a box store with big windows and bright lights... and for extensive (over 20 yard) distances. I could see some use for them in a security application of that type.

As for getting comfortable with them, it ... like anything else... requires some practice. BUT... in a threat situation it has been pretty much proven that the eye is naturally drawn to the threat. If one presents the weapon properly, that dot will be where the eyes are naturally drawn to.

I consider the right laser to be a useful 'accessory' tool for certain applications... and use them myself in those roles.
Uncle Mike Posted - May 01 2017 : 10:07:03 AM
Hi, I don't own a laser. I have been told that in a combat situation the shooter loses time by positioning the dot. This I believe can be corrected through training. I have shot a highly tuned Beretta 92 and found that the dot shake was disconcerting. I know they are popular but they just don't work for me, regards, Mike
djwarner Posted - May 01 2017 : 09:08:20 AM
I shoot left handed but I am right eye dominant. This becomes a problem in a fast draw situation with both eyes open. The laser sight alerts to the misalignment before pulling the trigger. As a pilot, I've learned to trust my instruments and thus train to rely in the laser in that moment of confusion.

I've used both red and green lasers and much prefer the green laser for its visibility in daylight.
Pop Pop Posted - May 01 2017 : 08:08:10 AM
I only turn my laser on in low light conditions. I don't prefer them, if I can see the iron sights. I have one on my bedside drawer revolver.
LittleBill Posted - May 01 2017 : 07:42:45 AM
Our brains operate differently when under extreme stress. Our thought processes are 'short-circuited': we automatically and unthinkingly revert to what we've practiced the most.

But what if we've practiced two different and opposing reactions: 'find my front sight' and 'find the laser dot'?

Under normal, unstressed operation, it's easy enough to quickly choose one or the other. Under the extreme stress of an unexpected gunfight, maybe not... will we find ourselves instinctively looking for the dot in a situation where we'd be better served by looking for the front sight?

Especially since the laser is the 'easier' of the two to use; are we inadvertantly training ourselves to 'prefer' the laser; even in situations where the front sight would be better?

I don't think anyone here is advocating only relying on the laser, since there are times we'll need our sights.

But to the extent that we practice with the laser, are we potentially setting ourselves up for a fall?

I'm just posing the questions, don't presume to know the answers....

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