A Humbling Lesson

A Crimson Trace Update




After having the Laserguard installed on my LCP for a while now, I have been getting used to the feel, activation and use of the laser mounted on the gun. Theory aside, the experience is teaching me new things, not all of them flattering. First, contrary to what I have read on numerous gun forums about acquiring the "little red dot", I have absolutely no trouble finding the red dot - and, it's not so "little" either. In fact, it is very bright under most circumstances, most especially in low light conditions. Actuate the laser, and your eye immediately goes to the bright red dot which should be on the target, drawing your attention to the target immediately, not to looking for a 'sight picture'.

Another lesson for me is that I am far less dependent on obtaining a standard site picture, which requires that I raise the gun to eye level and hold it relatively steady while I line up the front sight on the target. While I consider this to be a good and useful tactic, and strive for it even with the laser installed, I have learned that it is not a necessary component of my aiming technique, especially under self-defense situations. Let me explain.

Training and muscle memory are extremely important in getting the body and mind to act as they should under stressful situations. Acquiring your firearm and bringing the pistol to bear accurately is a solid requirement in those situations, but as you can imagine, there are times when one will not be able to perform this routine as it is normally practiced. You may be running. You may be down. You may be blocked somehow from getting into the standard sight-acquisition/shooting posture. There may just be no time to get there. Such situations call for what is termed "point and shoot" techniques. The issue with that is without some indication of where the muzzle is pointing, when a standard sight picture is not possible, you really don't know what you will be hitting when you pull the trigger.

I have learned, by using the Laserguard, that I do not instinctively aim where I think I am aiming when practicing 'point and shoot'. Like, bringing the pistol up to the fire position, without getting a normal front sight picture (maybe extending it quickly from the waist to mid height while looking at the target) the laser shows me that I am almost consistently aiming too low, and often to one side, off my intended target. Why does this matter? Well, for example, if I was sitting and had to draw and fire very quickly without coming to a sight picture - time being of the essence and the threat being close and moving toward me - with the laser, I now can tell when to fire. The red dot is on the target, regardless of where my gun is positioned, I know I am going to hit the target pretty close to that dot, not fire into the wall or, worse, someone else.

I am amazed that even in such close proximity, one's aim can be off enough to miss a center-of-mass target when doing this quick drill. I better understand the statistics that relate the fact that trained shooters, we are talking about law enforcement and military trained shooters, often miss their targets even when they are within five yards or less, sometimes much less.

So, one good lesson I have learned from using the laser without, so far, firing a shot, is that my belief in my natural ability to point-and-shoot is misplaced. I need practice getting on target with that method and the CT Laserguard revealed that shortcoming, and will be a good aid in improving my accuracy. I also suspect, that by so practicing and developing the reflexes and muscle memory by using the Laser, I will still be a better shot if I should have to make that shot without benefit of an active laser sight.

You are never too old to learn something new.