RE: Crimson Trace, I have used LaserGrips since there were laser grips. I like them for what they are, not what they aren't, and that is an additional special purpose sighting system. In that sense, they're exactly like night sights or a weapon-mounted white light...they don't replace your standard sighting system, but only come into play in special situations. Night sights allow you to get a sight picture in low-light situations; white light allows you to see into dark places and lasers allow you sight on your target when you can't use your traditional sights.
IMO there are two separate situations where lasers come into their own:
1) In close quarters' situations...some of the best close quarters trainers in the country — some you've seen on SHOOTING GALLERY — insist on LaserGrips on their guns for violent arms-reach attacks. The reason is that we monkeys are hard-wired to look at the threat. Yes, we train to look at the front sight, but the basic primate programming forces us to look at the threat, especially in a sudden violent encounter. It is therefore useful to have a handy aiming dot on the threat that says where the bullet is going to go. Think of the laser as an aid to body-indexed shooting in a tight situation. Jim Cirillo, who at the time of his death last year was acknoweldged as the one of the greatest "gunfighters" ever, was an evangelist for LaserGrips.To a lesser extent, I believe in the deterent effect of that red dot...bad person see red dot on chest; bad person decides to discontinue attack. There are numerous documented LEO and civilian cases of this deterent effect, so it does happen in the Real World. Before anyone starts shouting and jumping up and down, let me say this: NEVER, EVER, EVER ASSUME A DETERENT WILL WORK! It's a bluebird, a benny, a pleasant surprise, because, remember, we don't want to shoot people...we just want them to discontinue what they are doing.
2) For "broken" shooting positions...by that I means situations where because of injury, awkward position, or environmental issues you cannot get a traditional sight picture. Your shoulders, arms or hands are injured in such a way that you can no longer index the gun at eye/shoulder level; you have lost your footing, taken a fall or are crammed behind an insufficient piece of cover; your glasses/contact lenses have been knocked off or lost; your eyes are injured or blurry from flying glass, particles or smoke; the air is full of blown sheet rock, plaster, insulation or smoke, making it harder to find the target. This also applies if you're in a worst-case situation of taking heavy fire, maybe from a rifle, and you want to be able to return fire while present a minimum of your frighteningly vulnerable ass to the shooter/s...I've done this in simulation with a laser, and it works.
Remember the hype at the beginning of the billion lumen white light revolution? Just shine the light at the bad person and he or she will spontaniously combust? Or the new super bright strobe lights? Again, bluebirds...strobes are disorienting, but I have done live fire simulations in the "party room" at Valhalla, with huge strobes running continually and streamers swiging from the roof...disorienting, but not so much that I couldn't make my shots! NEVER TRUST DETERENTS TO DETER!
Here's what I teach....and after the last couple of days, let me make this clear...I don't care a bit whether you believe/teach/use the same techniques as I do. If you don't like it, don't do it....okay? If you have a different/better technique, I'd love to hear about it. Training should always be evolving!
If shots have not been fired and you have a laser on the gun, flicker it briefly on and off; I want to assailant to be aware that I have a gun and that he/she is the target. MOVE after you flick the laser on and off! If you have opportunity, flicker the laser — easy with LaserGrips —at the assailant's eyes. Once the shooting starts, the laser stays on. The bad guy already knows where you are. Yes, this technique has the potential for damaging the eyes of an assailant, but it will damage them a lot less than a bullet. I want to give the assailant the opportunity to break off the attack — I'm willing to give up surprise to do it! — and LaserGrips provide me with a low risk way of doing exactly that.
I chose LaserGrips in the first place more than 10 years ago because the grip is a non-mission critical part of the gun...you can shoot with the grips off the gun. I don't like replacing operational parts of the gun with multiuse parts, because as I've said, stuff breaks. Conversely, I also like the new rail-mount green laser from Laser Max. I just started working with it, but it is a neat, lightweight non-mission critical package, and you can mount a white light underneath it.
My bedside Sig 226 has LaserGrips, night sights and a SureFire X200 white light on it — belts and suspenders — but my first and best recourse is always going to be the standard sights (and the Vang Comp 870 in the closet!). All the J-Frames in the house have LaserGrips, and I believe them to be a necessary addition to small frame revolvers. I would prefer LaserGrips on my subcompact carry 9mms, but I'm unwilling to go to a Glock or M&P to get them. That's just me. The first subcompact 9 that CT fits and that I like will probably get my carry vote.
Is it okay now if I go back to pondering how little cleavage there was in the Academy Awards last night?