Thursday, June 23, 2016

Prudent Prepping Product Testing: 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 my very first Product T&E for Blue Collar Prepping! As it says in my postscript, "Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such."

As it turns out, our lovely and ever-more popular Editor Erin Palette (you HAVE seen the Operation Blazing Sword info, right?) was at the NRA Annual Meeting last month and she secured several different products for testing, with this laser being just for me!

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

LaserMax has been offering several different laser systems for over 25 years now, with one of their original and best known items being a combination laser/guide rod for most pistol brands. Erin has one in her Glock 26, with a review on her blog here.

The Spartan series was launched in 2015 with several new ideas:
  • The Spartan features revolutionary Rail Vise Technology™ (patent pending) which eliminates the need for multiple laser housing options or clumsy adapters 
  • The Spartan is equipped with LaserMax’s patented integral rail feature*, enabling attachment of ancillary accessories such as weapon lights or infrared lasers 
  • The Spartan is ambidextrous and features an automatic off feature to reduce accidental battery drain. Battery life may be as long as five years, depending on use. 
  • Dual mode laser: pulse or steady beam.
Model SPS-G
Mounting the laser was very simple:
  1. Follow safe firearm handling practices! Clear your gun and engage any available safeties! 
  2. Loosen the two Phillips head screws. (Yes, Phillips screws, not hex head screws.) 
  3. Slide the laser onto the rails in a position that is comfortable for your trigger finger to activate the paddles.
  4. Tighten until you feel resistance, and then 1/4 to 1/2 turn more. Do Not Over-tighten! There should be no wiggle after correct installation.
I spent more time opening the box and removing the laser from the display pod than actually mounting it on my gun. My total install time was less than two minutes from start to finish.

I also spent over five minutes finding an undamaged #1 Phillips screwdriver to use on these screws.
Screws shown and laser mounted to my spec.
Secondary Picatinny rail allows you to mount another accessory, like a weapon light. 

Also included in the box is an Allen key, used for adjusting the elevation and windage, and a "Laser Hazard" warning sticker.

The sticker is the size of a penny!
I found the elevation did not need any adjustment after mounting, and the windage was so close to being accurate that I may have been able to use it right out of the box.

I am unsure exactly where the safety sticker is supposed to be mounted, but I assume it is meant to go on the side of the unit. I use +2.5 cheater glasses for really close work, and  I have difficulty reading that print even with those, so what purpose is there in using it? I think it's likely a legal requirement for any laser product, like including a trigger lock with a new firearm.

Due to the past weekend being Father's Day and having family obligations, I was unable to field test the laser at our local range. I will be working near an indoor range later in the week, and plan on stopping in for an actual bit of shooting. This range is also part of a gun shop where a friend is employed, and I hope to run this laser against one of his guns with a Crimson Trace.

The Recap
What I Like (so far)
  • The green laser is bright and (supposedly) more easily seen in daylight -- more testing is required.
  • An ambidextrous on-off switch for easy off-hand use --  also super convenient for Lefty's like me! 
  • A very easy install -- less than two minutes (including adjustments), so someone with zero mechanical skill can mount this in less than five. 
  • Fast mounting of a secondary light on the provided rail.
  • No extra shims or spacers needed to fit multiple firearms. If there is a Picatinny Rail, you have all you need to mount the Spartan. Having seen older laser mounts, I expected a complicated job requiring a divine intervention.
  • Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price is $135 -- quite competitive in today's market.
  • Available from Amazon for $125.41 and free shipping & handling. 

What I Dislike
Nothing at all, so far. As stated above, an actual shooting test will come later this week and will be detailed in my next post.

The Takeaway
Ease of mounting and adjustment, battery saving auto-off feature,  competitive pricing and the ability to add other lights makes the SPS-G very attractive. I am holding off giving a final grade until I can shoot this laser against another brand.

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

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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