What happens when you cross what is arguably the best pocket pistol and cutting-edge technology?
You get one of the latest and eagerly awaited offerings from Crimson Trace: the LG-443GH BT Green Laserguard.
Known for setting the standard in quality and performance for what a weapon-mounted laser should be, Crimson Trace has finally delved into the highly touted green laser arena and designed a front-mounted laser to help get the most out of the popular, small-framed “mini” Glocks (both the Glock 42 and 43).
WHY A LASER?
Lasers have been around since the 1980s. Early on, they were not much more than an expensive trend with little up side. A persistent argument against lasers is that the shooter ends up chasing the dot when he should be focusing on his front sight. I stand with that crowd and support that argument in most circumstances.
“ … a laser can add another layer in your targeting process in low light situations …”
However, where a laser really shines (pardon the pun) is in both low light and unconventional shooting positions. Although I advocate the carrying and use of a white light in conjunction with a handgun, a laser can add another layer in your targeting process in low-light situations and is a very welcome asset when a white light is not available.
Perhaps more beneficial is the use of the laser when shooting from odd positions—from behind or around cover or when you are not able to get the gun out to a full presentation or obtain a traditional sight index.
WHY A GREEN LASER?
Beyond the current “cool” factor, green lasers have a reputation for being easier to see. A quick search of the Internet will yield numerous studies that discuss the science behind this fact. But for the end user, what is important is that it is true.
Green lasers are easy to see in daylight and are unmistakable in low light. The down side to green lasers, at least at this point in their evolution, is that they require more power than red lasers. What this means is that the same battery in a comparable red laser will typically last four hours of constant on; the green laser lasts just over two hours. This is a minor drawback in my reckoning. The up side is that they are both bright and easy to spot in the course of a drawstroke.
When the opportunity arose to review a new Crimson Trace product, I was interested. When I learned it would be this company’s new green laser and that it would fit the micro Glocks, I was excited.
What arrived was an offering from Crimson Trace’s Laserguard series, which features its “Instinctive Activation” design. This is one of the standout features that make Crimson Trace the clear leader in the handgun laser sights industry.
Instinctive Activation is an innovative design that places the activation switch on the front strap of the handgun, just under the trigger guard. This means the shooter activates the laser by merely establishing a proper grip of the weapon. There are no extra switches or buttons to manipulate. As long as you are gripping the gun, the laser is on.
If you don’t want the laser activated, you have to purposefully and thoughtfully loosen the pressure you are placing on the switch. The stress of a gunfight all but ensures that your laser will be on and active during your presentation and target acquisition.
- In low light, a laser adds another layer in your targeting process.
- It is beneficial when you are shooting from odd positions.
Made of tough polymer, the laserguard comes ready to mount out of the box. The laserguard splits so it can be snapped around the trigger guard. You can install the included 1/3N 3V lithium battery as you affix the two halves.
Two CTC-provided screws and hex wrench allow you to fasten and secure the laser to the trigger guard. The laserguard installs simply and easily.
The model I received also included a black polymer Blade-Tech Klipt IWB ambidextrous holster made to fit my Glock 43. The holster came with a belt clip that is adjustable for ride height. While I prefer a holster with belt loops, having a holster that fit the laser—right out of the box—addressed any immediate holster needs.
Once the laser was installed, I aimed my pistol at a target from 15 yards, which I felt was a good working distance for the Glock 43. As I got into my proper position, I found that the laser was already dead on where it was supposed to be, sitting right on top of my front sight. The factory specs state that the laser is sighted in at 50 feet and has the option of being further fine-tuned for windage and elevation, if needed.
With gun in hand, I ran a few drills on an indoor range.
From 7 yards, I shot the gun from full presentation to see how the dot would affect my firing process. Although I can see how one might want to really “see” the laser to confirm they are on target, I found that if you simply fired as normal, the first shot was on target, and follow-up shots were easily guaranteed to be in the A zone, because I could tell the laser never bounced too far.
In short, it confirmed what I suspected. What stood out to me was that where a red dot seems to take a second to see, the green dot was much more pronounced. As a result, shooting while using the green laser felt “faster.”
I shot the gun at close range from a compressed position from which I was not looking down the sights. The laser confirmed my alignment and position with the target. As I watched it bounce, I knew all my bullets were in a tight group.
I shot at 15 and then 25 yards more in an effort to test the laser. I found that the laser stood out nicely. Again, this might not be much of an issue in good lighting, but in low light, the laser helps “paint” what you might be struggling to see.
The final verdict? If you have ever thought about getting a laser or were wondering if green lasers were “all that,” Crimson Trace has made finding out very easy and satisfying.
By pairing its decades-old reputation for quality with cutting-edge technology, Crimson Trace offers a well thought-out package made to fully integrate with a long list of handguns.
The Crimson Trace Green Laserguard with Instinctive Activation is the current pinnacle of weapon-mounted lasers; as such, it would be an excellent addition to a defensive pistol.
Activation location: Front activation
Attachment: Trigger guard
Free batteries for life: Yes
Battery type: One (1) 1/3N lithium battery
Finish: Polymer housing with rubber overmold activation pad
Installation: User installed
Laser battery life: two-plus hours
Activation mode: Pressure activated
Sighting: Factory sighted at 50 feet
User adjustable: Windage and elevation
Warranty: Three-year full warranty
Wrench size: 0.05 inch
Dot size: Approximately .50 inch at 50 feet
Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the May 2016 print issue of World of Firepower Magazine.