Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Maybe for thee, but not for me.

Both JayG and Carteach0 have reviews of Lasermax guide rods up. While I agree with both of them about the quality of the product, I'm skeptical of its utility for me on a carry gun.

I've had Lasermaxes in a couple of guns, the last one being a G23C back in... '01? '02? I gave up on the concept myself, at least for CCW, because of the need to operate an extra button to get the laser dot up and running. I'd imagine a real-life incident with my Glock would have run something like:

"Holy $#!+!!!"



Oh, wait... *click* ...and on comes the laser.

Still, a useful training aid, or maybe on a housegun where one would presumably have more warning before use.


Joseph said...

Yeah, the lack of a momentary switch or a switch activated by merely gripping the pistol as one normally would makes this pretty useless IMO.

I'm just now coming around to seeing the utility of the lasers, yet I still can't bring myself to buy one.

Caleb said...

The Lasermax seems more like a training aid than a serious sighting system, primarily because unlike the Crimson Trace it doesn't just come on when you grab the gun.

Firehand said...

I'm with you: if a situation goes to hell, I do NOT want to have to throw an extra switch to get the little dot on the target.

Robb Allen said...

As Caleb said, the Crimson Trace lasers are actuated by the act of gripping the pistol. For my Glock 29, it's more of a 'bright light to shine in the bad guy's eyes'. For the P3AT, it's the primary aiming device since the sight radius on that thing requires a micrometer for measuring and it's only good for point shooting as it is.

In both situations, the dot is used as "Close enough for government work" and not "Ultra high precision shot placement".

Your mileage may vary, as will your battery life.

Keads said...

I'm with Robb. I have a P3AT and that laser makes a world of difference on that firearm. OTOH, my father has a CT laser on his Colt 1911. He is nearing 70 yrs old and the laser has enabled him to enjoy shooting again!

Jay G said...

Interesting point, Tam. Yeah, in a real life "OH SH*T" situation you probably won't have time to push a button.

Still can't hurt. And the beauty of the LaserMax is that it doesn't affect the lines of the gun any, so there's no downside to it.

In any case (and I *KNOW* you know this, but it bears repeating for those who might not think of it), one shouldn't rely on powered sights anyways, because we all know Mr. Murphy will choose that "OH SH*T" moment for the juice to stop flowing...

Weer'd Beard said...

My thoughts, Exactly, Jay. Can't hurt...also can't be trusted. Just like adjustable sights will always be off-zero when you most need them, electronic gizmos will peter...and that jam-proof gun will stovepipe on the first round.

As Unix Jedi sez: "I don't carry a gun because I'm an optimist!"

Homer said...

I've got CT grips on 3 of my guns: a CZ-75 and Model 10, both of which are student guns, and my carry 1911. I did the 1911 mostly so I could learn the advantages/disadvantages of the CT units to better use them with students.

I'll agree wholeheartedly that lasers are terrific student aids, up to a point. I'm not quite as enthusiastic about them as real life defense tools.

I've given some thought to engaging the services of a friend who is a master machinist to make some adapters so I can mount cheap laser pointers on "non-gun classroom training aids" (wooden "guns" with extra large sights) for beginner students because one thing I've noticed from range training is that once students see the bright red dot they start using that instead of the sights. The way around that, of course, is to adjust the laser away from iron sight point of aim (I set it to be high left in relation to the sights) - when the holes begin appearing in the lower right quadrant of the target it's time to turn the laser off.

Matt G said...

There's a place for the LaserMax. Some holster/gun rigs won't accept a CT.

The first guide rod laser sight that I ever saw was on the Glock of a buddy that I went to police academy with back in 1994. His solution was to make hitting the switch part of his drawstroke, every time, just the same way that you and I wipe off the thumb safety every time we shoot, even when shooting a handgun that doesn't have a thumb safety.

He still carries it.

Anonymous said...

I bought a 642 with CT grips for my wife. I'm sure she would not look for the front sight under stress.


Carteach said...

Crimson Trace does not make a unit for my model of Glock, and that 'aimed' me at the Lasermax.

Time will tell how useful it is, and for what. I hope to work the 'switch the widget on' into my normal draw motion, much the same as I now automatically sweep the safety off on my Commander. It helps that my finger-ready position along the frame drops my fingertip right on top of the switch.

There are davantages both ways. I can see times when I really would NOT like to have a laser coming on and drawing attention to me, and with the CT there isn't much choice on that. In bright daylight, the laser is not much of an aiming aid, bit it IS a wonderful marker for the bad guy to see exactly who is shooting at him.

I agree... there is simply no replacement for using the sights on the pistol... if they can be seen, and if the shooter has the discipline.

John B said...

At an average price of $395.00. Something On A Shingle!
I'm almost into my next gun at that price.

With 'pet teaser' lasers going for $5 each, I can take the time and jiggle that a bit.

I even found a green laser for $30.

Tam said...


"I hope to work the 'switch the widget on' into my normal draw motion, much the same as I now automatically sweep the safety off on my Commander."

You may indeed have better luck with that than I did.

"I can see times when I really would NOT like to have a laser coming on and drawing attention to me, and with the CT there isn't much choice on that."

That's why I like the CT grips that use a button on the frontstrap and dislike the backstrap system used on the Glocks. Although, truth be told, I'm not thinking of any scenarios that combine daylight, a lightning quick presentation, and stealthy absence of a laser dot off the top of my head, and with a more methodical presentation one could certainly avoid depressing the membrane switch.

Different strokes and different folks; and you're right that training will make all the difference. (...and as you know I still do use those CT grips on my J-frame; I'm not a total laser hater or anything. :) )

Will said...

CarteachO, don't worry about the laser giving you away in daylight conditions. Hell, even at night, it won't be very noticeable unless it is smokey or slightly foggy. How it looks in the media is not reality. It will only be noticed if it is within a few degrees angle of his eyes, so the slight scatter might catch his attention. (that little bit of "sparkle" around the aperture that some lasers have. Also, direct and scatter reflections off a smooth surface might catch his eye. Mostly, if there are light sources around your location, such as streetlights, headlites, windows, wet pavement, etc, it will not stand out as much as you think. I would suggest getting someone to hold the laser for you in various scenarios, and check for what is noticeable to you as the potential target. I used to work with lasers. We used red HeNe lasers for alignment purposes, more powerful than those you have on a gun, and generally didn't see a free beam until walking into it with an eye. Which may be a useful application for you under some situations. Walking the beam across his eyes may be a benefit to you. There can be effects, from pain to vision problems, that may last for a while. Lots of variables here, but a flinch is the minimum you can expect. Higher the power, the better in this case. A green laser might be more eye dazzling, but also more noticeable. They were very rare when I worked with lasers, so not much experience with them. BTW, vision problems can last for weeks, with red lasers in the +5mw range. Also, there is a percentage of people who can't see the red wavelengths as red. Not sure if it would even be visible to them.

JimB said...

My buddy installed a Lasermax in his Springfield XD. Then put so much oil on and in the gun that it shorted it out. Still haven't convinced him that you don't have to dunk a pistol in oil to lube it properly...