Have you seen the new laser training cartridges? I think these are a great idea, especially for those of us that don’t get to the shooting range as often as we really should.
Laser training isn’t exactly new. These systems have been around in the military and law enforcement for years. They have definitely proven their value. These laser systems are able to present endless ever changing scenarios, providing the user the ability to practice life threatening situations in a safe, controlled environment. Unfortunately, these systems are way too expensive and complicated for the average shooter to have at home.
The good news for us is that all this technology has spawned many smaller, practical applications for the average shooter. Laser training cartridges make target practice in your living room a real possibility.
There are many cartridges available. I have seen kits that include many different caliber cartridges with replaceable strike pads. I’ve found these systems for $100 to $300 or more, dependent on how many cartridges, and of which calibers, with or without laser activated targets.
Individual cartridges, built in a more disposable fashion, are available as well. Most popular calibers are available. The strike pads may or may not be replaceable. You should still get many hundreds of strikes. These seem to be running $50 to$100, although I’ve found some as low as $30.
Laser activated targets are available in a huge range of sizes, features, quality and prices. You can also download free apps for your smart phone that will use your phone’s camera to track, score and even make a gunshot sound, using the target of your choice. Pretty cool stuff.
Granted, shooting a laser is not going to expose you to the sensations of the kick or the report of live ammo. You still need practice with live ammo to be comfortable with those issues. Also, due to no blowback, double tap and multi-shot scenarios wouldn’t be an accurate simulation.
You can use the laser to improve accuracy. You are still using your gun, feeling your trigger action, and seeing your sights. All in the comfort of your home, safely, and at a significant savings over the cost of live ammo.
I have heard some concern over dry firing your weapon. These cartridges do have a kind of rubber strike pad and have proven perfectly safe for your weapon. The only drawback I have encountered is that you do have to cock your weapon on every shot if you are using a single action gun, as there is no blowback to do it for you.
While laser will not replace actual live fire training and practice, I believe it is a very useful, cost effective system to augment your ability to practice. Just think, for less than the price of one day at the range, you can fire hundreds of times without damaging your hearing. You can practice your quick draw, without putting a hole in your leg. You can practice in any weather, at any time.
You can pick up a cheap single cartridge and check it out. Then decide if you want to step up into more expensive kits. Figure out which fits your particular budget and weapon collection best. I think you will agree that laser training cartridges are a welcome addition to any training regime.