Shooting Skills 101: Top 5 Laser Training Devices

Live fire is fun and it’s definitely the ideal way to hone your skills, but it’s not always possible to get to the range. And while dry fire is also an effective training method, you can take your dry fire training to the next level by implementing laser training devices. Options range from expensive, professional-grade laser setups to simple devices and apps. We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 laser training devices to make it easier for you to choose how best to improve your shooting skills when you can’t make it to the range.

What’s laser training?

First, let’s get into what laser training is and what it can do for you. Whether we’re talking about a complete, in-depth laser training setup or a laser training aid you use on your carry gun, lasers used for this purpose are meant to enhance your dry fire training. Shooting skills are perishable, and one of the best ways to maintain your skills is by including dry fire. To make that dry fire practice more effective, you can implement lasers. These can be quite useful because they’re usually tied to a program that analyzes your results. That means you aren’t just dry firing at a safe backstop with the hope your control is improving—you can get immediate feedback.

The benefit of the more complex laser training setups is the use of training scenarios and a greater amount of feedback. Simpler devices are just fine but won’t give you the same level of feedback or as many options to diversify your training time. Of course, you might find a simple device is best for you. It all depends on personal preference and what your specific goals are.

MantisX10 Elite
The MantisX10 Elite is a fantastic laser training system that works with a mobile app. (Photo: Mantis X)

MantisX10 Elite

One popular laser training device is the MantisX10. It’s compatible with any firearm—pistols, rifles, shotguns—and adapters are available for use on firearms that don’t have factory accessory rails. The MantisX10 Elite is designed to offer the best features of every MantisX device. To use it, you simply attach the device to your gun, download the related app to your phone, and start training. It measures 1.3 inches long by 1 inch tall by 0.75 inches wide, so it won’t take up excessive room or create bulk. A quick detach system makes it easy to take off and on the gun.

The MantisX10 Elite is 40 percent smaller and 50 percent lighter than other models. It also offers triple the battery life and four times the data rate of previous models. Features include recoil analysis, holster draw stroke analysis, and a variety of software options for various platforms. What’s even better is that this particular laser training device can be used for dry fire or live fire. Use of the MantisX10 Elite is a great way to drastically improve your trigger pull and grip strength. It’s also a good way to fine-tune and accelerate your draw stroke with handguns.

laserhit laser
Interested in improving your rifle skills? This one can handle simulated long-range to one mile. (Photo: LaserHIT)

LaserHIT Dry Fire Training Kit—Mini (Long Range Edition)

For rifle shooters interested in utilizing dry fire to further their skills, there’s the LaserHIT Dry Fire Training Kit, Long Range Edition. This laser training device is in the shape of a round of ammo and has the laser contained inside. When ordering, you must select your caliber. Currently offered calibers include .300 Blackout, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Winchester. It’s worth noting that the .300 Blackout device is also compatible with 223 Remington, the 6.5 Creedmoor device also works with 6mm Creedmoor, and the .308 Winchester one also works with .243 Winchester. The company bills this kit as being the next best thing to being at an indoor range. Keep in mind that you’re using this for dry fire, and that means you must have a safe dry fire area setup. That includes not keeping live ammo in the area.

The LaserHIT Dry Fire Training Kit, Long Range Edition, works in coordination with an app. The mobile app includes practice drills and the option to “reload” so you can start over without resetting the device. LaserHIT states the kit can be used to simulate up to a one-mile shot when the training space is at least 17 yards in length. It’s compatible with semi-autos and bolt-action rifles. The app measures numerous data points including windage, elevation, and groups. Group measurements are accurate up to sub-quarter MOA. The kit comes with a carrying case, a laser training cartridge, a drop-safe cartridge holder, a metal tripod, and eight training targets.

The LaserLyte Universal device uses an adapter to help it fit more than one caliber of handgun. (Photo: LaserLyte)

LaserLyte Laser Trainer Universal

If you’d like a very basic, straightforward laser training device, check out the LaserLyte Laser Training Universal. Like many laser devices, this one fits into the barrel of the gun. It’s compatible with 9mm, .380 ACP, .40 Smith & Wesson, .38 Special, and .45 ACP handguns. An adapter is included to facilitate the device fitting in various calibers. LaserLyte states this device utilizes a 5Mw peak, 630-670nm, Class 3A red laser that complies with 21 CFR 1040. According to the manufacturer that’s the brightest laser allowed by law.

The LaserLyte Trainer Universal measures 2.3 inches in length and weighs approximately 0.25 ounces. Although this device can be used as a stand-alone laser trainer for dry fire practice it also works with LaserLyte training targets. That includes the LaserLyte Trainer Target Steel Tyme, which is made to sound like steel when “hit,” the LaserLyte Trainer Target Quick Tyme, and the LaserLyte Trainer Target Rumble Tyme. The company also makes laser training guns that can be fantastic for hands-on time.

strikeman laser
For a complete setup that uses targets, a laser, and an app, there’s the Strikeman. (Photo: Strikeman)

Strikeman Laser Firearm Training System

For a straightforward system that uses a laser cartridge, a target system, and a mobile app, there’s the Strikeman Laser Firearm Training System. This system is designed to enhance dry fire practice and has setups for numerous calibers, including 9mm, .45 ACP, .380 ACP, .45 Colt, 10mm, .30-30 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, and even 12 gauge. Strikeman designed the cartridge without a rim, so it won’t be ejected after the trigger is pulled. A rubber button pad absorbs the impact of the firing pin or striker.

The great thing about the Strikeman Laser Firearm Training System is that you can use it for dry fire and get instant feedback through the app. This is a fantastic way to improve accuracy and trigger control. The mobile app includes the ability to monitor how your accuracy does over time including shot score distribution and other data. As with any time you dry fire you should have a safe training area and a good backstop in case of accidents.

coolfire trainer kit
The Cool Fire system also simulates felt recoil. (Photo: Cool Fire)

Cool Fire Trainer Silver Package

Having some felt recoil with your dry fire is a great way to take your training to the next level. That can be accomplished with the Cool Fire Trainer Silver Package. This patented device works with your handgun to create an effective, realistic dry fire experience. The Cool Fire device replaces the barrel of your gun and a mechanism powered by C02 cartridges simulates felt recoil. This Silver Package model includes everything needed to train such as the Cool Fire Trainer Barrel System, a Cool Fire pouch, two Tap Rack Training aids, two Striker Tips, lube, a hex key, a C02 fill device, a 14-ounce Soda Maker CO2 tank, a Rapid Fill Adapter Visible Red Laser, and an additional five-pack of striker tips.

The Cool Fire Trainer Silver Package is offered for a variety of guns including the Gen 2 to Gen 5 Glock 17, Gen 2 to 5 Glock 19, SIG Sauer P320, and Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro (among others). Although the recoil created by the C02 isn’t quite as strong as live fire, it’s a fantastic simulation and an improvement over standard dry fire. Several interactive targets are available that work with the kit to create the best possible training simulation.

Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you've seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master's Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.

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