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Laser on Pistol


ApexProxy

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I am actually planning to make a gun mount laser for a pistol when I buy one. I'm going to make a custom laser likely using a WF-602C or a TR-803 host. Tiny, versatile, sturdy and easy to work with. There are plenty of small mounts out there on DX so I have options.

IMO, if you want a quality laser for this and desire more output than the 5mW maximum legal output in the US and do not want to spend many hundreds of dollars, have someone here make you one. The best design would be to use a PL520 direct green diode but a cheaper design would be to run a standard 532nm module. If I had to suggest someone to ask I would go to FlaminPyro and Jayrob. FP tends to be cheaper but Jay might be more up to the task of an exotic build. You just need them to make you a laser and then go grab a mount off DX and slap that sucker on your gun.
 
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My father owns and frequently uses these types of lasers on his self defense and target shooting handguns, and since I got into lasers he's always asked me if I could do two things: one, burn the ass hairs off the neighbor's dog from across the street (dog annoys him all day with barking, and the owners actually encourage the dog to bark after he asked them to keep her quiet), and two, make him a laser that is strong enough to be seen in broad daylight at a good distance. The best thing that I could come up with due to all of the constraints with space available, stability, consistency, and reliability is to house the module for a more powerful 532nm somewhere lower (i.e. below the trigger guard where there's more room) and run a fiber-optic cable to direct the beam where you want it. Sure there will be some loss from the cable, but if you get a DX 200mW green module (probably somewhere 110mw~150mW in reality), even with a 50% loss of power you'd still get ~60mW of 532nm, which is easily visible from a good distance even in broad daylight. Another option would be to extend the available space sideways, but then you'd lose ambidextrous capability. My Dad's leftie so I could do either as a one-off for him (if I ever get confident enough in my laser-building skills to actually do this), but that's what I've thought of so far in regards to gun lasers.
 

Shakenawake

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hmmm, apexproxy, those hosts are pretty small, and would be great for a rifle, but I need tiny for a pistol

fazor that laser look ok maybe, IDK. at least it seems to have adjustment on it, something I'd look for on a gun mount laser. still seems kinda big for a pistol, at least for my taste. personally I don't want the laser to extend past the barrel
 
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firelaser

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First off, if the laser you have is a cheap one off Amazon there is a pretty large chance that its significantly higher output than the stated 5mW.

For that application, you are pointing the beam down range at painted surfaces in the daylight so I would guess 50-100mW should be enough. The lower the output you use the more difficult it will be to see and you don't want to end up with a laser that isn't powerful enough to be useful. But you don't have to worry about reflections IMO. Even if a surface is reflectively painted at that range the reflection should be scattered enough not to be even close to damagingly bright. Also, its on a gun so you do not have worry about actually hitting someone in the face since you wouldn't point a gun at someone anyway. You would just need to make sure that your reflex to turn on the safety would also include turning off the laser before moving the gun away from pointing down range.

I am on a trip for the next couple days but when I get back I would not mind doing a little testing of my own to see if my 90mW 532nm is enough. I suspect that even that may not be enough in full sun to be useful for target purposes.

Another thing to keep in mind, 532nm lasers are a type of laser called DPSS which means they use carefully aligned crystals to convert infrared into the green that you see. This means that they are far more sensitive to shock than a diode laser. There is a new laser that was recently released that is 520nm and its a diode so it is far more sturdy against shock that you may experience from recoil on a gun. The thing about the 520nm is you would have to have someone custom build one for you so it would be significantly more expensive than the common 532nm lasers. I don't know for sure that a 532nm DPSS would not hold up well mounted on a gun since I have never actually tested it and it likely varies per brand of laser.

i can see my 100mw laser several hundred yards away at a sunny day in florida.. so it should work
 

ApexProxy

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My father owns and frequently uses these types of lasers on his self defense and target shooting handguns, and since I got into lasers he's always asked me if I could do two things: one, burn the ass hairs off the neighbor's dog from across the street (dog annoys him all day with barking, and the owners actually encourage the dog to bark after he asked them to keep her quiet), and two, make him a laser that is strong enough to be seen in broad daylight at a good distance. The best thing that I could come up with due to all of the constraints with space available, stability, consistency, and reliability is to house the module for a more powerful 532nm somewhere lower (i.e. below the trigger guard where there's more room) and run a fiber-optic cable to direct the beam where you want it. Sure there will be some loss from the cable, but if you get a DX 200mW green module (probably somewhere 110mw~150mW in reality), even with a 50% loss of power you'd still get ~60mW of 532nm, which is easily visible from a good distance even in broad daylight. Another option would be to extend the available space sideways, but then you'd lose ambidextrous capability. My Dad's leftie so I could do either as a one-off for him (if I ever get confident enough in my laser-building skills to actually do this), but that's what I've thought of so far in regards to gun lasers.
Unfortunately for pointing fiber optics will not work. The only way a laser beam can travel down a fiber and not end up resembling an LED when it exits is if the beam is sent perfectly aligned down the center of the fiber and the fiber is kept perfectly straight. This basically defeats the point of a fiber since you can't bend the fiber or you would reflect the stream of photons on the inside of the fiber and scatter them.

I have used 532nm lasers in daylight and its easy to see them on something but they are usually don't seem bright enough to act as a quick means of aiming at a range. If you are going for a subtle aim assist then lower power would work just fine. The brighter the laser, the quicker you can move, see the dot and take aim. If I can I will try to see how well my 100mW and 340mW 532nm lasers perform on Monday. I have a feeling somewhere in between would be perfect.

As for tiny lasers mounted on pistols, the two hosts I suggested are basically the smallest ones on the market. The other option would be to have someone actually make a new host just for gun mounting. I'm thinking of instead of the standard configuration of the laser emitter being positioned at the end of a battery and the whole host is a long cylinder, instead cut that cylinder in half and drop the battery down below so its basically two short parallel cylinders. The rig would be shorter and likely much easier to work with on pistols without losing ambidexterity.
 

CDHDC

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I've always wanted to do a laser build for a sighting system on one of my AR's. I can find plenty of different mounts out there, but none with the ability to make minor adjustments for height and windage for "sighting it in". Anyone have any ideas? Is there a place that sells adjustable mounts or heads for the laser itself? I've thought about buying a readily available low powered one just for the adjustable head, but it seems like a spendy route to go.
 




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