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laser accuracy really this bad?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Krenn, Oct 24, 2005.

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  1. Krenn

    Krenn Member

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    lasermax advertises it's accuracy at +-3" POA at 20 yards,

    http://www.lasermax-inc.com/products/lms-4xd40.php

    If I'm reading this right, that's 15 MOA accuracy? that's TERRIBLE!

    and since it appears to be calibrated as an intercept, not a parrallel beam, that means I have no realistic hope of it being significantly better at closer ranges?

    ughhh..... that really is clear-shot torso-only accuracy.

    please tell me that I'm missing something here!
     
  2. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    The reason for the Lasermax variation in accuracy is that it can't be adjusted for windage and/or elevation - it's in the recoil spring guide, and is thus dependent upon a tight and accurate fit in the gun to keep it in line with the bore. The Crimson Trace units, on the other hand, are external to the gun, and can be adjusted for windage and elevation, so that you can "dial in" the laser beam to the exact POI that you get with your carry load. Much more accurate.

    I would add that I own half-a-dozen CT laser grips, and no Lasermax units... ;)
     
  3. 3 gun

    3 gun Member

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    Since most self defense shootings happen in low/no light and at short ranges, a 3" +/- at 20yds is well within the effective range of most if not all shooters. Even CT grip will only match POA/POI at one distance. I prefer the CT grip over the Lasermax unit. Either will do what the main goal of a laser on a pistol should be, allow you to get hits on target quickly in low light at self defense ranges. The only place I've ever heard of them being for a precision aiming device at long ranges is Hollywood.
     
  4. ABBOBERG

    ABBOBERG Member

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    The underlying problem here is that gun manufacturers have not bothered to design a laser sight into their weapons. They are relying on aftermarket suppliers to figure out how to make it work. As a result, you have Lasermax putting their lasers inside a floating spring guide tube, and CT putting the sight on the outside of the gun. Then you have others putting them on brackets below the barrel, where they can get bumped and misaligned, etc. As can be seen from recent test reports in the gun rags, the Lasermax prints 6" groups at 25 yards with a G17, and the group is significantly down and to the right of the bullseye. The CT design is more solid, but won't fit on smaller pistols since the hand would swallow up the laser unit entirely.

    There is no doubt in my mind that a gun can be designed and built to put the bullet almost exactly where the pink dot is at a given range. It's just that the big gun manufacturers would have to start from scratch, and that would be very expensive for them. You would have to look to a small, start-up company to provide a product with this kind of performance.
     
  5. wally

    wally Member

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    +1 on Crimson Trase Lasergrips over the Lasermax guide raod replacement because of lack of adjustability of the later.

    When I first got CTC laser grips for my Kimber Ultra Carry (presbyoptia making it really hard to see the front sight without reading glasses) on the second shot I though to myself "Stupid POS can't even hold zero well enough to hit the paper on the second shot!" when I realized the hole went from round to elliptical!

    CTC Lasergrips work very well for close in "point shooting" but are very hard to see in sunlight. But for fast SD shooting my experience shooting steel plates has me wishing manufacture's would intergrate something like the "J-Point" red dot optical sight into some of their guns. The laser has you looking at the target to find the dot while the optical red dot sight has you looking thru the dot to put it on target which in my experience is much faster because you get much better hand-eye co-ordination feedback. OTOH lasers are hard to beat for "point shooting" although I'm still slower, but more accurate with the laser than with a straight "instictive" shot (shomething I do practice fairly regularly with my CCW and carry ammo)

    OTOH I'd recommend a cheap laser and ad-hoc attachment (duct tape, whatever) for any gun for dry fire practice -- nothing better shows trigger errors or when your steadiness needs work. But unless you shoot indoors, lasers are pretty useless at the range unless you wait for gray days or dusk.

    --wally.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2005
  6. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    I don't know about you Krenn, but I would be happy if I could shoot 15" groups out of my carry pistol at 100 yards on anything resembling a consistent basis.

    Oh, and there is most definitely something you are missing here. Your laser sight won't be compensating for drop. Say you calibrate your sight to be spot on at 10 yards and you are shooting a .45 acp. At 100 yards, the laser will keep a flat trajectory, but your slow and heavy slug will be taking a curvilinear course and will end up several inches below the dot. Oh, and the dot at 100 yards will likely range in size between 2 and 6" depending on make and model.
     
  7. wally

    wally Member

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    You are missing the point, The laser dot and POI can only match at two points at most since the bullet as you point out basically flys a parabola. What's important is that you can adjust the laser spot to the load's POI at *your* maximum range of intrest. From the muzzle to the adjusted range the POA/POI error converges as range increases, beyond the range of the adjustment the errors diverge as range increases.

    For me 10 yrds is about right as the CTC laser adjustments are really difficult at larger ranges and different ammo shoots differently enough to be another PITA. But if you can't adjust the laser you are stuck trying to remember POA/POI error for every gun and loading at your prefered "calibration" distance(s)

    If you've got a Glock, Lasermax or something hanging off the front is your only choice. I'd have gotten Lasermax if it was adjustable (and held the adjustment). If you are happy to have laser dot and POI fall where they may go for it!

    --wally.
     
  8. Krenn

    Krenn Member

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    actualy, since its plus OR minus, that would be 30 MOA... i messed up on my math, still getting used to firearm accuracy methods.


    I expressed it in terms of 100 yards because that's what most rifles seem use as the standard distance for expressing accuracy. I don't intend to aim a handgun that far away, I just naturally converted accuracy into terms of that range distance.
     
  9. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    This is typical of my Crimson Trace lasers on my S&W J frames (2 inch. and my Kimber Ultras (3 inch).
    (hadn't funished adjusting the laser yet)
    When it's too dark to see the gun sights I can typically shoot as good or better groups with the laser than I can with iron sights during the day.

    [​IMG]

    The laser equipped pistol "owns" my place at night.
    Sighted in at about 25 or 30 yards my J frame is good from close up to about 50 yards.
    This is a steel foot square target from about 40 yards. The picture makes the laser dot look large, Red and White a little fuzzy but it's actually quite small and sharp.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2005
  10. Zach S

    Zach S Member

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    After firing a lasermaxed G19, I dont blame you.
     
  11. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    I dunno.

    I have a Lasermax for my G20. Is it x-ring accurate? Nope*. Is it combat accurate? Yep.

    It's all about intended purpose.

    Mike

    * Actually, I have not tested this. However, at ranges where I normally shoot, POA and POI seem to intersect. Plus, there is not a lot of shift, so if you know the dot is 'off' in a certain direction, you can adjust for it, as it seems to always stay 'off' in that direction. Again, I've not really played around with that aspect of it.
     
  12. wally

    wally Member

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    Non-adjustable makes it a crap shoot, some will be close enough, but you can't count on your's being one of them. OTOH lots of folks send their fixed sight SA GI guns back because they shoot a few inches "off".

    --wally.
     
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