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…
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.
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.