With ammunition so hard to find right now, it makes sense to find ways to augment your training time on the range with additional dry fire training at home.
The SIRT Pistol is an option for home dry fire that won’t cause wear and tear on your gun and comes with absolutely no chance of negligent discharge.
Use our link to get the SIRT Pistol and save 10% with our code deg10.
What is a SIRT Pistol?
SIRT stands for Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger. The SIRT Pistol comes in models that simulate an AR-15, a Sig P320, a compact pocket pistol, a Glock 17/22, or a Smith & Wesson M&P. The manufacturer, Next Level Training, is not associated with the aforementioned gun manufacturers.
A SIRT pistol has the same weight and size as the gun it imitates for a real-life feeling when you practice with it. There is no slide to rack and no place for actual ammunition, so you don’t need snap caps and there is no danger of accidentally shooting it.
The point of using a SIRT pistol is to provide dry firing practice that feels like a real gun but does not have the recoil of a real gun, so you can improve your trigger pull without the distraction of anticipating the recoil.
The laser has two settings. In the first setting, you have one dot that shows up when you pull the trigger, allowing you to see where your shot would hit. This is useful for improving your sighting skills.
You can continue to hold the trigger and adjust your sights right, left, up, or down to match where you thought you were aiming.
The second setting has two dots. The first dot shows up when you initiate the trigger pull and can be held at the point just before the trigger breaks, or completes the action that sets off the firing of the gun.
The second dot shows up when you complete the trigger break. This signals the completion of the shot.
Having the first dot shows you how steady your hand is, because the light moves as your hand moves.
Live fire with a real gun can allow a shooter to develop a flinch in anticipation of recoil, and it is useful to separate the recoil from the trigger pull to develop your trigger skills. Then you go to the range and apply your new trigger pull skills in a live fire situation with your real gun.
Standard Precautions Still Apply
Even though it is strictly a simulation, follow the four cardinal rules of gun safety: treat every gun like it is loaded, keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot, never point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy, and know your target and what is beyond it.
If you follow these rules even with simulated guns, your muscle memory will be learning correct technique and you won’t develop careless habits that could take over in a situation involving real guns.
When your mind is overwhelmed with a crisis, you want your automatic actions to be the right ones.
How the SIRT Pistol Compares to the Real Thing
I got out my husband’s SIRT Pistol 110, modeled after a Glock 17, and compared it to the striker-fired FN FNS-9 that he uses for his home defense gun. (See my article on types of pistols to learn about striker vs hammer fired).
With the magazine out, the FNS-9 was palpably heavier at 21 7/8 ounces, compared with 12 1/2 ounces for the SIRT. According to the Glock website, an unloaded Glock 17 weighs 24.87 ounces.
I racked the FNS-9 to remove the last round and shone a flashlight into it to verify that no ammunition remained. This was not necessary for the SIRT pistol, which does not have a moving slide.
In order to dry fire the FNS-9 I had to rack the slide before each trigger pull. The SIRT reset its own trigger each time for easier practice.
I held the FNS-9 in my left (dominant) hand and the SIRT pistol in my right hand and pulled both triggers at the same time in a Yosemite Sam type arrangement, but without the yelling.
The triggers had similar weights, with the FNS-9 feeling a little heavier and the SIRT feeling a little smoother. I stopped at the break point and found them similar in the final step of activating the trigger.
I compared the SIRT to another brand of laser training system and found the other one had a less convincing feeling in the hand as well as a springier trigger that made a springy noise with each activation.
The SIRT pistol works with laser targets such as the Laserlyte targets shown above. You aim at the targets and they fall over when you hit them with the laser.
We had some barrel shapes targets that are not even in the stores any more. I did not care for the loud clicking noise the targets made, and it took persistence to get them to work. Eventually they did fall over when I hit them with the laser.
Newer models are on the market, such as this one from Laser Ammo Interactive, available at Optics Planet, that times your shooting. It comes in silhouettes as well as abstract shapes that you can set up around your home.
Laserlyte makes a more sophisticated target, available at Optics Planet, that gives you information about timeliness and accuracy. You turn it on and off by shooting it with the laser gun, which is kind of cool.
My Experience Using the SIRT Pistol
I found dry firing the SIRT pistol to be more pleasant and enjoyable than dry firing an actual striker-fired pistol because I did not have to rack the slide each time, and because I knew there was no chance of mishap with the SIRT pistol.
My weapon of choice is a revolver, and there is no SIRT equivalent of the revolver for comparison. Dry firing my revolver is something that I have learned to do comfortably, with the proper precautions.
Fortunately, clearing a revolver is as simple as removing the ammunition from the cylinder.
I discovered that I have a slight tendency to aim to the left of the target whether I am using left or right hand and left or right eye. As I practiced with the SIRT, I became more proficient at staying right in the middle of the sights.
Training with the two dots made me more aware of the trigger break so that I did not rush into the shot. I have a tendency to take a moment to get my composure and then rush through the shot itself to get it over with.
Without the anticipation of a recoil, I was able to focus on technique.
What SIRT Products Are Available?
It would be interesting to try the AR-15 version. To do that I would need to purchase the SIRT STIC and attach it to the SIRT Model 110.
To use the bolt version, I would need to replace the bolt carrier on an AR-15 style rife with the SIRT-AR bolt. Then my AR-15 would temporarily become a training device, with the laser shooting down the barrel, similar to the way a bore sight works (see my article on bore sights).
SIRT also makes a training knife with a durable rubber blade for practicing self defense without harming your partner.
SIRT makes training magazines, grip extensions, and spot sights for additional training opportunities, and they have published a training video.
The Bottom Line
Laser training does not replace live fire training, nor is it intended to. It does provide a useful way to augment your range time without leaving home or gearing up with eye and ear protection. It’s a way to add more information to your dry firing practice time.
A SIRT Pistol is not an essential like eye and ear protection or ammunition, but it is a handy training aid. Those of you with extra cash looking for a good Christmas or birthday present might want to consider it for your favorite gun toter this year.
Double Eagle Gunworks LLC provides onsite training as well as assistance with the purchase or transfer of firearms. Keep reading our blog. Visit our Double Eagle Gunworks YouTube Channel. Sign up for our newsletter.
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