by Graham Baates
There are many reasons to practice at home. Range costs, ammo availability, time availability, defensive tactics, and restrictive range rules can all make good defensive practice difficult, and standing at a bench banging away at a piece of paper gets old. Between schools I’ve attended and my time working as an NRA Certified Handgun Instructor I’ve seen many products offering to close these gaps but been impressed with few of them.
They typically either involve too much cost and set up time or involve using what amounts to little more than a toy gun in place of your own handgun and so negate the potential motor-muscle skills such as developing an instinctive grip or control manipulation. Add to that the color they tend to make the devices, albeit in the name of safety, tends to make them look and feel more like a complicated toy than a serious training tool.
Enter Laser Ammo. Using your own firearm, and with set-up time taking about a minute you immediately have five modes available with application running far beyond that. Rather than composing a list you can see them in action with the video, but the point remains the same that this is a system that lets you practice at home with your own firearm and train for speed and accuracy.
Alternative options add even more by changing the rules. For example the shooter can standby during the shoot/no-shoot period and wait for a red target to appear then present to the ready and engage. The system can also be set up around the house by a friend or loved one and then the shooter practices approach and clearing tactics. Much like other systems out there the Laser Ammo kits are not inexpensive, but I argue they’re a cost-saver. For us the local range is a 40 minute drive and $25 for a session.
Add to that a $5 ammo inspection fee or house ammo at a couple dollars above bulk-rate per box, and a couple dollars-worth of targets and each session easily costs about $60 and a couple hours. At that rate the Laser Ammo system as we tested pays for itself both financially and in opportunity cost within a month’s worth of “normal” range sessions. On top of that there’s no lead exposure, hearing loss, and we gain the chance to practice different positions, movements, and tactics. Critics can argue that Laser Ammo lacks recoil, but when we consider that recoil is what happens after the shot is taken the training loss is minimal.
Laser Ammo is available in various forms, the variety of which can be seen here: http://store.laser-ammo.com/
Graham Baates is an Army veteran of 15 years who now works as a firearms instructor and journalist. His work can be found under the name GBGuns on the blog www.GBGuns.org and YouTube channel www.YouTube.com/GrahamBaates. You can read more of his work on at OnTargetHawaii.com.