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combatshotgun

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Reply with quote  #1 

Just had another call about this so I thought I would comment.   I do not use lasers on my defense shotguns.  I have weapon lights.  Here is why.

Fist off if I use my shotgun inside my house no sighting will be required.  It is a point and shoot scenario and if I take time to sight on a threat a few feet away from me I am going to loose.

When out side the chances of using my shotgun at night are far greater then in the day time and because I practice at night and with the weapons light (Surefire Forends) I know that any object in the center beam of that light is going to catch buckshot.   Therefor my weapons light is the sighting device and I do not need a laser.

Lasers are very hard to see in the day time so of no practical use.   So I simply do not see a need for these devices on my shotgun.

That does not mean that others will not find a use or need for them.  As an instinctive shooter I am always looking at the threat so sighting devices are of little use to me in most shooting.  Other may find the laser works for them.


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David Armstrong

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Reply with quote  #2 
My issue with lasers for a shotgun is that the laser is a precision aiming device.  The shotgun really doesn't serve that role well for most people or most scenarios.  Unlike JD I do recommend sighting even at those in-house ranges whenever possible, even if it is a flash sight picture ala Gunsite because at those ranges the shot pattern has not had the chance to spread much. 
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RedGoat

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Reply with quote  #3 
I have to agree with you JD! For its intended purpose, the simpler the defensive shotgun is set up, the better. I believe that, for a personal defensive shotgun, the ability to QUICKLY get that first round on target and then deliver the remainder of the magazine contents with an adequate amount of precision trumps just about every other consideration. For a shotgun, that does not require pinpoint aiming capability.

In the same vein of thought, I don’t care for red dot sighs on a close up defensive shotgun either. For a home defense shotgun, I like 1) a stock that fits_me_ with about an inch shorter length of pull than for a trap, skeet or field setup, 2) an 18 1/2 inch barrel topped by a large plain bead (although I have to say that I really like the way that a ribbed barrel cut to about 18 plus inches “points”), 3) possibly a mag tube extension, and 4) for extra ammo on board, I prefer a butt cuff carrier over a receiver mounted carrier, again, because the receiver mounted carrier, to me, feels as if the gun is “lop-sided”.

Anything beyond those basics, to me, start messing with the balance and “feel” of the gun. I try for a quick “bring the gun up”, “is the muzzle on the target?”, yes, bang! sequence when practicing. Additional “features” on the shotgun just get in the way of my ability to perform that sequence rapidly.
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vl5150

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Reply with quote  #4 
I'm not a fan of the laser either.  I tried one on an Olympic OA-93 I was playing with and it got washed out in the daylight.  Probably my biggest success with one was the Crimson Trace grips on a snub airweight J frame.  That enhanced accuracy. On a conventional shotgun, I like the bead too along with a bright light.
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combatshotgun

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Reply with quote  #5 
So cupholders, bottle openers and wind vanes are out?  
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RedGoat

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Reply with quote  #6 
Well, it’s all personal, JD. What works for me might not work for you and vice versa. The wind vane might be helpful to calculate drift for those long range situations with single ought buckshot!
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combatshotgun

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Reply with quote  #7 
My shotguns are bare bone fighting guns.   Guys have AR's to junk up and should leave their shotguns alone.
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RedGoat

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Reply with quote  #8 
^^^^^^^^^^^^
Yes! What JD sez!
^^^^^^^^^^^^
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lonewolf172

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Reply with quote  #9 
I have a green laser on my Mossy 500 and I have no issues with being able to see it during day light. Yes I agree the laser is a precision device but it is helpful out to say 15-20 yards. An added advantage I believe is that the intended target may think again once he sees a green dot on his chest.
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Mark in Alger

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Reply with quote  #10 
I have a Laserlyte shotgun laser on a rail under my fore end. Just an option but it’s light, out of the way, and I can hit the pressure pad by just shifting my grip a little on the fore end.

It has a center laser but it’s surrounded by and octagonal pattern of 8 more dots. They spread at a rate roughly equivalent to buckshot. Thought that was a cool idea:)
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Azrial

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Reply with quote  #11 
Lasers are NOT used on the majority of firearm applications as a "precision aiming device." How many you seen for sighting on a sniper rifle? I mean, outside of the movies?

They are intended for SPEED. They not only work best in a low light environment, they excel there when YOU have a difficult time seeing your sights. They are however not an illuminator.

Frankly, the only valid reason to have one on your gun is you need one for your application. No one can say different with authority.
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David Armstrong

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Reply with quote  #12 
I'll disagree somewhat.  Lasers can be a precision aiming device, which is why they tend to often allow folks to shoot much tighter groups than they do with open sights.  Open sights are rather coarse aiming devices themselves by their very nature.  The sniper rifle thing is far more an issue of distance rather than precision.  And while the laser works best in low light environments it is also quite usable in brightly lit areas, especially the new green lasers.  So to me the reason to have a laser is no different than having a red dot or a scope...they add another alternative to the sighting platform.  In some situations a laser is a much better sighting system than anything else available.  As mentioned, I do tend to keep my guns pretty bare-bones basic, but I also don't totally reject things.  And as technology improves it makes more and more sense to consider things particularly if they don't impair how the basic tool (firearm) is used.  I'm looking at lasers in much the same way red dot sights and hi-viz light pipes were looked at not so long ago.  As the technology gets better and better and as folks learn more about how to use the technology it in turn becomes more logical to consider.
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combatshotgun

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Reply with quote  #13 
My original post is why I don't use a laser on my defense shotgun which is simple.  My dedicated forend Light acts as a aiming device at night.  When I train at night I simply point the shotgun using the light beam and anything in the center of that beam catches buckshot.  So a laser would do nothing for me.

I have the red Crimson Trace Grips on my Commander and the green on my Defender.  I even have one on my little NAA mini revolver.   So I am not anti laser when they contribute to the intended use of the firearm they are on.   

As David said they give us more options and more options are a good thing when you pick the right ones.

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Azrial

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Reply with quote  #14 

Well David is certainly entitled to his opinion, but I have been working and training with lasers since the early 80's as a part of my job. I have one somewhere in my basement that is the size of a 5 cell Maglight and originally cost thousands of dollars! Worthless today.

The whole point of a laser is to aid in rapid hand/eye coordination, and not to use some mechanical or optical device to try and measure where the shot will hit the target, or not. As I said, the main purpose is speed. All other sighting devices require you to try and mount your gun so your eye can look down the sights. Any compromise of your normal cheek weld will result in inaccuracy. As preferred as a correct mount may be, it is not always possible in the real world.

Laser sights, however, function no matter the location of your firearm. This allows you to get on target more quickly when you are caught unaware or cannot get into a proper shooting stance in time.

IR Lasers are the "A" solution when using night vision gear due to focusing problems!

Regarding the statement that lasers are a "precision aiming device", lasers travel in perfectly straight lines. Bullets and shot, however, are subject to gravity and follow a curved, ballistic trajectory. This is why sniper do not usually use lasers, but there are some LE Operations where this a viable option. Laser sights are difficult to adjust for windage and elevation (unlike most rifle sights), and they tend to be zeroed only for short range.

All of this said, I too have an LED light on my shotgun which works fine for aiming out to 15-20 yards at night. I do not want a laser on it for its current use, but despite the minimalist opinions to the contrary, they do have their place.

I'm done, someone else may use the soap box.

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David Armstrong

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Reply with quote  #15 
Well, David has also been working and training with lasers for decades, both as part of my job and not[biggrin].  And while the speed issue is certainly part of the process it is also certainly not the only reason to use the laser.  As for the precision, again it is a matter of situation rather than tool.  For something like 20 yards with a handgun, lots of folks show much better groups than with iron sights.  I agree a laser is not a particularly  good thing for a sniper rifle, although I will point out that there is a reason lasers are used as target designators for a number of our high-tech weapons that are in service.  But to me that is sort of like saying snipers don't use red dot sights or an LED light on their rifles.  Different tools for different situations.  For those who are interested in looking into the issue further I'd recommend trying to find a good class on laser use.  Crimson Trace used to do one that was pretty good, don't know if they are still doing them.  Mine was taught by Clyde Caceres and Jim Cirillo, which should tell you how long ago that was!
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