David's Performance and Training Corner

With David Salthouse from APC, Inc.
Associate Director of Training & Program Development

Quest Writer John Ritchie APC, Inc.
Senior Instructor

Laser All The Way

When buying a gun today there a so many options its mind boggling. Night sights, rail system, wood grips, short barrel, long barrel, caliber, and laser. The list goes on. But it’s the laser we want to discuss this time because what do we really know.

What do you know about using a laser? If you stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night you can perform surgery with a laser. Visit the pro shop and you can measure the distance to the green or visit Home Depot and get the ultimate leveling tool. And heck, watch TV and you know that a laser attached to your firearm puts the fear of God into the bad guy because you just can’t miss; but you can.

The reality is a laser allows you to aim without having to line you your sights but it does not guarantee a perfect shot. What guarantees the perfect shot remains with one of the most important fundamental of shooting – trigger control. If we think back to that day when someone explained the shooting fundamentals to us, we might remember the two most important were sight picture and trigger control. Sure, grip, stance, breath control, and follow through are important; but let’s face the facts; someone can swing from a tree branch holding a gun upside-down and still hit the target. Why, because they properly align the sights on the target and control the trigger effectively.

Now you understand the PRO’s of the laser. It helps eliminate the need for an effective sight picture. No need to worry about which is your dominant eye, seeing the front sight, squinting, or holding the gun in front of your face which will block peripheral vision. Hold the gun low, keep both eyes open and worry only about trigger control. This is a great tool when dealing with multiple adversaries or for quick target acquisition. And let’s face it; it puts the fear into them when that red dot is resting between their eyes.

But wait, there’s more. Don’t forget extra batteries or to clean the laser lens. And don’t forget how to use those fixed sights. If you carry a firearm for self defense, you have my support. But keeping with Murphy’s Law, expect your batteries to be dead when you need them most. The other concern is a dirty lens or worse, a lens cleaned with oil. I see people at the range turn on their lasers only to see a halo occur. Oil was left on the lens and it distorts the laser rendering it ineffective. Other debris is just as decapitating to the laser. Shall I keep going? If it’s the most gorgeous sunny day we’ve had in a while, the laser may not be visible beyond a few feet.

If you want to consider a laser please do. I have a couple and they help build my arsenal of boy’s toys. Just be sure you understand like anything else there are drawbacks. I like Corvette’s too, but insurance and gas guzzling makes me think twice.

My conclusion is this: put a Lasermax or Crimson Trace on your Christmas list. Just be sure you take the time to learn how to use it. It’s more rewarding than the new DVD player but just as easy to get frustrated with.

Be safe and remember, Failing to Train is Training to Fail!
Email John at with comments, questions, or topics you would like him to cover in a future article.