Skip to comments.Red or Green laser sights? (vanity question thread)
Posted on 11/08/2012 11:06:36 AM PST by HammerT
Vanity question for Yall: which is better for laser grips Red or Green?
Merely as an academic exercise (ahem) shopping around to see which type of laser sight is better.
The research so far has yielded positive side results that green lasers are superior due to the eyes better perception of that color.
The downside is that it takes more to get a green laser and thus higher cost and it takes 10x more power to produce.
The better perception could be a downside in that someone can more easily track the beam back to its source.
So while green lasers may be brighter, red lasers dont cost as much and dont consume as much power.
One reference source:
Thanks in advance.
I have the red laser in my Crimson Trace grip on my XD40 SubCompact. I have no problem seeing the target even in bright daylight.
I would stick with some combination of red dot scope with NVD or infrared. That way, they can’t see the light you’re projecting.
I’ve heard the military uses infrared lasers - not visible to the naked eye. But you’re still stuck with using an infrared optical device to see your dot. And as far as I know, non-visible lasers are not available for civilian use.
Thought I was back in NM for a moment there. :)
Everyone who has a laser sight has a red one. Dare to be different, man. Green!
Short answer, red will do just fine since the vast majority of possible shooting scenarios will be night confrontations.
Laser light is straight, unless you are shooting near a black hole. Bullets fly in an arc. This means that you either use the sight at a distance where the trajectory is flat enough (up to 25 yards, perhaps?) or you adjust the beam for elevation and windage.
It will be all but impossible to see any laser dot, red or green, at a large distance with unaided eye. This means you need a telescopic sight for distances beyond 25 yards. Perhaps you can see the dot on a perfect target (paper,) but you can't see it on a rough, textured surface of arbitrary color. Even black areas of a paper target will be a problem. I cannot imagine seeing the dot at any appreciable distance if you point it at a plowed field or a pasture, hunting varmints.
If you are using the laser sight at a distance that is short enough for both purposes then a green laser will give you more power, and your eyes have better sensitivity in that range, as you already discovered. That would be your choice if you can't see red on your target. I do not know what shooting conditions you are envisioning. But note that green lasers require more batteries. Also beware of reflections of laser light; reflection of a green laser beam may *seriously* impair your vision. And, of course, lasers reveal your location (unless that's an IR laser and you wear IR goggles.)
How often will it be put to use? I have a red one on my Charter Arms, but I only put holes in paper. I don’t carry, so in the event I actually had to use it, I don’t think it would matter what color, as it would be less than 10yds.
Green works better at a distance and daylight.
These are my favorite and standard sights I use on my pistols.
In addition to the obvious benefits in the dark of the illuminated trituim dots, the coloring helps immensly in dawn and dusk lighting where the tritium isn't glowing yet. Also the shape obscures less of the target. I use these exclusively in 3-Gun and Steel Challenge pistol matches.
My experienced opinion is that upgraded illuminated sights are a much better option for a pistol than a laser, because when using a laser your "gunmanship" will get sloppy and it's just too easy to jerk a pistol off target.
I have also experimented with many weapons lasers, on carbines and shotguns. Green is far better than red in my opinion. It is far easier to see and has greater useable range. Know that all lasers lose output power significantly as the temp drops, and I have found that US legal 5mW units of either color are basically useless around 30 degrees and even the 110mW imported units are dead by 10 degrees.
Another option you may not have considered, is a weapon light. The Streamlight TLR-1s for instance puts out a blinding 160 lumens, has a strobe function, and the spot is so precisely centered it can be used for aiming either at pistol or shotgun ranges. $105 on Amazon.
SENTINEL - SGT USMC
If your target is a tree hugger or someone driving a hybrid you have to use red because they are already green.
Consequently a red laser will not work on a conservative.
They are legal but have been way too expensive. There is now a new IR laser out for civilian use but I do not remember the make or manufacturer.
I have red CT sites on a snubby .357. They show up well enough at the distances I would expect to need them but I have seen green lasers and they are impressive. You can see the beam on a target at 100 yards easily. That being said, I’m putting adjustable night sites on my new carry piece, a Glock 30. The laser makes a little bit of sense on the snubby but not so much on the .45 imo. Plus, the laser sites are just one more thing to deal with when the bullets start flying. At 25 yards or less with or without a laser, I’m not going to miss but I might waste a split second fumbling around with the laser and those split seconds can really add up when one second means the difference between shooting first and laying on the floor dead.
Keep in mind that laser sights not only assist you with aligning your fixed sight picture, but are most helpful when you cant get your eye behind your fixed sights. This can occur because of injury, being in an unusual position, unsafe to fully extend your weapon due to making contact with the intended target, etc. Green appears more visible to the human eye when compared to the same 5mW red laser. But the generation of the green laser makes the electronics more sensitive to heat (or lack of). Green lasers also are less energy efficient. I understand that Crimson Trace is refining the green laser technology where they can get longer run times from the power source and a more stable production over a wider temp span. I can tell you from my personal experience that a green dot is much easier to pick up in bright daylight than a red dot.
Red is my choice. I find green to be too bright and dazzling when my pupils are more dilated under dark conditions. But that is just me. I also don’t use lasers in sunlight, but if I did, I might think about using the green.
Chances are that when you really need it, the batteries will be dead anyway.
Green is better ,,, better defined ,, longer distance one draw back ,,, Green leaves a tail signature ,,, red has no signature but shorted defined distance ,, not good in bright daylite .
I second the sarge's opinion.
I put lasers on a few of my long guns and pistols and have removed all of them. Weapon lights are much better and if you do not want to use the light then use night sights, again like the sarge said.
I found I was sometimes pulling my shots with the lasers and using lights and night sights brought my accuracy back.
If you must have a laser take into consideration that while the green can be seen much better in the daylight it makes a perfectly straight line back to you at night. Not so much with the red. Also, how many hip shots will you be using during the day? Much better to draw the gun up and use the sights. If you are moving you aren't going to get a proper bead on the target even with a laser.
>Thought I was back in NM for a moment there. :)
LOL — Yep. Was tempted to ping the NM list.
Those are my thoughts as well although my primary interest is a laser sight for a rifle setup.
But the same ideas would apply it would mainly be used for close-in scenarios.
Thats a good point on the trace of a laser vs. the arc of a projectile over any distance the advantage would wash out in that regard in addition to the fact that it would have to be strong enough to reflect back to you.
In my opinion, laser sights for a pistol, scope for a rifle. Red is fine for most handgun situations, which tend to be close-combat and either inside or outside in the dark or twilight.
They mentioned the temperature issue in the article I mentioned but only in context of the green but the same physics would certainly have an adverse effect on both.
Part of my interest in the subject matter has to do with laser sight/light combos so thats an interesting idea.
As stated in another of my posts, I wouldn’t consider a laser sight for a rifle, and I’m not too crazy about the red-dot sights for that case Definitely a scope.
I just got my new TLR-1s HP (designed for long range) last night and it throws a precisely centered beam strong enough for use with iron sights out to 400 yards ! Only $105 on amazon.
I think a green laser would be great for shooting hogs and other varmints (check your local hunting laws), but in a firefight where someone would be shooting back and some distance may be involved, I’d not want to take the chance of revealing my location.
Thats something like what I would select minimizing the amount of gear that has to be strapped on.
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