Do sniper guns ever have those lasers planted on them?

You know, like the ones Arnie has in Terminator II: Judgement Day?

I’ve heard that laser-light aim is pretty pointless to use on a gun with a telescopic cross-hair, since it really doesn’t add any accuracy to the shot.

Indeed, it’s more likely to tip off the unsuspecting target.

However, how come I see it used in the movies all the time? I think even in a docu I saw on Discovery in which they reconstructed an actual murder where the assassin used a laser-sighted gun with tele-crosshairs.
Does this really ever happen?

And if it can’t be used in an assassination then what the heck is the point of them anyways?

Let’s face it, doesn’t it make more sense to always use the cross-hairs since it NEVER really warns off a target?

I’m not an expert on weapons or anything, but I am under the impression that the advantage of a laser sight is that you can light up the target quickly at close range without taking time to aim down the sight. If you are in a conceiled sniper position, it seems to me that such a laser would be both redundent and pointless.

Oh and the scope on the “.45 Long Slide, with laser sighting” also seemed pointless… as pistols are close-ranged weapons.

I remember viewing a special on the history channel or TLC or something similar about snipers. I recall that snipers do everything possible to conceal their location including using non-reflective scopes and such. It seems to me that if they used a laser pointer it would give away their position, which is the exact thing they are trying to avoid in the first place. Just my guess though.

They’re useless IMO.

On a handgun you should learn to focus on your front sight, not the target.

On a rifle you need to focus on your front sight (for open sights) or on the target & crosshairs (if using a scope). Furthermore, the laser won’t compensate for bullet drop. On a rifle with open sights, you compensate by adjusting elevation; with a scope you can use mil-dots.

So I’m at a lost as to why I should have a laser on my handguns or rifles.

Arnie didn’t use a sniper rifle in T2 but there was a pistol with a laser sight in the first film.

It’s useless to put a laser sight on a sniper rifle because the laser draws a straight line while a long-range shot needs to be elevated slightly, what with gravity and all, so the bullet follows a parabolic path.

The new C7-A2s (the Canadian equivalent of the M-16) have mounts on the forward handguard for a laser spotter. A soldier presses a button to activate it and he can see the beam with night-vision goggles. Thus, with training, he can get off an accurate shot from the hip.

This is precisely where it is mose useful. The shooter can concentrate on the target without having to alight sights on the gun. Lasers work at short range since the dot can be seen. The laser beam may be a tiny, intense dot when it hits the target but when it reflects back it is subject to the inverse squares law and is difficult to see at distance. Try this with a common laser pointer. Aim it on the floor near you and it’s easy to see. Aim it 20 yards away and it can be difficult to spot.

Normal telescopic sights superimpose a crosshair or other reticle over the target. Red dot sights so the same with a lighted dot, typically an LED, which is visible to the shooter but does not project on the target. Red dot sights have long eye relief, that is you do not have to place your eye immediately behind it, which makes it suitable for handguns. Red dot sights most often have no magnification of the target and in that respect work more like the heads up display in a fighter plane than a normal telescopic sight. Red dot sights are extremely fast since the shooter doesn’t have to align front and rear sights with the target but just put the dot on target. They are used in some kinds of competition but I don’t know if assasins use them.

You could use a laser and a telescopic sight so the dot would be easy to see but it doesn’t offer any advantage. However I think the military does use some IR lasers which are normally invisible to the target but I think that is done with a spotter+shooter team.

This is a misleading argument. The visual line of sight from the crosshairs in a telescopic sight are in a straight line too. There is no reason why a laser cannot be aligned the same way. I’m not saying it makes sense but there isn’t any intrinsic reason you can’t do it.

This illustration should make it more clear, note that the agles and bullet path are grossly exaggerated for clarity. The line of sight can be defined as front and rear iron sights, the apparent position of crosshairs in a telescope, the dot in a red dot sight or a laser beam as long as it intersects the target at the same place the bullet will.

FWIW one of the catalogs I have sells items like combination mounts for telescopic sights and lasers. Pointless as hell IMO but somebody must be using one of these.

I can see where a laser sight would be great on a rifle for scope azimuth adjustment.

IIRC, and it’s been years since I’ve seen the movie, Sarah Connor used an assault rifle with laser sight and scope attached when she tried to whack the engineer from the big bad corportation. I think it only appeared in that one scene.

Apart from cool look there is not much use for LAMs (Laser Aiming Modules). They are kinda useful for quick target acquisition in close-quarters combat, but modern colimator (red-dot) or holographic sights are better.

For long range weapons LAMs are next to useless. Well, technically you can adjust them to desired range, but it’s not easy to do in battle conditions. And for most LAMs “dot” at the range of 500 yards will be as big as saucer.

But, there is some use for lasers, nonetheless. Thanks to technological advance we have laser rangefinders small enough to be fitted into telescopic sight. All you have to do is just press button and crosshair will be adjusted automatically.

Other option is to use pointing laser device mounted on weapon. When you spot target to hard for you, just “lase” it and request air strike. Laser guided 500 lbs bomb will teach’em. :wink: (well, that option is more for SOCOM guys than for snipers)

Last, there is some use for IR lasers + night sights. Not for aiming, but rather for illuminating target, though.

Lasers are very useful for snipers, but small red dots on head of some poor SOB is more of Hollywood than real life.

Yes, you’re right. It looked like an AR-15.

There are boresighting laser devices just for this purpose. They mount in the barrel with a spud that precisely aligns the laser with the bore so of course you can’t use the laser for actually shooting the gun. As you saw from my illustration the bore lineis not the point of aim but provides a reference for aligning scope bases correctly. A bit of gimickery as gunsmiths have been doing this task for decades with simple devices that mount in the barrel the same way but use a simple crosshair target.

Those lasers are very large, and not weapon mounted. Well, at least I’ve never seen a weapon mounted one. This wouldn’t be the first time new technology has passed me up. But those things are pretty bulky.

No, there is a lot of use even for aiming. I can hit targets out to 300 meters with an M4, IR Laser, and helmet mounted NVGs. Granted, I would much rather prefer a weapon mounted NVG/Holosight combo, but I gotta use what the Army gives me. ::sigh::

No where on a sniper’s packing list is any laser.

Lasers on sniper rifles do not exist. Or should never exist. I wouldn’t put it past some idiot to go to a gun show and come back with his new Sniper Rifle/Laser Sight combo package…

Lasers on handguns are great because they allow you to keep your eyes on the THREAT, your target. You can keep his hands in focus and still see the red dot on his chest. Focusing on the front sight and leaving a target blurry is pretty silly. Sure it’s the ideal sight picture for shooting at the range, but when detaining a suspect or arresting him or something… you want to watch the threat. A laser isn’t such a bad idea on a pistol. Though some old school puritans would disagree.

Lasers on Assault rifles are great too. But they are not for “shooting at the hip.” In limited or zero visibility (like at midnight with no moon) IR lasers allow you to engage targets effectively. They are also good for target designation and communicating/ coordinating fires of your squad. All I gotta do is yell for someone’s attention and shine a laser at the area I want them to suppress. It takes all the guess work out and I dont have to waste time discribing the damn tree next to the other tree that looks like all the rest of the trees in the forest. … No not that tree, the one next to the rock… no THAT rock… Meanwhile we’re being shot at and probably dead by now. So lasers are good for target designation.

Visible red laser are also good for that same purpose. But not really used to engaged targets…

Shit I gotta go. I’ll post more in a little while

For dramatic effect.

In the real world you can’t tell when a sniper is taking aim at you. The shot, when it comes, is a total bolt from the blue.

This isn’t very satisfying on the screen. It’s too sudden. If you don’t telegraph action before it happens it feels jarring and arbitrary to the audience. Having the laser dot appear on the target gives the audience time to anticipate the shot so they can respond properly when it actually comes.

Before the laser thingies existed you’d often see a quick cut to the sniper’s view through the scope for the same effect. But that takes you out of the scene, breaking the flow of action or dialog. The laser dot, while unrealistic, is dramatically very useful.

I imagine a laser sight has a certain intimidation value for law enforcement. If the bad guy sees a multitude of red dots focused on his center of mass, I can imagine there’s a chance that he’d think twice about trying anything silly.

FYI laser gun sights are mounted, not planted.

There are a lot of laser sights. “Aim Point” for one, and mounts sold for pistols. It is fast and easy to get on target! Great for shooter with failing eyesight.

Red Dot sights and Holographic sights have been mentioned already. These things are similar to lasers in that they project a red dot on to the target. Except that the dot is just a reticle that you’re looking through, so there is no real dot on the target. These sights are used with both eyes open and using natural forward observation. You don’t pay much attention to the sight. You just kinda look through/past it and you will see a dot on your target.
These are the greatest sights in the world. Not only are they the best answer in CQB, but I can knock down targets at 300 meters with them – no problem. And there are no paralax issues, and no adjusting. Once you zero it, it’s good to go for all distances. Just like your iron sights!!
Ideally, when budget is not an issue, you’d want a forward mounted holosight with IR capability (Like an Eotech HoloSight). Then you can mount your PVS-14 right on the weapon behind it. Then you’d want an IR Laser, and a 250 lumen tactical light with a flip up IR filter. (Surefire M900B)
Man… I’m getting a chubby just thinking about it. I really miss things back home.

Here’s a piece of shit they have me carrying over here. Out dated CCO (close combat optic - the Red Dot sight) - an M68. A PEQ-2 - no problem there. And no tactical light. Though there is an IR floodlight on the PEQ2. Oh well…
What I keep telling myself, is at least the North Koreans wont be able to salvage any good equipment off our dead bodies when they come stomping through… all we carry is garbage.
So, “HA!!! Jokes on them!!”

Here’s a blurry picture of me and my issue M4, complete with Laser, and Red Dot sight. If I had a picture of me with an M24 Sniper rifle, you would see no laser anywhere.


Highly wanted item on Snipers Wish lists over in the sand: Laser Rangefinders. The kind golfers use works well.

Just saying.

Which is neither mounted on the rifle nor carried by the sniper. The Spotter carries that.

:smiley: :smiley: