The Dry-Fire Project (Part 1/2)
We happened to come across the Pro-Shooter training platform whilst conducting our online research on dry-fire pistols. The first thing that sprung to our mind was "Man, for what it says it does? Its pretty reasonably priced".
The Pro-Shooter 2 is practically a toy pistol that in simple terms is trying to replicate training on the real thing. It achieves it by providing realism to your dry-fire routine such as learning how to get a sight picture, magazine changes, drawing from your holster etc. It is a made in Australia product and talking with Nick, I can certainly tell you there has been a lot of thought that has been put into it. So, as believers of the scientific method, we decided to review this item since it was so awesome. But first, here are a few things to consider.
The Test Subject
The test subject has only conducted a handful of shooting sessions in their lifetime on a .22 rifle (last being over 12 years ago) and a theory class on weapons safety. No pistol experience meant that this "sterile" subject would be the ideal test candidate.
The candidate is also cross-eye dominant with .75 dp difference between each eye.
"The aim of this study was to come up with a program that would transition this test subject from beginner to being able to confidently use a pistol in the shortest amount of time AND the most cost effective manner".
The most basic set of equipment was used. As long as it was not cheap to the point that it broke or you got your kit caught up on it, we deemed it as reasonable. As long as you were able to perform your drills without interference from your kit.
The Drills + Targets + Software
-Drawing from the ready position.
We started off with a typical 8" target before we decided to shrink it down. For THIS test, we decided to go for the Itarget shot recording system to take statistics of shot times during the course of our training.
As time went on, we realized that safety was the most important skill that was gained out of training on this platform. We acknowledged that most of the mistakes will occur during the initial phase but we cannot stress the amount of times that the subject ended up nearly "muzzeling" themselves by deploying incorrect technique or simply by drawing too fast. Getting this physical feedback was a huge wake up call. It was better to receive this valuable feedback on a piece of plastic, without live ammunition in the privacy of someone's room then on the open range with a real pistol where it might have resulted in a ban or someone losing their licence.
Without question, this tool is the best way for anyone to learn to to safely holster/un-holster their weapon.
This helped develop the subject's confidence to a level where they would be able to conduct the same drill during live-fire.
The laser on the Pro-Shooter 2 stays on for a split second after the trigger is pressed. This feature does not only provide feedback on your hits and misses but also points out any minute detail such as overshooting past you intended target. It can help one out be better able to physically control how they move their body between each target.
This "Streak" was also visible during draws showing where you actually hit vs. where your pistol actually ends up resting. The realistic trigger break was also very helpful as it pointed out any trigger placement issues we had.
You can practice speed/tactical reloads on this thing until the cows come home. The weighted magazines provide a realistic feel. They have a rubber exterior which means you can drop them as many times as you like without worrying about causing damage to them.
Without a doubt there was a visible increase in speed between 0-500 rounds and 500-1000 rounds "which took about 6 hours". The time it normally took to do a return trip to the range was invested to literally get hundreds of more reps on this platform. By visible change in speed we mean from 2.5s to 1.7s to draw and fire at a A4 sheet of paper at 3m in less than a day.
For the number of rounds fired that day, you can (hypothetically) buy a ticket, go over to Brisbane and get this product from Nick (this is just an example he does ship them in real life!) , fire the 1000 rounds and fly back to Sydney in the afternoon and still have a couple of hundred to spare to buy live ammunition. Just to paint a picture.
This is a very significant skill. Combined with the instant feedback from the laser, you will be able to visually see if you are lining up your sights correctly. Reason why we are pointing this out is that best practice dictates that you shoot with both eyes open. If you have never picked up a pistol before, then you will be seeing 'double vision' as your eyes try to pick up the front sight and the rear sight simultaneously until your eyes adapt to being able to pick up the front sight immediately. Whether you choose to do this on a dry-fire pistol such as the Pro-Shooter 2 or a broomstick with coloured tooth pics as sights, this drill will help you with speeding up the time it takes you to find your target.
The 20/80 rule
For those that do not know, in principle, we were trying to apply the 20/80 rule which states that 80 percent of what we wanted to achieve relied on 20 percent of the effort. It was fair to say that most of the learning was learnt from the first 500 rounds be it sight alignment or holster placement.
Maintaining perfection however required more time and since this was not the aim of this experiment. However, you will be able to easily shoot 500 rounds over 2 hours on this platform on a good day if you know what you are doing. The Pro-Shooter 2 can save you time on the range if you have a specific program and are training with intent.
Don't even assume for a split second that we are trying to promote this dry-fire tool over live-fire or valuable training from a reputable instructor with years of experience. It is strictly a tool to get you from one stage to the next. It will save costs in the long-term but we will let you decide that in part 2 where we take this experience to the range! For more information on this dry-fire platform, please check out http://www.pro-shooter.com/