Lasers may be gimmicks in some ways, but they can be darned useful gimmicks. While they will probably never replace old-tech sights on pistols, a good laser aiming aid can serve well. My own regular carry pistol has an internal laser system, and I enjoy the option of kicking it on when the situation demands it.
LaserLyte is one of the major players in supplying laser aiming systems to the buying public. Like many companies, they make some neat rail mount units with interesting (and useful) features. But.... this post is not about a laser sighting system, but instead.... the LaserLyte LT-PRO laser Training device. Not meant for use with live ammunition, but as a means to squeeze yet more gain from dry fire practice.
The LT-PRO is not rail mounted, but actually slides down inside the barrel of the pistol. By centering in the barrel, no adjustment is needed. The business end is tapered to self center in the bore, while the chamber end uses an expanding plastic bushing to align the unit with the bores center. Once it's adjusted for that caliber pistol, installing and removing it takes seconds.
The only adjustment is in the bushing, and that's with one tiny screw (tool supplied). I found it best to get the fit close, and then turn the muzzle end gently till the unit snugs into the bore. Once that's done, it fits well and seems in no danger of falling out even while cycling the slide on a semi-auto.
How does it work? Extremely simply, from the users viewpoint. It's sound activated, and the hammer/striker action is all it takes to make it pulse. Drop the hammer or trip the striker, and the sound will cause the laser to pulse for a fraction of a second. In fact, laying the pistol down on a hard table will cause it to pulse, as will racking the slide. In one case, just for fun... I yelled at my poor shocked LCP just to see what would happen. A good sharp bark is indeed sufficient to trip the laser pulse. There was not one pistol in the Carteach0 armory (in that caliber range) which refused to work perfectly with the LT-PRO.
What's the point? Fine question, and why I asked LaserLyte to have a look at this unit.
Without argument, live fire training is the best way to gain skills with a pistol, but sometimes it's not enough. Thus, 'dry fire' comes to the battle. Using no ammunition, the shooter simply practices sight picture, trigger squeeze, follow through, proper draw, and all the other myriad actions that go into good shooting technique. Everything but the bang..... and everything but knowing where the bullet would have struck.
The LT-PRO changes that. Each time the pistol is drawn, presented, and dry 'fired', the shooter gets a very clear and relatively accurate idea of exactly where the muzzle was pointed when the hammer fell.
Low light? No problem.
Point shooting? Works perfectly.
Odd shooting positions? Exactly what's needed.
Confusing the house cat? Finest toy known to man.
Here in the Carteach0 household, the LaserLyte training aid was tried in a number of weapons, both semi-auto and revolver. Where it really shown brightest (Bad pun) was in the pocket pistol category, and the Ruger LCP backup pistol led the pack. The LCP has minimal sights at best, and under low light conditions they vanish. Quite a number of shooters install lasers on the Elsie Pea because of that.
A few impressions......
Read the directions! The packaging shows a set of batteries within, and it should be noted these are spare batteries. The LT-PRO comes with another set installed. Unscrewing the battery cover without knowing this will cause one to chase tiny little batteries across the kitchen floor. Not that this happened to Carteach. No, he is not a complete idiot, and he read the instructions first. Sure he did.
As with any dryfire practice, the weapon must be unloaded and any ammunition locked away on the forest moon of Endor before beginning. I cannot imagine how bad a mistake it would be to fire live ammunition with the LT-PRO in the bore. On the LCP, the unit reaches into the chamber making this impossible. On the Glock G-30 and the S+W M+P, that is not the case.
Unscrewing the unit too far while installed in the bore will cause the battery cover/bushing unit to come off. Once again... tiny batteries rolling across the kitchen floor. The piece left in the bore easily pushes out without damage, but it's still embarrassing. I'm sure this is just a teething pain for a new owner, and someone with more active brain cells than Carteach will never see this problem.
The unit is sensitive to sound. Racking the slide sets it off. Cocking the hammer trips the laser. Yelling at football on the TV may cause it to flash. Just setting the pistol on a table activates a pulse. So..... LaserLyte supplies a tiny plastic disc to place between the batteries when the unit is not being used. One tiny plastic disc. Best to keep this in mind.
A couple evenings working the LCP slide and randomly dry firing at various living room targets had point shooting accuracy coming along nicely. Where initial 'shots' landed with a foot of the target, that distance was soon reduced to mere inches. The confidence boost alone makes the unit worth every penny, and at less than $100 new retail, the LaserLyte LT-PRO costs less than four or five boxes of ammunition.
Overall? I want one of these. It's worth every penny just for making dry fire practice doubly as effective. Confusing the house cat is a side bonus.
Note: LaserLyte supplied this unit (unopened) for testing and review. It's going back to the company, and I'll be placing an order for a new one of my own.
The Saddest Words Of Screen Or Device... - "Installing update 1 of 497." Gak.
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