Snub Training – Replacing CTC Laser Stocks

September 24, 2009
CTC LS 205 Laser Stocks

CTC LS 205 Laser Stocks

What is your preference, the LG 105 or the LG 405 for a replacement of the LG 205 on a J frame?

Thanks for your help.

Mark L. 

 

Dear Mark:

I hope this note finds you well.

Thank you for the great question.

Personally I love the 205s I have on my J-frames. -They are the ONLY CTC lasers with a proper cut-out for use with speedloaders. – But they won’t/don’t last forever.

CTC LG 105 laser stocks

CTC LG 105 laser stocks

Regarding you question, if I had to replace the 205 I would lean toward the 105.

CTC LS 405 Laser Stocks

CTC LS 405 Laser Stocks

The 405 isn’t a bad item but the back-strap is covered with rubber. Nice (if marginal) for reducing recoil but it also reduces the snub’s deep concealability.

The rubber also tends to catch cover-clothing (prints) and can reduce draw-stroke speed. 

They both offer a sad excuse for a dished out area for speedloaders. The 405 has a very slight advantage in this area but the hard plastic on the 105 lends itself to some light Dremel work. A few light passes with the Dremel tool and you can get the 105 to work nearly as well as the old 205.

The only other complaint I have with the 105 is the very odd “bird-heads” style stock configuration.

The convex area where the laser’s on/off button is located is smaller in circumference than the circumference at the base of the stock’s butt area. 

The best way to understand the problem with this is to make a tight fist and gauge your strength. Then make a second fist but leave your ring finger extended.

The second fist will never be a strong as the first as long as the ring finger is prevented from curling in tight and under your middle finger.

The bird-heads flaring on the base of the 105 stock produces this result.

I few light passes with the Dremel tool on the base of the 105 stocks can reduce this defect.

Please note that you may not need to reduce the circumference on the base of the 105 stocks. Some shooters say that after awhile they no longer even note the issue.

But if after a few months of working with the 105 as compared with 205 you may want to address it.

Thank you again for the questions.

I hope this information is of some value.

Yours,

Michael


Snub Training – My ideal snub

August 21, 2009

This question comes up often so I though I might share with you my thoughts.

 

S&W Bodyguard - From The Snub File

S&W Bodyguard - From The Snub File

If I had to pick a first snub to recommend I would go with a lock-free, Airweight S&W Bodyguard and render it double-action only.

If I couldn’t find a Airweight Bodyguard I would try to hunt up an Airweight Chief Special, render it double-action only and then add a Waller and Son hammer shroud.

Here are a few reasons in no special order.

The Bodyguard offers nearly every advantage the Centennial does. You can get high on the back strap for optimum recoil control. It is just as sag proof on the draw stroke and every feature available for a J-frame is available for the Bodyguard.

One added bonus the Bodyguard has over the Centennial is that with its hammer nipple access you have another safe (and quick) method to check for high primers.

Some argue that the open slot at the rear of the Bodyguard’s integrated shroud invites crud that can impede hammer arc. 

A 5-second “clean shroud” check every morning along with confirming that the snub is loaded solves that non-issue.

By the way, a great habit to get into is to check that the snub is loaded every time it has been out of your control. – a piece of great advice I picked up from Walt Rausch

EVERY morning I make it a habit to confirm it is loaded even it I am the one who locked it in the safe loaded the night before.

In addition to rendering it double-action only (for all the usual street- and court-liability reasons) I would get the usual “must have” add-ons.

Chamfer the cylinders

XS Big Dot front sight – The U-rear sight may not be an option with the Bodyguard but I could work around it.

For Stocks one of these:

Barami Hip-Grips with a Tyler T-Grip adaptor (or)

Spegel Boot Grip stocks (or)

Crimson Trace laser stocks

Whichever one would bet fit the shooters carry style and or resources.

My final carry gun option would be to have the gunsmith, Mike LaRocca for Worcester, MA or Karl Sokol in West Rutlant VT remove the locking bolt currently holding the short ejector rod in place, add a full length ejector rod and then add a detent to the crane to keep the cylinder locked in place.

The J-frame’s much too short ejector rod is the bane of fast, positive reloading and a personal bug-a-boo of mine. On a self-defense gun it has to go.

Since I am throwing around a lot of ideal snub money on this list let me add one other wish list items

Since this Airweight Bodyguard or Shrouded Airweight Chief Special is a working gun I would look to find a companion gun.

Now there are lots of great reasons to go with a copy of my primary carry snub only in a heavier format. Either blue (first choice) or stainless steel (second choice)

As a heavier range training gun I could shoot more rounds through it and in the same caliber I would have a readily available second or BUG gun.

But the fact is that very few shooters will consistently (if ever) carry a second gun I would want a companion gun to optimize training drills and occasions.

Something fun to shoot to encourage range time

Something I could get my children and non-gun friends to learn on and enjoy shooting.

Something inexpensive to shoot so I would want to do either of the above often

I would look for a J-frame .22 and hammer shroud it.

Certainly not optimal as a second self-defense gun but it would be unmatched in its role as a fun trainer and in an emergency could be used by any responsible adult.

Too often folks into guns forget that the 99% of the self-defense guns we own will never be used in that role.

90% of those that are, the good guy ends the fight with the presentation and not the shooting.

HKS .22 speedloader

HKS .22 speedloader

As a training tool I would also have the option of practicing with both HKS .22 speedloaders and QuickStrip .22 loading strips.

Throw in a good supply of .22 dummy rounds and you have a shooting kit that practically begs you for weekly range trips.

And anything that gets you to the range regularly for training has to be a good idea.


Snub Training – Crimson Trace

May 21, 2009

Crimson Trace offers the widest selection of laser stocks for snub revolvers.  Their laser stocks are built of polymer, rubber or a combination of both while their laser emitter is positioned under the revolver’s cylinder on the right side stock panel.  The activation switch is located under the revolver’s trigger guard generally midway up the stock’s front strap.  The switch can be activated with a firm grip or turned off with a slight reduction of grip pressure and activation under stress is reflexive.  The laser’s elevation and windage is adjusted via a thin allen wrench supplied with the stocks.  Because the laser emitter is positioned under the cylinder keeping the trigger finger on the revolver’s frame will block the laser’s beam and be used as a positive finger-off trigger reinforcement tool.  With the laser positioned about an inch to the right and below the snub’s bore axis some shooters wonder about barrel-sight line-laser parallax. If the shooter matches the laser with the iron sights’ point of impact at a reasonable distance of twenty feet, the shooter can then fire at targets from point blank to forty feet with a theoretical shot spread of two-inches.  Acknowledging the nature and speed of the typical violence assault a two-inch spread within a zero-to-forty foot range seems like a very reasonable range.

There are several commonly encountered Crimson Trace J-frame laser stocks. 

Crimson Trace LG-205 Laser Stocks

Crimson Trace LG-205 Laser Stocks

The LG-205 had a hard polymer checkered shell and the smallest profile and featured the smallest on-off switch. Though it was discontinued in early 2006 is was my first choice for a deep concealment and remains my favorite on my back-up snubs. 

Crimson Trace LG-305 Laser Stocks

Crimson Trace LG-305 Laser Stocks

The LG-305 is an overmold style stock with rubber covering both the backstrap and the butt of the frame.  It also features a master on-off switch distinct from the activation button.  The laser can be turned off of long term storage, transportation or for iron sight only training drills.  It is the most comfortable of the various laser stocks and fine house gun for the average sized adult male hand.

Crimson Trace LG-405 Laser Stocks

Crimson Trace LG-405 Laser Stocks

The LG-405 is a cross between the LG-205 and the LG-305. It is nearly as small as the LG-205 with the butt exposed but with a small strip of rubber covering the top half of the backstrap. Called an air pocket by the manufacturer, its function is to reduce recoil into the web of the shooter’s hand. The sides of the stocks retain the LG-205’s polymer styling to reduce possible snagging in deep concealment locations.

Crimson Trace LG-105 Laser Stocks

Crimson Trace LG-105 Laser Stocks

The LG-105 is the newest Crimson Trace laser stock. The LG-105 is another boot grip style stock though wider than either of their original LG-205 or the air pocket featured LG-405. Like the original LG-205 it reintroduces both a hard polymer shell and checkered sides. Its features a larger activation button though with a less fist-filling concavity in front of the front strap.


Snub Training – Laser stocks

May 20, 2009

Laser stocks are one of those rare self-defense tools that offer multiple advantages with almost no corresponding down sides.  There are some practical and training benefits that a laser equipped snub can be put to.  These include:

1.  A laser is a useful tool for safely evaluating the “lasering” risk when practicing an alternative draw stroke or testing in a new holster. A laser equipped snub can reinforce the importance of keeping the index finger away from the trigger during the draw stroke. 

2.  A laser is a useful trigger control improvement tool when practicing dry fire drills because the advantage of a smooth trigger compression and follow through can be easily observed.

3.  A laser is useful for dry-fire judgment drills. This can be conducted against old crime dramas on a TV, played off an appropriate topic video or used against a dedicated judgment training DVD.

4.  A laser is a practical tool for self-testing various aim-fire vs. point-shooting theories. There are multiple theories about what constitutes point shooting and visual indexed sighting and all have their advocates.  The laser lets the shooter test all these ideas against various targets, distances and time constraints.

5.  A laser is an excellent tool for introducing “range of sight wobble.” An actual sight picture is never as picture perfect as the wall poster at the gun club. A laser can help demonstrate the acceptable range of a human handheld sight picture and encourage the shooter to work with the natural range of this wobble.

6.  A laser is an excellent tool for live fire range experimenting with multiple stance options and grip positions. The shooter can clearly view the effect stance and grip options have on recoil control and return time back to the target.

7. A laser is an excellent tool for identifying and self-correcting flinch on the live fire range.

8.  A laser is an excellent tool for shooting from behind awkward cover. One of the hardest positions to defend from is seated and seat belted inside a car. A laser is a great aid when forced to shoot around the windshield, weak handed or around the A-post with the strong hand.

9.  When physically grappling with an attacker a traditional sight picture can be difficult to obtain.  A laser lets the defender observe the pending point of impact as well as identify possible back stop dangers.

10.  When fighting off more than one attacker the laser can be used to aim against a second attacker while maintaining physical control over the first.

11.  When trying to control either single or multiple attackers, sometimes the laser offers deterrent and / or intimidation value.

12.  Learning to shoot weak hand only on a range or fight weak hand only in an emergency is easier with a laser. A laser in either situation is much more likely to produce more accurate hits.

13.  Mid-fight injuries often prevent the shooter from raising the gun to eye level. Being able to accurately align the barrel with the target when arm motion is limited is simple with a laser.

14.  The laser is the single best tool for confirming that the snub’s barrel and a beam of a handheld flashlight are aligned upon the same target.  Once the flashlight has confirmed the threat, the laser can confirm that the snub is aimed at the same spot.

15.  Some older shooters develop poor near vision while retaining excellent far sight vision.  Eyewear can help but can easily be lost in the course of an assault.  A laser can aid far sighted shooters when iron sights are hard to focus on.


Snub Training – Laser stocks question

May 18, 2009

Hello Michael,

On the home front, the 438 is a mighty nice little gun.  I was going to put Crimson Laser sights on, then not, and then now that I’ve shot a few hundred rounds thru it, I think I will.  Even at close range, it makes sense since the way I see it there won’t be a lot of time to “find” the sights in that situation.  Would you tell me:

1)  Do they make a CTC laser grip for the 438?  I find two that fit J frames – but cannot tell which would work. 

2)  Does the grip on the [frame] lengthen the surface enough for the pinky to get a hold? That’s my only gripe with the gun.

Thanks again,

Steve G

 
Dear Steve:

Thank you for the great questions.

Crimson trace has currently three laser stocks that will fit your Smith and Wesson 438: The LG-405, the LG-305, and the LG-105. They discontinued a fourth, the LG-205 but if you were interested in it you should be ably to find one in the internet with little difficulty.

Here is a very short overview on the four styles:

The LG-205 (see above) had a hard polymer checkered shell and the smallest profile and featured the smallest on-off switch. Though it was discontinued in early 2006 is was my first choice for a deep concealment and remains my favorite on my back-up snubs. 

The LG-305 is an overmold style stock with rubber covering both the backstrap and the butt of the frame.  It also features a master on-off switch distinct from the activation button.  The laser can be turned off of long term storage, transportation or for iron sight only training drills.  It is the most comfortable of the various laser stocks and fine house gun for the average sized adult male hand.

The LG-405 is a cross between the LG-205 and the LG-305. It is nearly as small as the LG-205 with the butt exposed but with a small strip of rubber covering the top half of the backstrap. Called an air pocket by the manufacturer, its function is to reduce recoil into the web of the shooter’s hand. The sides of the stocks retain the LG-205’s polymer styling to reduce possible snagging in deep concealment locations.

The LG-105 is the newest Crimson Trace laser stock. The LG-105 is another boot grip style stock though wider than either of their original LG-205 or the air pocket featured LG-405. Like the original LG-205 it reintroduces both a hard polymer shell and checkered sides. Its features a larger activation button though with a less fist-filling concavity in front of the front strap.

Regarding you ‘little finger’ question, my experience is that the LG-205 will not, the LG-105 and LG-405 will … barely if at all, and the LG-305 will.

I hope this helps a little.

If you have any additional questions please let me know.

Yours,

Michael de Bethencourt