NC Star Tactical Blue Laser

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When visiting the NC Star booth at SHOT Show this year the big attraction was the company’s introduction of their new “Tactical Blue Laser” devices . Touted as the “first blue laser technology”, NC Star is hoping to promote blue light lasers over traditional red, or even green lasers. The NC Star “Tactical Blue Laser” comes in a laser/flashlight combination, or as a stand-alone blue laser in standard and compact models. Each has a Picatinny rail mounting attachment.

The NC Star Compact Blue Laser with QD release lever.

The NC Star Compact Blue Laser with QD release lever.

The benefit of green lasers comes from the fact they provide a bright aiming point in both daylight and lowlight conditions. Red lasers are great in lowlight conditions, but suffer during bright light conditions. The blue laser option also provides a very bright aiming point in both daylight and lowlight conditions, but is designed to extend battery life as much as 4x-5x longer than green lasers. In addition, blue lasers are not susceptible to cold weather like green lasers. However, like green lasers, the blue laser will have a “laser beam trace” if there are particulates in the air. This new technology is very beneficial to shooters and may be the ideal laser selection for brightness and longevity.

The stand-alone laser is designed more for long guns with separate flashlight mounts, but could easily be attached to handguns where the shooter chooses to use a hand-held flashlight. In the same consideration, the blue laser/flashlight combo is designed more for handguns but could easily be used for long guns as well.

The NC Star blue laser with push-button activation.

The NC Star blue laser with push-button end cap activation.

According to staff, NC Star engineers have been developing the new Tactical Blue Laser for many years to ensure the final product was not only viable, but affordable as well. The technology that brought about the NC Star blue laser aiming device is patent-pending.

NC Star Flashlight & Blue Laser Features (Model #VAQPFLSBL)

  • Housing Material – Aluminum and reinforced nylon
  • Length – 3.4 inches (86.36 mm)
  • Width – 1.4 inches (35.56 mm)
  • Height – 1.9 inches (48.26 mm)
  • Weight – 4.0 ounces with batteries (113.398 g)
  • Flashlight – 200 lumen Cree LED (3W)
  • Battery – (2) CR123A (Included)
  • Laser – 450nm, max output <5mw, Class IIIa fully adjustable blue laser
  • Mount – Fits most Picatinny/Weaver style rails
  • Elevation and Windage adjustments for zeroing (tool included)
  • Activation – Ambidextrous rear selector switch – momentary or constant-on
  • Light Modes – Laser only, Flashlight only, Simultaneous light and laser
  • MSRP – $159.99.

The NC Star blue laser/flashlight is a nice combination aiming aid. The 200 lumen Cree LED flashlight is bright enough to illuminate and identify any target out to about 50 yards, with the potential to be successful even out to 100 yards depending on environmental conditions. If targets are expected to be beyond that distance I would recommend using a separate, higher powered flashlight with the NC Star stand-alone blue laser option.

The blue laser/flashlight activation switch is very similar to the Streamlight TLR-1. Unfortunately, my floor photographs of the blue laser/flashlight combination were somehow lost, and NC Star has not added them to their site.

http://www.ncstar.com/new-arrivals/new-optics-acc.html

NC Star Blue Laser Features (Model #VAPRLSMBL)

  • Housing Material – Aluminum and reinforced nylon
  • Length – 3.5 inches (88.90 mm)
  • Width – 1.1 inches (27.94 mm)
  • Height – 1.4 inches (35.56 mm)
  • Weight – 3.6 ounces with batteries (102.058 g)
  • Flashlight – 200 lumen Cree LED (3W)
  • Battery – (1) CR123A (Included) – 30+ hours of battery life
  • Laser – 450nm, max output <5mw, Class IIIa fully adjustable blue laser
  • Mount – Fits most Picatinny/Weaver style rails
  • Elevation and Windage adjustments (tool included)
  • Activation – Momentary end cap switch or remote pressure switch (included)
  • MSRP – $154.99.
The push-button end cap offers momentary on/off.

The push-button end cap offers momentary on/off.

Mounted to an AR-15 the NC Star blue laser with remote pressure switch.

Mounted to an AR-15 with remote pressure switch.

The NC Star Blue Laser is best suited for long-gun use as the laser controls are not easily turned on/off with one-hand. The remote pressure switch is a great addition that allows the shooter to “illuminate” targets while maintaining the comfortable and natural weapon grip of their choice.

NC Star Compact Blue Laser w/ QD Release (Model #VAQPTLMBL)

  • Housing Material – Aluminum and reinforced nylon
  • Length – 2.9 inches (73.66 mm)
  • Width – 1.0 inches (25.4 mm)
  • Height – 1.5 inches (38.1 mm)
  • Weight – 3.7 ounces with batteries (104.893 g)
  • Flashlight – 200 lumen Cree LED (3W)
  • Battery – (1) CR123A (Included) – 30+ hours of battery life
  • Laser – 450nm, max output <5mw, Class IIIa fully adjustable blue laser
  • Mount – Fits most Picatinny/Weaver style rails with QD release lever
  • Elevation and Windage adjustments (tool included)
  • Activation – Ambidextrous push-button on/off
  • MSRP – $154.99.
The Compact blue laser has a QD release lever, but only offers an on/off selection.

The Compact blue laser with QD release lever only offers on/off selection.

The NC Star Compact Blue Laser with QD release lever has several nice features. It is compact, provides the same performance levels as the other blue laser options, and has a QD release lever. However, the push-button on/off switch limits the versatility of its use, making this model a little less palatable for my tastes.



Aaron is a life-long firearm enthusiast and hunter. He has been a police officer for nearly 19 years, and currently is a Sergeant in Special Operations. He has served on the department’s SWAT Team for 14 years, with 8 years as the Sniper Team Leader. When not fussing over fractions of inches, and gut-less wonders, he can usually be found sipping from a ridiculously large coffee mug. Aaron is also the editor and main writer at BlueSheepDog.com.


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  • Dracon1201

    Hmmmm… Am I the only one that just can’t take the NcStar name seriously? As quality? I didn’t even put that stuff on my paintball gun back in the day.

    Maybe when Surefire or someone else makes a blue laser.

    • Vitsaus

      Surefire or any other legitimate brand would never make a blue laster. Also I feel sorry for that SIG that had to be photographed with that abomination on it.

  • flyingburgers

    The problem is that the human eye is naturally out of focus for blue light, so you’ll always see a somewhat burry dot.

    • Aaron E

      I’m am definitely one of those people. Hard to look at the blue LED signs or emergency lights – they always seems off. However, I think the small size of the dot, and its purpose for quick target acquisition, should still work well. Reflex sights are typically not “focused” on, rather they are more of a point and shoot tool.

    • TechnoTriticale

      re: … eye is naturally out of focus for blue light …

      Not just. Depending on the wavelength, it’s also a lot less responsive than to lower frequencies (warmer colors). But the big problems, again wavelength related, may be eye health and circadian disruption. Search on the “blue light hazard” (retinal damage and mac degen risk) and “blue light at night” problem (melatonin disruption due to the recently rediscovered intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion sites, which are separate from the rods and cones).

      Of course, in a combat scenario, getting to sleep later is a minor concern. But one would need to consider all factors before using blue laser for recreational shooting.

  • Scott Tuttle

    anyone who’s ever put a green, red and blue laser next to each other knows how well this is going to sell. this is probably marketed to people who pimp their guns, yo!

    • Jeb

      Does anyone else buy NC Star products?

  • Nick

    BLUE LASER

  • Bal256

    I have mixed feelings. Ive wanted blue lasers since green lasers came out, but the fact that its NC Star kind of puts me off.

  • iksnilol

    The blue laser is just as good as the green but with a longer lasting battery? I find that a bit strange since doesn’t shorter wavelength = higher energy? And IIRC blue light has shorter wavelength than green or red light.

    Note: English is my second or third language so it might be a bit hard to explain.

    • flyingburgers

      There’s no good green laser diode (or high efficiency green LED for that matter). A green laser is an infrared laser (1064 nm) that drives a frequency doubling crystal. The frequency doubling is very inefficient, often no more than half of the IR energy is converted. The efficiency of good high power laser diodes is only around 30% anyway, other efficiency factors weigh in more than the output photon energy.

      • iksnilol

        Did not know that.

        I don’t use lasers, but might consider one for a pistol when I get a pistol.

  • Guest

    My .02, I use to save up and buy Leupold exclusively and nice wooden stock hunting rifles/shotguns… pricey stuff by most folks standards.. years of use and abuse later, they all get scratched n dinged, dented, marred, gouged, and so forth. Now only my safe queens and range only toys get pricey stuff.. kinda like compare shooting my .300wby mag vs 7.62×39 AK or 5.56 stuff, the cheap stuff is 100x more fun IMO… the ooh/ahh factor isn’t as significant the older and more knowledgeable I get (unless it’s a safe queen). I evaluate stuff from an engineering perspective or POU (philosophy of use) now vs. a teenager emulating magazines and tv. IF the product consist of the specs I desire and functions as described, I sure won’t turn my nose up on them because of a label. Likewise, if a product has a nice label and is just really a run-of-mill item, I steer clear of these too. Guess if I wasn’t so hard on the equipment or understand specs/engineering or don’t have the desire to acquire much more stuff, I’d still be buying the pricey stuff exclusively. Don’t get me wrong… I do feel the need to splurge occasionally.. just not so much anymore..

    • Guest

      Nothing beats the feeling of a minimalist set-up outperforming a prom-queen/trophy wife set-up when I’m at the range. I love serving humble pie to an elitist much more than the show-n-tell of a dog-n-pony show nowadays.. still evolving tho..

    • Bill

      Hmmm. I don’t care what a scope or rifle look like – they are tools designed to be used,, hence they’ll show wear and tear. Using low-quality gear so that high quality gear looks pretty doesn’t make sense to me.

      I think in terms of parachutes: do I care what it looks like, or how much it cost, or whether it’s the absolute best quality and highest reliability.

  • Andrew

    I don’t understand why so many people hate NC star.

    I use this red dot on my AR-15 and on my Hi-Point carbine. It’s a quick detach red dot and laser combo. It cost me 90$. It holds zero just fine. I’ve thrown it down my balcony (DON’T ASK) and it didn’t break.

    Again, why the hate?

    • J.T.

      Because their quality control is crap. Some may hold zero and hold up to a few good impacts but there are numerous issues with their optics not holding zero, not having repeatable adjustments, poor quality glass, and not being able to hold up to repeated abuse. They are better suited for airsoft and paintball guns than real ones.

      • Tom Currie

        Basically you are both right — the design of NC Star products is fine (mostly ripped off from higher priced brands) — but their quality control is nearly nonexistent (like so many inexpensive Chinese products that sell primarily on price). If you happen to get a good one, you have a great bargain — if you happen to get a bad one, you have worthless crap. The trick with NC Star products (and most Chinese products) is to buy from a dealer with a good return policy so you can keep sending crap back until you do get a good one.

    • Jeb

      I had one, also on a Hi-Point, back before I cured myself of Cheapgunitis. It was an illuminated optic. The illumination would turn off every shot if I had the brightness dial set to a number, but if I set it to slightly off of the number, it would stay on. When I sold that gun, I left that optic on it and didn’t look back.

      • Andrew

        The only problem I’ve had is that the battery lasted four weeks (I left it on in my truck for this long)

    • Appalachian American

      I stopped reading at “Hi-Point.” ‘Nuff said.

      • Andrew

        Sorry my 4595TS doesn’t meet your standards. How much money should I spend to be worthy? I’m guessing my piston driven carbine length AR-15 doesn’t make the cut either.

  • kipy

    Therefore, we shall call it the Allan Parsons Project!

  • Amanofdragons

    The problem I see with this is that blue lasers aren’t very stable at range. They tend to disperse. So instead of a tight little dot at 100 yards, you’ll have a dot that’s probably between a softball and a soccer ball.

  • J.T.

    “Touted as the “first blue laser technology””

    What? Blue lasers have been around since the 90’s.

    • Aaron E

      I believe the “new” claim is in aiming devices and not blue lasers in general.

  • BryanS

    Again, I dont trust this Chinese bottom of the barrel laser to be safe for my eyes. So please, Mr Tacticool commands, keep it the hell off a range with other people. those cones dont grow back, and you cant afford to pay for my sight.

  • Laser Man

    This article is not entirely true. Based on their claims that a blue laser is more effective during daylight and at night you simply need to look at the spectrum of colors to see this is not the case. Blue will blend in more during the day as well as at night and will not be as visible as red or green. Green is the best laser for any conditions based on the human eye and their natural ability to distinguish more shades of green than any other color (hence the reason NV goggles are in green). A red laser is also very good at night but can suffer during the day a little. That being said, any laser used during the day has their limitations ranging from the color of the target, distance, position of the sun, and even the shooters own eyesight. Another thing which was said that is not true has to do with green technology. While a green laser used to run off an older DPSS (diode pump solid state) and use a frequency doubling crystal, this is no longer the case. The electronics industry has introduced green diode lasers, similar to any red laser you see now which does not use a crystal like the older technology. The result of this is reduced temperature sensitivity and better energy efficiency (although a green laser is roughly 5 times less energy efficient than a comparable red unit). Companies like Crimson Trace and LaserMax now use these green diode lasers and have has very little issues with them and almost no issues based around the previous claims. In summary, the blue laser has been around for a long long time and the reason no one has come up with this is simply due to the fact that they are not very practical for real world situations and are more of a gimmick at best. I bet they will sell to a few people looking for something new and reading into false assumptions about lasers but for the rest of you, do yourself a favor and buy a red or green laser for any kind of practical shooting you may do.

  • toadboy

    They actually say that they have been developing it for many years, and that it is the first blue laser? laser hobbyists have been building these for years. I will be willing to bet that they use the same diode that you can order from ebay for $2.00. I am all for new products and innovation in lasers, but I do not see the advantage of this product. For half what they charge for this, I was able to build a one watt purple/blue laser sight. Horribly dangerous, but you can see it for miles.

    • Aaron E

      I agree that “blue laser technology” is not new, in fact its nearly 40 years old, but to be fair it appears NC Star was referring to the blue laser aiming device option when they advertised “new”.

  • Tom Currie

    OK, I understand the benefits of “red” lasers (cheapest, simplest laser technology) and “green” lasers (greatest visual response by the human eye), but what advantage would a “blue” laser have beyond simply being a different color that you could tell apart from all those dozens of red and green spots on the target your entire platoon is aiming at?

  • stephen

    Airsofters rejoice! CNC Star will complete their rainbow of lasers collection by 2021.

    Seriously? Blue?

    NC has THE worst QC of any company I have run across. Even kids with nerf guns won’t put NC Star stuff on their rigs. NC states its high speed and their engineers have come up with the blue laser (translation they purchased a bunch of blue laser diodes on ebay from a cheap chinese company and slapped them into the same poor QC housings).

    I have a hard time believing blue is the new green.