Red dot vs Laser

Hey Everyone. Appreciate your thoughts on Red Dot vs Laser for edc. My edc is the Springfield Armory XDS 9mm. Looking at the new Hellcat. I carry anytime legally allowed in Pennsylvania. I do a lot of business within the education system so I don’t carry when I’m heading to a school. Looking to gain a lil speed on draw while increasing my accuracy. Night time carry is also a consideration. For that reason leaning laser for better target acquisition(?). What is your experience with either or both? Thanks in advance

IMHO Red Dot’s (on pistols) and lasers are both bulky devices in their own way. On red dot’s in particular they often seem to act similarly to a cellphone and “suck” the individual in to searching for the dot on a “screen” and then getting sight alignment. Lasers are the opposite and project the persons vision forward but are exceedingly unstable in a high stress situation.

Again IMHO I would and have spent the the amount for said device on practice ammo and learning “proprioception” so that I know where I am pointing even without seeing the sights.



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For night time carry a good flashlight and night sights is the best way to go. You’re going to need to see what you’re shooting at, neither a laser or red dot will help with that.

Now whether you use a weapon mounted light or hand held. That’ll bring in a decision and is a personal preference. Either way you go you should do some low level light training. (A common side effect of low level light training is a smile and increased heart rate)


I have a PPS M2 with the factory RMSc red dot, which is the same sight the Hellcat supports. You will need to practice with the red dot it is not a magic short cut. That being said once you are familiar with it you will likely be able to get on target quicker with the red dot than traditional sights. Besides quick target acquisition the red dot makes a great handle for racking the slide.

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I have grip lasers on both my 1911’s just incase I can’t get a good sight picture. But I don’t rely on them at all.

I love my red dot on my rifle but it is bulky for a pistol. I’ve thought about trying on a pistol, just not there. If you want to add a laser without any bulk, look into the LaserMax internal lasers that take the place of the guide rod. They make them for Glock, Beretta, Taurus, Sig and H&K.
Personally, I think they are a good tool defensively from an intimidation perspective. When someone sees that red dot on their chest or nose, it might make them rethink their position.


when it comes to these two sighting options I personally feel a laser is more concealable. deducted from my experience with a crimson trace laserguard currently on my EDC summer carry PT 738 .380 ACP pistol. I opted for the smallest lightest easiest installation and learning curve. it feels like its a part of the pistol and is natural to turn on just by gripping the pistol and does not have to brought up to eye level to use. it might alter your grip slightly - so practice is IMPERATIVE! I can center it on target from the hip or close body hold easily. I took the time to regulate it with the sights at 5 yards. it works great ;as the first time test firing with the installed laser and new carry ammo, Hornady CRITICAL DEFENSE FLEXTIP , I was dead on at both 5 and 7 yards. the pistol was properly cleaned, lubed and broken in with over 100 rounds to insure reliability. it is now extremely reliable and I feel confident using it at most self defense distances. this is just my experience and preference at present. it is highly subjective I’ll admit. just as any equipment choice will be depending on the individual.


Welcome to the community @Leroy! You’re absolutely right, like all the good things in life, most of it comes down to personal preference.

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