Newly installed Crimson Trace laser grips on my new S&W 340PD. This is a nice addition to a small conceal carry piece. Behavioral science tells us in times of crisis we tend to focus on our target rather then on our sight picture and sight alignment. This is the likely explanation why there are so many missed shots during a fight with a handgun. Though, lack of good training also ranks high on the list of reasons for missed shots. Practice, practice, and more practice. Having a laser on your target may seriously help your shot placement during a fight for your life. As always, lasers and similar devices will fail, batteries will die. You should always train with your iron sights to be ready.
Model LG 105 http://www.crimsontrace.com/default.asp?id=780 . These grips are the same approximate size and weight as the factory Hogue grips. It's a big plus not to add size to a small concealed carry piece IMO. However if you desire a longer grip to better fit your hand, CTC also fills that need with the LG 405 http://www.crimsontrace.com/default.asp?id=533 . Not adding weight to a handgun made of scandium and titanium that only weighs 12 oz is paramount.
They come well packaged in a sturdy box wrapped in a lens polishing cloth. Included is the necessary hardware and one extra screw, tools for adjustment of the diode and one extra, and 2 lens cleaning swabs. The installation instructions are easy to follow, though installation isn't any more difficult then any other grip install.
The grip material feels like polymer, sturdy. I prefer the rubbery feel of the factory Hogue grip to these, but unlike cheap plastic, the cobblestone finish on the polymer grips aren't at all slippery. Still I deduct (-0.5) for personal preference here. I would prefer the grips be made of reinforced rubber. Sighting in couldn't be easier. Just align the laser with the iron sights using the included tools and you're done. "Zero" is retained even after removing and reinstalling for cleaning...and I confirmed this.
Most models have a master switch to turn the laser off for target shooting. This obviously helps when training with your irons sights at the range. I have to deduct (-0.5) for the lack of a master switch on the LG 105 model. Only half a point deduction because this handgun wasn't made for range plinking, so the ability to turn off the sight isn't a big deal IMO. J frame revolvers are made for carry and personal defense, and I believe the laser grips only make this defense tool more efficient.
The laser is activated by a pressure switch directly behind the trigger guard. I find that it activates easily when I get into my natural grip. The 5 mW laser is adequate for indoors and dim lignting but beam brightness suffers in direct sunlight. There is another limitation here, however. I have always trained to keep my finger along side the frame (outside the trigger guard) and off the trigger until I'm ready to fire. I find that when I rest my finger on the frame the beam of the laser is completely obstructed. In order to project the beam onto your intended target it is necessary to place your finger on the trigger, or change the placement of your finger to the bottom of the trigger guard. I have to deduct (-0.5) for this. I know the J frame is small and cramming all these goodies into such a small space seems impossible. This may be the best design possible but it falls short of perfect here.
Note finger resting on frame and the obstructed beam:
Finger on bottom of trigger guard allows beam to project, but this feels "different" then resting on frame:
Finger on trigger allows for unobstructed beam on target:
8.5/10 Still very, VERY good.
Cost is reasonable online. $161.48 shipped. I saved 5% with a coupon too.
disclaimer: the weak handed low grip pictured above it not the proper way to hold a firearm when shooting. It is for illustration purposes only. I am not responsible for lost teeth or loss of eyesight if you try to fire a J frame 357 magnum using the pictured limp sissified grip.