The days of laser sights being only for the military and law enforcement only are over. As the number of competitive shooters, concealed carriers, and gun owners grows—and as technology shrinks the lasers themselves ever smaller, an increased number of manufacturers are making laser sights for the civilian market and specifically for concealed carry. Whether you’re using your firearm for home defense, target shooting, hunting, or self defense, laser sights will get you on target quickly and efficiently. 5 benefits to using a laser: Lasers give you an ultra-quick sight picture. If you find yourself in a low-light situation, the illumination of the laser can be a lot easier to see than iron sights. A laser sight tells you exactly where your shot will go (depending on range and zero). Laser sights let you get on target from unconventional or odd shooting positions, which would normally prevent a good sight picture. Lasers provide instant feedback when dry-firing. Once upon a time, not so long ago, laser sights were heavy, bulky affairs that required a lot of battery power and a lot of custom gunsmithing and special mounting hardware were required to get one on a gun. In today’s marketplace, the nearly universal system of accessory rails for handguns and long guns—and the miniaturization of lasers and batteries—means a laser sight can be installed on pretty much any modern firearm. In fact, many laser sights are so small, they can fit on rifles and shotguns as well as most handguns. Holster makers have upped their game, offering every type of holster from IWB to OWB that will accommodate popular manufacturer’s lasers. If you are looking to add a laser sight to a firearm, there are some great choices at every price point. You can buy directly from the manufacturer, grab one from an authorized dealer, and even get them on Amazon or eBay. Here are some great choices of laser sights you can easily install on your pistol, rifle and even your home defense shotgun. Handgun Laser Sights
Laserguard by Crimson Trace
MSRP: Varies, $140 – $300+ Crimson Trace
The Laserguard sight mounts securely to a handgun’s trigger guard, enhancing your ability to engage threats quickly and accurately in low light situations with a small-framed concealed carry handgun, which are sometimes equipped with small, difficult to see iron sights.
Laserguards are available in both red laser and green and are easily installed with no gunsmithing necessary.
GripSense by LaserMax
MSRP: $110 LaserMax
The Patent Pending GripSense Technology from LaserMax utilizes a technology commonly found in smartphones. The sight has a detection zone, instead of a button, located where a user’s middle finger indexes the trigger guard. It senses the user’s grip on the firearm and activates the light or laser instantly.
The user also has the option to turn off the light or laser with the push of a button or disable the GripSense Activation and rely solely on the button activation. The sight is available with an optional integrated gun light.
C5 Green Laser Sight by Viridian
MSRP: $280 Viridian
The Viridian C5 green laser sight is so tiny it tucks neatly between trigger guard and muzzle with no overhang and will work with virtually any railed gun, including subcompacts. This C5L features a green laser, which is 50 times brighter than traditional red laser sights, and it’s visible in day or night with multiple modes of operation and easy windage and elevation adjustments.
The C5 sight is equipped with INSTANT-ON activation. When paired with a TacLoc holster (sold separately), you can set the laser and gun light to automatically turn on as soon as you draw the firearm.
Rifle Laser Sights
LNQ-100G Linq by Crimson Trace
MSRP: $420 Crimson Trace
The World’s first wireless laser & white light system, Crimson Trace’s LiNQ system combines a green laser sight and 300-Lumen LED white light with a wirelessly connected pistol grip containing the control buttons that fits AR- and AK-platform rifles.
Utilizing a secure, individual connection, LiNQ offers complete wireless control of the laser and light module. The grip is ergonomically designed for quick activation and mode changes, meaning the system eliminates the need to reach for the laser unit near the muzzle or a strapped-on pressure switch somewhere on the handguard.
UNI-MAX Rifle Laser by LaserMax
MSRP: $170 LaserMax
As small as a matchbox and no heavier than a single .45 ACP round, the UNI series adds error-free precision without weighing you down.
The UNI Rifle Pack is so compact that it will work on a handgun as well, and it includes an integral rail so you can stack a gun light on top of it without sacrificing more rail space or adding the weight of another rail section to your Keymod or M LOK system. It will also work with Picatinny or Weaver rails.
The mechanical on/off switch can be replaces with a pressure switch for momentary activation.
XTS Green Rifle Laser
MSRP: $70 Cabela’s
The XTS Green Rifle Laser is a flashlight-looking laser sight unit that is a little bulky, but plenty compact enough to be mounted on a rifle or shotgun.
Aim with pinpoint accuracy using the XTS Green Rifle Laser. Comes with two mounts so it mounts to any standard Picatinny rail or your scope. External adjustments make it easy to zero the laser in. Optional pressure switch. Use at distances up to 300 yds. CR123 3-volt battery included. Imported. 4.7″L x 1.5″W.
The real selling point of this sight is its price – $70 for a laser that works and works well is a pretty solid investment.
Shotgun-Friendly Laser Sights
Yes, you can certainly put a laser on your shotgun—and its particularly useful for home defense shotguns.
Even if your old pump gun doesn’t have any rail sections, there are Picatinny conversion adapters available that fit right on the extended magazine tube, and plenty of other options for adding enough rail space on a scattergun for even larger laser sights.
When it comes to using the sight itself, you simply have to zero the laser so that it lands in the center of your shotgun’s pattern at home-defense distances. Then, use it the same way you would with a handgun or rifle.
LaserMax Shotgun Tube Adapter
MSRP: $38 LaserMax
The LMS-ADP-SHOTGUN is a simple, easy, an inexpensive way to add some rail accessory real estate to your shotgun.
It mounts to standard extended magazine tubes with at least a diameter of one inch and is a must-have for home defense guns. Once installed, the adapter offers rail surfaces on three sides for attachment of standard Picatinny accessories. You can also find similar products from various manufacturers.
When it comes to pump guns, there are also a number of aftermarket slides from companies like Magpul that replace the factory part and include integrated rail sections, though since the slide has some play and moves by design, it’s not the best option for mounting a laser sight, but work perfectly well for gun lights.
CMR-201 Rail Master Universal Laser Sight by Crimson Trace
MSRP: $160 Crimson Trace
The CMR-201 Rail Master is a powerful and versatile laser sight designed to fit pretty much any firearm and is small enough that it can easily fit on even the smallest rail section on a shotgun without interfering with the firearm’s operation.
The Rail Master locks onto a Picatinny or Weaver rail with the company’s proprietary locking system the prevents it from moving under recoil.
The laser is activation by tapping either of the ambidextrous activation control tabs. The CMR-201 features a 5-minute auto-shut off feature that will power down the unit to conserve battery life if the laser sight is unintentionally activated.
LaserLyte Lyte Rider Center Mass Shotgun Sight
MSRP: $90 LaserLyte
When it comes to laser sights specifically made for shotguns, there aren’t too many out there. One solid option is the LaserLyte Center Mass, originally introduced in 2012. The sight emits not one, but an array of nine laser points that simulate the spread of the pellets in a shotgun shell when fired.
The ring of dots grows by one inch per yard, providing a rough approximation of where the pattern will hit once the center dot is zeroed to the center of the actual pattern.
The CM-GAR sight is meant to be mounted on the underside of a shotgun on the slide itself, with an integrated pressure activation switch that provides on/off or momentary activation capabilities.
The shape of the Center Mass CM-GAR sight also allows it to act as a hand stop, which is beneficial for shorter shotguns like the Kel-Tec KSG, Mossberg Shockwave, or Remington TAC-14. The unit is constructed from aluminum and glass-filled nylon, making it rugged and tough.
While you can still find these products on Amazon and other retail sites, all Center Mass sights were recently discontinued, according to a LaserLyte representative.