There aren’t a lot of ways to practice shooting without ammo. Of course, dry firing is incredibly useful. You can develop a good grip, and work out some of your bad habits. You are also perfecting your trigger pull. Everyone should do a bit of dry firing, before and after a live fire session.
The problem with dry firing is simple. For one, it’s boring. That’s actually the main problem.
Way back when I was a recruit in boot camp on Parris Island I went through hours and hours of dry firing practice. This was all before we were even allowed to see live ammunition. We laid under the South Carolina sun for days with a chorus of clicks caused by hammers hitting firing pins and firing pins striking nothing.
We are lucky to live in an age where firearms and technology are constantly colliding with each other. This has led to the development of so-called smart guns, new ammunition, and serious innovations like the tracking point line of rifles. We can’t forget that training has evolved as well. These days we can turn dry firing into something not only beneficial, but entertaining.
LaserLyte is a company that builds, you guessed it, lasers. Their main bread and butter is building a wide variety of laser sighting systems for weapons that traditionally don’t accept a laser, like pocket .380s and J-Frame revolvers. They’ve recently begun going in a different direction and making training aids.
LaserLyte developed a laser-based shooting training devices. These devices are designed to give shooters a method of dry firing that actually gives a reaction instead of just a click. This makes dry firing more entertaining and gives the shooter an added incentive to continue their dry fire training.
The system is two parts: The gun and the target. The gun comes in a variety of sizes and is fairly nondescript. The weapon is bright blue to insure no one could mistake it for a real gun. The model comes in two sizes, full sized and compact. The full size replicates a polymer frame double stack automatic, and the compact is similar in size to a Glock 26.
The target system comes in a variety of different models for different forms of entertainment and training. The targets are capable of picking up hits from up to 150 feet away. The most basic target is a simple bullseye system that is small enough to be set up anywhere. Put it on top of the TV for some commercial break training.
The target picks up shots and shows where you hit. Now, this wouldn’t be the best training device if it only briefly flashed your hit and that was it. Underneath the main target are two bright red circles. Shooting the first of these circles will allow you to show your previous hits, and this of course also allows you to measure your groups and track your improvement. To start everything over you simply need to shoot the other red circle and the target board resets completely.
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If you are just looking to have a little fun and maybe ammo is a little expensive, or your range is rained out, now you have a second set of targets. The company makes plinker cans that actually react physically to being hit by the laser.
These cans operate with a plunger and allow the cans to jump backwards when hit with the laser. This set would be awesome for teaching the fundamentals of gun safety and entertaining the younger generation of shooters. The idea is awesome and a ton of fun. The fact that the laser and target combo work so well and the target picks up on the laser so accurately is what keeps it fun.
The third set of targets is two separate, slightly smaller targets. These targets are designed to expand a shooter’s dry fire technique outside of simply trying to perfect the fundamentals. The idea behind these targets is for someone to be able to practice their reaction drills on different planes. What I mean by this is the shooter can place the targets high and low, left and right and practice reacting to different target heights and distances as rapidly as possible.
My idea was to have someone else set the targets up in a room and have the shooter come in to clear the room. Then swap positions and take turns “clearing” the room. This builds the skills necessary to quickly acquire a target and deliver a good, accurate shot.
Now some may be thinking “Hey, I don’t want to use some plastic pistol. I want to use my 1911.” Well, LaserLyte released several bullet-shaped lasers that are meant to be loaded in any firearm chambered in the most common calibers like .380, 9mm, 40 S&W and 45 ACP. This allows you to practice with your own weapon and since all guns are different this allows you to really perfect your weapon’s trigger pull. The highlights of using your own weapon are many, including practicing the controls, getting familiar with the ergonomics and of course your personal sights.
It’s incredibly important to remember that when using an actual firearm you need to store the ammo in a completely separate room, and if you have someone else in your home allow them to clear the weapon as well as you. Two heads are better than one.
There is some bad news for fans of the .357: LaserLyte doesn’t yet produce revolver trainers or cartridges.
What about long guns? LaserLyte does make a variety of adapters for their universal rifle laser. Of course you get .223 / 5.56. The same goes for their shotgun universal laser and adapters. This allows you to train with most weapons in your arsenal.
The LaserLyte systems are excellent training devices and allow a shooter to hone their shooting skills without sending a single round downrange. This will save shooters money and time and allow them to get a higher level of training, with an added fun factor. Safe shooting everyone.
Would you use a laser-training system, or have you used one? Tell us your thoughts about them in the comments section below.