The SIRT Firearm Training Simulator

Brian R. VanCise

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Thanks to Tgace here on MartialTalk I jumped in and have been utilizing the SIRT training simulator for some time now. I have to say it has improved my ability to train with dry fire, reloads and more. I started teaching my wife on it and now she enjoys going to the range with me. I cannot recommend it enough!

Here is a write up on my blog:

The Instinctive Edge
 

Argus

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I've always wondered if these are worth it.

I actually use "Gas Blowback" Airsoft replicas for this sort of training in my apartment. There is a lot of junk, of course, but if you know what you're looking for you can find some very realistic replicas that function just as a real fire-arm - you can actuate the slide to chamber the initial round, or on reloads, and the slide blows back as you discharge a round. Everything else is generally fully functional as well - safeties, slide release, magazine release, etc. It's a great tool for getting familiar with a weapon. You can even have, for instance, that satisfying result of inadvertently actuating slide-mounted safeties when you rack the slide to clear a jam or reload, and then wonder why your weapon doesn't go bang!

The only drawback to using Airsoft replicas for this purpose is that the slide spring, and (sometimes) the trigger spring are both far less stiff when compared to the real thing. Also, because the gas which powers the weapon is stored in the magazine, and not individual shells (in fact, the rounds are not contained by any shell, which means you can have double feeds if you rack the slide with a round already chambered, as racking the slide does not generally eject the previous round - not on most models, at least), the weapon will only function if the magazine is inserted.

They are overall great tools to build muscle-memory and work on trigger control with, though. And if you're fine with tinkering around, you can usually get after-market parts such as stiffer springs to give you, for instance, a stiffer trigger more akin to the real weapon.

So, as much as I like where that product is going, I do wonder: what does it offer that neither an airsoft replica, nor dry-fire practice with the actual fire-arm do? I guess a trigger that better approximates the feel of the real weapon is a huge plus, but the fact that the slide and other features do not function is a bit of a draw back. I do like the laser, though - as it allows for quieter practice. Shooting even a gas-blowback airsoft replica can still be kind of loud in an apartment.
 
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Dirty Dog

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I've always wondered if these are worth it.

I actually use "Gas Blowback" Airsoft replicas for this sort of training in my apartment. There is a lot of junk, of course, but if you know what you're looking for you can find some very realistic replicas that function just as a real fire-arm - you can actuate the slide to chamber the initial round, or on reloads, and the slide blows back as you discharge a round. Everything else is generally fully functional as well - safeties, slide release, magazine release, etc. It's a great tool for getting familiar with a weapon. You can even have, for instance, that satisfying result of inadvertently actuating slide-mounted safeties when you rack the slide to clear a jam or reload, and then wonder why your weapon doesn't go bang!

The only drawback to using Airsoft replicas for this purpose is that the slide spring, and (sometimes) the trigger spring are both far less stiff when compared to the real thing. Also, because the gas which powers the weapon is stored in the magazine, and not individual shells (in fact, the rounds are not contained by any shell, which means you can have double feeds if you rack the slide with a round already chambered, as racking the slide does not generally eject the previous round - not on most models, at least), the weapon will only function if the magazine is inserted.

They are overall great tools to build muscle-memory and work on trigger control with, though. And if you're fine with tinkering around, you can usually get after-market parts such as stiffer springs to give you, for instance, a stiffer trigger more akin to the real weapon.

So, as much as I like where that product is going, I do wonder: what does it offer that neither an airsoft replica, nor dry-fire practice with the actual fire-arm do? I guess a trigger that better approximates the feel of the real weapon is a huge plus, but the fact that the slide and other features do not function is a bit of a draw back. I do like the laser, though - as it allows for quieter practice. Shooting even a gas-blowback airsoft replica can still be kind of loud in an apartment.

So why not just do dry fire practice with the actual weapon? That's what we do.
I have these in all the calibers I own. The targets work well for accuracy, and they have a "reaction time" mode, in which they beep at a random interval, after which you have like 2 seconds to draw and shoot the target.
We also make a game out of watching The Walking Dead. Points for every zombie shot. Lose points if you shoot a person.
The only thing lacking is recoil, but nothing other than a trip to the range is going to provide that.
 

Argus

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So why not just do dry fire practice with the actual weapon? That's what we do.
I have these in all the calibers I own. The targets work well for accuracy, and they have a "reaction time" mode, in which they beep at a random interval, after which you have like 2 seconds to draw and shoot the target.
We also make a game out of watching The Walking Dead. Points for every zombie shot. Lose points if you shoot a person.
The only thing lacking is recoil, but nothing other than a trip to the range is going to provide that.

Oh, hey! I didn't know they made those. That's the best of all worlds.
 
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Brian R. VanCise

Brian R. VanCise

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Laserlyte makes a good product as well. Not as nice, sturdy or workable as the SIRT but still very, very doable.

Dry firing training only with your firearm is good just not as good as working with a SIRT do to the fact of always having to re-engage the slide to fire. Still, I have done that for years and would recommend that until someone has the funds to save up for a SIRT.

I also really like airsoft and train with them regularly as well Argus. What I don't like about airsoft is the clean up after the fact. Still airsoft is particularly great for some force on force training.

What really sets the SIRT apart is their manufacturing. The resetting trigger, removable magazine, etc. It also is patterned after a Glock which is perfrect for a Glock owner like myself. It really is a fantastic training tool!


Hopefully tgace will stop by and give his opinion.
He turned me onto the SIRT and I have not been disappointed. ;)
 

Dirty Dog

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Laserlyte makes a good product as well. Not as nice, sturdy or workable as the SIRT but still very, very doable.

Dry firing training only with your firearm is good just not as good as working with a SIRT do to the fact of always having to re-engage the slide to fire. Still, I have done that for years and would recommend that until someone has the funds to save up for a SIRT.

Hammer fired handguns do not need the slide reset. And there are some striker fired handguns (the Taurus PT111 springs to mind) do not, either.
As for Glocks, there is THIS, that makes it a non-issue there, too. And dry fire mags are readily available.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the SIRT. I'm merely pointing out that some of the issues you bring up don't really exist, or are easily overcome.
 
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Brian R. VanCise

Brian R. VanCise

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Yeah but that is $199 on top of an insert running around what $159 plus the cost of dry fire magazines. The SIRT which does all of that is only $239 with two magazines.
 
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Brian R. VanCise

Brian R. VanCise

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I get it that if you have already invested in a laserlyte that you probably would not want to change. That is cool. It is a good product. Just not as good as the SIRT. Still, it is a good product!
 

Dirty Dog

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Yeah but that is $199 on top of an insert running around what $159 plus the cost of dry fire magazines. The SIRT which does all of that is only $239 with two magazines.

The Laserlyte cartridge is $99. You can get THIS for $99 as well. So instead of only practicing with the G17 (which is what the SIRT mimics) I can practice with ANY of my glocks. Using the same holsters they're carried in. Leaving the silencer on the G41 so the balance doesn't change. With the Pyramid Triggers I've installed (which alters takeup, pull, and reset). With the TruGlo sights I've installed. With a working slide, so you can practice clearing misfires.
And it's cheaper than the SIRT.

I get it that if you have already invested in a laserlyte that you probably would not want to change. That is cool. It is a good product. Just not as good as the SIRT. Still, it is a good product!

I don't disagree that it's a good product. I don't think it's a better product by any means, though.
I think it's best use would be in a classroom, when students might not even have bought their own weapons yet.
Once you have your own weapons, I think it's best to practice with them. Especially if they've been tweaked in any way.
 
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Brian R. VanCise

Brian R. VanCise

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Well, having seen the laserlyte and worked with one a bit The SIRT is a better product but that is open to opinion. :)

As to the SIRT it mimics one of my firearms exactly, fits in my holsters, weights the same, etc. Plus I do not have to do anything to work with it, teach with it while training, etc. It is ready to go exactly when I am ready to go. No doing to anything extra, just pick it up and practice! I have the SIRT insert for the AR and frankly while I like it I don't necessarily like that I have to break down the AR every time I want to use it. Not having to do that is an incredible benefit that frankly any insert cannot meet and while it is not a huge deal it is a bit of a pain in the ***. With the SIRT handgun from Next Level Training I don't need to do that. It is ready to go when I am ready to go!

We can argue back and forth and you can be happy with what you have and I can be thrilled with the SIRT. In the end it comes down to a matter of opinion. (as with almost anything in the firearm world, lol) The bottom line is getting lots of extra practice and the SIRT allows you to do that! Plus I only have one company to deal with, get my product etc.

DD I get you like what you have and that is cool! However, since laserlyte came out there have been improvements in this area and that is where SIRT comes in. However, in the end that is just my opinion and you are of course entitled to yours! :)
 

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Well, having seen the laserlyte and worked with one a bit The SIRT is a better product but that is open to opinion. :)

Of course it is. Mine just happens to be right. ;)

As to the SIRT it mimics one of my firearms exactly, fits in my holsters, weights the same, etc.

But is the G17 the only gun you fire? I like mine, but it's not my most common carry choice.

Plus I do not have to do anything to work with it, teach with it while training, etc. It is ready to go exactly when I am ready to go. No doing to anything extra, just pick it up and practice! I have the SIRT insert for the AR and frankly while I like it I don't necessarily like that I have to break down the AR every time I want to use it. Not having to do that is an incredible benefit that frankly any insert cannot meet and while it is not a huge deal it is a bit of a pain in the ***. With the SIRT handgun from Next Level Training I don't need to do that. It is ready to go when I am ready to go!

Well, I don't generally shoot my Hornady Critical Defense rounds at the range, so if I'm shooting the gun I'm carrying, I have to drop the mag, eject the round, and reload with hardball. If I'm shooting something other than what's on my hip, I just pop in a magazine and go. For dry fire, it's the same, except I have to drop in ONE round. Not a particularly onerous chore.

[EDIT] I agree completely that it's an ideal system for the classroom. In such a setting, it is a great idea to use something that isn't a real weapon.

However, since laserlyte came out there have been improvements in this area and that is where SIRT comes in.

You haven't really shown any convincing reason to think that it's really better than any of the other options. While there is good stuff to be said about the SIRT, there are certainly drawbacks as well.
 
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Brian R. VanCise

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DD I really don't want to buy a laser insert ranging from $99 to $159, two dry fire resetting trigger magazines for $99 each and or a laser insert $99 to $159 plus resetting trigger $199 and then two dry fire magazines for every firearm that I own. All of which would be a lot more than one SIRT. That is in my opinion an incredible waste of time and or resources in my opinion. I want one simple excellently made dry fire system for my handgun training and the SIRT fills this need and is practical for it and affordable. It is ready to go at a moments notice, no messing around, etc. I don't have to store it in my locked firearm safe, etc. It is practical, ready to go and affordable. Plus it frankly is better made. ;)

I typically carry a Glock 22, some times a Glock 17 which feels almost identical to the SIRT and it fits my AlienGear holsters perfectly. Bottom line for a "one system" dry firing training firearm the SIRT is simply setting a new standard!
 

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DD I really don't want to buy a laser insert ranging from $99 to $159, two dry fire resetting trigger magazines for $99 each and or a laser insert $99 to $159 plus resetting trigger $199 and then two dry fire magazines for every firearm that I own. All of which would be a lot more than one SIRT.

And completely unnecessary... The dryfire mag that fits the Glock 17 will also fit the 19. And the 26. And the 34, for that matter.

If you're happy getting dry fire practice with only one gun, then it certainly sounds like the SIRT is a great choice. I'd prefer to be able to practice with all of my carry guns.
I'd actually recommend the dryfire mag over the resetting trigger, as far as that goes, because the resetting trigger is simply not going to feel the same as my Pyramid triggers. It's going to feel like a stock Glock trigger.
If you have nothing at all, then the Laserlyte insert plus a couple mags will be slightly more than the SIRT. But the tradeoff is that you get to practice with YOUR gun, with all the tweaks you've made. If your gun is, like mine, a Glock frame and slide combined with a bunch of aftermarket parts, then this becomes very significant.
If you're in in a classroom, or shooting a stock G17 pretty much exclusively, then the SIRT may well be the best option.
 
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Brian R. VanCise

Brian R. VanCise

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I see your points DD. Since I do not make a lot of tweeks to my guns then I am good to go with the SIRT. I can see why you would want to work with your Pyramid Triggers that you have installed on your glock that makes perfect sense for you.
 
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Brian R. VanCise

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In another thread I would love to here about your thoughts on the Pyramid Trigger and why you decided to go that way!
 

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Reading through this thread, dry fire aids are a great way to sharpen diminishing skills and track progress. In the last few years there has been some new tools enter the market. Check out Mantis with their different tools for all kinds of firearms.
 
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