High Tech Firearms Training Systems and Gadgets
It’s no secret, people just do not do enough firearms training. How much is enough? Well here’s the point, every little bit helps and if you can get a firearms training system in your own home then you’re ahead of 90% of the population.
This is a complement to, not a substitute for, a local firearms training class. Firearms training is worth more than a new gun, a new slide, most things to be honest, and we should all do more structured training..
But I know what it’s like. I have good intentions sometimes too…
So what can you do to improve your firearm training system, right this second? What step can you take to make sure you and your family are slightly more prepared should the worst happen?
A DIY High-Tech Home Firing Range
Well not all of these are the ultimate solution, but they’re all useful in their own way and we’re going to show you how to combine a few of these gadgets to create a complete system to improve shooting technique, shooting stance and even your situational awareness in your own home.
It’s kinda clever, we think, bringing high-tech together with relatively low tech game-level materials to create a home indoor shooting range and firearms training tools that you can adapt to suit your needs.
Short of a full firearms training simulator, which we’ve got for you as well, this is probably the best you’re going to do. Yes live fire is different, but this is something.
For pretty much all of them, you’re going to need a dry fire snap cap and you might as well get a good one for each caliber you own. It’s an investment, but you will save a fortune in the long run and you’ll get more comfortable with your firearms.
Use Laserlyte if you want to be sure that you’re not damaging your gun, and that it’s totally accurate.
Finally, Gifts For Gun Enthusiasts
These are great gifts for gun enthusiasts, who can be notoriously difficult to buy for.
Repetition gives you muscle memory, which gives you a better shooting technique, especially if you analyse and improve. Literally anybody can feel the benefit of these systems if you use them creatively.
So get yourself a Dry fire set-up and practise, practise, practise…
1. MantisX Shooting Performance System
- Price: $149.99
- Where: Cabela’s
This simple rail-mounted, laser-sighted device links up to your smartphone to unleash an avalanche of data that will reveal any weak spots in your shooting technique.
It will highlight pattern behavior, show you the areas you really need to work on and it’s going to evolve as a system as well. You should learn to use this, because it really could have an interesting future as a firearms training device.
This system, or one like it, will work with Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality to turn your home into an urban warfare situation. It will either be firearms training, or a badass game. but we’ll get to that in a moment.
That’s the future, right now this system analyzes your range time and it allows you to make targets in your own home. I would argue that this is the real strength of the system and why you need one.
Train In Your Home, For Self Defense
Seriously, this system and a target will get you thinking about your home, dividing it up, running the basics of self-defense. In essence, it forces you to look through your own home and land through the sights of your gun.
That is an educational experience in itself. You will learn things and one of them could be the thing that saves your life. This isn’t a perfect training system, but it is a massive step in the right direction.
There’s also a game element to this. Remember when you were a kid and you had to change the position of the targets and make the shot more difficult? This basically means you can do all that again and keep pushing the limits until you learn something that you simply never could at the range.
A Gun Training Simulator System, Not a Simple Device
That’s the point of a firearm training simulator and a simple system like this can give you a lot of the benefits for a fraction of the cost. Training simulators are always expensive, this is a fact…
The laser system is accurate enough to give you feedback on every shot and identify common problems like uneven trigger pressure as a result of improper finger position, the classic cup and saucer if you will.
You can analyse your range technique with live fire training, which is never quite the same as dry fire. You can work on quick draws and you can even get the perfect sideways gangsta style of shooting without fear of stove piping.
WIth a dry fire snap cap it’s a great way to get people used to a gun and the computers and smartphone can take most the pain out of the early training. It shows them where they’re going wrong and they can just sit firing the gun until they get the grip right, then they can worry about the target.
Get Everyone Familiar With Handguns in the Home
I would say every gun house has to have one of these. The familiar smartphone app will make more sense to today’s kids than any adult talk and they will learn this way.
You can iron out any issues that creep into everybody’s technique over time and give yourself an audit from time to time. You can also get tactical in your own house, and set up targets to show you got your family covered.
This is a bargain, get one…
2. VR Training
- Price: $300-$2000
Virtual Reality firearms training has come a long way and you’ll be amazed at some of the experiences you can have from the comfort of your own home these days.
You can have a fun, gamefied gun range experience with Gun Club VR.
Become a Virtual Marine
Alternatively, check out the likes of Zero Caliber VR and the upcoming Phantom Covert Ops. It’s all a bit operator, of course it is, but you can treat these gamefied missions like a type of training if you want. And the weapons are largely true to life.
So what do you need to get started?
Well the standalone Oculus Quest is the easiest way, unless you have a late model, seriously powerful computer to begin with. If you do, just get the headset, sensors and controllers and you’re good to go.
VR has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years and the games are kind of mindblowing. The tech is still getting better, too, as you can see here.
3. Laserlyte Trainer Target
- Price: $169.99
- Where: Amazon
They might look like an either/or proposition, but the MantisX AND this target will turn your home into an indoor range with a personal firearms instructor. These are the basic elements of a firearms training simulator, without the situational awareness tests and bad guys jumping you.
You will need a Laserlyte dryfire training cap to make it all work, but when you’ve got that you have a complete firearms training system for your own home.
There is a cheaper one, but it comes with much fewer LEDs and that means it’s less accurate. If you’re actually going to get serious value from this kit, and you can, then you need the most precise target you can buy.
You can set this up around your house or you can find the limit of its and your range in the garden. It will have to be at night because, well, lasers. But you could have a lot of fun with this finding the limits of its range.
Train in Your Home, Again
On a more serious note, you can use this to systematically go through your property and find the tactical advantage, as well as danger zones that it’s better to think about now.
Also, you can set the target up all round your home, combat roll into the kneeling position and deliver a double tap to the center circle. Try doing that at the range. They’ll laugh at you, and they will be right.
In the comfort of your own home, though, you can do what you want.
“You looking at me, Punk?”
Of course, we have never done that… Don’t judge us.
Complete Training System? Get Both Kits…
You can use this with the MantisX and basically the Laserlyte kit will make sure you’re on target and the MantisX will review your technique. It’s more or less a complete firearms training system, except for one thing…
You’re unlikely to see Law Enforcement Officers pitching up for a day’s force training and finding one of these staring back at them. It’s consumer grade equipment, but then we are consumer grade shooters for the most part.
4. 4K Action Cam With Slow Motion
- Price: $121.99
- Where: Amazon
Most sane people would agree that video evidence is better than feelings, but are you recording yourself during your firearm training to look for flaws in your technique?
It sounds weird, I know. But the truth is that a slow motion recording of you shooting at the range will show you every little tic and strange movement that you just don’t register at the time.
If you go to a training simulator, someone else will watch over you. The cheap firearm training approach is to do that yourself.
It will show you odd habits, things you just don’t feel because they’re so normal, and it will help you improve.
You can also do those super slowmo videos of your guns firing and that is, frankly, never going to get old.
There’s nothing wrong with the occasional bit of Instagram gunporn.
A 4K Camera at the Gun Range, With Slo Mo? Yes!
Get the 4K version, it’s still an absolute bargain and this is Amazon’s best-selling budget GoPro alternative for a reason. It’s cheap, it’s great and it’s got one more trick up its sleeve.
It is Bluetooth and WiFi enabled, so you can link it to a smartphone app. So not only can you record the holes you put in your target, you could also use it for a range cam so you don’;t have to squint at distant targets.
It’s well worth the money, these action cameras are a lot of fun and you can justify it as an educational tool that really does round out a complete firearms training system. For around $400, I think that’s a bargain.
5. LaserLyte Trainer Target Quick TYME
- Price: $449.99
- Where: Amazon
You might recognise the target from above. If you’re going that way, you don’t need this. But this one comes with two very inoffensive toy guns. It’s the gamefied version…
This is a dumbed down version of the MantisX and advanced target systems that makes it more of a game. The blue pistol is obviously a toy, too, or something like that, which means you won’t get a SWAT team descending on your house because you’re waving a pistol round the joint.
You can use this as a training tool for you, taking progessively more difficult shots and keeping the challenge intact.
You can also turn it into a drinking game with the boys, but just never ‘up the stakes’ and reach for the gun safe if you’re drinking. That doesn’t work out well…
Firearms Training Without Real Guns
It is a great way to introduce people to the basics of firearms training, though, as the non-threatening target and non bangy gun take a lot of the fear out of the experience. For old hands, you can set the target up on the other side of the room and silently plink your target while you watch TV.
Part of firearms training is muscle memory and repetition. This lets you do that silently and cheaply.
It also lets you imagine your client’s head in the middle of the target while you’re listening to them drone on in the background on the phone. A clean shot between the eyes can be a remarkable stress reliever.
The gun vaguely resembles a Glock and claims to have a similar trigger pull and reset to help with your simulation training.
6. Crimson Trace Universal Laser Sight
- Price: $139.99
- Where: Amazon
Training is all well and good, but you’ll get better at shooting, instantly, if you paint the target with a red dot. Or green…
You can fit a reflex sight to the top of your gun and that’s a better solution in the long run. But for self defense situations, a rail-mounted laser will do just fine.
It is a high-tech firearms trainer, too, because it will take care of the target acquisition while you deal with the basics of shooting technique. In time, you’ll get a feel for where the green dot is going to land and that is called learning.
While you’re here, how’s about a new 9mm compact handgun for that Crimson Trace? You know you want to…
7. Your Own, in Home VR Firearms Trainer
- Price: $POA
Now you can throw caution to the wind and invest in your own personal set-up, especially if you’re a felon who can’t own guns and just loves the feeling of firing them. That could be one reason…
Lasershot provides simple firearm training simulators for your home, or law enforcement grade training facilities. If you’ve got the money, I am sure they will hook you up with the best of the best firearm training systems.
Professional Grade Firearms Training
They can also sell you something much simpler. A classier version of the homebrew kit above with different programs that gamify the whole training system and still give you the basics of situational awareness that you just can’t get in our DIY indoor range kit above.
Shoot squirrels, zombies, turkeys or cowboys, or you can take a full firearms course with an instructor for just &865.00 in these fun programs that should get better as VR progresses. It’s basic, it’s clunky and it’s definitely a sign of things to come.
Pretty soon, you’re going to have VR firearms training in your house and it’s going to make everything we have now look Stone Age. Keep reading for the full lowdown on future tech in the firearms industry.
We’re looking into the not too distant future, when augmented reality or virtual reality worlds could combine with a pinpoint accurate dry fire training system to give you a new world to explore as you perfect your technique. It will also be the future of First Person Shooter gaming, which will drive this technology and gun enthusiasts are going to feel the benefit.
Future So Bright, We’ll Need Shades
It’s going to be absolutely radical. You’ll be able to step into the Old West, the swamps of Vietnam or the arid desert of Afghanistan and take on enemy hordes with a real weapon in your hands. You will hunt dinosaurs, or Presidents, and you will handle everything from an M1 Garand to a modern sniper rifle.
Recoil tech will improve beyond recognition and we’re heading into seriously exciting times on the gaming front. Firearms training, simulation and the games world are going to come together. In fact it is already starting to happen.
8. Public Virtual Reality Firing Ranges
- Available: In-Store
Mark my words, these are going to become a thing. Fireearm training simulators might actually be the next gaming craze. I kind of hope they are, because the tech will scream forward as a result.
In the inner cities, firing ranges just don’t really exist anymore. But these virtual ranges could take hold, especially if the user experience is better than anything the real range can offer.
One day soon, it will.
VR Not Quite at Mass Adoption
Now, though, render times and other technical problems mean that proper VR firearms training on home computers and consoles hasn’t quite taken hold. But we’ve shown you it’s getting there.
We still need a training simulator for the real serious stuff and that is largely to hold the computing power it takes to run the program. Possibly also real, dey-firing firearms.
That’s the expensive roadblock holding VR back right now and the headsets and other tech is all ready to go.
Where are the VR firing ranges?
So now, the best you can do is go to one of the many ranges in America that have invested in purpose-built VR rigs that are actually produced for law enforcement agencies to train on.
Eventually AI will create the open worlds in front of you and that can be the Alaskan wilderness or a post Apocalyptic urban warzone.
It’s fun, but there’s a core training program that the FBI, police and pretty much every agency in-between relies on. So it is actually worth doing too.
Experience VR on Android Phones
You can see the first steps for VR on your phone with the likes of Urban Carry’s free VR training that will help you get a feel for the tech. It also costs exactly zero cents, so you’re hardly gambling here…
Get Urban Carry’s App at the Google Play Store, or Apple Store. If you have a VR headset, you’re ready to go!
You can also check big ranges in cities for the full VR experience and look for virtual only ranges in the likes of New York and California, which have some of the toughest gun control laws in the country. A VR future might be the only future for those lost souls…
The Future of VR Firearm Training Simulators
You don’t need to look far for the future of realistic training in a Virtual Reality environment. Meggitt Training is already making the system, but it’s too complex for the open market and it’s really designed for law enforcement agencies and the military to train their officers.
Unless you also work in IT, you might struggle with the FATS system, including the range topping FATS 300LE, but all we’re really waiting for is processing power and VR tech to reduce this to a console style game. That is coming and in a year or two we could have this firearm training simulator in a headset and a Playstation.
So feast your eyes on what is just round the corner with a Meggitt Training Systems police training simulator.
The screens need to give way to an Oculus Rift, or even a smartphone headset and then the cost of this whole system would come tumbling down. Meggitt Training Systems is surely working on this.
It’s an absolute goldmine in the making and we all know it. So does Meggitt Training Systems. The company is working feverishly on recoil technology and more advanced programs that test an officer’s situational awareness and decision making process to the limit.
De-Escalation Virtual Training as Part of Online Firearms Course
It would be simple enough to build de-escalation training into a public program and actually save lives. That’s a system that goes beyond the trigger pull and your shooting technique. A complete firearm training system deals with the basic skills training, but it can also offer enhanced operator training.
Technically, though VR training you could learn the negotiation skills, de-escalation training and the moments leading up to the trigger pull that you can diffuse a situation.
Or you can blow the shit out of zombies. Your call…
With Cloud access, you could ditch the big processors and we really cannot be too far away from this actually happening. When it does, we’ll have immersive dry fire training programs that cross the divide between gun training and the games world.
It’s going to be amazing…