Best pistol training tools; dry and live fire


    For a normal person, having the time and extra money to travel to the range, pay the fees or membership, then acquire enough ammo to make practice worthwhile might not be possible, or at least possible often enough to show real lasting improvement.

    Pistol shooting is not an easy skill to hone, although everyone has the ability with enough practice. That is the secret.....practice, but not just squeezing the trigger while holding on a given target. In order to improve, you must get immediate feedback telling you what works and what doesn't. That is what really drives the improvement.

    The answer to these issues lies in the latest laser technology allowing you to dry fire practice at home at your leisure while using your own handgun. In addition, this type of practice carries a zero $ ammo cost and gives your brain immediate feedback on shot placement. There is no better way to train and when you go to the range, you will quickly see the results.

    #1 Top Pick MantisX10

    Some shooters will tell you that only live fire practice is worthwhile. Others believe that good dry fire practice is the key to improving your performance with a pistol. I would say they are both correct, but only if you are learning from your mistakes. Any practice session where nothing new is learned is a waste of time.

    The MantisX training system utilizes your pistol or rifle. There are no plastic guns that must be used. You are handling your firearm that you will actually use in competition, target shooting, or self defense. This is a huge plus of this system. If your pistol, or rifle, has a rail, this system will work with it.

    It works whether live or dry firing allowing the most realistic feedback possible. Analysis of draw, and how recoil affects your performance are just a few features. It comes with a free app that works with your phone to present your performance in easy to understand formats on several different screens.

    In addition, coaching tips and performance tracking are feedback to you based on your individual performance. It's hard to buy even personal one on one training that is as valuable to helping a shooter improve. It can even double as a shot timer when live firing allowing fun competitions with your shooting buddies.

    Realize that with dry fire, single action pistols require working the slide between each shot. Double action pistols will do rapid shots without having to work the slide. When live firing, of course rapid fire works with both single and double action pistols. I have found no equipment on the market yet that allows rapid shots when dry firing a single action pistol. Hopefully someone is working on that now.

    More information and actual use of the system for dry firing practice in the video below.

    This video incorporates live fire training using the Mantis x10. This guy is only using the recoil management portion of the system, but there are many more things it can do.



    The MantisX10 is the top of the line training system and is priced slightly less than $270 right now on Amazon. There are other versions offered by Mantis, the X3 and the Mantisx that are less expensive but deliver fewer features and having a smaller size than the X10.



    LaserHit system


    This system is pretty much a lite version of the Mantis 10x and therefore, at around $140 is priced accordingly.

    You just drop the laser cartridge into your chamber do a short calibration, start up the free LaserHit app on your smart phone and you are off to the races

    Two o-rings keeps the cartridge in place and maintain alignment during training Rimless design prevents the cartridge from being extracted during cycling of the slide.

    There is a hardened rubber primer to protect your firing pin from wear (replaceable)

    It comes with LaserHit paper targets that are specifically created to increase robustness to the light sensitivity. The are scaled for long distance practice within a small room and include a reload mark for touch-less reload

    The LaserHit mobile app is available on iPhone (6 and up) and on Android (Lollipop 5.0 and up). Setup it up in minutes with on-screen instructions.

    It has a unique touch-less reload feature and so you can restart your practice session without leaving the firing line

    There is a hit-counter to track the total number of hits. It's HD TV ready: connect your phone to your TV to provide large and crystal clear content visible from your firing line in real time

    NOTES: SA firearms required to rack the slide before each shot



    Dry Fire Mag


    The Dry Fire Mag Training Mag is a huge development in pistol dry fire training. It's sole function is to reset the trigger after dry firing a shot during practice so that quickly dry follow up shots can be made.

    All instructors will preach the value of dry fire but there has always been that issue of having to reset the trigger by working the slide. This interrupts the train of thought and has always made multiple shot dry fire practice impossible. Those days are over with the Dry Fire Mag.

    Now, with the Dry Fire Mag, when you activate your trigger, you get the feel and sound of the firing pin release. With both hands still in the firing position and staying on target, you simply let the Dry Fire Mag reset the trigger with a snap, and you are ready for your next “shot”.

    Now, that’s the kind of action you need to build the correct muscle memory! It has to be second nature when a real-life situation presents itself.

    Save money on ammo and expensive range fees while still getting the realistic feel and sound of shooting practice. Finally, you can get quality training from the comfort of your home when you can't make that trip to the range.

    Please realize that this tool is not re-cocking your striker. It is just simulating the feel of a cocked striker. The first shot actually activates the striker. After that the firing pin will not activate and allow the use of a laser cartridge, etc.

    Be aware that you must buy the magazine that fits your pistol. It will work with both double stack mags in most Glock and S&W models. It is currently priced at less than $105. Get more information on this product at Amazon by clicking these links.

    To check out the latest price on Amazon select your pistol below


    Glock models

    S&W models


    Trigger Trainer


    There is nothing more important in pistol shooting than trigger control. All of the other fundamentals an be correct but if you are torquing the trigger during the shot, impacts will be all over the target.

    Isolation of the trigger finger and it's movement is the key. A bad trigger press occurs when the trigger is not pressed straight back along the axis of the pistol because movement in the trigger finger is causing movement in the other fingers and parts of the hand. Good shooters learn to isolate the trigger finger from the rest of the hand.

    The Trigger Trainer is a tool that helps accomplish trigger finger isolation through muscle memory. Trigger pull weight is adjustable so you an duplicate the pull on your pistol or you can train with a heavier weight to condition your hand

    You can use this tool anywhere and get a high number of repetitions easily and conveniently. These repititions are what drive consistency by making the proper trigger finger action automatic because the proper techniques are burned into memory.

    After a while, you won't even have to think about making the proper trigger pull. It will just occur as your brain has been programmed correctly for this task.

    The Trigger Trainer runs around $45 on Amazon.



    Pink Rhino


    The Pink Rhino is a laser cartridge designed to replace the live round in your chamber. It is activated by a button on the rear, where the primer is on a live round. When the hammer or striker touches the button a laser is projected down the barrel and displays on your target exactly where a bullet would impact.

    This device can be used alone with anything as a target....a dot on the wall, a target graphic, etc, or it can be used with most of the latest shooting analysis apps like Mantisx, Laserlyte, Itarget, G-Sight, LaserHit, and more. It works with all visible laser targets and simulators.

    The device also makes for an easy way to bore sight pistol red dot devices quickly and accurately. Requires 3 LR626 alkaline batteries (included). The dot is easily seen even in full sunlight.

    A huge plus with this device is it allows to use your own pistol or pistols. It will fit any 9 mm pistol and work just fine. This makes practice realistic and efficient. The only thing missing is the recoil and muzzle blast which is the best part.

    Recoil and muzzle blast are the cause of bad habits. One major objective of live fire practice is to learn to ignore these, or in other words don't let them cause flinching. Dry fire practice is the best way to cure, or prevent flinching.

    Practice with one of these and focus on preventing the muzzle moving during the shot and you will see your live fire practice at the range improve on the first visit.




    ProHands Gripmaster


    It is a well known fact that the majority of missed shot error occurs at the trigger when pistol shooting. It usually happens because the trigger is torqued by the finger in one direction or the other instead of being pressed straight back along the center line of the pistol.


    Much of this torquing motion originates in the hand, not the trigger finger. This device is designed to help you isolate movement ad strength in the trigger finger while not allowing the rest of the hand to interfere.


    You get immediate feedback from the mounted laser as to how successful you were. If the laser moves it indicates that the muzzle of you pistol would also have moved and caused an errant shot. Learn to squeeze the trigger without the laser moving and you will see quantum improvement in your pistol shooting during you next visit to the range.

    You can purchase this device with different pull weights. It's used in both military and police training. Well worth the price.


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