LaserMax Guiderod Lasers for Novice Shooters

The complete LaserMax kit. MSRP is $349 and street price slightly lower.

The LaserMax doesn’t alter the outside of your gun at all, except for the little on-off lever that replace in your takedown lever.

When I installed the LaserMax it met up with my sights very well.

The LaserMax replaces the guide rod in your pistol.

Installing the new guide rod.

Removing the Glock takedown lever.

Installing the new spring on the on/off switch takedown level assembly is the trickiest part for those with large hands, but I managed and it installed easily overall.

The LaserMax is installed and you would never know it by looking at the gun

LaserMax Guide Rod Lasers
by Thoughtful Reader
Let’s just get something out of the way. I’m not a “gun guy”. I don’t frequent forums and discuss the finer points of this firearm or that, nor am I concerned with the incessant caliber debates. To me, the gun I carry is just a tool, like my hammer, but one which I hope to never have to use. I carry this tool (a Glock 26) concealed at all times just in case the need should arise to defend myself or those I love.All that being said, anything that could make my gun more useful as it leaves my pocket in a highly stressful situation is worth its weight in gold (well, almost….gold is rather expensive at the moment). I’ve always wanted to try a laser on my handgun, but I have never wanted to deal with a bulky cylinder hanging off the rail (and trying to find a decent holster for it as well!), nor am I interested in things that alter the grip of the gun (fits my hand fine, thank you very much). These sorts of lasers just get in the way in my opinion.Along comes the LaserMax Guide Rod Laser, which, neat as can be, replaces the existing guide rod assembly and doesn’t alter the design of the gun. It even has an ingenious way of turning the laser on and off, by replacing the slide lock. As soon as I heard about this, my first thought was, “Wow, I’ve gotta try that!”. To make a long story short, I’m suitably impressed. Read on for my installation and testing experiences.


Like I said, I’m not a gun guy, but I am fairly mechanically inclined. The instructions that came in the box with the LaserMax Guide Rod Laser were clear, concise, and thorough. They even thoughtfully included a field stripping guide in an appendix. The entire process took me about 15 minutes from start to finish.

It begins with clearing the pistol, drop the magazine, clear the chamber by racking the slide (then rack it again and visually inspect the chamber!). Next, with the gun pointed in a safe direction, pull the trigger to release the action. At this point, I was able to pull the slide back about an 1/8th of an inch and depress the slide lock to the bottom. This allowed me to separate the slide from the receiver.

Setting the slide aside for now, the installation manual instructions directed me to “Remove the Factory Slide Lock”. LaserMax thoughtfully includes a small plastic tool which made it quite simple to push the slide lock spring down and then slide the actual lock out through the side of the receiver. Turning the receiver over and giving it a little tap knocked out the slide lock spring from the receiver. The manual suggests using the installation tool or a tweezers to pry or pull the spring out if it doesn’t come out easily. I was wondering why this spring needed to be replaced, until I took a look at the replacement spring, which has two raised bumps on it to create the détentes for the switch.

Installing the replacement slide lock spring was a little tricky since my fingers are pretty big and didn’t fit in the slide mechanism easily. After a little fiddling, I was able to get the new spring seated in its proper location. After that, it was a simple matter to push the spring down with the installation tool and slide the replacement slide lock/laser switch in through the side of the receiver. The manual stresses that it is very important that the slide lock be installed correctly with the yellow dots facing back towards the shooter. Improper installation will not lock the slide on the frame. I tested the switch by clicking it back and forth a few times through its three positions. Incidentally, this means that it’s great for lefties as well, since it works in either direction.

The manual instructs one to install a battery in the laser before installing it in the slide, but mine came with a battery pre-installed. Taking the original guide rod and spring assembly out of the slide was easy. Putting the new laser/guide rod assembly into the slide was equally easy and the manual points out that the word ‘barrel’ on the battery cap at the back of the assembly must be facing the scalloped depression in the pistol’s barrel lug. There is a warning in the manual which alerted me to the fact that the laser may turn on when installed properly in the slide. Sure enough, as soon as I pressed the assembly into place, there appeared a bright red flashing dot on the other side of the room. Wow, brighter than I expected. I don’t know if this kind of laser is eye damaging, but good thing I read the whole warning and kept it pointed in a safe direction!

I remounted the slide back on the receiver and clicked it into place. After cycling the action a few times to make sure everything was still operating correctly, I tried the new switch on the side of my receiver and was gratified to see a red dot lighting up a carefully selected spot on the wall.


A quick check of the alignment at about 5 yards showed it to be pretty much right on the money. The manual claims that it’s aligned within 3” of point of aim at 20 yards. I don’t know about you, but 20 yards with a 3.46” barrel is asking a lot. I can keep it on the paper at 20 yards, but just barely!

Using the laser is fairly simple. My index finger falls quite naturally along the frame of the gun as I draw it from its holster, and this happens to coincide with the actuation switch for the laser. The switch itself, which replaces the takedown lever, sticks out a couple of millimeters more than the original and has a slightly rougher texture. It requires a light yet firm pressure with the pad of the finger to click over the détente and activate the laser. Turning it off requires the activation switch to be pushed back from the other side of the slide using the off hand. The switch design is completely ambidextrous and is probably just as easy for a lefty as it is for me.


Is the LaserMax Guide Rod laser worth it? In a word, yes. The ability to line up on a target without struggling to line up the sights on a quick draw or in low light conditions is priceless. The benefits of not changing the shape or size of the gun itself are a definite plus, as my gun fits me great just the way it is.

There are guide rod lasers available for many different semi-auto pistols including Beretta, Springfield XD, Taurus, Sig-Sauer, Smith and Wesson, and most 1911 models. You can check on their website to find the proper one for your gun.

Lasermax Guide Rod Lasers

{ 31 comments… add one }
  • Joe January 10, 2016, 3:13 pm

    Did anyone answer if there is a guide rod laser for the PX4 full size?

    • Guest November 1, 2016, 1:29 pm

      Not that I could find, I too am looking for this :C

  • Ken February 1, 2015, 8:38 pm

    Guys I need help and I’m X 1969 vet, retired Law-enforcement Darn…
    Looking for a laser grip or Guide Rod anywhere for a S&W 45 Cal. 4586. Will the 4566 one fit a 4586, are they the same for the 4586???

  • Rainman March 15, 2014, 10:17 am

    I’ll admit to having tried two external lasers at home, but never putting them into service. They are hard to zero and cleaning fluids can get inside, having said that, this appeals to me. I have one reservation. If we have spent a lot of time learning to focus on just our FRONT SIGHT, do we now need to learn to focus on the target, after all, that’s where we must locate the red dot? I could see this as a problem for those owning more than one gun. What say you?

  • David Pearl October 18, 2013, 11:24 pm

    I installed one of the new green guide rod laser sights in my Glock 22 today. It was my duty weapon when I was working as a police officer. The guide rod looks well built and the upgraded spring makes it more dependable closing the slide since my original was old and worn. The laser is very visible in sunlight at 25 yards and at night it will show further than I would care to shoot a pistol. I have run 100 rounds of ammo through the weapon and it performs perfect. The sight is within 3″ at 25 yards and when shooting quick when drawing from a holster getting you in the kill zone quick. Bought mine on Amazon for $400 plus change. I would recommend this product since it does not change the weapon externally and still works well with my existing holsters and M3 light attached.

  • Rusty December 29, 2011, 7:47 pm

    I thought the idea of a guide rod mounted laser was extra cool when I saw it! After purchasing the Laser Max product for my Sig 229 I had trouble hitting anywhere near the dot which changed zero with every shot. I gave it to my favorite gunsmith who had the same problem. After contacting Laser Max regarding the shifting zero on my laser he was informed that this was an approximating device and NOT a sight! The lens on the laser rotates during firing and is just meant to be “close” NOT exact! I sold the item and don’t ever plan on purchasing ANYTHING to “APPROXIMATE” my point of AIM, I am used to hitting what I aim at, rather than coming “close!” I do enjoy Crimson Trace products that are adjustable and DO get you to your point of AIM, but will NEVER spend money for something that gets me “CLOSE” to my target, thanks anyways, Laser not so Max.

  • Eric S. December 1, 2011, 12:47 pm

    I paid around $300 for mine.

  • vet4freedom November 24, 2011, 8:02 pm

    I own a Taurus Millennium PT 111 PRO 12+1 . I know its a cheap gun . In 2009 I only paid $359.00 new in the box with two clips . At the time I bought it , it was all I could afford . I shoot the gun every week end and the gun hasnt missed a beat . My problem is I can find any accessories for this gun . I cant find titaium night sights of hand grip extension. Or even extra magazins . Is there something wrong with this gun . Or is it because its just its thats cheap gun . PLEASE HELP ME . thanks. Rick Rosado . SC email ….

  • jessejames4 November 23, 2011, 2:30 pm

    Generally, when a product is reviewed, the writer will at least give a general range on the price, something like, “Sales for around $xxx.xx” or “Retails at $xxx.xx,” so I tend to believe that this IS an advertising piece from the manufacturer. I went out the website and there are no prices there, either, only a list of dealers. Basically, it’s a PIA to get a price on this thing.

    • Administrator November 23, 2011, 2:47 pm

      Midway has them for $319 and down.

  • chris November 18, 2011, 12:28 pm

    Lasermax guide rod lasers are designed to pulse at 10 pulses per second to attact your eyes to it during extreme stress. I have fired over 5k rounds through mine over 5 years and have not had any problems and still have the origional wolff recoil spring form LaserMax on it. If your lasermax is off more than 2 inches at 20 yds for full sized units Glock 17 or larger or 3 inches off at 15 yards for mid sized or compact Glocks you need to contact our warrenty dept at 1-8oo laser-03 as it is out of spec. The laser is designed to go off betweeen shots when the slide starts movement to the rear and come back on when the slide is completely seated again so you do not give your position away in a darkened enviroment between shots or when reloading.

  • W W Knox II November 17, 2011, 11:27 pm

    I had “Laser Max” install this on my Glock 36,, 45 ACP,, several years ago,, and it is MAGNIFICENT ,,!!
    it is on my bed stand with 2 extra mags,, “Black Talon”,,
    imagine the supprise on the face of “home invaders”!!,,
    as he/they wipe the “red dot” from the chest of his/their shirts,,
    an instant,, “sucking chest wound” will result!!

  • Eric S. November 16, 2011, 2:41 pm

    I also am not a “gun guy”, but I do love to target shoot at home for fun. I have a private place in the woods and shoot into a dirt bank. I purhased a used Glock 26 and ordered a LazerMax to fit it. To make a long story short, I had it install it myself a month later. I did find it easy to install and it does’t turn off at all, even after I have shot the whole clip, until I manually flip the switch. I use the gun for “personal protection”, and never hope I have to use it, but I feel if I ever have to pull the gun out and the other person sees a lazer point on them, it may just give me a small advantage. The lazer point is true to a couple of inches at 15-20 yards, but that could just me my inexperience as I have only been shooting for about a year, and I am 50, so it also helps my aquire the target quicker. I give it a 10 out of 10.

  • Frank Butler November 16, 2011, 2:08 pm

    I have one in my Glock 22 and love it. I have over 500 rounds through it with no problems that have not been resolved. As for the laser shutting off I had the same problem and they shipped me a new takedown lever and 2 other small parts. Once swapped in by a gunsmith it has been fine since.

  • Grayrock November 14, 2011, 7:33 pm

    I have one on a Glock 22 that I acquired a couple of years ago. I know the gun had been sitting around unused for at least 5 years before I got it. The LaserMax was working great after all that time. I just recently replaced the batteries just to ensure I had power if and when I needed it, but I was very impressed at how long those original batteries worked.

  • Witten November 14, 2011, 4:18 pm

    I own one of these for my Beretta Px4 and it is truly an amazing product. I also like the Crimson Trace products, but the Lasermax gets the nod because it doesn’t alter the gun’s profile one bit.


    • David November 30, 2012, 3:06 am

      Where did you get one that fits the Px4? Do you have the full size model? I looked on the LaserMax site and they do not show a Guide Rod Laser for the PX4. They only show it for the Berretta 92. I really would like to get this for the full size PX4 but I do not see where to purchase it.

    • Zach December 17, 2014, 2:01 pm

      Where did you pick one up for the PX-4, cant find one on laser max website.

    • Johnathan May 13, 2015, 1:52 pm

      I still haven’t found one for my full size PX-4 .45

  • Gary Martin November 14, 2011, 2:49 pm

    If this initial article is actually meant to be an advertisement, then this response may not get published. I would certainly echo one thought I see and hear in the article and the current responses, and that is the positive nod for the use of Laser guided target acquisition and take down success. I’ve handled and trained with variouse weapons for 50+ years (I’m 61 now), and I’m a believer in using anything that effectively helps me hit my target. I am well aware of the many great trainers who do not want their students using lasers during training, particularly with beginners, and I understand the reasons for this and actually support that thought initially for learning the proper gun handling techniques for safety (most important), and general shooting technique. However, I use a Crimson Trace Laser on my S & W .40 MP. A simple replacement of the backstrap with no discernable difference in feel or size and boom boom, I’m hitting heads on mansize targets at 20-25 yards, not to mention the 5-7 yd average where most altercations occur. It’s virtually “point and click”. With aging eyes, it’s the equalizer! So if the point of this article is to tout the usefulness of laser sights, then go for it folks, but get your beginner’s training out of the way first with a qualified NRA instructor or comparable training. Then you’re ready for the laser.

  • Till Hezel November 14, 2011, 2:38 pm

    I like this product! I have had one on my Sig 226 since they came out, or at least when I heard of them, in the mid 1990’s. I have read peoples comments about how it doesn’t work, and how others are better. I disagree. Mine has been working for at least 15 years. No granted, I don’t use it every day, but it still works as good as on the first day. All I did was exchange the batteries. My laser was always spot on, maybe because a gunsmith installed it, I don’t know, there is not much to the installation, except for exchanging the takedown lever. I also own a grip laser and an attachable laser. No problems with those either, but I can choose to turn the LaserMax on or off. With the other ones it is also possible, but more cumbersome, since they are intended to be on all the time when you touch the grip. In a home situation where you have to clear rooms, that may not be wanted. Anyway, Kudos to LaserMax! I love your product, I wish it was a little cheaper, but with the track record you have with me, how can you argue ove a few bucks. It works, peroiod!

  • Slik November 14, 2011, 2:05 pm

    I’ve heard that the abuse the guide-rod suffers is too much for guide rod lasers .. Any success stories for anyone shooting 1k+ rds with one?

  • dabrewer November 14, 2011, 1:02 pm

    Should of included a picture of what the new switch/take down lever looks like.

    • Administrator November 14, 2011, 3:00 pm

      in the final picture, you can see how it sticks out a little from the side of the frame.

  • Steve Haskill November 14, 2011, 12:48 pm

    Will these laser sites fit all semi-autos? I have a S&W Sigma 9mm & my main carry is a Sig P238. Thanks!

  • No Caliban November 14, 2011, 10:16 am

    Have had one on my home defense Glock 26 for several years. Shoots a touch high at 7 yards but close enough. Only issue (operator error? Install error? Early edition?) is laser cycles off after trigger pulled. So don’t get laser reacquisition for second shot or when snap cap practice dry firing. It is a bit of a ‘stroby’ laser, pulsing rather than fixed. Have never had a failure to cycle or fire due to new rod. For me, a worthwhile addition to a great handgun.

    • MDE440 November 15, 2011, 9:32 pm

      Can anybody who has used the LaserMax for any length of time verify that this “cycling off” after the first shot is normal?

      • Administrator November 16, 2011, 11:11 am

        In our tests here at GunsAmerica, we put 100+ rounds through the gun at the range and played with the LaserMax laser quite a bit between the photography and whatnot. On ours, it requires the same firm pressure to turn off as turn on. It’s possible that No Caliban may have installed it improperly or his unit may be defective. I would suggest contacting LaserMax about it asap!

  • Larry Alexander November 14, 2011, 9:59 am

    I have one on an xd 9,,now can’t break down for cleaning.gunsmith here I come.

  • Rhet Redpath November 14, 2011, 7:37 am

    I fitted one of these to my Glock 27 carry gun some time ago…and I have nothing but praise for it. target acquisition is extremely rapid without the need to line up sights which, when your eyesight isn’t all it used to be, is a valuable attribute. At the range the value of the Lazermax is very obvious….not only can I get my first shots off quicker…but they are all in the “zone”.
    My final thought on it…….it was worth every penny.

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