The Viridian HS1 laser hand stop falls under the general category of Why the Hell Didn’t Anyone Think of That Sooner™. Incorporating a laser sight into a hand stop seems like the most natural V8 forehead-slapping idea in the gun accessory category.
The HS1 is a simple, intuitive design with a standard M-LOK mount. Don’t worry…if your rifle has a Pic rail-equipped handguard, Viridian makes a Picatinny adapter for the HS1, too.
The HS1 Laser Hand Guard turns on via the protruding electric greed button. There’s no constant-on setting. Press it and it’s on. Let go and it’s off. That’s simple enough that even a Harvard scholar like David Hogg could figure it out.
Plenty of thought went into the HS1’s ergonomics when Viridian designed this thing. If you don’t want to use the laser, you can comfortably grip your rifle with your finger tucked behind it, using the comfortably smooth polymer stop. When you want to illuminate your target, just slide your hand forward slightly and press the green button with your pointing digit. Easy peasy.
The HS1 mounts low enough that most cans won’t interfere with the laser beam. If you have an unusually large suppressor you’re still using, Viridian’s Pic rail adapter will allow you to mount it lower to clear the can.
Unless you’re color blind, you’ve noticed that the HS1 we tested uses a green laser emitter (Viridian makes red and infrared models, too). That’s a good thing as the human eye picks up green light about six times more readily than it does red light. All three models are priced the same and I’m not sure why anyone would choose red over green, but you do you.
The intense green emitter translates into great daytime usability. I was able to easily see targets illuminated in full daylight out to 100 yards. At night, you can paint your targets at 500 yards and beyond (Viridian rates it at 2 miles, but I didn’t test that, nor am I likely to attempt shots with an AR-15 at that range).
Want some more good news? I have two words for you: Made in America. Uncle Joe would be so proud of Viridian, turning out HS1s right here in the US of A. And we all want to please the Big Guy, don’t we?
The HS1’s battery compartment is easily accessible (not to mention water tight…I got it wet and tossed it in the freezer, too) and takes CR 1/3N batteries. Viridian rates the HS1’s battery life at 1.5 hours. That may not sound like much, but with no constant-on use, a battery should easily last for months and months before you need to change it out.
Of course, you’ll have to deal with parallax. I zero’d mine at 50 yards and mentally adjusted from there. It’s not rocket surgery and if your education is sufficient to read this, you can do it, too.
Priced at $129, the Viridian HS1 is a very affordable way to add laser capability to your long gun. For a home defense AR, you really ought to have a light anyway. The HS1 makes it incredibly simple to add laser functionality as well at a very affordable price.