The Springfield Armory XD-S .45 ACP Crimson Trace model.

The Springfield Armory XD-S .45 ACP Crimson Trace model.

Having had plenty of opportunities to shoot in dark conditions, I’ve become a big, big proponent of equipping carry guns with lasers and ideally lights. Why? Simply put, when you consider the “process” of finding a target in the dark, getting a sight picture, and making a fast hit, there is nothing faster than using a laser. Obviously, the laser won’t help you find a target, but it will help you get on it quickly once you do identify it.

Apparently, the Springfield Armory folks agree. “Our goal with the XD-S® product line has always been to make it the perfect concealed carry pistol,” states Dennis Reese, Springfield Armory® CEO. “Now, through our work with Crimson Trace® we’re adding faster and more reliable target sighting capability. We want to make it easier for our customers to hit their chosen target as quickly as possible while under stress.”

Don’t take my word for it – after the first Crimson Trace Midnight Three Gun Invitational, all top finishers in subsequent years equipped their guns with lasers too because they learned the value. Without getting too much into the weeds here, there are a couple of reasons this configuration works in low light conditions.

When moving and or searching for a target, your handgun probably isn’t going to be in the shooting position, right in front of your face with the sights aligned with your eyeballs. That tends to obstruct your direct and peripheral vision. When it’s time to fire, you’ll most likely have to reposition your gun and acquire a proper sight picture. When using a laser, there is no need to raise the gun to that perfect “iron sight” picture. Wherever the gun is, low, medium, or high, if the laser is on target, you can make a hit. This also can be handy when shooting around barricades like doors, walls, or furniture. There is no need to expose a larger portion of your upper body just to get a proper sight picture.

The XD-S comes with the Crimson Trace Laserguard, a flat base magazine and an extended Mid-Mag.

The XD-S comes with the Crimson Trace Laserguard, a flat base magazine and an extended Mid-Mag.

Laser sighting also tends to support the biological response we all have of focusing on the threat, not on the front sight of the pistol. Yes, training helps overcome that tendency. Playing Devil’s advocate, why fight millions of years of biological programming? If your brain wants to focus on the threat, you can simply let it when using a laser. The aiming point and target are in the same focal plane, so there’s no need to take the focus away from the target and to the front sight.

Last, the laser removes sighting issues related to low light conditions. Night sights are designed to work in the dark, and I have those installed on all of my carry pistols. A laser makes accurate sighting in the dark a nonissue.

Am I advocating ditching the iron or night sights? No, of course, not. I’m simply suggesting the idea of giving yourself additional advantage above and beyond traditional sighting. There’s no reason you can’t continue to use the irons when you have a laser installed.

With all that said, I love that gun manufacturers are offering models ready to go meaning already equipped with a per-fit laser.

The Springfield Armory XD-S with Crimson Trace Laserguard is exactly that. The laser body is designed specifically for this gun – it’s not a bolt on one-size-fits-all rail assembly.

Read the rest at GunsAmerica.