Over the course of writing The Shooter's Bible Guide to Concealed Carry, I learned a great deal about what it takes to survive a deadly armed encounter. Most of this information came from speaking with experts in the personal defense arena, but some of it came via statistics gathered from violent criminals themselves.
One of the major takeaways from that book — and I hope it comes through in the text — is that regular, routine handgun training will give you a leg-up on a violent attacker. Armed assaults happen very quickly, and you'll have to rely on muscle memory developed over the course days or months or years at the range.
Most crooks don't routinely practice with their guns, and very few have handgun skills that even a rank beginner can achieve in a few months with proper instruction and training. Criminals carry a gun as a means to an end, not a means to defend.
If you plan to use a handgun for personal defense, then it's absolutely essential that you practice regularly. But training is expensive and time consuming; you'll need to buy ammunition and carve out time to go to the range. To help supplement your time on the range, LaserLyte has developed a number of training systems that help develop the critical skills you need to become a proficient shooter.
The newest of these training devices is the LaserLyte Laser Color Guard Target. The kit includes a LaserLyte Trigger Tyme full-sized blue polymer trainer pistol that has a realistic trigger pull and dimensions that closely resemble those of a 9mm semiauto handgun (the Trigger Tyme Trainer measures 7.25 inches long, 1.15 inches wide and weighs 15 ounces — by comparison, a Glock 19 9mm is 7.36 inches long, 1.18 inches wide and weighs just over 23 ounces).
The LaserLyte Trigger Tyme Trainer pistol contains a 650 NM class IIIA laser powered by 3 A76 batteries that are good for 15,000 shots, and each pull of the trigger emits a red laser light that is visible when it strikes an object. The target box is just over six inches high and weighs less than ten ounces. When turned on, it emits four different colored lights through the front of the target area. Green and blue lights mean shoot, red and yellow mean don't shoot.
Like all LaserLyte targets, this reactive target keeps score, so you can compete against yourself or friends. Every hit on the blue or green screen earns a point and is indicated by three short beeps. Hitting the red or yellow light causes a single extended beep, and you'll lose a point.
The power switch, located on the front of the target, allows the shooter to practice with or without sounds enabled (In case you're training in the office and don't want the boss to know). The target is powered by two AA batteries that last about 6,000 activations.
Though it may look and feel like a game, I rank the LaserLyte Color Guard among the most valuable pistol training tools on the market. That's a strong endorsement, but this training tool accomplishes so much with shooters of various skill levels that I don't think it's an oversell.
The LaserLyte Color Guard system allows new shooters to practice grip, stance, trigger control, sight alignment and more while firing at a target with a firearm that has realistic dimensions, yet it doesn't involve firing live ammunition.
Many new shooters hold a gun for the very first time at a CCW class and are firing live ammunition within a few minutes. It's much better to ease a new shooter into live fire by allowing them to start with this laser system. It's not as overwhelming as a real firearm. There are fewer distractions, like muzzle blast and recoil, and instructors can help students develop proper gun handling skills safely.
If you're thinking of taking a course and aren't sure about gun handling, this training device is perfect for you.
The LaserLyte Color Guard is also great for more experienced shooters. I can't get to the range as much as I'd like, but there's no excuse for me not to put 200 or 300 shots or more through the Color Guard each day. The laser unit is brutally honest, too; choke the trigger or pull back at an angle, and your shot will jump off the target screen. This helps reinforce proper shooting skills.
I also incorporate more specific tactical drills with this trainer, setting it up in my house for real-world training in the event of a home invasion, practicing drawing from a holster and firing and working on movement drills.
The MSRP of the LaserLyte Color Guard is $241.95, but the street price will be lower. Additionally, I opted to buy the Trigger Tyme TT85 Laser Training Revolver (MSRP $149.95) because I frequently carry a wheelgun and the TT85 is a virtual doppelganger of the Smith &Wesson J-Frame and Taurus 85.
With these items, I can train all day long without firing a single shot. Is the Color Guard a substitute for range time and live fire? No, but it's an effective training supplement, and if you're serious about personal defense it's one of the best ways to sharpen your skills and develop muscle memory. Plus, it's also a lot of fun.