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Old December 27, 2016, 11:52 AM   #1
OhioGuy
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Dry Fire training tools

I've been looking at a number of tools that claim to help improve your dry fire practice. Most are laser-based...others are more sophisticated. What I'd like to do is have immediate feedback on each shot, followed by some way to analyze where my weaknesses were so I can see how I'm improving.

I'm mainly looking at three options.

The first two are by LaserLyte. Option one is a laser cartridge that drops into the chamber and then flashes a pulse when the firing pin hits it. You can see it briefly on the wall, or buy their targets that record when and where they were hit. A newer option, also from them, is a rail-mounted laser sight that also works in a training mode, and registers "hits" when the trigger is pulled. I guess the second option seems better, since it can be used as a sight as well as just a training tool.

The third is something new called Mantix-X. (http://mantisx.com). It has sensors in it that measure how your gun is moving in all three axes, then transmits the data to your phone where an app will predict where your shots would have landed on a target, and also graphs exactly how your aim was changing in the split second before and after the trigger was pulled. So in theory you can see your pattern and say "Aha! I'm breaking my wrist up just before I pull the trigger, every time!" It mounts on a rail, and claims to also be usable during live fire so you can see exactly why your shots land where they do.

Has anyone used any of these systems, and are they worth the money? They're all between $100 and $150. On principle the Mantix-X sounds like the better tool because it can analyze your shots as well as track them--so long as it accurately predicts where dry fire shots would have landed on a target, it would seem that external targets (like laser receivers) wouldn't be needed.

Thoughts? Are they all just a waste of money and I'll do just as well by dry-firing at a wall and then tracking my progress at the range?
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Old December 27, 2016, 12:37 PM   #2
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I would go with your last option, dry fire and then hit the range. $100-$150 will buy you a nice supply of range ammo.
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Old December 27, 2016, 12:42 PM   #3
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The Mantix-X sounds really cool, that's the route I would probably go.
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Old December 27, 2016, 12:52 PM   #4
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"...feedback on each shot..." Dry firing isn't about any shot. It's practice/training for breathing, sight picture and trigger control. No high priced 'tools' required. A door knob at the end of a hallway is handy though. Door knobs make good aiming points.
"...breaking my wrist..." Dry firing won't tell you that. Breaking the wrist is recoil related.
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Old December 27, 2016, 03:29 PM   #5
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I recently acquired some 22 LR snap caps, i will report how they hold up.
Years ago an old time shooter showed cushioning pads-made out of a piece of an old bicycle tube, e.g.-that he used between the hammer and the frame mounted firing pins of his Colt revolvers. Cushioned the impact.
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Old December 27, 2016, 03:55 PM   #6
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Have you investigated air guns?
Some of them are like using live fire .22s, with about the same recoil.
There's probably an airgun version very much like your firearm, if not exactly like it.
I get most of mine from pyramydair.com
You can check out their videos and road tests for more info.
I've been using airguns for many years and don't even bother with dry fire anymore.
If it's good enough for some of the top shooters, it's good enough for me, too.
And it really is.
Hard to improve on the feed back of holes in actual targets with recoil equal to rimfire pistols.
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Old December 27, 2016, 04:37 PM   #7
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I'd never actually thought about air guns. Do you use them indoors at home? Id have to use a garage or basement where I might have a max 15' distance. I suppose I could hang a dropcloth so I don't embed pellets in my drywall
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Old December 27, 2016, 06:40 PM   #8
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I have target frames made of plywood with paper target faces for use in the garage, 20" x "15 in size hanging from the aluminum overhead garage door frame with S hooks.
Large enough to avoid misses that might damage the door.
Adding props like cardboard barricades on stands spread around the place provides challenging courses of fire.
Airsoft pellets aren't hard to stop, but lead pellets can go through the door.
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Old December 28, 2016, 11:46 AM   #9
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I use a Daisy 717.
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Old December 29, 2016, 08:10 AM   #10
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I've been looking at a number of tools that claim to help improve your dry fire practice
How about using the guns you own. Place a coin on top of the slide/barrel OF A UNLOADED GUN point it at a item in your practice area and pull the trigger while not having the coin fall off the gun while maintaining sight picture. Doesn't cost anything, and save your money for ammo for live fire
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Old December 29, 2016, 09:45 AM   #11
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I use the dryfire laserlyte gun and target it comes with, I feel that the system is a lot of fun even my girlfriend enjoys it. You can readily see how your trigger pull is impacting your shot placement and the targets at least the ones I have have a time limit in which to hit them in order to induce stress. I practice drawing from a holster and shooting the target within the time allotted from a ackward positions regularly. Over time I feel as if my trigger pull has improved with use of the trainer, I use it as a supplement to actual dryfiring.
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Old December 29, 2016, 12:33 PM   #12
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In picked up a LaserLyte Pistol Laser Trainer on Amazon for $20 it fits in the barrel and is sound acatavated...



Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
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Old December 30, 2016, 10:15 AM   #13
MrBorland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioGuy
I've been looking at a number of tools that claim to help improve your dry fire practice.
Dry fire serves a number of purposes (dry fire's also invaluable for improving your gun handling skills), but I assume you're interested in improving your trigger control for better accuracy. Understand that an important part of effective dry fire is practicing your visual skills, since the front sight is of paramount importance during the shot process. It's my opinion, then, that things like laser lights that take your visual awareness away from the front sight during the shot process are actually counterproductive (same reason I don't recommend ShootNC targets at the range).

I'd recommend simply watching the front sight, especially if your goal is to help your accuracy. If you want some feedback, the SCATT system is the cat's meow for a lot of competitive target shooters. It's pricey, to be sure, so the mantisx system looks to be a decent alternative.

Whichever you choose, though, stay (visually and mentally) on the front sight - it tells you everything you need to know. Worry about the computer readout after you're done.
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Old December 31, 2016, 06:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
"...breaking my wrist..." Dry firing won't tell you that. Breaking the wrist is recoil related.
I've seen people transfer it to dry-fire though. They just think that is the way it is supposed to happen.

Quote:
things like laser lights that take your visual awareness away from the front sight during the shot process are actually counterproductive (same reason I don't recommend ShootNC targets at the range).
Interesting. I've never felt distracted by shoot-N-C targets. I can see what you are saying with the lasers though.
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Old December 31, 2016, 07:47 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by IrishGuy824 View Post
The Mantix-X sounds really cool, that's the route I would probably go.

My girlfriend is buying me one for my birthday. Have to let her, since I'm a hard person to buy a present for.

I'm a big dry fire guy... and have a few lasers on guns mainly for that. I'll use them in defense if needed, but prefer using sights. But the MantisX seems to be a very useful tool. Actually telling you what you are doing wrong gives you a better training session... as you work on what you need to. Only issue would be only using it on railed guns. I downloaded the app, and it seems very well designed.

I will use mine on my SP-01, being I really like that gun.
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Old December 31, 2016, 09:18 AM   #16
Don P
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"...breaking my wrist..." Dry firing won't tell you that. Breaking the wrist is recoil related.
I watch shooters at our revolver matches break their wrists when they loose count of rounds and run their gun empty and pull the trigger on a spent case. Which is a dry fire shot!!!
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Old December 31, 2016, 10:35 AM   #17
MrBorland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwilliamson062
I've never felt distracted by shoot-N-C targets
They distract shooters by tempting them to peek at the target between shots, which is a bad habit and a real accuracy killer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Don P
I watch shooters at our revolver matches break their wrists when they loose count of rounds and run their gun empty and pull the trigger on a spent case.
I see even good IDPA/USPSA wheelgunners do that. When shooting at speed, I think it's natural to push against recoil (I even recall seeing an old grainy McGivern video where he seems to be pushing against recoil). Their shots hit true, so it's not something I lump in with bona fide problems like flinching, etc.
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Old January 22, 2017, 09:10 PM   #18
Bigtimber
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Loads of dry fire drills and there basically all free. Just a great way to gain some muscle memory and practice most anywhere. No way Id pay for a service of that nature....but that is just me....just get creative with creating your on drills and stay safe.
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Old January 22, 2017, 09:21 PM   #19
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I had some gift carts from Christmas and finally decided to try out the laser ammo kit.

I combined it with free shoot off software and I have to say it's an interesting combination of technologies. I have only got about 45 min into it so far but I primarily got it to practice draw from cover or low ready and first shot on target double action reaction times. So far it seems to be a great tool for this.

I agree that really all you need is a gun, a shell casing sitting atop the slide/barrel and a steady hand but this system makes it much more fun and adds some measurements and audio cues etc.
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Old January 22, 2017, 09:57 PM   #20
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I'd never actually thought about air guns. Do you use them indoors at home? Id have to use a garage or basement where I might have a max 15' distance. I suppose I could hang a dropcloth so I don't embed pellets in my drywall
I have a cardboard box that holds 5 5-gallon bucket lids. Air rifle pellets only go through 2-3 of them at 10-20 yards.
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Old January 23, 2017, 08:16 AM   #21
OhioGuy
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Cool. Air guns seem like a great training tool.

I just got a LaserLyte system last week that I'm playing with now. Seems like a good tool too.
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Old January 23, 2017, 09:26 AM   #22
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Just a couple notes regarding airguns.

1st you can make a really good backstop with an old electrical junction box and some duct seal. It will be heavy but will stop anything you throw at it.

2nd be aware that airguns that are spring powered are a totally different beast then firearms and require a completely different skill set to shoot accurately. If you try to apply firearm disciplines to them you will likely be frustrated, whether rifle or pistol. What they WILL teach you is trigger control, follow through and consistency. These skills will obviously carry over to firearms.

3rd C02 or PCP or SSP airguns can provide a more firearm like experience. Many C02 replicas will even work the slide. Be aware, however, these are WAY LOUDER then you might think they will be. Also I find C02 guns typically have horrendous triggers and accuracy that is sub par. PCP and SSP type guns usually are much much more accurate but lose out on the reality.

4th Airsoft actually does a good job of replicating firearms and can be a great drawn and fire/gun handling/shoot on the move type training tool. They are not generally all that accurate, although good ones are more accurate then you would think.

Just a little food for thought. Enjoy and BE SAFE.

Chris
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Old January 23, 2017, 12:28 PM   #23
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It's my opinion, then, that things like laser lights that take your visual awareness away from the front sight during the shot process are actually counterproductive (same reason I don't recommend ShootNC targets at the range).
That's an excellent point. A laser by itself is only one part of a solution. You also need an electronic target or software with a camera to 'see' and tally your shots so you can use proper fundamental techniques. (see more about that in this thread)

Training to look for a laser dot is not good training.

As far as shootNCs, they also have their place. I never use them at close range like 15 yards, but I will use them with an AR15 at 50y or 100y where I can't see a .22 hole in paper even with my spotting scope. They are most helpful as zeroing targets, especially the very large ones. I never did have very good vision and they save me a lot of eye strain.

Quote:
They distract shooters by tempting them to peek at the target between shots, which is a bad habit and a real accuracy killer.
That's a training issue, not a tool issue. Plinking can have that issue too. They need to learn "don't do that" and use proper follow through like we all did. In fact the distraction by laser trainers or ShootNC targets may even be beneficial. If a new shooter can overcome the distraction and continue to focus on the front sight all the way through a shooting session despite the temptation to look over the sights, then they may find themselves "in the zone" and fully "get it".

Last edited by DMK; January 23, 2017 at 12:49 PM.
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Old January 23, 2017, 12:42 PM   #24
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"...feedback on each shot..." Dry firing isn't about any shot. It's practice/training for breathing, sight picture and trigger control. No high priced 'tools' required. A door knob at the end of a hallway is handy though. Door knobs make good aiming points.
"...breaking my wrist..." Dry firing won't tell you that. Breaking the wrist is recoil related.
The Mantis X can be used with live fire. IMO, that's the real benefit to that tool. You can log data from your actual shooting and diagnose your technique with actual recoil.
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Old January 27, 2017, 11:28 AM   #25
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Good old fashioned dry practice, man.
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