As a firearms instructor, I’m often asked, “Should I put a laser or a flashlight on my gun?” It’s a question that leads to more questions, regarding the size of their gun, its purpose and other factors. With the LaserMax Spartan laser/light combo, there’s no longer a need to choose between one or the other: You get both.
Straight out of the box, the Spartan is pretty simple. Powered by one AAA battery, which is included, there’s no need to worry about lithium batteries or the problems that they can lead to, such as the difficulties in traveling on an airplane with them. And speaking of batteries, the Spartan has an auto-off feature that turns the laser or light off after 10 minutes to preserve the battery life. This comes in very handy if you forget to turn off lasers or optics like I do.
The Spartan also comes with the tools to install it, which saved me the effort of digging through my husband’s tool box to find the right size Allen wrench or hex key. Following the directions and using the “Rail Vise” mounting technology, I positioned the Spartan on my gun’s tactical rail at a point where my index finger can easily reach the switches, conveniently designed to be ambidextrous. Press lightly on the top switch to turn the laser on and again to shut it off. The bottom switch works the same way for the light.
Next, it was time to align my sights with the laser. I was able to use the provided Allen wrench to adjust the windage and elevation settings until the laser dot dropped just below my front sight as I was looking at my target. It didn’t take long to make those adjustments, and after shooting a handful of rounds freehanded I was satisfied with the outcome. I was pleasantly surprised that even after I fired more than 200 rounds, the laser stayed at zero despite the recoil. The Spartan model I used had a red laser, which I found difficult to see in bright sunlight; it’s also available in green, which would be a better option if you shoot at an outdoor range often. The laser can be used in steady or pulse mode. To activate pulse mode, press the switch and release. Then press and hold the same switch for a couple seconds until it begins pulsing.
The second part of the combo is the weapon light. LaserMax describes the LED light as “mint green”; it delivers 120 lumens, yet is dimmable to 4. To dim the light, start with the light turned off, then tap the light switch twice, holding on the second tap. Keep holding until the light reaches your desired level. My purpose using a weapon light is to be able to identify my target, good or bad. The soft green color provides sufficient lighting without blinding me with the reflection. Having a mounted light also allows me to keep both hands on my gun, rather than using one to hold a flashlight. Like the laser, the light can also pulse or remain steady, with the pulse activated the same way as the laser. Even though there are two parts to the Spartan combo, they can be used simultaneously.
I believe that having a flashlight on your home defense weapon is important. As I mentioned in a previous article, How Lasers Can Be Used as Training Aids, there are varying opinions on the use of lasers. Just remember that lasers cannot replace basic marksmanship and training, so make sure you practice.