Are Pistol Lasers a False Panacea?
Dr. John Woods 07.30.19
Learning to shoot effectively in a self-defensive mode is tough. It takes hours of range time and dedicated, focused training, even with a first-class instructor. If or when the time should come to actually use a firearm to defend your life, nobody knows exactly how he or she will react under such circumstances.
Some individuals preparing themselves for such events rely on accessory devices they think will give them an edge in a personal defense live shoot. One of these devices is a laser pointer attached to a pistol. Do these devices really offer advantages for the person pointing the gun?
Conceptually, the red laser beam points on the target, roughly pinpointing where the bullet should hit the target. Sounds good right? Under nearly-ideal conditions this may well be the case, but before you go out to buy a laser for your pistol, you should know its limitations, capabilities, and parameters for successful use.
First, have you ever seen a pistol laser at work? As mentioned, they often attach to a rail on the underside of the slide, the trigger guard or other manner. This adds weight which can impact the shooting characteristics of the pistol. Know this. It may not profoundly change the handling aspects of your gun, but it could.
Very often, during the bright light of the day or inside a well-illuminated interior space, a laser beam can fade or wash out against a pending target. That is especially true if the target is light-colored, like a white shirt for example. In such cases, a laser could be of little value. If you have the opportunity, test this at a vendor or supplier source.
“In dark scenarios you still have to see the target. Imagine, across a dark room or down a hallway, an adversary dressed in dark clothing. Do you think you could plainly see a target zone under such conditions? Even if you have a laser beam on your pistol, you still have to be able to see and identify the target to know where to print the beam. In these cases, you’d be a lot better off with a good flashlight in the offhand or instead of a laser”, says lead trainer at Boondocks Firearms Training Academy in Raymond, Mississippi.
Know, too, there are now pistol flashlight units with lasers incorporated, all in one unit.
So, you see, a pistol laser has its limitations and you must realize these. A red beam laser device is not automatically a panacea.