If you carry concealed, you owe it to yourself and those around you to stay sharp. Obviously, there is no substitute for range time. However, ammunition is not cheap, and sometimes, time and conditions make it hard to get to the range. For this reason, dry fire training is the next best thing to actual range time. So, we take a look at 10 dry fire training systems to help enhance your dry fire practice.
Enhance Your Shooting Skills with Dry Fire Training
Running dry fire drills may not have the same real-world results as sending rounds downrange, but it runs an important second. Dry fire practice helps hone essentials like trigger control, sight alignment, proper grip, and stance. Not to mention safely practicing drawing from the holster and acquiring a fast sight picture.
Dry fire practice ranges from simply shooting at a single target to home clearing drills and everything in between. Likewise, there are simple and inexpensive tricks you can do to enhance your practice. For example, during simple single-target drills, I like to balance an empty shell on the slide of my pistol. And on the rounded slide of my SIG P226, that can be a difficult drill.
However, if you really want to step up your dry fire game, there are some really great training tools on the market. And just like practicing without training devices, you can get as advanced and elaborate as you would like.
Before You Start
There are some very important considerations before you start your dry fire training. In most cases, you will be using your own firearm. This means that you are pulling the trigger of a real firearm in your home. For this reason, it is imperative that you practice extreme caution and place a serious focus on safety.
First things first, make sure that your firearm is unloaded and that there is NO live ammunition in the area. This includes both a visual and manual check of the firearm and the area. You cannot exercise enough caution while making your firearm safe. Check it, and then check it again. Trust but verify.
Next, make sure that you are paying close attention to the basic rules of firearm safety:
- Always keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction
- Treat all guns as though they are loaded
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot
- Always be sure of your target and what’s beyond it
Dry fire training is not only for honing your shooting skills, but it’s also good for practicing the above rules of safe gun handling. Safety should always be your first priority when handling a firearm of any kind.
Now, let’s take a look at some dry-fire training systems.
Mantis X10 Elite
Perhaps the most popular dry fire system on the market is the MantisX. The MantisX utilizes a laser training device that mounts directly on your accessory rail. Because of this mounting platform, as opposed to a drop-in laser round, the MantisX can be used to collect thousands of data points per second—for dry and live fire. As a result, you get real-time information on your trigger pull, accuracy, and more.
The Mantis X10 Elite combines every MantisX model and adds a few extras, like recoil analysis and holster draw analysis. It also features smaller hardware, 3x the battery life, and 4x the data rate. Likewise, the software supports all shooting sports, including pistol, rifle, and archery.
For more information, please visit MantisX.com.
Mantis Laser Academy
The Mantis Laser Academy Training Kit comes with everything you need for a full training experience. An included Pink Rhino laser round (in the caliber of your choice) drops into your firearm and works with the Mantis Laser Academy app (also included – a $99 value). The app allows for multiple different training scenarios from single target to multiple targets. Likewise, there is even a dueling option, so you can train with a friend.
Everything you need to get started comes in this training system. This includes complete sets of 5×7 and 8×11 targets, two phone tripods, a portable carrying case, etc.
For more information, please visit MantisX.com.
One of the coolest innovations from Mantis is the BlackbeardX for AR-15 dry fire training. An inherent problem with dry firing an AR-15 is that you have to run the charging handle after every shot. This breaks up the flow of trying to run multiple targets or perform multi-shot drills. The Blackbeard auto-resetting trigger system takes care of that for you.
Combining the auto-resetting trigger with the MantisX training system provides real-time information and drills to improve your AR performance. However, the BlackbeardX takes it a step further with information like on target delay, over-travel, transition path, etc. It provides all the information you need to clean up habits you may not even know you have.
For more information, please visit MantisX.com.
iTarget Pro is another training aid that has been around for a while and is popular among many shooters. Like the MantisX Training System, it utilizes a laser round that drops in the chamber of your firearm and tracks target shooting. However, iTarget now has the Cube that allows for immediate feedback and multi-target exercises.
When you shoot the Cube, it makes a buzzing sound and flashes an LED light for instant feedback. Likewise, it also communicates with the free Cube app with three training modes. When used with the app, you can run a clearing drill, random drill, or sequential drill. However, the drills will take multiple Cubes.
MSRP: $89.95 (single) $249.95 (3 pack)
For more information, please visit iTargetPro.com.
Unlike most of the products on this list, BarrelBlok does not emit a laser or provide any feedback. However, what it does is ensures that your firearm is made completely safe before any dry fire practice. As a result, you can be confident that you are observing the safe practices discussed above.
Simply insert the BarrelBlok into your chamber, and it completely blocks any live ammo from entering the chamber. Then, place the MagBlok magazine insert into your magazine, and you are ready to rock. With the BarrelBlok inserted, it extends out the end of the barrel, providing a visual cue that you are safe.
For more information, please visit BlokSafety.com.
G-Sight ELMS Plus Propack
The G-Sight ELMS Plus Propack boasts a laser training round that will last for many years to come. Featuring a replaceable strike pad and best-in-class accuracy (according to the company), you can anticipate enduring longevity. Correspondingly, the ELMS Plus comes with five additional rubber strike pads.
The entire training system includes the ELMS Plus laser training cartridge, heavy-duty tripod with a phone holder, one basic shooter target, and G-Sight Laser Training Pro app.
For more information, please visit G-Sight.com.
LaserHIT Dry Fire Training Kit – Wireless-X Mini
Like other dry fire systems, the Wireless-X Mini utilizes a laser round and an app for tracking your shot placement. However, where the Wireless-X Mini differs is in its connection to your television. When connected, the results of your dry fire training are projected immediately to your tv. As a result, you don’t have to keep going back and forth to your smaller phone screen to check results.
The dry fire tool comes with a laser training cartridge, Wireless-X adapter, cartridge carrier, tripod with phone holder, cartridge extractor, six targets, a case, and the LASERHIT app.
For more information, please visit LaserHit.com.
Dry fire practice with a double-action revolver or semi-auto pistol can be very rewarding and enhance your skills. However, dry fire training with a striker-fired pistol can be a pain and invite some bad habits into your shooting. This is because you have to rack the slide to reset the trigger after every shot. This not only gets you in the habit of needlessly racking the slide constantly but also prevents multiple shot/target drills.
DryFire Mag provides a dry fire tool that resets the trigger and keeps you focused on your drills instead of building bad habits. It is currently only available for most full-frame Glocks, Springfield XD, Smith & Wesson M&P, and Sig Sauer P320. But keep an eye on them, they may add more options in the future.
MSRP: from $98.99
For more information, please visit DryfireMag.com.
Laser Ammo Home Defense Training Package
The Home Defense Training Package is a great option for those that want a full, multi-target experience with instant feedback. Unlike other training systems, this system doesn’t utilize an app. Instead, it has a wireless control unit that can switch between different training programs with the push of a button. Also, instead of using a laser round in your own firearm, the kit includes a recoil-enabled training gun with an IR laser. Likewise, you get to choose the model most comfortable for you.
The i-MTTS system includes five targets, and features target-to-target communication. As a result, you have six shooting modes: Standalone, Steel Plate Shooting, Chase the Ball, Shoot/No Shoot, Double Speed Shoot/No Shoot, and Double Tap. During each drill, the targets provide audible and visual notifications and provide feedback that will help improve your performance.
For more information, please visit Laser-Ammo.com.
Finally, another solution to the trigger reset problem is the SIRT pistol. The SIRT Pistol is a standalone pistol that emits a laser and automatically resets the trigger. As a result, you can be confident that your dry fire training is completely safe, as the SIRT will not accept live ammo.
Using the Glock profile, many will already be used to the feel of the pistol. Although it doesn’t have an app or other feedback apparatus, it does emit a laser, providing visual feedback. However, according to Mantis, the SIRT Pistol also works with the MantisX app. So you can still track your training progress.
MSRP: $239.00 – $439.00
For more information, please visit NextLevelTraining.com.
If you are new to shooting, I recommend our Gun Primer for new Shooters, which is totally free to download. There is a lot of great information to help new shooters develop safe habits and instill confidence.