Confession: I kind of hate going to the shooting range.
For one thing, if I don’t go with my husband, I get tons of unsolicited (and sometimes straight-up wrong) advice, and everyone seems to look at me like I’m a little girl who doesn’t belong. Just sayin’.
It’s also super expensive, and I’m not just talking about the range fees and ammunition. It also involves hiring a babysitter, because heck no is my two-year-old going to come to the gun range.
Honestly, if I’m going to pay for a babysitter, I’d much rather save it for date night. And while the gun range is occasionally an acceptable date night, I’d kinda rather be in a place where my husband and I can actually talk.
So when I learned about a product that lets you practice shooting from home, I was all over it.
Friends, meet iTarget.
The iTarget uses laser bullets and your smartphone’s camera to let you practice shooting at home.
Meaning, no range fees. No “what are you doing here?” looks. No wasting ammunition. No paying a babysitter.
Are you kinda getting a feel for how much I love it? Because it’s seriously awesome.
Let’s break down how much money you can save by using this to train instead of going to the range each time.
If you were to order the sled/target and laser bullet combo pack, it would run you $89.00, just the one time, the only recurring cost being batteries for the bullets (each of which is good for about 3000 shots).
Just in ammunition, not even counting range fees, you save a ton. I mean, let’s say you normally buy 50 rounds for $20 (guesstimating an average here – if you want to argue me on this, feel free!) 3000 rounds would be $1200. Yikes. By comparison, a cell battery is nothing.
Does this replace real shooting practice?
No. Let’s be clear here – there’s nothing that can completely replace shooting real ammunition. You need to practice both ways.
But, dry fire practice is a great way to keep your skills sharp because you can do it anytime, anywhere. You can do it every single day if you want without having to schlep to the firing range – because let’s face it, if a lot of people can’t make it to the gym every day, there’s a super low chance of making it to the shooting range every day 🙂
But what about the lack of recoil? This can’t be as good training as going to the range.
Guess what? Even the pros use dry firing practice to improve. It’s effective without the recoil because recoil actually has very little to do with how accurately you shoot. That’s because the gun doesn’t recoil until after the bullet has left the gun.
Sure, the recoil can affect your accuracy when you shoot in succession – but you have to re-rack the gun each time when dry firing, anyway.
Plus, when you practice this way, you can practice shooting without fearing the recoil. If you can train yourself not to flinch in anticipation of the recoil, you can shoot a lot more accurately.
But won’t this damage my gun?
Nope – provided you follow the instructions, of course. But dry firing with the laser bullet isn’t going to damage your gun all by itself.
When you dry fire the gun with the laser bullet, the firing pin hits the hard rubber backing, which absorbs the impact.
Isn’t it dangerous to practice shooting at home?
Not as long as you take the proper safety precautions – like checking your gun every single time, unloading it, and physically placing your magazine and ammunition in another room.
Does that seem extreme? Considering the first law of gun safety is to always treat your gun as if it’s loaded and never point it at anything you don’t want to destroy, I’d say this is totally legit.
Better safe than sorry, for sure. So don’t skip these steps, even if you think you’re fine without them.
One thing that’s even cooler about this system is that there’s a YouTube channel created by Chris Sajnog that’ll help you practice effectively. It’s like a workout video but for your trigger finger.
To be honest, I haven’t tried it out yet. I like my live, personal trainer (aka – my husband ;)), but I have no doubt it’s awesome.
If you want a safe, cost-effective way to practice shooting, iTarget is seriously amazing. You can check it out here.