There’s only one way to become a better shooter: you need to pull the trigger. A lot. And while some of that needs to be live fire, more and more people are recommending that the majority of your trigger pulling should be done in the comfort of your own home with an unloaded firearm. Dry fire practice is the quickest way to acclimate yourself to a new firearm or improve your skills, and it’s dirt cheap as well. But while it’s nice to point your gun in the general direction of a notional target and squeeze that trigger, it would be even better if there was some way to know when you actually hit the target. Enter the AIMTech Systems Laser Training System . . .
As I was gearing up for my season shooting with the FNH USA pro team, I needed to get acclimated to the FNS-9 handgun in a hurry. It was very different from my usual P226, and mastering it to the point where I would be comfortable using it in a competition wasn’t going to happen overnight. Thankfully Luke from AIMTech shot me an email offering to send me one of their laser systems to review, and it was perfect.
The primary component of the system is an orange barrel insert that slots into the muzzle of the gun and produces a short burst of laser light when given a sufficient enough jostling — such as the hammer striking the firing pin of the gun. It gives you instant feedback on exactly where the muzzle was pointed when the gun fired, meaning that you not only get better at trigger control but you can also work on target transitions and such with confidence. You can also zero the laser, making it line up exactly with your sights so that you know the laser is actually showing you the “true” impact location for that notional round you just touched off.
Installing the laser device was a snap, and once fitted I just left it lying on the coffee table in my living room. Whenever I was watching TV I’d slot it into the barrel and practice my aim as I was watching the latest episode of Breaking Bad, but that wasn’t all there was to the system.
Also included is a target that beeps when struck by the laser beam, letting you know that you did indeed hit your target and giving you a nice white background to easily see where the shot went. At first I just left the target over the TV, but I found that moving it from place to place around my apartment let me practice some of the more dynamic aspects of 3-gun (such as moving and shooting or shooting around corners) without needing to expend a single precious round of 9mm ammunition.
In my experience, the system works great. The ability to zero the laser is a great advantage in a system like this one, and the positive feedback you get from the laser target will keep you entertained for hours on end while perfecting your aim. And even after months of using the system, I have still yet to need to replace the battery in either device.
But there is one drawback: the price. All told, the package you see above runs right around $200 from their website. So when you’re considering buying something like this, consider whether the money you put into it might be better spent elsewhere. If you’re a pro shooter and need to get your practice in while the range is snowed in, then this is downright mandatory equipment. But if you’re a recreational shooter, consider whether you wouldn’t rather spend that $200 on ammo instead of a whiz-bang system when all you really need is a doorknob to use as a target.
AIMTech Laser Training System
Bore Laser: $119.95
Laser Target: $99.95
Overall Rating: * * * *
In terms of what’s on the market, this is pretty much the best deal for the money. The next best thing would be the SIRT pistol system, but that doesn’t let you use your existing gun. For a pro I can see this being a good investment, but for the average shooter you might want to invest in lead instead.