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I've never been much of a "laser" guy when it came to firearms. I've never even tried one of those laser sights that attach to the Picatinny rail of my M&P 15. However, after doing a bit of reading, watching a DVD (yeah, a movie might very well be worth a million words), I decided I wanted a pair of Crimson Trace laser grips for my new backup gun, a Ruger LCR. If you are wondering how a guy that mostly shoots pistols ended up with a revolver as a backup gun, it was a simple manner of economics. I acquired 4 guns from Front Sight during a promotional offer several months ago. For just the cost of shipping and a $25 per gun fee at my local FFL holder, it was a pretty easy choice. Besides, the other handgun, a full size Springfield XD, was too big for a backup.
I hit the internet so see what kind of pricing was available and came across a company, Cals Sporting Armory, who really did have a good price on the LCR's grips. They play that little game....with a "handling" charge factored in (along with the shipping charges)....which makes their list price for the item seem less. I guess if one were purchasing more items, that handling charge would get spread out over other items. Anyway, they were still lower after adding in the handling. I did a search to see about any negative customer feedback. They were rated pretty well, so I grabbed my debit card and ordered my very first pair of "laser grips"!
I knew, even before the grips arrived, that I was compromising one thing for
certain....the actual feel of the grips. The LCR threads in the gun forums
almost always bring up the factory grips, which I remember correctly, are made
by Hogue. The factory grips were one of the very first things I noticed
when I picked up my LCR for the first time. They are comfortable and very
easy to hang on to....not like being sticky, but yet your hand almost sticks to
them. They are one of the best grips I've had on a handgun. The CTC
laser grips are made from a hard material which makes sense when you think about
it. They have to hold a number of components in place (batteries,
switches, wiring, laser module, battery holders, etc.) so they can't be soft and
comfy, it would seem.
The install is pretty easy. It starts with ensuring the LCR is unloaded
and safe to work on. Basically, take stock grip off, put laser grips on.
I broke out my favorite set of gunsmith screwdrivers that I acquired back in the
70's. Finding a bit that fit the factory grip screw, I removed the screw
from the bottom of the grip. At that point, the grip is easily slipped off
of the frame.
Per the Crimson Trace instruction sheet, it was time to install the laser's power source, a pair of CR2032 lithium batteries. And the good thing is that the batteries are supplied with the grips so there is no last minute dash to the corner drug store to find a couple of batteries. The CR2032 battery is also found in a number of illuminated reticle and red dot optics so having a spare pair of them around for most folks will be easy enough to do.
Where as the factory Hogue grip was attached to the frame by a single
retaining screw, the CTC grips, being two piece vs. one, are held together with
a pair of screws, one being longer than the other. Following the
instructions for using the correct screw in the correct hole.
With the two grips firmly secured to each other (and the frame), you can see the master power switch located at the base of the grip. It is very recessed and so not likely to accidently get turned on or off, in my opinion.
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