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Laser Sights - Usefulness

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by quatin, Jan 13, 2013.

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  1. quatin

    quatin Member

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    Is there a consensus on using laser sights for defensive shooting? IE Laser sights on EDCs? Is it useful, do I have to completely retrain sight acquisition when using one?

    I have a TCP that I really like pocket carrying, but the lack of sights bother me. I get concept behind low profile sights for point and shoot pistols, but these sights are completely useless. I was considering drilling just a front night sight on the TCP and using it like a shotgun bead, but the laser sight seems like an easier alternative.
     
  2. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    Lasers shouldn't be an alternative to sights, but if you don't really have sights... work with what you've got. Zero to the furthest distance that you can make an accurate shot (say hitting a 5-6" circle) with that gun, would be my suggestion (take it for what it's worth... which isn't much). If you try to use the TCP like a shotgun, you're going to be terribly disappointed. Shotguns work with beads because you're always plopping your face down in the same place, and using your eye as the rear sight (essentially)...
     
  3. 230RN
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    230RN Marines raising the left-leaning Pisa tower.

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    I've become a strong advocate of them and hang the expense.

    I'm 74 and even though I shot competitively with rifles and handguns, as the years progressed, I no longer have that fineness of vision, especially in low-light conditions.

    I mounted one on a Smith 340 and discovered I can shoot much better, and by holding the gun solidly with two hands down by the bottom of my rib cage, I can print groups better than with the iron sights, which are black on this gun with a short sight radius. In addition, the inevitable muzzle flash is way below my line of sight and does not give me that one or two second blindness. (Yes, even with low-flash ammo.)

    I mounted one on my winter gun, a 1911 in .45 and the same situation pertains --better grouping. However, holding the gun that close to the body interferes with the slide operation, so a slightly different technique is involved --that is, holding the gun slightly away. (Ruined a good shirt with a close-to-the-body hold when the slide came back. "Duh," I said to myself.)

    The main problem with them is that in just "holding" the gun as one would with iron sights emphasizes the unsteadiness of one's hold. That dot dances all over the target and discourages the shot. You don't realize how unsteady your hold actually is with iron sights.

    The other disadvantage is a slight mechanical one. Adjusting the sights is tricky. Somehow, your instinct in adjusting the sights this way or that to bring the group to where the dot is seems backwards, and the first time I adjusted mine I was chasing the dot all over the place. My first adjustment put the group even further from the dot. I finally got a rush of brains to the head and figured out what I was doing gnorw.

    Another hint is the first thing you do is put a piece of colored tape on the little teeny-tiny adjustment wrenches that come with it. I dropped mine at the indoor range and had a heck of a time finding it on the floor. The tape makes it obvious when it falls down there --or in the grass. I found it just before I was about to give up and get the steel-ammunition testing magnet from the RO.

    I used to practice point-shooting indoors with airsoft clones on the theory that in a defensive situation, one might not be able to "aim" at those close ranges, so I got pretty good at that. The laser sight makes this a lot easier, as shown by testing with my unloaded lasered guns in front of a mirror. (Watch out for the reflection of the laser, though. You don't want to get it in your eyes.)

    Terry, 230RN
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  4. WoodchuckAssassin

    WoodchuckAssassin Member

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    I'm not a huge fan of lasers. When you draw down on your target, that little red dot is movin' and shakein' a mile a minute - it always seemed to me like the extra money you send on a laser might be better spent on ammo and range visits so as to become proficient with your firearm, instead of relyin on technology.

    At the same time, I remember reading an article a while back that said a woman who was home alone had someone break in. She found the man in her living room, and promptly drew down on him with her pistol/laser combo. The suspect could see the red dot on his chest, and stayed very still on the opposite side of the room until the police showed up. In this case, the laser did a fantastic job of letting the criminal know EXACTLY what would happen if he tried to excape/harm the resident. No shots fired, no messy legal action, just a resolved nightmare that could have ended much differently.

    And as far as your tiny sights go, I really wouldn't worry about it. You're not entering any sharpshooting contests with it, and IF you need to use it, you're going to point and shoot - no sights necessary.
     
  5. jim243

    jim243 Member

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    Each person will have a different view. I had a SP-101 (Ruger 357 mag) that had a CT laser pistol grip.

    I had so much movement (me) on the target with the laser that I found it distracting and could barely hit the target with the gun. It only had a front sight and a ferrow on the strap for a rear sight. But, I found I could do quite well using these open sights. Now this was a double action only revolver so pulling the trigger would send the laser all over the place.

    Is it better than no sights? Kind of. Is it good, no. My solution was to get rid of the 2 1/2 inch barrel 357 and go to a CZ 75 P-01 (9mm) with both front and rear sights (3.8 inch barrel).

    It will take you a lot of pratice to get use to using a laser. But it is better than no sights at all.

    Jim
     
  6. 9MMare

    9MMare Member

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    Like very much. Train with it at home, very helpful, esp for trigger control.

    Train with it in IDPA practice and without. I feel it would just be one more advantage for me in a real life situation.

    Do not believe in 'red dotting' as a warning.
     
  7. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    There have been many threads on this. This one's probably one of the best: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=671943 Reading through that thread would save a lot of re-hashing here.

    ...

    But, in case you don't go read... some of my comments therein:
    And...
     
  8. gspn

    gspn Member

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    Things I like about the laser:

    Fast target acquisition

    Vastly improved situational awareness as you can see SO much more of your surroundings. The first time I used a laser I was blown away by the awareness/visibility aspect of it. Rather than having tunnel vision on my front sight I could keep my head up and both eyes in the fight.

    Vastly improved ability to get on target in less than ideal light

    Things I don't like about the laser:

    At longer distances (this distance will be different for every single shooter) the laser becomes a distraction as it dances all around and I'm not sure if I'm going to hit where I want. In these cases I shoot better with the iron sights.


    On a different note I hear a lot of people saying it's a good warning device because when people see a dot on their chest they'll back down. This always makes me wonder...how many people look at their own chest? If someone is pointing a gun at me I figure I'm not taking my eyes off them...surely not going to look down and stare at my chest. Dunno...that one always sounded off to me.
     
  9. 12gaugeTim

    12gaugeTim Member

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    I remember reading a home defense experience where the home owner credited landing hits on target entirely to his laser sight. Keep in mind this was probably in a fairly dark environment where the red dot would be easy to locate. Trying to find the red outdoors could get you killed when shooting instinctively or aiming would be much faster.
     
  10. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

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    Low light, 10-ish yards or so, gimme the red dot. I found I could get back on target WAY more quickly with the laser in the dim light of the indoor range.

    Farther than 15 yards I'll ditto gspn. Shooting bullseyes it's a distraction.

    Been looking at a combo low mag scope/laser to try on one of my rifles though.

    Good for training as it shows my wife exactly where her muzzle is pointed. I swear she waggles around more than Sergio Garcia over a fairway wood.:fire:

    I'm waiting for her to put one into the ceiling.:evil:
     
  11. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    But they are still banned in all the shooting sports, apparantly some people in charge still think they give an unfair advantage.
     
  12. Coop45

    Coop45 Member

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    I like lasers because without my glasses the front sight disappears in a blur.
     
  13. Isaac-1

    Isaac-1 Member

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    I am just like Coop45, if I were to ever loose my glasses there is no way I could use a traditional handgun sight, that is one reason I have a laser grip on my normal carry gun.
     
  14. krupparms

    krupparms Member

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    As I get older I have found them to be a great aid in most shooting situations . It all depends on the light &distance. I use C.T. lasers on several of my SD &EDC guns. I think they are a tool that you eather have a use for or don't. They work for me & others I know so I say give them a try! If you don't like them, you can sell them. If they are in new condition you will probably be able to get your money back out of them. If you do like them you will find they do add some new tricks that are useful! JMO.
     
  15. flatlander937

    flatlander937 Member

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    I aim a laser equipped pistol and get angry trying to hold it still as I see it dance around, so it dances around more under anger/stress and I suck at it.

    It IS good for trigger pull practice to keep steady, and practice shooting "from the hip" or other awkward positions.

    I would have no problems having one on a HD gun bit I would certainly not devote any considerable time to training just with the laser.
     
  16. 230RN
    • Contributing Member

    230RN Marines raising the left-leaning Pisa tower.

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    Oh, one thing I forgot to add in my post #3 is that with the 1911 and the CT sight, the beam just barely brushes the right side of the slide stop lever and diffuses slightly from that cause. Still eminently usable, though. I'm toying with the idea of grinding that slide stop back a little.

    See also http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=8637705&postcount=8

    Terry, 230RN
     
  17. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    It's a weight thing. Most of the action shooting sports restrict how much weight can be added to the gun. You'll note they also prohibit weapon-mounted white lights, and that's for the same reason. If you allow laser sights, guys and gals will pick a big heavy one, mount it up under the barrel and use it as a counterweight to manage recoil.

    They give NO benefit to a competition shooter. NONE.
     
  18. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I never thought I'd like them but ran across a used S&W 1911 that already had a set of CT grips on it a couple of years ago. My plan was to replace the CT grips, sell them and I'd have very little invested in the gun.

    That was before I tried them. It took a little while to get them adjusted, but after I did, WOW. I have no trouble with them "dancing" on the target. They are just as steady as when using any other sighting system. Plenty accurrate especially at longer ranges. At least up to 25 yards, I haven't tried them farther. In extreme bright light they may not work well at longer ranges, but I still have regular irons for that.

    The best part is that you don't have to hold the gun in a traditional way to see the sights. They are just as accurate if held low at the hip or reaching around a barrier etc..

    They are expensive, and I really doubt I'd have ever spent the money had these not aleady come on this gun. But I'd spend the money now that I've had a chance to actually use them.
     
  19. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    How are your split times and transitions? Anything's workable for one shot.

    What does the timer say?
     
  20. quatin

    quatin Member

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    I read through some of this and I pretty much agree. Using a laser sight in place of an iron can only slow you down. However, here's what I'm working with:

    W7215_SI_Taurus738_1814.jpg

    I have trouble lining up these "sights" in broad daylight, let alone low light conditions. Would a laser sight help me line up the irons at least or is it lost in a blur in the background?
     
  21. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Sheesh, what IS that thing?

    I would have taken a close look at those sights before I dropped the cash on it. :(
     
  22. youngda9

    youngda9 member

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    I prefer to practice than to rely on electronic gadgetry that may fail when I absolutely need it.
     
  23. Lateck

    Lateck Member

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    I have lasers on all my edc guns. I practice with and without lasers. I prefer the laser for lowlight (night) and I feel the red dot may (yes the word is may) help detour an assailant.
    I do not feel a laser is a fad.

    Lateck,
     
  24. quatin

    quatin Member

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    I knew the sights were going to be a problem when I bought it. Unfortunately, there's a train of thought that pocket size 380s are only for point and shoot distances so the alternatives weren't any better.
     
  25. 9MMare

    9MMare Member

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    I prefer all the advantages I can get in a life or death situation and train to be prepared when ANY part of my firearm fails.
     
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