It’s likely to be quite some time before the ammunition shortage across the country gets any better. Ammo in common calibers is nearly impossible to find right now, and when it is available it often comes with a price tag that’s giving long-time gun owners sticker shock.
You don’t have to have thousands of rounds on hand in order to effectively train with your gun, however. There are plenty of tools that will help you with your marksmanship without even having to go to the range. Here are a few of our picks to help you stay prepared and on-target even with ammo in short supply.
LaserLyte laser trainer 9mm cartridge – Drop the LaserLyte cartridge in the chamber of your 9mm handgun and you’re ready to go. No special tools are needed to use the training cartridge, and dual O-rings keep the laser centered and in place even after multiple pulls of the trigger. With every trigger pull, the firing pin flashes the laser, allowing you to see if you’re on target or missing your shots, and can fire several thousand simulated rounds before the battery needs replacing.
LaserLyte Quick Tyme trainer target – You don’t need the Quick Tyme target for the LaserLyte training cartridge mentioned above to work, but this add on is a great way to provide even more feedback for your dry fire exercises. The target registers all “hits” from the laser trainer, and in the target’s practice mode you can not only aim for center mass, but try to hit one of 62 LEDs on the target that will randomly light up, helping you to better both your precision and your speed.
TRT Tap Rack Dry Fire Safety Training Aid .223/5.56 – These nifty little polymer training aids were designed by firearms instructor Bill Rogers to fit inside the magazine of your AR-style rifle (there are also several models available for handguns from .45 ACP to 9mm) where it positions the follower so that it will not engage the slide stop. Simply drop the slide and complete the dry fire snap on target. As Rogers explains, the TRT allows for tap, rack, and dry fire exercises without the use of dummy rounds, and they’re a quick and easy way to safely practice several training drills at home.
Mantis X3 Shooting Performance System – The MantisX smart sensor fits onto any standard rail and continuously tracks the movement of the firearm before, during, and after every shot, relaying the data to the system’s smartphone app via a Bluetooth connection. The app provides feedback on everything from muzzle tracing to trigger control analysis, while also letting you know how accurate your shots are. The cool thing about the Mantis X3 is that it works with both dry fire and live ammunition, so you can use it both at home and at the range to help ensure that you stay on target.
DRYFIREMAG Training Magazine for Glock 9, 40, 357, 45 G.A.P – This training magazine simulates firing pin release and trigger reset on any 9mm, .40 caliber, .357 caliber or .45 G.A.P. Glock pistols that use a double stack magazine (the company also has a version for use with Smith & Wesson M&P handguns in 9mm and .40 cal). The magazine’s design allows it to reset the trigger after every dry-fired shot, without the user having to manually reset the firing pin by cycling the slide. This provides for a much more realistic dry fire simulation and helps to build muscle memory during your training.
One day the ammo supply will be back to normal, but until then these products will help with the shortage. I know I’ve put myself on tight rations over the past few months and have no plans to change that for the foreseeable future, but I don’t have to stop training while I’m clinging to the ammo in my possession, and neither do you.
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