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Double Laser Sight

Laser Ranging and Targeting
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(+7, -3)
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I recently bought a Smith & Wesson 340PD revolver, and put a set of Crimson Trace laser grips on it.

Because the laser is mounted to the right and below the barrel, the laser dot is going to be misaligned both horizontally and vertically if my target is either closer or further than the precise distance at which I set its zero.

For defense purposes, the point of impact is close enough to the point of aim. But for target practice, the discrepancy between where the dot is, and where the bullet hits, makes for a sloppy target.

Adding a second laser to the sight would do much to alleviate this problem, and also provide some added benefits.

By placing a green laser on the left side(in addition to the red laser on the right side), you would project two dots on the target, no more than an inch apart in the near field (the distance from the gun to where the beams converge), with a bullet impact point somewhere on a vertical plane between them.

Or in simpler terms, you would no longer have to worry about windage, but elevation only--and even that would make little difference in a close combat situation.

Another feature that this setup would add to conventional laser sights is ranging. If you were to set both beams to point of impact at 21 feet (the textbook range at which a person with a knife could very quickly kill you), any target within that range would be painted with a green dot on the left, and a red dot no more than an inch to the right Beyond 21 feet, the colors would swap sides--which would let you know that unless you have very clear justification, you would be at increased risk of criminal prosecution or civil lawsuits if you fire.

There are other ways this sight could be used, also. Since each laser can be set independently, a shooter might opt to set two aiming points--the red laser zeroed at 7 yards, and the green at 25, for example.

Guncrazy, Aug 26 2007

Fairy Pistol http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flare_gun
guns with flare [xenzag, Aug 28 2007]


       I acyally baked your idea about 10 years ago on a rifle, as an experiment. I put 2 laser sights above and below the barrel angled slightly outwards, with a telescopic above both. The main idea was to judge range to adjust for wind.   

       You have made me think of another idea though re: the risk of prosecution. You could attach a digital camera to a pistol, like the ones you get on phones, which activates when you pull the trigger. Where the bullet actually went is not important, the scene when you decided to shoot is important and it can be assumed that you were trying to hit whatever the sights were pointed at. You could attach multiple cameras or a fast exposure camera to capture the aftermath. You may have problems with muzzle flash but you might be able to have a very fast exposure camera that took the picture before the bullet left the barrel. 3/1000 of a second for a 10cm(4 inch) barrel assuming a projectile moving at the speed of sound.
marklar, Aug 26 2007

       Or you could build a gun on the principle of the single-lens reflex camera, where a mirror sends the laser light directly down the barrel, moving out of the way an instant before the bullet arrives.
ldischler, Aug 26 2007

       Or you could zero your laser sight to be exactly parallel to your barrel. Then learn that point of impact is 1" high and left of the laser dot, give/take fall of shot.   

       This has to be the simplest solution.
Custardguts, Aug 26 2007

       Or you could put the laser in the bullet. That way the bullet always hits the laser spot...though not necessarily what you were shooting at.
ldischler, Aug 26 2007

       //green laser on the left side(in addition to the red laser on the right side)//
Red on the left and green on the right, shirley?
neutrinos_shadow, Aug 27 2007

       I love all this discussion about setting up a short range weapon for long range work. Very 'bakery.   

       Most gunfights take place at conversational distances. It's good to practice at both extremes though.
normzone, Aug 27 2007

       //setting up a short range weapon for long range work// ... perhaps the knife could also do with some laser sights?
lurch, Aug 27 2007

       That will be a piece of work indeed. I'm envisioning something for throwing knives, with lights on each end.
normzone, Aug 27 2007

       If you set up the laser to shine in the eyes of the opponent, then there might not be any reason to shoot.   

       Go ahead, punk, bake my day.
Ling, Aug 27 2007

       Echoing normzone, what exactly is the point of a laser pointer on a hand gun? Shooting from the hip?
DrCurry, Aug 27 2007

       //Echoing normzone, what exactly is the point of a laser pointer on a hand gun? Shooting from the hip?//   

       Shooting in low-light situations. The sights typically found on handguns can be really hard to see.   

       Yes, it could be light enough to discern your target but poor enough not to see your sights.
Noexit, Aug 27 2007

       I would imagine a laser sight could be very convincing to the target, as well.
GutPunchLullabies, Aug 27 2007

       Hm...sounds like a great way to shoot your wife/son/neighbor thinking s/he's a burglar.
DrCurry, Aug 27 2007

       [DrCurry], trained shootists do not fire on unidentified targets.   

       I have toyed with the idea of posting laser sighted sticks and stones but decided not to.
normzone, Aug 27 2007

       normzone: evidently you don't read the newspapers.
DrCurry, Aug 27 2007

       I know what you mean.   

       Usually when divers die or private pilots crash it's because they didn't have adaquate training, or they didn't follow their training, or because they attempted to do something outside the scope of their training.   

       People who have guns are similar. All I can tell you is that my training stressed not shooting at unidentifed targets and I follow my training.   

       It helps, of course, that I've never needed to shoot at anybody.   

       I've always thought the whole laser sights thing somewhat overblown. It might have a specific purpose for specific situations, but I suspect it's just fashion and feature creep. I'll do some research.   

       (edit) This pretty much sums up the opinions I found:   

       "Laser sights are (mostly) useless. I believe swat teams/hostage rescue/etc. sometimes use them, but only for the intimidation aspect of the laser. In a gunfight you need to be either assessing the situation, or shooting someone, not searching for a little red dot"
normzone, Aug 27 2007

       They should have used laser sights in cowboy films, where the tip of the gun is aligned with the target and the camera, but clearly the gun is aimed in the wrong direction. Did anyone else ever notice that?
Ling, Aug 28 2007

       nz: back to my earlier question....
DrCurry, Aug 28 2007

       laser sights are good for training purposes with pistols as all the people I've met who carry a pistol for a living never look down the sights. You train your elf to point the pistol wherever you are looking, rather than obscuring most of your view of an area and looking through one eye.
marklar, Aug 28 2007

       //You train your elf to point the pistol// so it's a fairy pistol?
xenzag, Aug 28 2007

       [xenzag] You must have realised by now that some mistakes are on porpoise, shirley
marklar, Aug 28 2007

       How about a laser on the top left and a laser on the bottom right with another directly above the barrel that measures distance to target. Then the two laser dots mechanically adjust equally towards or away from each other to converge on the target. A perfect shot everytime (not considering wind, elevation, atmospheric pressure, personal movement, target speed and direction, human error, double vision, alcohol consumption, parkinson's, epilepsy, satanic possession, conscience, blindness, lack of fingers, lack of bullets, lack of gun, wizadry, force fields, ninjas, magicians' teeth, selfless partners/unimportant characters, deus ex machina, the apocalypse etc.)
theleopard, Aug 28 2007

       If there's a red laser on the right, and a green laser on the left, and they're both set to cross in front of the weapon at a certain distance... wouldn't there be a single yellow dot, rather than two dots (one red, one green) at that distance?
goldbb, Jan 26 2009


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