Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Prudent Prepping Field Testing: Using the LaserMax Spartan SPS-G

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Now we concentrate on what to do in, and how to plan for, the long term via Prudent Prepping.

This is Part 2 of my Test & Evaluation of the LaserMax Spartan SPS-G. Part 1, installation and first impressions, is here.

Spartan SPS-G Field Test
Last week was my first opportunity to run the laser on my Sig-Sauer P220, since the previous weekend was Father's Day and I spent most of it with my Dad and other family.

LaserMax Spartan at 7 yards, demonstrating its high visibility
I stopped at the closest indoor range to me, the Dublin, CA location of Guns Fishing and Other Stuff. I usually stop by in the middle of the afternoon on weekdays and have never had to wait for a lane, and when I went this past Sunday there were even fewer people shooting. Staff is very professional, the rentals are well maintained (from what I could see) and the range is clean. Give them a try.*


To show how much of an improvement the laser makes, here is a "before" picture: my best 8 shots at 7 yards. At this distance, I'm not great -- but an attacker would still be dead.


Here are my first few shots with the laser on. I was running things like I would in a low light situation: looking at the laser dot only while completely ignoring the sights. As can be seen, the shots were a bit low and right (okay, a lot low), which is partly me stabbing at the trigger as a Lefty and partly needing to zero the laser with my pistol.

This is where I had the only problem while using the LaserMax Spartan: the printed marks for adjusting where the laser points were too small for me to see. I mentioned in last week's post that the Laser Warning sticker was extremely small, and it turns out that the molded in "L" and "R" were also too small and hard for me to see at the range under their lights. (I usually have 'cheater' glasses with me, but I've never needed them before at the range; I now have a pair in my bag.)

After a bit of trial and error, I figured out which way was which and made the proper adjustments. The windage and elevation adjustments were easy, with very positive 'clicks' that moved the laser a noticeable amount each time.

More adjustment was needed to cover the dot, as well as more practice to prevent flyers.

After making the correct adjustments to the LaserMax Spartan, I moved to the factory printed bullseye for one magazine. The cluster of holes at 3 o'clock in the orange and the flyer in the yellow are the best 8 shot string I had all day with the laser!

The Recap
With that green dot showing how much I'm wiggling and wobbling, my aim is dramatically better. The laser is very helpful in catching my many shooting faults:
  • Stabbing the trigger
  • Over-gripping the frame
  • Anticipating recoil
I believe having a spotter to catch my bad habits would have shortened the time needed to get me on target and given me more time to try the laser.

  • The bright green laser is easy to see.
  • Presentation problems are extremely easy to spot.
  • Adjustments are positive and easy to make.
  • If I keep the laser mounted, I will need a new holster (or two).

(Okay, minor quibbles)
  • The adjustment marks were hard to see at the range.
  • If I keep the laser mounted, I will need a new holster (or two).
The Takeaway
This is the first laser I have owned, and compared to one other I have seen and tried, the LserMax Spartan wins in terms of brightness and ease of installation. I like everything about how the Spartan performs: its simple and fast point-of-aim adjustment, the auto off function, its ambidextrous controls, and how the molded in-rail makes it convenient to add an extra light.

The only thing I do question (I really can't call it a complaint) is the use of Phillips head screws instead of socket head cap screws to mount the laser.  I had to search for a good #1 Phillips screwdriver before attempting installation. Allen keys are a much more positive tool for tightening screws.

But overall, I really, really like this! The LaserMax Spartan SPS-G is a product I will recommend to my friends.

LaserMax Spartan SPS-G: $135 MSRP; $125.41 on Amazon & free S&H. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: A less expensive red laser version, the SPS-R, is also available. $99 MSRP; $82.39 & free shipping from Amazon.

*Guns, Fishing and Other Stuff has given me no gifts of any kind. They run a good shop and have earned this recommendation on their own.

Just a reminder: if you plan on buying anything through Amazon, please consider using our referral link. When you do, a portion of the sale comes back here to help keep this site running!

If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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