Subcompact handguns rarely come with Picatinny rails for mounting tactical lights and lasers. But there are a handful of .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP subcompacts that have short dust-cover rails—models like the Walther PPS, Springfield XD-S, Beretta Px4 Storm Subcompact and Colt’s Mustang XSP and Mustang Lite. The fundamental problem is that most lasers need a longer rail than these small subcompact pistols can provide.
Meet The Spartan
LaserMax has created the ideal short-rail laser with its Spartan line. The micro-sized lasers are offered in either red or green, the latter being quite an accomplishment for a rail-mounted laser measuring only 1.75 inches in length, 0.94 inches in height and width, and weighing little more than an ounce, including its single 1/3N battery. Requiring only 0.75 inches of rail length to the triggerguard, and thus allowing the elongated ambidextrous on/off touch pads to rest slightly inside the front of the triggerguard, activation is quick with either the trigger finger or support-hand thumb.
RELATED STORY: New for 2016 – LaserMax’s Glock 42/43 Guide Rod Lasers
The Spartan securely mounts using a special rail vise adaptor that locks into the rail and laser housing to provide a solid fit on any rail, thus securing the device for consistent positioning over extensive live-fire use. Once mounted, the Spartan almost becomes a part of the gun, an important advantage since the housing also has an integrated Picatinny rail underneath for attaching a tactical light.
RELATED STORY: LaserMax’s CF-SHIELD Centerfire Laser
For precise adjustments, clearly indicated windage and elevation screws are recessed into the right side and bottom of the housing for quick target alignment with an included hex-head tool. The laser also has two settings controlled by the touch pad, allowing for either a constant beam or high-visibility pulse. The laser will run continuously for five hours on one battery.
I tested red and green Spartan lasers by fitting them to a Walther PPS 9mm and a .40 S&W Springfield Armory XD-S. I also outfitted the Springfield with a 170-lumen Walther Tactical Pro flashlight mounted to the Spartan’s integral rail using a Walther quick-release mount. This is a noteworthy asset for home-defense use.
RELATED STORY: Testing the LaserMax Green Guide Rod Laser
Technically, all Class 3R visible red and green lasers have the same 5mW output. The difference is that a red laser falls into the 650-nanometer wavelength, while a green laser ranges from 510 to 535 nanometers and appears brighter to the human eye in daylight. Where a red laser may be hard, if not impossible, to pick up in bright light at 15 to 25 yards, a green laser will still pinpoint its target.
I tested the green Spartan and Springfield XD-S together at 15 yards. The laser was set to pulse and was clearly visible in moderate overcast light. The best five-round group with Federal’s 180-grain Hydra-Shok JHPs measured 1.5 inches. The last two rounds in the magazine punched a pair into the bullseye at 0.5 inches. The LaserMax Spartan is a good fit for any subcompact with a short accessory rail.
For more information, visit http://www.lasermax.com or call 800-527-3703.
Feast your eyes on the Kimber Eclipse Ultra II, a custom-grade .45 that delivers...
by Paul Scarlata / May 2, 2016