Shooting Illustrated | Assessment: Strikeman Laser Training System
Laser training tools for shooters have been around for more than a decade, and range from expensive, specialty pistols designed for serious practice and training to inexpensive toy-like products that are built for fun rather than building meaningful skills. The Strikeman Laser Training System fits in the middle of this spectrum.
The Strikeman consists of a paper target, a target stand, a tripod with a head for most smartphones and a laser cartridge (available in .380 ACP, 9 mm, .40 S & W, .45 ACP, .38 Spl.). , .357 SIG and .223 Rem./5.56 NATO) which are manually inserted into the chamber of your weapon (i.e. you have to drop them into the chamber yourself, not from a magazine) and most importantly a free app for your phone.
The target, stand, tripod, and laser lap are easy to set up, and the video instructions in the app are very helpful for both setting up and using the system. Basically, all you need for everything to work is an interior space with at least 3 feet of uninterrupted space between the phone (tripod mounted) and the target.
This space is required as the app uses your phone’s camera in video mode to keep track of each shot and let you know where it was taken. It can set up your session to run for a set number of shots or a set time, and you can supposedly shoot the target from any distance from right behind the phone up to 100 meters. I was able to test the laser up close up to about 25 meters away, but I missed the 100-meter range test of a laser training system. Since this is most likely the case outdoors, you will need to place the phone and target under a cover or shade as sunlight will affect the laser and / or the camera’s ability to detect the laser’s “bumps” on the paper target.
The system worked well in these tests. It recorded about 80 percent of the shots “fired” by my Springfield Armory Hellcat at about 6 feet, and that percentage increased as I returned to the point where every shot was recorded from 5 meters and further. The app records your training history with graphs showing your speed and the position of your hits. All of these can help you diagnose problems with your grip, sight alignment, etc., which you can then correct without firing a single round of precious ammunition.
The app does not allow you to start a training session without completing a safety questionnaire to ensure you are in the correct setting for dry training. This includes ensuring that your gun, magazine, or the room you are training in does not contain live ammunition. While the app obviously can’t check this for you, the reminder is a smart thing to ask you to check for security before you even think about pulling the trigger.
However, the system has several disadvantages. Like most (almost all) laser training systems that use a laser cartridge inserted into a real firearm, they work best with double-acting pistols. For any weapon that does not automatically reset the trigger after each pull, you have to cock it again by engaging the slide, cocking the hammer or pulling the rechargeable handle. This takes away some of the exercise regimen since you won’t have to deal with recoil or the concussion of an actually fired round.
That said, if you have to put the sled on a pistol roasted by a striker, for example, you will be forced to regain your sight, as will the recoil, but in a manner that occurs when firing real ammunition. This process also means that the app’s timing capabilities won’t be all that useful for comparison with anything other than recording the Strikeman system, as you wouldn’t be manually putting the slide on the range all the time.
Another problem with the system, albeit a minor one, is the fact that the Strikeman laser cartridge is rimless so it cannot be pulled out of the chamber like a live round. This is of course necessary because you have to break the slide to fire more than one shot and you don’t have to reinsert the cartridge after each trigger, but it does mean that you will need a pencil or some other kind of tool to get around the round to pack when you are done with your training session. Another minor complaint, but something to consider.
With those concerns aside, the Strikeman is a great way to exercise when you’re running low on ammo or just can’t get within range. I expect that as the company grows, so will the functionality of the app. It’s excellent, but I’m sure there are various updates that could make it even better, such as: B. a way to compete with friends around the world or share your results with an instructor who could then help you improve your shooting.
According to the company, deliveries will begin in late April 2021 and pre-orders will be accepted through the website. At an MSRP of $ 99, the Strikeman system is worth trying.