Walk down the ammunition aisle in any sporting goods store and sticker shock will set in, if the shelves aren’t totally bare, that is. With prices continuing to soar and meager supplies being gobbled up faster than drumsticks on Thanksgiving, how can shooters stay on top of their game? LaserLyte has come up with an answer in its LTS ReactionTyme targets, and unlike many other systems, it employs your personal-defense firearm so you can train from the comfort of home—where you may actually need to use that gun.
The heart of the system is a pair of targets that measure 3.74 inches tall, 3 inches wide and 1.3 inches in depth. That’s small enough to fit on any bookshelf, desk, table, even under some furniture. A slot on the back also allows them to be hung on a wall.
When struck by a laser transmission from one of LaserLyte’s Laser Trainers (the LT-PRO, LT-223, LT-1, LT-380, LT-9, LT-40 and LT-45 all work) the target signals a hit with two audible beeps and the LED blinks. After two seconds of “celebration,” the unit resets and awaits another shot.
There are two modes of operation, training and reaction. In the training mode the unit is continuously on and it makes a great way to practice your trigger control—inexpensively. In reaction mode, which was the favorite of all who tried the units, the unit is “asleep,” then every two to seven seconds it awakes and blinks. That signals it can then be shot. With two units running, alternating their time of activation randomly, it made quite a challenge.
Here’s a pretty fun drill if you have a shooting partner. Have him or her place the targets, in reaction mode, somewhere in a room. You don’t enter the room until the targets are set up. Much like a criminal attack, there’s an element of surprise once you enter and try to neutralize the targets. It also gives you a good chance to practice slicing the pie as you enter to room, minimizing your exposure.
The units work extremely well in the relatively dark confines of a house. Outside the range is diminished slightly in bright sunlight, which is no big deal. You shouldn’t be using these outside anyway. If your neighbors see you wielding real firearms, day or night, the odds are pretty good the authorities will be summoned and their guns will not be chambering laser training cartridges.
Naturally, all live ammunition should be placed in a separate room before using these units. A Laser Trainer Cartridge is then placed in the chamber of your rifle or handgun. The unit acts as a snap cap, so no damage will be incurred on your firing pin, and the laser lights for only a second (or less) instead of draining the batteries continuously once the hammer falls.
The cartridges take three small hearing aid-style batteries (377), which are included. Expect them to deliver around 3,000 shots. The targets utilize three AAA batteries that should survive 6,000 shots.
During testing there was one real surprise. Everyone seemed to forget the sight offset at close range with the SIG Sauer M400 used with the LT-223. The 2.5 inch bulls eye is small enough across a living room that with an A2 front sight (carry handle to the rear) shots did not register a hit unless aim was a little high (top of the target box usually). That’s a pretty important lesson to remember if the unthinkable happens in the home and a nice bonus. The instant offset feedback forced shooters to catch on pretty quickly, too.
The charging handle had to be pulled back between shots to reset the hammer, which was pretty annoying because it couldn’t be pulled back too far, or the trainer might eject and we’d be spending more time on the floor looking for it than practicing. Whether by design or not, after several strikes of the hammer the trainer wouldn’t eject, so after one target was engaged/neutralized, tap-rack-bang drills were introduced. That skill might be necessary in a home invasion, so it wasn’t a deal breaker, although having to tap out the training cartridge with a cleaning rod inserted from the muzzle side requires the utmost care.
When combined with the LT-9 Training Cartridge, some transition drills were also tried with the trainers. Although it’s a good skill to hone, it proved cumbersome in the confines of the house.
LaserLyte’s LTS ReactionTyme Target is enough fun that it captivated several teenage testers for hours. Different rooms were explored and various scenarios created. They took the greatest pleasure in finding fatal funnels and coffin corners to give the targets an upper hand.
If you’ve resigned yourself to empty ammo shelves at your sporting goods store, but still want to polish your skills, take a close look at this system. The MSRP of $175.95 may sound steep, at first, but with today’s ammo prices it’s a real deal.