A Laser for Your Home Defense Gun? [POLL]

While at SHOT show last month, I had the chance to check out numerous lasers. These days, a ton of companies make them and they’re smaller than ever, but do you really need a laser on your home defense gun?

Well, here’s what I would do if I were you…

A Laser for Your Home Defense Gun?

A Laser for Your Home Defense Gun?

The first and most important thing you need is a light. Yes, you can use a handheld light, but if you want to get a weapon-mounted light then I would get a light/laser combo. Most of these combos allow you to have just the light on, just the laser on, or both the light and the laser on at the same time, (which is what you want.)

Remember, you still need to use your sights even if you have a laser on your gun. It drives me crazy when I hear people say they can shoot from the hip or they don’t have to use their sights because they have a laser on their gun. The laser is just like any other piece of equipment: it can break or run out of batteries at any time, so you always need to know how to properly line up your sights and should always train this way.

See Also: Laser Sights on Firearms: Are They for You?

Also, if you put a laser on your gun you need to zero it so that your laser and your iron sights have the same point of aim, point of impact. If, heaven forbid, you do have to shoot from a strange position and aren’t able to line up your sights, then you obviously want to make sure the round hits the target when relying on just your laser.

If you are heading in the direction of getting a laser, I would also make sure and buy a quality one. There are “budget” lasers on the market, but I’m a big believer in buying once and buying right. Plus, if you’re going to use this laser for home defense it’s worth spending the money in case a worst-case scenario occurs.

On my own home defense gun, I have a laser/light combo from Viridian. I went with the green laser because green lasers are brighter and easier to see than red lasers. Green lasers typically cost more, but I plan on having my laser for the next several years so it’s worth it to me.

On a final note, to dispel another myth, remember that you need to be prepared to use your gun any time it comes out of your safe. I’ve heard some people say that they’re going to buy a laser because any burglar will flee once they see they have a laser pointed at their chest.

If a burglar does flee because of the laser then that is a huge bonus. However, I wouldn’t count on it. So, if you’ve got your gun and laser pointed at an intruder and he doesn’t stop then you need to be prepared to use the gun to defend yourself.

So, do you really need a laser? Of course, that’s all up to you, but the laser is yet another tool that can make it easier to protect yourself.

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  • Tim

    I do not believe a laser (or night sights) are going to help in an adrenaline-pumping self-defense situation.

  • Cobrawing

    Many of us old timers are bit slow in coming around to new things and it can take a while before we start adopting new technology and techniques . . . but it’s there as an option now. It took me a while to come around, but I now have a very fine set of Crimson Trace laser grips on my Kimber Utra .45 and I also have a S&W Bodyguard 5 shot revolver with an integrated factor laser that lines up directly in line with the barrel (which I prefer over the aftermarket grip style which often places the laser too low for my taste).

    Good advice is being offered in this article by stating you should always continue to utilize your iron sights just to be on the safe side . . . but a laser can indeed be a very helpful additional tool in many situations. The green lasers are indeed more powerful but be careful as the green lasers can more easily give away your position in some tactical situations.

  • dogshawred

    Lasers are just another tool we use to stay safe, added to our ability to acquire a target. I like tools, they say the person that wins when they go to heaven is the one with the most toys and tools.

  • Steve

    The whole laser/light/ hit the bullseye/ expert shooter situation is unlikely. If I can even get my glasses on I’d be lucky. Once you hear the noise, door crashing-in, it would be unlikely that you can even think straight. 1. clear head while getting gun 2. verify target 3. if situation allows give verbal warning 4. fire at will
    I live near town but have no police force, the lead constable has told me to take necessary action as it would take him or state police 30 min to an hour to respond. Does not seem practical to be so concerned with shot placement, if I hit intruder in the leg or arm with 45acp 185gr +P jhp he will go down or retreat, worst case he gets me but that’s life!!!!!!! I could bend-over and wait for help or give away my position with light. FYI I can put 8 rounds in center mass target, does not mean I’ll hit anything if surprised by intruder (refer to Tim)

    • BIZC8

      Hey Steve, what part of the country are you located?

  • Pete

    My wife just put on a Crimson Trace grip .. Nice grip She loves it I bought a laser for one of my 1911’s fun but I did not like it all that much . would I trust a laser to be on target ? well close Mine wandered a bit when I fired the Pistol. after 20 or so shots I was inches off target . I will stick with aiming no laser .. personal preference. ..

  • Barker62

    Have a laser/light combo on my bedside Glock, a light on the 870P & a laser/light combo on the MSR and Patrol carbine at the other end of the house. Wife and I have practised on scenarios to include unannounced ones. Perfect? No, but it’s probably the best we can do w/o having Gunsite folks come and train us in our house.

  • Tony Kammerer

    I laser is a great tool when used to supplement a good fundamentals, or to resort to in those specific situations where a proper sight picture cannot be attained, or is not safely attainable such as if you are behind cover and can avoid exposing yourself to fire while aiming with the laser.
    They are also rather good for trigger control practice by showing you how clean your trigger pull is when live firing at the range or dry firing in your home (in a room with no ammo).

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    I have a laser, a new Viridian LCP combo, but my HD weapon is a 20g Mossberg with pistol grip; don’t need a laser on that. Lasers are nice for those moments you need to shoot now and there is no time to get into proper stance, two hand grip and draw your sight picture; so is a shotgun : )

  • Wizzardly

    Laser sights are great fun at the range. My concern is that in a schumer-hits-the-fan situation, you tend to focus on the point the laser is contacting instead of the entire situation. This might keep you from recognizing multiple threats or a drunken brother-in-law who decided to bring his buddies over at 3 am (BTW, they’re “impaired” and making too much noise to hear your verbal warning). The former could be fatal (for you) and the latter heartbreaking. I also decided to not use a weapon-mounted light because it shows an assailant where your weapon is and prevents you from the high-hold 3 seconds on – 3 off drill that obscures your position (you do keep moving, right?) but still illuminates your threat.

  • Tituswoman

    I love the laser on my S&W Governor. Helps me see when I have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Nothing like being prepared!

  • Gunney57

    I feel my laser made me try too hard to center on it instead of the total picture. Situational awareness is key. A good light and pressure switch is better at keeping you there in my opinion. Keeping your laser aligned on a target can lead your eye to be a bit too focused losing the “big picture”. Just my opinion.

  • cel

    I for one am not in favor of lasers on a home defense weapon as it will lead to questions of whether or not you had a clear target and where you point of aim was as you fired with no concern for anyone but the bad guy … lasers are a lawyers money maker and nothing less in these matters … just my opinion …

  • havegunbesafer

    Shooting with a laser still requires training. It was no different than learning how to use night-sights. The fundamentals of shooting doesn’t change with a laser. Just like some scopes on a rifle, sometimes a freshly mounted one needs a few rounds to settle. Mine are fine.

  • Marine Veteran

    In some states lasers, while being used on a firearm are considered as a definite intention to kill. Notice I said to kill and not self-defense. I’m a Marine Veteran and believe that if you train constantly you will be able to handle any self-defense situation the best that you can!

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