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The new Crimson Trace CMR-204 (green) light and laser combo.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a couple of “problem” guns in my safe at the moment.
Actually, the only “problem” is that they don’t lend themselves to integrated Lasergrip or trigger guard installations. My examples are the Beretta PX4 Storm and the FNS-40. Both are excellent guns and I really like them. The “problem” is putting integrated lasers and lights on them. Right now, I’ve got a Crimson Trace Rail Master light on the Beretta PX4 Storm and the FNS-40 sits naked and unlit.


Fortunately, Crimson Trace just announced a solution. While I’ve heard rumblings about the Crimson Trace CMR-204 and CMR-205 Rail Master Pros for a while, I had not yet seen a formal release. As part of the SHOT Show 2014 product announcement deluge, they’re here.


Both units are rail mounted units that contain both tactical light and laser. The difference between the CMR-204 and CMR-205 models are the color of laser light. The CMR-204 is green while the CMR-205 is red. Both models allow you to set the operating mode to laser and light, laser only, light only or strobe light and laser. Both units also feature a 100 lumen light – like the Crimson Trace Lightguard and operate for about 4 hours in a single CR2 battery.
An aluminum body provides strength and water resistance to one meter, so no worries about rain. Remember, if it ain’t raining’ you ain’t trainin’ right?

A Light and Laser Combo For (Almost) Any Gun
 

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That's a reasonable price and I like the fact that is does NOT extend beyond the muzzle unlike the Viridian X5L I just purchased. I also may be coming a convert setting aside my aversion to using a laser/light combo after reading a great many real-life testimonials. Trouble is the lack of holsters available for Crimson Trace and Viridian most being for Surefire and Streamlight. I do believe the CT will be purchased and a comparison shall ensue.
 

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I am have one surefire x400 and I am going to get another x400 ultra in the the green laser when they finally release it. Way more than 100 lumens in x400 ultra, but it does extend slightly past the end of the barrel.
 

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I just bought the Crimson Trace combo unit (Rail Master Pro, red laser version: CMR-205) because:
- Doesn't extend beyond the rail (virtually flush on my FNS)
- Has CNC'd aluminum housing
- I was able to get my hands on other CT products locally and "feel" what I was getting
- Chose red because I live in the upper Midwest where it gets COLD (and green lasers won't work like Red lasers in cold winter temps)
- Got a great ebay deal on a new one for $185 (including shipping) from a highly rated dealer ($about $60 cheaper than Amazon Prime)

I like everything about CT CMR-205 except for:
- Wish that the on/off button had a lighter feel...it takes a very firm press to turn it on
- Would also allow for a "temporary light" feature (press/on, followed by release/off...vs. the actual press/on followed by press/off)
- Would prefer a quicker switching of lighting modes (so I could clear house with momentary on/off flashlight burts...but then quickly switch to strobe/laser mode for threat disorientation & sight aquisition)

The alternatives (in a compact package) are Viridian C5L (smaller of Viridian model) and X5L (larger Viridian model).
- Plus of the X5L: higher light output (160 lumens vs. CT CMR-205's 100 lumens); several Tacloc holsters allow for "automatic on" functionality (called ECR technology) when unholstering...followed by auto-off when re-holstering; and possibly easier button operation than CT CMR-205 (though I haven't handled a Viridian X5L yet)
- Plus of the C5L: $30 less (depending on where you buy it) and smaller than X5L
- Negative of Viridian products: made of plastic vs. aluminum (heard of some people stripping threads of Viridian battery compartment, thus destroying the unit)

Anybody whose owned/tried the Viridian products (discussed above) and could compare to the CT CMR's?
 

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i just received the viridian c5l (red laser) a few days ago and was very impressed with the ui (user interface). it is programmable to a fare-the-well. you can have your laser steady or pulsing at several speeds with or without white light at several levels and either steady or strobing. it is nicely packaged and has very good instructions (which are also available as a pdf).

on my fn57 mk2 there are a few shortcomings. i tried all three sets of rails or mounts and none really let me mount it as far back against the trigger guard as i wished although one did come very very close--maybe 1mm or less. i was wanting to use the one with two bolts for extra assurance on stability, but unfortunately that adapter wouldn't mount far enough back. as you can imagine, it's quite a stretch to reach the activation buttons--heck, i have small hands and if i hadn't wanted a 57 so much i would have hesitated to buy one just based on trigger and safety reach alone.

i had seen the caveats about the disparate materials of the battery cover and the battery well so i was very careful and, following a tip from another reviewer, spread a thin layer of vaseline on the threads. i don't think it would be a problem unless you had to change a battery under high stress.

i got the red model because it was $75-100 less than the green model and at pistol distances the reduced visibility shouldn't matter and a red laser says 'you're my next target' more effectively than green as many people haven't seen enough movies yet with green lasers in them. also, the battery life with red is about 3x longer.

anyway, i liked this viridian setup so much that i determined i was going to get one for my ps90 as well even though it will mean putting it on a side rail. i was torn between the x5l model and the c5l model, but several things influenced my final choice. the c5l is $100-150 cheaper. it is over an ounce lighter and about 60-75% as large yet has all the same functions of the x5l. the x5l does use the more standard and much cheaper cr123 battery vs the cr2 battery of the c5l although i got a 3-pack f the cr2's for under $10. for this second purchase i opted to pay the extra $50 for the green laser since, if i'm putting it on a carbine, visibility at daytime at over 50yds might become an issue.

/guy
 
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