Laser sights on carry gun

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by todd51, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty much old school in most of my thinking but I am in the process of picking a new CCW. It will be a snubby revolver probably a Ruger LCR or S&W 642. Both are available with the optional laser sight. I have never handled or fired a laser equipped handgun. So I don't know if they are a real advantage or just the latest new toy on the market.

    I don't want to get caught looking for a red dot when I should be just shooting the bad guy. I have never been in the situation where I have had to pull my weapon but if I do I expect to be shooting it. A lot of my range silhouette practice is draw, bang, bang at center of mass and bang to the head. I just don't know if the red dot will really help in a high adrenalin situation or not.

    What do you all think. Are they the way to go and worth extra $200?
  2. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

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    Hey Todd,
    I dont have one (yet) on any of my guns, however, Ive shot a few with them on there and I'm looking to get a couple on 2 guns I own.
    I think there are great! The Guns I have shot with them on there, you just put that red or green dot where where you need to hit (once sighted in), and it's gonna hit where ever the (dot) is.
    Hold the gun from the hip, sideways or over your head...where ever that dot is, is where your shot will hit.
    I do think they are worth the $$$'s as long as you dont get a $40 unit like my nefew got for one of his guns...I sighted in his and after a few shots, it was off, time and time again.
    But yes, I think youd be suprised what they do...just my opinion!
  3. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Zane for the info. I'm sure no pro at this defensive shooting but with my practice it seems it is so much instinctive and reactive shooting that I have wondered on the merits of the laser. I can sure visualize some situations where it would be an advantage. In most of my practice and visualizations it is a fast close quarters situation and I just keep wondering it the laser will be an aid or a distraction. Guess the only way to know is to use it and practice and see what the results are.
  4. carver

    carver Moderator

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    todd51, take a look at one of the videos at the Crimson Trace site:
    http://www.crimsontrace.com/Home/Videos/TheArtOfSurvivalChapter5/tabid/401/Default.aspx

    While I do not own one at this time, I will be getting one in the near future for my carry gun. I don't know how well they work in bright light, but the sights on the gun will be easy to use in a bright light situation. There is a video that they use on TV showing the shooter makeing multipule hits on a moving target that is very impressive.
  5. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member

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    OK, I have been wrong and way too narrow in my thinking. I have not given the necessary consideration to all the "disadvantaged", "unconventional" and "awkward" situations I may find myself.

    THANKS BIG TIME Carver, I watched all those videos and they are having a big effect on my thinking now. I have no one to discuss this stuff with and sure appreciate the help. All my years of shooting have been either with hunting or bull's eye type work and I have only recently tried to prepare for self defense and concealed carry.
  6. carver

    carver Moderator

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    You are quite welcome! Like you I have spent my life shooting bulls eye, and I love to shoot flying objects, like cans, and caly targets. Now, I don't think that the laser sights will help with the flying targets, but on something a bit slower, well! I do believe that there is a learning curve, and that we will have to learn to use such a tool. I do believe that my tired old eyes won't have to work so hard because of this new tool.
  7. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

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    First thing I have to say about them, is that they are quite a TOY.

    Personally, I would never depend on one to save my life. About the time you do, that will be the first time it fails, dead batteries or whatever reason. Along with the fact that the “beam” can be followed back to the gun in your hand, giving the enemy something to shoot AT, if there are ANY particulates in the air like smoke, dust, etc.

    Had a Crimson Trace on my 1911. Used it for a year in the flashlight/low-light match, worked great. But, the CT only intersects the target at one point. If the target is closer or farther away than that, accuracy is a bit diminished. Of course this is the best choice on revolvers. I have never tried one of those that hang off the trigger guard.

    That being said, if you have a semi-auto and you want one that is accurate at any distance (barring ballistics of course) get a Laser Max. It replaces the barrel guide, so it always points the same way as the barrel. I have one on my SIG 226. Have had it for years. LOVE IT.

    Every third month, our combat pistol league holds a flashlight and lowlight match. On the lowlight side, I use the SIG with the LaserMax in it. On the flashlight side I just add a (hand-held) flashlight, but still use the laser. It is a blast. You can shoot from any angle/position and hit the target. Some of the other competitors were heckling me, when "they" had to go to (at least) one knee to shoot through a barrel. I just leaned over a bit, put the dot on the target, and shot through the barrel.

    If you have a chance to USE the LaserMax, get it. It’s just that I don’t know many people who get to practice in the dark/lowlight conditions. Do you have some place where you can "practice" with it? If your getting it for the “cool” effect, you are wasting your money. To use it for home defense? You will have to make up your own mind.

    While you “can” use them, they do NOT work well in full daylight, you spend too much time trying to find the dot. IMO
  8. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    I've not used the LaserMax that Pickenup mentioned. I have used Crimson Trace and ArmaLaser, and I like the ArmaLaser much more.

    Remember, having a laser is NOT a replacement for knowing how to shoot. Whenever possible, shoot using the sights.
  9. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks fellows,
    I am well past the "being cool" stage of life,ha. I accept all your points as valid. I initially looked at it as a toy and a possible distraction but after looking at those videos I can see it's merit in certain disadvantaged situations. I have now changed from "no I don't want one" to yea "I think I will try it". But try to remember it is battery powered and an accessary and not a replacement for good craft. I do have a place to practice low light. I let you know how this all pans out.

    Have been carrying a S&W 649 and a Ruger LCP. Just didn't like the LCP and sold it to a local LEO. I pocket carry most of the time and the 649 is just to heavy so am looking for a lighter weight replacement.

    Again thanks for all the help and advice.
  10. Agentwil

    Agentwil New Member

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    I think laser sites have their place, for example older people who may not be able to see iron sites or can get a site picture. They are not the end all be all but cannot be over looked.
  11. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member

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    Well I sure do fall into the older people catagory. :D :D :D
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  12. Agentwil

    Agentwil New Member

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    I still won't mess with you:)
  13. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

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    + 1 on that!!!
    Nice looking (units) you have there Todd!
    Heck, with the lazer if nothing else, I'm sure you'd like target shooting with them if nothing else.
    After shooting with the ones I have tried, like Carver said with the Crimson Trace...I tried one of those with a friends gun and I was like " I have to have one"! And do plan to get one in the near future.
    A friend of mine bought a new S&W Model ( not sure what those are??? Ma22? M22?) but anyway, we put one on his, and it was great! Accurate up to the 25 yards we were shooting and could see it both night or day time. I cant recall the what the one he had/has was called, but he gave like $329 for it. And in my opinon it was well woth it. If I see him this weekend I'll find out what he got, or rather what the brand is.
  14. wpage

    wpage Active Member

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    From that image. Looks like double trouble at the range there Chief...
    With all that no need for lazer beams. Bad guys beware.
    God Bless the Firemen!
  15. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member

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    Well I purchased a new Ruger LCR with the Crimson Trace grips on Tuesday this week and today took it to the range. I am delighted with both the gun and the laser grips. When I made this post to begin with I must say I was sort of negative on the laser and considered them a toy. Well I was way wrong. After shooting the Ruger today using just the iron sights and then again using the laser I am real glad I "bit the bullet" and spent the extra for the Crimson Trace. They are going to be an aid in several of the situation you all pointed out to me. Rapid draw and shoot - no I didn't even see the laser but drawing and holding the gun in the ready position there was that nice red dot indicating I am on target and can shoot from that position with confidence.

    One thing became evident real quick. The laser grips are a great training aid as they are a big Tattle-Tail for poor trigger control. Jerk that trigger rather than press it straight back and you will see that laser jump to the side.

    Thank you all for the help.

    The Ruger is great and I am well pleased with it. Was a toss up between it and a S&W 642 both priced the same. Not sorry for a minute I went with the Ruger. Fired a box of reloads to become familiar and also 15 rounds of Hornady Critical Defense .38spl. ($1.00/bang ouch). Recoil was milder than I expected with a 13oz revolver. I didn't get the +P anticipating too much recoil but don't think that will be the case and when I recover from this purchase will give them a try.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  16. lentz

    lentz Former Guest

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    At what time would you need a laser on self defense gun? The attacker should be close enough you wouldn't use it.I am not trying to be rude.But f he is far enough away to use it,it would probably be considered murder.
    but just an opinion
  17. carver

    carver Moderator

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    todd51, the Hornady Critical Defense ammo, no matter what caliber, is not a hot load. They load them mild, but they will get the job done. I am in the process of changing all my carry ammo over to this load. In the .380 I stagger them with ball, just in case the Hornady doesn't give me enough penetration.
  18. Agentwil

    Agentwil New Member

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    Every situation is different and there is no set rule or distance that covers all situations. Many people fire the first rounds into the ground in a stress shoot situation and if training to put the laser on the target before shooting may make the difference between survival or death.
  19. lentz

    lentz Former Guest

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    I don't see it...but won't argue the point :)
  20. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    Without aiming, I'm accurate with a handgun to about 2 feet. Maybe I should work on that... but I tend not to fire without aiming.

    If an attacker is armed, he can be a threat to your life at quite a distance. Most self defense situations take place within 7 yards, but some are further out than that. It all depends on what is going on.
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