Anyone that has been a part of American gun culture knows that there are a lot of hotly debated issues in regards to firearms and related equipment. Everyone has their opinion about what’s “right,” or what the “best” is, but the reality is, most of these debates are based largely on subjective arguments. What works for one person, may not work for another. The topic addressed in this article is no different.
I have a lot people ask me how I feel about installing a laser on a carry gun. First of all let me say this: there are a lot of people, that know a lot more than me about concealed carry and combat tactics – A LOT OF PEOPLE! That being said, I usually answer that question with the standard, “You just have to find what works for you, and see if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.”
Personally, I like having a laser on my everyday carry pistol. Here are five reasons why you should consider adding a laser to your carry gun:
1. Get on target quickly.
The vast majority of violent crimes in the United States occur in lowlight situations. Couple the lack of visibility with the stress of a life-threatening situation, and a laser may give you a small advantage when trying to get on target quickly. In a scenario that requires you to draw your gun, fractions of a second will make the difference. The speed at which you can acquire a target with a laser may just save your life.
2. Shooting from the hip.
In a perfect bad scenario (as if that could ever really exist), you will have time to correctly draw your pistol, get both hands into a proper grip, get the front sight on the target, and take a perfectly placed shot on the assailant/s. Let’s face it, if you find yourself in a scenario where you need to draw your gun, you may not be able to get the gun up, and get behind the sights before you have to take the shot. A laser will allow you to accurately shoot from the hip if you have to. Again, shooting without getting behind the sights is not ideal, but you may not have a choice. If you have to shoot from an unconventional position, a laser will keep you on target.
3. Staying on a moving target.
With most violent crimes, there is going to be a lot of movement. Staying on a moving target with iron sights is extremely difficult, and requires a level of training that most people don’t have, and quite frankly can’t afford. A laser can be advantageous while trying to keep the sights on a moving target. I am not condoning using a laser to make up for a lack of training, but I feel that it can make a stressful situation a little easier to cope with.
4. Red dot diplomacy.
God forbid we ever find ourselves in a situation where our gun needs to be drawn, much less, a situation where we have to actually fire our weapon. In the event that your weapon has to be drawn, a laser on the chest of an assailant has a way of getting him (or her) to reconsider what they were about to do. Once the criminal in question realizes that the little red dot means that they are one bad move from having a Hydroshock buried deep inside their chest cavity, a potentially deadly situation can be deescalated very quickly.
5. Point and shoot training.
A lot of people pooh-pooh putting a laser on a carry gun. They say it makes the shooter lazy, or it could give away your position in a gunfight. In some cases, both might be valid arguments; but what a lot of people overlook when it comes to lasers, is their training value. Putting a laser on a pistol can help the shooter learn to point and shoot instinctively. Certain lasers, such as the Crimson Trace Laser Grip (my favorite), are intuitively activated when the pistol is gripped, and can serve as a great device for point and shoot training. It can let the user know if there instinctive point of aim is accurate, and allow them to make the proper adjustments.
As I said earlier, there are valid arguments on both sides of the laser debate. For me, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. When shopping around for a laser, make sure you are dealing with a reputable manufacturer. You want to make sure to buy a quality laser that can stand up to the rigors of constant gunfire and every day carry. Most importantly, don’t rely only on the laser to get you on target. Practice with your iron sights! The laser will help confirm what training and muscle memory is telling you is correct, but it should not be used as a crutch for laziness or lack of training.
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