SureStrike Laser Snap Caps
While traipsing gaily through the aisles at SHOT this past winter, I stumbled into the “black gun” area and came upon a vendor selling 9mm laser snap caps: SureStrike Lasers from Laser Ammo (http://www.laser-ammo.com/Products.html). These basically are used for dry-fire training for 9mm pistols. The little laser capsule is the size of a 9mm cartridge and fits into a pistol’s chamber like a shell. Load it in, pull the trigger and the firing pin activates the laser. There will be a momentary red laser flash on the target where the bullet would have struck. Great for pistol practice.
The company has adaptors to make the SureStrike Laser fit 9mm, .40- and .45-caliber handguns as well as (here’s the good part) 12-, 16- and 20-gauge shotguns. So I asked the charming Miss Ali of Encore PR, representing International Supplies, which markets the SureStrike, to send me two SureStrikes and two 12-gauge adaptors.
They aren’t inexpensive. Each SureStrike 9mm laser cartridge cost $159.99, while the 12-gauge chamber adaptors cost about $40 apiece. A full two-barrel setup runs about $400.
If you Google “shotgun laser bore sights,” you come up with a number of inexpensive 12- and 20-gauge snap caps containing lasers. The Sightmark Laser Bore Sight (http://www.pistoleer.com/sightmark/boresights/shotgun/) is an example. It runs about $35 and is mostly used for sighting in deer slug guns. The problem with many of these is that they are “always on.” It’s much more realistic for wingshooting practice to have a single laser flash when the trigger is pulled.
On the other side, the always-on snap caps might be more helpful if you choose to use them for checking barrel convergence. A quick single flash of the SureStrike at each trigger pull makes it difficult to assess convergence. But not to worry. For an extra $34.99 each, SureStrike has a replacement Action Cap that is easily screwed onto the existing module and will turn on and stay on with one pull of the trigger. Then again, I don’t know how accurate a laser snap cap would be in testing convergence. It would have to seat perfectly centered. Even if it did, it wouldn’t take into account the dynamics of barrel movement on firing.
Other laser pointers are mounted in the muzzle. They can work well, but there is extra weight and visual change to consider. These, like the LaserShooter from Shotgun Combo Gauge (http://www.shotguncombogauge.com/ALS.html) can be more versatile in that one laser muzzle fixture can be adapted to four gauges. But it’s not really a snap-cap device, and light-up relies on touching the trigger with a conductive metal fingerpiece attached to a wire instead of pulling it in the normal way.
I liked using the SureStrike laser snap caps. It was just like using live shells, only with a blink instead of a bang. The gun looked and handled normally in every way. The SureStrikes were very convenient and clearly well made of solid metal. The company says that the battery should be good for 5,000 firings. The head of the laser cartridge where the firing pin strikes showed no major indentation after many firings. In guns with mechanical or double triggers, double tapping at a spot on the wall as I mounted the gun was very realistic. It would work nicely in combination with Shotgun Combo Gauge’s LaserPro moving target projectors, which I mentioned here a few months ago in the “Laser Practice” blog.
These days there are certainly numerous laser pointing devices in every possible format on the market. It would pay to Google about if you are thinking of something like this. But the bottom line with all of them is that they enable productive indoor gun-fit, mounting and swinging practice when we can’t be outside doing the real thing. Practice makes perfect.
And that’s all the light I can shine on that subject today. Boots off. Beer open.