I pocket-carry a Ruger LCP II, reviewed elsewhere on Shooting Illustrated's site, on a regular basis because I often find myself in situations when the need for discretion trumps the need for firepower. While the sights on the LCP II are a cut above most other small semi-automatic pistols, the fact is they are small and hard to pick up compared to the sights on larger guns. The short sight radius on this tiny little gun doesn’t help things either. These are just two of the reasons why accurate, repeatable shots beyond 10 yards is a theoretical endeavor for most gun owners with this pistol and other similar guns. Enter the Crimson Trace LG-497G Laserguard.
I am a big fan of laser sights on smaller guns, because they solve a number of problems. By projecting an aiming spot on the target itself, they avoid the issues of having to line up tiny, hard-to-use sights on the gun itself, and because they don’t reply on sight alignment for accurate hits, you can use them from awkward shooting positions or even (quite literally) shooting from the hip, if necessary.
The Crimson Trace LG-497G Laserguard has added advantages over most other laser sights on the market. By using Crimson Trace’s exclusive Instinctive Activation switch, the laser turns on the instant you grip the gun, and the green laser dot is much easier to pick up in full sunlight and other brightly-lit conditions versus a red laser dot. I’ve been using red lasers on my guns for almost 10 years now, but the LG-497G is the first green laser I’ve used on a defensive firearm. To be honest, I questioned the need for a green laser versus a red laser, but after seeing that green dot consistently show up on-target, even the bright sunshine of a Florida afternoon, I’m a believer in the utility of a green laser over a red laser.
The Crimson Trace LG-497G Laserguard attaches to the trigger guard of a Ruger LCP II with a few small hex screws and is already sighted in at the factory for twenty five yards. The laser is powered by one 1/3L battery and the stated run time is more than two hours of use. I’ve never used one of Crimson Trace’s for that length of time before I changed the battery on the unit, so I’ll take the company's word for it. Installing the laser on my pistol took me less than five minutes with the included hex wrenches, and then it was off to my local range for some testing.
I’ve shot about 700 rounds through my little LCP II at this point, so I have a good idea of its capabilities. I know that when I use the sights installed on the gun, if I push my shots out to 10 yards, I can get accurate upper-torso hits. However, it will take me a second or two longer to re-acquire my sights and get my gun on-target than if I was shooting at closer distances. With the assistance of the green dot from the Crimson Trace LG-497G Laserguard, however, I was able to get consistent upper-torso hits at 10 yards just as fast as I could get the muzzle down and press the trigger, and upper-torso hits at 15 and even 25 yards where quite easy to do if I let myself see the dot versus concentrated on the front sight of the gun.
One advantage of pistol-mounted lasted sight that isn’t talked about enough, in my opinion, is how they can help you overcome a bad trigger press by giving you instant feedback on where your muzzle is pointed as you pull the trigger. The tiny size and light weight of the LCP II make it easy to carry, but that light weight means the gun is going to react more to a hard trigger press than, say, a full-size 1911 will, and the smaller size means there’s less to hang on to as you press the trigger. With a Crimson Trace LG-497G Laserguard on your gun, you can clearly see your how your gun is moving as you pull the trigger, allowing you to correct for a bad trigger press as it happens.
Laser sights have become increasingly popular because they make a lot of sense, and they make even more sense on a small, easily-concealable pistol like the Ruger LCP II. Green lasers do cost more (sometimes a lot more) than their red laser counterparts, and the LG-497G is no exception to this. However, the benefits I received from sticking this $309 sight on my LCP II are worth the price. A laser sight, especially a green laser like this one, extends the effective reach of your concealed-carry gun and helps make it a much more viable defensive firearm. If you pocket carry a gun, consider getting a laser for it, and if you pocket-carry an LCP II, the Crimson Trace LG-497G Laserguard is an excellent way to make a great little pistol even better.