Question of the Day: Do Laser Sights Stop Bad Guys in Their Tracks?

“There are many true stories from Crimson Trace owners and users who report that activating the laser—and having the potential attacker see that defining red dot on their chest or body—ultimately turned the attack and saved their life.” Crimson Trace’s presser presses the point that a laser dot on a bad guy’s body can stop an attack in its tracks. It’s the same sort of claim that shotgun fans assert regarding the deterrent effect of racking a pump. Crimson Trace’s true tales of “laser sights in the real world” certainly make for compelling reading but laser sights have their downsides: eye fixation, revealing your location, failure to activate, stopping you from responding in a timely fashion. What do you reckon? Do any/many/most bad guys find religion when they’re lit-up? Is that important enough to add a laser to your carry or home defense gun?

comments

  1. avatar Too close to chicago says:

    I think it falls in the ‘it never hurts’ category for me. It may scare off an intruder, but that is not what I have it for. G-d forbid I am in a situation where someone is breaking into my house, I want every advantage possible. I know I can shoot without it, but I see only advantages no down sides, especially if I am not home and it is my wife who has to do the defending. She practices but no where near as much as I do and the laser might actually save her life.

    1. avatar Krak-master Kracker says:

      Concur, TctC. I wonder of someday activating a laser will fall in the same category as the verboten ‘warning shot’?

    2. avatar Jon Wood says:

      Exactly same thought I have. I want my wife to have the advantage if something ever happened.

    3. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

      That’s been my take on them. I figure if I’m roused at 2 a.m. and am slightly groggy if I get a sight picture or I can see the dot on the bad guy and am ready to fire with either one.

  2. avatar Craig says:

    1. You shouldn’t have to wrack a pump action because there should already be one in the chamber. I bet the people who love the “pump makes bad guys run” concept also don’t carry locked and cocked, or carry at all.

    2. If someone’s determined to rape, murder, assault, etc., nothing will stop their lethal force except for an equal dose of lethal force.

    1. avatar Barnslayer says:

      I agree. Besides, why let an intruder know your location? Don’t give up any advantage, including surprise.

      1. avatar Mike H in Seattle says:

        Simple… because I don’t want to kill anyone. Will I if needed? Absolutely. But any reasonable measure I can take up to the point of deadly force that deescalates a situation before deadly force is needed I’m more than happy to employ. If simply racking a shotgun or putting a red dot on a badguy could potentially stop him before I absolutely need to kill him, I don’t see the down side.

        This is all situational, of course… three men bust down my door with guns drawn, I go straight to lethal force. Some idiot teenager with nothing in his hand sneaks in simply trying to jack my TV, I’m going to give him a chance to surrender.

        1. avatar Spidero says:

          +1

        2. avatar Barnslayer says:

          I understand and agree to a point. You may only have a split second to decide the intent and mental state of your intruder.

    2. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

      I always figured the pump would be racked before going to investigate and the sound would be heard several rooms away in the dead of night. I was quite surprised when I heard someone talking bout the sound of a shot gun scaring a bad guy as if he would wait until confronting the bad guy before chambering a round.

    3. avatar Semper Why says:

      It’s not always possible. The wall mount for my HD Mossberg is designed so that the mounting hook goes into the empty chamber of the shotgun. If I were to require a shotgun in the bedroom that didn’t have to be racked in order to be deployed, I would have to devise a different lockable mounting system. And I refuse to leave unsecured weapons around the house.

      So as it is, I unlock the shotgun, pull it off the hook and run the pump out, chambering a round.

    4. avatar Keith E. Whisman says:

      If racking a round into a shotgun scares off an prowler then great. Just because you don’t share that opinion means it doesn’t work and people are idiots for thinking it. As for the video Kyle was pretty good and wasn’t definitive about anything and only asked what people thought and when it comes to the shotgun the question was what he uses for home defense and he told the world. I don’t get people attacking him for his rather pro 2A opinion.
      For some reason the Eric Cartmen in me is pissed that Kyle is really FPS Russia.

  3. avatar ST says:

    It can’t hurt.I bought a CT to help with my dry fire practice, and that’s reason enough .Then theres the CQB aspect of breaking an accurate shot at phone booth range as you’re drawing, instead of waiting for the proper sight picture first.It may be a split second, but that might be more time then you have in a fight.Ending it via a “psychological stop” is a bonus.

    1. avatar Steven says:

      100% agreed. I would love to have time to fully draw a line of sight, but when I’ve never been in the situation, any advantage helps! Not having to line up your shot to know that you’re going to be within relative placement of a criminals body is enough to give you the time advantage. Also, my wife is not much of a gunner and she doesn’t shoot often enough to be anywhere near ‘trained’. Having the CT would help her far much more than it would I. She might not know how to group well at the range but if she has 15+1 shots & a laser to help guide I’ll give her the advantage in a heartbeat.

    2. +1 for the awkward angle shooting. Lasers rule in that regard. That’s the only reason I would rock one on my carry pistol. Not sure I buy the scenario that the laser is what stopped the bad guy. I’m more inclined to think it was the gun pointed at them regardless of whether there’s a laser on it on or not.

  4. avatar Michael says:

    First full disclosure, I use laser for training purpose, to perfect marksmanship, which is where they belong, not unless you a tier-1 operator in Afgan and have an IR to glaze targets. But for practical purposes, I can’t see any, for they are often times used to off set poor training in markmanship. At least that is my opinion on it.

    1. avatar ST says:

      Some air needs to be cleared on this subject.

      One:Crimson Trace is a commercial entity, and as such their goal is to improve the bottom line.Whether the “tactical scenario” has real life relevance isnt their concern.

      Two:Poor shooting is poor shooting.Last time I went to the range, I brought out my laser equipped Beretta and was coincidentally next to a shooter with a Kimber Pro Carry equipped with a factory laser.I don’t wish to brag, but my groups were better then his.All the laser did for him was show the rest of us range patrons just how bad his flinch was.If you’re a poor shot, a laser won’t change that.

      Point three:for civil carry where you might be engaging a threat at bad breath distance, a laser -properly employed by a trained user-has merit as a close range sight.Instead of wasting VERY precious time waiting until our slow, jelatenous human arms can get the gun in our visual line of sight , the shot can be broken as soon as the red dot hits the bad guys chest.

      In a military context, if the bad guys at bad breath distance things have already gone to pot in a bad way.

      1. avatar Ima Yeti says:

        well said!

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      …to offset poor training in marksmanship.

      That may well be reason enough to mount a laser. A great many people who have CCS and carry on a regular basis do not also have the time and money necessary (have you seen the price of ammo) to get more than basic marksmanship training and some occasional range time. For those people any sighting system that would give them an advantage in an emergency is a good thing. Not to mention firing from odd angles or positions where you cannot get a good sight picture or those of us OFWGs who have less than optimum eyesight through our trifocals.

      I use my Crimson Trace for training, both live and dry fire. I also train over the sights in the event I have the time or the CT fails for some reason. At a few ounces of added weight, about the same as two or three rounds of 9mm. I can’t see any downside to mounting the laser as long as you do not let yourself become totally dependent on it to make any shot at all. Look at all the crap they hang on the Picatinny rails of the MSRs, how much of that is really necessary?

      As for giving away your position? Unless you are laying in ambush or hiding in your closet how is this an issue? I think the point is you want the bad guy to know where your are, that you have a gun, and that if you pull the trigger he is going to feel it ’cause that red (or green) dot is on his chest. And if you aren’t ready, RIGHT NOW, to pull the trigger if the BG’s response isn’t to run away, why are you pointing your pistol at him in the first place?

    3. avatar Jay1987 says:

      The PEQ2, while it can be used to designate targets at night, is primarily used as an aiming device at night. Black sights don’t show up too well with NVGs and they make getting a cheek weld a b1tch. So the IR laser visible only to those wearing NODs makes a lot of sense in a night fight and is one of the tools that enable US forces to own the night. Also PEQ2s are issued to every soldier not just the group and team guys.

  5. avatar Scottlac says:

    My .45 has a CTC LaserGrip. It also has tritium night sights. If the laser causes the perp to run and I don’t have to live with another killing on my conscience then fine. If they are stupid enough to continue to be a threat… well that is fine also.

    1. avatar Lolinski says:

      Pretty much my line of thinking.

      Regarding the pump racking, what about a laser on a pump shotgun? Double-scare!

      1. avatar Skippy says:

        Oooohhh, how about a laser on a pump shotgun, a strobe flashlight and a recording of a barking dog!?

        1. avatar Not So 1337 says:

          Ooooorrr what about a dog, with a shotgun, with a laser, with a strobe, with a pint of whiskey, while dancing an Irish jig?

          I’m not gonna lie, when that fight or flight response kicks in, I’m running my ass off.

        2. avatar racer88 says:

          And, do all that… NAKED… or “nekkid,” if you prefer. That will SURELY scare off the bad guy.

      2. avatar Semper Why says:

        You laugh, but my wife has a pacemaker on her strong side, so she can’t shoulder anything that kicks more than a .223. She has a pistol grip Mossberg 500 with a laser on it because she has to fire from the hip or risk pushing on the device.

        We tried and discovered that her natural point of aim for hip shooting is roughly head height at six feet. So… laser.

    2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Another killing, did you serve in the military or do you have a dgu you wish to share?

      1. avatar Scottlac says:

        20 year retired military and no, nothing to share.

        1. avatar Jay1987 says:

          Thank you for your service.

        2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

          Yes, thank you for your service.

  6. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    I don’t nor have I ever used a laser sight.
    But it may have its merits on de-escalating an attack.
    I prefer to dry fire and get my sight picture, maybe a laser site makes it easier.
    But its bulk or expense on most weapons I own takes it off the market for me.

  7. avatar William Burke says:

    The commercial, of course, is very convincing. But it would be more useful to have some evidence or data to rely on, even though data can come with its own set of problems.

    I’ve always believed in the persuasive power of the 12-gauge racking sound, myth or not. About the red dot – not so positive. I’d like to see solid data, but it may be hard to come by. The untainted sort, anyway.

  8. avatar Mike says:

    I don’t know. When I did CQB in the military, I found that laser sights slowed me down. For me… it was much better to practice acquiring the target with both eyes open. Remember the mantra – front sight, front sight, bang.

    Also when we did green on red forces drills, sometimes the “bad guys” would use lasers. I never noticed it. My adrenaline was pumping so much it never occurred to me.

  9. avatar Duncan Idaho says:

    Well, if some ne’er-do-well is charing you with a knife or something, I don’t think he’s going to stop, happen to look down, and see a light on his chest.

    I don’t know why a little light would convince him to stop when a gun doesn’t.

    Could work for some people as a training/shooting aid, but I doubt their powers of intimidation during a self-defense scenario.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      “Well, if some ne’er-do-well is charing you with a knife or something, I don’t think he’s going to stop, happen to look down, and see a light on his chest.”

      My thoughts exactly. Use them if you’ve got them, but I wouldn’t depend on one as a deterrent, or worse, a substitute for a proper sight picture.

    2. avatar Second Amendment says:

      It’s unlikely that a BG will notice the red dot on his chest or quickly comprehend its meaning. OTOH, a bright weapon light shining in his face may well blind him or degrade his visual capability.

      And to those who say don’t give away your position by racking a round, note that most defensive instruction suggests that you call out to the BG that “I have a gun!” So….

    3. avatar JoelT says:

      I’ve never had the chance to try out a more expensive, finely-tuned, laser pointer to know if there is a difference or not, but from my experience with cheap laser pointers, there’s nothing subtle about the dot shining on you in low light scenarios. That light is so intense that it when it hits something the beam scatters and can easily light up the front of your t-shirt. The only exception might be if someone is wearing a flat black or dark blue shirt, even so however, I have a hard time believing that it wouldn’t go unnoticed unless someone was pumped up on drugs or adrenaline.

      I bought a cheap picatinny rail mounted laser pointer for my handgun just to try one out, and experimented at the range trying to hit the target without using sights to judge effectiveness. I found almost every time I pulled the trigger I was hitting center mass. The results were definitely not equal to using sights, but i imagine it could come in handy in a pinch, and if you don’t have night sights like me, (because I don’t want to spend money on a cheapo handgun before I upgrade to a nicer one in the near future) I can definitely see a justification for using it in low light scenarios, regardless of whether or not it is actually a deterrent.

  10. avatar jwm says:

    Some of you guys have experience with more determined and diabolical bad guys than me. I’ve run off an intruder with a pump rack. I’ve also had them beat feet seeing a gun. Never used a laser, so I can’t comment on that.

    But i don’t live in a MCclane, Rambo or terminator franchise. Bad guys are usually skinny tweakers that shag it at the first sign of resistence.

    I would really like to see a verified instance of giving your position away by noise or light drawing fire from the bad guys. Why have a weapon light or flashlight if the bad guys are that reactive?

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      As I have posted a few times both of my potential dgu were warned off by Newfoundland dogs 100 pounds of fluff and love scare the Brown out of a home invader in the dark with that deep growl.

    2. avatar Second Amendment says:

      ^^^ This. (jwm’s comment) ^^^

  11. Laser pointers are really cheap.

  12. avatar Jus Bill says:

    Y’all do realize that a laser can be a weapon by itself. It’s a federal felony to aim a laser at an aircraft due to its ability to blind the crew. Read the warning label – all those tiny words. So do lase an intruder, who can then sue you for blinding them or damaging their eyesight. Personally, I’ll continue to rely on the sight and sound of my weapon to deter the criminal. Fatally if necessary. You break into my house, you don’t get a second chance.

    1. avatar ST says:

      Lets be realistic.

      In our litigious society, if you even show the gun in public the bad guy can sue you for assault,much less if you actually shot them.

      That dead guy on the floor might be a meth head with a knife, but to his mom and dad said meth head is still a blameless angel about to turn their life around.Even if your case is a clear cut instance of self defense, you’ll be sued by the family out of sheer spite if for nothing else-whether your gun has a laser sight or not.

      1. avatar Kyle says:

        That is why there are stand your ground laws and civil immunity. Bottom line is that a scum bag decides the value of his life when he attempts to assault/rob other people. If you want to lose your life over my tv, so be it.

  13. avatar Piet Padkos says:

    I agree. All lasers WILL stop an impending threat, when followed by 3 bullets to the chest.

    I would think only people who are highly trained to remain calm (or play Call Of Duty) during these situations would have the presence of mind to see the laser and immediately recognise the implication that a bullet will follow shortly if they don’t stop/run.

    Of course, if you are up against a Navy Seal/Green Beret/Army Ranger/GSG 9/Rainbow Operator/Ultra Manly Teutonic Operator/HKMP5K/LMFAO/PS/PPS/PPPS/BRB/BBQ/OMFG/KFC/11 Year Old Boy I would think you have bigger problems

    1. avatar Kyle says:

      You are forgetting their uber sniper backup would quick scope you before you killed them.

      1. avatar Not So 1337 says:

        And if you manage to kill both, they’re just gonna drop a martyrdom grenade, so what’s really the point?

  14. avatar PPGMD says:

    Criminals are used to having guns pointed at them, the police routinely point their guns at then during their various arrests. So sometimes simply pointing a gun at a person isn’t enough, sometimes it takes a laser for the person to get the message that the gun is not only pointed in their general direction but right at their body. Now will this stop every person? No, but it isn’t something that they just made up out of thin air.

  15. avatar Ralph says:

    I have trouble seeing a red dot on a sunny day. If I can’t see it, then the BG can’t see it either.

    I’ve taught noobs who wanted to be trained on live fire with the laser on their pistol. They end up “chasing” the little light all over the paper which, if it wasn’t so serious, would be funny. I now insist that any lasers be removed or deactivated, except for dry fire training where a laser is great for cleaning up a bad trigger press.

    Lastly, I’m not going to point a gun at anyone to see if they will be intimidated and run away. If I level my pistol, it means that I am in the gravest extreme and there will be no time for foolishness.

    1. avatar Duncan Idaho says:

      +1.

      I was always told that if you have to draw a sidearm, it should come up blazing.

    2. avatar Steven Seagal says:

      Just to add to your point notice the conditions the advert is filmed in: dusk, when the laser will show up brightly.

    3. avatar JAS says:

      With you here. If I used lasers, turning it on would be a point of no return.

    4. avatar RLC2 says:

      +1. Tried one on my Glock 23, and found same – spent more time trying to find the red dot and center it, than just looking over the sight and shooting.

      As for in-close point-shooting that works better for me by just practicing with a target in close and practice what works from hip or chest hold position,
      than once again delaying the completion by trying to find the dot.

      If the dot is obscured in bright daylight, masked by other lights or somehow hard to find in different colors, then you may have wasted a critical half-second or more waiting on a bad habit when you could just be pulling the trigger.

      Not to mention Murphys law of technology- when you need it to work, it wont. That can be as simple as the battery going dead.

  16. avatar Model 31 says:

    hmm…at 5-10 feet, laser the perp who runs off, who then calls cops on you for pointing gun at him, next convince a jury of your peers why it was time to pull the gun up, but not time to shoot…to me, the laser in a defensive use kinda falls into the warning shot category -good for the conscience and perp…potentially hard on ones on freedom, earning potential and family life.

    1. avatar RLC2 says:

      +1. “If you had time to issue a warning, Mr GunNut, then why did you shoot instead of waiting on the warning? On the police? Why didnt you give a verbal warning” etc. etc. etc.

      The use of the laser as a warning has a liability in that it tends to set you up to create a gray area. I’m not saying its not a valid idea, I am just saying IMHO that it creates a risk/return situation that might not work out for you.

      I think there has to be a black and white line that you define and defend in your mind ahead of time, and apply in the incident per those protocols for “opportunity, ability, imminent intent” that you have gamed out in advance, so that later when you are asked to defend your actions, it will be based on your states definition of legal force justification. The laser is a sight, period.

  17. avatar Marky says:

    Who bothers to look at their chest while committing an assault? Better hope you’re in a smoky room.

  18. avatar XD(M)er says:

    I used to run a cheap LaserLyte I got on sale for Black Friday. I had it on my XD for a few months before I realized, if I do ever get into a situation, I’m not going to be thinking about pressing the little button on the back of the unit to turn it on.

    I think lasers you have to turn on manually are pointless in a DGU situation. Therefore, a laser that can turn on automatically when you grip the pistol might be useful. The only laser I know of that does that is the Crimson Trace.

  19. avatar Tyler3923 says:

    One of my handguns has a laser on it. I primarily use it as a cat toy…

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Here kitty kitty, bang…lol

      1. avatar Ima Yeti says:

        Gee, my neighbor has a cat…………

  20. avatar Jeh says:

    Maybe, but it can definantly get you arrested for pointing it at a plane.

  21. avatar Robert Seddon says:

    It depends TOTALLY on the situation I am in, period. There are places where a laser might be of great use, especially if you are behind cover or out of line of sight. THen there are times too where a laser is time consuming and attention grabbing .. Once again, it is up to the OPERATOR to decide which way to go.

    Robert Seddon

  22. avatar Bruce L. says:

    I have a CT on my carry gun, but I probably use three times the ammo in practice on a gun that does not have a laser. And since I’m a fan of Murphy, I expect the CT to either break, have the battery go dead, or just fall apart if I really need to use it, but I’ll still keep it on my 9mm. As for giving away my position, the laser isn’t active until I’m ready to pull the trigger, so I expect my position to be very clear within seconds.
    One other use, every morning and evening on the way to bed, and on the way to breakfast I can practice pointing the gun at different targets, then hitting the laser to see if I’m on target. And yes, I am careful what’s behind my target and never point it at anything I would really be upset if the evil gun accidentally fires. I won’t be happy at patching the wall, or replacing the teddy bear but I can live with that.

    1. avatar Robert Seddon says:

      Gotta LOVE it .. my kind of tech ..

  23. avatar Arod529 says:

    Given the ratio of Hollywood education to real education, it wouldn’t surprise me if lasers and shotgun pump noises scared the shit out of some common criminals. Being of the real education population, I would never rely on a superficial effect to save my life.

  24. avatar Ima Yeti says:

    I keep finding that with firearms there can be many correct and many wrong answers. While all the discussion is great for learning, I think most of the time the only good answer is “it depends.”

  25. avatar Leadbelly says:

    The ability to fire a defensive shot from an odd angle without having to bring the weapon up to line of sight is a valid advantage.

    Use as a dry-fire training aid is a valid use.

    I would agree, having owned both, that a laser that doesn’t come on automatically is useless. Having said that, I am one of many people I’ve heard of who, due to hand size or shape, could not depend on my CT laser to come on unless I got a perfect grip right off the bat. When I called Crimson Trace to ask if they had any suggestions, they said some users had improved the situation by building up the pressure switch with a liquid rubber product called Liquid Tape. I tried it, and it works. I built the button on the grips of my J-frame up by about 1/16″, and the stuff has been on there for roughly five years now, with no sign of coming off. Now, if I’ve got a good enough grip to fire, the laser is ON.

    Lastly – I’d really like to see some details on these incidents of dim-wits lighting up aircraft cockpits with lasers. Having watched people try to keep that dot on the target at seven yards at the range, I really wonder how anyone could hold on an aircraft windshield going a hundred and fifty mph at a range of half a mile. Is it possible that at least some of these are a case of aircraft accidentally intercepting a beam being used for some legitimate purpose?

  26. avatar Robert Seddon says:

    Most of the posters here seem to be in the one size fits all mode. I have CTC lasers on my .45’s and one on my CQC AR. they all have pressure switches for activation or NOT activation. As far as DGU situations, having the switch under your dominant hand middle finger (sort of ironic there…) is nice, and after you use it enough it becomes motor memory automatic. ALSO extremely nice for a fire from the hip quickie. PRACTICE makes perfect.
    Robert Seddon

  27. avatar tdiinva says:

    Abstracting from the fact that it was a commercial the gun itself is as likely to have scared off a real attacker. Remember, most criminals follow predator logic. If resistance is offered then search out an easier target. Are lasers useful? yes. Will a laser alone scare off a bad guy? I wouldn’t bet my life on it. Any component of your self defense system that impedes your decision making shouldn’t be there. When you draw your gun your should be to deliver a lethal wound. If the act of drawing your weapon dissuades your attacker from proceeding that is a bonus.

  28. avatar Steven Seagal says:

    Notice that the advert was filmed at dusk, when the laser would show up brightly. Wonder what this scene would have looked like under normal daylight conditions.

    1. avatar Scottlac says:

      Under full daylight the user uses normal sights because the red laser is washed out. When I use it at the outdoor range in full daylight it not really helpful. On the other hand, the perp will still see the beam and know it’s pointed at him.

      But, more dirty deeds seem to be done in limited visibility conditions so there is that.

  29. avatar 4thInfantryStephens says:

    As for the question. Lasers are pointless for civilian applications unless you have NODS and an IR laser like we used to great effect during my second deployment to the sandbox to “glaze” targets or potential targets. Those were also far more durable and reliable than CT/ *insert laser company*. So no on the laser for me, thanks!

    Now my designated home defense/ carry pistol always has a Streamlight TLR-1 either attached or very close to it (if carrying) because if the flashlight doesn’t scare the intruder/assailant then it will at the least blind him (200 lumens worth of blindness) for a good 3-5 seconds where I can then have time to evaluate the situation while he or she (I’m equal opportunity like that) evaluates their life choices.

    As for the comment in the article about the laser saving you from leveling your sights on the attacker: There is a drill where the shooter draws and fires from the hip into the belly of the target and keeps firing as they extend their arms fully, emptying the mag center mass into the target. I don’t remember what it is called but that is what I practice at least a few times during my range trips.

  30. avatar Defens says:

    A friend of mine found himself in a situation with a road-raged felon charging him with a baseball bat. As he drew, he lased the malcontent’s eyes, who promptly dropped the bat and turned himself wrong side out reversing direction. Good thing too, ’cause my friend had about 3.5 pounds of pressure on a four-pound trigger.

    1. avatar Herb says:

      Good outcome, but as discussed earlier, can he sue? What’s sauce for the pilot is sauce for the perp.

  31. avatar Jim22 says:

    Coupla things about that video: The woman left her car so she could stand in the middle of her sidewalk. She gave up all of her possibilities for either concealment or cover. If she had had decent training she would have never done that.

    Second, she stands completely still waiting for the BG to get out of his vehicle. She didn’t know if he had a gun. She should have been moving.

    Third, the presentation of a firearm in the hands of a determined defender is at least as good defense as shining a red dot on him. Had this been a real defensive situation she would have been very unlikely to be able to hold the dot on his body.

  32. avatar Mediocrates says:

    I have a laser on my compact 9mm, primarily to help me learn trigger control. I fully suspect in a SHTF moment to not have the presence of mind to use it.

  33. avatar Phil says:

    Seems to me unless one shines the laser directly into attacker’s eye, it would stay pretty much invisible to the latter. So I call BS on that commercial.

    Also, it would take a miracle for someone focused on attacking another person to take the time and carefully observe the tiny red dot on ones own chest. If the fight is on, stress level is way up, tunnel vision is on, why would anybody take the time to take the eyes off the target is beyond me.

  34. avatar Graybeard says:

    First – I wouldn’t depend on it – either laser or racking. But I could hope.
    Second – anecdotally, Texas Department of Criminal Justice has had some success breaking up potential riots using a laserdot playing across various malefactors chests.
    Third – anecdotally again, my brother-the-cop did have success, one time, racking a shell while he accidentally keyed the mic on his cruiser. The suspect screeched to a stop with his hands up high.
    So – sometimes it works. It’s better than cleaning blood out of the carpet at least.

  35. avatar Ardent says:

    It’s one thing to let a BG know you will shoot him, it’s another to show him exactly where he’ll be shot.
    On both sides of the gun I’ve seen what a targeting laser can do in terms of intimidation and it is considerable.

    As for actually using a laser, I dislike them. It’s not that it’s a bad thing in and of its self, it’s rather that after years of training I’m ‘front sight fixated’. Trying to look for the dot slows me down. If you train to look for the dot and regulate the laser to the weapon it’s not worse than iron sights or ‘instinctive’ shooting, but it’s not better in any appreciable way with trained individuals.

    The major downside is that the laser can fail and often will long before the weapon it’s attached to stops functioning.

    For cruiser guns, security racks and other places where individuals might pick up a relatively unfamiliar weapon and need to employ it immediately, and maintenance of the weapon and laser are regular and serial it’s a great idea. Essentially anyone can effectively employ a laser equipped sub gun effectively. Trained personnel can do so without the laser just as effectively.

    For me it’s just something else to go wrong and thus not to be relied on.

    All that being said, I have an S&W .380 bodyguard that comes with an integral laser sight. I have practiced with the little pistol quite a bit now and I can say conclusively that in my hands it’s slower and less accurate using the laser than it is with it’s iron sights.

    I’ve never been a fan of laser sights and I find them inferior to iron sights for everything but shooting from positions in which aimed fire would otherwise be impossible (a rare problem). To be frank I can instinct shoot most pistols well enough that at ranges where un-aimed fire is an issue (very close or you’d simply aim) a laser sight is simply slowing the shot down. When I train others in near contact distance shooting they rapidly learn to hit every time without sighting at <10ft without a laser. When using a laser the fire is always slower.

    I would only recommend equipping a weapon with a laser if there were something about the shooter that recommended it, such as poor eye sight, or as a deterrent, and I'd hesitate on the latter as however effective the deterrent effect is, the potential to lessen the speed and accuracy of the shooter are seldom worth it.

  36. avatar sako204 says:

    I stopped using lasers after I shined one in a mirror once and realized I could have killed myself.

  37. avatar Paul McCain says:

    I was a fan of lasers until I got really serious about defensive gun use training and learning how to deploy a sidearm as quickly as possible. I became convinced a laser can and will slow you down as you spend time watching it and getting it on target instead of learning how to shoot quickly using your front sight and point shooting at the kind of close distances that are the norm in a defensive gun use situation.

  38. avatar Doc Brown says:

    They work just fine in the movies every time.

  39. avatar Steve B says:

    IN the scenario that the commercial presented, the laser was a good option for the female in fear of being physically assaulted. Had she not had a laser and just opened fire, it would have been very difficult to prove self defense at that distance on an unarmed male. Without any witness to the Road Rage incident, and no way to prove the dead man had any criminal intent.

  40. avatar Barstow Cowboy says:

    She’s going to need to go back to the store and get another bag of groceries.

  41. avatar bgreenea3 says:

    In my experience, the laser on the taser has several times changed a combative subject’s mind more than just telling them that they would expect tased. You can attribute this to a fear of electricity or the laser giving the mmessage this where you will be shocked.

    When you are in a DGU, you use the force necessary to stop the person. If shining the laser at them changes their intentions at the last moment before sending rounds. I’m all for it. If you were justified in pulling your roscoe and aiming it at them you would be fine legally in lasering them at that time.

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