Laser or just better sights


February 21, 2010, 07:57 PM
Over the last couple of years my aging eyes have been letting me down. I have trouble focusing and aligning my sights quickly. I have several versions of the standard 3 dot systems and tritium setups on my handguns. I'm looking at either the XS Sight Big Dots or moving to a laser setup and can't decide which way to go. This would be on a defense gun, so not concerned with 25 yard accuracy.

Anyone with similar circumstances tried or compared these options? I have not shot with either of these but have played with both at a dealer or gun show. The Big Dots do make a huge difference in site acquisition.

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M2 Carbine
February 22, 2010, 12:06 AM
I am using 72 year old eyes.
The center lens of my tri focals is focused at gun front sight distance, so no problem shooting during the day.

I'm a big fan of gun mounted lasers on defense guns for low light and in some cases inside.
Call Crimson Trace and ask for their free DVD. It will answer many of your questions about gun mounted lasers. 800 442 2406

I do a good bit of laser practice (home range).
When trying the gun mounted laser and laser/light against night sights I find I can get off 1-3 fast accurate shots before I can get off the first shot with night sights.
But when using a laser, like using iron sights, the shooter must do his job.

You mentioned 25 yards.
From arms length to well past 25 yards is no problem with a (good) laser in low light. A couple weeks ago I was shooting a Crimson Trace equipped 3 inch S&W J Frame at 52 yards (standing, two hands). When doing the same thing using iron sights I miss about two shots in 50, with the laser it was quite easy with no misses.

I sight in my lasers at 25 yards. That makes the bullet hits close to center from arms length to 40+ yards.
By the time I shot the 40 yard target it was so dark the target was just a Gray blur.

Start by calling for the DVD. If nothing else it's interesting.:)

February 22, 2010, 12:16 AM
I'm 60 years old, short sighted, wear varifocal lenses. I can't use the sights with both eyes open (see the front sight twice when I do that) though I do quite well if I close one eye.

One of my weapons (M&P340CT) has a Crimson Trace laser. I don't use the laser much because I want to get better with the sights but I do find the laser makes it much, much, easier to be accurate and much quicker than lining up the sights.

February 22, 2010, 12:36 AM
i'm 57 and i have tried both those systems and between to two i'd reluctantly go with the laser.

now if you really mean a "better" set of sights, i'd look at a fiber optic front sight and a wide notch rear blade like the Warrwn Tactical or the Heine "50+".

if you want night sights, 3 dot sights aren't needed, they are just confusing, a single night sight dot up front works much better

David E
February 22, 2010, 01:22 AM
I like fiber optic front sights, but the XS Big Dot is an option for up close and personal.

One problem with lasers is that it can make the shooter slow down because he's looking for the dot. If your technique is good, then it's less of an issue, but if the technique is lacking for whatever reason, lasers slow you down.

Get both.

February 22, 2010, 07:30 PM
Thanks for the replies. I did request the Crimson Trace DVD and am looking forward to hearing their story. The comment about the three dots getting confusing is exactly what I encounter now. That distance between the two rear dots has become very small .....

February 22, 2010, 09:23 PM
the funny thing is that it is happening with younger shooter too, they just don't have the experience to recognize what they are seeing or they have been sold by marketing on the need for 3-dots.

a wider notch in the rear sight really helps with sighting without much adverse effect on accuracy

February 23, 2010, 12:54 AM
I like fiber optic front sights, but the XS Big Dot is an option for up close and personal.
xs sights are good for more that just "up close and personal" they can be used to hit targets as far as 100 yds. maybe farther but that is the distance that i stoped at. not that that is realistic to shoot at 100yds with a handgun in a self defense scenario, however to debunk the myth to shooters that they are only good up close.

i think the xs sights would help you out alot with your eye sight issues. even for those that i have outstanding eye sight i still recommend the xs 24/7 big dot sights. they are IMHO th ebest sights on the market for defense. they are fast they are big, and bright, easy to pick up and track. they also come into thier own when you are moving and shooting, when you are shooting moving targets and even more so when you are moving, shooting moving targets.

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