Want to boost your accuracy without adding a heavy scope to the top of your pistol? Laser sights are some of the most popular firearm attachments in the industry. Here’s a quick breakdown of everything you need to know about these common gun enhancements.
Do You Need a Laser Sight?
What Is a Laser Sight?
A laser sight is a type of firearm attachment that you can use by itself or in conjunction with other optics and attachments.
Typical firearms’ sight pictures have three aspects that combine for the complete image: the rear and front sights and the target.
While this is fine for everyday accuracy, a laser sight can improve your target acquisition and result in faster sight alignment overall.
When properly mounted, a laser sight projects a red or green laser at an angle complementary to your rear and front sights.
You have to be careful to calibrate the lasers correctly so they actually hit the target where your shots will impact.
If done correctly, your accuracy will almost certainly skyrocket and you’ll be able to take rapid but accurate shots much easier.
Where Can Laser Sights Be Mounted?
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Laser sights have been around for long enough that there’s a ton of variety in terms of models and mounting options.
Pistols have the most flexibility – there are laser grips that attach to the grip of your favorite handgun and that feature switches on the back or side.
These lasers are often favored by grip masters since you have to have excellent grip discipline to use them effectively.
Most laser sights mount on the top of your weapon. Rear sight lasers take the place of your rear sights and work in conjunction with your front sights to provide better accuracy.
Others might be mounted on your pistol or rifle’s rail just like a scope or any other type of optic.
These are the most common types since there are literally thousands of laser sights suitable for Weaver or Picatinny-style rails.
Still, more laser sights might mount beneath the barrel of your gun or near the trigger.
These are normally suitable for rifles or shotguns, especially since longer guns might have additional optics on the top.
In this way, shooters can use both types of attachments in combination with one another to great effect.
Red or Green: Which Is Better?
The difference between these laser colors is not just aesthetic.
Red lasers are more common and are often cheaper to purchase because they have a wider temperature range.
These lasers are most visible and accurate anywhere between ambient temperatures of 15° and 120°F.
However, they’re not the best for daytime use since red light dissipates more easily in bright environments. Expect to only see the laser stand out for up to 30 yards or so.
Green lasers are more expensive on average, but they’re a lot easier to see during the day. It’s not uncommon to see a green laser for up to 100 yards even at high noon.
Keep in mind that these lasers drain more battery life faster, so they won’t last as long.
Furthermore, they’re a little more sensitive to temperature so they only work between the 40° in 100°F range.
In the end, both types of lasers can be worthwhile – just consider whether you’ll be using your weapon outdoors in the sunlight or for nighttime engagements when selecting a laser.
Are Laser Sights Worthwhile?
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It’s tempting to mount a laser sight to your favorite handgun or rifle and assume that you’ll never miss again.
But while laser sights can improve your accuracy across the board, improve is the keyword – they can’t make accuracy appear from thin air.
Your posture, grip, and control all matter just as much, if not more, than the type and quality of laser sight you add to your favorite firearm.
Someone who’s already terribly inaccurate with their pistol or rifle won’t become dramatically better just because they slap a laser sight onto their gun.
It’s important to remember that a laser sight isn’t a replacement for good training and dozens or hundreds of hours at the shooting range.
Laser sights are meant to be used in combination with training and marksmanship practices, not by themselves.
Laser sights are phenomenal attachments that can really improve the accuracy or any shooter, regardless of gun type.
We’d highly recommend selecting at least one to practice with on the range to see if you want to add more to your collection.
Are you considering using a laser sight? Why or why not? Tell us about it in the comments section!