Fish & Feathers: Laser sights: Are they for you?

<I>RON MALAST photo</I><BR>A laser grip or sight as positioned on a Glock 23 automatic.

For the past 15 years I have had a squeeze-activated laser on my varmint gun, a Remington .22-250 rifle. It is rather large and cumbersome but does the job it was intended for, while being a first or second-generation model. Newer laser sights work equally well in daylight or darkness and provide immediate visual feedback of your shooting technique.

While attending a recent gun show, I was impressed by the compactness of the new generations for handguns. What I found out is that a laser is especially essential for firearms training. They can help to master superior training techniques much faster and more effectively than any other means. You can use a laser-equipped handgun, unloaded of course, to demonstrate how the change in sight plane is affected by trigger pull, throwing the gun off target.

Many studies have shown police officers, in life-threatening situations, score hits only about 29 percent of the time. When using a laser sight, their accuracy improved to the 80- to 90-percent range, a big factor in putting down the "bad guy." Laser sights also are a tremendous aid when you cannot see your sights due to darkness or low-light conditions. Using these sights, your eyes focus on the laser spot rather than trying to line up your front and rear handgun sights, which is time consuming and sometimes impossible under certain conditions. It also gives you a better sight picture, allowing you to utilize your peripheral vision to counter additional threats.

My carry-gun is a Glock Model 23 .40 caliber semi-auto. The product that I purchased from Crimson Trace consists of a set of grips that fit over the original grips on the handgun. It is battery powered and can be installed in a matter of minutes. The laser is activated when a firm-shooting grip is applied to the handgun. Whether for training, carry or home defense, a laser sight is a step up in accuracy. There are many types of lasers available but this one works for me. If you want more information, go to (www.crimsontrace.com). The company is located in Wilsonville, Ore.

Proposed changes for 2009-10 fishing seasonThere are many new regulations proposed for the 2009-10 fishing season but here are a few that pertain to our area:

A. Columbia River salmon and steelhead daily limit: The proposal would combine the daily limit of salmon and steelhead in this part of the Columbia River (Buoy 10 to Hwy 395 Bridge in Pasco) as follows: Daily limit six. Up to two may be adult salmon or hatchery steelhead or one of each. Salmon minimum size 12 inches, steelhead minimum size 20 inches. This will close the loophole where an angler can continue to fish for steelhead after catching a limit of salmon and vice versa.

B. Saturday of Memorial Day Stream Openers: It would open some areas to fishing the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, rather than the statewide opening in June. It would enable people to fish during the three-day weekend and also encourage people to visit the northeastern part of the state.

Nautical triviaCan fish distinguish color?

Most fish are colorblind, despite the opinion of many sportfishermen. Fish can see color shadings, reflected light, shape and movement, which probably accounts for the acceptance or rejection of artificial lures used by fishermen.

Ron Malast is a charterboat captain in Ilwaco, Sea Sport fishing Charters 866-211-6611.

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