49 responses

  1. Susan Vadnais
    August 10, 2015

    Sounds like something law enforcement officers may get into. Many of them may not be too concerned about the “sensory thrill” that dry fire lacks.

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      August 10, 2015

      Who said anything about a “thrill?” :-/

      Most police officers get VERY little firearms practice / training. For many, it’s a single box of ammo for annual “qualifications,” and that’s it.

      Reply

  2. Susan Vadnais
    August 10, 2015

    Excuse me. Lack of sensory “reward” as per your article. You highlighted this as one of the negatives … it can become boring. I don’t think Law Enforcement Officers would care about becoming bored with dry fire as it may help them in keeping up their training. Check out Dryfire.com It looks like this is being marketed to Law Enforcement too… not just gun ethusiasts.

    Reply

    • Susan Vadnais
      August 10, 2015

      Excuse me again…. actually the link is http://www.dryfirepractice.com

      Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      August 10, 2015

      By “sensory reward,” I am referring to feedback (as is explained in the following paragraph and in the rest of the article). This isn’t about a “thrill,” which is an emotional state. When analyzing or judging our performance as shooters, the feedback involves multiple senses, the first of which is visual. With live ammo, we see a reaction in the target… a hole… movement… destruction. That’s how we know if we hit the target at which we were aiming. There is auditory feedback, both in the shot fired and the sound of the target being hit (especially true with steel targets). “Bang! Ding!” versus “Bang! (nothing).”

      There is tactile feedback in recoil. There is tactile and visual feedback regarding our control of the firearm. Are the sights back on target? Or way off, due to a lack of control? I could go on and on. Experienced shooters know exactly what I’m talking about.

      Unenhanced Dry Fire gives NONE of that feedback (sensory reward) to a shooter. Nothing visual. Nothing audible. Nothing tactile. These Dry Fire gizmos and technology help put some of that back, making it not only more enjoyable, relatable, and transferable, but PRODUCTIVE, as well.

      Most LEOs are not interested in firearms at all, but rather see it as a requirement for the job. Very, very few are “enthusiasts.” Few practice on their own time or dime. Many departments, if they’re LUCKY, hand out ONE box of ammo (50 rounds) to each officer PER MONTH. That’s it. Budgets are tight. And, while it may be counterintuitive to those that are unfamiliar with the realities of LE firearms training… Not all LEOs are good marksmen. Some are. Some aren’t. There are available stats that prove that out… somewhere on my hard drive. But, that’s not the point of this article.

      The typical LE annual qualifications requirements are very easy. I have a pdf somewhere that illustrates the qualification drills. Very, very easy and forgiving. And, that’s OK. The point is that the assumption that all LEOs are super marksmen and super-knowledgeable about firearms is simply not true.

      I’m familiar with nearly all the Dry Fire gizmos and companies out there. 🙂 My bet is that very few LE departments would use these products, just as they do little live fire training.

      Reply

  3. Susan Vadnais
    August 10, 2015

    Thanks Mike. Good to know. Not being a skilled firearm expert or hobbyist, I would be more inclined to call it sensory feedback rather than sensory reward. But I can relate to the “rewards” that people get from the hobbies/interests they enjoy. I sense that you thoroughly enjoy firearms training and writing about it.

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      August 11, 2015

      The reward is knowing that your skills are improving and that your efforts are effective. The way that happens with shooting (and most sports, for that matter) are via the senses.

      Reply

  4. Susan Vadnais
    August 11, 2015

    Thanks. That’s a good explanation and one that makes sense to me.

    Reply

  5. Joe Hair
    August 30, 2015

    Thank you, Mike.
    This is EXACTLY what I have been looking for, and I didn’t even know it!

    I can see this as an excellent tool for pre-range practice. I almost have my wife convinced that we need to go to the range together. I can see this as something we can do together at home to be better prepared.

    Again,thank you for doing all of the legwork.

    Joe

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      August 30, 2015

      You betcha, Joe! I think this is an excellent way to introduce a new shooter to the mechanics of shooting. Proper grip. Sight alignment. Sight picture. Trigger control. All that stuff… BEFORE going to the noisy range.

      I’ve been using this LASR software for a few weeks now, and I love it.

      Good luck!

      Reply

  6. LJ Wilson
    September 12, 2015

    Great writeup and great software. I wish I had known about this system before spending $300 on a LaserLyte setup. This is much more flexible and gives so much more valuable information about my shooting mechanics and performance. The Laserlyte system will help with making improvements to accuracy, this helps with that and so much more. I plan on also including semi-live fire practice using Airsoft like this guy:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHArGTfPf-k

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      September 12, 2015

      Thanks. I might say that I wish I had known about it, too, before spending all that money on the LaserLyte stuff. But, I’m finding the LaserLyte gear has its place. I’m using both. And, it put me in a position to write a broad article that compared and contrasted the different systems. 🙂

      I have not yet tried the Airsoft gear. I’ll check out that video. Thanks again for your comment!

      Reply

  7. SeattleSeaGuy
    September 29, 2015

    Wow, thank you for the in-depth article on dry-firing! LASR is incredible! I had no idea that there was this kind of technology out there. I’ve found dry-firing to be really helpful in eliminating my flinch that shows up on occasion. Now my next project is to convince my dentist out here in Seattle http://www.docpavdental.com/ to come down to the range with me!

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      September 30, 2015

      Thanks, SeattleSeaGuy! I’m loving the LASR app. I can’t imagine any shooter not liking it. We all get that flinch after long shooting sessions, especially with bigger calibers. Thanks for chiming in!

      Reply

  8. SeattleSeaGuy
    September 30, 2015

    Really loving this site and am working through the archives. Really great stuff in here, keep up the good work!

    Reply

  9. RecoilTrainer
    October 30, 2015

    For the most realistic training…visit coolfiretrainer.com. CoolFire is a revolutionary drop-in recoil laser training system that utilizes CO2 and an integrated laser to turn YOUR gun into an effective and economical firearms training tool.

    CoolFire works with most electronic targets and many of the computer simulators.

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      October 30, 2015

      Thanks, for sharing that. Looks like a pretty cool system (no pun intended!).

      Reply

  10. Justin
    March 18, 2016

    Great article. As you mentioned in your article, ammunition costs can make it hard to train as often as you may like. So, naturally I turned to dry fire. I purchased the laserlyte target, real trigger trainer pistol, some small precision laser targets, etc. I, like you mentioned, found myself getting bored with the motions without the realism. So I found some new ways to spice it up. Firstly, I intend to purchase the LASR program….how kick ass is that?!? Secondly, I wanted to share my newest dry fire discovery that you may even like more than the SIRT training pistol. Here are the two links, I’ll let you figure it out…it won’t take much. If you’re anything like me this will get you excited.
    store.laser-ammo.com/airsoft/airsoft-laser-conversion-for-kwa-atp-pistols.html
    http://www.evike.com/products/35937/

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      March 19, 2016

      Thanks, Justin. Will check those out.

      Reply

  11. MTShooter
    November 2, 2016

    Nice review, but I think you should make the point that the L.A.S.R. system does NOT run natively on a Macintosh computer. Some people tend to forget that Windows computers are not the only ones that exist. Mac has a significant following. The L.A.S.R. will run on a Mac, but not without additional software (which = additional cost).

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      November 2, 2016

      I’m not a Mac fan at all. I’ve never owned a Mac, never will.

      I wasn’t aware that it wasn’t Mac-compatible. So, you just made the point for me / us. 🙂

      I think LASR is awesome enough to justify getting whatever bridge you need to run it on a Mac, though.

      I’m not a computer magazine writer that is trying to appeal to all readers. And, I don’t have the resources to test programs on every platform. I’m just a one-man show here writing about my thoughts and experiences.

      Maybe Apple will create their own laser dry fire software? 😉

      Reply

  12. John Cochran
    November 14, 2016

    Most extensive article I’ve seen on laser training systems. I’m interested in a recoil system like CoolFire to assist in my dry fire training for USPSA and other events. Are there any other laser recoil systems out there that cycle your pistol? Coolfire is great but their model selection is pretty limited. I submitted my pistol to them a few years ago(XDM 9), but haven’t seen or heard anything yet.

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      November 14, 2016

      Thanks! So far, I’m not impressed with my Coolfire. I don’t get many “shots” from a charge. And, the last shots are rather weak, barely cycling the slide. It’s a neat concept. I just don’t know if it’s “there,” yet… or there’s a problem with my unit. I sent them an email a long time ago, asking for help. Never heard back. I’ve been too busy with life to follow up. But, I will, eventually.

      Reply

  13. Dave B
    December 22, 2016

    Great article. I can tell you are a big fan of the LASR computer program but for those readers on a budget they might want to look at freeware programs to start. One program is “Sharp Spotter” which only requires a computer and webcam and is very simple to set up and use. The other is “Shootoff” which offers more options and has many video tutorials on YouTube. By trying one of these your readers might be able to get into a little better laser and find out if it’s right for them. Thanks

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      December 22, 2016

      Thanks for your comment, Dave. I was aware that there are some free apps out there. But, I don’t have time to review every app. There are also some paid apps that compete with LASR. When I compared them by researching them online, LASR came out on top for me. So, that’s the one I bought. Folks can do their own homework, of course. And, my article was too long already! 😉

      As for affordability, I would calculate the initial cost of a minimal laser system (laser, computer app, camera) as a function of live ammo costs and range time. So, $120 laser + $120 app + $40 web cam = $280.

      So, if I compare that to a typical range session for me… 300 rounds of 9-mm (for this example) + range time costs = $87 ($72 for ammo, $15 for range time).

      The cost of the laser system ($280) divided by $87 (ammo & range time) = 3.2 range sessions. So, the cost of the laser system is equivalent to approximately 3 – 4 range sessions with live ammo.

      Your mileage may vary. 😉

      Effectively the dry fire laser system pays for itself rather quickly. And, then beyond that, it’s all gravy… “free” practice!

      You can do your own math, of course.

      Reply

      • ura
        January 24, 2017

        The cost of the laser system can be reduced, if instead of a computer use a smartphone and a special application for it. Then you get:
        $ 120 laser + $ 10 software +5$ carholder for smartphone (optional)

        App called “Laser Range” in Google Play Market

        Reply

      • The Dental Warrior
        January 24, 2017

        Sure… the cost is reduced. But, you are NOT getting the same thing. The LASR app (which requires a computer) is FAR more feature-rich than any of the phone apps. There’s simply no comparison. But, yes… there are phone apps that record laser shots.

        Reply

  14. Tony Varone
    February 25, 2017

    Thank you for the great review. Your informative evaluation is valuable information for an individual interested in getting into dryfire practice. (which I believe should be a part of all shooters practice regime) I just recently purchased and set up the “Smokeless Range” by Laser Ammo Training Technologies. After spending a considerable amount of money on LaserLyte, SIRT, Airsoft and other dryfire products over the years I was always looking for something more and more realistic. Airsoft gas operated blowback weapons have been the most realistic for me but the plastic bb’s throughout my house and basement, dents in the sheetrock from target trap misses, etc. I knew I had to look for something better. The Smokeless Range has met my expectations so far. I bought the IR system to eliminate bad habits from chasing laser dots as you said. I also bought the KWA blowback G17 Glock Clone with the IR unit pre-installed. I have to commend Laser Ammo on their technical support during my initial software set up via Team Viewer while staying on the phone with me throughout the entire process. In addition, further questions via email were answered promptly and informatively. I cannot say enough goods things about their EXCELLENT support! The system is pricey, but as you stated, after loading up for the range, getting there, ammo cost, following range rules, cleaning your firearms, etc., you are looking at a formidable investment each time you go. And by the way, I have a range at my house and STILL practice dryfire extensively! I apologize for the lengthy post! Keep up the great site! Regards, Tony

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      February 25, 2017

      Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comment, Tony. I’m not familiar with the “Smokeless Range.” How did I miss that one? Haha! I’ll check it out. Editing to add: I had seen it. I just didn’t recognize the name initially. It involves using a video projector and screen. Never minding the considerable additional expense, it may present some logistical issues for some, as it pertains to having the space to set that up. But, it does look pretty cool. I’d need a dedicated “man cave” to set that up.

      I have stayed away from the Airsoft guns, as I do not want to deal with pellets littering my house. I’m pretty sure my wife wouldn’t like it, either! 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your experience!

      Reply

  15. PT
    May 25, 2017

    Great review. I purchased a SIRT, a .380 red cartridge for my Bodyguard S&W, and the LASR app based on your review. Up next is upgrading to IR and getting the shotgun and AR15 up and going.

    This is great practice for me, since I can’t make it to the live range all that much. Great practice for IDPA/USPSA and for concealed carry.

    I run the LASR on windows on my mac using bootcamp. Its a mild annoyance to boot up windows every time I want to practice, but the alternative programs don’t come close to the LASR software.

    I’d encourage most shooters to buy a SIRT and the LASR. For the price of a case of .223 you can get unlimited practice with a pistol, shotgun, or AR15 in your home.

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      May 26, 2017

      Sounds like you’ve got a nice system set up for effective (and frequent) dry fire practice! Thanks for the compliments. It’s great hearing that my article is helping!

      Reply

  16. John W. Browning
    June 9, 2017

    Since this was written I have to assume that the Cool Fire has been perfected. I just watched a live FB session with Michael Seeklander using this system that functioned perfectly and was highly recommended by him. So, It may have come to pass that this IS the holy grail and worth 400 bucks if it works.
    I’m going to give it a whirld on my 1911. I’m upset that so little is made for the XD. I wished a Glock and my hand could be friends.

    Reply

  17. Saint Ramon
    June 17, 2017

    I understand this article was published a few years ago. Well, web cams and PCs are so out of date by now – think your smart phone instead! Many people use their smart phones more than their PCs on a daily basis right now. In fact, most of the newer smart phones (- post 2015/2016) are so powerful (and, by the way, come with a built-in high quality camera) that they may outrun a Windows laptop made just 3 years ago. There is quite a few FREE mobile Dry Fire Apps in the Apple App Store and the Google App Store, as of June 2017. It would be interesting to see how they compare the $100 software listed here. I’d like to suggest an update to keep this article valid.

    Also, as a military-trained gun owner, I would argue that the term ‘sensory reward’ is a very dangerous term to use/promote. Serious gun owners do not get any ‘reward’ from watching the target got shot off or torn up, at least not for me and my buddies. It is probably more beneficial to everyone that we all promote a more serious attitude for gun ownership and the shooting skills. As far as I know, other than hunting and competition, there is only a few very rare cases that the shooting skills can be applied in a ‘rewarding’ sense in the modern days.

    Thanks!

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      June 17, 2017

      Thanks for your comments, Ramon.

      I’m not a fan of using a smart phone for anything except, in a pinch, as a substitute for a real laptop or real camera. The experience is not even close or comparable, IMO. I’ve glanced at the phone apps, and well… you generally get what you pay for. The LASR app is a robust program with features that will satisfy serious shooters, defensive trainers, and competitors. LASR’s features and display would not fit on a phone screen, either.

      Considering that I am not a professional firearms reviewer or blogger, I don’t feel any obligation to cover every single product on the market. Everything I’ve reviewed, I bought with my own money. Nobody is sending me freebies to test and review. 🙂 I have a life, a family, and a business to run. So, I write about my own limited experience. There are plenty of pros out there reviewing all kinds of goodies sent to them for that purpose.

      I’m also former military and enjoy pedantry as much as the next guy. But, let’s not split hairs on semantics. Substitute “sensory feedback,” if it assuages your sensibilities. Consider the CONTEXT of the term. We’re shooting paper and steel targets, not the “enemy” here. At ease, soldier. 🙂

      I’m as serious as they come pertaining firearms and their safe usage. I was even on national TV! 😉

      Reply

  18. David Boven
    August 26, 2017

    I’m still following your emails after all these years 3? Dry firing may be advantageous but “Mr Ed” reruns are still more interesting. Tech could be around the corner. Keep drilling down and filling us shooters in.

    Reply

  19. Bruno Ramasco
    January 1, 2018

    Hey, thank you very much for the article it is still very helpful!
    Have you ever heard about or used the MantisX system or the iTarget? What do you think about them?
    Thanks again!
    Cheers

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      January 3, 2018

      I’ve heard of them. I’ve perused their websites. But, I do not have any experience with them.

      I really like the LASR system. It is feature-rich, but you don’t have to be rich to buy it. 🙂 Also, the guys at LASR are constantly updating / improving LASR and are very responsive to customer input.

      Reply

      • Bruno Ramasco
        January 9, 2018

        Awesome! Thanks for you quick response!

        Reply

  20. Tony
    January 10, 2018

    How is this LASR compared to ShootOff software? I tried shoot off and was not impressed the Lighting was a pain to get just right. Still was not reliable as shots were missed or not responding. Also shots had a silly delay like 2 seconds LOL.
    LASR Videos looks like it would work in all light conditions ? I do not have a windows PC. I have a large iMac desk top NG for portability. Thinking of the LASR Station to move around my house but want to make sure before i spend 450 ?

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      January 11, 2018

      I am not familiar with ShootOff.

      I will say that LASR will not work in “all light conditions.” It can have issues with bright lighting or lighting that changes… For example… a big screen TV turned on in the room with the flickering light it can produce. I find that dimmer background / ambient lighting works best. It doesn’t have to be dark. But very bright can cause issues. The cool thing is LASR has a “calibration” button that you push once you’re set up. If there are problems with the lighting, the program will point it out for you.

      Reply

  21. Tony
    January 11, 2018

    Thanks for getting back so soon ! Have florescent lighting in my basement might be a problem with flickering? Without lights working will be to dark to see sights & targets at night.

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      January 11, 2018

      Honestly, I don’t know if fluorescent lights are an issue. I would doubt it, though. But, a big-screen TV screen can change brightness (and projected) light quite a bit. I have seen that affect LASR. A lot of the marketing / promotional videos made by the guys at LASR are in their offices, which presumably have fluorescent lighting, as most office buildings do. So, I would think you’re good to go.

      Reply

  22. Tony
    January 11, 2018

    Thanks For your opinion it helped a lot. I also called LASR the said i was good as long lights aren’t flickering! Now on a hunt for a refurbished laptop with windows 10 .
    Thanks Again for your Great Writeup .

    Reply

  23. Paul Cartwright
    January 12, 2018

    Thanks for the article. Any updates on CoolFire and how well (or not so well) it works? Have you tried an airsoft with a laserlyte or something similar for the felt recoil? That was an option I was considering as I too have concerns about CoolFire.

    Paul

    Reply

  24. Vince
    November 7, 2018

    What are your thoughts on laser-ammo? Have you heard of this product?
    Is it worth the bang for the buck?

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      November 7, 2018

      Looks like they offer several products, so I’m not sure which one you’re referring to. 🙂

      But, it would appear most of their stuff is another version of a lot of the products out there. Similar to Laserlyte’s stuff, for example. I have not used any of Laser-Ammo’s products.

      I think they all work quite well to one degree or another. So, it can come down to personal preference with the details of each system.

      Reply

  25. Jack McClure
    August 16, 2019

    8/15/2019
    Any top end updates since article 2015?
    Before I spend moneyyyy.

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      August 16, 2019

      LASR has updated their software a fair bit, I believe. But, I haven’t taken time to update the review.

      Reply

  26. Jon
    May 1, 2022

    Great article!

    Another really cool target system is the Laser Strike System, which does not use any batteries and does not need an app or a computer to use. I like it a lot.

    https://laserstrikesystems.com/

    Reply

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