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Back in the good ol’ days, my father shot his television. He was stationed at an Air Force base in New England at the time. This was the 70’s, and like many shooters he was using dry fire practice to improve his trigger control while watching David Carradine in ‘Kung Fu.’ He left to run an errand and came back, not knowing that my mother had loaded the gun in his absence. Yes, he violated safety rule number one. As dad settled into his chair to watch a little western karate drama, mom went to the kitchen where she had only a moment to feel horror as she heard my father shout, “I’ll get the bad guy for you!” . . .

Thankfully, the only casualty was a 19-inch Sylvania.

Now, we all know that complacency brings about calamity. Dad freely admitted that his discharge was no accident, it was negligent. However, thirty-nine years later, I’m guilty of dry firing my gun while picking targets on the TV screen, too.

I have always been extremely careful about checking the chamber when I do it and making sure my ammo is securely locked away in the safe. But I always remember the story I heard from my parents so many times. And it worries me. Well, I should say it worried me. Past tense. Because unlike my father, I have this.

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This is the Laser-Ammo SureStrike Ultimate LE Edition. It is not very useful by itself unless I want to annoy the cat. So what do we have handy that we can install it into? A SIG P228 will work.

For this testing session, I got together with a couple friends, older gentlemen, but with far more experience than I have. Retired Marines, Former LEOs, certified pistol instructors, longtime shooters…and that was just two guys. One of whom just happened to be back from an undisclosed location training people in the sandbox. Everything in this review includes their opinions and thoughts on the products as well.

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The SureStrike is dry-fire improved. It locks out the chamber of the gun while simultaneously providing an alternative effect when you pull the trigger. It shoots a little red laser dot. This dot can be used to safely show you where each bullet would have hit if your gun had gone bang.

You can use it to target bad guys while watching your favorite TV shows, practice target transitions between living room lamps, or even have your kid/spouse/dog call out objects in the room. The laser module is shaped to mimic a 9×19 round, which it does remarkably well.

A safety tube is then screwed into the front of the laser module that extends beyond the crown of the barrel. This is threaded for a red plastic safety nut that will flag the gun as “safe.” The nut can be inverted to adjust for barrel length between compact, carry and full-size pistol barrels. And it is also tapered so that the end of the nut enters the barrel crown, and centers the tube. The tube isn’t needed, and in fact isn’t used on the shotgun and rifle adapters at all.

Use with the pistol adapter may be optional, but is highly recommended, as it serves as a “safe gun” flag. Once everything is in place, you can also press down the “primer” switch for seven seconds, and the laser module will serve as a fine bore sight. Just pull the trigger to turn it on and off. Press the button for another seven seconds, and it switches back into laser flash mode.

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With the laser module firmly in place, the safety tube connected and screwed down with the safety nut, you’re ready to test it out. The safety tube is metallic, but there are little 0-rings in there to protect the rifling. Now, with the slide locked back on the SIG, we can just poke out, finger, or use a roll pin punch, or an Allen key. Hold down the button and switch it to bore sight mode, and it should line up pretty well with your sights. I tested this in the P228 pictured, as well as a GLOCK 23 and my RIA 1911. The SIG came up a little bit low, but the other guns lined up almost dead-on.

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But what if you’re using a striker fired gun? Naturally, Laser Ammo thought of that. Racking a GLOCK (for instance) over and over will fling most dummy rounds across the room. But the SureStrike laser module is rimless. It headspaces on a lip where the mouth of the case would be. The extractor can’t touch it, and the entire laser module is held in the chamber by the safety tube locked in the barrel.

That means you can rack the slide on your M&P, VP9, SR9, whatever you carry, all day long and the laser module won’t move. If you happen to own a GLOCK, you can also purchase a “reset trigger” that effectively converts the pistol into a DAO weapon, one that only shoots little red dots.

Also included in the LE Ultimate Kit are little adapters for weapons chambered in .40S&W and .45ACP. These little sleeves are screwed in with the 9mm adapter and change the headspace lip diameter and position to suit the case mouth, while holding the module snug in the chamber. These sleeves may look tiny and weak, but they are very solidly made of stainless steel. I had an inadvertent test of “boot to floor”, and the little .40S&W sleeve didn’t even flinch. Which means that not only is it sturdy, it is much kinder than my bathroom scale.

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Also in the package is SureStrike’s laser-sensitive target. It includes six little plates that slide into the top of the case to reduce the target size, a nifty little folding compact tripod, and it even comes with batteries. The controls are simple; a power button, a reset button and a mode switch button. There are four modes of use.

  1. Shot Counter – It keeps a running tally of your hits, but not your misses.
  2. Shot timer – A random amount of time passes before the LaserPET beeps, cueing you to draw and fire. Once you hit, the screen shows your time, then resets for another random interval.
  3. Burst Shooting – In this mode, the target gives you four seconds to prepare before the beep. Following the beep, you have five seconds to score as many hits as you can.
  4. Double Tap Mode – The target will count down four seconds, as in burst mode. When the first shot hits, the shot timer starts and is stopped by your second hit.

As you can imagine, running through these other modes with a 1911 will rub your thumb raw. Both of them, really. The first night I was testing this thing out I wore the prints off both digits. The G23 was a little more forgiving, but only for a while, as racking the slide every shot gets old. It made me wish I had that reset trigger. But when I installed it in the SIG P228, that double action trigger made it a whole new game. Calling shots on paintings in the living room, or plants in the garden while sitting on the deck at night. Rapid fire with the burst setting on the LaserPET, and double taps from the hip.

Ok, yes, we did some stupid things while testing it, too. But since I took notes, it counts as “science” and not “being a dumbass.” My two testing buddies acclimated to the slight change in point of impact with the SIG by simply ignoring the sights. Point shooting is a valuable skill, and these gentlemen were ringing the beeper on that target without even raising the P228 from their laps.

I was in my modified ISO, shifted two inches left, guesstimating POI to get on target. And I was all over the place. I too did much better when I ignored the sights on the SIG. I think this may be due to the really long, heavy pull on the SIG’s DA trigger. At least, that’s where I will be placing the blame.

By the end of the night, we had agreed that this kind of equipment would be very beneficial for training. Not only for dry fire training, but also for acclimating newbies to the safety lessons and functions of handling a gun.

An instructor friend of mine was teaching a CCW class not long ago, and very nearly caught a 9mm in the head by way of a new guy who kept his finger on the trigger while he tripped. With a product like this locking out the gun, it couldn’t have happened.

The Ultimate LE kit runs about $200.00. Additional pistol caliber ring adapters are about $13. (Available in 45ACP, .40S&W, 45GAP, 10mm, and 357SIG). Shotgun adapters are available in 12 and 20 gauge for $40. Rifle adapters are available in .223/5.56, 30-06 Springfield, and 7.62×51/308, also for $40.

They offer a selection of revolver adapters, which I believe also will work in the Desert Eagle and Coonan, but they are rimmed and will engage the extractor. These use a different setup, and can be quite costly to use properly in a revolver. The only reason, is because you need six laser units. (Or five, or seven, or eight.) But they are available in 38/357, 44 Magnum, and 45 Colt. They do offer a pretty good selection of kit options at various prices, along with various other adapter sets, and individual laser modules. The LaserPET target runs about $120, and in my opinion, is a worthwhile addition.

Battery life? No clue. Over the last month, we have made that little light flash thousands of times and it hasn’t dimmed a bit. When it does, the battery packs are 10$ for a set of three.

Ratings (Out of five stars):

Build quality: * * * * *
The stainless casing, o-rings to protect the rifling, and thoughtful design make this a stand-out product. There are two plastic parts, the end of the safety tube and the safety nut, but that’s so you won’t damage your chamber headspace or barrel crown by over-tightening the safety parts. Also, if you break these plastic bits, they can be replaced and the unit functions perfectly without them. I would like to see a more robust case on the LaserPET target, but it’s designed for indoor use in stationary positions. For the intended purpose, the casing is more than adequate.

Functionality: * * * *
It’s not flawless. Setting the laser module on bore site mode can be a little tricky and the button is a bit stiff. It’s not a complicated process, and is easily accomplished with a 1/8th Allen key while the module is installed in the gun. This added function really shines, though, because you can use it in any gun with the proper adapter, and bore sight with it in full battery.

Value: * * * *
It’s not cheap, but it’s worthwhile. I have often told people that the best tactical accessory for any gun is 10,000 rounds of ammo. Practice beats a new sling, or pop up sights, or tuning your trigger. This set up, as tested, can be had for the price of 2000 rounds of 9mm. With the added ability to use it in your home, your office (careful there), your garage, basement…basically anywhere except outside in direct sunlight on bright days, this unit can easily replace thousands upon thousands of rounds of live ammo. While it is no substitute for live fire practice, it is an excellent alternative with great quality at a decent price.

Overall: * * * *
I have played around with a couple of similar products in the past. Fully converted guns, dummy guns and that bulky setup the Army used to use. This is the best, most refined product of this nature I have seen or used. The lack of boom and recoil is only an issue for practicing follow-up shots or rapid fire. But to train for that first shot, knowing your trigger, your hold, and the rest of your fundamentals is high priority. I would absolutely recommend it for anybody who is serious about dry fire training, teaching newbie classes, or introducing others to firearms.

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47 Responses to Gear Review: Laser Ammo SureStrike Ultimate LE Kit and LaserPET Target

  1. While I am a big fan of laser training, my reaction to this setup is “meh.”

    If you just want a laser for dryfire practice, you can get them a lot cheaper:

    http://www.aimtechsystems.com/dev/product-category/lasers/

    (AIMTech is the actual manufacturer of many of the laser marker you see on the market under various names.)

    They also have some clever (albeit spendy) reset trigger laser systems that will allow you to dry fire your 1911, Glock 17, or M&P without having to rack each shot. All you do is swap out the barrel and magazine (the magazine handles the trigger reset, and is adjustable for trigger weight, etc.):

    http://www.aimtechsystems.com/dev/product-category/training-magazines/

    If you want something to shoot at, for a bit more you can turn your bigscreen TV into a virtual steel target range:

    http://www.aimtechsystems.com/dev/shop/dartt/dartt-win-bore-laser-combo/

    [No connection with AIMTech, other than doing business with them over the past few years.]

    LKB

    • Do they have a website that doesn’t trigger my browser’s malware flags? And will load properly? All I’m seeing is broken images and prices that actually seem higher for what you get than the Laser-Ammo setup.

      I’m not being snarky, broken websites and malware flags kinda make me not trust a company. But if they are legit, I’d like to contact them to see about a test sample.

      • Hmmm. Links load fine on my machine and I’ve got pretty hefty malware protection.

        I’ve been in their shop in Houston many times over the past three years (a training company I’m connected with has a LaserShot LE simulator, we’ve sourced a number of IR markers for it thru AIMTech), and they are indeed legit. They aren’t really focused on the end-user market (most of what they do is for other manufacturers/vendors), but they definitely know their stuff. Call the number listed on their website and ask for Fred.

        • Laser Ammo offers the Smokeless range simulator for $400! you can use it on the TV as well. it is like using a Wii but ah your own firearm and have a serious training. now you can actually shoot on your TV without braking it!

    • Aimtech is a legit company. That being said, there are many differences between Laser Ammo and Aimtech products:
      1. The SureStrike is chambered as opposed to sitting in the barrel like the Aimtech laser does. Our opinion (and the NRA’s) is that it is unsafe to place anything (including lasers) down the barrel of a firearm due to safety hazards. In our eyes safety is paramount.
      2. The Uhr Secure Safety Sytem- ensures that there is no possibility that a live round can be loaded into the firearm. There is also the added bonus of increasing the accuracy and alignment of the laser (who doesn’t want that?).
      3. Laser Ammo Adapter System- allows you to use many calibers using ONE laser. This gives the user a cost effective method to train with more than one caliber. Example: The Aimtech shotgun laser sells for $190-200 on their website. Our solution, offered with our hunting packs give you the shotgun (12G/20G) and a 9mm laser for $140.00.
      4. The SureStrike is made from high quality stainless steel (CNC manufactured) and with a glass lens. The cap (that acts as a snap cap to protect the firing pin) is guaranteed for 5,000 rounds (not 2,000) or a year whichever is first.
      5. Our SureStrike is programmable to work with whatever the customer has (including Laser Shot). Laser Shot happens to be a reseller of our products.
      6. Our SureStrike products also can be used with Airsofts, blanks, and UTMs, for customers wanting to bring more realism to training.
      There are plenty more differences that make Laser Ammo stand out from other lasers on the market and we are happy to address any questions people have. Feel free to contact me directly to answer any questions you may regarding our products!

      • Yea, clearly a better product and more cost effective. Also functions as a bore sight. I ordered the le system that works on my 9, 45, 12 gauge, and my AR-15 in 223. Also includes adapters for 357 sig and 40 cal. All for $199 and free shipping. Good video explaining how to install and good reviews. Cant wait till it gets here. I bought it mainly for concealed carry draw and fire practice. Most ranges around here dont allow quick draw practice.

        • He did say “free, open source”.

          This is the community that believes that giving products names like Gimp (image editor), Git (collaborative versioning system), and escrotum (screen capture) is hilarious.

          The good thing is that it usually works much better than you’d expect given the name.

    • How well do these reset triggers for striker-fire and single-action guns work? I’m interested in any offering that works well, from AIMTech, Laser Ammo, anybody. The major advantage of a dedicated training pistol like a SIRT is that the repeated trigger pull is something like the repeated trigger pull you get with the handgun (in SIRT’s case a Glock) when firing live ammo. If I could get the real semi-automatic trigger feel without constantly racking the slide when dry firing my carry handgun it would be ten times better, especially if I could do it with my existing (stock, modified, or aftermarket) trigger components. As is, I’m actually afraid of dry-firing a carry gun too much and creating a training scar by getting so used to racking the slide after every shot.

      I don’t know much about it, but their SIRT’s website suggests that their BCG for AR-15s resets the trigger by itself and fires a red or green laser with each shot, so it’s perfect. But it’s good to see AIMTech has an alternative, as I would not be surprised if there are shortcomings.

  2. I don’t get the lock your ammo in a safe while you are dry firing part. It can’t sneak back into the gun on it’s own. It is easy to prevent a round from getting into the gun, especially when it is under your control and you have a laser in the chamber or at least in the bore.

    • Speaking only for myself, putting the ammo back into the gun safe does two things. (Not that I have a trainer, right now, but for cleaning etc.)

      One, I do a round count so I know all rounds are accounted for.

      Two, I know where they are. I suffer from, um, horizontal surface occlusion syndrome, and habitually putting the rounds back into their designated place means I’m not going to accidentally leave a loaded magazine or rounds on the family room table. And then lose them, or have the puppy try them as a chew toy, etc.

      • Pretty much.

        while the ammo cannot fire if it isn’t in the gun, it cannot get in the gun if it is in the safe. When we have the SureStrike out, there are usually multiple guns on the table or bench. If we cannot lock them all out, we lock all the ammo up.

        And really, it’s just a good practice to get into. At least have the ammo in a different room.

    • I do it as an extra step that helps me not accidentally think I’m still in dry-fire mindset after I put live ammo back in the gun. It makes it more of a transition, since just putting in a mag and racking the slide are still parts of practicing and muscle memory.

  3. “like many shooters he was using dry fire practice to improve his trigger control while watching David Carradine in ‘Kung Fu.’”

    Who knew that the show Kung Fu was such a big part of firearms training in the 70’s!

    • Grasshopper… When you can put every round in the 10-ring at 100 meters without drawing from your holster…

      You will have learned…

      (Sound of a large gong)

  4. “Unbeknownst to me, my wife had removed the laser module and loaded the gun while I was out of the room…”

    • See that little red bit sticking out of the barrel?
      Unbeknownst no more. If the red nut isn’t there, you know something has changed.

  5. Good review but I wonder about the statement equating the unit’s value to about 2,000 9mm rounds, especially the implication that 2,000 can be bought for about $200. Am I missing something here? I would like to know where I can buy decent 9mm at $0.10/round without buying reloading equipment.

    • The surestrike ultimate kit is $200.

      The laserPET shot recorder is an additional $120.

      So 2k rounds for $320 is 16¢/round. You’re definitely not getting premium defense ammo at that price point, but you’re getting clos to Wolf or Tula delivered. (As per looking at ammoman’s offerings just now, 22-23. ¢/rnd)

      • Thanks, John.

        I did a spot price on target/plinking ammo as I was writing this. I wasn’t looking at any kind of premium anything for practice ammo. Naturally, you should always train a bit with your defensive ammo, but not use it exclusively.

  6. Aimtech is a legit company. That being said, there are many differences between Laser Ammo and Aimtech products:
    1. The SureStrike is chambered as opposed to sitting in the barrel like the Aimtech laser does. Our opinion (and the NRA’s) is that it is unsafe to place anything (including lasers) down the barrel of a firearm due to safety hazards. In our eyes safety is paramount.
    2. The Uhr Secure Safety Sytem- ensures that there is no possibility that a live round can be loaded into the firearm. There is also the added bonus of increasing the accuracy and alignment of the laser (who doesn’t want that?).
    3. Laser Ammo Adapter System- allows you to use many calibers using ONE laser. This gives the user a cost effective method to train with more than one caliber. Example: The Aimtech shotgun laser sells for $190-200 on their website. Our solution, offered with our hunting packs give you the shotgun (12G/20G) and a 9mm laser for $140.00.
    4. The SureStrike is made from high quality stainless steel (CNC manufactured) and with a glass lens. The cap (that acts as a snap cap to protect the firing pin) is guaranteed for 5,000 rounds (not 2,000) or a year whichever is first.
    5. Our SureStrike is programmable to work with whatever the customer has (including Laser Shot). Laser Shot happens to be a reseller of our products.
    6. Our SureStrike products also can be used with Airsofts, blanks, and UTMs, for customers wanting to bring more realism to training.
    There are plenty more differences that make Laser Ammo stand out from other lasers on the market and we are happy to address any questions people have. Feel free to contact me directly to answer any questions you may regarding our products!

    • Sirts are great. I like to practice with my own guns, my own sights, my own triggers. We train by the motto “practice with what you shoot, and shoot with what you practice”!

      • I like my SIRT because it is the same weight and shape as my Glock 17. And it handles the same as my Glock 19. With comparable triggers. And I put the same sites on my SIRT as on my Glocks. That’s pretty darn close in my book. But I doubt either my SIRT or your pistol simulate recoil during dry fire.

  7. I’m just trying to think of how much a 19″ Sylvania color TV ran back in those days. Color was relatively new and 19 inches was large enough to represent a fairly substantial household expense. Hopefully your parents were on good terms with their insurance company! 🙂

    Tom

    • I was in utero at the time, and Dad wasn’t too forthcoming with exact details. For all I know, it was a 12 inch B&W Curtis Mathis.

      But When you say Sylvania, people think 70’s TVs and light bulbs, and it just flowed better in my mind.

      • Are you the author of this review? I gather you are from your comments. I think Dan Z. forgot to attribute it.

        • Not attributing the author of the article and posting it as “by Dan Zimmerman” is a pretty big screw-up in my mind. I expect TTAG will correct it, but still. Most articles are mostly read shortly after they’re posted, before they’re buried by newer posts. Maybe TTAG should explore something better than the “by Dan Zimmerman, really by so-and-so” system. I don’t know how much of a hassle it is to create accounts, but if it only takes a minute it would be a good idea to create one for each author, although a guest contributor wouldn’t have access to it. That way there would just be one attribution, right under the title like it is for regular TTAG contributors (except for Sara Tipton whose posts are also attributed at least once in every title), and all posts by the author would be easily indexed, just click on the name.

        • Yeah, I am.

          And I’m sure Dan will fix it, and meant to have my credit up there the whole time. He’s been pretty swamped the past couple months, so little mistakes happen. No biggie.

    • “I’m just trying to think of how much a 19″ Sylvania color TV ran back in those days. Color was relatively new and 19 inches was large enough to represent a fairly substantial household expense.”

      In 1969 my pop bought a brand-new top-o-the-line Zenith 25 inch (gold chassis, hand-wired right here in the USA) TV to watch the moon landings.

      That set was over 500 bucks in 1969, so that Sylvania was likely over 300-350 bucks back then.

  8. I use Laserlyte’s set up that is similar to this. The products allow you to practice moving and shooting, which not all that many ranges allow. That alone is worth the cost in my opinion. Also, you get to practice (in the dark) the shots that you’re most likely to have in a home defense situation with your home defense weapon.

  9. I’ve got a LaserLyte system. Seems very similar except for the “one size fits all” cartridge and adapter sleeves. Plus LaserLyte has reactive targets as well as a bullseye target where the hits light up.

    • Hey Danny,

      Laser-Ammo has similar products, including IR versions that work in full daylight, and reactive targets that can be networked with a laptop, and give both visual and audio response when hit.

      I’m going to see about getting a sample for review.

  10. It makes watching TV so much more exciting when you hold a gun. Try it on next season of Walking Dead. Or not. But that one is my favorite.

    • Yeah, there’s no way the anti-gunners could use that to portray us as childish men playing with what we think are toys. We really need to stop giving them ammunition.

    • Hold up a second… Dan… Where the hell is my credit, ya mooch?

      Also, those painted nails belong to my mother in law.

      Yes, I handed her a gun. Note the safety nut is in place.

  11. Tell me again that part about your buddy teaching a CCW class and almost taking a bullet in the head? Because some guy tripped? Seems to me there were many safety violations in that class. If it was his class I’m thinking your buddy was negligent or complacent at best, much more at worst case.

    • Well, DCJ..
      It’s like this. If you have somebody who is new to guns, and didn’t absorb the lessons before the live fire section, wearing the wrong shoes because they did not read the pre-class info… Rocky terrain, and the guy was breaking at least three rules when he tripped…

      But you’re right. Safety rules were broken. And a round was discharged because of that, which almost took a life. It’s probably a good thing that dude was taking a class, huh?

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