I learn something new, if not every day, frequently

Today I learned a laser tip from Bob Pincus. I was cruising YouTube looking at firearm and self defense related videos when I spotted a few on lasers and handguns from Pincus on the Personal Defense Network 'channel'. In one, he demonstrates the advantage of lasers on small handguns like the Ruger LCP. The sights on this gun are extremely small and difficult to see, even if you highlight them with paint, which I've done. On a non-contrasting background, on one that's moving, it is very difficult for an average shooter to accurately pickup and sight a target with the standard sights. A laser makes this task much more reasonable. This is something that most of us know and has been discussed many times on the gun forums. However, there is another, and probably much more common, situation in which a laser, especially on smaller guns, is very useful.

There is an intermediate distance between a person and a possible attacker that is somewhere between right up close and personal, where if you need to resort to your weapon, you can automatically get your gun on target without even looking at it. You are fending off an assailant with your left hand and arm, your gun goes tight against the side of your chest point at the assailant's torso (which is inches away from you) and you have an almost 100% opportunity to hit the target without looking. However, if the distance is about two arms length away, the intermediate zone, you can't draw and extend because that brings your weapon into the zone where your assailant can deflect or grab it easily. You need to keep your gun close to  your body, as with the up close example, and still be effective. You can't see the sights. The assailant is too far away to trust to blind pointing and shooting, but if you have a laser, you can light it up and see where the round is going without getting a sight picture.

I think this is a great argument for lasers on small to mid size self defense guns, and probably as valid for larger guns as well.

The next step in utilizing this information is to develop a dry fire routine that will train the muscles and reaction process in your brain to perform the intermediate draw, presentation and shoot.

Having a permit and carrying a handgun is much more than getting the right gun and holster, and practicing target shooting at the range. Learning basic handgun self defense tactics from some of the excellent videos available over the internet, or from respected programs on DVD is a fine way to learn and hone those skills. Most of us can't afford the personalized training classes which makes these videos valuable. One tip on practicing alone, in addition to SAFETY (Always use an unloaded weapon. In fact, make sure ammunition is not even in the vicinity or where you practice.) is to set up a video camera and watch yourself to pick up on where you need improvement. A cheap camera will do. Many computers have them built in, and most phones do too.