To hit the target, you must align the handgun on a plane with the target. I do not believe in any type of point shooting or instinctive shooting. Even at very close range, the handgun is aimed. It may be aimed by using the silhouette of the handgun over the target or by using only the front sight, but the pistol will be aimed. The exception is using it at contact range by pressing the muzzle into the target.
When you have sufficient light, iron sights work great. In dim light, self-luminous iron sights with Tritium inserts work well. In certain situations, laser sights work best. I think one of those situations is when the light is dim and the target is not clearly defined but is identifiable as a threat. The laser unit should be rugged, reliable and accurate. That just may mean the Crimson Trace.
Is it Complicated?
Mounting the Crimson Trace Lasergrip is simple:
- Remove the old grip.
- Install the new grip.
The batteries are internal, and the pressure switch is mounted on the grips, which are surprisingly slim for the technology they hold. And the grip is comfortable. The actual laser is on the right side of the grip, fairly close to the bore line when the grips are installed. Minor adjustments with the supplied tool puts the laser dead on the money.
The pressure switch is ergonomically designed and leaves little to be desired in tactical function. I seldom use the switch at the bottom of the grip to turn off the battery, except for long-term storage. When you grip the handgun firmly, the laser comes on as it should. When sighting in the piece, I first dry fire and align the sights and red dot on a nearby wall (using a triple-checked, unloaded handgun against a suitable backstop and with every family member accounted for in a safe direction). Adjustment is easy, and most often, the sight is close enough for good combat shooting as assembled.
After using the Crimson Trace for some time, I find it is a good choice for most shooters. When moving in a defensive situation, under stress and in less-than-perfect light, the Crimson Trace laser gives you a good option.
I am faster and more accurate with iron sights when I have good light. When I do not have light and cannot see the sights, I can see the red laser. As for durability, I have not seen one break, and in any case, Crimson Trace offers a full lifetime warranty.
There are a few cautions.
- Do not use a strong aerosol cleaner as you may damage the lens.
The lens could become occluded.
- Occasionally use the supplied swab.
It looks like a tiny cotton swab dipped in alcohol to clean the lens and keeps the beam cohesive and sharp.
I fitted my personal .357 Magnum 627SS revolver with the Crimson Trace. I have fired heavy Magnum loads, including the 180-grain Federal Cast Core, in that revolver and have not suffered a shift in the point-of-impact or any other problems.
The Crimson Trace Lasergrip gets a clean bill of health.
What is your favorite laser sight? Share in the comment section.
Bob Campbell is a former peace officer and published author with over 40 years combined shooting and police and security experience. Bob holds a degree in Criminal Justice. Bob is the author of the books, The Handgun in Personal Defense, Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry, The 1911 Automatic Pistol, The Gun Digest Book of Personal Protection and Home Defense, The Shooters Guide to the 1911, The Hunter and the Hunted, and The Complete Illustrated Manual of Handgun Skills. His latest book is Dealing with the Great Ammo Shortage. He is also a regular contributor to Gun Tests, American Gunsmith, Small Arms Review, Gun Digest, Concealed Carry Magazine, Knife World, Women and Guns, Handloader and other publications. Bob is well-known for his firearm testing.
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