How many accessories can we mount to our guns? Answer: All of them!! If you are completely impractical maybe, but for us minimalists, less is more. We have said it before when speaking about lasers…hold tight…you’re about to hear “it” again. Shooting with them has never been part of the wheel house that has been shooting for us. Until recently we stumbled across Lasermax and some of their products that were intended to be and have turned out as force multipliers in the defense and tactical shooting realms. The Spartan line of mountable light/laser combos has recently found themselves attached to the frame of some of our range pistols.
The Spartan is different from any other illumination device we have come across. One AAA battery powers both light and laser; and for quite some time too. The mint green light spews out 120 lumens, which does not seem like a lot compared to some similar mountable lights, but with its mint green hue, the light offers a broad range flood, using a fraction of the battery power and to top it off, after extended periods of use, the lamp doesn’t get so hot you could fry and egg on it. Other mountable lights are capable of bellowing 300-500 lumens of white overpowering light that prove to be adequate but any chance of maintaining photo adaptation aka; your eyes natural night vision is blown. LaserMax has cracked the code of capitalizing on the most visible wavelength in the color spectrum with the Spartan laser/light combo.
The green visible laser is both crisp and deliberate. Though it is grossly unrealistic to engage a target with a pistol from this distance, the green laser is visible for about 100 yards at night with a little ambient light. For practical use, we tested the visibility of the lasers visibility at 50 yards on an overcast summer day. Be aware that anything past 15, on a bright day you will be hard pressed to pick up the laser on a target with any amount of haste, precisely why the laser is meant to be used at night; in conjunction with the light! That said, we could not test this product without witnessing how far the laser would stretch.
Light to Targets
We mounted the Spartan to a Springfield Armory XD mod 2 for our testing procedures. The device mounts to any Picatinny rail by two Torx key and LaserMax’s advanced mounting technology that maintains the low-profile design.
Ergonomics play a key role in the practical application of virtually any product, especially when it comes to tactical use. Its activation switch for both laser and light are conveniently located just forward of the trigger guard which makes the device exceptionally easy to activate in either mode. The Spartan is programmed with a continuous on and pulsating strobe for both laser and light. With one push of the switch, targets were quickly illuminated. The Spartan device comes programmed with an auto – off function after 10 minutes of use to preserve battery life. We found this feature to be exceptionally important due to past experience of inadvertently activating lights while manipulating gear or maneuvering throughout a vehicle, only to discover dead batteries when they were needed.
Pin Point Laser
Lasers on pistols, an acquired taste at best. Some will ask the question “if you have your pistol raised and your eyes are behind your sights, why not just use them, instead of looking for the end of a laser beam”. We have asked the same question many times. Especially with the 120-lumen light of the Spartan, just pick up the front sight and drill your target. What about contact shooting? A style of defensive gun fighting that if you’re not careful you will end up shooting holes in ceilings as seen recently with a how-to video circulating online.
Should you not have the distance or space to bring your pistol to a full presentation, taking contact shots or as some would call it, “hip shooting” may be the only option in getting effective rounds into your target or local shithead trying to do bad things to you. Having a single point of references such as a green or red laser would be your best option vice nothing at all!
LaserMax Spartan has an intuitive on/off switch that come textured for low/no light identification. It is the first switch you are going to push with your finger as you come out of the holster or off body carry apparatus. Should you need it, switching the laser from solid to pulse is easily achieved with an exaggerated 3-second hold of the on/off switch. Throughout our testing, the green laser remained clear and concise regardless of distance or how big or small the target. Obviously the closer the target the larger the dot and more distorted it becomes, albeit very clear throughout.
Adjusting the laser to our impacts was simple and virtually effortless, much like the UNI, less is more…There is no such thing as “bold” adjustments with this product. For practical sake, we adjusted the windage and elevation screws to set the dot or lasers end on top of our front sight post. Some would suggest zeroing the laser at the universal 25-yard line. We adjusted to our point of aim/point of impacts at 10 yards. Doing this, we noticed roughly 6 inches of impact shift the further we moved from our IPSC cardboard target. We like to set our guns and equipment up to be as conducive to real-world scenarios as possible. Truth be told, we will not be using the laser or light for anything outside of 10-15 yards.
Lasers more than lights often teeter on the hate or love fence with little room for sway. We have identified the absolute need for rail mounted lights across every spectrum of tactical firearms. The Spartan is a one device fits all (pistols) solution to lighting and the option for lasers are there should you wish to add another tool to your shooting “tool box”.
Our immediate concern with his new light/laser combo comes the holster dilemma. We have been set up for so long with one type of pistol light that our holsters reflect them. We are not saying that these holster or lights are obsolete, but what we are saying is that we will have to make room for additional holsters to fit the Spartan. LaserMax currently does not offer a holster option for the Spartan however, there are plenty of holster pros out there to accommodate. High Threat Concealment, Safariland, Crossbreed, Tier 1 Concealed and Galco are a few of our favorites that have found themselves at the top of our EDC and tactical hard end use “Go To’s”. Keep in mind that you may need to be patient and wait a couple weeks with some of the plastic bending manufacturers. Rest assured that you will have a quality product once it comes via UPS or FedEx. We have yet to be disappointed in dealing with any of these manufacturers and the products we expect out of them.
Other than working through our own hold ups for lasers and the reluctance to change our training strategy and methods, this laser is one that we will use to train with and add to our toolbox. The sheer ergonomics alone offer advantages that many other lasers do not. There tactile on/off switch is conducive for deliberate function instead of having a light ND commonly found with grip activated switches.
It was abundantly clear that during the design process of the Spartan LaserMax considered the size and weight concerns that many other manufacturers do not, without skimping on adequate lumens. The Spartan is low profile and weighs next to nothing yet still throws out enough light to get the job done.
Spartan Vital Information
|Type||Laser/Visible Light Combo|
|Color||Mint Green Light/Green or Red Laser|
|Range||50 yards (overcast)/25 yards (flood)|
|Weight||.9 oz w/out battery, 1.4 oz w/battery|
|Power||1x AAA Lithium or Alkaline battery|