I see the laser sight referred to a couple of times by users in “What blowguns do you own” and targetzonesports asks for fed back. I am curious myself as to the experiences others are having and welcome any tips. So I’ll start a new thread off.
I have mixed feelings about the laser sight.
On the negative side: My chief complaint, and a major on to me, is that the small allen wrench designed for sight adjusting is a poor fit. Being too small it tends to round out the recesses designed for it. Other times it locks itself to the set screw making extraction difficult to the extreme, sometimes upsetting the adjustment during extraction. I needed to shim for elevation as the sight did not have enough, a minor thing.
They are the only manufacturing complaints. The other is in the nature of the sight and can not be helped. Nor did it come as a surprise. A red laser requires a tangible object to be seen and therefore bars hold off unless the surround is sufficiently large.
As for the sight itself, I found it well made and finished. It is small, compact, and surprisingly light. It does not affect the bg balance or point ability.
I mounted the sight over bore and not under as pictured. The reason being the under bore position allows one intersecting point with the line of sight and the dart’s path. This is OK for one fixed range. With over the bore mounting there are two intersections and the distance between the two allows for a longer kill zone. Actually, in the final analysis I mounted it under bore and rotate the pipe 180° to use. This permits me to use the tube in the conventional manner unobstructed. Over the bore mounting also makes it easier to check against canting.
Using bamboo darts it shoots in a finger high at 20’, 1½ fingers high at 25’, head on 30’-40’, and 4 fingers low at 45’. I am using a 5½’ homemade aluminium bg. Each type of dart, of course, has a different trajectory so the sighting will be different depending. The hold under up to 30’ is no problem, and not necessary except on the smallest of targets. Nor is the hold over at 45’ if the target is large enough. Pass 45’ the bamboo dart is falling too fast for the sight with the present zero. Hold off is made easier with a standard target marked off in circles or squares.
I tried using a monopod. This made the bg steadier. But also changed the point of impact. Not wanting to adjust the sight and constantly rely on a monopod I gave up on that.
I find the laser makes a nice auxiliary sight, but in most cases I shoot a little better without it. I think with more familiarity I’ll do better. It appears to have more potential than I do ability at the moment. I can hit a 250 ml milk box (2 ¾” x 4 ¼”) at 35’-40’ regularly with the laser. I just do it a little more frequently without the laser. It makes for fast and easy accusation. And there is something satisfying about watching that red dot dancing around on the target’s surface then watching the target, if movable such as a small box, go flying.
My feelings are that this is a nice package for $20 and I am enjoying it. It is not a substitute for poor technique. With two changes I think this will be much improved. First, and the most simplest is to provide a wrench of the correct size. I am ruining the set screw adjustments. The second is to change the laser colour. I think green would be better. The advantage of a green laser is that it does not need a tangible surface to be seen. It operates on a different wave length and the beam itself can be seen in mid air, such as referencing stars. This will allow for hold off. For an example, if the target is on a tree limb and the range requires 2” elevation, put the beam 2” over the target. With a red laser this would be impossible to see.
Very interesting post, Pgandy! I think Curare-five-oh is reading this post very carefully and he will recommend even some more improvements. This is a photo of the laser sight (Bruce's? Is it the only laser sight set-up that's commercially available in Internet?) :
I don't know its actual dimension but I feel that the light is placed a little too far from the tube (the jig is too high/ long). If I project the laser beam right on a tiny mouse head at a close enough range and blow, the dart may fly over (if the sight is place under the barrel) or under it (if the sight is place over the barrel). At close ranges, only a little change in range will make a great problem in aiming. That's only my first thought.
I see you have ordered another one Mr PGandy and you didn't even email, PM or try to get a hold of me for the monthly 10% Forum Member Special Discount... Well let me tell you, you're going to get that discount whether you like it or not... Bawauhahahaha... Yes, this is my evil side.
Have a good day all...
The discount came as a surprise. I saw it when I got the confirmation a couple of minutes ago. Thanks loads. Don’t mean to be dense, but I’m not sure what “PM” is, nor that I was to email prior to ordering. I’ll do better next time. Thanks again for the discount.
Am still trying to learn the sight’s secrets. There are some conditions that it works better than no sight, although I still do marginally better as a whole w/o laser. It appears to work better at extreme ranges or very low light conditions. I plan to mount this one on the 2m tube for long ranges and experiment in that area.
PM is Private Message. You can click any members name and after it opens on the top right hand side it says “Send a Private Massage”. Click on it, write away and click send.
Read you messages by clicking “Messages” at the top right of your screen. It also lets you know if there are any messages and how many before you click it.
Also members make sure to follow up with an email or a PM to me to get the June Forum Member Discount, as soon as you place an order. Most members must like the PM feature better as I get mostly those. Sometimes I get an email but most seem to PM off the forum. Either way is fine however but do it when you place an order so I can deduct the amount before it goes through the processor. When the charge goes through, it will be for the discounted amount.
I've played with lasers that powerful and let me tell you it's frigging scary. It's way to easy to cause havoc. A reflection that seemed inconsequential caught my wall on fire. Then again at work we have a 20w and 50w that could weld a block away :)
I was thinking about having two; Like deep sea submersibles. Both would make a dot at say 10M, then the separation could be used as a rangefinder...
If you have two PGandy...
With lasers that strong, you wouldn't even need the blowgun...
I’ve played with the laser sight for about a month now and have formed some definite opinions. The bottom line is that I now have two, so obviously I like them.
I bought both from Target Zone. The sight is well worth the $20 asking price. Unfortunately the manufacturer is supplying the wrong size hex wrench for adjusting the sight. As near as I can tell a 1.5mm wrench comes with the package. It is too small making the adjusting a miserable task and has the potential of rounding out the screw heads. A 1/16” SAE hex wrench fits perfectly.
I mounted the first sight on my 5½’ pipe as I wasn’t using it and didn’t want to tie the others up while testing. I saw potential and ordered the second, mounting it on my 2m pipe, where it has a permanent home. I found that my first shots when picking up the pipe cold or when changing from my 4’ pipe is more likely to score without taking a sighting shot. Also at extended ranges it is an aid.
The big surprise came when I changed the sight from the 5½’ to my 4’ CS Magnum pipe. I believe that I have a vision problem because with the 4’ pipes I tend to shoot right. This is a big problem and I am constantly, and at times unsuccessful, at fighting it. I have no problem with the longer tubes, only the 4’. The laser sight has eliminated that problem. Also as with the longer pipes my first shot is more likely to score.
It appears to me that most people mount their lasers under barrel, I could be wrong. I cannot buy that approach as there is only one point of intersection between the line of sight and the dart’s flight. Any change, the blow, the dart, even the weight of dart if enough, distance, etc. will make a change on the impact point. I mount mine under barrel, but flip the pipe over when using the laser sight. Under barrel the sight can be mounted close to the hand making it convenient to turn it on and off, and there is no problem with the light beam hitting the barrel when sighted in. Over the barrel requires the sight to be mounted nearer the muzzle because the inclination of the barrel will block the light beam otherwise. With the 2m pipe I get a good 10’ stretch where the dart and sight are pretty much in agreement.
I have attached two drawings (I hope that they go through). Drawing A shows the line of sight and trajectory of an under barrel mount. And drawing B show that of the over the bore mount.
That’s an excellent feedback on the use of laser sights and blowguns, lord knows we need them. As far as the sight it self, keep your receipts as if they ever get faulty, the manufacturer claims to have a lifetime warranty on their whole product line. I know some companies are good about this while others are not but worth keeping just in case.
Great balls of fire (that’s what the brass monkey said too as he slide down the flag pole) I can see it! I have really taken a liking to my red laser sights. I had mixed emotions at first, but the more I used them, the better I got with them and now I am more depended on a laser than I would like to be. They have improved my shooting immensely.
I was using a couple of red lasers and found that a red dot can be hard to see. Indoors with lower light levels there is no problem. However, outside can be another story. Many, many times outside I could not see the red dot. So I opted for a green laser. Green is more to the centre of the visible colour spectrum making it easier to be seen. It came today. I have not yet mounted it. You can bet your bottom dollar it will be on by tonight. I can see the dot when the red is not visible, and the conditions today are not that extreme. I don’t know how to describe the lighting other than being overcast; not bright be any means, but not dark either.
I took two photos and I hope the details come through well enough for you to see. Photo Laser Dots A compares the two dots outside at 9’. Both are serviceable, but the green is brighter. Photo Laser Dots B1 shows, or attempts to, the two in the grass at 15’. The red is visible to the naked eye, but barely. It was not picked up in the photo.
GREEN IS THE WAY TO GO if you are an outdoor shooter. This green laser is manufactured by NcSTAR.
I neglected to say that both sights are of the same power, 5mw.
Good info plus a *substantiated* opinion (ok fact) of the advantages of green light. fwiw both my 4' pipes shoot to the right. So we agree on green and have the same sighting errors
I’ve since mounted and tried the new green laser and my first impression is that the red is better indoors and the green outdoors.
The reason being the red appears less bright. I talked to NcSTAR’s rep and he said that both beams are about the same size, but the green appears to be larger because it is brighter. There is no problem seeing the red indoors and it does not glare as much when striking the target. It also covers less target area. Unfortunately outside many times it can not be seen. And when it can be seen often it is only a pin point of light and an eye strainer.
The green glares off the target indoors. I turned on more lights in hopes of reducing this. I still need to fine tune the sight but I had no problem hitting the target. I prefer less glare and a smaller dot. Outside it is a whole different ball game. At 1615 hrs. I was back outside comparing the two sights mounted. There was no glare, the eye picked up the green much faster than the red. In fact, the green seemed to jump out and grab the eye. As for the red, it must have been darker outside than the first time I tried it as I could see the red past 15’, something that I couldn’t do earlier. It was not much more than a pin point but I could see it and was scoring about the same with either bg. I was straining slightly to see the red and the green just grabbed my eye allowing me to concentrate on target alignment easier.
NcSTAR does make a sight that flips back and forth from red to green giving the best of both worlds.
I will use the green on my 2m bg although most of my shooting is indoors. And will keep the red on the 4’ bg as it isn’t worth the expense to change on that bg.
Green is definitely the way to go for those outdoor shooters that like lasers. Or better yet for those that can afford it, the NcSTAR Dual Green and Red Laser should be considered.
Very interesting, pgandy. Like me, you are always testing things. Green light carries further than red due to the spectral differences; red is the lowest frequency/longest wavelength of all the colors, and likewise carries less energy.
Right, they operate at different wave lengths. I tried it this morning in the brightest sun light possible and was able to easily pick up the dot every time. No way with the red. I also tried it last night and the beam is visible making hold offs easy for night hunting. Sorry, no photos. I tried but the camera would not cooperate. Hehe.
No prob. I have noticed the same issue w/my red laser; its impossible to pick up in the day time, but rocks as the sun goes down (which is ok cuz the heat index exceeds 120 F in the daytime, so I'm nocturnal regarding my outdoor activities these days anyway). All things considered i would like to get my hands on a green laser.
By now you all should know that I like laser sights. My newest one, a NcSTAR green laser, looked promising at first but my scoring went down. The problem is that the light is too intense. Outside it is great, it works where the red would fail. However, indoors where I do most of my shooting it is another story. The green beam is too intense and glares off the target making me shoot half blind, sometimes more. I’ve tried various fixes such as additional 300 wt of light, a spot from a strong torch, flat black tape, common sunglasses, etc. All helped to some degree but none were satisfactory.
So I began thinking of polarized light. The first attempt was with Polaroid sun glasses. This was the best solution to the glare up to that point, but darkened my vision making the targets hard to see although the light’s dot was most visible w/o glare. I was considering a Polaroid camera lens filter prior to the glasses arriving. The supplier of the glasses included a small Polaroid sample which I taped over the front of the sight. It is almost perfect. I can easily see the target and w/o glare. And my scoring is up, finally.
The only problem that I foresee is that the lens may need to be rotated depending on ambient light. Up until now I’ve checked the filter out indoors and it is dark and cloudy outside giving me less than extreme light conditions. Actually, rotating what I have is an inconvenience and not a problem. I have already written NcSTAR suggesting that they add a Polaroid lens to the line. If they do, it will be a long time before marketing. I am still considering a camera lens filter.
So, for those who wish to improve laser sighting by going green or already have a green laser, I suggest getting a pair of Polaroid sun glasses. Maybe a Polaroid camera lens if you plan to practice indoors.
I received a reply to my letter to NcSTAR. They are evidently aware of the problem and have not been able to fix it and were considering a filter of some type. I don’t think polarization crossed their mind. My filter is working perfectly, and I will order more materials in order to improve the mounting. And will post updates as available.
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