by Richard Mann - Thursday, July 21, 2011
LaserLyte's Laser Trainer LT-Pro inserts in the muzzle and the vibration of the falling hammer triggers the laser flash. This muzzle plug, if you will, doesn't prevent the handgun from being accidentally loaded while the laser's installed, but it's the only unit tested that will also work with revolvers. A screw in the rear of the unit fits inside a small plastic sleeve that expands as the screw is tightened. This friction fit in the barrel permits it to work in any handgun between .35 and .45 caliber, as long as the barrel is at least 2 inches long. It worked perfectly, but needed new batteries after about 250 shots.
Easiest to install of the devices tested, LaserLyte's Laser Training System Caliber-Specific Cartridge looks similar to an actual round and fits inside the pistol's chamber, locking in place with a rubber O-ring. There's no rim, so you can cycle the slide and the laser will stay in place. Units are available in 9 mm and .45 ACP. Both fit snugly enough they had to be punched out with the eraser end of a pencil. It would be a long stretch to contrive some instance where a pistol fitted with one of these laser-training cartridges could be accidently loaded. They worked every time the trigger was pulled, with the batteries surviving in excess of 500 shots each. These units are brass colored and for safety's sake, maybe ought to be colored red or blue.
The most unique aspect of this unit is that when properly installed, it renders the handgun safe. There's no way you could accidently load a live cartridge when using the SureStrike Laser Training Bullet. It fits in a 9 mm pistol's chamber, but an extension screws into the unit and protrudes slightly from the muzzle. A bright-orange cap screws in this extension, locking the unit in place. It will work with barrels from 3.5 to 7.25 inches in length. A .45 ACP adapter is available and a small zippered-case with six, reflective, 2.5-inch targets comes with the unit. The targets are not necessary, but do enhance the visual impact of the laser. Though more time consuming to install, it operated flawlessly and has an added safety bonus.
This is a complete handgun mirroring the size and weight of a Glock 17 or 22. The cool thing is the laser is integrated. This gun is always and forever inert; it is, in fact, a laser gun. With the SIRT pistol, the trigger resets after each shot; you don't have to recock the hammer or cycle the slide to fire another laser shot. This lets you conduct dry-fire/laser training with a unit that weighs the same as your real handgun—if it's a Glock 17 or 22. Because the SIRT pistol comes with a weighted magazine, you can practice reloads, too.
Another neat aspect of the SIRT pistol is its dual laser option. A red laser can be set to light your point of aim when you first put pressure on the grip. As you complete the trigger stroke a green laser comes on, indicating where your shot would have landed. This is a different approach to laser training, giving you feedback on gun movement during the trigger stoke and on point of impact afterward. The SIRT pistol operated flawlessly, but the LaserLyte Laser Training Target would not record green laser impacts.
The LaserLyte Laser Training Target is a plastic box 2 inches deep, 7 inches wide and 10.25 inches tall. It comes unassembled, with three AA batteries. It's easy to put together and will stand on any flat surface. I would like to have seen a hole in the rear panel so you could hang the target on a wall. I fixed this in about 30 seconds with a drill. An LED indicator glows if the unit is on to help prevent premature battery run down.
On the front of the box, there's a red, 5-inch circle target with four white circles in decreasing size. At the bottom left and right are two red circle targets about 1.25 inches in diameter. If you shoot the circle on the left, your hits are displayed on the main target. If you shoot the circle on the right, the system resets. I tested the target with all four laser training devices and it worked superbly—with all but the SIRT pistol's green laser—from point-blank range out to 15 yards, which was the maximum distance tested. After three weeks and what must have been thousands of shots, it started acting goofy. The batteries were replaced and it was up and running again.
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