One of my favorite holsters - the pjholster OWB straight drop.
There is another less appreciated aspect to moving to laser sights for your handguns,
especially if you primarily use them for concealed carry and self defense. Holsters.
Like most of you, I have somehow managed to acquire far too many holsters for my handguns. I'm not as holster rich as, say, Hickok45, but I have more than a few. Obviously, as we carry more and learn more and develop our own preferences for carry and weapons, our need and appreciation for different holsters grows. The one above, from pjholster.com is a quality example of the kydex holster maker's art. Light, rigid, thin, exact fit to the gun and a firm, foolproof clip integral to the holster which also provides tension adjustments. It's great. But, it won't fit my LC9 with a laser sight attached to it.
No big surprise there, but if I want to continue to use Paul's holster for concealed carry, I'll have to purchase another one from him. Obviously, you say. Yes, but I have more than one favorite holster per gun. Let's say I have one IWB and one OWB holster favorites for my guns. Say I have four pistols that I like to carry from time to time. That's eight new holsters I would have to buy in addition to the four sights, one per gun. This adds up in a hurry. Let's say a good holster costs in the range of $60 - $100. For one gun I'd be laying out say $100 (average) for the laser, plus $120 to $200 for two holsters. Worst case, that's $300. A big bite especially for a old guy on a tight budget.
But, there is really no way around this dilemma. And, it is a big issue for laser sight makers.
Now, I am fortunate in that I can try out a few laser sights to see if they are worth having, given my shooting style and preferences. If I like the idea, I will need to figure out the holster dilemma and maybe consign some of my favorite non-laser holsters to the obsolete pile, or put them up on eBay for cheap.
A call for a solution
I suspect it is possible, given a budget and some ingenuity, for a laser sight maker to come up with a workable design that would remove the requirement for us to purchase new holsters for our laser equipped guns. Guide rod lasers are one solution for larger semi-autos and bigger budgets. I personally like the idea of a laser that fits around the grips, with the sight itself positioned along the side of the pistol. Some makers have this model, but they are mainly for revolvers and larger frame semi-autos, but not all of them. For example, the Ruger SR9c and similar size guns are reliable, popular carry pieces, but you don't see grip lasers available for them that would eliminate the need to go out and buy yet another holster.
I've put the idea forward to different laser manufacturers, but so far I have had no response. I know that the electronics are now small enough to not impede such a design. I suspect that if a company were to develop and market a laser sight system that fit the grips of most popular semi-autos, one that is thin at the grip end and does not interfere with most existing holster designs, and sold at similar pricing as the current crop of clamp on the frame sights, they'd make a killing.
No one has taken me up on that.