Fun With Guns

A Viridian Green Laser attaches nicely to your Glock

Gideon Fountain writes:

Folks ask me all the time* (‘specially you ladies), “Gid”, they say, “I’m thinking of buying the little man a laser for his pistol; which one’s the best?” I always say that you certainly can’t go wrong with Crimson Trace   , but I’m intrigued by this new one, called the “Viridian Green Laser”.

There are several advantages to having a laser sighting device on your gun, the most important being accuracy, particularly at night, in a stressful situation.  But there is also the potential deterrent effect.  Everyone knows how criminals, who’ve made the mistake of invading your home, will make a quick exit when they hear the classic “CLICK-KA-SHINK!”  of a pump-action shotgun chambering a fresh round.  But I have read similar, credible reports of bad guys leaving just as fast when they look down to see a laser light shining on their chest.

All things considered, it’s probably best if you can scare the guy out of the house. That way, the cops can dispose of him in the front yard.

So, are ya feeling lucky, punk?  Well, are ya? What’ll it be…red or green?



*Actually, never.


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28 responses to “Fun With Guns

  1. Cos Cobber

    This also serves as a good reminder to never open your glove box or reach under your seat w/o permission in your jag while looking at houses.

  2. Anon

    I agree with you that a 9MM is the good defense when an intruder gets into your house. Small, practical and easy to store. But what about if one has kids (bullets go through sheet rock and lumber)? Do you think any other type of weapon could work; baton, electrified baton, taser gun? Problem with these is, what do you do with the intruder until police arrives. I don’t have the answer, but have been thinking about it a lot.

    • Gideon Fountain responds…
      “Anon”: As you say, “bullets go through sheetrock and lumber”, so yes, if you hear a thump in the night, and you go tip-toeing through the house in search of the cause, it’s probably a much better idea to have a Kimber Pepper Blaster (or similar device) in your hand. The PepperBlaster will completely incapacitate the intruder for around 45 minutes. So, to recap: PepperBlaster in one hand, flashlight in the other, pistol in back pocket.

  3. Libertarian Advocate

    Viridian has a great compact green laser/and high lumen white tactical light combo unit, the C5L, that will fit on any pistol with a picatinny style rail like the Walther PPS.

  4. carlos hazkok

    A laser is tremendous device for target aquisition, however there is little deterent effect of a laser unless one is in a smokey room, or the laser beam is shown directly into the eye cornea, or…the perp happens to be looking down at his sternum where you have the laser pointed.

  5. fred

    and if you dont mind giving up you comparative advandage and becoming a target yourself -go ahead and switch to the viridian green.

  6. Anonymous

    if someone breaks in the door, just shoot ’em in the toodles.

  7. booger

    get a dog.

  8. IDAHO

    Be sure you shoot em inside your house! Saves a lot of legal hassle….

    • Gideon Fountain responds…
      “IDAHO”: No joke, dude! If you must shoot an intruder, make sure it’s inside rather than outside the house, for obvious legal reasons. But I still say, if you can scare off the miscreant rather than shoot, do so.

  9. Libertarian Advocate

    And then wait a few weeks for service of the miscreant’s lawsuit alleging tortious infliction of emotional distress that he/she/it (hereinafter “he”) was in fear of his life when he saw the green dot on the tip of his nose.

  10. Cobra

    “But I still say, if you can scare off the miscreant rather than shoot, do so.”

    Not bloody likely.

  11. prosperityfollowsdynamite

    After reading the above comments, particularly the ones from our Guest Host, I feel the need comment myself. Most of them are extremely helpful-if you feel like getting killed. First off, Kimber Pepper Spray-Are you out of your mind? It’s pepper spray NOT mace which is the real stuff that the cops have. Think it will work on an intruder on Crank or Meth or Speed? Think again. It is effective up to 15 feet and you need to hit him in the face for it to work well. If you think that is a good distance you are wrong. It will take a six foot man two strides and literally two seconds to cover that distance. And remember, you are going to be using this stuff INSIDE not outside so you might get “seasoned” yourself. Forget it.
    Here is what you need on your nightstand: a cell phone, a small, reliable, powerful flashlight like a Surefire and a loaded pistol. A cell phone is to call the police(if you have time), the flashlight is to light things up or temporarily blind your intruder and your pistol is to KILL him(not to scare him, or perhaps shoot him in the leg.) In fact if you are not fully prepared to use your pistol to KILL another human being, you should just throw up your hands and give him anything he wants(and you might as well stop reading this because the rest does not apply to you.)
    Forget the laser. It is a gadget and gadgets fail. You are the laser. Take the three hundred dollars that you were going to spend on it and take a class, get some good INSTRUCTION from the proper teacher on how to use your pistol. Are you a good shot already? Great. Next time you go to the range run up a few flights of stairs before you go to the firing line. And shake your hands a bit when you aim. Because this is what it is going to be like at 3 A.M. when someone is banging on your door. Your heart is going to race, your hands are going to shake, it is going to be dark and you are going to be scared. This is where good TRAINING comes in.
    If you want to doing something to your pistol: Put on a set of good NIGHT SIGHTS like those from Trijicon.(These will allow you to see where you are aiming.) More importantly: Purchase the correct AMMUNITION for your pistol. For home defense you need a hollow point bullet like Federal’s Hydra-Shok that is designed to have minimum penetration and maximum stopping power. It is an anti-personnel bullet-it goes into people and tumbles and stays there. Think about your choice of caliber as well. Simply put, a bigger bullet travels slower but packs more punch. (ie. A .45ACP is a bigger but slower fist as compared to a 9mm which is a smaller but much faster fist.) And for those of you who prefer an automatic over a revolver-keep your magazine with one or two fewer cartridges than the maximum amount; this will preserve your magazine spring. Consider storing magazines in several locations in your home where they can be easily reached. If you really want to go all out, do what I did: purchase the exact same handgun for each floor of your home. The magazines are interchangeable and you will be familiar with the weapon.
    And above all remember this: If you have children in your home not only is it ILLEGAL to store a loaded firearm, it is STUPID. Do what you have to do. For instance, store the magazine separate from the pistol and practice loading and cocking it in an emergency. A three year old can pull the trigger on the Glock pictured above. SAFETY FIRST.

    • Gideon Fountain responds….
      “prosperityfollowsdynamite”: Long-winded, but all good advice, particularly the part about “running up a flight of stairs”, etc. before you begin a practice round at the shooting range. As in golf, what works on the driving range may not work out on the links. As a starter guide, I highly recommend the “NRA Guide To The Basics Of Personal Protection Outside The Home”. After that, there are plenty of must-read books on the subject of home protection. Most of us will never be as fully trained as we could be, but having some ability to protect yourself and family is much better than nothing.

  12. Asterix

    Anyone who tells you a robber runs from a shotgun cock is perpetuating a fantasy. The idea that you would get close enough to a home intruder for him to see your laser and then wait to see if he ran is also absurd. If a miscreant knows the home is occupied and enters anyway, they’re not going to be scared off, not by your dog (who may already be dead), not by you stomping around and making noise. If you think you have an intruder in your home, you account for all family members, get them safe, have someone call the cops. Then you wait. If the intruder, well, intrudes to the point you feel your safety or the safety of your family (but not your property, this is Connecticut) is threatened, you do not fire a warning shot, you use deadly force until the threat is eliminated, either by fleeing or by being dead.

    The average home defense weapon is far, far better equipped with a flashlight (so you don’t shoot Granny or Fido) than it is with a laser, and in panicked close quarters that laser is going to be jumping all over the place anyway.

  13. Asterix

    Also, a few comments on the poster above. Most of his statements are spot on, but:

    Caliber – Beyond .380 this is largely irrelevant with modern hollowpoints. Use modern hollowpoints. Hitting the target is more important than caliber, so train with the gun (and at least sometimes with the ammunition) you’re going to depend on to save your life. In the grand scheme of things you’re often better off with a shotgun for home defense anyway, as the longer barrel will make it easier to aim in a panic situation (ignore urban legends about shotgun shot dispersal, you still have to aim) and in CT it’s far easier to get a home defense shotgun than a pistol.

    Mag springs – This is mostly urban legend, mags are worn out by actuating, not by being stored loaded. If it makes you feel better by leaving out a round or two, ok. Always have a reload ready regardless. This goes for revolvers, too – you will probably panic and unload the entire thing, at which point you are completely helpless without a reload if threats still exist.

    Loaded firearms and children – The exact CT law is: “No person shall keep or store any loaded firearm on any premises under his control if he knows or reasonably should know that a person under 16 is likely to gain access without a parent’s or guardian’s permission, unless it is in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secured, is carried on the person or within close proximity, or is in a locked container.” So, to be more accurate, you can have a loaded firearm in a house with children, if it is secured. This means in a safe, with a lock. If you think a child cannot figure out how to load and cock a firearm, think how young they were when they figured out the computer. Get a safe (a little bedside one, for a pistol) with a digital lock you can key in quickly, and keep your home defense firearms loaded.

  14. Krazy Kat

    Wow, I go to bed early and miss a fine discussion about something that I have thought long and hard about and only recently acted upon. Whoever prosperityfollowsdynamite is, old reader with new name or some new to these parts, is EXACTLY CORRECT. So much so that I wonder if they are in law enforcement or just smart gun training.

    Roughly a year ago we started to take home defense seriously. I will save details as some of you may know me and I don’t want to scare or offend anyone. Suffice it to say I received my CT CCW in July and have proceeded to get my Utah non-resident that allow carry in over 34 states (sadly, not NY and NJ) and I also picked up Florida as well. If you are considering a handgun, you HAVE to be licensed in CT to own one. The process is not that complicated and you can find information through Greenwich Public Safety’s site as well as

    I agree with PFD on lasers – forget about them. The handgun attached laser is primarily designed for law enfrocement officers who will be operating behind a ballastic shield, that big “plexiglass” shield that SWAT teams use when rushing into a dangerous situation. The shield is to prevent shotgun and handgun shells from getting to the lead officer in the stack. But, that shield works both ways and the officer can not shoot through it. Thus, he/she puts their handgun to the side of the shield and will shoot around it if needed. Of course, aligning sites with a gun away from the centerlien of your body is impossible. Enter the laser which will illuminate the point of aim that the officer can not attain otherwise from behind the shield.

    IMLTHO, that is the ONLY proper use for a laser on a handgun. For civilians, the laser is a crutch, is mentally substituted for proper training and practice and can reinforce bad habits. Sure, there are all manner of lasers on the market and the gun magazines and websites are loaded with ads touting the latest and greatest. But, can a laser teach you to shoot in a range at a paper silouhette target, never mind in a hallway while huffing and puffing and trying to distinguish that form you see from your teenaged kid sneaking in from a thug wearing a hoodie and carrying a gun of his own. If you can shoot well and under stress and then want a laser for sighting verification, so be it.

    Like PFD, I believe in having multiples of the same weapon in the same caliber to keep the training common as well as to share mags. I choose to go with 40S&W as a compromise between the shootability of 9mm and the power of 45ACP. And PFD is also correct that proper self-defense ammo is a must as modern hollow points will provide greater shock on impact as well as expand and reduce the chance of a through-and-through potentially jeopardizing those behind the first impact point. Sure HP shells cost 3X “ball” ammo but are far worth it. Train with bulk FMJ (“ball”), fine tune with defense HPs and keep the home mags loaded with HP. The advice on not loading a magazine to full is debated regularly on gun blogs. I load to my max and rotate among my ten mags.

    Again, I do not use nor would I recommend a laser for a handgun. That said, I do use a high power flashlight mounted to my Sig, an Insight Tech M3X LED, a mil-spec LED light that puts out some serious lumens.

    (If you must think about a laser and are looking at the Viridian green lasers, make sure you understand the temperature contraints that apply to green lasers. The greenies, while more visible than red in bright light, don’t like extreme heat nor temperatures below 40ºF. )
    Back to PFD’s advice, I second his concerns on safety with kids in the house. Rather than having my mags and pistol separated (kids can always find a mag or take the pistol to school) I have installed a Microvault in my bedside table. This is a non-biometric, finger-activated combination/key box/safe in which I store the Sig, two loaded mags and another handheld, high lumen LED flashlight. This light would be used for searching the home should something be amiss. While some folks train to shoot with a handheld light, my instinct tells me that, should a threat be present, I am likely to drop that light in order to shoot with two hands on the pistol. That is why I have a light mounted on the light – to illuminate that with which I am aligning my sights (yes, night sights).

    Enough about me. Training and more practice are the key here. It is fun and it could save your life or those around you. Clearly, the avoidance of conflict is key and escaping an intruder is a sounder Plan A than trying to survive an interaction. But when you have to, warn aggressively but do what you must thereafter. Forget pepepr spray or any other contact weapon such as a bat, baton, knife because if you can contact an assailant, he can contact you. And if there are more than one of him, you are royally screwed.

    You can not train by reading a book but you can become aware and informed through reading. There are all manner of books on the subject of home defense and concealed carry, some well written and informed, some real crap. Possibly the best expert I have found is Massad Ayoob who you can Google. I have yet to train with him but have read numerous articles by him and I have trained with one of his affiliated instructors who also administered the Utah pistol course. If you are serious about the subject (and you had better be) then this is a good person with whom to become familiar.

    You can find his site here:

    Articles by him can be found posted here:

    A discussion of his gun training course can be found here:

    His local CT affiliate, who offers course swith and without Ayoob, can be found here:

    Lastly, a very good article on the use of deadly force can be found here:

  15. Krazy Kat

    BTW, if you are looking for a well-rounded training center that touches on a wide range of weapons and applications, I can highly recommend the SIG Academy in New Hampshire. This school’s classes cover everything from first time handling, to basic and intermediate shooting to advanced and professional courses. The trainers I have met there are all gun pros and/or current or retire LEOs. And the best thing for a beginner is that you do not need a pistol permit to take one of their handgun courses nor do you need to own your own weapons. The have an extensive armory and can lend you anything you need to take the course. Ammo is also provided for a cost.

    Highly recommended if you don’t mind the four hour drive up there.

  16. Peeps

    Also, with all of the suggested lethal weapons, you have to be certain that you are not prone to serious bouts of depression or have a fiery personality when it comes to domestic squabbles. So many people buy these things for protections, yet end up using it on themselves or on a family memebr when all of your buttons are pushed. Many of us experience temporary intense hatred for family members, although we don’t like to admit it.

    Thanksgiving sometimes is hell at our house, and I’m glad I have no arms.

    • Gideon Fountain responds…
      “Peeps”: Guns are serious, no doubt about it. But so are kitchen knives and baseball bats and machetes. If you don’t trust yourself with a gun, by all means, don’t own one.

  17. Cobra

    “Thanksgiving sometimes is hell at our house, and I’m glad I have no arms.”

    Without arms you’d have a hell of a hard time operating a gun unless you have the tongue of an anteater on steroids.

  18. Anonymous

    @Peeps, very good advice but also hilarious. 😆

    As we say in our family when somebody is being insane “Merry effing Xmas”, roll our eyes and move on.

  19. Peeps

    Guest Host – I think that many, or at least some of the suicides and murders within a family are done by people who bought their gun for protection and thought it would never be something that they would ever do.

    And Cobra, sometimes we just sling the turkey over the rafters and bite at it. You do what you gotta do.

  20. Anonymous

    @Peeps, bobbing for turkey sounds very festive, perhaps we should start a new family tradition this year, thanks for the idea. 😆

  21. Peeps

    This isn’t bobbing for turkey. To bob for turkey, you need to hollow out the body cavity and instead of stuffing you put in a balloon. Then you lace it and float it in a beer keg tub. Then, let the fun begin! If you don’t have a beer keg tub, a bathtub will do.

  22. Pot meet kettle

    @Peeps, I’m laughing so hard I have tears in my eyes. 😆 Thanks for lightening the somewhat tense mood around here this evening.

    As an upgrade to your original turkey slinging, may I suggest you blindfold everyone and spin them around a few times before allowing them to approach the turkey as you do for a pinata party?

  23. Pot meet kettle

    Apologies, Peeps. Don’t try to figure out if that screen name was meant for you, it wasn’t. It was a leftover from a previous testy comment I made on another subject. 😳

  24. Peeps

    No offense taken – Just having fun here, too.