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.
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.
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 you’re ready to go even in the fog of waking from a sound sleep.