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Could a Laser Sight
Save Your Life?

By Dan S. Defense

A laser sight attaches to a firearm and projects a laser beam. When you zero your laser sight, the beam will project your point of impact. A laser sight projects a dot that both you and the threat can see. It means that both of you will see where the bullet will hit, if you choose to pull the trigger and that provides a significant tactical advantage. A laser sight has been know to end a fight without firing a single shot. Even a stupid assailant will realize, that the laser dot on his chest, which comes from a laser sight on your handgun means business.

Keep in mind that the threat won't see your laser sight--just a red dot and the business end of your self defense handgun. Your laser sight can be helpful in training too. If you practice dry fire at home (and you ought to), a laser sight will help you master trigger control. If you pull the trigger and the laser dot, from your laser sight, jumps around, it means that you need more practice. It also helps with faster and more efficient presentation (i.e. drawing) since your laser sight will show you where your muzzle is pointing at the end of the drill.

As you can see, your laser sight can help in tactical scenarios and training. A laser sight is indeed a great tool for self defense but is it perfect for your self defense needs?

Before we answer that, we need to understand the laser sight a bit better. A laser sigh usually con consists of a laser diode, a power supply, a housing for both elements and a way for the laser sight to attach to your self defense firearm. From this short description you can see that a laser sight has a few electronic components and a diode to emit the laser through the laser sight.

This leads to the first to cons: the laser sight needs a power supply and when it runs out, your laser sight will no longer emit that wonderful red dot. The second con: we have an electronic unit that despite the most hardened housing will be susceptible to breakage or water damage. in other words a laser sight can fail and even more so, a laser sight will run out of power. There are serious cons that you must keep in mind. A laser sight, if seen as your only aiming device, may leave you in a very uncomfortable spot if it fails or runs out of power. Another con lies in the price of the laser sight.

While it's possible to find a cheap laser sight, good laser sights cost a few hundred dollars and the cheap laser sight is either designed for airsoft "toys" or is simply rubbish. If you are going to bet your life on a laser sight, make sure you get the very best you can afford.

At this point you might think that a laser sight isn't a reliable combat tool. I think it is, as long as you realize that a laser sight has limitations and that you need to back it up with good iron sights. It means that you can and should train with your laser sight but that you must maintain the ability to work without it.

Before we move into some brands that you ought to look at, let's mention one more item in the con column and that's brightness. At night a laser sight is magnificent. In day time, a laser sight will still provide a red dot, but you'll have a hard time seeing it, even in short distances. On a bright, sunny day, that task becomes even harder. Fortunately, there are different types of lasers and you can get a laser sight that emits a green laser. Laser sights with green lasers can be used during the day too.

I think that when you look at the pros and cons, you'll see that a laser sight is a powerful tool that can truly save your life. A laser sight will help you train more efficiently. A laser sight will show you where the bullet will land, when your buddy floods you with adrenaline and forces "tunnel vision" on you.

In fact, a laser sight is the ideal solution for "tunnel vision" since you'll see the only two things that matter--your laser dot and the bad guy. And, a laser sight might save you the need to pull the trigger, as it may--just may--help the threat realize that he picked the wrong target and that it is better to surrender than to be shot. With all this going for the laser sight, and with your understanding that a laser sight isn't perfect but still provides a significant tactical advantage, let's move on and look at some options.

There are three main categories that a laser sight can fit--internal, laser grip and rail mounted. I'll cover the differences in a different article but I want to give you a few brands to research--brands that I use now or have used in the past and found to be good. As always, do your own research and use my tips as, well, tips. First, there's Crimson Trace. They make laser grips that replace the grips of your handgun. I use it on my self defense handguns. You can see that installed on my Wilson Combat.

Crimson Trace also makes an excellent laser for a rifle that comes with a great front grip and white light. Second, and the laser sight that I use on my home defense handgun is the Surefire X400, which gives me a bright laser and a strong white light.You can see that installed on my Sig Sauer P220R.

Then there's Lasermax which makes internal lasers. You can see the activation switch for the Lasermax unit on the XD Service. There are others, but these are the ones I was willing to spend good money on, after lots of research and they have served me well and I trust them with my life. Them and my iron sights. Search and find which laser sigh is best for you. It may very well save your life one day!

Until next time, stay safe by staying alert!

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