Gear Review: Crimson Trace Lasersaddle

Crimson Trace Lasersaddle

(Warren Wilson for TTAG)

I recently reviewed the Mossberg Shockwave and found it to be lots of fun, but less practical than I would have liked. I found the Shockwave a little hard to aim effectively other than at the closest of distances. It seemed like the perfect candidate for the application of some technology. Namely, I figured that what the non-shotgun needed was a laser.

Having had a lot of good experience with Crimson Trace products, I reached out to them. They were kind enough to send me their red laser LS-250 Lasersaddle which fits Mossberg 500, 590 shotguns and the 590 Shockwave.

Crimson Trace Lasersaddle

(Warren Wilson for TTAG)

I was impressed at how rugged, but still lightweight the unit is. It adds no discernible weight to the Shockwave and very little bulk. The LS-250 comes with all the parts and tools necessary for installation and even some cleaning swabs for the laser’s lens surface. The instructions are detailed and well thought-out as is always the case with Crimson Trace products.

Crimson Trace Lasersaddle

Courtesy Crimson Trace

Installation

The Lasersaddle is mounted to the firearm by the four top receiver screw (the LS-250 will only mount to shotguns that are drilled and tapped) and a housing pin which replaces the trigger pin. If you want to mount a sidesaddle as well, the screw provided with the sidesaddle will secure both accessories simultaneously.

Hopefully, my trial and error experience will save you some time and expletives during your installation.

Crimson Trace Lasersaddle

(Warren Wilson for TTAG)

Sighting In

The Lasersaddle is, of course, adjustable for windage and elevation. The Shockwave is already very popular in the realm of home or self-defense and many owners will likely want to set their Lasersaddle for the median defensive range of their particular home.

That’s probably a good plan. If you want to use your Shockwave outside of very limited distances, consider the following.

Mechanical Offset 

There are two basic sighting principles when dealing with mechanical offset: point blank and parallel. Point blank range, contrary to popular belief, is the distance at which a particular firearm’s point of aim and point of impact meet; i.e., where the sights/optics are aligned. The point-blank method used in conjunction with a dual offset means the firearm will be perfectly aligned at a set range and increasingly misaligned as that distance grows.

With a parallel sighting setup, the gun is always misaligned by the same amount (less than an inch in this case) at any distance until the laws of relativity starts becoming a factor downrange.

With a platform like the AR-15, mechanical offset only affects elevation, known as a single offset. It’s relatively easy to train for this offset as the shooter only has one direction for which to compensate.

With many laser sighting systems, the offset affects both windage and elevation, a dual offset. The Lasersaddle/Shockwave combination’s offset is about 0.8” to the right of the center of the bore and about 0.1” above the center of the bore.

Having used a Crimson Trace grip laser quite a bit, I much prefer the parallel sighting method with dual offset systems. Choose whichever method that fits your needs.

Activation

The Lasersaddle has a master on/off switch. In the “off” position, the three activation points on the pressure switch along the right side of the unit can’t be inadvertently activated. There isn’t a momentary activation feature.

The laser is switched on or off by depressing one of the activation points on the right side of the gun. Right-handers will likely activate the laser with their trigger finger in one of the two forward activation areas. Lefties will be able to activate the laser by moving the strong thumb off the safety on top of the receiver and onto the rearmost activation area. I predict the right-brainers of the world will heart this item very much.

Crimson Trace Lasersaddle

(Warren Wilson for TTAG)

Brightness

The Lasersaddle works extremely well indoors no matter the lighting. However laser sights, even high-quality units like this one, are only good for a limited distance in normal daylight.

As one would expect, bright sunlight makes the laser dot harder to pick up, especially at distance. The first priority at the range would be to find out how far the laser could be quickly picked up by these late middle-aged eyes.

Range

The answer is 15-20 yards or so. That doesn’t mean I couldn’t see the dot any farther than that, but that’s the distance I could go from the ready to firing position and pick up the dot at the same time I could press the trigger.

The dot is visible from 30 yards and farther, but it takes the eye a few seconds to find it.

Crimson Trace Lasersaddle

Three rounds of Federal Vital Shok buckshot with Flitecontrol wads at 15 yards (Warren Wilson for TTAG)

In the Shockwave review, I shot the buckshot version of the Oklahoma Law Enforcement shotgun qualification. The result wasn’t terrible, but not as well as I do with a traditional buttstock-equipped shotgun.

I wanted to try it again with the Lasersaddle/Shockwave combination. I used the pectoral index. The Laser makes quite the difference, as you can see above.

I skipped the two rounds at seven yards and only shot the 15-yard portion which is three rounds. That’s about as good a demonstration as you’ll get as to how much the Lasersaddle enhances the Shockwave’s usefulness as a defensive firearm. All pellets were centered exactly as aimed.

The Lasersaddle comes in red (LS-250) or green (LS-250G) laser models. Green is preferred by many because the eye recognizes it under a greater variety of circumstances than red. The review model is red and worked fine for my uses.

The LS-250 G requires more power as do all green laser sights for science-type reasons. Therefore, it needs four CR2016 batteries rather than the two required by the LS-250 red model to provide three hours of continuous use.

Don’t let the expense of batteries be a concern, though. The Lasersaddle qualifies for Crimson Trace’s Free Batteries for Life program. If you decide to go green, prepare to pay an additional $50. The LS-250G MSRP’s for $219.99 compared to $169.99 for the LS-250.

Specifications: Crimson Trace Lasersaddle

Laser color: Red (green available for $50 more)
Battery type:  Four #2016 Lithium Batteries (free for life)
Battery life: 3 hours
Sighting: windage and elevation user adjustable
Dot size: .5″ at 50 feet
MSRP: $169 (found online for $159)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Enhancement Value  * * * * *
The Lasersaddle greatly improves the practicality of the Shockwave as a defensive firearm. It’s all but a mandatory enhancement in my view. I have no doubt it will improve the results on standard buttstock shotguns, too.

Reliability  * * * * *
Perfect. Crimson Trace has been making solid laser sighting systems for decades. This one is no exception.

Activation  * * * 
For lefties, the Lasersaddle is nearly perfect. For right handers, it’s about as good as possible.

Aesthetics  * * * * 
The Lasersaddle doesn’t detract from the kind-a ugly Shockwave. It may even add some eye appeal in a polymer kind of a way.

Overall  * * * *
The Lasersaddle is an all-but-mandatory enhancement for the Mossberg Shockwave. It’s tough, lightweight and relatively easy to use. It’s also a great value for what the consumer gets. If you have a Shockwave, the Lasersaddle is highly recommended.

 

comments

  1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Putting a stock on it would be less expensive, more effective and just plain make more sense. Unless you’re in an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Unless you don’t particularly want to use an NFA item or a smoke pole the length of your leg for home defense

      1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        I should have said stock with legal barrel length. Of course, anyone with a brain bigger than BB shot knows a shotgun is for upland bird, waterfowl and turkey. Long gun? Rifle.

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          Shotguns are good for home defense if you literally have nothing else besides an old Civil War muzzleloader you have hanging on your wall as decoration.

          My personal hierarchy goes like this from worst to best.

          12ga pump gun
          Lever gun in big boy caliber (.357 and up)
          12ga tube fed semi-auto
          12ga magazine fed semi auto
          Compact pistol in big boy caliber (12+ rounds of 9mm and up)
          Full size pistol in big boy caliber (17+ rounds of 9mm and up)
          Suppressed full size pistol in big boy caliber (17+ rounds of 9mm and up)
          Magazine fed battle rifle (10+ rounds of .308 or .30-06)
          Magazine fed semi-auto rifle in big boy caliber (20+ rounds of 5.56, 5.45, or 7.62×39)
          Magazine fed SBR in big boy caliber (30+ rounds of 5.56, 5.45, or 7.62×39)
          Suppressed Magazine fed SBR in big boy caliber (30+ rounds of suppressed 5.56, 5.45, or 7.62×39)

    2. avatar possum says:

      Can’t do Dat Putting a stock on it would make it against some law, don’t make sense to me either. I had a 870Rem I cut the barrel back to about flush with the magazine tube nut. Put a pistol grip on it with a Tommy gun front grip. .. Nope. Took the pistol grip off and Tommy gun front, and put the stock back on it. What a snake killing sob that was

      1. avatar Don from CT says:

        People talk about the $200 stamp like its a prohibition.

        If you think that a short barreled shotgun with a stock is the best tool for you, then step up to the plate and pay the $200.

  2. avatar Specialist38 says:

    This looks interesting but I would prefer this on a 500.

    https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2019/03/11/streamlights-new-tl-racker-integrated-shotgun-weapon-light/

    A little pricey but some nice kit.

    1. avatar BobS says:

      I use a similar Surefire forend on my 590A1:
      https://www.surefire.com/dsf-500-590-shotgun-forend.html

      It fulfills a totally different purpose than the Crimson Trace: The big bright white light is for identifying the target (Rule #4), and the little red or green dot is for hitting it, if that’s what the big bright white light indicates is needed.

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:

        Yes. I prefer light to lazer.

        I can aim but I cant see in the dark no matter how hard I try…..ha.

  3. avatar John Adamek says:

    When will it be available for the 20 gauge Shockwave?

  4. avatar possum says:

    I couldn’t do worth a damn trying to aim a pistul grip shotgum, them sights would make the difference for sure, downside is the receiver needs tapped if not from the factory. ..Since moving in these low rents I’m pretty spooked about having to shooot somebody. These walls are thin, people all around. I’m looking hard at a Shockwave in .410,,,,$$$$ poor, might be awhile, does anyone want to buy a Coleman mini bike? All it needs is a ,,,,,,, , ,,. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,.,,

    1. avatar RidgeRunner says:

      Love it in .410, packs a bigger punch than i thought it would.

  5. avatar Steve says:

    CT really should have defocused the laser on this… I have a cheap-o rail mounted green laser on top that is defocused into a 4 inch dot at about 10 yds and it’s absolutely amazing for a shotgun like this.

    Just like a focused laser, it’s garbage in daylight.

  6. avatar strych9 says:

    Seems like a grid laser pattern would be the best option here.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Someone actually made a ‘Predator’ 3-dot red laser sight at one time…

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Wicked Lasers has a lens for their Arctic series that makes the beam into a square pattern of like 16 dots. Works very well.

        Changing the color of this laser to a visible blue beam would probably also help with the ability to pick it up visually at distance too.

        1. avatar Anymouse says:

          LaserLyte makes the Center Mass in red or green. It has a center dot inside a ring of 8 dots. It’s supposed to approximate the spread of the shotgun as distance gets larger .

  7. avatar Gliderguy says:

    I want to know what ammo you are using that is approaching lightspeed such that the laws of relativity come into effect. I think Newtonian gravity can explain drop well enough at shotgun velocities. 😉

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Laser light has a very high ‘aspect ratio’, but it’s not infinite. Earth’s gravity very *slightly* bends the beamline down, the same way projectiles in flight drop.

      (Google “Einstein’s Cross” for an example of the phenomena…)

      1. avatar Gliderguy says:

        If you need to place a pellet that accurately, then a shotgun is the wrong tool for the job. I mean, I don’t have any calipers calibrated in angstroms.

  8. avatar enuf says:

    My model 500 with the 18.5″ barrel and standard stock is short enough for inside a house. See no reason to go to a stubby grip and lose all the natural pointing ability of a shoulder stock.

    If a laser sight was made at a high power level, visible in fullest sunlight, well then I’d be interested. But those are too “dangerous” for an outfit like CrimsonTrace to take a risk on.

  9. avatar James W Crawford says:

    The FN PS-90 that my wife keeps for a housecleaning gun is far more accurate at close, middle and longer range.

  10. avatar glenn sammon says:

    I have a maverick m88 with a pistol grip stock, and a full stock Mossberg m500, I have noticed the maverick is only about an inch longer than the shockwave and yet it has an 18 inch barrel. I can live with that inch.

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      The Shockwave, in order to be legal, needs to be 26″ long, so it’s gonna be in the same range lengthwise as an 18.5″ pistol grip shotgun.
      However, if you try both the pistol grip and the bird’s head grip, I think you’ll find the latter will be more comfortable than the pistol grip. IMO. YMMV. (I certainly did.)

  11. avatar StLPro2A says:

    Quit your bitchin’ about price. it’s $139.43 on optics planet. if you can’t afford that you can’t afford a gun and ammo. Buy a $5 plastic flashlight at Wally World and duct tape it to your slingshot, Bucky.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      Are you angry? You seem angry.

  12. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Don’t even buy the gun. Next thing to useless. Defense? Handguns. Offense/defense? Rifle. Shotgun? Bird hunting.

    1. avatar RidgeRunner says:

      The Shockwave is awesome I’m plenty accurate with mine and have one in all three calibers, compliments my other Mossys. Great fun to shoot. Selling like hot cakes. Highly recommended.

    2. avatar burley says:

      Just because YOU don’t like something doesn’t mean that it can’t be both pleasing and effective for folks who aren’t you. It’s essentially the same length as a Louisville Slugger; except it’s a shotgun. Plus, there are reliable options for making the capacity 10 rounds of buckshot and this laser makes it a breeze to shoot accurately. Not at all useless, in fact: the reason it’s selling like hotcakes is because it is quite useful for home defense. Most people are not dependent upon your opinion for what works for them. You should try and remember that before you pontificate. Embrace change, it’s the only way to growth.

      1. avatar RidgeRunner says:

        Agree, it’s really one of the more popular and interesting innovations in firearms to come along in a while. All about that Raptor handle. My wife even shoots the 20 and .410, she’s nailed it. When i have people over to shoot, that’s what they all end up gravitating to. Shockwave ain’t going anywhere!

  13. avatar Laser1911 says:

    I don’t post this enough.
    I bought my Crimson Trace laser grips for my Kimber Gold Match in 1999. They are still on that pistol.
    I screwed up the grips once – in the middle of then and now – being overly curious. Crimson trace fixed the sight for free. The diode is still bright.

    I don’t count on the laser, but having it available keeps it on my firearm. That’s 20 years.

    And, Crimson Trace rocks.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      That is pretty impressive.

  14. avatar Cory says:

    Anybody know if they’re gonna release a version for the Remington TAC-14 and/or V3 TAC-13?

  15. avatar GS650G says:

    If youre using buckshot do you really need a laser sighting system?
    Actually if youre using a short barrelled shotgun with any ammo is precision aiming needed?

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      As you will see from the included (above) photo, shotguns don’t do what you seem to think they do. They keep a relatively tight pattern at HD ranges, which I consider to be ~10 yards and less. (If your home has a firing lane of more than 30′, it’s a lot larger than mine.)
      Even without Flightcontrol ammo, at 10 yds I consistently get between 5-7″ spread. If I use “low recoil” loads, I can deduct about an inch. That’s with either 18.5″ or 20″ bbl. The extra 1.5″ means nothing in my patterning.
      I don’t have a 12ga Shockwave, but from what I’ve seen in reviews, the patterning is about the same, with maybe an inch larger patterns at 10 yards, depending on the review, which leads me to believe that the Shockwave pattern is close enough for government work for HD uses to the standard 18.5″ or 20″ bbls.

    2. avatar RidgeRunner says:

      A laser is effective on the shockwave for fast target acquisition, for me anyway.

  16. avatar Big Bill says:

    Thanks for this review!
    You either read my mind or my comment!

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