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Here we learn that the iconic handgun the T-800 uses first is a AMT Hardballer .45 Longslide with Primitive Laser Sight.

Given its superior hand-eye coordination, what could the T-800 possibly need laser sight for? (Other than the obvious rule of cool?)

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  • 1
    it looks cool!!!
    – sanpaco
    Dec 1, 2015 at 23:39
  • 3
    Because it's the 80s and lasers were exciting back then. In fact, who am I kidding? It's 2015 and lasers are still exciting :-)
    – Valorum
    Dec 1, 2015 at 23:43
  • 1
    Don't get me started about sharks with frickin lasers on their heads!
    – Ghanima
    Dec 1, 2015 at 23:49
  • In the car chase I'm pretty sure there are plenty of examples of the Terminator firing at Sarah and Kyle and missing them (even if it hits some other part of the car), which suggests its aim is probably imperfect, at least in the context of driving fast.
    – Hypnosifl
    Dec 2, 2015 at 0:03
  • Here's a similar doozie from the second film: why would a T-800 need a torque wrench?
    – user1103
    Dec 4, 2015 at 10:49

1 Answer 1

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The Randall Frakes novelisation would strongly suggest the the T-800 was using the laser sight as ... drumroll, please ... a sight.

It also seems to have had a blinding effect and a psychological impact on Sarah but it's not clear whether this was the Terminator's main intention or simply a lucky side-effect:

In an instant, Terminator pulled out the .45 and activated the laser sight. It streaked across the room and locked on her forehead as Terminator aimed. She was blinded for a second by the red glare; then her vision was shattered as a bullet exploded from the gun and struck her two centimeters above the right eyebrow.

and

Terminator stood there, motionless, for a split second, staring intently down at her, his hand still reaching into the jacket. He checked her face against his memory and got a positive identification. He calculated possible alternatives.

Then, in an instant, the .45 was out, cocked, and flashing in an arc that ended with the red dot of the laser sight centered perfectly on her forehead.

and

Sarah was cornered. The hulking figure of Terminator burst through the door with a lurid, eager grin, almost lascivious in its desire, and aimed the gun at her chest. Sarah saw the miniature red sun of the aiming laser roll across her body and freeze position over her right breast

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    Ok, ok. But compared to a human being one would expect that the T-800 knows exactly how the gun is in his hand, how the arm is tilted, where the eyes are looking at, all referenced to each other, thus, knowing where the gun is pointing.
    – Ghanima
    Dec 1, 2015 at 22:58
  • 2
    @Ghanima - You can't beat a sight though. If the Terminator's aim is 100x better than a human's, the sight might make it 105x better.
    – Valorum
    Dec 1, 2015 at 23:07
  • Ok, that carries some weight. Maxing out his chances of success seems appropriate for the terminator.
    – Ghanima
    Dec 1, 2015 at 23:17
  • @Ghanima The laser sight was aligned to the handgun's barrel when it was installed, presumably. In contrast, the T-800 is performing an alignment procedure between its eyes and the barrel every time it raises its arm and turns its head. Given the choice of performing a procedure once (installing the sight) versus performing it repeatedly, in combat situations, possibly while suffering damage... the former is a lot more efficient.
    – recognizer
    Dec 2, 2015 at 20:17

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