There are a variety of advantages to laser sights, and it's a pretty dumb criminal who isn't in a hurry to flee a home he just broke into once a red or green dot starts a merry hallway jig. OK, I admit all criminals are stupid, but if the perpetrator presses the attack, paint the target and it's time for new carpet. At a time when seconds count, help is only minutes away, making the target-acquisition speed of a laser potentially lifesaving.
A laser is also a confidence booster. The fact that I can see where the gun is aimed, regardless of ambient light, somehow gives me, well…a warm glow. I can pull it from under my pillow or my wife's lingerie drawer and be on target in seconds. Their uses aren't limited to self-defense either, since they can help shooters self-diagnose a variety of flaws in form at the range.
If you have been waiting patiently for a laser that fits your late-model handgun or tactical firearm and it has at least 1.75 inches of a Picatinny-, mil-spec- or Weaver-style rail, consider LaserMax' Uni-Green. As the name suggests, it emits a green dot instead of traditional red. Another big difference is the pulsing beam—designed to take advantage of a human's ability to see movement up to three times faster than stationary items or a constant beam.
The modulating beam definitely gets your attention, especially in bright light. In testing conducted outside, the Uni-Green was able to paint black objects at 100 feet, where some red lasers start to fall off. Beyond 100 feet the green dot's visibility dropped noticeably on a background I least expected—yellow and brown leaves. The laser produces 5 milliwatts of power at a frequency of 532 nanometers.
With the unit mounted, the on-off switch is strategically located just in front of the trigger guard. It's ambidextrous and easy to activate with a single push. Oddly I didn't find anything in the literature that indicates the Uni-Green turns off after a certain period of time, although my test unit did after five or ten minutes while I was taking photographs. That's a good thing, since you don't want it to inadvertently activate and drain the batteries. Even if there's a long lull in a tactical situation, you don't want to broadcast your position with a green, pulsing beacon. Reactivating was as simple as turning the unit off—by pushing the switch to the center position—and then restarting.
With the required pair of 1/3N lithium batteries installed it weighs only an ounce. The Uni-Green doesn't significantly increase a firearm's overall profile either, since it's a scant 3/8-inch tall, not including the rail-mounting bracket. It's 2 1/8 inches in length, coming about even with the barrel of my Springfield XD. The unit is an inch in width.
A small tool is provided to adjust windage and elevation as needed, and to ensure non-migratory aim the unit employs a beefy clamping screw that anchors in the rail's groove. You'd be wrong if you assumed harnessing the Uni-Green's power means abandoning your rail-mounted tactical light. A built-in Picatinny rail on the laser's bottom allows you to stack aftermarket accessories without modification and the laser's slim profile minimizes overall impact on the gun's handling.
The laser's body is constructed from fiber-reinforced nylon for durability, and no realignment is required after battery changes. It can also be mounted on rifles and shotguns, and special pressure-activated remote switches are available for easier manipulation on long guns. Suggested retail is $399.
It takes my eyes a while to focus whenever a nighttime noise wakes me from slumber, and in a stressful situation seconds count—so lasers are an integral part of my home-defense strategy. If you're in the market for a laser, be sure to give LaserMax' Uni-Green serious consideration.