The Laser Sight Debate

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

We have a lot of debates in the world of firearms. Most of them are good-natured, as different people, and even experts, express their personal opinions, trying to convince others. In many cases, the debate exists because there is no perfect answer; what works for one person, may not work for another. In those cases, it’s possible for both opinions to be perfectly valid.

One of these many debates is about laser sights. We’ve all seen these depicted in the movies, where the red dot appears on someone’s chest or head, just before they get shot. That’s a fairly accurate depiction, although the people’s reaction to seeing that dot is anything but an accurate depiction.

Like many other options, there are those who are in favor of them and those who are not. I think I should say that most of the experienced firearms instructors I have seen are not in favor of laser sights and I have to agree with their reasons why they are against them. Even so, I have them on all my carry guns and I do so with good reason.

What’s Wrong with Laser Sights

There are several very good arguments against using laser sights, starting with becoming dependent on them. I’ve had my laser sights fail a number of times, especially when batteries go bad. But it doesn’t take a bad battery for a laser sight to go out, as I had one rather costly one go out because the contacts for the battery became loose.

Becoming dependent for your life on anything that requires battery power is a rather iffy proposition. If all you are accustomed to using is the laser sight and not your iron sights, then when the laser sight fails, you can’t shoot effectively. Of course, you can solve this problem by practicing with the iron sights as well.

The same reason about being dependent on them can be given for using them outdoors. Laser sights just aren’t as visible outdoors, as they are indoors, especially the red ones. Green laser sights are brighter and are more likely to be visible outdoors, than indoors, but they are more expensive.

Finally, using laser sights gives the bad guys the knowledge that you are there and makes you more visible to them. They can see that bright red dot that indicates your gun much farther away than the laser dot will be visible on them. So using a laser sight might attract unwanted attention. And forget about the idea of it chasing anyone away; that’s a really iffy proposition at best.

What’s Right About Laser Sights

While there are several arguments against laser sights, it’s not all bad news. There are some valid reasons for using them, starting with them being visible at night. Most sights don’t do you a whole lot of good at night, unless you have tritium sights on your guns (I also have tritium sights on all my carry guns). That advantage is offset however by the fact that you still need to see and identify your target, before you put your sight on them.

But the biggest thing in favor of using laser sights is that it allows you to keep your head and your eyes downrange, instead of focused on your gun’s front sight post. This is an important advantage, especially in a developing situation. By keeping your head and eyes downrange, you can better see what the bad guys are doing and whether or not you’re going to have to shoot at all.

On top of that, laser sights provide a one-point aiming system, much like a red dot sight does. What I mean by that is you only have to line up one point with the target, not the two points of front and rear sight. That makes it possible to aim considerably faster, once you are accustomed to working with it.

Why do I use Laser Sights?

But I don’t use laser sights for these reasons, even though I recognize and appreciate them. Rather, I use laser sights because my eyes aren’t all that good. I’ve worn glasses for over 50 years and my eyes continue to deteriorate with time. Currently, the lenses are over 1/8” thick in the middle and I can’t see much of anything , besides fuzzy shapes, without them.

I’m supposed to wear tri-focal glasses, because of my poor vision. But tri-focal glasses are hard to come by and expensive when you can find someplace that can make them. Therefore, I wear bi-focals. I have two pair; one for distance and reading and one for computer and reading.

If you think about it, the front sight of your gun is about the same distance as a computer screen when you’re working. So when I’m wearing my computer and reading glasses, I can see the front sight just find. But when I’m wearing my distance and reading glasses, I can’t focus on the front sight, no matter what I do. This means that when I leave my home or office, I either wear my computer glasses or I can’t see my front sight well enough to shoot.

Granted, I can see well enough with my computer glasses to drive; so that’s what I usually do. But if I’m doing something outdoors which requires seeing a long way’s away, I need my distance glasses. In those cases, I’m dependent on my laser sight, in order to be able to shoot my pistol.


My point here is that you shouldn’t let someone else dictate what you do or what you use, because it’s what works for them. Each of us needs to determine for ourselves what gear we are going to use and how we are going to use it. Take the time to experiment and develop your own system, even if it goes contrary to conventional wisdom. In the long run, it will serve you better. Just be sure to keep your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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