Here is my article that appeared the other week over at AmmoLand…. Enjoy!
We have all been there… at the very least on one side of the equation. Introducing someone new to firearms and teaching them the basics of gun safety and marksmanship can be a daunting task. For one, it can be a very intimidating first time experience for those new shooters (especially adult shooters) that come into the experience with various preconceived notions about what it will be like. It is also something that needs to be made to be as fun and engaging of an experience as possible. A great deal of pressure falls on the instructor to place a major emphasis on positive outcomes and short term successes. Because of this, many people often times turn to .22s, BB guns, and pellet guns to give first-timers an experience that will ease them into the process of learning to shoot safely and effectively.
Well, I would like to offer up a very… lets say “non-traditional” approach to teaching someone new the basics of proper gun safety and marksmanship. Lasers. Yes, lasers. Its not an often thought of way to approach the process of introducing someone new to shooting, but I can attest that it is indeed a very fun and productive way of teaching them the basics. With the use of laser training devises you can use basic dry fire training to teach new shooters the fundamentals of gun safety and marksmanship and at the same time give them valuable feedback that can be used to quantify their performance and measure their improvement.
Laser trainers are nothing new to the marketplace and there are several companies out there who are producing them. However, people dont often think of incorporating these devises into the process of introducing new shooters to the sport. They are, however, absolutely perfect.
Without a doubt, the greatest thing that laser training devises have going for them is that they are a 100% safe way to practice and teach with firearms. There is zero, repeat zero possibility of anyone getting accidentally shot with the guns that are being handled. Thats because 1) there is no live ammunition being used, and 2) with several of these trainers there is absolutely, positively no way for the gun to even chamber or fire a round of ammunition. Once some of these trainers are installed the gun essentially becomes inoperable. Thats a great feature. Being able to create an environment for teaching where you can completely remove any and all chances of anyone getting hurt is incredibly advantageous when teaching individuals (and especially large groups of people) who have not yet mastered the cardinal rules of gun safety.
The other important area where these laser trainers really shine is the way in which these tools make shooting much more approachable for new shooters. First off, there is no loud noise or recoil to be intimidated by at all. Thats huge when it comes to introducing new shooters who come into the process thinking that the firearm is literally going to recoil them halfway across the room. Laser trainers can also be used to practice in the comfort of one’s own home, thereby removing even more anxiety that can be brought on by any of the outside pressures of being at a public range or shooting in front of other more experienced shooters. With the use of laser training devises new shooters can concentrate on perfecting their skills without feeling intimidated or being overwhelmed by the situation.
Below are just a few of the options for teaching with lasers and links to some past reviews that I have written specifically on each product that I have personally worked with. There are other products out there to consider (both from these manufacturers and others not listed here) but this is a great starting point.
Prices for each product range from about $100 upwards to about $250. Depending on your needs and your budget you can of course pick and choose one or all the products out there that will work best for you. Spending roughly $300 – $400 in total will give you enough to train/teach with both handguns and rifles as well as give you a cool interactive target to measure your results. Thats right around what a new .22 plinker would set you back that you were probably gonna pick up for your new shooter anyway… and all you have to feed these things to make them run is batteries.
- Laserlyte Laser Cartridge – This devise is a caliber specific training tool currently available in 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and .380 ACP. Basically, LaserLyte figured out a way to create a snapcap with a laser inside of it.
- SIRT AR-Bolt – With the SIRT bolt you can conduct dry-fire practice with your AR and determine point-of-impact for each shot. What Next Level Training has basically come up with here is a laser aiming devise inside of a plastic “bolt carrier replacement” – for lack of a better term. This unit pretty much slides right into the rifle as a replacement for your bolt carrier and allows you to conduct dry-fire practice that is much more productive.
- *Laserlyte Laser Trainer Target – Basically what you have here is a ground breaking product which will allow you to conduct dry fire practice and record your exact shot placement.
*The Laserlyte Laser Trainer Target will work with both of the above products as well as many others.
So there you have it. Its not what most people would think of when they set out to introduce a new shooter to the wonderful world of firearms, but its an incredible safe (and fun) way to effectively teach someone new the basics of firearms safety and marksmanship.
Oh, and did I mention that its fun! My son thinks its the absolute coolest thing in the world. Gone are the days of plinking with BB guns in the backyard… My kid wants to play with the big-boy toys with the laser trainers. We have a wonderful time with them.