Crimson Trace Reality Check: Getting Older Sucks

(courtesy amolando,com)

In his latter years, when people asked “how are you?” my father had a standard response. “Vertical.” Beyond that baseline he wasn’t much more informative. “Getting older’s not for puss**s” he’d opine, and leave it at that. Copy that. As a quinquagenarian, I’ve found that my shooting-related skills have degraded. Crimson Trace feels my pain. Crimson Trace Aids Aging America their ammoland,com presser proclaims, using an image that begs for the caption “GET OFF OF MY LAWN!” Hey is that Bill Murray? Let me get my glasses. I think that’s their point . . .

“Along with aging comes a common problem—failing eyesight. Older Crimson Trace customers regularly report having difficulty seeing the rear sight, front sight, and target (three focal planes) required as a normal sight picture when shooting a firearm.”

Needless to say, CT has the answer . . .

Those same gun owning customers report that the bright red or green dot generated from a Crimson Trace laser sight—and visible on the target—renews their confidence.

“The Crimson Trace Customer Service Center receives phone calls on a daily basis from older citizens who have trouble aiming because of diminished eyesight—a common factor in aging,” reports Nate Hoke, Crimson Trace Director of Customer Service. “Those same customers enthusiastically report their Crimson Trace laser sights make all the difference in improving their accuracy—and restoring confidence—by being so easy to see on the target.”

The brilliant Crimson Trace red and green laser dots are highly visible on the target—one focal plane—by any shooter who has the company’s laser sights installed and activated.

None of my handguns are laser-equipped. Lasers are way better for shooting from “unconventional positions” (e.g., flat on your a**), but they can reduce life-saving situational awareness, by encouraging eye fixation. (Follow the bouncing ball folks!) Looks like I’m going to have to set those concerns to one side as my reaction time slows, my motor skills lessen and my eyesight fails. OK, now I’m depressed. Still, as Dad used to say, getting older beats the alternative.

comments

  1. avatar JamesInHouston says:

    My father is in his eighties but at self defense distances he does better without a laser sight.

  2. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

    MSRP Reality check:

    Crimson Trace products cost way too much. I’d rather buy two guns than one gun with a CT grip.

    1. avatar GRW says:

      Cheaper to hire a neighbors kid as a spotter than a crimson trace.

      Yet despite all that money coming in the AD looks like a “get of my lawn” overreaction stance with a really crappy photoshoped disembodied head.

      The caption could read “And that’s when *** got real and I went to my dark place”

      1. avatar Grindstone says:

        It looks like he’s having a PTSD flashback to “Last Stand on Hamburger Hill” AKA “That time those delinquent kids played stick ball and the ball landed in my yard”.

      2. avatar Sian says:

        Yeah, that particular CT ad has always given me some problems, with the old man’s stance being quite more confrontational and aggressive than their others.

    2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      While I understand the math, a second gun won’t help if you can’t get the first one on target quickly enough.

      Does anyone else make a good, grip-mounted laser? There are lots of lasers out there, but the last thing anyone needs in a DGU situation is another button to push.

      1. avatar Defens says:

        The CT grips are transparent to use. Hold the pistol in a shooting grip, the laser turns on. Relax a bit, it goes off. I have lasers on a 1911 and my EDC XDs – they are a fine addition. And they don’t cost all that much – a lot less than some of the slide-mounted dot sights like the Trijicon.

      2. avatar Special K says:

        Viridian makes good lasers that are “auto-on” when used with a compatible holster. As soon as the pistol is drawn the laser is activated. My wife has a Viridian on her Ruger LCP. I have a CT on my Kahr P380. Both are good products. It seems like there is generally better holster availability for CT.

        I only put lasers on my pocket pistols for now. If I ever had to shoot one at anything greater than 20 feet or from an unusual position I feel like the laser would come in handy.

  3. avatar Other Tony says:

    Not really that hard to use a laser, in my experience. Focus mainly on the target, not the laser dot. Make motions necessary to bring dot on target. If you are already used to either aimed or point shooting the laser dot will start pretty close to your target when you point. It gets easier with practice. Your mileage may vary.

  4. avatar BigDinVT says:

    Another quote relevant to the conversation: “any day that starts and ends on this side of the sod is a good one”

    I don’t know who said it; I can’t remember. They say your memory is the second thing to go.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      My grandpa likes to say, “I don’t even buy green bananas anymore.” hahaha

      I had a “feeling old moment” a few days ago (and I suppose it doesn’t help that my birthday is tomorrow). Three of the radio settings in the car are “pop” or “Top 40” or whatever, and the songs on all three of them were so horrible, despite being popular, current hits, I chose to listen to the commercials on the classic rock station instead! Then it comes back from commercial with a Nirvana song. Ugh. Don’t get me wrong, I love Nirvana and I love hearing Pearl Jam, STP, Soundgarden, The Offspring, etc on the classic rock station but…shit…these bands were all brand-freaking-new when I was considering making the switch from tapes to CDs and now they’re freaking “classic rock” haha. I’m old, apparently.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Wait ’till you recognize a Van Halen tune in an elevator’s Muzak recording…

        I can’t recall the specific song, but it sure was a WTF? moment…

        1. avatar Tactical mall ninja says:

          It was jump and I had the same wtf over moment.

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “It was jump and I had the same wtf over moment.”

          Oh, I believe ya.

          Holy crap, it gets worse.

          Look what this woman wrote – “Runnin’ With The Devil”:

          “There I was, standing in an elevator, with my son making faces at his reflection in the interior brass elevator walls, when my brain happened to zero in on the fact that “Runnin’ With The Devil” by Van Halen Muzak is playing via violin and some other instruments I can’t name because they aren’t in a rock band.

          I pause, remembering the last time I played the rock version of this song. I was on sitting atop of [insert man my dad would kill here]. We were having great sex fun. I get momentarily lost in this thought, until I glance over at my son, who is looking up his nose in his reflection.”

          http://aweekinthelifeofaredhead.com/van-halen-muzak/

          Crap. I am old…

          *sob*

        3. avatar Former Water Walker says:

          Ha! I remember the 1st time I heard Van Halen -Feb 1978…”I beat my wife like there’s no tomorrow”…yep I’m old…

        4. avatar Wood says:

          Is that like Steve Miller Band’s “big ole jet had a light on?”

      2. avatar Scrubula says:

        102.5, 103.7 or 99.9?

        1. avatar Jeremy S says:

          None of the above 😉

      3. avatar Wood says:

        Ha, happy 40th. All those bands you mentioned are high school for me. Music only got worse in college!!! I remember when Van Halen’s 1984 was new and steal the bacon was cool.

      4. avatar jwm says:

        8 track, son. You kids and your tapes.

    2. avatar Wood says:

      Gramps used to say “no worse” when asked how was doing. Can’t wait to be crotchety.

  5. avatar LarryinTX says:

    The laser on my new gun helps with the eye problems, now if they’ll just invent something to assist with the shaking hands …

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      Shoulder stock and Jack Daniel’s.

      1. avatar anaxis says:

        along with a lit Lucky Strike.

  6. avatar actionphysicalman says:

    I’d like a laser sight that is also a laser dazzler. About a beach ball sized area of dazzling effect 13″ above the aiming dot (it’d range to get that right). As for aging, I am hoping whippersnappers like Bill Maris pull our bacon out of the fire there.

  7. avatar John L. says:

    “getting older beats the alternative.”

    True right now.

    I’m still holding out for biotech to expand that particular downselect option set…

  8. avatar Rabbi says:

    I like lasers, but I don’t use them because I shoot faster than my eye can see the laser. And, yes, I hit the target just fine 🙂

  9. avatar Vitsaus says:

    Marketing. Know your demographic. Its no surprise there are Viagra ads in golf and gun magazines.

  10. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    I don’t think I need a laser YET. I can remember Eisenhower being president-that’s somewhat old…got a floater in my eye that just popped up so yeah shite happens. No bifocals yet…

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    I have an appointment with my eye doctor tomorrow, when he is likely to strengthen my prescription for the third time in three years. Sigh. These eyeglasses are really cutting into my ammo budget.

  12. avatar mikej says:

    A buddy of mine says that, when you’re young, your you-know-what is hard and your lenses are soft…

    I have three pistols with Crimson Trace red lasers. Hard to see in bright sunlight, but most of our government’s welfare clients don’t get out of bed until sometime after 5 p.m. I’m saving my pennies for a green laser that I can see in daylight.

    1. avatar Former Water Walker says:

      Thank GOD my you know what is still hard! Sadly my pretty wife is going through the mental-pause thing…

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        It *can* be better after, WW. I kid you not…

        (And a quality lube is yours and her’s friend…)

        1. avatar Former Water Walker says:

          I put MENTAL in for a reason(sigh)…

  13. avatar CGinTX says:

    I use a green CT on my 1911, and at first it was distracting (“wow! I sure shake a lot more than I knew!”) as distance of course multiplies the movement over the target and the green laser dot shows just how much that is. But as with anything, I started training as I shoot, and pretty soon it became much more second nature to “point at the target” and just let your general vision pick up the green laser dot. Now I’m trying to integrate moving while aiming into it which is an, ah, interesting sight picture with a laser 🙂 The nice thing is that, as others have pointed out, the CT grip lasers are completely automatic – just a normal grip position is all you have to do, it turns on like magic. Oh, and once a year I send off to CT under their “batteries for life” program and get fresh, free batteries!

  14. avatar Larry says:

    Before LASIK without my glasses 20/200.

    After LASIK 20/15.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      How much does LASIK run, nowadays?

      1. avatar Special K says:

        I think mine was $4500 2 years ago. Worth every penny.

  15. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    My eye sight always sucked so I just learned to shoot with coke bottles on my face.

  16. avatar RetroG says:

    I have a couple of CT’s lasers on handguns. Easy to use, but they sure do illustrate how shaky your hands are. I’d prefer mini red dots, but the idiot manufacturers seem intent on making them bigger, instead of just high enough to clear regular sights and no wider than the slide.

  17. avatar jwm says:

    Eyes going bad? Shotgun with duck foot spreader on muzzle. Listen, locate, spray and pray.

    1. avatar Sian says:

      Go Home VP Biden you’re drunk.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Man, that was harsh. If I had feelings they’d be hurt now. 🙂

  18. avatar Jojo says:

    Try a red dot sight before you go all in on lasers. They’re more expensive and require modification to the slide on all but a very few models.

    But, they’re better unless you’re shooting from the hip.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      One thing that attracts me to a grip-mounted laser (besides the auto-on when I grab the gun) is that I won’t have to buy a new holster to fit it.

  19. avatar Bruce L. says:

    I have a CT on my 9mm. I also have bad eyes and getting worse. I love the laser. Also, every evening, as I go to bed I practice using the laser to target different items in the house. I’m getting pretty good at having a good sight before I turn on the laser. Just hope if I every have to use it, that skill will still be there.

  20. avatar JohnF says:

    I’ve had mixed experiences with lasers. I got one on my Sig P290RS and used it in an advanced low light class. When I say “low light” I mean we did some shooting in NO LIGHT. The range safety officer had to use NVGs. I found that the Sig laser would not hold its adjustment under recoil and the switch was awkward to engage under stress. An interesting thing they did for the class was shut off the exhaust fans on the range, so we could see the effect of gunsmoke in low light. After only a couple of shots, the gunsmoke made the laser look like a “light sabre.” It was very distracting and it would be like a beacon to give away my position to a BG. Also, I was able to shoot more accurately with tritium night sights than the laser every time.

    However, I just bought a Ruger LCR with CT laser grips and I like them. I’ve combined that with a green fiber optic front sight. The fiber optic uses ambient light, so the brighter the light you are in, the brighter the sight is. So I plan to train in two modes: the laser for indoor and low light and the green front in daylight.

  21. avatar PT Mc Cain says:

    Anything that can give you a bit of an edge in a gun fight seems good to me. The laser allows you to shoot effectively no matter where you have to be holding the handgun. In the real world, a gunfight may very well not allow you to assume your best Tactical Ninja fighting stance, two handed, etc.

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