New Crimson Trace Laserguard For Non-Railed Pistols

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We’ve all seen the new pistols released with the compact laser mounted to the triggerguard. Crimson Trace has done this product one better by adding them as a separate unit for several pistols without rails.

I received a new “Laserguard” for my Kimber 1911 last week and spent a fair amount of time on the range both at night and during the day. I’ll get into the test results but first let me post the press release from Crimson Trace on these new laser sights.

(Wilsonville, OR) Crimson Trace announced today the release of the highly anticipated green Laserguard® and Rail Master™ products. This initial release of the green laser sight line includes Laserguard models for Kimber and Smith & Wesson 1911 frames, Glock Full Size and Compact and Springfield XD/XDm firearms. The Rail Master model is designed to fit on firearms equipped with a Picatinny rail – making it the ultimate in universal green laser sighting systems. All four of these models are available now through normal distribution and from www.crimsontrace.com starting at $269.

“By now, most consumers are savvy enough to know that green lasers have always been power-hungry compared to their red counterparts,” explained Kent Thomas, Director of Marketing for Crimson Trace. “By mounting them in front of the trigger guard, we’re able to utilize battery power in both a functional and design friendly way significantly more than ever – which means our customers never have to compromise on run tim e.” Just as important as the green laser product introduction, holsters from BladeTech, Mitch Rosen, De Santis, Crossbreed and Galco will be available to fit these new green laser sights.

http://www.crimsontrace.com/products/type/custom-holsters

The Laserguard platform is the ideal and ultimate additional to conceal carry firearms. The unit is quickly and easily installed by the user simply by securing around the trigger guard with provided screws. The profile for the pistol does change which is why Crimson Trace works with top holster manufacturers to create holster solutions for all Laserguard equipped firearms. Check out the Holster Resource Guide for details on all models.

The Rail Master platform has become a success story virtually overnight. This unique design attaches to any firearm with a Picatinny rail and will not move due to the Secure-Lock Technology™ system. Each unit comes standard with four inserts that are easily interchangeable to fit a wide range of pistols and long guns equipped with a Picatinny rail and activate with simple, easy to reach activation.

Both the Laserguard and Rail Master are pre sighted from the factory at 50’ and are fully adjustable by the user to fine tune it to their chosen self defense ammunition. Featuring the most powerful laser allowable by law, the units offer an industry leading 2 hour run time on one, easily replaced CR2 battery.

All Crimson Trace products are proudly designed, engineered and built in the USA.

Crimson Trace sent a Laserguard last week and I decided to attach it to my 1911 Kimber Aegis. After I opened the box I found the main laser unit as well as a nice hex wrench with a plastic paddle on the top making small adjustments much easier to perform. The unit also included one battery and two labels meant for attachment to the frame of the pistol the laser is mounted on. Three small screws are also included to attach the two halves of the laser together.

Installation was very simple and took all of five minutes. The adjustments for windage and elevation are on the right side which are adjusted using the same installation wrench included with the kit. Check the video below for detailed installation instructions.

Crimson Trace Laserguard Installation Video

After I had my Laserguard installed I tried it out during the daylight hours at various distances on the range. It was about 2:30 PM with the sun at my back full on towards the target. I started at a distance of ten yards thinking that even with the increased power of the green laser that would be about the max distance I could see the dot on target. After firing one mag with a one hole group I moved back to twenty yards not expecting much. To my surprise even with the sun shining on the target I could still see the green dot with no problem. The group opened up a bit but was still smaller than a usual group using iron sights. Of course activating the laser is very natural since the activation button is right under your finger on the grip frame. Just make sure the laser is turned on!

The really surprising part was when I moved back to the thirty yard line and I could still use the Laserguard! Granted it was getting dimmer but I’ve never used a laser sight that gave me this much distance in daylight.

After this daytime session I went back to the range about dusk and set my targets up and fired from the same distances I had during the day. That small green dot was pretty brilliant in low light. In fact the light was bright enough a flashlight was not needed to identify the target rings. Again the groups were smaller than one could reasonably expect using iron sights at night with a flashlight without this laser to aid the shooter.

I did try the laser with a flashlight to assist but all that really did was add cumbersome weight and another object to balance. One thing to note is the 220 lumen light did not washout the green dot. It was still very much visible.

You might ask what the real maximum distance is for this laser. Well it’s a heck of a lot further than you’ll ever shoot! When I got home I removed the laser and took it outside and projected it six blocks down the street, which ends at a white metal building. It was very much visible even at that distance. It’s in no way practical to use it at a distance like this but it gave me an idea of the power of this laser.

I’ll be perfectly honest and tell you I’m not one who is all that stoked about lasers on a handgun mainly because of the size of most units and the lack of power. This one pretty much solved those issues.
Even with the power the Laserguard puts out you won’t see anything but the dot and not where the beam came from. Of course should there be smoke or fog present you’ll see the full beam on any laser.

As you can see from the pictures the unit is small unlike some, which are rather large and fairly clumsy clearing a holster with a duty or home defense gun. Being this small the beam is also closer to the centerline of the pistol keeping zero at longer distances than larger units.

The only gripe I had was the space the laser unit frame takes away from the triggerguard space. If you were to use gloves it would be a snug fit. The small on off switch on the right side is something to keep in mind before storing the pistol.

If that’s the only problem I have with it I’d consider that pretty good. To sum things up this unit is small, light and maintains zero even after firing 200 rounds. It has a tight fit with no play whatsoever. For those using a 1911, Glock or Springfield XD with no rail this would be a good addition for a home defense pistol. Just turn the small power switch on and place the pistol wherever you keep your home defense pistol and your ready to go even in the fog of waking from a sound sleep.

Related

Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the senior writer and moderator at TFB as well as the review manager. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


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  • Alien

    Now all we need is for holster makers to catch up.

    • Phil White

      Alien,

      They have actually. There are several of the more well known makers who have them for sale now. There is a portion of the press release directing the reader to those makers. Check the Crimson Trace website for makers and models available.

  • gunslinger

    more nifty ideas. rail laser, grip laser, now a trigger guard laser plenty of options out there.

    but yes, also need holsters for said products.

    • Phil White

      gunslinger,

      They actually did a good job having holsters ready at the same time they released the Laserguard. Here ya go: http://www.crimsontrace.com/products/type/custom-holsters

      • gunslinger

        Phil
        Thanks for the reply. I found this http://www.crimsontrace.com/products/type/custom-holsters/81-1114, looks like it’s 1 of 2 laserguard products for the 1911 platform. On top of that, it looks like they aren’t available just yet.

        but at least they are on horizon. maybe a quick link the article could have addressed the issue right away. but all is good

        thanks again for the great work!

        • Phil White

          gunslinger,

          Thanks guy I appreciate it! I did call and they said there are some available in the next week or so for the 1911.The Kydex makers should be really fast at catching up. They knew ahead of time what was coming. That’s a good policy on Crimson Trace’s part in letting the holster guys know what to make for the guns they are making these for.
          You think about the kydex holsters and all they need do is get one unit and start stamping them out. I’ll go ahead and add that link for everyone.

  • Ben

    Standing at the line punching fixed paper targets with a laser proves nothing other than the fact that a laser sight is a reasonably effective method of punching holes in a fixed paper target. Unfortunately real BGs tend to move.

    Try shooting a moving target like a wig-wag with a laser sometime… I think you’ll find the experience to be quite educational.

    You better be able to shoot well enough to get it done without a laser, because in a real situation things are likely to be so intense and hectic that you will forget to even look for the dot. You will just desperately point your gun at your attacker (average distance for a self defense shooting is 10 ft.) and start pulling the trigger.

    Better practice that!

    • Phil White

      Ben,

      Yes you should practice with any new device you adopt for a carry pistol.I take that for granted but this is always the case no matter the accessory. As far as intense and hectic goes it varies with the person in the gun fight.I’ve found that I’m calm until the fight is over then I start the shaking hands thing. Others I’ve seen fall apart so it covers the spectrum.

      The only BG I’ve seen move was after he fired his rounds. Most of them are pretty dumb and tend to stand still—thank goodness. We are the ones who better be moving at some point.

      I would hope anyone who carries a handgun will have practiced and trained to the point they won’t be desperate should the worst happen.Hopefully they will have the Jeff Cooper idea that “I’ve trained for this, I knew it could happen and I can handle this”.

  • josh

    How is this better than the original style that dont need a special/custom holster?

    • Phil White

      josh,

      If you mean the red laser these are much much brighter and easier to see. This is especially true in daylight.

  • Larry

    I saw the notice from Crimson Trace about their new CMR-201 Railmaster products.
    I sent Crossbred Holsters an inquiry email asking if/when they would be incorporating the Railmaster option into their holster line because I currently have a Crossbred Supertuck for my Gen 3 G19.
    This is the reply I received from Crossbred Holsters on September 10, 2012.
    Larry
    Sorry, we currently do not have any plans to make a holster for the Crimson Trace Railmaster CMR-201 in the near future.
    Thanks Matt

    • Phil White

      Larry,

      I don’t know if you can count on that statement right now. You may not know it but Mark Craighead the founder and owner of Crossbreed passed away two weeks ago. I imagine things are very much in flux right now.
      Then again maybe they won’t make one until they see how they sell.

      • Larry

        I have a S&W M&P in a Comp-Tac and I have also contacted David Wisby at Com-Tac regarding including options for CT Railmaster in their holster line. His reply as of September 12, 2012 is that Comp-Tac does not plan on including it as an option for their MTAC series IWB holsters.

        • Phil White

          Larry,

          OK, did they say anything about the Laserguard?

  • 9mmLargo

    Will it fit a Springfield EMP, or does the EMP not have a matching trigger guard profile, frame width and dust cover radius?

    Since the LaserLyte RL-19N was discontinued, the EMP hasn’t had a laser solution (and the RL-19N was less than ideal).

    • Phil White

      9mmLargo,

      They don’t have one yet for the EMP. The dust cover is a bit short to fit. I’d be more concerned with the trigger guard configuration. Right now the only 1911′s are Kimber and Smith & wesson in full size and Commander down to a 4″ barrel.

      • 9mmLargo

        > They [CTC] don’t have one yet for the EMP.

        If CTC wanted an EMP solution, they would have had one years ago. People have been asking that long. They proved with the Solo intro that they can be there on day 0 for a unique design when they want to.

        • Phil White

          9mmLargo,

          True they can do that. It has a lot to do with the gunmaker and how hard they want to work with or entice the laser company such as CTC.

    • Larry

      I have a Springfield EMP that has been wearing a Crimson Trace LG-304 for a year, so there is a solution for the EMP

      • 9mmLargo

        > I have a Springfield EMP that has been wearing a Crimson
        > Trace LG-304 for a year, so there is a solution for the EMP

        The LG-304 is the M1911 compact grip. The EMP is smaller than that, so I understand, in hole-to-hole grip dimensions, both vertically, and around the front of the grip. It’s also shorter front-to-back on the grip. Did the ’304 require any mods? Is it a snug fit?

      • Phil White

        Larry,

        In a red laser maybe so but the new Laserguard with the green laser will be made down the road if at all.

      • Larry

        It required three very small, very minor mods:
        1. Open up the hard rubber half-moon cut out so the magazine release would work with a jewelers file and polish with dremel polishing cotton tip.
        2. Round off corner of grip so that the slide stop would activate with jewelers file and polish hard rubber with dremel polishing cotton tip.
        3. File off the raised ridge on left side under the plunger tube. withjewelers file and polish hard rubber with dremel polishing cotton tip.
        No modifications were performed on the EMP for installation.
        Grip screws placement on the EMP matches the holes in the LG-304. I was lucky enough to pick up my unit used from a person I shoot with who sold his Kimber compact that the LG-304 was originally installed on.

        • Phil White

          Larry,

          Good deal Larry I’m glad you had the skills to make the needed mods. I appreciate you posting the mods in detail for others who may need to do the same thing.

      • 9mmLargo

        Thanks for the explanation, Larry. I may well give that a try if the remaindered RL-19N I have doesn’t work out for the EMP I have on order.

        • Phil White

          9mmLargo,

          There ya go now you can take care of it pretty easy it seems:-)

  • dayledabomb

    Looks neat ;D

    • Phil White

      dayledabomb,

      That they are. I’m pretty amazed at how far these lasers have come both in intensity and size.

  • http://tacobell.com Cleff Glooper

    It’s over, Viridian is finished.

    • Phil White

      Cleff,

      Well the Laserguard and Railguard are certainly a lot smaller and less cumbersome than the large Viridian units. In fact I wrote off the Viridians before these came out just because of the size.

      I went by my local gun shop and put the Viridian and Laserguard side by side (in the dark of course) and there is no doubt the Laserguard was brighter.It’s also brighter than the full size unit on my AR15. What really surprised me was the difference with the AR unit!