Shotguns And Laser Beams: Crimson Trace LS 250 Lasersaddle By: Jim Davis

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Have you ever wondered how a laser would work out on your shotgun, or if it would even be a good idea? You’re in luck! Iraqveteran8888 (I’ll call him Iraq Veteran) shows us the joys of a laser mounted on a shotgun in the video below. Specifically, he’s using the Crimson Trace LS 250 mounted on a Mossberg 590A1 SBS.

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This shotgun, in particular, is pretty impressive. It has a 14-inch barrel and is in law enforcement configuration. Note that acquiring a shotgun with a barrel length of less than 18 inches requires approval from the BATFE by filling out special forms, paying a $200 tax, and possibly a long wait. However, the 14-inch barrel on the shotgun is very handy and undeniably cool!

Mossberg shorty shotgun.
The Mossberg 590A1 SBS with 14-inch barrel is just about as cool as you can get in a shotgun. Photo: IraqVeteran8888.
Closeup of shotgun barrel.
Look at that short barrel! There’s not much sexier than a short-barreled shotgun! Photo: IraqVeteran8888.

Easy installation

Iraq Veteran says the Crimson Trace LS-250 is an easy way to drop a laser site onto your shotgun. It fits not only the Mossberg Model 590 but also their model 500 and drilled/tapped Model 870 Remingtons.

IraqVeteran8888 at the range with the Mossberg shotgun
The LS-250 fits on a variety of shotguns, including Remington and Mossberg. Photo: IraqVeteran8888.

Green with envy!

The laser tested for the video was green in color, and it did show up during the day. The targets were in a shaded area. I suspect that, had they been in bright sunlight, it would have been difficult to see the laser on them. Obviously, the darker it gets, the easier the laser is to see.

range with several steel targets
Green lasers seem to be more visible in daylight than red lasers. Photo: IraqVeteran8888.

On that note, green lasers seem to be easier to see in bright conditions than their red counterparts.

Crimson Trace LS-250 — Laser Realities

It’s not a light.

One note here: Many people believe that the laser solves a lot of problems at night. It does not really, in my opinion. You also need a light to illuminate targets, as the laser by itself will not do that. If you’re in a low-light situation and you see a dark blob out in your yard and you’re not sure if it’s a bad guy with a gun, your black Labrador retriever gnawing on a stick, or a pile of wood, that laser is not going to help with target ID. You’ll just know that your weapon is aimed at…a dark lump.

Firing at night.
Firing at night, you still need light on the target in order to make an ID. You can’t justify shooting it if you cannot identify it. Photo: IraqVeteran8888.

Bottom line: your laser is going to need a white light to go along with it. Areas that are in shadow or not in total darkness will really allow a laser to be used to its full advantage.

Low light with the laser.
Many defensive engagements take place in low light. Photo: IraqVeteran8888.

What’s the advantage of a laser on a shotgun?

One nice thing is that you don’t have to have the shotgun shouldered when you’re using a laser. Pointing it from the hip (which can save your shoulder from the recoil) and painting the target with the laser will work. However, it’s still faster to shoulder the shotgun, as this will give you a more natural sight picture. It can take more time messing with the laser from your hip to walk it onto the target.

Is the Crimson Trace LS-250 compatible with sights?

Iraq Veteran notes that, after the LS-250 is mounted on the Mossberg receiver, the ghost ring sights can be placed back on top. In my mind, this is a good thing, because the ghost ring sights are highly effective.

Hip shooting.
Sights? We don’t need no stinking sights!! Photo: IraqVeteran8888.

How does it turn on?

There are several pressure switches that can be pushed to activate the laser. This allows the user to have their hands in a wide variety of positions and still be able to activate the laser. That’s a very thoughtful aspect of this laser system, as it does not force the user to alter their grip on the weapon.

Crimson Trace LS-250 mounted on shotgun, closeup of tang safety.
The unit flows around the tang safety and the assembly allows the ghost ring sight to be mounted back over the top of it. Visible on the right side are the switches for operating the laser. Photo: IraqVeteran8888.

As mentioned, the laser unit mounts over the top of much of the receiver and actually flows around the safety, which is mounted on the tang of the shotgun, being operated by the thumb.

Zeroing

The laser emits its beam from the right side and goes down next to the barrel of the shotgun. It is adjustable for windage and elevation. It’s easy to zero and can co-witness with the iron sights if the user desires.

Battery Operated

The LS-250 uses four batteries and is, according to Iraq Vet, “A gnarly arrangement.” The four batteries that are required are of the CR-2016 variety and they provide three hours of operation for the laser.

Long Range Engagement

Thirty-five yards is not really long range—except when you’re talking about a shotgun with OO buckshot. The Federal Tactical load with Flight Control hit a small steel popper target at 35 yards and kept a surprisingly tight group. The stuff seems to work well. I’ve actually had experience with these rounds from way back, and I can verify that it delivers slightly less recoil while keeping groups tighter than most other rounds. If you get a chance to buy some, grab it up. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better round.

steel target with hit marks from Federal Low Recoil Flight Control buckshot
The effects of Federal Tactical Low Recoil buckshot at 35 yards. This would be great performance from a standard barrel length, but considering it’s out of a 14-inch barrel, this is spectacular! Photo: IraqVeteran8888.
Slug and buckshot round.
Winchester Defender ammo was one of the rounds used in the test. Photo: IraqVeteran8888.
Box of buckshot rounds.
Of course, good old buckshot is always a staple! Photo: IraqVeteran8888.

Price

At the time of writing, this green laser retails for $249.99. The red counterpart retails for 194.99.

Is this unit really practical for self-defense use?

It all depends on your prospective uses. It won’t illuminate a target. Notice in the video that the targets were already lit up with lights. That may or may not be the case in your defensive shooting when you need to use it.

Many urban areas have lots of lit-up areas, so that would be a practical environment to use this light. Or perhaps you have spotlights all around your home or building, which would augment this laser setup. If such is the case, then this laser will be far more effective.

Does the Crimson Trace LS-250 laser offer options?

Absolutely. It’ll allow you to shoot from the hip if you somehow feel that might be a want.

Using the sights (as it should be).
Using the sights is the best policy, with the laser as a backup. The laser can be an effective way to augment the standard sights, especially in low light. Photo: IraqVeteran8888.

Will it make you a more deadly, lethal weapon?

I think practice will do that, mostly. This is one of those pieces of kit that will give you some options that merely having a white light will not. I have to say, though, that you should absolutely also mount a white light on your shotgun if you decide to use a laser, for the reasons already mentioned.

Just be certain you’re not substituting a gadget for actual skill, which comes from practice.