Laser targeting... Da or Nyet?


Grognard Gunny

New member
Got a topic I would like to see discussed.

Everyone seems to like the laser "trace" targeting aids. Well.... some people do.

My personal feelings on the matter are two:

1) I, personally, find them distracting. I was taught marksmanship with the ideal sight picture being focused on the front sight blade (dot... what have you these days). The laser "dot" on (or around) the target causes me to focus on the target rather than the alignment of the weapon. Front sight picture: Old habit? Or still valid technique of shooting?

2) I am often treated to exhibitions at the range of folks who have laser sighting devices and their "little red dot" is bouncing all over the target, even at seven yards range. Does that indicate a lack of marksmanship training? I mean, if you can't hold her on target, you had best be prepared to put out a lot of rounds, Yes? Or does this indicate an over reliance on the laser?

I suppose there will be that faction of laser users who simply think it is COOL to have a nice red dot painting the target (to the supposed horror of the target, if a sentient. More a movie scenario than reality, I believe.). The other side of that is that the target knows where you are too, in darkness!

Let's try to keep it informative and give your personal impression of the use/non use of the aiming system. It may just be nothing more than the method used while and when you were trained. (Do pro target shooters use them, for score?)

GG
 

johnmed3

New member
Personally i do not like laser sights. Too distracting, you will be over confident and you will miss most of the time, because your eyes will not be paying attention to your sight. Might as well point shoot. And if the bg can see the red dot on him, he can tell were you are aiming from.

Also the money i would spend on this thing, i rather buy ammo or other gun stuffn. Just my dos centavos :)
 

maybejim

Maybejim
As far as 1 goes, the laser does not prevent you getting a good sight picture. Of course the laser does allow you to get on target in conditions where it is safer using the laser than in trying to put yourself in a position where you can get a good sight picture. It's also easier to use the laser than the sights when you are moving and your target is moving.

Concerning 2, the idea of the red dot bouncing around is an excellent training aid to show the shooter exactly what is happening with the gun. Something that is not as easy to recognize with the sights alone.

I see the laser as a valuable technological aid. I have one on several of my handguns and several handguns (including the one I carry the most) without a laser. My "bedroom" gun has a laser because I believe in low light situations the laser gives me an advantage.
 

disneyr

New member
I agree with training and practice, practice, practice with proper sight picture. Being able to shoot very well with no laser is a must. That being said, there are very good applications for having a laser. Practicing and having your laser site "dead on balls accurate" zeroed with your sights is a must. They are also very good for training dry fire trigger squeeze. There are low light advantages as well. I have the kind of laser that is on the rear sight so it doesn't come on passively. I practice instinct shooting and aimed (quick and slow) shooting without it and I am pretty proficient. I practice deliberate deployment and aiming using the laser in moderate to low light.

I like both the iron sights and the laser.
 

maybejim

Maybejim
"Too distracting, you will be over confident and you will miss most of the time, because your eyes will not be paying attention to your sight."

If your laser is on target, why would you miss?

As far as point shooting, there is nothing wrong with point shooting in close quarters. It is taught by a number of police departments and works when practiced.
 

johnmed3

New member
maybejim:231521 said:
"Too distracting, you will be over confident and you will miss most of the time, because your eyes will not be paying attention to your sight."

If your laser is on target, why would you miss?

As far as point shooting, there is nothing wrong with point shooting in close quarters. It is taught by a number of police departments and works when practiced.

Most people won't even bother with aligning the laser with their iron sights. They think just because they have a laser that their infallible.

Also laser can very easily get out of alignment, bump the gun against a wall, drop it run out of battery etc. I just don't trust the darn things. Practice is key.
 

Booga

New member
Most people won't even bother with aligning the laser with their iron sights. They think just because they have a laser that their infallible.

Also laser can very easily get out of alignment, bump the gun against a wall, drop it run out of battery etc. I just don't trust the darn things. Practice is key.

I have a laser on one of my pistols. It's aligned with the iron sights. It shoots right where it should up to about 25 yards. After that it climbs steadily since lasers are below the barrel and bullets drop due to gravity. That said, I can use the laser to help longer distance shooting by understanding what the range is and where I'm pointing with better accuracy.

Sure, it can get out of alignment, but that is uncommon. Every practice session starts with iron sight shooting. The laser only gets turned on after aim is verified. I've only had to adjust the laser twice out of dozens of practice sessions. Even then, they were minor adjustments.

The laser helps me with breath and trigger control. It also helps me see what effects fatigue has and allows me to see what is happening when I try unsighted aiming and off-hand practice. It saves on ammo and it makes for more effective training.

If you get a laser, it should be used as a part of your training, practice, and tools. It does not replace brains or practice, nor does it make for magically accurate shooting. It only helps if you take the time to learn what it can and cannot do for you.
 

Taurian

New member
Link Removed
I have one weapon equipped with a laser; a Mossberg 20-gauge that is used for the house gun. A pressure switch is mounted on the grip area of the stock and is readily available for shooting left or right handed (I normally shoot left-handed). It has been placed on the shotgun for two reasons: (1) accurate shot placement and (2) intimidation with the former being more important than the latter. Using the laser, I can put #3 Buck or a 5/8-ounce slug exactly where I need to put it.

None of my handguns are equipped with a laser but that's not saying I don't realize their importance in quickly attaining where you want to place a shot in a stress situation. In a fast moving situation, using a laser may remove having to get a flash sight picture using the standard sights. However, a laser is simply a pointer and not a guidance system that will ensure that your shot is placed exactly where you saw that laser last point.

I had equipped a Ruger with a laser as an experiment. Using iron sights was more stable than using the laser because of the dot jumping around. However, using the laser sight did help me with instinctive shooting of the gun, as I could quickly get in the vicinity of where I wanted to shoot with aligning the sights. Using a laser helped me understand where the front end of the gun was pointing.
 

B2Tall

Stirrer of the Pot
I have a laser/light combo. I found it very useful for practice. By following the dot as I'm squeezing the trigger it showed my exactly when/where I was straying from the target. It was very helpful in that case. As far it's use in a SD situation, I can't imagine myself looking for a dot in a high-pressure situation like that.

My laser is currently on one of my Dracos, dialed in at 25 yds. I use it at the range for fun.
 

KCD1974

New member
I only use the laser on my LCP and that's only because it really doesn't have sights to use. But I run TFO's on my XDM. I do like the laser for the range, it helps me eliminate the bouncing and movement. But then again, I learned to shoot LONG before I ever put a laser on any weapon. So for veteran shooters I think it can be a great training aid, but for rookies, perhaps not or if you weapon of choice (for whatever reason) doesn't have proper sights they work well, but I still prefer the "old fashion" way.
 

jg1967

New member
I think they have their place for short range engagements and low light and also to some degree sheer intimidation. But if you can't shoot straight the laser won't fix that for you, it can only help you.
 

Loffmar77

New member
I tend to think and use laser targeting devices as targeting aids. Although it is sometimes distracting I still try to focus on my weapon's sights.
 

Tucker's Mom

New member
I have a laser on my Glock though I do not put it on all the time. I practice on both, with and without. It is a lot more fun to detach the laser for my dog to follow. It is really bright and can climb the tree (er, the light, not my dog. LOL) Seriously...it has limited use for me.
 

Firefighterchen

OC for Tactical Advantage
Only optics can truly replace iron sights. Even then iron sights are still fundamental in zeroing an optic, and as a back up if anything goes wrong with the optic.

Lasers and flash lights are supplements to good tactics. They have their role in various situations. It gives me more options. I train train train ...so when shtf I revert back to training and hopefully naturally pick the correct option for the situation.
 

50SR9

New member
Only advantage I see with a laser, as has been previously stated, "point and shoot close quarter defense". In the event you are in this situation you must overcome physical limitations. Fight or flight conditions with normal everyday people (myself included) will result in very little cognitive thinking processes. Your ability to perform your every day shooting and sighting techniques will be overrun by adrenalin. With the use of a laser, at least you do not have to use the sighting techniques you have practiced. Your brain cannot focus on three objects at once. Your brain will not focus on sites in this situation. You will focus on the attacker. Using the laser to aim in this instance could very well be the difference in protecting yourself. If you don't believe me........research it. The brain overloads....a term "condition black". Very few people can overcome this without extensive training. Practice with iron sites!!!! Learn to shoot with iron sites!!!! But don't discount the life saving advantage of instant target acquisition, it may save you.
 

mndieringer

New member
I must admit that I always thought laser sights were kind of "gimmicky", but found out they can be intimidating. Case in point: I shared those feelings with an acquaintance of mine and he had felt the same way, but told me about a situation he encountered which made him a believer in laser sights, and me too. One night he and his wife had turned off the lights, TV, etc. and were ready to call it a day. All of a sudden there was a "frantic" knock on his front door. He grabbed his laser equipped semi-auto, and told his wife to get the phone and be prepared to call 911. Upon opening the door a found a young lady, naked from the waist up, hysterically screaming, "Let me in, he's going to kill me"! The home owner saw a man sitting in a pick-up truck parked on the street in front of his house with the engine running. As soon as he aimed that little red dot inside the cab of the pick-up, the driver put the vehicle in gear and sped away. I'm not saying lasers are an end-all/be-all answer, but that story made a believer out of me!
 

Retired Grunt

New member
I have a Crimson Trace on my carry gun. during the daylight I can not see nor do I look for my "MAGICAL" laser. At night I can not see my sights even with my highly trained eyes and lots of daylight practice. Bottom line is if it helps you acquire the target effectively it is a good thing!
 

Firefighterchen

OC for Tactical Advantage
Finally found it...but I can't copy the thread on my phone..if you search for "The False Security of Laser Aiming Devices and Their General Uselessness" By NFTA, there is even more discussion on this topic.
 

jtg452

Member
I don't have much use for them myself.

I've been trained to shoot instinctively-AKA 'point shooting'- (and actually PRACTICED what I was trained to do). I know I can hit where I'm looking at close ranges from the hip, chest level or shoulder high if I do my part, so I don't need one for close in shooting.

In my opinion, if you are in a low light situation you don't need a laser you need a FLASHLIGHT. I'm partial to being able to identify my target before shooting. I'm strange that way but I've also discovered that if I can SEE a target, I'm far more likely to hit it.

I also don't see how a little red or green dot on someone's chest is more intimidating than pointing a real live gun at them. If the gun ain't scaring him, I don't see how the little red dot is going to do any good.
 

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