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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody using a laser on their PPS m2? Opinions? My choice at this point is the crimson trace in green. At 63 I cant afford to rely on glasses in an emergency situation. Im thinking of also replacing the phosphorus front site with a Dawson .
 

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I have a Dawson green fiber optic on my PPS. I see it much better than I did the factory front sight.
All a laser does, for me, is show me little circles on the target from movement!
 

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I do not recommend entrusting your life to a laser just because you're without glasses. Instead, I recommend shooting without your glasses so that you have some training without them. I realize that this will mean you'll be putting a fuzzy front sight over a fuzzier target down-range … but that's exactly why you should practice it … and maybe even consider front-sight changes to something that works better for you when you're sans glasses.

Why do I say/suggest this? Because it's what I would suggest to any of my students. Frankly, lasers can and do fail, lose alignment with the bore, etc -- so I tend to view them as valid for either a training aid or as a secondary sight -- rarely as a primary sight. (I say 'rarely' instead of 'never' because the lone situation where they might be ok as a primary sight … is in the absence of other primary sights … like with the 1st gen Ruger LCP, which has darn-near-impossible-to-use-sights in order to render the firearm snag-free on the draw.)

That's my professional advice.
 

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If you need sights in a self defense shooting it’s already to late. You will never need them anyway.

The bigger issue is if you can identify what you are shooting at. If you can’t, you shouldnt shoot anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I do not recommend entrusting your life to a laser just because you're without glasses. Instead, I recommend shooting without your glasses so that you have some training without them. I realize that this will mean you'll be putting a fuzzy front sight over a fuzzier target down-range … but that's exactly why you should practice it … and maybe even consider front-sight changes to something that works better for you when you're sans glasses.

Why do I say/suggest this? Because it's what I would suggest to any of my students. Frankly, lasers can and do fail, lose alignment with the bore, etc -- so I tend to view them as valid for either a training aid or as a secondary sight -- rarely as a primary sight. (I say 'rarely' instead of 'never' because the lone situation where they might be ok as a primary sight … is in the absence of other primary sights … like with the 1st gen Ruger LCP, which has darn-near-impossible-to-use-sights in order to render the firearm snag-free on the draw.)

That's my professional advice.
I do agree and practice all your professional advice. However, we entrust our live s to all kinds of technology. A laser is an extra level of seeing the target. Not.. a replacement for existing technology like iron sites. Its interesting that you pointed out training without glasses.. I have been doing that lately and I can still make kill shots at 15 yards. alot of fuzzy wuzzy.. but, it is reality training. Your right on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you need sights in a self defense shooting it’s already to late. You will never need them anyway.

The bigger issue is if you can identify what you are shooting at. If you can’t, you shouldnt shoot anyway.
Im not sure what your advocating by this statement. However, you have just justified those who promote lasers on firearms. Its quicker faster acquisition than anything else. the ability to point shoot, focus shoot.. whatever you want to call it does not work for everyone. I think its more like habit or instinctual.. the more you do anything the more it becomes unconscious and deemed skill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I have a Dawson green fiber optic on my PPS. I see it much better than I did the factory front sight.
All a laser does, for me, is show me little circles on the target from movement!
yeah I was looking at doing the same. that is the Dawson fiber optic front sight. do you know what size I should order? The pull down offers many sight height and width configurations. TIA. OH and how do you like the XDM.. im actually looking at that right now.. we dont have them in New York.. is the grip smaller than a glock grip?
 

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I am advocating this....most self defense shootings take place within arms length.

Goto the range...draw your gun at a silhouette target. Point the barrel and shoot. If you have any sort of gun handling experience, I am willing to bet a kill shot at 5 yards. You can probably do it blind folded (not that I advocate this however).


Some of the most popular carry guns barely have sights.

The other point was that if a shooter has visions issues (not knowing how bad the issues are) but if you can’t distinguish the target, you are in a bad spot because you won’t know what you are shooting at.

Lasers have a place. They can also be a great deterrent. They will show you where your round is going to hit, but they also don’t illuminate the target allowing a shooter with vision issues or in the dark to distinguish the target.
 

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Anybody using a laser on their PPS m2? Opinions? My choice at this point is the crimson trace in green. At 63 I cant afford to rely on glasses in an emergency situation. Im thinking of also replacing the phosphorus front site with a Dawson .
I am much like you. 63, wear glasses (nearsighted), and certainly find lasers a valuable additional tool for placing rounds downrange as accurately as possible. I have 3 of them. The green CT CMR 206 on my PPQ Navy, and PPQ SC, and the Crimson Trace green laserguard on my PPS M2. I practice regularly with both the sights and the lasers on each gun to be proficient using both, but I'm more accurate with the lasers. Once sighted in and properly installed, they have not lost zero. I keep the batteries (free from CT) regularly changed out with fresh ones, so have not had any failures from that. Since my CCW weapon is the PPS M2, I pay a little closer attention to it, but find its battery holds its charge longer than the CMR 206's. All are quite bright in nearly all light situations, and all can literally illuminate a room if shinned at a wall or ceiling in the dark. At home, I still use a separate flashlight in my other hand using a cross arm technique, with the muzzle pointed down or up so as not to point at an unidentified intruder. Note that at my house, in my specific situation, an intruder is most likely going to be either a family member, or one of their friends, coming home late at night... if I lived in a big city, with rampant crime, I would likely choose a different approach, but this works for me.
The downside for me was the expense of the PPS CT laserguard, but after using it extensively for a year now, I feel it is the best integrated laser this particular gun could have. Very sleek, smooth, easy to holster, comes on instantly upon grabbing the gun, and just feels like a built in part of the gun - noticeably different than the rail mounted CMR 206's on my other Walthers, although I still like them a lot too.
Many people, professionals, instructors, etc, give lasers a bad rap. They can all have valid opinions for their given situations. I believe mine is as well, for me. YRMV, but with my experience with this particular setup (PPS M2 w/ CT green laserguard), I can only say, I highly recommend it - if you can afford about $200 for it. Function and design can't be beat, IMHO.
 

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I just added the Crimson Trace Laser Guard to my PPS M2 in green. I ordered through Optics Planet, which runs some pretty good sales sometimes. I got luck on this particular day and got the laser for $160, which was almost $100 off.

I frankly love the thing. I was skeptical about it. The only other sight I'd owned was $20 from Amazon on a .22 PPQ, just to screw around with. This one is clearly better! It's activated just by gripping the weapon securely. It is a bit of a trick shooting one-handed, but when squeezing both hands in a good firing grip it's natural to activate. The laser is very bright, and even in pretty bright sunlight outside I can still see it out to 15 yards -- barely, but I can see it :)

I zeroed it at 40' at my indoor range, so at pretty much any distance it's definitely accurate enough that if you do your part, you'll never be more than about an inch off your POI.

I agree they're no substitute for iron sights, and yes they can fail, yes they can break, yes they can wash out in direct sunlight, etc. But nothing is foolproof, and twice in two years I've had a front sight fly off a gun during a high-round training class. So yeah, anything can fail.

I think a laser is a very valuable self defense tool. I wouldn't consider it to be intended for super-precise, long range shots like TV would show. I'd consider it to be most valuable in fairly close quarters, where speed is as (or more) important than precision and when you likely won't have time for a carefully aimed shot anyways. For all the ways in which a laser (or Red Dot, for that matter) are modern and "high-tech," they're actually far more natural and intuitive to use than iron sights. How often in life, especially during emergencies, do you attempt to manage three different focal planes? With the laser, you look at the thing that's threatening you, and a bright green dot either appears or doesn't.

Based on my own experience, I'd recommend the following if cash allows:

1. Track the prices of the Crimson Trace LG-482 (green if that's what you want -- I prefer it though it's very garish in low light) and buy when you think the price is good.

2. Work it into your training sessions. Switch it off (there's a tiny master switch) when working just with irons. Switch it on when seeing how fast you can come up on target and land an "A Zone" hit. If you have access to an outdoor range where you can move, try using the laser to rapidly land hits on a close target, retreat to cover, then make aimed iron-sight shots at a target further away.

2a - Don't ever become totally dependent on a laser, but duh, right?

3. Buy a Blade Tech "Ambi-Klipt" holster made specifically for the PPS M2 with the LG-482. It fits quite well, although the belt clip is kind of spongy and has no cant adjustments. I carry AIWB where cant isn't important, but I'm considering just replacing the plastic clip with a metal one, maybe Ulticlip or one of Vedder's spring steel clips.

Some months back, I put a red dot sight on my primary carry gun (CZ P-07) and I'm not sure how I lived without it. In my opinion (worth what you paid for it!) those are the best available, with fewer disadvantages than lasers, but much steeper costs. For my PPS, which is primarily a secondary option when I need to wear dress clothes, it was worth $160 and a new holster to get the Laser Guard...would not have been worth $700 and a new holster (minus what I maybe could've sold my first PPS for...what, $200 maybe in today's market?) to get the RMSc version of the PPS M2, though I was sorely tempted when I saw it in a local store!!!!!
 

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I'm also not sure why there's a perception that lasers (or red dots) are a crutch, or a Plan B for people with poor eyesight. They allow the shooter to focus on the threat with both eyes, in a perfectly natural manner.
 

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I'm also not sure why there's a perception that lasers (or red dots) are a crutch, or a Plan B for people with poor eyesight. They allow the shooter to focus on the threat with both eyes, in a perfectly natural manner.
1) Good aiming technique has you looking at the front sight superimposed over the target. A laser, by comparison, has you looking at the target (for the dot) while ignoring the front sight. This means that a laser encourages you to completely ignore (or never learn) how to properly aim. By itself, this is bad, but because solid shooting skills entail depreciable training and muscle memory, it means that if you get used to using the laser/crutch, you'll lose good aiming technique over time (assuming you once had it) … because you don't use it enough to reinforce it … thus, it depreciates/declines.

2) How can you practice good firearm safety if you don't know exactly where the gun is pointing until you see the dot on the target (as you look at the target)? Answer: You can't. This is yet another reason lasers are craptastic for Plan A.

3) In addition to the above, if you rely on a carry gun with a laser as your Plan A for target acquisition, when (not if, but when) its battery fails or it comes out of alignment it may cost the life of you or another. Iron sights, training without glasses, and training to point shoot all avoid this issue. Hence, lasers tend to be relegated to Plan B or training aids (so that an instructor can visibly see/prove when someone's jerking the trigger or anticipating recoil and correct it, for example).

4) The vast bulk of lasers are not grip-activated. This means the vast bulk of lasers require an extra step (read: extra time) to activate ... or it means they use quasi-reliable (e.g. magnet or holster-based) activation … or they tie the firearm to a particular holster and/or form of carry. In the case of an extra step (i.e. extra time), the fractions of seconds (or complete seconds) it takes you to activate the laser on which you rely as a Plan A for target acquisition … could cost the life of you or another. In the case of holster or other quasi-reliable activation approaches (some of which can lead to activation at the wrong time [like in the holster] and, thus a dead battery -- see above) … the lack of activation … or the dead battery resulting from activation within the holster … could cost the life of you or another. In the case of tying the user to a particular holster or form of carry, it limits one's ability to carry appropriately based on situation -- since the same carry mode/style rarely works effectively for say, a bathing suit/T-shirt/flip-flops get-up and say blue jeans/shirt
/shoes/jacket. Iron sights, training without glasses, and training to point shoot all avoid these issues, too.

5) In low-light situations where you may wish to remain unseen as you maneuver for a defensive shot (i.e. in defense of others), lasers give away or strongly hint at your position. Iron sights, training without glasses, and training to point shoot all avoid this issue, too.


I think you get the point: there are a number of reasons. Really, the most egregious of them is the first one, as lasers encourage you to get into a habit that just doesn't work unless the laser is working … and it leads to #2 on the list which, of course, entails piss-poor firearm safety. Note that once you get into the habit of depending on a laser, it's a hard habit to break. (Read: You may not be able to break it if/when your life depends on it and your laser is misaligned, not working, etc. … or breaking it may cost you precious time, missed shots, and the like … since you haven't aimed using proper technique in a while).

-- Surreal

P.S. You lumped red dots and lasers together. You shouldn't, as red dots only have -some- of the issues that lasers do (most notably battery failure and mis-alignment). Like use of iron sights, red dots entail focusing on the sight (the dot) and not the target, which reinforces basic shooting technique rather than abandoning it like lasers do. Red dots also can (and should) be configured for co-witness such that when you line the dot up on the target it sits exactly where the front sight does in your view (this is called absolute co-witness). There's also lower-1/3rd co-witness for clutter reduction in the red dot's glass. Some people prefer that … but it relegates iron sights to a readily-accessible backup that takes fractions of a second more than absolute co-witness to switch to in the event of an optic failure. I'll leave absolute vs. lower-1/3rd co-witness to another thread, as that's akin to mouse gun vs. service caliber debate. :)
 

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1) Good aiming technique has you looking at the front sight superimposed over the target. A laser, by comparison, has you looking at the target (for the dot) while ignoring the front sight. This means that a laser encourages you to completely ignore (or never learn) how to properly aim. By itself, this is bad, but because solid shooting skills entail depreciable training and muscle memory, it means that if you get used to using the laser/crutch, you'll lose good aiming technique over time (assuming you once had it) … because you don't use it enough to reinforce it … thus, it depreciates/declines.
I'm no expert (wait...doesn't posting stuff on the Internet make me an expert?! :D) but I do know a few! And I've heard/read discussions about this topic argued passionately by people who are each excellent shooters. It's enough for me to see that there's more than just technical differences between them -- there's a good deal of "how it should be" mixed in. I think I'd come at this another way, and say that good aiming technique has you hitting what you aim at (and no I'm not saying that to be snarky). Traditional aiming technique has you focus on the front sight and press the trigger without disturbing that sight picture. But this isn't really about not moving the sight, is it? It's about keeping the gun steady while you press the trigger. The laser (or red dot) equivalent here is to keep the dot from leaving the target area while pressing the trigger -- that's the "dot equivalent" of not disturbing the sight picture. I can say that my trigger control has improved since starting to use electronic sights, especially since during dry fire I see exactly what the effect is of my trigger press.

Now to your point about skills degrading, yes, if you lose the skill of iron sight alignment you can become sloppy. But if you become an expert with an electronic sight, then your technique will still be solid -- unless/until the sight fails. So I don't mean to advocate for the abandonment of iron sights. But I also don't see electronic sights as crutches. They are not replacements for iron sights, they're different from iron sights, and they are sighting systems in their own right.

And, for whatever drawbacks they have, they do have the distinct advantage of allowing you to focus on the threat, with both eyes open. Plenty of trainers cite this as an advantage during stressful self-defense incidents because the defender can be more situationally aware.

Again, I'm not saying that iron sights should be abandoned or anything of the sort. I train with them regularly. It's especially critical with lasers, because lasers can so easily be compromised by the environment (haze, fog, bright light, foreground barriers and the like). I'd see the utility of lasers being at fairly close range, direct shots at targets when the time advantage over traditional sight alignment is what makes them so effective.

2) How can you practice good firearm safety if you don't know exactly where the gun is pointing until you see the dot on the target (as you look at the target)? Answer: You can't. This is yet another reason lasers are craptastic for Plan A.
Not sure I follow this. With any sighting system you don't know *exactly* where the gun is pointing until sights are aligned, and with irons this is basically at full extension. Until that point, I have a general idea of roughly where it's pointing. I don't think I know anyone who waves loaded guns around with lasers to see where they might be pointing :) But your point is well taken -- know at all times where your gun is pointing. I just don't see where a laser would compromise that.

3) In addition to the above, if you rely on a carry gun with a laser as your Plan A for target acquisition, when (not if, but when) its battery fails or it comes out of alignment it may cost the life of you or another. Iron sights, training without glasses, and training to point shoot all avoid this issue. Hence, lasers tend to be relegated to Plan B or training aids (so that an instructor can visibly see/prove when someone's jerking the trigger or anticipating recoil and correct it, for example).
Certainly all good points.

4) The vast bulk of lasers are not grip-activated. This means the vast bulk of lasers require an extra step (read: extra time) to activate ... or it means they use quasi-reliable (e.g. magnet or holster-based) activation … or they tie the firearm to a particular holster and/or form of carry. In the case of an extra step (i.e. extra time), the fractions of seconds (or complete seconds) it takes you to activate the laser on which you rely as a Plan A for target acquisition … could cost the life of you or another. In the case of holster or other quasi-reliable activation approaches (some of which can lead to activation at the wrong time [like in the holster] and, thus a dead battery -- see above) … the lack of activation … or the dead battery resulting from activation within the holster … could cost the life of you or another. In the case of tying the user to a particular holster or form of carry, it limits one's ability to carry appropriately based on situation -- since the same carry mode/style rarely works effectively for say, a bathing suit/T-shirt/flip-flops get-up and say blue jeans/shirt
/shoes/jacket. Iron sights, training without glasses, and training to point shoot all avoid these issues, too.
All reasons why I specifically went with a model that was instinctively activated. But yes, I would never trust myself to remember to switch on a device under extreme stress and without time to react. Again, that's why I've never advocated for not training with iron sights and point shooting -- I just see lasers as having intrinsic value that's more than just "Plan B," so long as people are aware of limitations and train for many scenarios.

5) In low-light situations where you may wish to remain unseen as you maneuver for a defensive shot (i.e. in defense of others), lasers give away or strongly hint at your position. Iron sights, training without glasses, and training to point shoot all avoid this issue, too.
As I'm unable to predict where I may be when I need to defend myself, this one is hard to argue with. I'd think the scenarios in which this would be an actual problem would be very rare for civilians (heck, needing a firearm at all is very rare), but yes I could certainly see some cases in which a laser would compromise your safety.

I think you get the point: there are a number of reasons. Really, the most egregious of them is the first one, as lasers encourage you to get into a habit that just doesn't work unless the laser is working … and it leads to #2 on the list which, of course, entails piss-poor firearm safety. Note that once you get into the habit of depending on a laser, it's a hard habit to break. (Read: You may not be able to break it if/when your life depends on it and your laser is misaligned, not working, etc. … or breaking it may cost you precious time, missed shots, and the like … since you haven't aimed using proper technique in a while).
Yes, definitely. I don't think we actually disagree here -- although having agreed with most of what you've said, I would not conclude therefore that a laser (if properly trained with) is only a Plan B or only a training aid. I believe they have intrinsic value that in some situations can be invaluable. I've shot with irons for years. In timing myself with irons vs. red dots vs. instinctive lasers, at a range inside of 7-10 yards, I can land a first accurate hit faster with the laser than anything else. And I can get back on target faster. Again, this is at a static range, so perhaps it's not indicative of real performance.

P.S. You lumped red dots and lasers together. You shouldn't, as red dots only have -some- of the issues that lasers do (most notably battery failure and mis-alignment). Like use of iron sights, red dots entail focusing on the sight (the dot) and not the target, which reinforces basic shooting technique rather than abandoning it like lasers do. Red dots also can (and should) be configured for co-witness such that when you line the dot up on the target it sits exactly where the front sight does in your view (this is called absolute co-witness). There's also lower-1/3rd co-witness for clutter reduction in the red dot's glass. Some people prefer that … but it relegates iron sights to a readily-accessible backup that takes fractions of a second more than absolute co-witness to switch to in the event of an optic failure. I'll leave absolute vs. lower-1/3rd co-witness to another thread, as that's akin to mouse gun vs. service caliber debate. :)
I think red dots are vastly superior to lasers for all the reasons you've listed. I'd disagree with "Like irons...focusing on the dot and not the target." I have never been told to focus on the dot and not the target -- certainly not by instructors who specifically teach the use of red dot sights. I aim with both eyes open and focused on the target, and the dot appears on the POI almost like a laser, but without all the disadvantages lasers have with environmental conditions (and without jumping all over the place if you move with them). To the best of my knowledge, red dots sights are designed specifically for target focusing while shooting. If you focus on the dot, you still gain the advantage of having to align only one thing with a target and hence they are still quicker to acquire, but this loses the advantage of aiming naturally -- i.e. if under attack, you're able to look at the thing attacking you and not at a dot or an iron post.

My 2 cents anyway, worth exactly what you paid to read them :p
 

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I do not recommend entrusting your life to a laser just because you're without glasses. Instead, I recommend shooting without your glasses so that you have some training without them. I realize that this will mean you'll be putting a fuzzy front sight over a fuzzier target down-range … but that's exactly why you should practice it … and maybe even consider front-sight changes to something that works better for you when you're sans glasses.

Why do I say/suggest this? Because it's what I would suggest to any of my students. Frankly, lasers can and do fail, lose alignment with the bore, etc -- so I tend to view them as valid for either a training aid or as a secondary sight -- rarely as a primary sight. (I say 'rarely' instead of 'never' because the lone situation where they might be ok as a primary sight … is in the absence of other primary sights … like with the 1st gen Ruger LCP, which has darn-near-impossible-to-use-sights in order to render the firearm snag-free on the draw.)

That's my professional advice.
I agree with this. I am not much for lasers or things of that nature, on a gun. Even my rifles either have no magnification, just irons, or if they have glass, it is of low magnification.

I want to use what I would have to use under not so ideal conditions. JMHO.
 

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Militaries and civilians alike have been using night sights, lasers, red dots, and magnified optics for decades now. I've yet to hear all the real world horror stories from the usage of these tool that the naysayers proclaim there will be. Also, I don't get the logic behind the thinking that those who use laser can NOT shoot without them... That they are somehow untrained. We can shoot without them; however, because of poor eyesight, we shoot better, faster, and more accurately with them.
 
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