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Dry Firing with the Laser Trainer

By Gabby

In one of my first posts after starting the ArmedCandy blog, I showcased two products by LaserLyte that are made to help with home defense practice. These are the Laser Trainer Cartridge & the Laser Trainer Target. The cartridge is a red dot laser that gets chambered into your pistol and is activated for barely a second by the firing pin, when you pull the trigger. When used as a set, the LEDs inside the Target, record your shots and are reveled when you "tell" the target to do so. (See prior post and included videos for a more detailed explanation of the two devices.)

When I first learned of these two devices I thought it would be great to have the option of working on my shooting accuracy outside the range. At $75 and change, the cartridge seemed pretty expensive for what it was. I looked at the lesser models (not made by Laserlyte) but they seemed useless to me for one major reason: once assembled with the batteries inside, they would stay lit, until taken apart. I still can't figure out the point of those devices but they made it easy for me to decide to buy the Laserlyte cartridge.

Now, let me take a moment to point something out: The trigger of my weapon can either be a SA/DA, (ie. single or double action). I'll try to explain, but skip to the * if you're familiar with the terms. Think of a revolver, in order to fire a round, first the hammer cocks back, then it falls on the firing pin. If you have the trigger pulling the hammer back AND letting it drop, that's double action. It feels very different to pull a double action trigger than a single action and for ease of explanation, let's say that most often I am shooting single action. I'm happy to explain, in more detail how my gun reacts differently when the hammer falls on a live round vs. the Laserlyte cartridge, but that could be a whole article in itself. Allow me to move forward without those details and just keep in mind that * when dry firing with the Laserlyte cartridge I am now pulling a double action trigger.

Once received, I went clicking away, around the house. It was fun! But then I started feeling some serious hand fatigue. In order to alleviate this, I would manually cock the hammer. This meant no "double tap" and maintaining a sight picture from one shot to the next was pretty impossible. So you can understand how my dry fire training was notw somewhat limited, while using the Laserlyte cartridge. Then I noticed another, more concerning aspect of using the device. If I was aligning my sights correctly and not creating any movement with my trigger pull, then the split second appearance of the red dot (on the wall) would happen just below my front sight, and I would never see it. Just as I started to wonder if this training was actually useful in anyway, I received the Laser Training Target as a birthday gift.

Man, I was excited. I blew off my dinner plans to set it up right away! The target comes in two parts that screw together to form a small black box. The back half of the device isn't really important, except that it helps the thing stand up. Mine came without screws! But I wouldn't allow this to slow down a handy girl like myself. I put the supplied batteries in place and turned that bad boy on... And nothing... After fumbling with it for a while, I emailed the company that sold it. In response to the missing screws they directed me to call Laserlyte. In regard to the other malfunction, they said, try fresh batteries. I thanked them, as if I had not already replaced the batteries, and called Laserlyte. Again we did some troubleshooting but in the end they had me send the target & the cartridge back to them for testing.

Just so you know, when I chose products to review I select items that seem smart or well designed in concept. Hence, I often love the products I review. However, I won't sugar coat the review of a product that didn't totally live up to its promises, just because it was a good idea. In this case, the target, cartridge combination works most of the time.

The target and the cartridge are back in my possession and I have been playing with them for a few weeks. Laserlyte claimed there was nothing wrong with either unit, but sent me tons of fresh batteries when they returned the trainers.
  • Problem 1: With a new set of batteries in the cartridge and when screwed together "properly," it stays on constantly. Therefore, I partially unscrew it before chambering it, which helps, some of the time.
  • Problem 1a: While chambered, the cartridge has been known to get stuck in a steady beam and ruin the record of the shots for that round.
  • Problem 2: Usually, the target records your shots and shows them when you zap the "display" spot on the box and clears them when you shoot "reset", but not always.
  • Problem 2a: Sometimes it takes a hard reset (manually turning it on and off) to "wake" the target and remind it of its job.

I really like the idea of these two items, but had I not received them as a gift, I might return them for extra ammo. I am coming to understand that accuracy is a very small part of dry fire training and I shouldn't always be practicing taking cover from an intruder who is sitting on my mantle or my coffee table. Almost all practice with ones weapon is useful for one skill or another, so if the Laserlyte system makes me practice more often, then it's a good thing, but maybe not worth all the money.

AC also Recommends:

Home Protection Practice

Packing Pretty on Trigger Training

Laser Trainers by Laserlyte

©2012 ArmedCandy,LLC

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