Ask the Experts:
WHY USE LASER SIGHTS IN TRAINING
The concept of shooting with lasers has mixed reviews and emotions. There are clearly advantages and a few disadvantages which we will discuss. HGR Firearms and KnoxTactical has chosen laser sights from Crimson Trace Laser Grips and Laser Training SIRTS from NextLevel Training. The laser is built into the grip. Some grips have the components inside the grip, some have the laser sights in a portable unit attached externally to the grip. HGR has installed 1 set of laser sights on Glocks, and 1 on S&W revolvers. In 2010 we added our first SIRT laser trigger action training pistol (red laser for the trigger squeeze, green laser for the target hit point) and added 4 more SIRTS in 2012.
The concept is to accelerate the learning process by focusing on what the shooter student “really sees” instead just standing behind them and “reading the shots on the target”. Having the instructor simply say “Smooth continuous pull straight back” is not the best training method. The student may get confused on why their trigger pull is not being corrected. Now, we can actually see immediately, before the shot, if the student is seeing the necessary sight picture and alignment first, then concentrate on the trigger pull.
Shooting is school taught by books and pictures. But using TPI (TOTAL PARTICIPANT INVOLVEMENT) is really the only way to learn. TPI puts the gun in your hand, the sights on the target through your vision, and the shots in the center Bullseye. The book cannot do that. The Laser makes the effort easy.
What we are doing is to have the student see what they need to see according to the books and pictures. We have a finger in front of the laser, and when the student says he sees the sight picture, the finger is removed, and the laser illuminates the placement of the shot BEFORE the shot is wasted.
Of the six Fundamentals of Marksmanship used for handguns, the two most important are Trigger Control and Sight Picture in relationship to the firearms presentation. If you can shoot a revolver with accuracy, the semi-auto is very easy.
The Laser displays the entire drawing process. As the grip is pressured by the hands or fingers, the red beam highlights everywhere the muzzle path crosses. This shows the danger areas of the drawing technique: crossing the hand, hip, leg, foot, during the firearm presentation.
As the firearm is presented to the target, the laser shows any movement caused by the Natural Action of Motion (Tremors), sight alignment problems (laser not in the Bullseye), and trigger control problems (laser moves left, right, up, down, during the pull).
Dry firing leads to an economical diagnosis of bad habits and a rapid correction process. The laser puts a red dot on the target allowing the student instant input on his sight picture and trigger control. It’s “Real Time Learning”.
To further the process, we video tape the sequence at an angle to see the trigger squeeze, sights, body stance, etc to give a total assessment of the students efforts. Even without the video, the student can “self analyze” their efforts. Keeping the laser on during a shot, then off for a shot, back and forth, will give the student the kinesthetic and muscle memory necessary for a consistent great shot.
This rapid learning sequence saves time and energy, especially for the weak or elderly (a consistent problem we run into). You may even see dramatic decreases in group sizes (24 inch pattern to a 4 inch group in 10 minutes).
The other learning technique is to use the laser sight first. The student focuses on the laser dot, then moves the eyes slowly to the front sight. Any movement of the dot means the student’s “mind’s view” of the sight picture is murky or confused. Once the student can transition from the red dot to the sights without movement, then they have the understanding of what to look for.
After the basics are learned, then you can advance to a higher level. Moving and shooting presents problems with accuracy. The laser sights can solve that problem because you have an instant target acquisition with each movement.
Muscle memory can be developed for different positions (Natural Point of Aim).
The same concept applies if you cannot see your sights do to darkness. The red dot leads the way.
KnoxTactical has incorporated the 5 SIRTS into it's Level 1 Intermediate Pistol: LEARNING TO DRAW. For all the reasons above, safety being first, the SIRT Laser trainers can be used to get the student's understanding of the drawing technique learned safetly. Then we introduce their own guns for dry fire, and then load them up for Draw & Fire exercises.
For these reasons, Laser Sights have been added to your training classes. We want the best for our students.
Our mission is simple, to make you safe and confident that you can shoot your firearm accurately through quality training and at a moderate investment for your peace and security.
The Great Circle
Getting Close (2 handed)
Perfection takes Practice.
Monica shoots 5 with laser, 5 without laser = Training.