Dear Fellow Survivalist;
I’ve long had laser sights mounted to three of my pistols. Specifically, they’re mounted to my daily carry, my former daily carry and my SHTF daily carry. In other words, to the three pistols I’m most likely to use in a live fire situation. To put some names to those pistols, they are (in order mentioned) a Springfield XDS in .45 caliber, a LCP, which is chambered for .380 ACP, and a 9mm Glock 17.
The reason why I have those laser sights mounted to my most likely to be used pistols, is that my eyes aren’t all that good. If I’m not wearing the right pair of glasses, I can’t focus on my front sight, making it hard to shoot accurately. In that case, I switch over to using the laser, as I will be able to see the target and where the sight picture puts me on that target.
Please note that I’m not actually dependent on the laser sight as a shooter. Most of my practice is with the tritium sights on the guns. Batteries in laser sights can go bad at the wrong time; which is why I don’t want to have to depend on them. For me, they’re more of a backup, than anything else. If I need them, I want to be able to have them available to me; but at the same time, I want to be able to shoot without them; hence my practice with the iron sights (tritium sights).
The sights I have now aren’t the first ones I started out with. I have a tendency to look for “budget friendly” options. Noticing that there were a number of laser sights on the market, which didn’t cost very much, I started out with them. But it didn’t take my long to realize that they weren’t the best option available. The time it took to activate those laser sights was unacceptable in my mind, as the few seconds that it took to turn on the switch, a separate action from drawing and aiming the pistol, was enough time to lose the fight.
The solution I came up with was to buy laser sights which had a switch built-in where it will be actuated by my grip, as I draw the gun. These sorts of sights are considerably more expensive than the budget models I started out with; but in fairness to the manufacturers, they’re also harder to make. When push comes to shove, it’s a question of just how much your life is worth. If it’s only worth $20, then go ahead and buy that $20 laser sight.
With those installed, my laser sight comes on automatically on any of those guns, without me having to take the time needed for the extra action of flicking the switch. At the same time, if the laser sight doesn’t come on, it lets me know that I don’t have a good grip on my pistol… an added bonus.
The other thing that is critical with that laser sight is to sight it in correctly. All of the ones I’ve seen are adjustable, even the low-dollar ones. They use small set screws for adjusting windage and altitude. I’ve adjusted the laser sights on all three of these pistols, so that when I have my iron sights or tritium sights aligned properly, I see the red dot from my laser sight sitting right on top of the middle of the front sight post. With it set that way, I can switch my eyes back and forth between the two easily, knowing that might shots will hit the same spot, either way.
The other thing that does for me is that it helps as a training aid, giving me a visual indicator if I’m jerking the trigger or anticipating my shot. It’s hard to see those errors when looking at the iron sights, but it becomes extremely obvious when you see the red laser dot on the target jump.
Of course, it’s necessary to change your laser sight batteries regularly. As the batteries go down, the laser will still produce light; just not as much. Check how well yours is doing at the range or somewhere else where you have distance to use. If you’re unsure that it’s bright enough, change the battery. You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you need to use that laser sight and it’s just not bright enough.
Like everything else, it’s mostly about being prepared; just like keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.