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View Full Version : Opinions on Crimson Trace Lasergrips


jdg30
07-24-2010, 3:31 PM
Just picked up a new S&W 642 revolver and was considering Crimson Trace laser grips for it (LG-405 model). I have thought about lasergrips for some time but haven't actually got any yet. The gun is for CCW/self defense.

On one hand they seem like a great tool to have on a gun: Instant laser beam to pinpoint where the gun will shoot, helpful in low light target acquisition, possible deterrent for someone intending to do you harm and ending up with the laser beam on their chest etc. Also seems good to have laser grips to practice trigger control by being able to see where the laser moves when the trigger is pulled.

On the other hand, the traditional side of me thinks I should just use the normal sights on the gun, because using the laser will make me rely on it instead of aiming the gun the normal way. I'm not sure if this would be true or not but that is a reason why I haven't got the grips yet.

I already have a S&W 442 and shoot it well with the stock sights. I would appreciate if those with experience with laser grips could give advice on what you think about the grips and if they are a real advantage to have on a self defense gun or not. Also, if you could give your opinion on how the laser grips affect you when you shoot guns with normal sights afterwards, (i.e does it make it harder to go back to shooting the normal way without relying on the laser beam etc.) and would you go back to normal sights on the gun after having put lasergrips on them.

Any thoughts appreciated, Thanks.

BenjaminCA
07-24-2010, 3:51 PM
I don't own any guns with laser grips as of right now, but I shoot my father-in-laws every so often. He has a S&W 1911 with Crimson trace grips, and a S&W carry revolver with them. The 1911 is a pretty capable gun on its own as far as accuracy, but the revolver is pretty tough to get an accurate shot off. I would say that a carry gun like the revolver should have it to make a good shot. But I think a carry gun should be a great shooter without a laser too. If you need the laser then something is wrong, if you have it for an extra edge in an extreme situation, go for it.

randy
07-24-2010, 5:46 PM
The grips are great work as advertised and they have customer service second to none.

I'm not a laser guy but without hesitation I'd buy CT if I wanted a pair.

puropuro
07-24-2010, 6:03 PM
I think of laser grips as an ADDITIONAL layer of accuracy on top of what you can already do with sites. Just don't use them IN PLACE of the sites, and you'll be just fine. I see them as very helpful in low light conditions.

pyromensch
07-24-2010, 7:32 PM
i have wanted the crimson trace for awhile. have a tlr2 on my para-ordinance. would definitely put them on my charter bulldog, (when the money comes for that). they have a good rep, (and if it is set up right), and if you are in a situation, where you need to draw and shoot, it is better to know that the dot indicates your impact point, rather that to have a loose round down range

elsolo
07-24-2010, 10:31 PM
If it makes you more confident, it's worth it.
It won't make an improvement in accuracy over decent iron sights
They aren't faster than using sights, you just switch from looking at the sights to get on target, to looking for the red dot on the target.

Trapper
07-24-2010, 10:43 PM
My stepfather has a crimson trace on his ruger LCP and loves it! His 68y/o eyes have trouble seeing the sights in good light but with the laser sight it's not an issue. At 15yds I can keep all shots in the X ring with his LCP.

bballwizard05
07-24-2010, 10:44 PM
At this point I'd have a hard time forking up more cash for my grips than the cost of my gun, but I have used my uncles, (on a kimber 1911) and it was awesome. Really makes low light shooting easier, we did some dusk/night shooting, pretty cool how you can be blindly accurate.

GB0
07-25-2010, 4:41 AM
CT's are great for low light situations and as a training aid. I do not regret buying them as they have helped me sort out some bad trigger habits. Aim at a wall and pull the trigger, did the dot move? If so, therein lies the problem.

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j303/GreenBar0n/P1200007.jpg

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j303/GreenBar0n/P1230006.jpg

cineski
07-25-2010, 6:45 AM
Used to have them. Nice grips. I changed my philosophy about gun sights and dumped any lasers because they're one more thing that can go wrong and they can get bumped out of alignment. Not severely, but enough to make me raise my eyebrows. I bought in to XS sights and feel any quality night sight is better than lasers. If you're worried about low to zero light shooting, I feel an X300 w/ grip pressure switch is a much better tool.

Sam
07-25-2010, 7:56 AM
I love my pair on my 1911. They are a quality product and work as advertised.

glockman19
07-25-2010, 8:04 AM
I too have a 442 & 642. I have my CT 405's on my 642.

For quick, on target, point shooting presentation I believe that laser grips are a great asset to have. It only improves your accuracy.

The 642 is the only handgun I have with lasergrips. All my other handguns, except my revolvers have night sights.

k1dude
07-25-2010, 9:54 AM
I have no experience with lasergrips, but it seems to me the smaller the mousegun, the more inferior the sights and the harder it becomes to attain accuracy. Lasergrips would seem to be a good idea on tiny guns.

In a high pressure situtation I think it would be very hard to find that tiny dot and manage to put it on target. I think in most situations like that, you'd be better served learning to point shoot well. But if the 1 in 100,000,000 chance that a bad guy is using your wife as a shield with a gun to her head, I sure would want that little dot to aim at his head with before squeezing off the shot!

audiophil2
07-25-2010, 10:15 AM
This is just my opinion:

At under 15 yards you most likely won't have time to use any sites. Over 15 yards and the deadly force justification becomes more difficult to prove unless you cannot run. Even in my state where I can legally point my gun at deadly threats and am not required to run I would rather run than shoot.

I considered buying the CT grips until I trained on a police simulator. I experienced what many LEOs encounter during a high stress situation: tunnel vision. I never even saw my gun let alone my sites the first time I used the simulator so instead of spending $180+ on grips I took more training.

I suggest you get plenty of training first before you buy any gadgets for your guns. If you have the training (CCW course provides zero real world training) then the grips would be an enhancement and not a crutch.

l8apex
07-25-2010, 10:26 AM
CTs are excellent. Laser sights have their place in the tool box, especially at distances or situations where you may not have time to use your sights i.e. retention positions, different types of cover. They are also a great training tool during dry fire. Don't hestitate.

Here is a good article on the subject by Larry Vickers (http://vickerstactical.com/tactical-tips/crimson-trace-lasergrips/) from Vickers Tactical, retired Delta current tactical advisor/trainer in regards to CT grips.

TenKen714
07-25-2010, 2:12 PM
I have CTC grips on my 1911 (government sized, carbon fiber "styling").

The box was pretty high quality. When I opened the box, I was disappointed at how flimsy the grips felt. Two plastic panels with a piece of connecting rubber. It did not feel like it was worth the price.

I wish CTC made these grips out of G10 or something that feels sturdier. I also wish these grips came with a more aggressive texture.

That said, I am still keeping the laser grips on my gun.

Trapper John
07-25-2010, 2:23 PM
I have the set-up the OP is considering. It is excellent for training, low light and indoor use. Outside on a sunny day I can't see the laser dot beyond about 15 feet. I agree the best way to use the laser is to look at the dot through the sights so it becomes an aid not the only aiming method. Of course dry fire drills watching the dot on a wall had been very good for learning trigger control. I've used it more in that mode than shooting. Finally, the grips do absorb some of the recoil but the 642 remains the only gun I wear a glove for range work.

John

MossbergMan
07-25-2010, 3:37 PM
As a professional firearms instructor I resisted the laser movement. I saw them more as a crutch than an aid to aiming. That is until Wes Doss did some demonstrations that I was unable to duplicate with iron sights only.

Aging eyes benefit from the use of the red or green dots projected on their targets, we all just have to remember we do not have "smart bullets" yet. Poor trigger manipulation will still destoy your shot regardless of sighting tools.

I have installed a set of Laser-Lyte (replaces the rear sight) sights on my Glock model 26 and CT on my 637 "J" frame. These sights allow me to get shots on target when I cannot get a traditional sight picture for whatever reason. The most excellent use I have for the laser sights is if wounded or cramped into a space where I can't get the gun up in front of my face.
It's great to get headshots at 10 yards, sitting cross legged 90 degrees to the bullet trap under the table with my pistol in my lap (muzzle down range of course). Red dot on forehead, press trigger, bullet hole appears near where red dot was....like magic.

So my vote is: Get them!

jamesonamac
07-25-2010, 6:55 PM
I say get em. Practice with them on and with them off. I think most people would be pleasantly surprised how much they can help make you a better shooter. When using them, they instantly tell on you (snitch you off!) when your technique falters. Jerk that trigger and you see the beam jerk prior the the shot. Anticipate your shot and the beam drops just prior the the shot. Perhaps others who have used them can attest to the fact it will help smooth out your trigger pull. Unless you have someone watching you shoot, you might not catch the small mistakes you are making. If you don't end up liking them, Crimson Trace hold a decent resale value.

6114DAVE
07-25-2010, 7:02 PM
I love my CT's on my P89! I dont have night sights , thats why i got them. in darkness the "gleam" gives you a nice outline and helps you "build the castle" I have mine sighted in for 15 yds...awesome..but i still use my sights first and foremost in practice...IMHO they are great for shooting one handed or weak handed

C.W.M.V.
07-25-2010, 7:04 PM
Meh, not for me. I shoot like crap with aiming lasers.

Olav
07-25-2010, 7:14 PM
Awesome!

CalNRA
07-25-2010, 11:18 PM
Meh, not for me. I shoot like crap with aiming lasers.

same here. I get dizzy just watching the dot shaking on the targets.

The SW J-frames are natural to hold and get a feel for the gun. At the range we can expect to use the 6/442 the money for a laser grip might be better buying ammo to practice with.

Brian2217
07-25-2010, 11:28 PM
I have CT's on my 642 and my 1911. I beleive they are a great addition to the 642 as a defensive handgun. They do improve accuracy and in a stressful situation, it will help you when you started to losing those fine motor skills. The big thing is you have to get out there and pratice. The mistake a lot of people get into is they start becoming dependent on the laser sights and forget the basic in pistol defense. So I will say get the CT, but don't become dependent on them. Find a happy balance in your training.

dfletcher
07-25-2010, 11:38 PM
I've used them on various guns, not mine but a friend's, and it's odd looking at the red dot on the target AND it also takes a bit of getting used to watching the thing dance around on the target. I'm used to focusing on the front sight and not having my "shakiness" amplified by a red light. I think a new shooter would probably have no problem picking it up and with practice most can. Just takes some getting used to.

GM_77
07-26-2010, 8:03 AM
I have one for my glock and they make the grip a little fatter. If its integrated into the grip like the 1911's and the S&W wheel guns then you won't notice.

Shooting with a laser takes as much practice as using iron sights. You can't just slap on a laser and be good to go. But once you train up on them you are slightly faster (maybe half a second) than irons.

You have to come to accept a certain amount of shakyness when using the lasers. You also have to get used to the laser jumping up after you take the shot and bringing it back down. This takes practice but once you do it for a day you'll have it down.

The grips really shine when you do night shoots, one handed shooting or shooting from unconventional positions. I would recommend putting them on any gun IF the CTC grip doesn't make your current one too fat for you to hold.

If its for a wheel gun like a airweight or something with only a front sight I would say its priceless.

Ed_in_Sac
07-26-2010, 8:28 AM
I have CT's on my 1911 and DO NOTICE THEM. The actuation switch at the front is quite a different feel. That said, I kinda like them for home defense as the laser "might" frighten off a burglar, etc. They will allow accurate shots in the low light of a home at night. Then again, they also let everyone know where you are, exactly!

shooting4life
07-26-2010, 8:38 AM
I have a set on my wifes model 60. I I'd great for her since she is not really into shooting. If I can get her to the range once a year then things are going good. I told her the first time she shot with it loaded with 38 spl just pit the dot where you want the bulle to go and squeeze the trigger. She was able to keep them all within the 9 ring at 10 yards. Without the grips she would have had a hard time hitting the target.

Doheny
07-26-2010, 12:19 PM
The guys at the range I've seen w/ lasers have all shot like cr*p. If I wanted to spend the money, I'd put one on my 642, but don't see a need for one on any of my other guns.

doc540
07-26-2010, 12:58 PM
My wife wears contacts, I wear trifocals.

The CT grips on our M36 eliminate any challenges our eyesight might pose for us.

She's all COM at 30 feet with them.

From nightstand to door she'll put your eye out.;)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v334/doc540/Guns/Crimson%20Trace/CrimsonTrace004-1.jpg

And we just added them to the downstairs gun.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v334/doc540/Guns/Glock%2023/DSCN2632_01-1.jpg

winnre
07-26-2010, 1:07 PM
I am in the same boat as you, I got a 642 without the laser grips and now wonder if I should have got them. The issued grips are small, and the Hogue grips are no better.

doc540
07-26-2010, 3:40 PM
I am in the same boat as you, I got a 642 without the laser grips and now wonder if I should have got them. The issued grips are small, and the Hogue grips are no better.

Another feature of the CT wheelgun grips is that recoil pocket on the back strap. It does help deal with the +P snap.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v334/doc540/Guns/Crimson%20Trace/CrimsonTrace005-1-1.jpg

2Cute2Shoot
07-26-2010, 4:01 PM
I have no experience with lasergrips, but it seems to me the smaller the mousegun, the more inferior the sights and the harder it becomes to attain accuracy. Lasergrips would seem to be a good idea on tiny guns.

In a high pressure situtation I think it would be very hard to find that tiny dot and manage to put it on target. I think in most situations like that, you'd be better served learning to point shoot well. But if the 1 in 100,000,000 chance that a bad guy is using your wife as a shield with a gun to her head, I sure would want that little dot to aim at his head with before squeezing off the shot!

K1Dude is sooo right! I have shot lasergrips on a Kahr PM9 which is a very small gun and also on a 1911 which is a bigger gun. For the Kahr, I think it is totally worth it! The gun was so short that I could only hit a target like 8 or 10 feet away and after my first shot, it moved so much in my hand and I had to take my time to line up my target again that I was too slow. :( But with the laser, I could actually hit a target more than 25 feet away and I could shoot way faster too :)

But when it comes to a full size gun like my 1911, I don't think it is worth it. I think if you know how to shoot, then you are better to just use your sites and not a laser because it just makes things more complicated. And also I agree with K1dude that if you are totally scared for your life, adding that laser will be just one more thing to worry about. For regular guns, i say you should just get super accurate with it and not need the laser :)

jdg30
07-26-2010, 5:09 PM
I am in the same boat as you, I got a 642 without the laser grips and now wonder if I should have got them. The issued grips are small, and the Hogue grips are no better.

The stock grips on the 642 aren't my favorite but I actually really like the Hogue bantam j-frame grips on the airweights. My hand grips them better than the stock grips and for me, they are a little better to hold on to. That's one reason why I am debating getting CT grips because I like the Hogue's so much.

cudakidd
07-26-2010, 5:25 PM
I have them on my wifes Model 60, my Kahr CW9, two MK series, my 686, etc.

I have those "over 50 eyes" and found that the standard S&W orange sights just disappeared in low light. Same for the black rear sights or target sights.

Here's what I found, in low light they work great but I found in training my eye focused on them EVEN when they were sighted in off target! It's hard not to focus on them in dim light. So make sure they are sighted in for the ranges you plan to shoot them at AND conditions you anticipate.

40% off for NRA instructer orders, 3 per year by the way!