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The Best Dry Fire Training Tools in 2023

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It wasn’t until I started shooting competitively that I really began to appreciate dry fire. I always did a little here and there, but not regularly until I started shooting competitively. You realize its perks quite quickly, and you’ll shoot faster, straighter, become quicker at reloading, and even be able to fix malfunctions. I also began to look at alternative ways to improve my dry fire. I found tons of apps, gadgets, and gizmos that I’ve made a part of my dry fire journey, and I want to share those with you.

Mantis X10

Do you like being judged by an unseen force that’s constantly criticizing you as you do everything? Well, if so, the Mantis X10 is the premier judge of your performance. The Mantis X10 mounts to your rail or to your magazine via a rail that attaches to the baseplate of the magazine. It can be used on rifles, handguns, and shotguns. It measures your trigger pull, muzzle movement, and more and gives you constant advice on how to improve.

The X10 is a multi-use system, and it’s quite handy. The downside is that it’s expensive. The upside is if you don’t need live fire use or multi-platform use, then the X2 can do nearly the same at a lower price point. The X3 can be used for live fire and is still a little cheaper. The X10 is the king of the castle and a great option for those who train with multiple platforms.

Mantis Blackbeard

Listen, we are going to talk about Mantis a few times. The Mantis Blackbeard is a device designed for AR-15-style rifles. It replaces your bolt and magazine. The Blackbeard uses an integrated laser and trigger reset device to allow for simulated semi-auto fire. It fits any standard AR15, and the battery fits into your AR’s magwell. This device allows for thousands of trigger pulls per battery charge.

There is a laser and laser-free option. The laser allows it to integrate with the Laser Academy system or any other laser target. You can also see where the laser hits and adjust it to your optic or sights. The Blackbeard system is a ton of fun and allows you to shoot real drills without having the manually reset your trigger.

Mantis Laser Academy

Yep, Mantis again, but they are the dry fire experts. The Mantis Laser Academy is a combination of an iOS or Android application and a set of particular targets that your phone can read. This allows you to use a multitude of turrets, including hostage targets, bull’s eye targets, FBI targets, and more. Since the app can read the targets, it can record where your shots hit each specific target.

Mantis Laser Academy includes a laser cartridge of varying calibers, and you can train to shoot fast, reload, draw, and more. It integrates perfectly with the Mantis X10 and Blackbeard. The Laser Academy system is quite nice and comes in varying packages. It’s super handy and a ton of fun. You can save a lot of money on ammo with the Laser Academy and learn a thing or two along the way.

Rogers Shooting School TRT Devices

Most of the devices we’ve covered are pretty expensive, so I’ll give you a break. The Roger’s Shooting School TRT devices are super cheap and excellent training tools. The TRT Devices fit into your handgun or AR-style rifle magazine and depress the follower just enough to prevent the bolt from locking to the rear or the slide from locking open. The little devices make reload training and malfunction training a lot easier and more efficient.

You don’t have to deal with ejecting dummy rounds and reloading magazines. Drop the TRT devices into the magazines, and boom, you are ready to go. The simple design makes them perfect for some reloading training, and the low price makes them a must-have.

Dummy Rounds

Speaking of dummy rounds, anybody who is dry firing needs some dummy ammo. Sure, the TRT devices are great for reloads, but they can’t set up fictional malfunctions. Automatic handguns and rifle dummy rounds make it easy to practice those malfunction drills and how to clear your weapon and get back into the fight.

With shotguns, revolvers, and lever actions, you can practice your reloads and learn how to get up and loaded. Shotguns and revolvers especially rely on your ability to reload to be effective and efficient. A handful of dummy rounds makes training realistic and reliable.

Dry Fire Mag

The Dry Fire Mag replaces your handgun’s magazine with a unique device that allows you to dry fire without having to constantly recock the striker of the firearm. The device can be tuned to increase or decrease the weight required for the trigger ‘break,’ and it’s a great way to increase the efficiency of your dry fire practice. The Dry Fire Mag isn’t a universal tool and is one you have to match to your weapon.

Dry Fire Mag currently produces magazines for the SIG P320, Glock standard, and large caliber pistols, several Glock clones, the Springfield XD series, and the S&W M&P series. I really need a P365 variant to come out. My Dry Fire Mag and I get along well in my P320. Hopefully, we will see this line of Dry Fire Mags expand into other roles.

The Right Airgun

Does an airgun count as dry fire practice? It’s a bit different than dry fire but isn’t certainly not live fire. A C02-powered air gun that mimics your weapon’s handling and design makes it easy to train on the cheap. Unlike other dry fire options, you can learn to track your sights, reload with actual feedback, and actually hit a target.

Airguns are quite cheap compared to ammo prices, and most popular firearms have an airgun equivalent. Look for a C02-powered air gun with a reciprocating slide from companies like SIG and Umarex. These will make your training not only fun but delivers awesome feedback to your training.

Boom, Bang, and Click

Dry fire doesn’t have to be boring. I understand the click, rack, click action can get boring quickly. Mixing up various skills and including various gadgets and gizmos is a great way to get some realistic practice in. It will make you a better shooter, even if it’s just 15 minutes a day. Get on it, get after it, and embrace the click.

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