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Crimson Trace Laser Grips as a training aid

I always kinda made fun of people at the range who used laser sights on handguns. I’m a traditionalist and figure that open sights are the way to. Then one day, I shot a S&W revolver decked out in Crimson Trace Laser Grips that was owned by Les Jones. I realized how much the laser moved as I pulled the trigger, probably about 8 inches in a circular pattern. I thought that was probably normal. What I should have realized is that it showed me how bad my form was. Let me explain.

At the Para Blogger event, our LDA 45s were decked out in a set of them. We never really used them until we got to the shoot-house, since it was indoor. Using the grips is a good way to steady your grip. You see all the movement of the barrel by watching your laser dance around on a target. The lasers provide instant feed back to your movement and you probably don’t realize how much you move if you’ve never shot with a laser. Using the laser allows you to focus on keeping the gun steady.

The other interesting thing that the laser does is it allows you to practice having your gun on target the second it clears the holster. With enough repetition, this process could become automatic. For instance, the second Todd Jarrett cleared his holster and before he was even close to having a sight picture, that laser was on his target. Also, the laser quickly draws your eyes to the target.

It was one of the better training experiences I’ve had.

As an added bonus, the Laser Grips happen to shave seconds off response time if you ever need to use a weapon. They also work phenomenally in low-light situations. And they also Help Bad-Guys Make Informed Decisions.

Highly recommended.

What others are saying:


Is it a cure-all? Heck, no. You still need to know how to use your sights. The laser is an adjunct, not a substitute for basic marksmanship skills. But when even Jim Cirillo, who killed more bad guys than Cecil B. DeMille, said that a laser is a worthwhile addition to a fighting gun, I tend to sit up and take notice.


As a training aid, the laser allows you to see just how much movement you have while aiming. Todd demonstrated this in the classroom by putting the dot from his pistol on the wall about 10 yards from where he was standing.

I didn’t think a human being could be that still. I know I can’t.

But with appropriate practice, you could.


The training use of laser sights is one thing that Todd Jarrett impressed on us at Blackwater.. This is not an angle I had ever considered before, and after seeing his technique demoed, Iím sold. What the laser helps to do is to amplify movement, so you can immediately get useful feedback on grip, stance, trigger control, and follow through.

5 Responses to “Crimson Trace Laser Grips as a training aid”

  1. Jason The Saj Says:

    CrimsonTrace does not make a laser grip option for my firearm (Ruger P-345). However, my Ruger does have a rail. So I am contemplating getting the LaserMax LMS UNI

    Anyone have experience with either this unit or manufacturer?

  2. SayUncle Says:

    The issue with lasermax is that you need the activation strip or to manually turn it on.

  3. Tam Says:

    In all honesty?

    LaserMax’s guide rods are hell-for-stout. My only beefs with them are that they require a separate button to activate, and that requires a fine motor skill.

    Their UNI rail-mount laser, on the other hand, did not give me warm and fuzzy feelings in the “sturdy” department. The idea seemed good, but the execution felt shoddy.

  4. Dan Says:

    I got my laser grip for my xd purely to help me in self-defense situations, since both I and the bad guy knows where the bullet is going to go when I press the trigger. Did not know about using it as a shooting aid, however. Good information.

  5. W Says:

    I immediately saw the potential for lasers on a defensive handgun, but what pushed me over the edge was the night shooting portion of a Ken Hackathorn class a few years ago. Once you have hit an 8″ steel plate during a “walk back” drill at night, you won’t need any more convincing. Period. End of discussion.

    Yes, they have a significant training advantage during dry firing practice (best and cheapest practice, by the way), but once you fire 5-10 rounds weak-hand, well, there isn’t enough Kool-Aid to be had. Skip the pitcher and line up for the keg. When it comes to a life and death matter, there is no such thing as a fair fight and the laser tips the scale in your favor.

    Now, you can still muff-up your shots (press the trigger straight back) but in close quarters, the little red dot is ridiculously fast on the target.

    I’m a Crimson Trace bigot and I have a set on mine, and my wife’s handguns (10 pair on 1911s, Glocks, Sigs, and S&W). CT grips are easy to install, maintain, and use. The only thing you have to do if you have a long shooting session with oil/lubrication on your slide (1911 shooters take note), you will need to use the Q-Tip that CT provides in the box. The oil will “fly” onto the laser and dull/blur the dot. A quick wipe and your good to go.

    Final note: put CT grips and a Surefire X200 light on your nightstand gun and you have a very nice package.