Laser sights could provide a decisive advantage in a defensive situation, but they require proper training and an understanding of their limitations to get the most out of them.

Do laser sights shine as an aiming solution?

  • There are many dubious about the effectiveness of laser sights.
  • Generally, it’s a question of reliability.
  • To effectively use a laser sight, you need to be trained in its application and limitations.
  • You should still draw to your sights every time, even with a laser sight, as a redundancy.
  • But when sighted and working properly, you’ll find the dot on your target before your handgun is fully presented.

Many consider laser sights to be nothing but a gimmick. Folks of this ilk are mostly of the old guard and consider the notion of trusting your life to an electronic sighting device bad judgment. I don’t have a problem with shooters who don’t like lasers, but I do think it inappropriate to speak negatively of a tool you do not understand. To effectively use a laser sight, you need to be trained in its application and limitations, just as with any other tool. And, most who preach against the use of lasers have little or no experience with them.

Some shooters discount the benefit of lasers on defensive handguns. Before you do that, take the time to learn how they should be employed.
Some shooters discount the benefit of lasers on defensive handguns. Before you do that, take the time to learn how they should be employed.

It’s true that when you draw your handgun in a lethal confrontation, the laser might not work because you did not establish a grip capable of activating it. It might not work because the batteries have died. And, it might be working, but the light is so bright outside, you simply cannot see the laser dot. These are all valid considerations, but this is also the reason you should train to draw to the sights. In other words, as you present your handgun towards the threat, you look for the sights just like you’ve been trained. However, if your laser is adjusted properly—and working like it most likely will be—it should appear on the target just above your front sight. With practice, you’ll learn to see that bright dot on your target before your handgun is fully presented, and before you’ve found your sights. If, for whatever reason, you do not see the laser, engage as normal with the pistol’s sights.

The laser is not some magical device that makes you shoot every shot like Jerry Miculek; it is a tool that can improve your shooting precision and speed, and quite possibly help you stay alive. Learn how to properly use it before you bash it!

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the July 2017 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.


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