Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Gun Laser Review

I recently installed a Crimson Trace LG-350 on my Model 60. A reader asked for a review.

Crimson Trace makes a few models for J-frame Smiths. I have a LG-105 on a 442 and a LG-350 on the 60.

The CT grips for revolvers all work basically the same: There is a button on the front of the grip. When you hold the gun in a normal grip, you'll depress the activation button and the laser comes on. The laser is adjustable for windage and elevation by the use of a really tiny Allen wrench that is supplied with the grip. (You do want to be careful not to over-drive the adjustments.) I've found that they all seem to be pretty close, but still off.

For a pocket gun, the LG-105 is a good choice. It is hard polymer, all around. It is as small as it can be. There's nothing to grab fabric or unduly print. But there are two drawbacks: First, there is zero shock absorption. If recoil bothers you, well, touching off a +P round in a Airweight is not fun. I made up mouse-loads that were the lightest charge of Trail Boss recommended and even with them, three cylinder-fulls is more than I want to shoot. When I carry it, I charge it with Federal wadcutters and accept the fact that the gun is not a range toy, it's a bad-breath-distance defense weapon: Put the red dot on the threat and press the trigger through. Second, there's no off-switch for the laser, but as it's not a range toy, big whoop.

For somewhat heavier J-frames, the LG-350 is nice. It allows a full grip and there is some give to the back of the grip. It also has an on-off switch for when you want to practice with just the sights alone. Of course, when you're done, you have to remember to switch it back on.

In use, if you can find an indoor range that'll let you shut the range lights off, they are a lot of fun. The powder smoke gives you the Hollywood-like visible laser beam. If you can see the target, you can hit it in light conditions for which iron sights are basically useless. You can hit a target from any position that you're holding the gun, except from inside a pocket. So from as soon as you level the gun from your draw, you can be on target and ready to fire.

Also, you're not aligning sights and having to take your focus away from the bad guy to check the front sight and such. You're putting the dot on the goblin that you're looking right at and then pressing the trigger. You gain both speed and accuracy, which are very good things to get in a shit-goes-sideways situation.

But keep this in mind: You still have to see your target and you still have to identify it. Not unless you want to take the chance that the dim shape down the hall is your teenaged kid or the friend who you gave a key to two years ago and who came over at 2AM because she just had a knock-down, drag-out fight with her boyfriend.

The one argument that I've had made in a discussion is "the laser tells the bad guy where you are." To my mind, that doesn't pass the "so, what" test. You're not sniping people with a self-defense handgun. The bad guy already knows where you are.[1]

The counterargument to that is, thanks to TV and the movies, even the most clueless bad guy knows that having a red dot dancing on their body means "the bullet's going to go in here" and it may encourage them to abandon whatever ill pursuits they have planned. Because while they might be able to handle a few nights in jail before they make bail, they're not going to like either a week in the ICU or a dirt nap.

I have a Colt Detective Special. I like the gun. I like that it holds six instead of the five of a J-frame. But I don't like that there aren't CT laser-grips for them.[2] So until that day comes, if ever, I'll stick with a laser-equipped J-frame.
[1]If he doesn't, you may need a damned good attorney.
[2] Wouldn't surprise me if there never are, even with the new Colt Cobra.

1 comment:

"Zack" said...

Thanks! Very well done. The info on the LG 105 is a bonus for me ... I wondered about felt recoil with hard polymer grips and what you described is what I would like to avoid ... major ouch even with light loads.

I have a dry fire zone setup in my basement (for safety reasons) and the LG gave me some (painless) insight on ways to improve my double-action trigger control (forever a work in progress for me).