The Laser Target works best in a dimly-lit area.
It’s important to run your whole Slow Fire shot process in this practice. For me, that’s about 30 seconds per shot and begins with two deep breaths before raising the gun.
“Shooting” at the Laser Target from across the room (8-10′) is fine. At 25′, my “shots” tend to land near the top of the target’s sensitive area — not all of my shots are recorded but I don’t know if they are off the target or too dim to record.
If you naturally focus your attention and eye on your dot or front sight, you’ll see any movement there. On the other hand, if you focus on the target, then the laser “flash” will help you see movement. That movement, no matter how slight, is what you want to eliminate.
Opinion varies on where you want your attention focused. While most High Master Bullseye shooters will tell you to focus on the dot or the front sight and not the target, Brian Zins has won the annual Camp Perry championship more than anyone in history and he says he focuses on the target.
I do not adjust the red dot on my wad gun when using the laser cartridge or target and, not surprisingly, my good shots are off-center. I do this so my red dot will remain with its setting for the 25 yard line with live ammunition. Consequently, with the laser target I therefore shoot for group size and want a small cluster of strikes in the same place, not necessarily at the center. (At the range, I adjust the red dot or iron sights so the cluster of holes is on the “X”. Once set, I only make very minor adjustments as may be needed.)
The Laser Cartridge is very useful even without the target. Pointed at a white surface, the beam — at the instant of hammer fall — is easy to see and any motion is completely obvious. Of course, that assumes you have your attention on the target, not on the red dot, which has already been discussed.
The target does add another item of interest to the practice. You can see the record of your shots. For those who quickly bore during unassisted dry-fire, the laser cartridge and possibly also the laser target may help you increase your trigger time. And as long as you are focused on your shot process and getting a good release, you will benefit. Indeed, you may find that, over time, your interest in the dry-fire process increases and you may therefore eventually dispense with the laser cartridge and target.
The laser cartridge and target are also helpful when you get to introduce newcomers to shooting. The cartridge and target can be set up in a minute or two. You can then do the safety briefing — you always do this with new shooters, yes? — and you can have them “shooting” almost immediately.
The absence of the bang, while somewhat of a disappointment to the new shooter, will actually work to their long-term advantage. They’ll be learning much better trigger control because they don’t have to worry about the noise or recoil. Focus their attention on the trigger break and what’s happening at that instant.
Never omit that safety briefing, and always watch the newcomer for safe gun handling. Even though the gun has a laser cartridge instead of live ammunition, you still need to treat it as if loaded.
Jeff Cooper’s Four Rules — Teach them first, last and always!
- All guns are always loaded.
- Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target.
- Identify your target, and what is behind it.
See you on the line — or across the living room, or from the closet…