AR-15 Laser Sight from Crimson Trace


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn

July 5th, 2005




Crimson Trace of Beaverton, Oregon is the authority when it comes to innovative and unobtrusive laser sights for handguns. Now, they have introduced a quality laser sight for the AR-15 rifle that is also very unobtrusive, with most of the device contained within the pistol grip of the weapon. The battery and electronics are all securely contained within the grip. The laser itself is secured to the carry handle of the weapon, and will quickly attach to any A-1 or A-2 handle.

While most of my ARs are of flattop configuration and are set up for hunting, I have one that is kept strictly for social work, and it has a carry handle with standard A-1 style sights. Atop the handle is a Trijicon ACOG scope. I did not want to replace the ACOG to attach a laser, nor did I want a laser attached elsewhere on the rifle with a wire running back to a switch, as is commonly done. The Crimson Trace unit is far superior to the type of laser that just clamps onto the barrel. There are no external wires to hang up on things, and the unit is far less likely to be banged up and damaged or knocked out of alignment. With the sight attached, the carry handle can still accommodate my large hand with ease.

The LG-525 is very easy to install, and comes with detailed instructions. To install the sight, first the stock pistol grip is detached by removing the slot-headed bolt. The new grip containing the electronics is installed using the same bolt. The two grip halves are then bolted together using two supplied bolts. The laser retainer, a metal bracket, is then attached with one small bolt to the carry handle, and the laser locked into place by rotating the cam lock one-quarter turn. The whole process takes about four minutes.

Adjusting the laser is easily accomplished by turning the adjustment screws with the supplied Allen wrench. I adjusted mine to the A-1 sights, and then fired the weapon to assure that everything was properly sighted in.

A laser on an AR can be very handy, particularly in close range or low-light situations. While the four power ACOG has tritium for low-light capability, it is less than ideal for close range situations. Mounted to the carry handle and sighted in for 300 yards, at close range the ACOG puts the bullet impact significantly below the point of aim. In a situation where close range precision is required, such as a thug hiding behind a hostage or barricade, the laser can be sighted to be dead on at anywhere from 25 to 50 yards, and make that shot very easy to make. With the laser, both eyes can be kept wide open to constantly assess the situation while keeping the weapon on target. In a low-light situation, the laser is visible out to a few hundred yards, depending upon the target involved. However, at longer ranges, I prefer to switch to the ACOG for the greater magnification provided. Where the Crimson Trace laser really excels is at ranges from arms-length out to about 100 yards, where it is visible even in bright daylight, again depending upon the target. Indoors, the Crimson Trace laser is perfect.

Adding this unit to my AR-15 greatly improved the versatility of the weapon, making it much quicker to get on target when lighting is dim or the range is close. The weapon is ready to handle just about any type of predator that may come along, from a raiding coyote to a drug-crazed felon. If you are to need a defensive weapon, it is most likely to be at night, or in a dimly-lit building. Night time is when most criminals prefer to apply their trade, under the cover of darkness. If you keep a weapon for defense, it should be set up primarily for night time use. If you keep an AR-15 for defense, it should be configured likewise. It should wear a Crimson Trace laser grip. You never regret buying the best, and I believe that the Crimson Trace is the best unit on the market.

Check them out online at:

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.


The Crimson Trace replacement grip unit easily bolts on and assembles in minutes. No gunsmithing skills or special tools are required.



The "guts" of the unit are contained inside the grip.



The grip halves then screw together.



The retainer for the top portion of the unit bolts to the underside of the carry handle.





Activation button is located perfectly for right-handed or left-handed shooters.



On/Off switch is located in the butt of the pistol grip.



Windage and elevation adjustments are precise and easy to use.



With the Crimson Trace unit installed, there is still plenty of room in the carry handle even for large hands such as Jeff's.





Crimson Trace's laser grip unit enhances the utility and versatility of Jeff's "Homeland Security" AR-15, giving three different sighting systems for different situations: iron sights, laser sight, and scope sight. Crimson Trace completes the weapon in a truly useful and unobtrusive way.