I am not a fan of hanging a bunch of “stuff” on a firearm; especially if it renders the firearm unwieldy in my hands. Even as my eyes age, I cringe at the fact that I need a red dot sight or scope on my favorite MSR or shotgun, but I yield to the fact that these devices are necessary in properly identifying the POI that I want to achieve on a target. While I still attempt to use iron sights as much as possible, there is a distinct advantage to augment those sights with optical devices. Enter the laser sight.
While I fought with placing a laser on my house pistol, I finally succumbed and a small red laser is mounted on the rail; the pistol is intended only for indoor use in the house as a defensive pistol and the red laser is more than adequate for its intended purpose – to acquire the target as quickly as possible while maintaining a full field of view with both eyes open.
For that reason, I also decided to outfit the Mossberg 500 20-gauge HDS (Home Defense Shotgun) with a laser. I installed a full Weaver rail on the shotgun and the laser, which this review targets, is mounted on the rail just forward of the top safety of the Mossberg. I was so impressed with the results, a second laser was ordered as a T&E vehicle for the Windham Weaponry ‘SRC’ MSR.
I had ordered the Vokul Tactical Green Laser Dot Outside Adjusted hunting rifle Rifle gun Rifle Scope Sight With 2 Mounts through Amazon and was impressed by the specs and what few reviews were written about it.
Specifications for Tactical Green Laser Dot Outside Adjusted Rifle Scope Sight With 2 Mounts :
– Power Requirement:1XCR123A 3V Lithium Battery
– Laser Class:3R
– Output Power:5-20mw
– Wave Length:532nm
– Height:55mm (Approximately 2.166 inches)
– Length:135mm (Approximately 5.32 inches)
– Shock Proof: Yes
Features of Tactical Green Laser Dot Outside Adjusted Rifle Scope Sight With 2 Mounts :
– Compact and light weight
– Durable all metal construction
– Windage and elevation adjustable (tool included)
– Shock Proof, Can Be Used On Real Fire Pistols And Air Pistols/Rifles
– One compact Pistol gun green Laser Sight
– Metal 20mm Rails Mount
– Switch button
– Pressure Pad Switch and “8”type mount
– Two Allen Wrench
– 1 x CR123A 3V Lithium Battery
There is one exception to the package content; there are not two Allen wrenches. There was: however, one Allen wrench. However, there is a reason for that –Allen wrenches are not needed for the unit I received to adjust elevation or windage. I’ll address that later in the review.
As mentioned in the specs, the housing is of durable aluminum construction. A highly textured area serves as the mounting point for either of the two provided mounts, of which the rail mount would be used.
Contrary to the specs, the unit that I received incorporates two finger-adjustable turrets knobs that are textured for an easy finger hold. The adjustment knobs are clearly marked for the direction of adjustment (counter-clockwise for adjustments of elevation and windage, respectively). Adjustment clicks are positive and good detents are used to provide that positive feel.
The finish is back with enough gloss to augment the looks of the firearm on which it is mounted.
The tail end of the mount consists of a finely-threaded end cap, which can house either a push-button type or a pressure switch, as preferred by the user. I prefer the push-button because I have found that most pressure pads are quirky in their operation; I don’t like quirky. With that said the pressure pad switch is very positive; push inward to activate the laser and let off to turn the laser off. The push-button option is a simple on-off switch. Once the laser is on, you must push the switch a second time to turn the laser off.
Unscrew the cap and you look directly into the battery compartment. Insert the provided CR123A battery into the battery compartment negative end first, select the desired switch, insert the desired switch into the end cap, screw on the desired end cap, and the laser is ready for operation.
In the case of the pressure switch, two pieces of hook-n-loop fastener are provided. Attach either to the rear of the pressure switch and the other to a location on the firearm. Since I am a left-handed shooter, I placed the pressure switch on the stock so that my middle finger could activate the switch when my hand was in the correct position on the grip (right side of the stock). I can apply or release my middle finger, as needed, to operate the switch without compromising my grip. The laser sits high enough that the expandable cord does not interfere with operating the top-mounted safety on the Mossberg.
Two mounts are provided with the laser; a rail mount and a barrel mount. Both require the provided Allen wrench (or you can use a 3mm Allen wrench of your own choosing).
The rail mount is of heavy aluminum construction and a laser warning is clearly marked on the unit. There are three Allen screws in the mount; one to secure the laser within the mount and two that secures the mount to the rail (and also provides additional tension on the laser housing).
Note that there are no rail slot guides (the parts that actually insert into the rail grooves to lock the mount in place). The laser rail mount is; therefore, universal and is intended to fit Picatinny, Weaver, and Redfield bases. There is; however, sufficient mounting surface to attaching the mount to a rail; the mounting surfaces should be adequate to prevent the sight from moving under recoil.
The unit does not incorporate quick detach (QD) capabilities. If such is needed or desired for receiver mounting, I would recommend a QD sight riser of the length and height you desire. I found that the UTG 3-slot low profile sight riser mount or the UTG 45-degree cantilever sight mount is perfect for me and my MSR. (Note: With the UTG 45-degree cantilever sight mount, I can keep my red/green dot sight, or the 3-9×40 power Tactical scope, mounted and have the laser mounted without one interfering with the other. That is; however, too many ‘add-ons’ for my liking.) See more in the ‘Installation” write-up.
If you happen to have a tactical forearm on your MSR, with Picatinny rails pointing to points corresponding to the major degrees of a compass, you then have multiple options for mounting the laser.
The Barrel mount provides the means to attach the laser to any barrel with a minimum outside dimension of .926 inches (with mount fully closed and according to my digital calipers). The barrel mount portion also includes a Weaver mount on each side of the unit.
Using the barrel mount will offset the center of the laser approximately 1.75 inches from the center of the bore. If you decide not to use the barrel mount for the laser, it can be used as a barrel-mounted flashlight holder.
The installation of this laser sight should be no different from mounting a red/green dot sight or scope and leveling is important to ensure that the elevation and windage adjustments are as true as they need to be when adjusting for zero. The sight needs to be leveled to and with the firearm. In other words; horizontal is horizontal and vertical is vertical; neither should affect the other.
I highly recommend the Wheeler Engineering Professional Reticle Leveling System. I have used this system installing many a scope and red/green dot sight and can attest to its effectiveness in ensuring a level system.
The other tool that I recommend is the Wheeler Fat Wrench, which is indispensable for ensuring that the proper torque is applied to the sight and to the rail mounting lugs. Note: The basic Wheeler Fat Wrench does not come with a 3mm Hex bit. With that said, simply try to not over-torque the adjustment screws; not much torque is necessary for the mount to firmly attach to a rail.
Blue Threadlocker Rules!
Like Brylcreem (alright, I am showing my age), a Little Dab’ll Do Ya! Use on all screws to prevent them from backing out due to recoil. Absolutely, DO NOT USE RED THREADLOCKER!
Note: Use the push on/off switch for the end cap.
- Verify that the gun is unloaded.
- Slide the sight mount over the scope base on your firearm.
- Insert the sight into the rail mount until the checkered surface is centered within in the adjustment band.
- Slide the mount to the desired position on the rail.
- Slightly tighten the mount onto the rail (tighten the two outer screws only).
- Remove the laser sight from the mount.
- Level the rifle/shotgun. The following is instructions for the Wheeler Professional Reticle Leveling System with adaptation for the laser sight mount:
- Place gun in a gun vice or secure rest; make sure that the barrel is approximately level (parallel to ground).
- By turning the adjustment knob on the Barrel Clamp, set the upper level section so it is approximately parallel to the lower half of the upper clamp (this ensures that you will have an adequate range of adjustment later).
- Attach the Barrel Clamp Level to the barrel of the gun. Slide it toward the fore end and tighten both thumbscrews keeping an even spacing on both sides. Make sure the Barrel Clamp is secure and tight, later you will need to turn the adjustment knob without disrupting the position of the clamp. Note: With the shotgun, you can only slide the Barrel Clamp Level back as far as the magazine will let you.
Select a flat surface on the receiver of the gun to use as a reference for horizontal alignment. On the Mossberg 500 with the top rail mounted, finding a flat surface is easy.
- Place the Reference Level on the flat surface. Ensure that it is centered left to right and perpendicular to the barrel and action. Note: Manipulate the gun until the bubble of the rear Reference Level is centered. If necessary, tighten the gun in the vice while ensuring that the receiver is level.
- Turn the adjustment knob on the Barrel Clamp Level until the bubble is precisely aligned with the rear Reference Level (both level bubbles are exactly positioned in the center of their reference).
- Remove the Reference Level.
- Insert the sight into the mounting tube.
- Tighten the center screw until you can just rotate the site within the mount.
- Place the Reference Level on top of the sight’s elevation turret. Ensure that the Reference Level is centered left to right and perpendicular to the barrel and action.
Rotate the sight until the Reference Level is centered in between the two indication marks on the vial.
- Double check the Barrel Clamp Level is still level. Once the two levels are in perfect alignment, the sight is precisely aligned with the gun.
- While visually checking both levels, tighten the center screw to tighten the mount to the sight. Ensure that the sight does not rotate during tightening and that the Reference Level stays in agreement with the Barrel Clamp Level.
- Once the Reference level agrees with the Barrel Clamp Level, remove and store the Reference Level and the Barrel Clamp Level.
Now, all that is left is to take the firearm to the range and zero the sight.
Note that on the Mossy 500 20-gauge, I mounted the laser directly to the Weaver mount; whereas, on my MSR, I will use a low profile sight-riser to mount the sight. If the sight mount does shift during recoil, I would rather it bugger up a cheap sight-riser than an expensive upper.
The laser sight, in this case, is almost the same length as the top mounted rail on the Mossy 500. The laser was mounted center in the rail to provide a reference to use for detecting any shifting of the mount during actual firing.
With the installation complete, it was time to do a rough adjustment for sight alignment. The green laser in this unit is so strong that I could actually trace the laser beam across the top of the barrel. I adjusted the windage so that it aligned with the front bead sight and Hi-Viz green fiber sight enough that I should be on paper when it is range time and final alignment. I was not concerned with elevation at this time; that will be a function of distance, which is a 25-yard zero for this gun as the Mossy 500’s primary role is as a HDS (Home Defense Shotgun). A 2 ¾”, 5/8-ounce slug (Remington Slugger) is the primary ammunition for this shotgun with #3 Buck as the alternative.
So far, I am highly pleased with this laser sight with one caveat; the lack of rail slot guides that would help the mount from shifting under recoil.
The laser sight and mount augments the look of the Mossy 500; they do not look like a Vulture perched on a tree branch. At first glance, one would think that the sight is a very small scope.
The finger-adjusted elevation and windage adjustments are welcomed items, as they provide quick adjustment in the field – no tools are required.
The Vokul Tactical Green Laser does not add appreciable bulk to the Mossy 500 shotgun. I consider the 20-gauge as the ‘carbine’ of shotguns; I like them for several reasons, especially their lightness and maneuverability. The laser does not take away from that. While the shotgun may be a point-n-shoot interface, the green laser makes it a better pointer, which results in a more accurate shot.
In bright sunlight (with the sun in my eyes), I had no problem picking a spot on a tree that was approximately 85 yards from me; you could not even see my red laser at that distance. I can’t wait to try this on my MSR.
Range Day – Failure
I was looking forward to taking the Vokul Tactical Green Laser Dot Outside Adjusted hunting rifle Scope Sight to see how it would perform with 5/8-ounce slugs through a Mossberg 500 20-gauge.
My Mossberg 20-gauge prefers Remington slugs, and since this is my primary load, this was also my test load.
The Vokul Tactical Green Laser Dot Outside Adjusted hunting rifle Scope Sight lasted 14 rounds before it failed – completely. At first I thought that the battery (CR 123A Lithium) might be at fault and swapped it out for a fresh one. The unit came with a battery but usually they are now fresh and I had purchased a second one for backup.
The fresh battery was installed but the unit had simply quite working.
This is not say that the Vokul Tactical Green Laser Dot Outside Adjusted hunting rifle Scope Sight may not work on a lesser-recoiling rifle; for example, a MSR, or .22 caliber rifle or pistol. It did; however, fail on the shotgun.
Needless to say that I am disappointed with the Vokul Tactical Green Laser Dot Outside Adjusted hunting rifle Scope Sight.
Vokul Tactical Green Laser Dot Outside Adjusted hunting rifle Scope Sight With 2 Mounts (CR123A battery included): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SMIFIFE?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00
Wheeler Professional Reticle Leveling System: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004TAB7ZO?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00
Weaver Multi-Slot Base for Mossberg 500 (1997+): http://www.midwayusa.com/product/170944/weaver-1-piece-multi-slot-tactical-weaver-style-base-for-mossberg-500-matte