I had the opportunity to demo the new Sure Strike laser training device developed by Laser Ammo over the last couple of weeks. This system allows you to convert your standard-issue pistol into a dry fire training device in seconds.
The kit comes in a small, cordura pouch with mini laser-reflective targets, the laser "bullet" and a safety pipe that runs the length of the barrel. It sets up in seconds and shoots an eye-safe laser each time the firing pin hits the laser bullet. Company officials note that the laser is slightly delayed to best simulate the time it takes for the bullet to actually exit the barrel, so for certain shots the user gets better feedback on how their shot actually performed.
I installed the Sure Strike into my Ruger P95 with no problems, though Laser Ammo sent me a longer safety pipe barrels up to 4.8" -- though the company does have a short pipe that fits up to 4.1" which would have been better for my 3.9" barrel . Despite the inch of extra aluminum extending beyond the tip of my barrel, drawing wasn't an issue at all.
The Sure Strike works great for practicing draw techniques and speed, shooting accuracy and other pistol craft problem areas that need constant muscle memory reminders. The company can custom program the laser bullet to fire a certain amount of shots, wait a few seconds, then resume to simulate reloads.
The one glaring problem with the system, however, is the lack of blowback. It's not huge with a double action pistol, but it sure makes using the Sure Strike with a Glock or another single action gun a pain. John Fletcher, a spokesman for the Israel-based company, said his shop is developing a blowback system that will alleviate that problem. He was cagey about how it worked and when it would be released, but you can expect it within the next 12 months, he said.
Laser Ammo has adaptors that fit pistols in 9mm, 40 cal and 45, and they also have adaptors for 12 ga. shotguns. Fletcher said the company is working on an adaptor for the M4 to sell to US units which will incorporate its upcoming blowback kit.
I loved playing with the Sure Strike. It works great in the office for target acquisition practice, shooting accurately in each hand and working draws and reloads -- all things that demand constant reminders so they're second nature. A blowback kit would be very cool, since it would work against accuracy and help practicing with the trigger pull -- basically making the whole training more realistic.
But as it is, the Laser Ammo Sure Strike is a darn good tool for practicing when time at the range is scarce. The product retails for $160.