Officers and their departments should be constantly looking for cost-effective ways to enhance training and improve skills in a variety of areas. This holds especially true for firearms proficiency. I recently acquired a Laser Ammo SureStrike Training Bullet that allows meaningful training, and is simple to use, reasonably priced and versatile.
Laser Ammo manufactures a laser-pulse device that fits in the chamber of most semi-auto handguns. The device contains a miniature battery-powered laser. The standard device is designed for a 9 mm pistol. For less than $10 each, .40 cal, .45 ACP and .45 LC adapters can be purchased, as well as a 12-gauge shotgun adapter for $40.
The kit, which has an MSRP of $159, comes in a ballistic nylon carrying case and contains the laser bullet, battery (plus one spare), miniature reflective “targets” and a shaft that goes through the barrel and screws onto an orange plug at the muzzle end. This plug, which protrudes at the business end of the barrel, allows for immediate recognition that the weapon has been temporarily modified for training. Placing the laser bullet in the chamber prevents chambering a live round (even if a magazine is inserted in the magazine well).
Installation of the SureStrike Training Bullet device is simple. After removing the magazine and ejecting any live cartridge from the chamber, the slide catch is engaged and the laser bullet is inserted into the chamber. The user then holds the SureStrike in place with one finger and threads the shaft portion onto the laser bullet by inserting the shaft down the barrel via the muzzle end. After the shaft has been screwed onto the laser bullet, the cap is threaded onto the end of the shaft protruding from the barrel. In less than 30 seconds, the user can release the slide and begin training.
I installed this device on a variety of 9 mm and .40 caliber pistols including Beretta, Glock, Heckler & Koch, SIG Sauer and Smith & Wesson. It worked 100% reliably in each platform. With open-bottom holsters I was able to practice from a snapped-in holster position. With closed-bottom holsters, the protrusion of the barrel extension and safety muzzle cap prevented proper pistol seating.
It’s simple. When the trigger is pressed and the hammer falls onto the firing pin (or the sear releases the striker), the firing pin/striker hits a plastic primer. A laser pulse is then emitted through the barrel and strikes where a bullet normally would. The laser beam is automatically point of aim/point of impact. It’s clearly visible to distances of 50+ feet in normal indoor lighting conditions. Unlike dry-fire practice without something for the firing pin to make contact with and cushion the blow, the laser bullet prevents damage to the firearm. Firing pin activation eliminates misfires common to training devices that use vibration activation.
The laser pulse emitted by the device is bright enough to use in well-lit buildings and most outdoor conditions. It allows for practicing point shooting, and two-eye and one-eye shooting. Challenged shooters can see where their rounds would’ve impacted relative to where they were aiming and make necessary adjustments.
SureStrike Training Bullet
• Safe to use
• Easy to install
• Guaranteed to last a minimum of 5,000 shots or one year
• With the barrel shaft and orange muzzle cap installed, it won’t fit properly in all holster configurations.