Crimson Trace is currently the manufacturers of handgun lasers. But there was a time that while their solutions weren’t quite as elegant, the craftsmanship was still remarkable. I recently had some time with Lew Danielson, CEO of Crimson Trace, as he walked me through the history of the company and their products and I couldn’t help being impressed by their products. For example, spot the laser on the Glock above . . .
Lew is one of those people who, once you get started, doesn’t stop. Which is great, because the man is a veritable treasure trove of interesting information. Over at Crimson Trace’s super-secret bunker they keep some examples of their earliest work, which included one of the first Glock handguns that they installed a laser into (which was their first product, BTW). And when I say INTO, I mean INTO.
Lew started his telling of the tale with an interesting observation. With metal framed handguns there is always going to be a removable grip into which you can pop some electronics. But with a polymer frame handgun there’s nowhere to put anything. There are no grips. But being a company founded by engineers, they didn’t let a little thing like the impossibility of an elegant solution stop them and plowed right ahead with the obvious one: drill the thing full of holes.
The first lasers for Crimson Trace were installed by hand, one at a time. End users would ship their handguns to Crimson Trace HQ where each one was measured, drilled, and had custom wiring cabled through the body to make the thing work. It was a painstaking process, but the result was a product that still works even decades after it was installed.
Their latest incarnation of lasers for handguns has done away with the process of transferring handguns to and from their shop, but the utility and quality of the finished product hasn’t changed a bit. And you don’t have to sacrifice a perfectly good frame.
Stuff like this always interests me. Then again, I am a gigantic nerd…