Should lasers belong on your edc gun


daniel804

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Should I put a crimson trace on my ccw ?


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No! The only exception is if your eyesight is so bad that you can't see the sights anymore.

For an earlier thread:

Lasers Aid in Low-Light Conditions: So do night sights. If it is too dark for night sights, you would need a light for proper target identification anyway.

Lasers Allow You To Shoot From A Variety of Positions: Absolutely. Lasers allow you to shoot from positions where it is difficult to line up the sights. Most people that have a laser on their handgun never trained or practiced shooting from such positions (and likely never will).

Lasers Allow You To Remain Target-Focused: The biggest problem with lasers is that they make you focus on the target. If you draw your weapon, what are you going to focus on first? The front sight for lining up the sights or the target for finding the laser dot? Are you even going to move the gun to a position for a sight picture or are you simply just point shooting using the laser as an aid (which is a training scar)?

Today’s Lasers Are Lighter, Tougher and More Reliable than Ever: Right, but night sights are even lighter, tougher, and more reliable. Going back to the training scar I mentioned, if the laser fails and you have not lined up your sights, you are in trouble. Note that the laser can and often does fail while shooting.

Lasers Help Overcome Situational Stress: Absolute nonsense. The more bells and whistles a firearm has, the more complex it is to use properly. Complexity creates stress, simplicity helps overcoming it. Training is the key to overcome stress and not additional equipment you need to think of when defending your life.

A laser can function as an aid, but requires proper training to avoid training scars and to use it efficiently. For new shooters, avoid lasers as they will reduce your skill level. Spend the money on some ammo and a training class instead.

The comparison between lasers on handguns for self defense and scopes on hunting rifles is just wrong at so many levels. A correct comparison would be to a red dot sight or an ACOG on a self defense rifle. Red dots can and do fail, which is why we train and practice with iron sights. There are specific training exercises that deal with red dot and ACOG failures in different scenarios.
 
A laser sight can be a great tool, as long as you understand its limitations and do not rely on it 100%

Being a battery powered device, it could fail at the wrong time. In a case like that, you still need to be able to use your handgun. Make sure that you train with iron sights as well.

As already mentioned, you will probably never have to use your gun from an unconventional position that would prohibit the use of your sights, however, you also probably not need your spare tire or the fire extinguisher in your kitchen, does that mean that you should get rid of them?

As already mentioned, lasers allow you to remain target focused. Whether that is a good or bad thing is very subjective and I think it depends on the person. If you are so target focused that you can not properly line up your gun with the target, then it is a bad thing. However, using it as a targeting aid once you have gotten your gun lined up on the target can be a good thing and can help in making a difficult shot in a high stress situation.

As already mentioned, laser sights are reliable but iron sights are still more reliable than laser sights. Well, my feet are more reliable than my truck and the store is only a couple of blocks down the road, but I still take me truck to get groceries. It makes the job more efficient, just like having a laser sight can make your shooting more efficient.

As already said, it is absolute nonsense that lasers will help overcome situational stress - well, on this one, I agree. Nothing will help overcome the situational stress that you find yourself in, however, some tools can help you overcome the drop in performance that generally accompanies that situational stress. A laser sight may, or may not be one of those tools that work for you.

I had a CT Laser Grip on my 1911 for several years and it was a tremendous help when it came to quick accurate shots. it was much quicker and more accurate than iron sights, especially as I got older. However, you will notice that I said that I "had" them on my 1911. They are no-longer on my 1911 simply because I found it very difficult to clean the lens because if how small it was. Unless you have the small foam tipped piece that they give you, it is about impossible to get into the lens. You can not get into it with a cleaning patch/cloth and even a cotton swab won't reach in to it. For me, at least, I found that it didn't take long for the powder residue to build up on the lens to a point where the dot became diffused into a large pattern that was 6"+ at only 10 yards. Still usable? Yes, but I didn't like it. So I no longer use it.

Bottom line, while others will give you a definitive yes or no on whether or not you should use one, I don't think it is that easy a question. It is a tool, and like any other tool it will be good for some, and not so good for others. Just like the gun itself, there is no "one size fits all" answer. Try it and see if it helps you. The main thing that I would caution you on is not to become complacent and rely 100% on it. Continue to practice with your iron sights so that you are not SOL should the laser fail.
 
I have put them on my last two EDC. I can shoot without it, but I shoot better with it. If I do not have my reading glasses on, I am only point shooting.
 
Should I put a crimson trace on my ccw ?


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Sure, why not. I have one on mine. I don't need it as I have it set in my head to aim with the sights anyway but I don't think it will ever impede anything. What pistol and what style of CT you putting on? Is it a picatinny mount? Trigger guard mount with an actual switch you gotta turn on or does it have a momentary switch near the grip?
 
For those that actually have training and reasonably good eyesight, it is faster to use the sights than to point at the threat and search for the laser. Attend a training class and learn the fundamentals of defensive shooting! Don't try to buy skills by buying gear. It doesn't work!

For the OP, what is your motivation for getting a laser in the first place? What problem are you trying to solve? Most people have zero training and just buy stuff because other people that don't have training tell them to do so on gun forums.

 
If your chasing lasers instead of pointing sights. Your dead. Learn to use your sights. Focus on your front sight pointing at the target. If you can't focus on your front sight. Get a dog.
 
If your chasing lasers instead of pointing sights. Your dead. Learn to use your sights. Focus on your front sight pointing at the target. If you can't focus on your front sight. Get a dog.
A laser is just another tool in the toolbox and can be useful if your eyes are at one level and your gun is at a different level. Not all situations allow for lining your eye(s) up with the gun's sight(s).
 
Just like a Garmin GPS, especially in a commercial motor vehicle, it's just a tool, not to be primarily depended on.
 
Just like a Garmin GPS, especially in a commercial motor vehicle, it's just a tool, not to be primarily depended on.

It's a little bit more complicated than that. You are not making split-second decisions using a Garmin GPS. At least I hope you don't.
 
A laser is just another tool in the toolbox and can be useful if your eyes are at one level and your gun is at a different level. Not all situations allow for lining your eye(s) up with the gun's sight(s).

Lasers Allow You To Shoot From A Variety of Positions: Absolutely. Lasers allow you to shoot from positions where it is difficult to line up the sights. Most people that have a laser on their handgun never trained or practiced shooting from such positions (and likely never will).

There are those that put lasers on their handgun and then use it as a sighting system for point shooting. That works well on a square range with a stationary target, but poorly in an actual deadly force situation.
 
It's a little bit more complicated than that. You are not making split-second decisions using a Garmin GPS. At least I hope you don't.

Only because your complicating it. Don't read so much into it. My point was just simply an addition to what Bikenut said.
 
Only because your complicating it. Don't read so much into it. My point was just simply an addition to what Bikenut said.

Read my reply to Bikenut. The more bells and whistles you have on your gun, the more you need to train and practice to be able to use it properly. Most people simply don't do that. They focus on training with the laser on a square range with a stationary target and neglect training with the sights only in more complicated dynamic scenarios.

There is also the paradox of choice. The more options you have, the more difficult it is to decide which option to chose. There is a reason for the KISS principle and why I posted this:

Lasers Allow You To Remain Target-Focused: The biggest problem with lasers is that they make you focus on the target. If you draw your weapon, what are you going to focus on first? The front sight for lining up the sights or the target for finding the laser dot? Are you even going to move the gun to a position for a sight picture or are you simply just point shooting using the laser as an aid (which is a training scar)?

Note that Rob Pincus does teach point shooting and does teach it using a laser. I don't agree with that philosophy and the guide rod laser he is using in the video below is crap. In the video, he does show all the negative aspects of a laser as well.

 
There are those that put lasers on their handgun and then use it as a sighting system for point shooting. That works well on a square range with a stationary target, but poorly in an actual deadly force situation.
There are also some guns (Ruger LCP for instance) that have minimal sights that are difficult to see much less use during an actual deadly force situation. A laser can be a useful tool in such cases.

As I, and corneileous, said.... a laser is just a tool. Neither of us said it was the end all/be all super duper always the best option tool.

Oh... if a person trains only one way, such as always looking for the front sight, then that person will always respond in only one way whether the situation requires a different response or not. One of what I consider to be a "fail" of modern training is the assumption the defender will always have enough room/time to bring the gun up to eye level.
 
There are also some guns (Ruger LCP for instance) that have minimal sights that are difficult to see much less use during an actual deadly force situation. A laser can be a useful tool in such cases.

I agree that some guns are simply not the right tool for the job and putting a laser on it can fix that temporarily, until the laser fails.

As I, and corneileous, said.... a laser is just a tool. Neither of us said it was the end all/be all super duper always the best option tool.

I agree that it is just a tool. It is not about the end all/be all thing. It is about yet another doohickey on your gun that you have to train with. There is little gain for a lot of pain. One has to think about priorities here. If you are a professional that has all the time in the world to train, go ahead. Note that many professionals do not have (visible) lasers on their weapons though for a reason.

Oh... if a person trains only one way, such as always looking for the front sight, then that person will always respond in only one way whether the situation requires a different response or not. One of what I consider to be a "fail" of modern training is the assumption the defender will always have enough room/time to bring the gun up to eye level.

That's outright nonsense. Have you ever attended a single defensive handgun class in the past 10-15 years? Point shooting from the retention position is pretty much taught on day one or day two. We even had recently a guy on this forum that made fun of a technique I posted, because his training was decades ago and he didn't knew any better. Here is my post from a class about point shooting that triggered that stupid discussion.
 
Originally Posted by Bikenut View Post
There are also some guns (Ruger LCP for instance) that have minimal sights that are difficult to see much less use during an actual deadly force situation. A laser can be a useful tool in such cases.
I agree that some guns are simply not the right tool for the job and putting a laser on it can fix that temporarily, until the laser fails.

I understand you don't like lasers. I don't much care for them myself but I do understand a laser can have a positive role in some circumstances.

While there are guns that might be more effective than a small gun like a Ruger LCP circumstances can result in that small gun being the only one available at the moment it is needed. Gun size snobbery doesn't reflect what the real world offers as situation circumstances.

And saying that the laser might be useful until it fails is a very weak argument since a gun of any kind can be the right tool for the job...... until the gun fails.

Originally Posted by Bikenut View Post
As I, and corneileous, said.... a laser is just a tool. Neither of us said it was the end all/be all super duper always the best option tool.
I agree that it is just a tool. It is not about the end all/be all thing. It is about yet another doohickey on your gun that you have to train with. There is little gain for a lot of pain. One has to think about priorities here. If you are a professional that has all the time in the world to train, go ahead. Note that many professionals do not have (visible) lasers on their weapons though for a reason.

Again, it is plain you don't much like lasers yet not everyone is a professional and for a nonprofessional who doesn't have time/money/resources to train like a professional a laser might be the edge that works for them. Again, a laser is just a tool. A tool that might help, might not help, might not even make a difference but if it does make a difference that difference could be what saves the day.

Originally Posted by Bikenut View Post
Oh... if a person trains only one way, such as always looking for the front sight, then that person will always respond in only one way whether the situation requires a different response or not. One of what I consider to be a "fail" of modern training is the assumption the defender will always have enough room/time to bring the gun up to eye level.
That's outright nonsense. Have you ever attended a single defensive handgun class in the past 10-15 years? Point shooting from the retention position is pretty much taught on day one or day two. We even had recently a guy on this forum that made fun of a technique I posted, because his training was decades ago and he didn't knew any better. Here is my post from a class about point shooting that triggered that stupid discussion.

In a stressful save your arse situation folks revert to the level of their training... or lack of training. And a laser can be helpful during point shooting. Not to mention that a laser could be useful for those who cannot avail themselves of a defensive training class.

*Would you say that a laser can, or can't, be helpful when firing from retention?

I ran a defensive training course of fire for 2 years so I am not impressed with your attitude.

*Edited
 
I understand you don't like lasers. I don't much care for them myself but I do understand a laser can have a positive role in some circumstances.

While there are guns that might be more effective than a small gun like a Ruger LCP circumstances can result in that small gun being the only one available at the moment it is needed. Gun size snobbery doesn't reflect what the real world offers as situation circumstances.

And saying that the laser might be useful until it fails is a very weak argument since a gun of any kind can be the right tool for the job...... until the gun fails.



Again, it is plain you don't much like lasers yet not everyone is a professional and for a nonprofessional who doesn't have time/money/resources to train like a professional a laser might be the edge that works for them. Again, a laser is just a tool. A tool that might help, might not help, might not even make a difference but if it does make a difference that difference could be what saves the day.



In a stressful save your arse situation folks revert to the level of their training... or lack of training. And a laser can be helpful during point shooting. Not to mention that a laser could be useful for those who cannot avail themselves of a defensive training class.

*Would you say that a laser can, or can't, be helpful when firing from retention?

I ran a defensive training course of fire for 2 years so I am not impressed with your attitude.

*Edited

Well, a laser failed on me, so I speak from experience. If that happens, you need to fall back to what you have left. If that is a gun wit crappy sights, because you relied on the laser, then you have to defend your life with those crappy sights. I hope you have trained with them. There are excellent small firearms that have very good sights and don't require a laser to function properly.

You got that whole training thing backwards, which is exactly the danger with lasers. Lasers require more training, not less. You can not just drop training with the sights only. You have to keep your existing training regiment and add the drills with the laser. After all, the laser can and will fail at some point. We have red dots on our ARs, yet train with iron sights as well.

Read my post #2 on the nonsense about lasers help overcome situational stress. They don't. They add complexity by adding choices. The paradox of choice is one reason why professionals do not have (visible) lasers on their firearms.

Good luck in trying to find the laser dot when shooting from retention in close combat. Not even Rob Pincus teaches that. They can be helpful when shooting from retention when not in close combat, but what situation would demand that? What training drill would recreate that situation? I simply do not know. That's where I disagree with Rob Pincus.

If you ran a defensive training course of fire for 2 years so, why don't you know that modern defensive handgun training does teach shooting from retention? Complain about my attitude all you want, but you posted something that any trainer should know is false. I have not been to a single class that doesn't teach that. Feel free to educate me if you meant something different.
 
Well, a laser failed on me, so I speak from experience. If that happens, you need to fall back to what you have left. If that is a gun wit crappy sights, because you relied on the laser, then you have to defend your life with those crappy sights. I hope you have trained with them. There are excellent small firearms that have very good sights and don't require a laser to function properly.

You got that whole training thing backwards, which is exactly the danger with lasers. Lasers require more training, not less. You can not just drop training with the sights only. You have to keep your existing training regiment and add the drills with the laser. After all, the laser can and will fail at some point. We have red dots on our ARs, yet train with iron sights as well.

Read my post #2 on the nonsense about lasers help overcome situational stress. They don't. They add complexity by adding choices. The paradox of choice is one reason why professionals do not have (visible) lasers on their firearms.

Good luck in trying to find the laser dot when shooting from retention in close combat. Not even Rob Pincus teaches that. They can be helpful when shooting from retention when not in close combat, but what situation would demand that? What training drill would recreate that situation? I simply do not know. That's where I disagree with Rob Pincus.

If you ran a defensive training course of fire for 2 years so, why don't you know that modern defensive handgun training does teach shooting from retention? Complain about my attitude all you want, but you posted something that any trainer should know is false. I have not been to a single class that doesn't teach that. Feel free to educate me if you meant something different.
Well now I know why you have such a fervent dislike for lasers. Just wondering... was the laser failure due to design, part failure, or lack of maintenance?

I taught shooting from retention. Still do. I just figured I'd let you step into the assumption that I must be some kind of dumb ass. And it is that attitude of yours about everyone who isn't as tacticool as you evident in every thread someone asks some kind of training question that doesn't impress me one bit.

I still maintain that the fail of many defensive classes, including the one's that teach firing from retention, assume the defender will have time/distance to bring the gun up to eye level... hence the overbearing emphasis on front sight acquisition. Did the classes you attended, including the ones that taught firing from retention, put most of the training emphasis throughout the class on acquiring the front sight? Yes or no.

And I still maintain a laser can be a useful tool.

Have a nice day.
 
Well now I know why you have such a fervent dislike for lasers. Just wondering... was the laser failure due to design, part failure, or lack of maintenance?

I taught shooting from retention. Still do. I just figured I'd let you step into the assumption that I must be some kind of dumb ass. And it is that attitude of yours about everyone who isn't as tacticool as you evident in every thread someone asks some kind of training question that doesn't impress me one bit.

I still maintain that the fail of many defensive classes, including the one's that teach firing from retention, assume the defender will have time/distance to bring the gun up to eye level... hence the overbearing emphasis on front sight acquisition. Did the classes you attended, including the ones that taught firing from retention, put most of the training emphasis throughout the class on acquiring the front sight? Yes or no.

And I still maintain a laser can be a useful tool.

Have a nice day.

I had a LaserMax guide rod laser in my Glock 19. This is the same one that Rob Pincus has in the video above. It failed due to its poor design and due to two parts failing at different times. I would never recommend this particular laser to anyone, not only because of the failures I experienced, but also because this laser has a dedicated on/off switch that can be accidentally manipulated. I had once the batteries run empty as the laser was accidentally turned on while holstering. The laser would also come on and off accidentally while shooting.

Yes, the classes I attended did not have 50% of their time or more focused on shooting from retention in close contact scenarios. Instead, they focused on a wide variety of drills, including those that require lining up the sights. A training class is mostly meant for learning the drills. There is a lot of content to cover. It is up to the student to find the right balance of drill practice after the class. If the student doesn't get that most lethal force encounters are at close or contact distance, then he/she clearly didn't listen during the class.

I agree that there are a lot of classes that focus on the wrong thing. They don't focus on gun fighting. Instead, they focus on shooting. While marksmanship is an important aspect of gun fighting, it is not everything. The classes I attend often have in their equipment requirements listed a mouthguard and/or a blue gun. That tells you that this class is about gun fighting.
 

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