Crimson Trace Lasers for Ruger LCR and Ruger SR9

By Randy Wakeman

Crimson Trace is a leader in laser sight technology. With a set of Crimson Trace laser grips on your handgun, you'll quickly discover that you can shoot faster and with far greater accuracy than you ever thought possible in dim light. There isn't much point in mounting a set of Crimson Trace Laser grips on a handgun that you aren't totally confident with in the first place, or any other advanced sighting system for that matter. Thus, I chose two handguns that have been superlative performers for me as test subjects: the Ruger LCR .38 Special +P five-shot revolver and the Ruger SR9 17-shot 9mm pistol.


The Ruger LCR has distinguished itself due to its light weight and superior double action trigger pull. When you can hold a snub-nose revolver on target and fire shots in double-action mode without any unwanted muzzle movement during the trigger pull, that's about as good as it gets. That's what the Ruger LCR can do in practiced hands and that's why I like it. Adding the Crimson Trace grip set to the LCR is a complete grip replacement. You have one screw that holds the factory grip set on. Remove it and installation of the Crimson Trace grips takes just a couple of minutes. This is the LG-411 front activation grip set that runs on a pair of CR2032 button batteries. Battery life is stated as four hours with a shelf life of five years.


I sighted the Crimson Trace grips in with Hornady Critical Defense ammo. Sighting-in took just a few shots, as the freshly installed grips were essentially on, hitting just a bit left to point of aim. All it takes is aiming your revolver and moving the laser until it is aligned with your iron sights, then fire away to confirm. (This assumes that your iron sights are correctly sighted, of course.) That's what I did and they were immediately dead on. With Crimson Trace grips, your conventional sighting system is retained, not eliminated or rendered unusable, as is the case when mounting optics.

The beauty of these grips is that you'll never even know they are there until you grab your gun. A natural grip on your revolver turns them on automatically, intuitively, with no thinking or other deliberate action. It also makes a revolver like the LCR equally accurate whether used with your dominant or off-hand. Hold the gun on target and where the laser appears, so will a bullet hole. In the case of the LCR you have a very compact, snag-free design so it is just a matter of grab the revolver and go. No hesitation, no fiddling, no adjustments. It is blazingly fast.

Crimson Trace Lasergrips
Crimson Trace Lasers on LCR and SR9. Photo by Randy Wakeman.

The Crimson Trace unit we mounted on the Ruger SR9 9mm is also an intuitive, front activation unit. In this case, the factory grips are retained as the Crimson Trace laser is mounted on the trigger guard. We used the Crimson Trace LG-449, actually designed for the compact SR9C Ruger, but it fit the SR9 with no issues. Here, one CR123 battery is used with the same four hour run time.

The reason Crimson Trace grips are superior to conventional sighting systems is very easy to explain: the elimination of multiple focusing planes. To use a conventional three-dot, iron sighting system effectively, a lot has to happen. Your handgun is brought to the target and your eye, the front sight, the rear sight and the target must all be aligned. Unfortunately, your sighting eye must leap back and forth between these three points of focus, finally resting on the front sight, not the target--the natural place when threatened, when the gun is fired.


In the natural, automatic action of presenting your weapon, an intense laser dot appears on your target. A smooth pull of the trigger and that's where your bullet goes. All the sight alignment and eye focusing considerations are out the window. You have a level of speed and precision that doesn't rely on any eye to sight to sight to target relationships. It is simply pointing a light directly on the target itself with no time-consuming or furtive movements. It is amazing.


For years, whether longer barreled handguns, shotguns or rifles, iron sights mounted on longer barrels equates to longer sighting planes and commensurately higher accuracy potential. With Crimson Trace laser grips, all that vanishes. There is only one sighting plane, a laser dot on the target itself.


At indoor self-defense ranges, the laser is quite visible in broad daylight against a bright, white background. Under dimmer conditions, the laser appears brighter and better. Indoors, it is vibrantly visible at any conceivable self-defense range. There isn't much more that I can say. Crimson Trace laser grips are the most effective handgun enhancement system that has ever been offered. Check out their website at

Back to the Handgun Information Page

Copyright 2011, 2016 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.