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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Dryfire Tools!

Over at Tango Juliet (he just won a Blog award too), he talks about  Dryfire and its role as a training tool. I agree with his statements. He mentions the Laserlyte gismo as a tool to enhance the experience. I have used them for some time during training. I have used the muzzle loaded devices in the past:

They are OK for what they are, but they have some issues. If you get this one, it uses an expanding rubber insert to attach to the barrel. The extension of the overall length of the handgun may make your holster inoperative. 

The other really big thing is the fact that if it has batteries in it, the unit is "on". All the time. You must remove the batteries when you are done.

Another important consideration is the fact that you could inadvertently load a live round in the chamber with this device. 

Remember the 4 rules and examine your surroundings. 

This looks ok for what it is:

Take a look on the other side of this door however:

I'm sure my neighbor would not want a hole in his house or him anymore than I want one in mine! NO LIVE AMMO ANYWHERE NEAR THE AREA! 
As TJ says there are many mats or other bullet stopping devices cheap enough and readily available.

Another way to train with a laser is to use a pistol equipped with a targeting laser.

Here is a 1911 with a Crimson Trace Laser on it. 

Yeah, too much coffee today, but you can see many of the more common errors with trigger control with a handgun so equipped. That was a three inch target at 22 feet. I was not able to practice my presentation from holster as the camera tripod was in the way. 

The more common mistakes I see with lasers and dryfire are these:

Not maintaining a proper sight picture: Most people will lower the handgun to make sure they see the laser at distance. OK, but remember that the laser is a device that can fail.  To me doing the same thing every time is paramount to running a handgun successfully. If you can't see the red dot, you are now more behind the curve as you must raise the gun to gain proper sight alignment.

Chasing the laser: Many will chase the red dot on target to get it "just so". You don't have that time.

Not practicing in context: Practice proper presentation from concealment. Got external safeties? Manipulate them!  BOTH ways! Deactivate to get the shot and reactivate to holster!

This is also a great time for the malfunction drill. Click, no bang after the shot. Do your drill! I leave it to you to decide on the tap rack or variations of that. I have been taught several different ones for semi autos. If you decide to do the malfunction drill, simply take the follower and spring out of a magazine to prevent the pistol going to slide lock. 
So here is the new caliber specific device for dryfire:
Here is what it looks like:

I like it as I can leave the batteries in it and it is machined to prevent extraction and more importantly prevents loading a live round if it is in the chamber. 

On the back of the unit it receives the firing pin impact to activate. Then you get momentary laser "firing" for feedback. 

The last thing? Coupled with the matching target you get this:

So when you get done, you can see where you were hitting: 

Hitting the "display" target on the left will show you where you were hitting. The "reset" on the right will clear your string of fire and both targets add a degree of marksmanship to running one of these. 

The only thing I would ask for? A remote timer to give me a beep and then tell me time to first hit. 

FTC stuff: I payed for everything here!



  1. How much for the caliber specific laser system and where did you get it?

    1. Erinyes- The insert for the handgun is under 100 bucks. The target is a little over 200. You can get them almost anywhere. Amazon has them! I got mine wholesale. Just do a search for "Laserlyte" on the Interwebs.

      And welcome!

  2. I got my LaserLyte insert from Midway.

    I'm really diggin' mine. Great training aid.

  3. That's pretty cool. I like the idea of it. You're right, there are pads out there for dry-fire backstop. I'm cheap, so I usually duct tape 2 or 3 phone books together as a very cheap backstop. It's obviously nothing to rely on, but it will stop most handgun rounds or take all of the energy out of it in case disaster strikes.

    1. 45er- In my town the phone book is about a half an inch thick! They will slow a round up though if thick enough.

  4. I use the Laserlyte for practice for both the .45 and 9mm semi-autos it works well enough that I can spend 10-15 minutes minimum practicing draw/presentation/sight picture/trigger press every day and I've found I'm not as 'rusty' when I get to the range, and the other thing is it is impossible to load a round in the chamber, since the training device is there!

  5. Very cool. I hink I missed TJ's post, but very interesting stuff.

    1. Cheaper than the range, you can't really practice recoil management or follow up, but I like it!

  6. I bought a Blade-Tech yellow plastic replacement barrel for (a part of) that purpose - but it doesn't emit any light!

  7. Oh lordy. I just grasped the concept of snap caps...

  8. Very cool, I'll have to think about these things.

    I don't normally do these things so don't feel obligated to carry it on or even take notice, but come 4pm CST I've some nice things to say about you(some call it an award).

  9. Oh thats cool, gonna have to book mark this...

  10. Very, very cool.

    Oh, and to hell with the FTC. I don't care if you got it for free AND were paid to do the post. It's still cool. If it sucked, you'd be losing your credibility and people would stop listening to you anyway. Screw the FTC, and the jackasses they rode in on. -- Lyle

    1. If I thought it sucked I would say so.

      As far as the FTC disclaimer, I will continue to do so here and in live classroom settings. Simple words and they keep me out of trouble. And, its true. I will always denote if I get a free sample for testing.

  11. Now that's a neat idea!

    Heh, both Amazon and Midway have those laser target things sold out.

  12. I love the idea.

    The only drawback I see is $80 per caliber (at least at Midway right now). But you only need one target and that's the cool thing. Also the hard part to design.

    1. Graybeard, its all on one circuit board and I thought about asking for a schematic to see if I could use my old EE-fu for the timer. I bet they will not give it up, so I didn't try!