Laser grips elevate night vision

In the July issue of LET I wrote that night vision equipment provides our law enforcement officers with tactical advantages. (Read “IR aiming lasers: a love story” in LET July 2011, Page 50 or online at At this point in...

In the July issue of LET I wrote that night vision equipment provides our law enforcement officers with tactical advantages. (Read “IR aiming lasers: a love story” in LET July 2011, Page 50 or online at

At this point in our industry’s history, the use of night vision has become commonplace for many agencies. The next step is equipping our officers to take full advantage of this technology during violent or potentially violent confrontations. This means equipping their weapons to be accurate and dependably used in conjunction with night vision devices.

Infrared (IR) lasers have been used by the military for decades now to accomplish this. Unfortunately, law enforcement has been slow to adopt this proven technology. In my July article I introduced you to the new Class One IR lasers offered by Laser Devices. Those lasers are designed to be placed on rifles and shotguns, but due to their size are not practical for handguns. For a variety of reasons an officer may find that the handgun is the preferred weapon over a long gun. As such, we must look for a way to combine IR lasers with the officer’s handgun.

For years I had heard rumors about Crimson Trace (CTC) making IR versions of their excellent handgun laser grips. I did some digging and found CTC Defense. This is the new military and law enforcement wing of Crimson Trace. The CTC Defense website says that, “All new products have been built from the ground up using new technologies and resources that are innovative solutions for today’s hostile environments requiring white light, IR (infrared) and quick change day-to-night sighting systems. With superior innovation and patented technologies, CTC Defense is able to provide military and law enforcement agencies worldwide with unique products that expand and enhance their ability to be the supreme force on the battlefield.” I found the products offered in this product line to fit this description well.

CTC Defense offers IR and dual red and IR laser units for many military and law enforcement handguns, as well as the MVF-600 vertical foregrip for use on long guns. IR laser-only grips are available for the Beretta 92/96, 1911 Government and Commander, nearly every Glock model made, S&W M&P and J frame, HK45C, Springfield Armory XD9/XD40 and the Ruger Mk. II/III. Dual IR and red laser units are only available for the SIG P226 and Glock full size 9mm and 40 S&W frames.

I was able to acquire a set of CTC Defense model LGD-426 grips, which are dual red and IR laser grips for the SIG P226. I chose this model because my current agency issues the P226R. The grips arrived in a standard Crimson Trace (CTC) black box. Inside the box were the grips, owner’s manual, cleaning and zeroing tools as well as two CR2032 batteries. I read the manual and then installed the grips. The LGD-426 comes with a lanyard loop at the base of the grips. It is up to the owner if they want to install the lanyard or not. This model, unlike the LG-426M, has two pressure activation pads located on the left and right of the front of the grip where the grip wraps around the sides of the pistol. The LG-426M is the Mil-Spec version of the standard red laser grips offered by Crimson Trace, and has one pressure activation pad located in the center of the front of the pistols grip. My agency issues the Surefire X200/300 with the DG pressure pad. The LG-426M will not work in conjunction with our lights due to the single pressure activation pad located exactly where the DG switch is located. I immediately found that I preferred the double activation switch locations on the LGD-426 red/IR model. The off/on switch is located at the bottom of the right grip panel. The selector switch for the red or IR lasers is located at the bottom of the left grip panel. Both of these switches are recessed and did not inadvertently change position during use.

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