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A couple years ago when I first bought a SIRT pistol, I thought the main beneficiary would be my students. After all, I’m an instructor! I know it all, and I’m the best. But, when I got the thing in my hands, it was a bit of a humbling experience. Putting the shot in the X-ring consistently and out-shooting the rest of the instructors in the last instructor class I had taken had inflated my ego, but the laser doesn’t lie.

 

Every little twitch and every little jerk gets amplified when you’re shooting a laser across the room, so you get an opportunity to dial in your shooting if you’re honest with yourself. Then, add laser-spotting software like LASR-X, and you get a lot of accountability after every shot.

A screenshot from the LASR-X software. The appliance box served as a torso and the milk jug served as a head for todayโ€™s dry fire testing. The drill was two point shots from retention followed by an aimed shot to the milk jug. Blue and red dots indicate the shot locations. The cat does not seem amused that the laser keeps disappearing before she can chase it.

But, one thing I figured out pretty quickly was that I could put rounds on target a lot faster if I didn’t form a sight picture first. In law enforcement, I did this only at ranges of under a yard, but I knew that the cowboy action folks would quick draw and shoot from retention at much greater distances, sometimes 10+ yards if they wanted to impress people. But, developing that skill and dialing it in with live rounds sounds like an expensive skill to develop.

But, with the LASR-X software and the SIRT pistol that fit in my normal M&P holster, practicing point shooting at any distance was suddenly free. So, I started practicing and improving.

I started without any software, simply picking a spot across the room and seeing whether the laser landed on it after raising the SIRT pistol and firing the laser. With just a few shots, I started getting the dot on even small targets like a doorknob or a light switch pretty consistently. Then, I went back to the software to get a shot timer and designate targets. This allowed me to cut my time to first shot on target down considerably.

But, the time needed to set up targets indoors (or pick silly things like a box and a milk jug), aim the camera, designate the target in the software and get started was a little bit of a pain. So, I didn’t use it as often as I would have liked. But, the AceXR system and my Oculus Quest 2 improved the setup time considerably.

Like the SIRT, it has a realistic trigger and weight in the hand, but the range in AceXR is always ready to go and the targets set themselves back up. This not only means easy range time that’s roughly like shooting a .22 pistol, but it’s also a great place to improve times on a variety of free ranges and common timed drills by incorporating point shooting.

The only thing I’m lacking now is a holster for the AceXR handset rig. So, I’m probably going to get with a local custom holster maker to get some made so I can practice from the hip.

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29 COMMENTS

    • a couple taverns had a screen on the wall and a box behind the bar you had to ask for. i think it was called trap shoot, some ducks blinked across and you pressed the only button on the remote to shoot them.
      i didn’t learn anything. i miss leinenkugel dark pitchers for a buck fifty.
      i find these trainers hoky. sum it up with snap cap and dry fire.

      • point shooting (or snap shooting) is usually instinctive and adrenaline fueled…and hard to train for…it’s usually over before you realized it happened

      • “i miss leinenkugel dark pitchers for a buck fifty.”

        Lucky bastard, two-fifty pitchers were the cheapest it ever got down here in the mid 1980s…

        *mutter* ๐Ÿ™

        EDIT – I stand (somewhat) corrected, some bars ran nickle beer (10 oz cup) night, but they were a fair drive away…

      • “this one.”

        The latest craze down here is hatchet throwing.

        That’s right, a bar, where folks went to get slammed, are now hosting hurling sharpened hatchets at circular targets for points.

        I’m waiting for the inevitable, seeing on the news an ‘accident’ with a hatchet buried in someone’s face…


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        Our Ax-Perts are trained and experienced throwers to get you on target and have a blast playing a variety of games. Whether itโ€™s your first time or you are a seasoned thrower, Ax-Caliber is the place for you.”

        https://www.axcaliber.com/

    • That picture shows a very attractive cat wondering what the hell mom is doing… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  1. I too am an instructor, and thanks to the stupid New York State gun laws, I can’t put a pistol in the hands of a student who doesn’t already have a pistol permit unless we are at the range of an organization that has “Conservation” in its name. But I can give them a SIRT or one of the other fine laser pistols on the market, right in my living room, and set up a little laser target, and start them on getting the Four Rules into their muscle memory while having some fun.
    When I blew out my back I was afraid that my own proficiency would suffer. It has, but getting laser inserts for my favorite Berettas has helped me maintain trigger technique and sighting. I carry a Pico or an 80X (the Sophia Loren of handguns), and having laser snap caps in them lets me practice from my easy chair whenever the mood strikes.,

  2. There are laser-emitting ammo that one can use in firearms with double-action triggers have second-strike capability. Using those are more realistic than using a toy, and they also provide a chance to practice with the real trigger.

    • Peace fam i mean no disrespect i just wanna make a new connection

      Do you need a firearm to defend yourself or protect your family? I have what you need. I got fantastic deals on FIREARMS of all kinds. Let me know if you are interested in any of my products.

      Offer postage service ๐Ÿ™Œ

  3. I’m using a G-sight laser dryfire cartridge in my own carry gun to do the same thing. The G-sight system is a little pricier than many of the laser dryfire cartridges out there but it is very high quality and in my tests very accurate to the bore -something a lot of the cheap $20 Chinesium units can not lay claim to.

    The G-sight phone app is kind of “meh” and I have not paid the extra cash to get the shot timer module but the software is really unnecessary for doing untimed drills because the laser hit on target is very bright and easy to see with your naked eyes when using the dryfire cartridge.

    My little carry piece is extremely pointable and I am consistently getting into a 3″ group at 8-feet without using the sights at all which is really speeding up my draws although I need to get a buddy with a shot timer or pay for the app upgrade.

    Since I have two identical carry guns I can have one set up with the laser dryfire cartridge and mark it with red tape so I don’t have to keep administratively handling my loaded carry gun. I can swap them out if I feel the need to as well.

    I think practicing with your actual carry gun with your actual carry holster wearing your actual wardrobe is helpful in training correct muscle memory. Dryfire does not replace live fire but it does help a whole lot and these days it is getting hard to find ranges that allow holster work with live fire. Heck, a lot of ranges are starting to not allowing human or animal targets -even silhouettes.

  4. I shot my Sony Trinitron with a .300 Weatherby dry firing once.
    It was working great just lifting the bolt,what processed me to cycle the action with a loaded gunm, I guess habit.
    I’d made some hollow point bullets with a really big hole for shuting coyotes and believe it or not the bullet didn’t make it out the back.
    I had powdered glass all over the floor and couch though.

  5. My inlaws gave me one of these for Christmas. They always say I ‘m the hardest to buy for. But that is because if I want something I go get it. Truth be told, it’s still sitting in the sealed box on my dresser. There is something to be said for shooting in real life that cannot even remotely be matched by some amped up video game system. If anything, I’d see practicing on this to be more of a detriment than a benefit as there is no recoil, noise or smoke to deal with. (Yes I realize we aren’t shooting black powder anymore, but there is still a bit of smoke…..this is why ranges have ventilation systems)

  6. As an NRA Instructor, I have used the SIRT pistol to help my students in the basic class before they even get to hold a real handgun. I’ve found it seems to give the student the experience of “live fire” without live fire.

    I practice with mine at least two or three times a week especially during the winter months when going out to the range is near impossible. I know it has helped me being more accurate when I do go to the range and do live fire.

  7. Call me old-fashioned, but I never liked any kind of optics on a pistol used for self-defense. Observing novice shooters that use optics, they tend to focus on the sight picture/dot/laser too much, resulting in ‘tunnel vision’. A handgun carried for self-defense is for close-in combat in a reactive action. There usually isn’t time to draw and obtain a sight picture or line-up a dot or laser. It’s close, fast and dirty. Point and shoot — old style. Most experienced shooters, especially those who have survived shootouts, don’t need sighting aides. They are familiar enough with their weapons that they can hit what they aim at within CQB ranges. I can see the benefit of optics to teach beginners proper sight alignment and trigger squeeze or competition shooters using them for precision shooting. Also, optics on handguns are bulky, cumbersome and throw off the balance of your gun. For close and dirty, keep your gun ‘clean’. Nothing replaces practice for proficiency.

    • Jim, well said. Red dots and other sighting devices on a handgun are great when you have the sight set for the distance the target is at. Otherwise, borderline useless.

  8. I’ve used a laserlyte trainer going back 10 years. Everyone needs some type of home dry fire laser trainer. Do your research before you buy one.

  9. Seems to me, just the training, regardless of “trigger” or ‘recoil’ or whatever, if it is accurate and allows you to see where you are hitting on the target, it would be a good training aid. Only thing I’ve read is the set up can get a bit pricey with the Ocular and ACR systems. Not to mention there is only one or 2 software programs out there that utilize the system. What happens when more of these program designers/companies get work and decide programming a shooting training program is taboo.

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