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Adding a Laser to a Taurusģ 24/7
by Roy Seifert

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Disclaimer:  This article is for entertainment only and is not to be used in lieu of a qualified gunsmith.  Please defer all firearms work to a qualified gunsmith.  Any loads mentioned in this article are my loads for my guns and have been carefully worked up using established guidelines and special tools.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for use of these loads, or use or misuse of this article.  Please note that I am not a professional gunsmith, just a shooting enthusiast and hobbyist, as well as a tinkerer.  This article explains work that I performed to my guns without the assistance of a qualified gunsmith.  Some procedures described in this article require special tools and cannot/should not be performed without them.

Warning:  Disassembling and tinkering with your firearm may void the warranty.  I claim no responsibility for use or misuse of this article.  Again, this article is for entertainment purposes only!

Tools and firearms are the trademark/service mark or registered trademark of their respective manufacturers.

I recently purchased a Taurusģ 24/7 compact in .45 ACP.  I wanted to add a laser to this pistol to help me acquire a target in low-light conditions or in situations where I canít get a good sight picture.  Also, I am now finding it difficult to focus on the front sight with my tri-focal glasses! 

There are currently a number of methods for mounting a laser to a pistol.  All are equally effective in helping to guide a shot to the target, but not every method is suitable for every gun; especially this gun. 

  • Grip mount - This gun does not have removable grips so a grip-mounted laser would not work. 
  • Guide rod mount Ė This pistol uses a two-piece telescoping guide rod which does not allow for a laser, nor does anyone make one for this pistol.
  • Sight mount - LaserLyteģ manufactures a laser that replaces the rear sight so you can use both the standard notch and post sighting as well as the laser.  Unfortunately, they donít have a rear sight to fit this gun. 
  • Rail mount - The accessory rail for this compact gun is very short so a standard rail-mounted laser would protrude too far in front of the muzzle.  Also, I have found that most rail-mounted lasers wonít lock into the notch on this short rail because the lock is too far in front of the mount.
  • Trigger guard mount Ė Iíve never really liked this method of attachment.  The laser sticks out too far in front of the muzzle and there is nothing to support the laser vertically.  It just seems to me that it could be too easily jarred out of position.
  • Separate rail mount and round laser Ė Way too bulky and again, canít be firmly attached to the rail and protrudes too far forward of the muzzle and too far below the trigger guard.

So, was my search for the perfect laser for this pistol to be in vain?  Well, after doing a lot of research on the Internet, I found the ArmaLaser RSS built especially for this pistol.  Itís a bit more expensive than other rail-mounted lasers, but only about half the price of a grip laser.  It is one of the smallest rail-mounted lasers I have found.  Once mounted, it is flush with the front of the gun and protrudes below the front of the frame less than half of the length of the trigger guard.  This has to be the perfect laser for this gun.

Installation

Thereís not really much gunsmithing involved here.  The ArmaLaser was packed in a foam-lined, cardboard box.  Apparently, the earlier models came in a hard plastic case, but consumers suggested that the ArmaLaser folks use a cheaper box and save us a few bucks.  Included in the box were:

  • Laser unit
  • 4 type 386 batteries
  • 2 long trigger guard stabilization set screws; short set screws were already installed
  • 2 battery covers, one for steady beam, and one for pulsed beam
  • 2 warning labels
  • 2 hex keys  
  • Instruction manual

Following the instructions that came with the unit, I installed the four type 386 batteries.  These batteries are common and are available pretty much anywhere.  In order to get the batteries installed I first had to remove the barrel nut and screw.  This was not in the instructions.  The batteries all went in the same direction; positive side down.

Next I installed one of the two battery cover plates.  I prefer a pulsed beam so I installed the plate with the P on it.  I would have preferred having an external switch to be able to switch between a pulsed and steady beam, but thereís just not enough room on this small laser for extra switches.

I slid the unit over the rail and installed the barrel nut.  The unit fit on the rail tightly and I snugged the barrel nut according to the instructions. 

Laser Adjustment
With the pistol unloaded and the laser turned on I adjusted the windage and elevation set screws using one of the included hex keys so the laser dot was on top of my front sight at 13 feet.  It was nice of the ArmaLaser folks to include two of these small hex keys in case I lost one.  The set screws were stiff, which I believe helps keep the laser adjusted.  There was more than enough adjustment for both windage and elevation; in fact each required less than 1/4 turn for my pistol.

Pros and Cons
Wow, this unit is really tiny and weighs practically nothing!  It is the same width as the slide, and is flush with the end of the muzzle so nothing protrudes.  There are no sharp edges or corners, and it doesnít get in the way of my trigger finger.  To activate the laser all I have to do is touch the metal end with my straightened trigger finger.  This laser is bright enough that I can even see it in bright sunlight.

However, there are a couple of things I donít like about this unit.  First of all, as mentioned before, to activate the laser all I do is touch the metal coated end near the trigger guard.  Unfortunately, if I touch it again it turns off.  Iím going to have to train myself to keep my trigger finger high along the frame to keep from deactivating the laser.  Itís interesting that the gun comes with an indentation on the side of the frame specifically for the trigger finger.

The second thing I donít like is the fact that I canít completely turn off the power when I store the gun in my gun safe.  The power is always on waiting for me to touch the sensor.  I can see Iím going to have to keep some spare batteries on hand.  I thought about placing a piece of paper between the battery cover and the batteries so there is no current flow, but that required that I remove the unit from the gun, and I found that every time I did that I would have to readjust it.

However, other than these issues, the ArmaLaser was a worthwhile purchase and enhances the tactical use of this pistol.  Itís just going to take some practice to get used to it.  

Addendum March, 2011
The biggest problem with the RSS was the fact that it couldnít be shut off.  Although the laser was not illuminated, the logic was always on waiting for me to touch the sensor, which used battery power.  I donít always carry this pistol, but when I wanted to carry it, the batteries in the laser were always dead.  I had to keep fresh batteries in it just to store it! 

ArmaLaser has an exchange program in place of which I decide to take advantage.  Kudos to ArmaLaser!  A couple of emails later I returned my model RSS with $35.00 and requested a model Stingray SR2-635.  The SR2-635 has a tactile switch that completely removes power from the laser.  It can be activated by either hand and should allow the batteries to last longer.  It took one month for the replacement laser to be delivered, but the Stingray SR2-635 was in very high demand.

The package included an instruction manual, warranty card, and tool kit.  The tool kit included a small screwdriver for replacing batteries, hex wrenches for adjusting windage and elevation, spare mounting screws, cleaning swabs and cloth.  It also included a sticker.

Following the instructions I installed the laser.  Again, it was a simple matter of removing the screws, installing the laser on the pistol, and tightening the screws.  I put a little blue thread-locker on the nuts to prevent them from loosening up under fire.  As you can see from the above photo the laser is very compact and fits the pistol perfectly.  Using one of the included hex wrenches it took me about one minute to adjust the laser.

I had designed a concealed carry holster for this pistol (refer to my article Making a Custom Leather Holster for a Taurusģ 24/7).  The gun with the new laser fit perfectly into the holster.  Some reviewers on the Internet stated that the switch would hang up on the edge of a holster, but I didnít have that problem.  So again, my CCW pistol is now armed with a laser that hopefully will last much longer without having to change out the batteries so often.

I want to state again how pleased I am with ArmaLaser products and especially with their exchange program.  One product did not fit my needs, but for a few dollars I was able to exchange it for a product more suitable for me.  Thank you ArmaLaser.

 

 
   © Copyright 2010-2011 Roy Seifert.