By Massad Ayoob
Live fire training costs time and money, and it’s the curse of being a police firearms instructor. The bean-counters looking over your shoulder have to consider things like the travel time to and from the range for each officer “on the clock.” Recent “ammo droughts” have cut live-fire time at least as much for cops as for the shooting public. Dry fire inside the stationhouse is generally verboten due to lack of safe backstops.
Enter the SIRT pistol, introduced a few years ago by Next Level Training. It’s designed to duplicate the standard size Glock with 4.5″ barrel. It will fit the holster of a 9mm Glock 17, a .40 caliber Glock 22, a Glock 31 in .357 SIG or even a Glock 37 in .45 GAP. And it’s railed to take a light.
The initial take-up on the trigger projects a red laser beam from just above the center of where a recoil spring guide would be on a real Glock. As the “shot” breaks on my latest-version SIRT-P-GL-BP, the red beam is replaced by a green one which emits from the “muzzle.” If the shooter has a hard, conventional sight picture, he or she won’t be able to see the red dot, but their instructor or coach will. When the “shot breaks,” however, the green “dot” is high enough so the shooter can see it along with the coach. It is physically impossible for the SIRT to fire a live round, making it safe for practice in the squad room, the office, or any place where the sight of something resembling a drawn pistol will not alarm the general public.
Sgt. John Parsons instructs while Officer Ryan Gamble works
the SIRT safely in the squad room.
For the Instructor
In a no-live-ammo classroom environment, the instructor can use the SIRT pistol to demonstrate everything except slide-racking. It can be used to show general gun manipulation skills, and perhaps more importantly, it can show the value of a solid hold and controlled trigger press. With a “shoot/don’t shoot” deadly force judgment film on the screen, the red dot shows everyone present when pressure was first applied to the trigger, and the green dot shows where the shot would have struck. In a disarming demonstration, if the bad guy got off a shot with the good guy still in the line of fire, the green dot will safely show the terrible price of not moving off-line if the disarm is performed incorrectly.
With the shooter looking over the top of the gun so he can see both dots “hit the target,” the coach can let him find out for himself he’s jerking the trigger. The dots on the wall become a “follow the bouncing ball” thing, which track trigger jerk like a real-time graph. If the coach puts his finger over the student’s and presses the trigger straight back, we have a short cut to “learning the feel” of good trigger control.
The red laser dot allows the coach to analyze gun movement while the
green dot shows where the shot would have gone.
The SIRT pistol is sort of “Glock 17-ish” in size and shape.
Solo Practice Value
Looking over the top of the gun, with the front sight appearing to sit above the rear sight, may be the fastest way to get good hits at close range. I call it StressPoint Index, and we can all demonstrate it works. Working alone, the shooter in this mode can see both red and green SIRT dots, and quickly learn the concept. When “target-focused” and shooting below the line of sight, the SIRT can teach the body position index which will put shots on a lethal assailant at touching distance.
The battery pack is in the form of a magazine, so the practitioner can practice speed and tactical reloads. My SIRT works fine with appropriate-size Glock magazines, but of course cannot fire. The pistol itself appears to be a real Glock on X-ray, and the battery array in the “magazine” looks like a stack of live cartridges in a loaded pistol on TSA X-ray. Pack it in your luggage with the magazine removed.
MSRP on the SIRT pistol is $239.99. For $139, you can buy an AR Bolt unit which will turn your patrol rifle into a safe “SIRT carbine.” Used in police academies all over the country, the SIRT is certainly affordable for in-house department training or individual skill-building. A variation duplicating the S&W M&P pistol should be out soon.
For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/index; (360) 933-4640