Smith & Wesson Buys Crimson Trace for $95 Million in Cash

Smith & Wesson has been buying up smaller companies that complement its own firearms product line. The latest acquisition is laser powerhouse Crimson Trace.


Crimson Trace CMR 203(G): Inexpensive Green Laser

Review of the Crimson Trace CM203 green laser

While at Media Day I stopped in and checked out the new offerings from Crimson Trace.  The CMR 203 (G – for green) immediately caught my eye for its ambidextrous controls, and ease of mount to a pistol or rifle rail.


Crimson Trace advises this laser system is designed to be universal to any M1913 Picatinny or Weaver Accessory rails, with (4) fit inserts included.  This laser can be mounted to pistols, rifles, or shotguns.  The CMR 203(G) easily mounts to the rail system and is secured by two retention screws.


Crimson Trace Defender Series Lasers

Crimson Trace Accu-Guard XD(m)

Thanks to the good folks at Crimson Trace, I had a first look at the new Defender Series lasers they announced this week.  The Defender Series is a collection of red lasers aimed at the budget market.  The lasers run from $129 – 149 MSRP.  This is significantly less expensive than some of the other offerings from Crimson Trace.

According to Jeff Goddard, Director of Sales for Crimson Trace, the company is able to make the lasers less expensive by reducing the options on the units, not by using cheaper parts.  This means the customer should get the same high quality they have come to expect from all of the lasers in the Crimson Trace line.

Optics and Sighting Systems

Pink Lasers

Pink crimson traceCrimson Trace is making pink versions of their lasers for the Smith & Wesson J-frame and the Ruger LCP.  According to Crimson Trace, these pink lasers are part of the “…ever-growing number of products aimed squarely at the female market…”  Crimson Trace stated they had customers asking for their products in colors other than black, and some female customers specifically requested pink.

While I have no doubt that pink was requested by some women, I have to wonder about the stereotypical choice of pink matched to small guns that I have seen many ignorant men push onto women as a self-defense gun.  I’m sure you’ve heard the “Little gun for the little lady” BS before.  I know I have seen it more times than I care to recall.

Maybe the marketing research done by Crimson Trace supports the decision to offer pink on just these two pistols.

Optics and Sighting Systems

Crimson Trace to Launch New Products at 2010 SHOT Show

crimsontrace_charterarmsIt would appear that Crimson Trace is preparing to launch several new products at the 2010 SHOT Show.  Michael Bane teased to this in his podcast, Down Range Radio, last week.

In addition to the Lasergrips introduced with new guns (as they did with the Ruger LCR at the 2009 SHOT Show), I think we may see green lasers from Crimson Trace.  A number of CT competitors, including Viridian and LaserMax, have been capitalizing on their green laser products.

If you have not used a green laser-equipped gun before, you may not recognize what a significant difference this is.  I have used various red laser products before, including Crimson Trace.  Frankly, I was never impressed by their capability in daylight or indoor lighting conditions.  In bright daylight, I found them to be completely unusable.  Green lasers, however, are different.

I’ve had the chance to play with various green lasers, and have found them to be much more visible in all lighting conditions.  I can easily see and use a green laser in full daylight.  The difference between green and red is profound.

Don’t be surprised to see Crimson Trace introduce a green laser product at the 2010 SHOT Show.  Blue and purple lasers are probably not terribly likely to be seen.  A green laser, though, is a possibility.


There were no green lasers from Crimson Trace – just more red lasers.  It took Crimson Trace a couple of more years to bring out a viable green laser product for the consumers.  They were not the first to market with a green colored laser, but they did bring out a high-quality line of green lasers.

The 2010 SHOT Show was a good one for Crimson Trace, and for everyone in the shooting industry.  The show was held in Las Vegas, and it looks like it will stay in Vegas for a while.