Friday, February 26, 2010

Practice drills: Draw from a holster, with a Lasermax twist

Having so recently installed a Lasermax guide rod laser in my Glock 30SF, I must now work it's activation into my practice drills. This article is about the slight additional twist this throws into the ballet of movement a smooth draw really is.

There are many laser aiming devices on the market, with Crimson Trace and Lasermax leading the pack. While CT makes a wonderful product, they don't have a
unit for the G-30SF. Something about the short frame model Glock makes the standard G-30 Crimson Trace unit a non-starter. That leaves G-30SF owners with the Lasermax, which is commented on in a previous article here.

The Crimson Trace lasers typically activate by the simple action of properly gripping
the pistol. Whether the button is on the front or rear of the grip, all it usually takes to fire up the CT is holding the pistol in your hand. The Lasermax, on the other hand, requires the shooter actively turn on the laser by performing an action. In the case of the Glock units, the factory take down lever is replaced with a new part which now doubles as an ambidextrous laser activation switch. The lever is pushed in (from either side of the weapon) and it switches the laser on.

This difference between the Crimson Trace and Lasermax products is a major reason people choose one over the other. There is one camp that believes it's better to have
no actual decision in the process, and the laser should just... come on. There is another camp that believes choice is good, and there are valid reasons a shooter should be able to decide the issue.

There is one rather important point the first group always makes: "In a defensive shooting situation, the victim will be in such an adrenaline rush they will not remember to turn on the laser". The funny thing is..... a significant portion of the people who make this statement regularly carry 1911 platform pistols which require manipulating the safety on the draw. This is no less an operation than activating the Lasermax, but is usually taken for granted as something any shooter can learn to do instinctively with practice.

How does a 1911 shooter (or a Browning Hi Power shooter, or a CZ shooter, or.....) learn to sweep off the safety without giving it a thought? Practice, Practice, Practice, Practice, and more Practice.

Turning on the Lasermax involves pushing the lever on the pistol in, and in the case of the Glock 30SF this lever falls just about under the shooters trigger finger when the finger is extended along the frame in a safe position. It takes a slight crook of the finger to mate it with the switch, on it's way to being fully extended along the frame above the trigger guard.

The following images show the practice draw, step by step, with the laser activation as part of the operation.

As in most types of practice, concentrating on one simple point till it becomes second nature is usually the way to go. Work on the sight picture till it falls into place, and then trigger pull, and then follow through, etc, etc. For those who carry concealed, practicing their draw is just one more thing that should be done. For folks who carry a pistol with an external safety (1911, P-85, etc) sweeping off the safety becomes part of the motion. For those who carry a pistol with the Lasermax guide rod laser, activating the laser should become part of the drill.

It will be part of mine from now on.


Old NFO said...

Good report! Thanks Carteach0

pax said...

There is one camp that believes it's better to have no actual decision in the process, and the laser should just... come on. There is another camp that believes choice is good, and there are valid reasons a shooter should be able to decide the issue.

This is a misunderstanding of how CT lasers are used and how they are intended to be used. Turning the CT laser on is a deliberate act, one that can be easily avoided if you wish simply by failing to tighten one specific group of muscles as you bring the gun to bear. Additionally, the laser remains (or should remain) OFF when the gun is off target. The beauty of the CT system is that it is so much easier to turn the laser on and back off again -- not just that it comes on "automatically," but that the user can maintain light discipline without entangling the trigger finger in a non-trigger activity.

Other than that nitpick, good post. Thanks for putting it out there.

Carteach0 said...


I have shot a few pistols with the CT, and in every case I was able to do exactly what you describe. I could vary my grip slightly and activate/deactivate the laser at will.

The one thing I didn't like about doing it... invariably changing my grip tightness even a little makes my sights dance a jig. It also felt a bit strange to be loosening my grip on the pistol, while I can hear Todd Jarret in the mists saying "20% tighter".

Different strokes.....

In the case of this G-30SF, CT has abandoned us, so the Lasermax unit is the only game in town.

GreyBeard said...

I'm still waiting for your shooting report, with charge card in hand. I agree it looks like the only option for the little glocks (G-36) included. I just wanna know how it shoots, before I drop the dime. :-)

Carteach0 said...

GreyBeard, the shooting report is coming. I did a range session today.

Put your charge card back in your wallet, for now. You might want to hold off on that purchase till we see how this shakes out.