Power Tool Review
Glock 26 Auto-Loading Pistol
$600 - $800
LaserMax LMS-1161 Laser Sight
Glock 26 Features:
Safe Action safety
Corrosion resistant Tenifer finish on metal parts
Laser Sight Features:
Easy Owner Installation
Brightest available laser, 3mW
Power tools use an outside energy source, electrical, pneumatic or chemical, to magnify the strength of their users. A pistol is a power tool for self-defense. The Glock is an exceptionally fine example. Tommy Lee Jones playing über-cop, Sam Gerard, ignored his sensitivity training to make this recommendation: "Get a Glock," he said to baby-faced agent Robert Downey, Jr. "Lose that nickel plated sissy pistol."
Glock owners everywhere were deeply gratified at having no N.P.S.P. to lose. Real cops confirm the wisdom of Sam's advice. Over 60% of police officers and all FBI agents carry Glocks. They are easy to shoot, light, accurate, reliable, and nearly indestructible.
They shoot when they're supposed to. They don't go off by accident. The most critical mechanism, the trigger, pulls at a smooth, civilized, consistent five pounds. Civility and constancy are as important in a firearm as they are in a marriage.
Smaller and lighter than other Glocks, the G26 is a good choice for the small, the old, or the not very strong — those least able to defend themselves without tools. It uses a common, time-tested 9mm cartridge. And while a single shot from a "nine" may not slay a dragon, you get a lot of shots — 13 without reloading. Nine millimeter ammo is cheap and the recoil doesn't beat up the shooter. Inexpensive, painless practice is practice more likely to happen. Practice is important.
Lasers guides have improved accuracy and safety for all kinds of power tools. The LaserMax gun sight does the same for the Glock pistol. Aiming a pistol conventionally involves aligning front and rear sights with a target and the shooter's eye, and then maintaining the alignment while firing. To do it consistently requires skill. The LaserMax projects a visible dot of light where the fired bullet will hit, simplifying the whole process.
The LaserMax doesn't mount on the gun, but replaces an internal part. Other add-on laser sights clamp on the gun's frame. Wires then lead to a switch stuck on somewhere else, making the weapon as handy as a home movie projector. A pistol with a LaserMax looks and handles just like the original and still fits in its holster.
The first time I used one the twinkling dot surprised me. I expected a steady, menacing spot the size of a bullet hole. Instead it was like watching Tinkerbell flit across the living room wall. In the movies the dots never twinkle. This one sparkled, orange-red, cheerful and gay, quick and bright as a sparrow's fluttering heart. The bullets consistently hit within an inch of the dot.
Even with a laser sight, accurate pistol shooting still requires practice. Most first time shooters can't hit a garage door from the end of the driveway. The LaserMax makes accurate shooting easier for beginner and expert alike. Accurate shooting is safe shooting.
And perhaps most importantly, Tinkerbell speaks a universal language. Like the squall of a newborn or the 'SSSLICK-SSLACK" of a pump shotgun, the lively sparkle of a laser dot sends a message that needs no translation. This is a big feature for reluctant warriors such as I, who if ever forced to point a pistol at someone would probably be too scared to speak.
A disabled veteran in Florida tested this LaserMax feature in a confrontation with a coked-up, bat-swinging intruder. Even with a gun pointed at him, the batter was loud, hostile, aggressive and scary. When the vet turned on the LaserMax it was as though Tinkerbell had placed the goon in a fog of fairy dust. He dropped his bat and waited quietly for the police. Because the vet had a LaserMax he didn't have to shoot the slugger. Because he had a Glock he didn't get slugged.
The right tools make every job safer and easier.