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Lasers on handguns, accuracy?

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by ithaca_deerslayer, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    If you put a laser on a .38 snubbie, does it typically allow you to target shoot a lot more accurately?

    For example, I've so far been getting about 4" to 6" groups with my scoped Thompson Contender handgun at 100 yards. Who knows what the gun is capable of, but that's the level of precision the scope allows. Lots of other factors involved, like a stout recoil, light trigger, long barrel, heavy gun, etc.

    If you put a laser sight on a snubbie, can you shoot 2" groups at 25 yards? 8" groups at 100 yards?

    Note that I'm not talking about the inherrent accuracy of the guns, themselves. Who knows what that is. Instead, I'm talking about the enhanced ability of the shooter to be able to shoot more precisely because of a scope or a laser.

    Unscoped, good sights, 8" barrel, I can shoot my .44 mag about a 6" group at 50 yards. That mostly is the result of how well I can or cannot see, and how much the sights cover up the whole target. I'm not talking about tangent to the bullseye shooting (which could improve accuracy for that specific target type), but instead dead center shooting on any kind of target. Yet, add a scope, and the level of precision increases and I can shoot 6" at 100 yards. The limiting factor then becomes my ability to hold a handgun steady, even when rested on top of a bench (but not in a holder).

    A double action snubbie, poor iron sights, unrested, I'm getting about a 6" group at 10 yards. If that was laser sighted, the aiming precision would increase, but could I realistically get a 6" group at 50 or 100 yards?

    This is all just hypothetical. But I'm wondering what kind of results you guys get with your laser sights, compared to iron sights.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. mixflip

    mixflip

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    Some folks think a laser will turn your gun into a guided missile launcher...i.e shoot and forget.

    The truth is that you still need to do all the basic marksman fundamentals of shooting or you will still shoot like crap but with a bouncing red dot all over the place. Yanking the trigger will still result in a miss...laser or not.

    I have seen folks shoot WORSE with lasers in many cases. It was a training issue obviously. Now shooting from the hip, or from behind odd cover or in low light for intimidation (on top of skillful shooting) is nice with a laser.

    My opinion is that its just another tool that you still need to practice with to get good accuracy with. I am guessing your .38 snubbie with a laser will be a defensive gun? Just because you shoot it well on a static square box range, taking your sweet time top shoot paper targets is not the going to be the case when you pull that lasered snubbie on a bad guy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009

  3. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    I agree with you. The laser isn't for me, but for a friend.

    My personal opinion with something like a snubbie is it is a point and shoot gun that you train with. I wouldn't want batteries to fail, or my grip fail to activate the laser, so I wouldn't want to be dependent upon the laser. But that is just my personal view, for my own carry concern.

    But I was still wondering what it does for accuracy. I hypothetically wonder, why couldn't I shoot a laser snubbie as accurately as my scoped Contender at 100 yards? Aside from the trigger pull being about a 5 pound difference :rofl:

    I know why I can't shoot my scoped Contender as well as my scoped .308 rifle at 100 yards. The reason is because one is a handgun that I'm not able to brace steady enough, and the other is a shouldered rifle that has more contact points with my body to steady it. That and the fact that my handgun scope is only 2.5x and my rifle scope is 12x :rofl: And the handgun kicks about 10 times as hard :crying:
     
  4. method

    method

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    Just in the fact that the laser dot covers a lot less target than the iron sights, yes, they allow for more accurate shooting. It's still on you as to how tight a group you'll get.
     
  5. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    I do a LOT of low light laser and J Frame shooting.
    I think I'd have to say the laser won't make a shooter shoot more accurately if you compared their daylight iron sight shooting to their low light laser shooting. What the laser does is allow the (practiced) shooter to shoot as well and as fast as they can in daylight and allows the shooter to make shots that they can't make any other way.

    For instance I rate myself as a "decent shot". I shoot with the laser (in low light) very close to how I shoot without the laser in daylight.
    Daylight with iron sights.
    [​IMG]

    Low light with the laser.
    [​IMG]

    But I can't come close to doing such as this without the laser.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Well darn it, M2, go out there with your laser snubbie and see how well you can shoot at 50 or 100 yards. Will the laser make it that far and be visible?

    If your old eyes can't see it, have one of them young attractive models you've been teaching to shoot give it a try. Their young eyes are probably sharp.

    You know, I think I'm going to try this with my .22LR 4" 2206 with a red dot. I haven't taken it out in a while. I think the red dot adjusts pretty fine. I'm going to try it at 100 yards. Then, I'm going to try it iron sighted at 100 yards. Hmm, sounds like a project.
     
  7. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    Depending on the TC, caliber, etc, it should probably do a lot better than that. My 14 inch .223 TC easily shoots under 1 inch at 100 yards with a (inexpensive) Burris scope.
    I've never measured the laser dot (Streamlight TLR-2) at 100 yards but I think it's larger than a couple inches.

    I zero the rifle lasers at 50 yards and easily can shoot a couple inches with the .223 Bushmaster M4 (bench rest).
     
  8. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    I'm trying to think of a good answer to your questions, with examples, but I can't come up with anything, except I really don't know.

    Good idea. As you might have seen I like to shoot the small guns at 50 yards. Trying the Crimson Trace J Frame at 50 (possibly 100 yards) would be very interesting.:)
    Who knows the laser might help me stay on target better than when using the iron sights. I just put it on the top of my list of things to try.:)

    Darn weather has been so bad all I've been able to do is plink in the back yard.

    Not in daylight but about dark it will go a long way.
    I have a Green laser that can be seen at 100 yards on a cloudy day but I hardly ever use it. I don't like laser for daylight use.


    Here's an example of shooting better with the laser.
    Shooting from the hip.
    Offhand with iron sights I couldn't shoot this good.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  9. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Well, excuse me!

    I'm sure the TC will do better than that, but the question is, can I? You know, in factory Federal 7-30 waters 120gr, and 14" unported, it does recoil a bit more than my Dan Wesson .44 mag in 8" ported barrel.

    I'm not saying I'm flinchy, but it does take some concentration. I'll work on it.

    How are you bracing your .223 for sub 1" groups?

    I have to work pretty darn hard to get my .308 rifle to shoot under 1". I'm convinced the gun consistantly is capable of it with Federal 168gr match, but it takes good concentration on my part, and my scope is 12x, so I can see how well I'm lined up.

    But with my TC 7-30 waters, with 2.5x, man there's just not a lot of precision visible through the scope to realistically see myself getting 1" groups. Just visually, I'd say there's 2" of play in the sight picture. And then there's my trying to hold it steady, so maybe 3" of play. And then there is the trigger pull. A good trigger pull and I'm at 4". A bad trigger pull and I'm at 6". A fabulous trigger pull on my part might put me at 3".

    So how would I ever get down to 1" groups?

    When 90% of the people say they shoot some XYZ gun at 1" groups, I think they are full of BS. I doubt they can actually do it. I very rarely see anyone shoot that well. Oh, lots say they can, but then they don't actually end up doing it when challenged. You know, pin them down to an actual shoot, and say ok, 5 shots, right now, take your time. Then when a shot goes outside of 1", they start saying something about a flyer. Well, duh, that's the whole point, you've got to get all 5 shots within a 1" group.

    But with you, M2, I believe you when you say you and your TC .223 can do it. I don't know how you do it, but I believe you can. And you've probably got a couple rifles that you can do it with, too. (no sarcasm here at all).
     
  10. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    That's what I meant. My .223 is a *****cat compared to some of those TC hand cannons.:supergrin:

    That .223 TC is just a very accurate gun. I'd say it's second only to my Rock River NM AR and maybe a old Remington Model 788 .222.
    I happened to run across it in a gun store (used) years ago on the way to work. I had recently bought a Colt AR and thought a .223 plinker would be fun. Immediately I saw that thing was something else.

    Back then I just used a couple sand bags, one under the pistol grip.
    A few years back I put a sling stud in the front of the stock so I can use a Harris bipod and sandbag under the pistol grip. It looks weird with that Harris but it's rock steady.

    It's been a while since I shot it but I recall I thought "the gun still has it", although the shooter has to work harder all the time.
    As I recall I blew out several of those five shot groups. I suspect if the gun could talk it would be calling me a dumb ***.:supergrin:


    Heck I don't. I don't know enough about pin point shooting to be giving advice.
    I just hold as steady as I can and squeeze the trigger.:)
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  11. CBennett

    CBennett

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    thing I like most about them is for high stress moments you may be able to shoot without having the gun up in a "proper" sight alignment. like shooting over or around something but still being able to see where your laser is aiming hitting.. such as shooting IMMEDIATELY after you draw(from the hip or waste) but seeing where the laser would hit..or tracking a target better. I know I like to think the wife who does not really shoot would hit "better" in a stressful situation with them than without them.
     
  12. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    I'd bet on it.

    A couple months ago my friend's (16 year old) daughter was shooting. She was doing OK but it wasn't her best day.
    I have a steel target that has 4 about 3.5 inch targets and a 3.5 inch reset target. The girl was tearing up the other paper targets, clay birds, etc, but just couldn't run those 5 steel targets (using iron sights).
    It was late and we were packed up and ready to quit. I handed her my CT equipped S&W 2 inch Model 60 and told her we aren't quitting until you run those targets, use the laser (about 14 yards).
    She ran those 5 targets faster than it takes to tell it and handed back my 38.:)

    My friend said, Now that's a good argument for the laser.
     
  13. rfd339

    rfd339

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    I have a set of Crimson trace lg-303 grips on my Ruger Sp101 2.25 and there a great add on. I have tried 100 yards for fun but the dot is so hard to control . It really shines at 25yrd to 3yrds . Like others have stated don't let the laser take over basic SD handgun fundamentals but let it add to it.
     
  14. FEDLEO

    FEDLEO I'm the rootenist tootenist shootenist

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    My wife loves hers. She is very accurate with it but has trouble seeing the sights on a regular pistol. So I think they have their place
     
  15. a_tack

    a_tack

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    Love them on semi-autos, hate them on DA revolvers...
     
  16. ArmoryDoc

    ArmoryDoc

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    A laser won't fix trigger jerk, recoil anticipation, milking, too much or too little finger on the trigger and other shooter induced issues. It will allow you to see you POI and give you an opportunity to work to a steadier hold but it won't happen just because you put a laser on it. If you have any of the above issues the laser won't compensate for those.
     
  17. gjk5

    gjk5 Pinche Gringo

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    I don't depend on mine (have them on a Kimber ultra and a jframe) and practice more without them than with.

    I do think they are very useful for low light shooting, I also think they are good for showing you what you are doing wrong or right with the trigger if you watch the target.

    I also think that laser practice alternated without it can really help your point/instinctive shooting.
     
  18. Dandapani

    Dandapani

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    Yes, laser helps me keep my snub with tighter groups. I practice shooting the letters, lines, and intersections off the silhouette targets.
     
  19. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    With my CT J Frame I checked out a telephone pole 95 yards away.
    By golly I could hold the laser on the pole, standing, two hands (surprised me).

    Weather clears I'm going to give this a try one evening, probably starting at 50 yards.


    I just remembered, some time back I did shoot the 3 inch Kimber Ultra at 40 yards when sighting the laser for a HD gun.
    By the time I shot the 40 yard target it was so dark the target was just a Gray blur. No way could I have been able to hit the target without the laser.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. RWBlue

    RWBlue Mr. CISSP, CISA CLM

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    I think with the right laser gun setup, I am a little more accurate, but.....I have to cheat to get that accuracy.