Crimson Trace has become the go-to company for lights and lasers on firearms in the civilian market. Their instinctive activation system on handguns makes using and deploying lasers effortless for end users. Over the years they have perfected their handgun line, but they have never expanded that same concept to rifles. Until now.
The Linq system uses a radio based communication link between a control unit in the grip of the rifle and a combination light and laser unit mounted somewhere else on the gun. Crimson Trace was very tight lipped about what exactly is going on in the EM spectrum to make that happen, but they do claim that the communications is encrypted and the protocol is proprietary — not Bluetooth or anything else.
Despite the obvious application for multiple connected devices, at the moment CT is only shipping this with a 1:1 pairing. The grip is paired to a laser unit from the factory and that’s all it can do. They claim to have a re-pairing process in the event of a replacement, but that 1:1 relationship remains.
CT’s unit works more or less like their existing line of handgun lasers. There’s a small button on the front strap of the grip that the operator presses when they grip the weapon. This button sends a signal to the light and laser unit to tell it to turn on when pressed and turn off when released. In addition there are buttons on the side that cycle through various modes such as laser only, light only, and strobe.
Batteries are stored in the grip, and lasts for about 2 hours of constant use. MSRP is $549 for the whole system.
While I liked the system more than I expected, there is a major problem with it. It is not possible to grasp the pistol grip without turning the system on.
I want lights/lasers to go on only when I want, and off when i want. Loosening the grasp on the pistol grip is not an option as it takes only light pressure to activate it. Under stress, shooters will most likely have a death grip.
Sadly, this is a major fail –along with most other grip activated switches
PS. Ever have a bluetooth connection fail??
Yes, I’m going to want to know more about the communication mechanism they’re using (Frequency range used? Risk of interference? Reliability in realistic situations? Possibility of becoming a technical dead end?) before risking money – or more – on it.
Worst aspect I can see is that it looks like it’ll require two different batteries, one for the transmitter and one for the light.
Would be nice if the light/laser unit has its own on/off switch, so (a) you could use it as Rabbi suggests, but also (b) you could still use it even if you forgot to keep the handgrip battery up to date.
How on earth is it a “major fail”??? If you want a light that comes on when you want it to, and doesn’t when you don’t… then use any of the other ten gazillion lights/lasers on the market!
This one is specifically engineered for those who DO want it to come on automatically. Like, say, on a bedside rifle where you want to grab and point it, without fumbling for other switches.
Far from a “fail”, it’s an alternative to the prevalent systems that are already out there. Would you want this on a combat rifle on the front lines of a war? Maybe not. But on a bedside rifle? Some (not all, but some) might find it perfect for that.
There is not a single situation that I can think of where I would not want to control activation. Lights and lasers telegraph your presence and exact location, even in bedside home defense.
I prefer that my presence be announced by a few rounds placed center mass.
And you already have plenty of options giving you whet you want. Something those less concerned about announcing their position than about automatic activation, has not had until now.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m with you in this. Particularly on a rifle. I did train with a Crimson laser for awhile back when everyone else seemed to do it, but, again like everyone else, I kind of backed away from it. Not so much because of announcing position, but just because it really messed with my ability to keep focus on the front sight where it belongs. At any kind of range I would be using a rifle at (certainly not bedside in an enclosed room with wooden floors and hard walls and ceiling, as I do value my hearing), I can’t see the point at all. A proper non magnifying optic just strikes me as a million times better.
I think the initial application is interesting, I think what could be cool is that if you could command integrated fixed elements of your home defense plan from a single gun.
In other words,
I can turn on and off fixed location security lights
I could turn on and off fixed location stun lights (think the end of your hallway leading to to your bed room).
I could have cordless LED stun grenade, that I could turn on and off (maybe like this…http://www.strike-light.com/tactical.html)
sirens, audio pain generators, variable locking of interior/exterior doors to cordon off sections of the house (if it were large enough).
All sorts of stuff. Basically command and control from your rifle.
Some of this might be a little tinfoil hat to some, but that’s besides the point if there is a market for it.