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9 Misconceptions About Handgun Lasers

by Brad Fitzpatrick   |  May 27th, 2014 9


In the long history of handgun development, laser optics are a relatively new creation.

Laser optics represent a departure from the standard sighting systems found on handguns for over a century, and while lasers have grown immensely in popularity over the past two decades there are still a number of misconceptions about their functionality and use.

When used properly, lasers are a very effective tool for close-range shooting and are a valuable addition to a personal protection handgun. The key to using lasers successfully involves understanding how lasers work and learning how to use them effectively. Shooting a firearm with a laser doesn’t require shooters to change the way that they shoot, and rather than being considered a gimmick or a crutch, laser optics should be viewed as a valuable tool that can improve accuracy, speed and confidence. That requires an understanding of basic laser function and how they can benefit shooters.

We’ve compiled some of the most common misconceptions about lasers to help explain the truth about these beneficial optics.

  • commonwealth109

    I have recently acquired a laser-gripped 3″ 1911, and I see not one single downside. Now, yes these are the newer “Master Series” so I’m sure they are expensive, but I bought the gun slightly used and it was obviously all included. If you don’t want them on to “give up your position”, you will also have the .5 second necessary to switch it off anyway. I’m not running out & buying them for every other handgun I own right away, but I see it as a huge plus that this gun has not just nite-sites, but also a laser. BTW, this laser is red but it is so bright I have no desire to switch it out to a green one. I don’t need the laser to show up in sunlight!

  • John3:16

    I see the laser as an absolute necessity if you are going to confront a BG where there are a lot of others present with poor lighting to make certain of your mark. Any other outcome would be unthinkable.

  • Conrad Gabbard

    If it’s your life or that of your loved ones, why would you NOT have a laser on your self-defense firearm? But then again, some haven’t evolved to hollow-points.

  • Tracy Thorleifson

    I have Crimson Trace lasers on both my carry guns, my M1 Carbine and my Sig 556. I love ‘em. One thing this article fails to mention is how useful lasers are as a training aid. If you have a problem with your trigger press, the laser will quickly reveal it. Another thing my laser taught me is how inherently accurate my J-frame really is – it will shoot 3 inch groups at 25 yards from a steady rest, laser assisted. The short sight radius is what makes accuracy a challenge with open sights on a short-barreled gun, not the inherent accuracy of the gun itself.

    • jackson carter

      Hallelujah! Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition! But all in seriousness you keep your guns NO MATTER WHAT. I hate ‘em after Iraq but as the saying goes I’ll get rid of mine when all the other fellows gets rid of theirs. As every law abiding u.s citizen must bare arms, as after what really went down at new orleans during katrina etc well lock & load, but weapons safety to is paramount. So you all stay safe and stick to the law. This has been a public safety message from the planetary patriot! Stay safe and stay alive America!

    • assing Thru

      There is a method of training of point and shoot ignoring the sights, either hand, in the dark, etc. that has been around for along time but specific to only one country I know of. I love the 1911, the first gun I bought at 15 before the ’68 mess. In practicing this style of shooting with it I got pretty good but wished I has a snap cap/laser so I could practice more and cheaper. ANYONE know of such a snap cap laser gadget? Also isn’t there glasses specific to different laser colours so only you can see it?

  • Town22

    Trust my training and skill; not the batteries!!!

  • ghost

    Waiting till they come out with a laser that will cut the bad guy in half, without having to shoot him.

    • Peter Smythe

      Most designs of laser weapons which would be man-portable that could efficiently cut someone in half (I.e. A laser that is hardly even focused horizontally so that it is 18″ wide and a millimeter thick upon reaching the target) still require you, or an advanced AI, to pull a trigger or press a button. They would also be large 2-handed weapons (probably not long rifle-like guns though, because lasers need big lenses, not long barrels) which would fire 10,000 Joules per shot or more.

      The problem with a laser that would kill without requiring you to press the trigger is that it has to be firing continuously or know when to fire on its own. If it fires continuously, you need an enormous amount of power, just like you would need an enormous amount of ammunition to fire a gun at several thousand of rounds per minute to ensure a hit with a sweeping attack. Additionally, you’d end up blasting everything else the laser hit to death as well.

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