There are a number of myths associated with laser sights and lights on defensive handguns. There are also some given facts. For example, you cannot shoot the bad guy if you cannot see your sights. And, you have no business shooting at a bad guy unless you know he is a bad guy. Sometimes the myths get in the way of the facts.
Some argue a laser sight will become a crutch, detrimental to shooting. Well I got news for you; sometimes we need a crutch. Every defensive handgun shooter should train to use their fixed sights but what they will find problematic is seeing those sights when faced with a real threat. Target focus can make all but the easiest to see sights – like XS Big Dot Sights – near impossible to pick up. That’s where the laser comes in. If zeroed correctly, when you draw to see your sights, you’ll see the laser on the bad guy because that’s where your focus will be.
If I’m having trouble walking, I’ll take a crutch. If I’m having trouble shooting I’ll take one too.
Weapon light application is often misunderstood and some argue they circumvent the need for a flashlight. A weapon mounted light, like the Crimson Trace Light Guard, is not a searching tool; you do not search for things by pointing a gun at them. The light from the Light Guard is there to help you confirm a suspected threat and to help you engage appropriately.
Granted, due to the flood like beam from the Light Guard you can search with the edge of the beam. However, in low light conditions you’re better off if you have a dedicated flashlight, in addition to the weapon light. You don’t want to be searching for that bump in the night with a weapon mounted light and discover it was your teenage son sneaking in from a date with “sweet thing.”
My dedicated bedside gun is a Para-USA 1911 Commander outfitted with XS Big Dot Sights, a Crimson Trace Laser Grip, and a Crimson Trace Light Guard. With this pistol I’m guaranteed I’ll be able to see the threat and see my sights – iron or laser. But, in the Hornady RAPiD Safe right beside this pistol is a Surefire AZ2 flashlight. Why? Because, if I hear that bump in the night I’m sure I’ll need to be looking at things I don’t want to point a gun at.
When I find the thing that needs shooting, it’ll be splashed with 130 lumens of white light and a nice little red dot will point to where my bullet will go. All I’ll need to do to make this happen is apply a proper shooting grip. Buttons and switches on lights and lasers are like those erectile dysfunction drugs you must take before sex. They sound like a great idea until you don’t have the time to screw with them. You’ll never be in a defensive situation where you have time to spare!
This brings up another good point and that’s to keep your handgun in a safe that allows rapid access. The Hornady RAPiD Safe can be opened quickly with an RFID tag. You can even stick one of these RFID tags on your phone.