Let’s face it, even if your agency has a dedicated indoor range, getting your people out and shooting can be a process. With the current ammo scare, many agencies are leery of how much ammunition they allocate for practice and training.
Simple dry-fire with empty duty guns is one answer, but the reality is that dry-fire, as a group exercise, becomes tedious quickly. When I became a US Marine we spent an entire week dry-firing our M-16A2 rifles. We had two things on our side; time and enforced discipline, neither of which you will likely have in ready supply.
How do you keep your troops sharp and give extra attention to the problem children who cannot seem to qualify the first or even second try? While not necessarily a perfect solution, I recently started working with a tool that shows serious potential as a law enforcement firearms training tool.
SIRT Training Pistols
At the NRA Annual Meeting in Houston, Texas this last spring I spent some time talking with the folks from Next Level Training. This Washington State-based company makes a product that they call the SIRT (Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger) training pistol.
This is one of the most unique laser training devices I’ve encountered. The SIRT pistol trainers are distinctive in that they have two laser units built in; a green muzzle laser and a red trigger-staging laser. You can use the SIRT in two modes; red and green or just green.
SIRT pistols trainers have a fixed, immovable slide, but they do have a magazine well and removable dummy magazine. The SIRT is a close enough replica to the G17/22 that the same holsters can be used for the training guns.
Next Level Training has numerous videos and training material available. The primary benefit of the SIRT is that it allows the shooter to not only practice their complete trigger press, but it allows them to practice proper take up and reset of the trigger. This helps the shooter learn to avoid the bad habit of popping their trigger finger off of the trigger every time the gun fires.
Working the Trigger
When it comes to putting bullets reliably and repeatedly where they are supposed to go, there are two primary areas of concern; front sight focus and trigger press. Of those two, the chief or most important, and most difficult to master, is the trigger press.
Don’t believe me? Tape over the rear sight on your pistol, stand seven feet from a silhouette, point the gun at the target and as slowly and deliberately as you can press the trigger. If you aren’t cheating, you’ll hit it every time. Consequently, watch a young troop as they focus intently on the front sight and then jump on the trigger spasmodically as if they are having a seizure. Rounds go everywhere.
Learn to master the trigger press and the world is your oyster. Again, that could lead us back to dry-fire but even dedicated dry-fire has a missing component; feedback.
The primary benefit of the SIRT training pistol is that it provides a very positive feedback to not only the shooter but their coach/instructor. It’s not hard to tell that a shooting is mashing the trigger when you see the laser indicator dancing all over the target.
A secondary, but important benefit of the SIRT trainers is that they are non-guns. You can safely use them anywhere, not just the range. This means you can hold refresher or remedial training in any room big enough to house your people.
Referring back to my martial arts training decades ago, our teacher said you must throw a punch or a kick 100 times to learn it, 1000 times to understand it and 10,000 times to master it. Ten thousand rounds of ammunition is a considerable amount and I’m guessing your agency doesn’t budget more than a few hundred rounds per person per year.
With a tool like the SIRT pistol you can practically and realistically conduct one hundred, one thousand, or even ten thousand correct trigger presses over the span of a year. That’s a lot of trigger manipulation that is sure to make the live rounds you fire even more effective and cost-efficient. For more information about the SIRT trainers go to www.nextleveltraining.com