Friday Night Lights: iMatronic LS45 Lasersight – Peak 80's Drip

Nicholas C
by Nicholas C

You are back for more Friday Night Lights content? You’ve been here before and more than once but that’s ok, you’re addicted and in need of another fix. Well, today’s fix of esoteric night vision-related content is a weapon-mounted laser from the past. The iMatronic LS45 Lasersight is something you may have seen in Hollywood films and a rather famous article in Guns and Ammo back in February 1989.

More Lasers @ TFB:

iMatronic LS45 Infamy

Scanned from issue of Guns and Ammo

You might have seen this image before. It is from an issue of Guns and Ammo back in February 1989. The article featured new sights of tomorrow. The most prominent one was the iMatronic LS45. It even made it as the cover page featured image. Huge thanks to James Reeves for giving me this physical copy of Guns and Ammo.

The iMatronic LS45 has been seen in a number of movies.

LS45 on GP100 in Tango and Cash. Photo from
LS45 on SP89 in Universal Soldier. Photo by
LS45 on HK91 in Predator 2. Screenshot from Predator 2.

There are but a few examples. There are more movies that this iconic but obsolete laser has starred in.

iMatronic LS45 Lasersight

I don’t have a typical revolver with a rail but I do have my Chiappa Rhino 60DS. With the iMatronic LS45 it could star in any cyberpunk science fiction movie. Height over bore? Who cares. It looks cool. LOL.

Honestly, I do not know what iMatronic was thinking when they designed the LS45. Why did it have such a high offset? The only reason I could think of is due to the elevation adjustment. Inverting the LS45 would help with the massive height over bore offset but adjusting elevation would be annoying.

The LS45 housing has molded backup sights but I am not sure how useful they are since they are non-adjustable. I guess they work if you don’t care about being accurate.

Here is the LS45 mounted on an airsoft MP7 just for the aesthetics.

Like I said, the LS45 looks great for a sci-fi aesthetic. Here it is on my H&K SL8. Perfect for Space Force.

Activation is rather simple and frustrating at the same time. It requires the use of a pressure pad. The remote switch uses a standard mono headphone plug while the LS45 has a headphone jack port underneath near the back of the housing.

The pressure pad is a cuff style that wraps around the pistol grip of your preferred LS45 host.

The iMatronic LS45 is powered by two 9v batteries which will be sucked dry in about 20 minutes of usage. The laser itself is a helium-neon laser.

Here are the molded backup sights on top of the LS45 housing. It isn’t much but you can see they added texture to the back of the iron sights to help reduce glare.

According to this sticker, iMatronic was based out of England.

There are a couple of warning labels on the iMatronic LS45 housing.

Mounting The LS45

This LS45 has a bizarre integrated mount. It is molded as part of the housing. It is mainly designed to fit those old dovetail rails but with some finagling, you can make it fit a Picatinny rail. Only there is no recoil lug to prevent the LS45 from sliding back or forwards along said rail.

The mount has two aluminum brackets that grab the rail of your choosing while the upper teeth of the brackets grab into the notches along the sides of the mount. There are thumb screws on either side.

Getting those brackets to cooperate is a huge pain. They tend to collapse up towards the housing. So you have to tease them back down and around a Picatinny rail.

Final Thoughts On The iMatronic LS45 Lasersight

The height over the bore is rather excessive on the LS45. I thought it might fit the Calico 9mm and while it does, it still sits too high. The backup iron sights on the LS45 are higher than the factory sights on the Calico drum mag. I do not understand what the designers were thinking when they designed it. Why have the laser be so far from the bore? Is it a limitation of the technology at the time? I would have oriented the laser sideways at the very least so at least the laser would be closer to the bore axis.

The iMatronic Lasersight is a neat idea for the time, but it is clearly obsolete. The plastic housing is brittle and the helium-neon laser is not battery efficient at all. Plus the tape switch is terrible.

The only real good use for it is just for movie buffs who want to replicate and clone a particular weapon.

Do any of you readers remember when the iMatronic LS45 came out? Do you recall the marketing behind it? I am curious if it was taken seriously or just something to waste money on as a novelty?

Nicholas C
Nicholas C

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6 of 21 comments
  • Noob Noob on Nov 05, 2023

    Sar-uh Conn-uh?

  • MrLM002 MrLM002 on Nov 06, 2023

    Slightly related: I wish Chiappa would do another run of stainless steel Rhinos. I'd buy 6" one (or more likely several) if they made it.

    • See 3 previous
    • MrLM002 MrLM002 on Nov 07, 2023

      @Nicholas C Stainless has much less issues with metal fatigue than aluminum and doesn't stress fracture unlike aluminum.

      I trust a stainless framed gun to have a much higher round count and not stress fracture, hell even Beretta's .32 ACP Tomcats with aluminum frames are still suffering serious frame failures with pretty low round counts that Beretta says it makes the guns unsafe to shoot, and it's such an issue that they won't fix the guns under warranty or at all, they say just buy another one 🙃.

      If the guns had steel frames they wouldn't stress fracture. I'll take a heavier gun that won't grenade itself from regular use over a lighter gun you're hoping that when the frame fails it won't seriously injure you.

      If a .32 ACP blowback pistol when shooting non +P loads still breaks it's frame how well do you think a .357 Magnum revolver shooting much more powerful loads with no recoil system will hold up long term using the same frame material?