How Do You Become A Better Shooter? Practice, Practice, Practice

The Next Level Training S.I.R.T. Smith & Wesson M&P Training Pistol

The Next Level Training S.I.R.T. Smith & Wesson M&P Training Pistol

As you may know, we’re big fans of the S.I.R.T. Practice Pistol from Next Level Training.

A couple of years ago, Britt Lenz and Mike Hughes (you may remember Mike from History Channel’s Top Shot) came up with a cool invention – a perfectly safe practice pistol. Because the way to become a safer and better shooter is through repetition and mastery of the trigger press.

Now, NEXT Level Training has developed a practice model based on the Smith & Wesson M&P pistol. And it’s spot on in terms of feel and general dimensions. At least it’s dimensionally close enough to work in every holster tried so far.

The pistol features two lasers – red and green. The green laser always indicated the point of impact when the trigger is pressed. The red laser is for training use, based on the operating mode selected.

The new Smith & Wesson M&P has four modes of operation set by a rotating lever on the left side:

  1. The first mode simply fires a green laser dot shot indicator light where the bullet would have impacted.
  2. The second mode detects the slightest touch on the trigger and turns on a red laser dot to show that the trigger has been touched. When the trigger is pressed fully, a green laser indicated point of impact. Hold this thought for a minute…
  3. The third mode  sets off a red laser dot when the trigger is pressed just to the point of breaking the sear. The green laser indicates point of impact.
  4. The fourth mode disables all lasers if you want to practice open sight dry fire with no indicators.

Here’s the key part. The red trigger indicator laser is aimed well below point of impact, so it’s hidden from the shooter’s view by the slide and muzzle. It’s intended for instructor or training partner use.  So if the student is showing poor trigger discipline, the instructor or training partner will see it, but the shooter probably won’t as the red laser dot is out of view.

Neat and SAFE ideas. This should be shipping in the March / April 2014 time frame.


  1. says

    Totally agree about PRACTICE!
    The thing I sort of just don’t get is the whole “dry fire” training thing. I just simply don’t get it lol. I’m absolutely not trying to be difficult or anything, but I can only see such a training system for a gun newbie…

    Personally, just for ME, I practice SOLELY with live fire, at an indoor pistol range. Yes the ammo can be expensive, but when I bring my target back in to look at, I have immediate REAL feedback on shot placement, and am personally able to determine during shooting if I have some trigger jerk, a grip, or a stance issue. Perhaps that’s cuz I was taught well how to shoot a pistol properly in the first place, dunno, but that’s what works for me, and I just still can’t figure out if dry fire practice would do me well or not??

    Input or comments about that?

    See, I really, really want to shoot in the Bianchi Cup in 2017….between now and then, I need to find at least one worthy 9mm (looking at a Sig P226 Custom type setup)…and I definitely need all the practice and recommendations and stuff that I can get!! I mean I want to hear every training tip I can find. EVERY ONE lol. I’m not going with the intent of losing or winning, but rather to make a very good showing, and possibly just go ahead and win the following year LOL…I crack me up…that was almost all dry humor mixed with sarcasm by the way :))))

    Take care

    • says

      The very best shooters in the world practice dry firing daily. Lots of it. The reason is that it trains your mind and body to develop perfect trigger control and discipline. I guarantee that a little dry fire practice daily is the very best thing you can do to become an even better shooter. It’s the same principle as professional athletes practicing the most basic beginner moves, over and over and over, even though they are at an advanced level. If you develop perfect trigger control dry firing, you don’t need bullet impact feedback – you know for a fact that your muzzle doesn’t move a millimeter when you pull the trigger. At that point, physics takes over – your bullet will hit exactly where the sights are aimed. Conversely, I can guarantee that you will never reach your best trigger control potential live firing only. Never. You can get good, but not as good as you can be.

      Best to you and good luck tackling Bianchi!

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