SureStrike Laser Ammo Review

Discussion in 'Dealer & Firearm Reviews | Critiques' started by FlatFender, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. FlatFender

    FlatFender Not Here Anymore. Club Subscribed

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    A while back, soreshoulder approached me and asked if I was interested in evaluating some laser cartridges for dry fire. I really believe that constructive dry fire is crucial to becoming a better shooter, so I was excited about trying it out. Let’s face it, none of us can get to the range as much as we would like to, so getting practice at home is important.

    The package arrived with the following:
    SureStrike Laser Cartridge for 9mm
    Adapter Rings for .40S&W and .45ACP
    Safety Pipe and Nut
    L.A.S.R. Software
    Laser PET Timer Target
    12GA Shotgun Adapter

    Laser-Ammo Kit.JPG
    LaserPET.JPG

    For the most part I’m a 9mm shooter, so I opened the package, put in the battery, and then installed the laser cartridge, safety pipe, and safety nut on my S&W M&P 9Pro. My M&P is a 5” pistol, so I also had to use the safety pipe extension to get everything to fit in the barrel.

    (Pictures show the system installed in my Springfield XDs 9mm)
    Laser-Ammo Uninstalled.JPG
    Laser-Ammo Installed.JPG

    The 9mm laser cartridge is machined nicely, and it slides smoothly into every chamber I’ve tried it in. You’ll notice that the cartridge doesn’t have a rim on it so it stays in the chamber when you rack the slide to re-set the trigger.

    After the cartridge is inserted into the chamber, the safety pipe can then be inserted into the muzzle end, and threaded onto the cartridge. The safety nut then threads onto the end of the safety pipe.

    With the whole system threaded into the barrel of the pistol, it ensures that no ammo can be loaded into the pistol when practicing (I’d still recommend double or triple checking that the pistol is empty, and all of your ammo is in a different room). The safety pipe also helps to make sure that everything is centered in the barrel to get you a little better accuracy than using just the cartridge itself. I didn’t find this to be the case in the 9mm pistols that I tested, but in both .40S&W, and .45ACP pistols, using the safety pipe and safety nut is essential to getting good accuracy with the laser cartridge.

    Laser-Ammo 45ACP.jpg

    To adjust for caliber, the the kit comes with two rings that slide over the 9mm cartridge to size it up for .40S&W and .45ACP. I had a little trouble getting both of them off after the first use, but after a couple uses, they loosened up.

    Laser PET Timer:

    LaserPET.JPG

    The Laser PET timer is pretty cool. It’s basically a shot timer, and laser target all in one package. It arrived with it’s own tripod to stand it up, and several different targets to slide into the timer.
    The Laser PET timer has 3 modes:
    Hit Counter - The just counts the hits, and gives an audible beep when a hit is made.
    Draw timer - The timer gives the shooter a start beep, and then begins counting until a hit is made.
    Speed Shooting - The timer counts down for 5 seconds, and tracks the number of hits that the shooter makes in the allotted time.

    The hit area on the Laser PET target is pretty small, and can be made smaller still by using different target inserts. I found it useful to set up the target across my living room near so I could sit on the couch and work on trigger pull while having a pretty small target to shoot at.

    My wife saw me doing this, and asked to give it a try. This is a pretty big step for her, as she’s not a shooter, and she’s never shot a gun. We ended up moving the target in closer (on the far end of the coffee table, while we were on the couch) and I spent some time working with her on grip, trigger press, etc. She actually had fun learning the fundamentals, and I feel a lot better about the possibility of getting her out to the range to learn with real ammo in the pistol.

    I found the first two modes on the timer to be the most useful:

    Mode 1 is good for setting up at a further distance and just working on trigger press and accuracy. This is also the mode that I used for helping my wife practice.

    I ended up working Mode 2 into my normal dry fire practice, using it to time draws from holster, turn and draws, and other short, one shot drills. I liked getting the instant feedback from the Laser PET on my speed.

    Mode 3 would be great for working on shooting quickly with double action only pistols, but with a pistol that requires racking the slide to reset the trigger between shots, I didn't find much training value with it.

    Shotgun Adapter:

    Shotgun Adapter.JPG

    The 12ga shotgun adapter unscrews and accepts the 9mm laser cartridge inside, and then you can place it into the chamber of a 12ga shotgun for dry fire practice. The cartridge is held in place by a rubber O-ring that creates a little tension in the chamber, but also allows the cartridge to by easily removed.

    Like the pistol cartridge, the 12ga adapter stays in the chamber while working the action of the shotgun between shots. To remove the cartridge, just rotate the base of it to line up one of the extraction lips with the extractor of your shotgun, and work the action one more time. The extractor will then pull the cartridge out of the chamber just like it would a spent casing.

    I used the shotgun adapter in my Remington 870 pump shotgun, and I was actually surprised with the accuracy and consistency of the cartridge while in the shotgun. It was fun working the pump, and getting hits on the timer from a variety of distances.

    Use of the Laser-Ammo system:

    The Laser Ammo dry fire system works well. I think that it would be especially useful for those who are just learning the basic fundamentals of shooting, as it gives the shooter instant feedback on where the shots are going, when doing different things (too much trigger finger, grip, stance, and flinch).

    The cartridges are accurate enough that you can place the Laser PET target quite a ways away from you (I put it at the far end of my bedroom, and stood all the way down the hall) and really work on accuracy. Getting too far away from the target though may cause the laser to impact high depending on the distance that your pistol is sighted in at. You can also adjust the size of the impact zone on the Laser PET by sliding in one of the smaller targets. The smallest is a ½” circle which can be a challenge to hit consistently even at across the room distances.

    All in all, I like the system for working on draws and slow fire accuracy drills. I wasn’t able to use it to work on target transitions, or drills that have more than one target because the trigger on my pistol doesn’t reset without racking the slide.
     
  2. NCAV8TOR

    NCAV8TOR Lifetime Member CSC, NRA, GRNC Lifetime Member

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    Great review, thanks!
     
  3. soreshoulder

    soreshoulder Staff Member Staff Member

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    nice writeup, thanks for doing that. We are dealers for the Laser Ammo folks, if you'd be interested in one, let me know and we'll work up some pricing.
     
  4. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Club Subscribed Club Subscribed

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    Soreshoulder, after reading the review, I was interested enough to go to the manufacturers website. I would be interested in some pricing for the kit reviewed above.
     
  5. soreshoulder

    soreshoulder Staff Member Staff Member

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    sure thing, I'll get it
     
  6. nowhere-man

    nowhere-man Member

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    I use this system for almost two years and I always recommend it - IMHO it is the best way for dry-fire practice. BTW, I made my way from IDPA marksman to shapshooter solely using laser ammo in 20 yard long basement :).

    A few of comments:

    1) What I especially like about SureStrike comparing other brands - that it is modular and so you can replace only cap (which doesn't live long, at least comparing the laser itself), so the expenses are only $30 per 1000 shots for a new cup instead of buying a whole new catridge, which is $100+ depending on vendor.

    2) For dry-firing for accuracy the laser bullet doesn't give you a big advantage (you must know where the hit point is just watching your sights). But it is extremely helpful for flash sight image or shooting from retention training, as it is provide immediate feedback.

    BTW, for the accurate shot training it may be rather harmful, as it may force to develop a habit to look over sights to watch the laser dot. To prevent this, the best way is to use reflective targets (cover a part of it with duct tape to make it smaller) as it is easy to distinguish whether it is hit without looking at the target (it will be a good flash), or simply by asking somebody to watch.

    3) There is also a cap with a long impulse. It is extremely helpful to work on stability of gun during follow trought. If something is not as stable as it should, you'll see a stroke or even some wierd C- or O- shape instead of a nice dot.

    4) Not mentioned in the review, but there are also caps for .38/.357 revolvers (however, quite expensive to have all six, yeah) and a round for AR-15 in 5.56/.223. BTW, beware that this round is not compatible with non-AR platforms such as Sig 556 or SCAR. However, the manufacturer is aware about this problem and is working on this.

    5) I used various electronic targets, but after two years I finally stopped on regular IDPA cardboards (scaled as needed and if needed) and a simple timer with par function. It is more than enough for a good dry-fire training.

    I hope this helps. Good to know that there is a local dealer now.
     
  7. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Club Subscribed Club Subscribed

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    Very interesting, especially the number (2) comments. Thanks for your input.
     

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