“Just point that dot at what you want to hit and you don’t even need to see your gun!”
Sounds like a great idea, but is it?
Anytime we consider modifying or accessorizing a firearm that we intend to use for self-defensive purposes, we have to consider the costs v.s. the benefits, both monetary and effectiveness.
Everything we do with a firearm must have a considerable benefit that outweighs the risk, just like with firearm safety.
The most obvious cost is the actual expense. A good quality electronic pistol optic of any kind is not going to be cheap. Count on at least $200 for a decent laser. Even more for an RMR. If cost is not an issue for you, fine, but still spend the money on more training first.
That leads to the second “risk” or negative. Skill. If you are buying a laser because you aren’t a good shot with your pistol, sorry, but you will still be a bad shot. A laser will not improve your fundamental skills. It is more likely to make them worse. The majority of your shooting practice should still be done at full extension with a two-handed grip and only using your sights as needed.
If you learn to rely on a laser for improved accuracy, what happens when it fails?
Even the student who tells me “I have never had a problem with it” ultimately does. Right when it is needed. Batteries die, other lighting interferes with seeing the dot, etc. When this happens, you are likely worse at using your sights than you were before you added the laser. Add to that a little stress from a real-life situation and you could be in real trouble.
Today’s lasers are lighter, tougher, and more reliable than ever but they still seem to stop working occasionally.
Bottom line is that a laser could be helpful in some cases where you cannot line up your sights – unorthodox position or dim light but, for the vast majority of plausible situations you will encounter, you won’t need any sights. Get some training shooting from less common positions, in dim light and drawing from a holster.
Even the best laser in NOT a substitute for good training.