One of the things I quickly learned after I started taking professional firearms training classes is that firearms skills are indeed perishable. Granted, it's not likely that you will forget how to shoot a gun if you stop doing it for several months. But.....assuming you were doing it well when you stopped, you won't be as fast nor as accurate when you let several months go by without practice. Let a few more months elapse and you will be down right rusty. Another thing I was taught is that in a highly stressful situation, I'll likely be about half as good as my worst practice day at the range. That is a rule of thumb estimation but I'm sure you can catch the drift. Stop practicing for a while and your skill at arms just won't be there when you need it most. Can you afford to take the chance?
I realize it may be difficult to get to the range 3 or 4 times each month. Work schedules, drive distance, your kid's after school activities, weekends with the family, ammo costs, weather, etc.....all these things can serve to keep you and your favorite handgun from having quality time at the range. Dry practice works well to help keep your skills ramped up where you need them. However, I find dry practice boring....and I admit it. I know I should do it but I don't. Well, I didn't up until a few weeks ago.
Somewhere in my recent wanderings on the internet, I re-discovered the LaserLyte web site. I had been there a number of years ago when I heard about a new laser practice device that unfortunately stuck out of the end of your gun barrel by about 3~4 inches. It had a sound activated laser in it that emitted a brief dot of red light when it detected the hammer falling or striker firing. Pretty neat concept except that drawing my Springfield XD9 from a holster, with a 4" gadget sticking out of the barrel, wasn't going to be very practical. Since I don't walk around with my XD9 at the low ready all day, I didn't see a benefit in practicing with such a training tool.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I saw that LaserLyte had taken their product to the next level. They had shrunk that "way too long" laser device down to the size of a 9mm cartridge, literally. (It is also available in .40 S&W and .45 ACP.) It was finally possible to use the laser concept while employing holster work during a practice session.
The LaserLyte LT-9 (9mm) laser is longer than a regular 9mm round. As such, it will not load from a magazine (I certainly wouldn't want to do that anyway). The 9mm round head spaces on the case mouth and so this dimension was maintained. LaserLyte use an "extended bullet", so to speak, in order to house everything needed to light up the laser. It slides easily into the chamber and the rubber o-rings provides both a good friction fit and self alignment within the bore.
Note that the head of the laser cartridge has been machines such that there is nothing for the extractor to catch hold of, a rimless 9mm cartridge as it were. After firing the laser by pulling the trigger, one cycles the slide of the pistol enough to reset the trigger and striker/hammer. With nothing for the extractor to catch, the LT-9 laser remains in the barrel, shot after shot. When the practice session is finished, the laser is removed with the help of a lead pencil, pushed down the barrel, after locking back the slide.
So now I could have a cartridge that would fit in the chamber of any of my 9mm semi-autos (shown above in a Springfield XD9) and emit a short (about 1/10th of a second) laser pulse when ever the firing pin dropped on the "primer". The primer in the laser cartridge is actually a tiny spring loaded switch which also appears to serve as a snap cap too (intended or not). Granted, my Springfield and Kahr pistols end up being a single shot practice pistol, but I am OK with that. Standard dry practice has the same limitations with these autoloaders.
The LT-9 laser cartridge is powered by three #377 batteries, as seen here. According to the manufacturer, the LT-9 is good for 3,000 shots. A quick check on e-bay shows battery pricing to be as low as $1 each. You won't break the bank from a big hit on your monthly battery budget.
Being able to draw from the holster and deliver the first shot while using my range timer to ensure I make par time....AND....seeing where my shot hits makes for a dry fire session that is no longer boring. But wait, it gets better! How about an interactive laser trainer target to record the laser shots?
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