Laser sights are a popular upgrade option for many handgun owners. The addition of a laser sight can make the process of aiming easier and more accurate in low-light conditions. It’s undoubtedly easier to see where your bullet will hit when the target is illuminated by a brilliant red dot.
There are many options of laser sights for most handguns. A popular method of attachment positions the laser under the front of the gun barrel.
The laser beam is often activated by a pressure-sensitive switch located around the grips or the trigger.
Yet problematically, some models have a manual switch that must be turned on for the laser to function, which is not always possible in fast-paced self-defense situations.
There are also laser sights models that attach the laser to the top of the gun barrel in the line of view, where the traditional iron sights are located.
This style is not very popular because it changes the profile of the gun and adds weight to the weapon, making it top heavy. Top-mounted laser sights can also block the factory iron sights, meaning that if the laser fails to function for some reason, you will be left without sights.
Another popular method for adding laser capability to a handgun is by using laser grips. These are simply gun grips that install on the top of your existing grips and contain the laser inside, thus avoiding any issues with obscuring the originals.
Since the beam is projected from the top of your grips, it leaves the laser nearly in line with the barrel. This makes for an accurate and low-profile laser sight and it leaves your factory iron sights available when the beam isn’t turned on or stops working.
Some handguns are constructed without separate grips. Essentially, the grip is part of the gun frame with these models. Glock firearms utilize this design and it can be difficult to mount laser grips on a Glock because they don’t have grips.
There are laser sights in a grip form available for Glocks and author Duane A. Daiker talks about them in his article “Crimson Trace Laser Grips for Glock” on USConcealedcarry.com:
“The Laser grips are secured with a single frame pin and the end result is nearly seamless.” (Read more about laser sights at USConcealedCarry.com)
Most laser grips are easy to install and can be attached at home with simple hand tools, but there are some laser sight installations that may require a professional.
As always, before buying and installing any laser grips, do your research. See what other people who own them have to say and what the installation process is like.
And of course, laser sights can fail so don’t let them become a replacement for good training and proficiency with the factory sights.