The biggest weapon lighting trend at this year’s SHOT show was integrated weapon light and laser combos. Streamlight and Crimson Trace both had some of the most well integrated models I saw at the show—each with their own unique features.
Posts Tagged ‘Crimson Trace’
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The trend is easy to see. Glass for Modern Sporting Rifles (MSR)—such as the AR-15 and other rifles of the ilk—and long-range shooting continues to gain ground.
By Robert Sadowski
Optics for the MSR platform continue to cover the range from red-dots for close-up work to magnified optics for precision long-range shooting. If you sell MSRs, then having a range of optics choices is a must-have. If you are looking for a new piece of glass to top your rifle, read on for the best new optics of 2017. The trend in long-range shooting optics is toward FFP (first-focal-plane) reticles, which have the ability to increase in size as the magnification is increased. This means the ranging capability of the reticle is easier to use. These scopes also are getting a bit smaller and more compact, so they have less of a footprint. This year you can expect some new spotters and some economical binocular models as well. Here’s the field to view.
Designed for hunting or target shooting, the new Level Series of riflescopes debuts with a 3–12x50mm (SRP: $535.75) model equipped with a red-and-green illuminated reticle that allows the user to select the optimal reticle and brightness for the current environment lighting. The new 20–60x85mm Level spotting scope (SRP: $2,500) is great for both hunting and bench shooting, and offers good image quality with an apochromatic extra-low-dispersion objective lens and a BaK-4 prism. Other features include a tabletop tripod, hard travel case, and all-weather protective soft case. The Level ED 8x42mm binocular (SRP: $714.40) is an all-purpose binocular featuring extra-low-dispersion (ED) lenses that reduce chromatic aberration. Shock-absorbing rubber armor provides protection to the optics and creates a non-slip ergonomic design.
The compact Elite Tactical DMR II-i 3.5–21x50mm (SRP: $1,932 to $1,999, depending on reticle) is designed for long-range, precision shooting and features the new G3 illuminated reticle, which provides precision holdovers at any range. It also allows shooters to more quickly to engage moving targets in any light. The Elite Tactical LRTSi in 3–12x44mm (SRP: $1,616 to $1,680) and 4.5–18x44mm (SRP: $1,813 to $1,867) are designed for precision shooting on MSR platforms. The Elite Tactical SMRS (SRP: $1,822) is designed for short- and mid-range shooting with an illuminated BTR-2 reticle and should appeal to 3-Gun participants.
The AR Optics line has five new models. The Enrage Red Dot (SRP: $240) is equipped with a 2-MOA dot with eight brightness settings and a high-rise mount. The Incinerate Red Dot (SRP: $240) features a tube design and a circle-dot reticle. The Engulf Micro Reflex Red Dot (SRP: $255) is super compact and compatible with MSRs and pistols. The 3X Magnifier (SRP: $259) mounts behind nearly any red-dot and flips into place when magnification is needed. The Digital Sentry Night Vision (SRP: $353) is a 2X monocular that can be helmet- or firearm-mounted.
The HookUpz 2.0 (SRP: $89) connects nearly any smartphone to an optic—binocular, monocular, spotting scope, riflescope—to digitally record and capture everything seen through the optical device.
The new value-priced Spectrum series riflescopes feature a first-focal-plane reticle. Models include a 1–4x24mm (SRP: $199) and two side-parallax-adjustment models—3–9x40mm (SRP: $219) and 4–12x44mm (SRP: $249).
The LinQ system (SRP: $649) is now available for AK-type rifles. This laser/light unit design uses Bluetooth-like technology to control a tactical light/laser module without cables or touch pads. The Master Series for 1911-style pistols goes green (SRP: $449) with new green-diode laser grips made of wood or G10 for full- and compact-size 1911s. The laser/holster packages now include a Blade-Tech Klipt Ambi IWB concealed-carry holster with a Crimson Trace laser sight for a Walther PPS Gen2 pistol (SRP: $229, red; $309, green). The latest Lasergrip in red is now available for the Kimber K6 revolver. SRP: $399.
The Phenom 5–30x56mm (SRP: $950) features a 34mm tube and first-focal-plane reticle. The massive 56mm objective lens delivers enhanced clarity, and the CW-3 reticle offers a Christmas tree grid for precise shot placement. The PentaLux TAC-V 4–20x50mm FFP (SRP: $770) is also a first-focal-plane scope with a 30mm tube, and it’s well suited for long-range shooting on the MSR platform. The CW-1 reticle is an intuitive and fast MilRadian ranging reticle.
The new LZ30 series of riflescopes includes two models—2.5–10x50mm (SRP: $400) and 3–12x56mm (SRP: $430). Both feature an illuminated and engraved Duplex reticle, a 30mm tube, and a dual-locking system designed to maintain zero.
Long-range shooters will like the Accushot 4–16x56mm (SRP: $280), as it comes equipped with a 30mm tube, bubble leveler located at the 6 o’clock position to eliminate cant, and an etched-glass illuminated mil-dot reticle with dual red/green color. The BugBuster series of compact scopes now has a no-frills 3–12x32mm scope featuring a 1-inch tube, adjustable parallax, and mil-dot reticle. Other features include premium zero lockable and resettable target turrets with ¼-MOA per click adjustments plus a pair of medium-profile quick-detach MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rings.
For MSR shooters, the 6.4-inch ITA red/green CQB T-Dot Sight (SRP: $63) offers economy along with a rugged 1X power red-dot sight. Other features include a red/green illuminated T-Dot reticle, flip-up lens caps, and a QD mount base. UTG Steel Picatinny Ring sets are available in 1-inch, 30mm, and 34mm sizes, in various height profiles and snap-free contours. Need some height? The Super Slim 20 MOA Elevated Picatinny Mount (SRP: $28) offers 20 MOA of height and a 13-slot Picatinny rail, so long-range shooters can get the most elevation out of their scope.
Reporting by SHOT Business Daily, reprinted with permission. SHOT Daily, produced by The Bonnier Corporation and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, covers all facets of the yearly firearms-industry show. Click here to see full issues. Product pricing and availability are at of time of publication and subject to change without notice.
Gun owners are anything but shy when it comes to talking about firearms, what they like and what didn’t work. Good quality and good service earn the most chatter, but the right ammunition or a good Cerakote will get them talking as well. More and more of those conversations now include
The Cheaper Than Dirt! Chronicle recently found a brand-new six-part video series called “Training With Lasers,” which was created by Crimson Trace
Mention pistol lasers to three different shooters, and you’re sure to get three differing opinions. Some traditionalists insist that laser sights
Predators thrive in the dark, which hides them while they are waiting to pounce. To stop these things that go
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.
Cheaper Than Dirt! staffers covering the 2014 SHOT Show in Las Vegas have filed third-day reports on new optics introduced at the show. The big challenge for a shooter these days is matching the right optic to the right firearm at the right price. Fortunately, manufacturers have been busy adding features to lower-end models to make them more appealing to a broader range of shooters. And at the top end, you’ll be able to find truly astonishing high-end glass. Here’s a look at new riflescopes, dot sights, lasers, and other optics coming this year.
Remington stepped onto the SHOT Show floor with gusto touting their new R51 handgun. We anxiously got our hands on the already famous pistol to see if the feel of the gun lived up to the hype. Its smooth lines and tiny size make it perfect for concealed carry, while offering more than adequate firepower in the wisely chosen 9mm Luger caliber. Aside from sharing some looks with the much older Model 51, the new R51 looks akin to a circa 1950’s sci-fi movie prop—but in a good way!
Bernosky wins 10th NRA National High Power Rifle Championship.
Carl Bernosky of Ashland, Pennsylvania, won the 2012 National Rifle Association High Power Rifle Championship held at Camp Perry, Ohio, August 5-10. His second consecutive win, this year marked Bernosky’s tenth National High Power title. Out of a potential 2400, his winning score was 2391-141x. Sergeant Sherri J. Gallagher of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) placed second with a 2390-131x, and USAMU Staff Sergeant Brandon K. Green took third with a 2388-135x. Staff Sergeant Tyrel L. Cooper of the USAMU won his third National Service Rifle Championship, receiving the DuPont Trophy with a score of 2377-105x, followed by Army National Guard Staff Sergeant Leigh R. Jenks III, 2369-102x; and Sergeant Gus K. Dunfey, 2369-100x. The NRA High Power Rifle Championship is a 2400-point aggregate of the Vandenberg Cup, Nevada Trophy and Clarke Trophy. Each sub-aggregate consists of four matches shot at distances 200, 300 or 600 yards at Camp Perry, a National Guard training facility located on the shore of Lake Erie.
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Moss Pawn Jewelry and Guns in Jonesboro, Georgia has Created the Ultimate Mall Ninja Tactical Zombie Destroyer
Based off an M&P15, it features three lasers, three red-dot sights (set for 100, 200, and 300 yards), a magnifier, four flashlights, a massive muzzle brake, a folding bipod, and holds 270 rounds of ammo on board. Fully loaded, it clocks in at 23 pounds. Video:
Ever since the film Terminator brought the pistol lasers out into the public eye, the debate has raged about their utility. With the miniaturization of the actual lasers and development of relatively efficient batteries with long shelf life, laser sighting became available for almost every modern pistol. The opinions on laser sighting range from “unnecessary,” “gives away your position,” “just learn to use iron sights to “wonderful,” “liberating” and “indispensable.” Let’s look at lasers in detail. (Viridian X5L | CTC for P32)
Red or Green? While the power of consumer lasers is limited by law to 5mW, green lasers are by far better visible than red, especially in daylight. Why doesn’t everyone use green? They are bulkier and require larger batteries for the same runtime, though that also allows the integration of a weapon light into the same unit.. A green laser is very practical as a rail-mounted unit for quite a bit harder to fit into a grip panel or make fit seamlessly with a subcompact pistol. Some pistols, such as Keltec PF9 accept both types. Others, like Keltec P32 or Ruger LCP, are much too small for anything but a red laser. While 5mW is the limit for eye safe weapon lasers, some are available in colors ranging from red to blue and in power from 300mW to 2W, hundreds of times stronger than the standard consumer models. They come as parts kits provided with assembly instructions and used manly for emergency signaling. While some people have improvised gun mounts for them, those lasers lack windage or elevation adjustments and may be less recoil-proof. These lasers are not eye safe when tightly focused. Their beams may be defocused to provide coherent light illumination matching shotgun pattern spread.
Doesn’t the laser give away my position? In a fog or a smoked-up room, it can. However, there’s a reason why almost all advertising photos of lasers have the beam drawn in. For the photo on the left, in order to get any visible trace at all, I had to put a smoke grenade behind the shooter. Normally, the laser is invisible except for a small red or green dot at the emitter. At an indoor range, where the light level is low and the air is full of particles, lasers look like colorful wires stretching to the target, especially after you fire a few shots. At which point the muzzle flash and the report of the gun already made you a good deal more conspicuous than the laser beam ever could.
Can a laser be zeroed the same as iron sights? Yes, but with a difference. If a laser is mounted below the boreline, the near zero can be made the same as with the irons, but the far zero will be different (closer). For this reason, some people zero their lasers further, for example at 50 yards. The pistol will shoot slightly high up close but be closer to the aiming point further out. With a side-mounted laser, the parallax is usually not worth correcting. With the laser parallel to the bore but off to the side, the offset remains small and predictable. With pistol, a difference of an inch is seldom critical.
So what kind of problems do lasers actually solve? Poor eyesight is one. Using iron sights becomes more difficult with age. It becomes impossible if the defender’s eyeglasses are knocked off early in a fight. Firing on the move is another: careful lining up of iron sights is very difficult when trying to move away from a moving attacker or his line of fire. In all those cases, keeping the aiming point on the actual target can be very helpful. Aiming from awkward or compromised positions, such as from behind a ballistic shield or from supine.
Precision shooting is another. The effect is most pronounced with pocket pistols, at least my groups shrink to half or third of the original size when fired using a laser rather than iron sights. The same effect is evident with larger handguns as the range increases. I would be hard-pressed to hit a paper plate past 50 yards with any pistols mainly because the sight alignment error magnifies with range. With a properly zeroed laser, sighting errors are taken out of the equation and the accuracy depends more on the trigger control and on the inherent accuracy of the pistol and ammunition. Much the same accuracy improvements can be obtained by using optical sights.
Lasers are also extremely helpful for training. Keeping a laser on during procedural gun handling helps reinforce muzzle awareness. Instructors can watch the laser dots from their trainees’ pistols to evaluate sight alignment consistency and trigger control. Finally, Laserlyte makes a laser training “cartridge” that makes dry-fire a great deal more useful by flashing a brief light-burst onto the target. The Walther P22 in the photo is my standard tool for training new shooters: it is sound-suppressed and equipped with a Viridian Green Laser to aid in learning trigger control. The light weight and small grip mean that even small kids can operate it without difficulty.
What are the down sides to laser use? The cost is the most immediate. Recoil proof adjustable lasers run from about $75 to $400. Well worth the money, in my opinion, but upgrading a safe full of pistols can get expensive. Maintenance is another: batteries should be changed regularly when laser is in storage and also after heavy training use. Laser emitter lens has to be kept clean and free of powder residue.
You may also have to get a new holster for your carry gun. Grip and slide mounted lasers can usually use the same holster, but rail mounted designs usually do not. Fortunately, most holster makers offer models designed around specific gun/laser combinations. Popular combinations have many carry options available. Since the rail-mounted lasers fit in the recess between the dust cover and the trigger guard, the concealability of the pistol doesn’t change much. (Viridian TacLoc | Sideguard)
In actual use, lasers require training, same as any other sighting system. The small laser dot, especially with red lasers, may require some practice to pick up quickly. In highly reflective environments, such as around car windows or glass doors, reflected and refracted light can be confusing. Most shooters use a combination of iron sights and lasers, knowing from experience which works in what situation. A laser may be just another tool for rapid and accurate sighting — but it is a very versatile and useful tool.
What do you think about lasers on handguns? Have you found them useful in a way I have not mentioned? Has training turned up some unforeseen consideration worth mentioning?
Well that didn’t take long. Crimson trace announced its LG-412 Laserguard for the Ruger LC9 and the new laserguard is expected to hit dealer shelves at the same time as the LC9.