We've all heard the mantra about perfecting your shooting skills through dry-fire practice. It's a time-honored, cost-free method that works. One of its drawbacks is the lack of visual feedback.
LaserLyte, a company familiar to the shooting community for its handgun-mounted laser units, laser gun sights, and laser bore-sighting equipment, has developed some solutions to the "no feedback" problem: full-size, nonfiring "blue guns" that briefly project a laser when the double-action trigger is squeezed; laser training cartridges that do the same when chambered in a real firearm; and laser-reactive targets that provide exact, visual feedback on your dry-fire practice.
Here's a look at my personal favorite LaserLyte training tool: the LTS Trigger Tyme Pistol paired with the LTS Target and LTS Reaction Tyme Targets.
LTS Trigger Tyme Pistol
The LTS Trigger Tyme "blue gun" plastic pistol (okay, okay — glass-filled nylon pistol) removes any possibility of an accidental or negligent discharge while dry-fire practicing. On the downside, though it feels good in the hand, it will not exactly mirror the feel of your personal handgun, and since it does not have a functioning slide, you can't run any function-clearing drills. But it's a great tool for teaching muzzle control and how to safely handle, aim, and squeeze.
Of double-action design, it has a nice, smooth trigger factory-rated at around 5.5 pounds, though my unit averages 3 pounds, 14 ounces as measured on my Lyman digital trigger scale. It's very nice. Retailing at just $54.95, it's a cheap way to integrate reality with safety.
The LTS pistol must be paired with the LTS Universal Pistol Trainer, which is designed to provide versatility. One of these units will work across a broad range of pistols and revolvers, as long as they are between .38/9mm and .45 caliber and have a minimum barrel length of 2 inches. An arbor and taper system keeps the LTS universal unit securely positioned in the muzzle through practice and drills. The unit protrudes 0.25 inch or less (depending on caliber) from the muzzle, minimizing interference during holster drills.
The LTS Universal Pistol Trainer is sound activated and emits a 100-millisecond flash every time the hammer or striker clicks. It runs on three 377 button batteries (included) and is rated to provide around 3,000 shots per set. Price: $120.95.
Almost 5 inches in diameter, the red target portion of this unit records laser-dot impacts and displays those impact points upon shooting a "display" circle below the target. Impacts show as a cluster of red spots on — or, rather, shining through — the target face. To reset, just shoot another circle below the target marked "reset."
Good for working on trigger control, holster drills, and snap shooting, the LTS target is rated to read laser hits out to 50 yards. Powered by three AA batteries, units have a battery life of around 6,000 shots. Price: $230.95.
LTS Reaction Tyme Target
While perhaps not quite as informative as the bigger LTS target, these little reaction-challenging targets are loads of fun. Sold in packs of two, the units have two modes: reaction and training. In reaction mode, they randomly and briefly light up in three- to seven-second intervals and reward a quick shot with two beeps and flashes. In the simpler training mode, they simply flash and beep when shot. They're great for practicing quick target acquisition, fast controlled trigger press, and sight-picture follow-through.
After installing batteries in my set, I made the mistake of letting my wife try them out. Alternately cackling with laughter and squealing with frustration, she wouldn't return my Trigger Tyme Pistol. Finally, I had to resort to trickery to get the system back and continue myâ€¦research.
Great for from-the-holster reaction drills, transition drills, and whatever other kind of fun you can dream up, the pair of Reaction Tyme Targets function independently of each other and can be set up in innumerable scenarios.
Each is powered by three AAA batteries (included) and is factory rated for 6,000 cycles. Actual targets are 2.5 inches in diameter; the complete unit is 3.0x3.74 inches. Price: $175.95.
If you think that getting set up with a complement of LaserLyte training tools can be rather expensive (a Universal Pistol Trainer, a set of Reaction Tyme Targets, and the Trigger Tyme Pistol will run just over $350), just consider that you'll get years worth of good practice with the system, as opposed to the 300 to 600 rounds of ammunition that you'd go through in a couple of trips to the range. You can click through several hundred dry-fire practice "shots" per day and come out way ahead.
LaserLyte has taken their reactive targets one step further with their new Laser Plinking Cans. Now you can practice and plink in the comfort of your home, all while avoiding boring dry-fire practice.
Perhaps even more importantly, LaserLyte's training systems provide an excellent training platform for new and young shooters. Success is easy to achieve, feedback is clear and fun, and there are no adverse affects, such as recoil and harmful noise. What more can you ask of a training tool?