Ammo & Gear Reviews

Good shooting at the LaserMax 25th anniversary event

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By Britney Starr, Women’s Outdoor News

I recently had the distinct pleasure of attending a LaserMax 25th anniversary event, held at Gunsite Academy. Eleven other industry professionals attended this inaugural event, as well as 3 Laser Max employees. Celia Crane, LaserMax’s public relations manager, planned the outing, and, thanks to her, the event provided a wealth of knowledge to all in attendance.

Day 1 

Callie with Ken photo Tom

 Photo courtesy of Tom McHale

Day 1 of the LaserMax media event centered on gear. Ken Jorgensen, director of media relations for Sturm Ruger & Co., instructed Callie Davis, assistant editor for “Ring of Freedom” magazine. Callie shot the Ruger 10/22 with LaserMax laser. She loved the low recoil of the 10/22 and says that, after shooting it at Gunsite, she now wants one of her own. Retail value: $399 for the rifle and laser package.



Shari with Ruger LC9 pic Celia

 Photo courtesy of Celia Crane

Shari LeGate, special projects manager for FMG Publications, tried her hand at the Ruger LC9 with LaserMax Centerfire laser. This snappy little handgun “packed a punch.” The LC9’s slim design makes it a popular concealed-carry firearm. Retail value: $529 for the handgun and laser package.



Brit shooting Colt Mustang photo Tom McHale

 Photo courtesy of Tom McHale

I really liked the Colt Mustang .380. In fact, since I first met this little number at the NRA show back in 2012 in St. Louis, I’ve been impressed with its looks, its feel, its beautiful balance, its accuracy. I love how this pocket pistol delivered manageable recoil. It’s a classic handgun that, again, many firearms’ users choose for concealed carry. Retail value: $649 for the Colt Mustang .380 and $139 for the LaserMax Centerfire laser for Colt Mustang.



Colt rifles

 Photo courtesy of Britney Starr

Look mom, no sights! The gun-writers shot Colt Sporting Rifle CSR-1516 during the night shoot portion of the event. As you can see, the rifles had no sights, until we equipped them with LaserMax rail-mounted lasers. In fact, LaserMax offers 2 lasers for this firearm: UNI-Max or Genesis. Retail value: $990 for the rifle, $259 for the Genesis laser and $349 for the UNI-Max laser.



Caught in the act - shoot hose photo Tom

 Photo courtesy of Tom McHale

Putting theory into real-life scenarios – After becoming acquainted with the guns, we moved to one of the Gunsite “fun houses” for a lifelike scenario simulation. After pushing the front door open, we acquired and eliminated 3 threats with the Ruger LC9 (drawn from a concealed VersaCarry holster). If you look closely at the 3rd threat from the left, you can see the green laser on center mass. Even in daylight, the LaserMax green laser lit on the target.



Night shoot

Photo courtesy of Britney Starr

The shady restaurant – Glow sticks light the way during day 1’s night shoot. This stage offered opportunities for us to work through dangerous scenarios while in the dark. One such scene simulated being attacked while in a restaurant, another scene simulated being attacked while walking to a vehicle. These experiences showed that using lasers on firearms greatly increased the ability to stay on target while shooting in the dark.

Day 2 

Double Tap ammo

 Photo courtesy of Britney Starr

Day 2 held more fun activities, including my first opportunity to witness ballistic gel testing with ammunition. Mike McNett, president and CEO of Double Tap Ammunition, assisted the group with this activity and provided multiple Double Tap loads, like the 125 grain, 10mm load using the Barnes TAC-XP bullet pictured above. This load penetrated the gel to exactly 14 inches.



Mike McNett

 Mike McNett with the Double Tap .500 S&W round. Photo courtesy of Britney Starr

Members of the group shot 90 grain .380 ACP, 165 grain 9m+P Equalizer, 155 grain Bonded Defense .40 S&W, 110 grain .38 Special +P, 160 grain .45 ACP and, last but not least, the big guy — a 275 grain .500 S&W. Gunsite range master Ed Head sent the .500 S&W downrange. It hit the ballistic gel with such force that the gel lifted off the table a few inches, vertically. Measurements show that the round  penetrated a total of 20 inches into the gel.



Photo credit Celia

 Photo courtesy of Celia Crane

Home invasion – Near and dear to everyone’s heart, the home-invasion scenario placed us in harm’s way as we learned how to clear a house filled with threats by using simunition Glocks. Simunition guns shoot projectiles that look like paint splatters, instead of live ammo. The Gunsite range masters instructed each participant individually and offered the best technique for clearing each room. In the photo above, I “pied” in the doorway, exposing only a minimal amount of my body while searching for the threat. I learn that turning on the laser only when I saw the threat prevented the possibility of giving away my position.



Tom and Shari comp

 Photo courtesy of Britney Starr

The duel – In true Gunsite fashion, the last activity of the 2-day event  featured a duel, of sorts. The attendees went head-to-head, shooting GLOCK 19 handguns, in a “round-robin” style competition. Here, Tom McHale of My Gun Culture and Shari LeGate competed. As much as I hate to admit it, Tom beat all of the other competitors.



LaserMax group photo

Back row: Chris Weare, Mike Moore, Patrick Sweeney, James Tarr, Roger Eckstine, Denny Hansen and David Bahde. Photo courtesy of Celia Crane

Front row: Mark Kakkuri, Ed Head, Tom McHale, Ken Wrangler, Britney Starr, Shari LeGate and Callie Davis


Visit LaserMax to learn more about its excellent lineup of lasers. Visit Women’s Outdoor News and their sponsor FlashBang Holsters.

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