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Handgun Lasers Aren’t a Crutch; They Add Capabilities

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H/T Beretta Blog.

I say that lasers are an enhancement for shooting.

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Laser sights get a bad rap from gun know-it-alls. You’ll hear pithy and condescending comments like these…

• Laser sights are a crutch.

• Lasers are only for people who can’t use iron sights properly.

• Laser sights are slower.

• What are you gonna do when you’re laser battery runs out in the middle of a gunfight?

• Lasers are delicate and will break at inopportune times.

• Serious shooters don’t need them.

Those folks are missing the point. Completely. Lasers add capabilities to your existing knowledge, skills, and equipment without taking anything away. Who wouldn’t want that type of tradeoff?

Also see: A Handgun Laser Primer

To better understand the laser sight debate you might make an analogy to car headlights. There was a time when cars didn’t have them. So maybe that vehicle was more like a horse, but we’re making an analogy here so stick with us. Without headlights, you could drive in daylight conditions. With some care, you could also drive at night, but you’d have to go slower and be much more careful.

But if you add headlights to your car, you now have improved driving capabilities. Those headlights you installed do nothing to diminish your ability to drive in the daylight. However, at night, the lights allow you to see more clearly and farther ahead, so you can drive faster with less risk of running off the road. You’ve added benefits to what you already had.

Lasers are similar in that respect. There’s nothing preventing you from using your good old iron sights in light or dark conditions. Knock yourself out. However, you can do some things with lasers that you can’t do with iron sights. In other words, they add new capabilities to your pistol configuration.

There are four big benefits to laser sights.

Non-traditional sighting positions.

With iron sights, you need to raise your gun to eye level and line up the rear sight, front sight, and target with your eye. Simply put, your gun has to be in front of your face in order for you to aim.

When using a laser, you can be holding the gun in virtually any safe position and still aim at the target. Since the dot on target provides aiming information, the gun does not have to be at eye level. This can offer flexibility when shooting around or over barricades like furniture or walls.

Focus on the target or threat.

Our human survival instinct encourages the eyes and brain to focus on a threat. That’s why so many self-defense shootings result in hits on or near the attacker’s gun hand. The gun is the threat, so that’s where the brain instinctively wants to aim.

When using iron sights, we have to train “around” our natural instinct to focus on the threat and bring the focal point back to the front sight. Lasers support the natural instinct of focusing on the threat as that’s exactly where the dot is – on the target itself.

Speed in dark conditions.

While you can use a laser sight, especially a green one, in daylight conditions, that’s not the ideal usage scenario. Lasers shine (see what I did there?) is low light conditions. It’s in the darkness that the bright laser dot jumps into view. If you ever have the opportunity to shoot under safe but dark conditions, give it a try. I’ll bet you a nickel you’ll be surprised at how fast you’re able to get shots on target using a laser compared to night sights or standard sights with a weapon or hand-held flashlight.

Your handgun doesn’t have to block your field of view.

While related to the first benefit, we’ll detail this one separately. If you have to navigate while holding a gun, a laser sight allows you to carry the handgun lower yet still be able to instantly shoot if needed. By holding your gun below face level, you’ll have a clear and unobstructed view, and if you need to fire, you won’t need to raise your gun to establish a proper sight picture. This is one of the reasons that laser sights can be faster in certain conditions.

The bottom line

If you know what lasers can and can’t do, and train accordingly, they can add to your toolkit of available options. They’re not a substitute for standard sights; they’re intended to provide additional options in certain conditions.

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Gun Training Done Right – Six Shooting Range Etiquette Tips

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This is from Beretta Blog.

 

 

How do you make that first trip to the range, gun store, or even a friend’s house to check out a gun or two without looking like a total doofus? 

Admit it, we all want to be cool and look comfortable and confident when learning new shooting tips and gun handling skills. Like all new things, especially in the early stages of gun training, learning how to handle guns can be intimidating.  Now that Miss Manners’ Super Duper Guide to Shooting Etiquette is out of print, learning basic gun safety and shooting rules is extra hard.

Check out these shooting range etiquette tips and you’ll be safe and look like a pro shooter, or at least a well-rounded intermediate, in no time flat. And, before we start, since we’re talking about gun training, you might want to check out how I feel about serious training, here.

Face forward!

One of the best things you can do (besides displaying good manners) is to demonstrate that you are safe at the range. And the quickest way to freak out everyone else at the range is to turn around while holding your gun. I know, it’s a social event, and part of the fun is bragging to your friends when you blow a pomegranate to smithereens. Trash talking your friends is perfectly acceptable, and encouraged, as long as you keep facing the backstop. Don’t worry; they’ll still hear you while you’re facing forward.

If you need to turn around for some reason, no problem. Just set your gun down on the table, pointed down range, first. If you can, make it safe by unloading and opening the action. Doing that every time you finish a string of fire is a great habit that will impress your range neighbors.

Walk the line!

Back seat drivers can be frustrating, annoying and dangerous. So can back seat shooters.

These are the folks that stand way too far back from the shooting line. When that happens, the muzzles of their various firearms are actually behind other shooters on either side of them. Is it the result of some instinctive Dirty Harry reflex to have the drop on everyone else at the range? We don’t know.  Yet, as nice as you seem to be, I don’t trust you! Not when you have a loaded gun behind my back!

Step on up to the shooting line. Get as close as you can. Look at the bright side, you’ll be a little closer to the target and shoot a better group! And that makes everyone happy.

Be frigid!

While being frigid won’t help you make great strides with members of the opposite sex, it will help you become exceptionally popular at the shooting range. When the range goes cold, people can go check their targets and do other maintenance activities out where the bullets fly. It’s not the time to tinker with your gun, adjust your sights or show your friends your cool new grenade launcher. It doesn’t matter if your gun is empty.  Remember rule one; a gun is never empty!

Bonus tip: If you want to look like a real pro, then don’t just put your gun(s) on the table when you hear “Range Cold!” Step away from the shooting table and stay there the whole time the range is cold. This is a super duper move that lets nearby shooters know that you are not messing with your gun(s) while the range is cold. It’s very considerate and they will love you for it. It’s also a great time to socialize with your range neighbors. There’s not much more fun than talking gun geekery with new friends at the range.

Bag your gun!

Shooting bags do much more than just look cool and tactical. Of course they’re a convenient way to lug all your junk back and forth to the shooting range. But using a proper shooting bag is also a safety issue. Unless you carry your gun to the range in a separate case or box, a good shooting bag is a safe and considerate way to do it. If you walk into a shooting range waving your rifle or pistol around, people just might get the wrong idea about your intentions. Case it safely, unloaded, with the action open, and bring your whole bag to the shooting bench. Once there, remove your gun following posted range procedures.

Question everything!

Well, at least question everything you’re not absolutely sure about. If you are not familiar with the procedures and etiquette of a shooting range, feel free to ask. If there are no staff members or range safety officers, then ask a neighboring shooter. Staff and shooters alike will appreciate the fact that you care enough to ask.

Have fun!

It’s a lot easier to meet new friends and have a good time when other folks aren’t worried about how safe you are. If you slow down, and think about how to make your emphasis on safety plain for others to see, everyone can relax a bit, and focus on the reason you’re all there in the first place.

 

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