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Simple question: Is it really worth it to have a laser on a pistol?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Hokkmike, Mar 13, 2017.

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  1. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Member

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    Didn't know this - impressive. Thanks.
     
  2. DMK

    DMK Member

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    They give me free batteries every year for every CT laser I own.

    You just need to call them and ask. They are very nice about it.
     
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  3. george burns

    george burns Member

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    I have a TLR-4 that I put on my 19 along with a 20 round mag, at night, on the nightstand. It has a front night sight also. I can't see crap at night without a light, so why not put on the Light/laser combo. It is spot on accurate and with the light, it is daylight in the room. I also just had laser surgery along with Cataract surgery, so my eyes are 20/15, realy good, but the back of my house and yard are pitch black, I would rather have it that way, because if they get close enough, they trip the motion sensors, and are standing in a field lit up like a Christmas Tree. I doubt my Lab is going to allow them that close without alerting me. Last night we both jumped up at the same time when someone screamed about 3 AM. It was a bunch of kids. But I have a box of loaded mags, about a dozen that happen to live next to the bed.
     
  4. Casefull

    Casefull Member

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    There is nothing wrong with mine. Mine is brand new. It is next to useless in daylight. You guys have your opinion and I have mine. It depends on how you shoot a handgun. If I am within 20 yards I can just point and shoot. 50 to 100 yds two handed is helpful. Most folks will be dead looking for the laser in relation to the target or trying to line up their sights. It is about speed. This is going to piss off lots of folks, but in my not so humble opinion lasers are a gimmick. I am now ready for the flaming. ha ha
     
  5. stoky

    stoky Member

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    I have mixed feelings about 'em. I had a Crimson Trace on a Model 60, that shined on my trigger finger when it was off the trigger. I stripped the (tiny plastic) threads on the battery plug, I've been ,meaning to send it back and see how nice they are about it. I currently have a co$ty Veridian green laser on an LC9s, that has a mode that turns it off when holstered and automatically comes on when drawn. The keep alive circuit sucks the battery down, so you have to remember to turn it off if it isn't being carried. What could possibly go wrong?
    IMHO:
    the good
    They could be handy for (way) out of position shooting from behind cover. They illustrate how much you shake/flinch,
    the bad
    The illustrate how much you shake/flinch. They might not show up on certain clothing or in bright ambient light conditions. Having batteries, they some how know when to let you down, in the worst circumstances. They complicate instinctive focus on the front sight with focus on the target.
    the ugly
    If you have one, you should probably practice with both, separately, the sights and the laser..
     
  6. drunkenpoacher

    drunkenpoacher Member

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    Wish I could shoot that good.
     
  7. JPDeacon

    JPDeacon Member

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    Not sure what "shooting defensively, as an armed citizen in the peacetime USA" means, but I have a green laser/light on my go to (when things go bump in the night), Glock 34 so that my 70 plus eyes don't have to strain looking for sights in the dark. I know I should have night sights and hours of practice replicating this scenario but I ain't got the time or desire. I practice enough with the laser in the dark (yes range in backyard) to be proficient with the Glock. If you like em', use em', if you don't, don't.
     
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  8. DMK

    DMK Member

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    I hope that's just hyperbole.

    Even Jerry Miculek uses the sights and a two hand grip at ten yards.

    Plenty of people miss in real life confrontations at car length distances.
     
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  9. drunkenpoacher

    drunkenpoacher Member

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    Jerry has some competition now.
     
  10. I6turbo

    I6turbo Member

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    Jerry needs to turn on his internet muscles next time he's in a shootin' match. Internet muscles, once switched on, multiply real world capabilities by about 4x, maybe 8x if the competition is real fierce.
     
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  11. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Another thing I forgot earlier. I am colorblind, so while both green and red lasers work pretty OK in low light (though I prefer a weapon mounted flashlight).

    In daylight, with certain types of background (I notice with targets, clothes I assume would be worse) I canno see even the bright dot.
     
  12. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    Does anyone involved in this discussion know of factual accounts or documentation of any private citizens using LASER sights in a real self defense situation, especially one where the altercation involves a fast, up-close-and-personal confrontation. Such controntations are relatively rare, regardless of the sighting method -- and few are more than "he said" or "she said" accounts.

    I get the sense that this is mostly a theoretical discussion, a bit like Medieval clerics arguing about how many angels can dance on the point of a pin... As more than one military leader has said, plans got out the door when the first blow is struck.
     
  13. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Gecko 45, is that you?

    Sounds like my sig line......
     
  14. DMK

    DMK Member

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    That'd a good question. I wonder if Crimson Trace has any documentation? I know they do training.

    While that's certainly a valid statement, you can also say "those who fail to plan, plan to fail".

    I believe the idea is to have more than one plan and be able to set aside or adjust preconceived notions based on observed situations and reactions.

    I've never heard of a competent military leader who didn't have multiple plans before entering into combat.
     
  15. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    If you've got TIME (i.e., the "target" isn't already on you), LASER sights can be a helpful tool. Finding the dot on the target, however, might be slower than just getting a good sight picture, or point shooting.

    You must, of course, do what makes the most sense to you.
     
  16. DMK

    DMK Member

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    That's why it's probably not the best idea for plan A.

    But I've never seen a laser installation that removed the original sights. Just because you add a laser on your gun, it does not take away anything that you already have right now.
     
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  17. hdwhit
    • Contributing Member

    hdwhit Member

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    In a self-defense situation, I don't see myself having to shoot at someone more than across a room or down the hall; four, five, maybe eight yards, tops, and I don't believe a laser is going to help me at those distances. Plus, as 460Shooter said in post #13, you're reliant on a battery.
     
  18. stoky

    stoky Member

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    If I survived, I'd feel really silly if I got capped by someone who knew where their front sight was while I was looking for my dot.
     
  19. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    Very true. But...

    When you watch people practicing with LASERs, A lot of them seem to spend a lot of time chasing that red or green dot -- or just trying to find it! Their focus seems to be all about getting the dot on the target rather than getting the gun on target and then using the dot. Maybe they just haven't been trained in the proper use of the tool?
     
  20. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    I've never looked into what training Crimson Trace may offer. That would be interesting to see. If I was going to set out to train someone to shoot with a laser sight, I certainly would start with the fundamentals, then a good draw and front-sight-focused presentation. If someone is well used to that mode of operating, then the dot should appear right where their sights do, and so isn't hard to find.

    But then my training plan would need some careful thought. I'm not quite sure how to best instruct for the shift from seeing (or trying to see, if it's dark) the front sight as you press the trigger, lengthening focus out to see that dot on the target instead, and how to get your brain to accept and work with the spasticly jumping dot instead of the relatively stable front sight as a legitimate flash sight picture.

    As you see your front sight, it's waving around to cover a wider area on the target than it appears, but we're able to accept the sight picture as "good enough". We see the sight, it's in an acceptable region of the target, press, bang, sights return to target...etc. Seeing what you need to see to make the shot, as Brian Enos liked to say. But a laser dot is showing you exactly where the gun is pointing every millisecond, and that overload of bright red (or green) glowing data I find to be too unfiltered to give the sort of momentary reinforcement of aim that is needed to let the mind release the shot. Since we can't stabilize the dot, the way that we can appear to stabilize the sight, I think it becomes more of a Hail Mary effort. The dot was somewhere near where I wanted at one point so...uh, bang.
     
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  21. stoky

    stoky Member

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    well put !
    Anathema to the good Col.'s "flash sight picture".
     
  22. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    It is a bit different, but it all comes down to trigger management. You have to be able to correctly press the trigger straight to the rear before any of the rest will do you any good.

    What most folks, who use a laser, think it that the dot will be where their shot will go. They are in for a serious, if not fatal, disappointment. The dot only delineates where the the barrels/sights are pointed before they press the trigger...much as most iron sights are perfectly on target, before they mash the trigger. Training to use a laser still starts with the trigger press.

    A laser is more properly used as a sight confirmation tool as opposed to a sighting tool.
    You learn to:
    1. point the gun at your target
    2. you focus on the target
    3. when the dot appears , you have confirmation
    4. you press the trigger

    Trying to aim with a laser and mashing the trigger, in a defensive situation, is both painfully slow and hopelessly inaccurate
     
  23. pblanc

    pblanc Member

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    Of course, that is true. A laser does not in any way supplant the need for trigger control, or any of the other fundamentals, any more than iron sights or a red dot would. There is no particular reason that a laser should encourage poor technique. I do 99% of my shooting in daylight conditions without a laser using iron sights and only use the laser to confirm that it is properly zeroed and working.

    Some of you must be must better at point shooting than I am. I am not at all confident that I could get good hits point shooting at any but very short range. But I can kinesthetically point a pistol that I am familiar with well enough to get the laser dot in reasonably close proximity to my intended target.

    And my eyes are no longer good enough to acquire a "flash" sight picture in very dim light conditions, even with night sights.
     
  24. MarkDido

    MarkDido Member

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    Wasn't that the mall warrior who wanted to put steel plates in his ballistic vest?
     
  25. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    Yup, but only the front, because he was going to assume some risk. He also had Ninja training that authorized him to wear the shoes with individual toes that enabled climbing walls.

    Classic, the guy was a comic genius.

    Chuck
     
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