View Poll Results: What is your take on laser sights?

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  • Not convinced they are useful.

    11 30.56%
  • Not available for my weapon.

    0 0%
  • Bulk - grip or holster

    0 0%
  • Cost Factors

    8 22.22%
  • Other reason

    2 5.56%
  • Convinced they help and bought one already

    7 19.44%
  • Convinced and plan to buy one soon.

    8 22.22%
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Thread: What is your take on laser sights?

  1. #1
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    This came up as a sidenote on a thread in the Selecting a Handgunsection.

    Why do you or don't you add laser sighting to your sidearm to assist with target acquisition/shot placement? Which ones have you found better or worse if you did adopt them? If still debating, what holds you back from deciding to go with them?

    I had been thinking about them but....

    A couple of nights ago I had found CT grips for my twoCZ's for $520 and almost had myself talked into pulling the trigger on purchasing them. Then I talked with a retired LEO working at Sportsmen's Warehouse about them. His comment was a complete waste of money and potentially something that would get you killed.

    Using a CT-equipped firearm, he had me slow-drawing from my regular carry holster and lighting up random objects around the store we were standing in - the phone, a guncase, a jacket, etc. His demonstration started with the old technique of laying the finger alongside the barrel, focusing on the targetand just pointing either from the hip or at shoulder-height, then triggering the laser to see where my natural aimpoint was falling.The worst time was about 2-3 inches off of COM. Then we tried the same thing with drawing and triggering the laser to assist "target" acquisition.The time before pulling the trigger was significantly slower with the CT as the eye searched for the dot and the hands/wrists/arms attempted to center on target. Unfortunately,the accuracy was nobetter and slightly worse due to trying to command the muscles to center before pulling the trigger.A case of thinking too much about the shot.

    While he conceded that practice with the CT will somewhat speed up the eye-hand coordination over time there is no significant addition to accuracy in a self-defense situation involving moving targets at ranges of less than 5 yards over the point and shoot technique for the shooter who knows their weapon.In fact, a noticeable slow-down in targeting occurs before firing if you are unfamiliar or fumbling around with the weapon. Sure, if you practice you're going to achieve better accuracy with your aimed, slow-fire shots, but how many of those are going to be involved in a 3-10 second SD or animal attack situation?

    Why do SWAT teams and SF seem to use them so much? More training timeto becomeused to working with the laser as well as with those slower, aimed shots where maximum accuracy (like through a group of people or avoiding ricochets from the cover) is essential.

    Makes sense to me so he very effectively talked me out of the CT's. Moving to the NEXT acquisition item for me then.

    I did watch the CT videos and saw much of what thesalesman was talking about. In low-light scenarios and slow-fire situations where you are almost stalking or doing a house-clearing exerciseI can see some usefulness over a standard weapon but in situations like the ATM and grocery store scenarios it seems less effective than portrayed.


  2. #2
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    "Happiness is a warm shotgun!!"
    "I am neither a pessimist nor a cynic. I am, rather, a realist."
    "The most dangerous things I've ever encountered were a Second Lieutenant with a map and a compass and a Private who was bored and had time on his hands."

  3. #3
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    (my opinion)....

    Laser sights are just another feel good thing for those who are not confident in their ability to hit what they need to hit.

    Because the use of a gun for defense is a continuum dependent on distance equaling time to focus on sights...

    point, or instinctive, shooting works best up close...

    see front sight/press trigger works best at less than up close..

    full sight picture works best at further distances...

    It is my opinion that a laser sight works against a defender because the common result is the defender looking for that little dot when he/she should be shooting.

    Another disadvantage is that folks could buy into the advertising where the bad guy sees the little dot and stops attacking... and they would wait for the bad guy to look for the little dot when they should be shooting....

    My opinion is simple.... the money spent on a laser sight would be much more beneficial if it were spent renting range time/buying practice ammo.
    Gun control isn't about the gun at all.... for those who want gun control it is all about their own fragile egos, their own lack of self esteem, their own inner fears, and most importantly... their own desire to dominate others. And an openly carried gun is a slap in the face to all of those things.

  4. #4
    Regular Member younggun20's Avatar
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    I have thought about getting a cheap on e to throw on my g22 at night or when I leave it home for the wife. She can shoot and is very comfortable with it, but I would rather her be sure of hitting the target and not the neighbors or anything else.

  5. #5
    Regular Member MarlboroLts5150's Avatar
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    Just copied my posts from the other thread....

    As a firearms instructor in the Navy, I normally get to teach just basic techniques on handling and shooting ahandgun, rifle,shotgun, and machine gun. I would guess thatmost of my studentswill not go any further on their own, just what is required of them to stand an armed watch.

    After getting extensive tactical training on my own from my first instructor (retired gunny, USMC), I've had the chance to train 2 people in our spare time.

    Obviously, the best way to shoot is proper target sighting, using the built in sights, or a scope. But, out in the real world, there may come a time when you have to shoot, and there is NO WAY to "properly" sight-in your target. That is what a laser sight is for....nothing more.

    Example.....you're in your car at a stoplight. Suddenly, a would-be car-jacker runs up tour door. There is NO WAY to gain a proper sight-in. With the laser-sight, you at least know for sure that shooting from your hip, or across your chest, your going to hit your target....and nothing else. One of the big firearm safety rules....Know your target....and what is around and beyond it. Even at close range, you could miss. All the laser does is increase the chance that you will hit your intended target.

    I will also say that laser sights are not for everyone. Some people just can't get used to them. Thats fine. But don't let someone else talk you out of them because they had issues with them. Using a laser takes practice, just like shooting with conventional sights.

    http://www.crimsontrace.com/Home/Vid...9/Default.aspx

    If/when you have the time, watch the videos from the Crimson Trace website. I think you might see what I mean.

    .....get used to your new firearm first....as is. Almost until it feels "like an extension of your own arm". Only then will you you be able to determine if a laser sight, tactical light, or any other accessory (even just changing the grips) will be adventagous to you.

    The best advise I ever got was from my dad, and it applies to everything.

    "You have to know 100%, just what you are capable of. Only then can you improve, on you."



    "My dedication to my country's flag rests on my ardent belief in this noblest of causes, equality for all. If my future rests under this earth rather than upon it, I fear not."

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  6. #6
    Regular Member MarlboroLts5150's Avatar
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    Just a thought, if you can even do it.....modify the poll to include reasons why you did buy a laser sight, if you did.

    I can't vote because I did buy the laser sight. I feel left out....
    "My dedication to my country's flag rests on my ardent belief in this noblest of causes, equality for all. If my future rests under this earth rather than upon it, I fear not."

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  7. #7
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    Don't think I can modify it but wasn't sure how to ask two questions in one poll.

    Maybe a mod can add an option, "I'm convinced they help and bought one already."

  8. #8
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    Lasers are either a) great training aids or b) 1980's tacticool gear.

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    Speaking from experience.

    Great training aid for dry fire practice. You can see that little dot move if your trigger pull isn't smooth.

    As to the pointing problems the OP had, that will go away. I am not a master pistoleer by any means, and I can point that dot where I want at my full speed. No different really than learning point shooting. You just learn how much and in what way to move the gun so the dot is whereyou want. It is just practice. It doesn't take much. Just more than an in-store demonstration.

    You can shoot from positions where you cannot look over the sights. Like the car example above. Or, from the hip when your assailant is too close. Low light shots, too.

    Got a small sight radius? We all know that the smaller the sight radius thegreater the effect ofa sight alignment error. Laser helps with that. Maybe you don't have a 1911 with a 5" barrel, maybe a snubbie with a 2" barrel or a compact with a 3-3 1/2" barrel.

    It keeps your eyes on the threat. Many people--are you one?--will automatically focus on the threat. One cop survey showed something like 24 out of 27 cops involved in shootings ina particulardepartment could not remember using their sights. They missed. The three who remembered using their sights also hit their targets.

    Battery or laser failure is 99.99% solved by bringing the gun up to just below the level of looking through the sights. If the dot doesn't appear, you're already almost lined up. The other .01% is just luck that a failure will not occur during a real self-defense shooting. And, that you are not in exact circumstances where the extra fraction of a second needed to transition from dead laser to sights makes the difference between surviving or not. Also, it may be that "muscle-memory" to align the dot already has the gun aligned, even though the dot isn't there.

    Bright light is a disadvantage for red lasers, certainly the Crimson Trace lasers. I consider that I can always use my sights in bright light. Since most self-defense situations happen in low light, I'm happier to have it.

    The only thing I dislike about the CT laser is that the dot gets bigger the farther away the target. At 25 yds it is almost as big as the chest on a full-size silohuette target. No pinpoint shots at that distance. Works great from contact out to 10-15 yards, though.
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    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

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  10. #10
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    I did not read the other posts, so here is my opinion:

    I strongly believe in lasers for many reasons. First though I want to address the LEO's points. From what you said, it sounded like he had you looking down the sights while looking for the laser's dot. If true, that was crazy. Why buy a laser and then look down your sights?

    My reasons are that in a true SD situation, you probably won't have the time to sight the BG in, unless he is very cooperative. So, if your life depends on who shoots first, you have the advantage with the laser. Once your gun clears the holster all you have to do is put the dot where you wish to shoot him. In other words, you can shoot accurately from hip level.

    If you don't have night sights, the laser would be a very nice tool to have.
    if you do have night sights, a small amount of light can make them AND your sights hard to see. Try it in varying degrees of light and you will see what I mean.

    There have been many reports from the field, from LEO's agencies that have gone to lasers. Officers have had situations where they have a BG at gun point and he/she still resists orders to drop their weapon. Once the laser is turned on, the BG looks down at that red dot and then then he will
    comply and will drop the weapon. A shoot out and possible injuires or
    deaths were prevented by a laser.

    Finally, a laser is a very good training tool. With a 100% empty weapon, point a target, that no one is behind and it is totally safe. Put the dot at the center and slowly pull the trigger. You might notice that when you pull the trigger that the dot moves. Train with the laser until the movement is either gone or greatly reduced.

    There are internal guide rod lasers that go inside of your pistol so any holster will still work. Lasermax makes these along with red and green rail lasers. Lasermax has pulsating lasers. This makes the dot much easier to see.

    Crimson Trace makes grip lasers, rail lasers and rear sight lasers. Green lasers are easy to see at night and day.

    I believe in lasers so much that I have about six Lasermax internal lasers, two laser/light, rail systems and two Crimson Trace Lasers.

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    I failed to say one thing in the novel I wrote! Practice with sights is still important. If you practice a lot with your laser, as you should do, put in a fresh set of batteries for carry. You can keep the other set to practice until the batteries are about dead.

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    We have a coined term for devices like weapon lasers. The more PC one would be "Megaforce."

    Lasers are silly.

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    open4years wrote:
    "...I want to address the LEO's points. From what you said, it sounded like he had you looking down the sights while looking for the laser's dot. If true, that was crazy. Why buy a laser and then look down your sights?"
    Not sure how you got that impression.I said he had me sight by pointing at the target with my finger alongside the barrel from the hip or atshoulder-height then activating the laser to seewhere mynatural aiming point fell,so no sight alignment is mentioned.This included cross-body and extended arm. His point was that my eye and fingers have 50+ years of coordination as to their orientation which is now naturally occurring.In the second stage, when concentrating on placing the laser at the desired aiming point my eyes were telling my brain to make adjustments with my wrists and hands thereby resulting in shimmying the dot around and delaying the shot. Nothing is said about getting an aiming point using the sights, only about acquiring the target.
    My reasons are that in a true SD situation, you probably won't have the time to sight the BG in, unless he is very cooperative. So, if your life depends on who shoots first, you have the advantage with the laser. Once your gun clears the holster all you have to do is put the dot where you wish to shoot him. In other words, you can shoot accurately from hip level.
    I understand that is exactly thepoint he is making although it is directly opposite of yours. Simply,that people are looking for the laser dot instead of shooting. This is what he indicated can be addressed through rigorous training routines which most shooters are not going to do enough of to establish muscle memory and routine if a true adrenalin-pumping situation occurs.

    There have been many reports from the field, from LEO's agencies that have gone to lasers. Officers have had situations where they have a BG at gun point and he/she still resists orders to drop their weapon. Once the laser is turned on, the BG looks down at that red dot and then then he will
    comply and will drop the weapon. A shoot out and possible injuires or
    deaths were prevented by a laser.
    Do you have some citations for these "many reports"? I have seen them in movies but never heard a first hand account of one in real life, I'd like toreadaboutsome of them. If we are to believe that a gunfight/SD situation results in adrenalin flooding the system, tunnel-vision and sensory perception dropping (I know when I had to pull on an angry rattler all that happened to me except my hearing loss actually seemed to sharpen with regard to what people were saying), isn't the BG going through this too or is he an ice-cold, professional without any of these effects taking place?

    Finally, a laser is a very good training tool. With a 100% empty weapon, point a target, that no one is behind and it is totally safe. Put the dot at the center and slowly pull the trigger. You might notice that when you pull the trigger that the dot moves. Train with the laser until the movement is either gone or greatly reduced.
    As I said, he acknowledged the effect of intensive training. Yet, how many people are going to equip all their handguns with lasers and train this way? Does IDPA, IPSC and cowboy shooting allow lasers now? I noticethe number of lasers you purchased, but you are setting a record with the number which I have never seen among the hundreds of shooters I have met over the years.
    The laser does build confidence that your natural aiming point is consistent and I can see that it can give you a good idea of how your trigger action affects your aiming point.

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    ecocks wrote:
    Don't think I can modify it but wasn't sure how to ask two questions in one poll.

    Maybe a mod can add an option, "I'm convinced they help and bought one already."
    Thanks mod(s) for the two new options. Wish I had though about adding them that way.

  15. #15
    Founder's Club Member Jim675's Avatar
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    Citizen wrote:
    SNIP:
    The only thing I dislike about the CT laser is that the dot gets bigger the farther away the target. At 25 yds it is almost as big as the chest on a full-size silohuette target. No pinpoint shots at that distance. Works great from contact out to 10-15 yards, though.
    I have a CT grip unit on a Browning High Power and love it for all of th ereasons you mentioned. The only thing I disagreed with was the SNIP above. Mine remains a small dot at 100 yards (shooting <at> clay pigeons on a grassy hill in the evening). I wonder if your lens has a defect or perhaps a grain a sand?

    The training benefit alone is more than worth the cost. Trigger discipline (or lack thereof) becomes glaringly obvious to everyone on the range.

    The batteries last a LONG time. Replace them at 3/4 of a LONG time and no worries!

    ETA: <at>!

  16. #16
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    ecocks wrote:
    open4years wrote:
    "...I want to address the LEO's points. From what you said, it sounded like he had you looking down the sights while looking for the laser's dot. If true, that was crazy. Why buy a laser and then look down your sights?"
    Not sure how you got that impression.¬*I said he had me sight by pointing at the target with my finger alongside the barrel from the hip or at¬*shoulder-height then activating the laser to see¬*where my¬*natural aiming point fell,¬*so no sight alignment is mentioned.¬*This included cross-body and extended arm. His point was that my eye and fingers have 50+ years of coordination as to their orientation which is now naturally occurring.¬*¬*In the second stage, when concentrating on placing the laser at the desired aiming point my eyes were telling my brain to make adjustments with my wrists and hands thereby resulting in shimmying the dot around and delaying the shot. Nothing is said about
    getting an aiming point using the sights, only about acquiring the target.
    My reasons are that in a true SD situation, you probably won't have the time to sight the BG in, unless he is very cooperative. So, if your life depends on who shoots first, you have the advantage with the laser. Once your gun clears the holster all you have to do is put the dot where you wish to shoot him. In other words, you can shoot accurately from hip level.
    I understand that is exactly the¬*point he is making although it is directly opposite of yours. Simply,¬*that people are looking for the laser dot instead of shooting. This is what he indicated can be addressed through rigorous training routines which most shooters are not going to do enough of to establish muscle memory and routine if a
    true adrenalin-pumping situation occurs.

    There have been many reports from the field, from LEO's agencies that have gone to lasers. Officers have had situations where they have a BG at gun point and he/she still resists orders to drop their weapon. Once the laser is turned on, the BG looks down at that red dot and then then he will
    comply and will drop the weapon. A shoot out and possible injuires or
    deaths were prevented by a laser.
    Do you have some citations for these "many reports"? I have seen them in movies but never heard a first hand account of one in real life, I'd like to¬*read¬*about¬*some
    of them. If we are to believe that a gunfight/SD situation results in adrenalin flooding the system, tunnel-vision and sensory perception dropping (I know when I had to pull on an angry rattler all that happened to me except my hearing loss actually seemed to sharpen with regard to what people were saying), isn't the BG going through this too or is he an ice-cold, professional without any of these effects taking place?

    Finally, a laser is a very good training tool. With a 100% empty weapon, point a target, that no one is behind and it is totally safe. Put the dot at the center and slowly pull the trigger. You might notice that when you
    pull the trigger that the dot moves. Train with the laser until the movement is either gone or greatly reduced.
    As I said, he acknowledged the effect of intensive training. Yet, how many people are going to equip all their handguns with lasers and train this way? Does IDPA, IPSC and cowboy shooting allow lasers now? I notice¬*the number of lasers you purchased, but you are setting a record with the number which I have never seen among the hundreds of shooters I have met over the years.
    The laser does build confidence that your natural aiming point is consistent and I can see that it can give you a good idea of how your trigger action

    affects your aiming point.

    I misread about looking at sights and the laser dot too.

    I spent time giving you opinions from someone who has actually used them, not someone who is down on lasers and acts like they know it all, yet have never spent time training with a laser.

    I'm 57 years old and I've shot firearms since 10 years old. I shoot on a regular basis at a local range.

    I tried my first laser about 6-8 years ago. I know it works best for ME. I gave you MY opinion as your post certainly seemed as if you were seeking such. You can get opinions and decide which fit with what you have already decided, or you could find someone with laser experience to spend the same amount of time that the cop did. Then you could really know which is for you.

    By the way, and no offense to those in LE, but many officers only spend time on the range when required to. Some cops know little to nothing about guns, sometime including what they are carrying. It is a tool to them and they own no other guns, nor do they care to. Because someone wears a badge doesn't guarantee they know everything about guns, lasers, etc.

    You asked for opinions, I gave you my opinion, which is based on actual experience, and then you proceed to bash it point by point. What a waste of my time and everyone else who took your bait.

    You are not seeking our opinions. Your mind was made up before you posted. You should have spent the same amount of time with someone with laser experience. Then you could decide which works best for you.

    From now on, I suggest you not ask for opinions when your mind is made up.

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    It's called having a discussion, something you'reapparently not capable of doing.

    No bashing took place, I merely corrected a misread of yours and then addressed a couple of your points by going over the counterpoints and asked a couple of questions on providing facts. I even agreed with your point on training and so did the other guy.The only person flying offthe handle and making personal attacks is yourself.

    Your opinion, like his, is equally valuableand worth considering in light of facts and experiences. He has his and you have yours. At least until you go nuts and lower your credibility. Obviously, your viewpointsare far more the derivative of an ego trip than his were. No one disputed your experiences and like many you resort to blustering regarding your extensive firearms and, in this case, laser product, expertise. Rather than answer questions or acknowledge agreements (such as with regard to training) you feel compelled to start posturing. Then you make a lame attempt to deride another person's viewpoint without any knowledge of their expertise except the product of your own insecurities. I don't know (or care) if the guy retired after 20 years as a patrol officer, SWAT Team Commanderor Deputy Chief and neither do you.

    Just as there's nothing wrong with being cautious with any individual's judgments against something, yours are subject to the same review and consideration when in opposition.

    There are differences of opinionin the shooting communityregarding their utility and effectiveness or everyone would have them.It can be useful to consider them in light of personal experiences and actual events.






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    Jim675 wrote:
    Citizen wrote:
    SNIP:
    The only thing I dislike about the CT laser is that the dot gets bigger the farther away the target. At 25 yds it is almost as big as the chest on a full-size silohuette target. No pinpoint shots at that distance. Works great from contact out to 10-15 yards, though.
    I have a CT grip unit on a Browning High Power and love it for all of th ereasons you mentioned. The only thing I disagreed with was the SNIP above. Mine remains a small dot at 100 yards (shooting <at> clay pigeons on a grassy hill in the evening). I wonder if your lens has a defect or perhaps a grain a sand?
    Your CT is letting you hit 100 yd. set shots with your handgun? Impressive.

    The training benefit alone is more than worth the cost. Trigger discipline (or lack thereof) becomes glaringly obvious to everyone on the range.
    The use as a training aid for holding the aiming pointand confidence builder for trusting/building your instinctual targetacquisitionhas been mentioned several times and certainly makes logical sense.

    The batteries last a LONG time. Replace them at 3/4 of a LONG time and no worries!

    ETA: <at>!

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    ecocks wrote:
    Jim675 wrote:
    Citizen wrote:
    Your CT is letting you hit 100 yd. set shots with your handgun? Impressive.
    ETA: <at>!
    Two things to explain my 100 yard low-light targets comment.
    1. I edited the post to add that I was firing "<at>" the targets, not hitting them in a one to one ratio of shots fired.
    2. The laser of course doesn't allow or prevent hitting a target, that would depend on position, aiming, trigger control, breathing, etc.

    I was able to successfully fire <at> them! Several eventually succumbed.

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    I'm just intrigued that you can define the dot at 100 yards without a spotting scope. I doubt my eyes could do that at my age. From the dot size you described I would think it would be difficult to hold on target atanything much beyond 25-30.

  21. #21
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    As I said above, it was evening. The dot is very easy to see at that range. It was much harder to see the clay pigeons. We could only see the yellows, the orange were invisible. Obviously in the daytime it wouldn't have worked.

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    Shame I don't know anyone who has these on their rig. It would be interesting to see if I could spot that dot at 100, heck, I'd be happy if I could spot the yellow pigeon.....

  23. #23
    Founder's Club Member Jim675's Avatar
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    In low light it is very easy to see, just like a laser pointer. If you have one, walk outside in the evening and light up the garage door of the neighbor at the end of the street - its clear as can be. Doesn't work on non-reflective stuff, bushes, drab, matte colored, etc...

    Can't help you with seeing the pigeons though.

  24. #24
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    Although I don't use the laser for long range targeting, I can see it well enough at 100 yards. Not too much farther than that.


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    If I was rude, I apologize. I've had migraines all day, for three weeks due to a concussion. I did feel a bit picked apart though.

    The reports of a laser making a BG more compliant were from an article in "Cops" magazine. A number of LE made comments that I shared here. I belive it was from a survey of LEOs that lasers were issued for their gun. The reports were all very positive and I don't recall any negative comments. Like I said, it was opinions of the cops who have lasers on their duty guns

    I can't tell you what issue it was in. I believe it was last year. Perhaps there is a search funtion on their web site. I also read on the Internet about LE laser use. I don't recall the URLs. I was already into lasers
    and believed in them, so the articles weren't so significant that I would remember which issue it was in. I will try to find it for you.

    One thing I should mention is how to use it in SD. You don't turn the laser on, then watch the dot while moving up to a vital area. You can do one two things: Turn the laser on immediaty when it clears your holster and then try to get it on the BG.

    The other way is to get the gun pointed at the BG, then turn the laser on for 'fine tuning,' so to speak. With both methods, you never take your eyes off of the BG for obvious reasons.

    One advantage of lasers is the above. With sights you are trying to focus on your sights and the BG. I believe with most SD situations, one doesn't have time (or forgets) to sight in the target and they end up pointing the gun at the BG, instead of sighting in the target.

    With the laser, you point your firearm first, then you can make aiming adjustments by moving the dot on target. You never have to do anything else.

    You can decide at what point you turn the laser on and train over and over until it becomes reflex. I have made it reflex to turn on the laser when my gun clears the holster. As I said before, it allows you to shoot very accurately from the hip. If it was me, and I had time - I would point my pistol at his center mass and then move the dot where multiplex
    bullets will be arriving!

    Lasers can be a distraction (as you were shown) when you start practicing with them or if you aren't training right.

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