Frequently Asked Questions

Go to this interactive course at http://www.nltuniversity.com/courses/SIRTBoltInstall/story.html.  You can also call customer service 360 933- 4640 and request a SIRT AR Bolt install.  This CD is now distributed with new SIRT AR Bolt orders.

An auto-resetting trigger automatically moves forward and "clicks" to re-engage the simulated sear mechanism when you release the trigger after pressing it. In other words, when you release the trigger forward you will hear the distinctive click (the reset), meaning you can press the trigger again to fire another shot. Therefore, an auto-resetting trigger does not require the manual exercise of racking the slide between shots.

As mentioned above, the problem with regular dry firing is you have to rack the slide between shots. This takes time; you have to break your grip and you cannot engage multiple targets in succession as you would normally during live fire. The auto-resetting trigger is an important feature for making more productive use of your training time.

The shot indicator is the green laser that is activated after the trigger breaks and remains lit while the trigger is fully pressed.

The green laser is much brighter than the red laser and is visible under most circumstances during the day.

Yes, in some indoor settings the green laser is almost too powerful. The inverter switch can be set by removing the slide (removing two pins in the same manner as changing the battery) and inverting the connections between the green and red lasers.

Trigger take-up is when the trigger is partially pressed until the internal part of the trigger hits the sear. The trigger momentarily stops, or more specifically requires an abrupt additional force to "break the trigger" and fire a shot. The significance of trigger take-up has effects on speed and accuracy, as well as safety.

With regard to basic fundamentals, "slapping the trigger," or not taking up the “slack” of the trigger, is a common problem with all abilities of shooters. When this happens, a right-handed shooter will throw the shot to the left (nine o'clock). A normal training element is to teach students to "shoot off the reset," which means when the trigger is released back to the front after breaking the shot, the shooter does not completely take their finger off of the trigger, but rather allows it to move forward just enough to reset the sear before firing their next shot. Traditionally, it is difficult to see whether the student is prepping the trigger or not in live fire or traditional dry fire, which the SIRT Pistol makes readily apparent.

A second problem addressed by knowing when the trigger is prepped, as found in the extensive studies of professionals such as Dr. Lewinsky, is that individuals often improperly put their finger on the trigger in high stress situations, which can lead to accidental or unintentional discharges. There are a multitude of scenarios for when it is desirable to know whether the shooter is improperly prepping the trigger, particularly when training force-on-force.

Yes, the convenient switch at the top of the pistol allows the take-up indicator to be quickly turned off. In fact, it is recommended that the take-up indicator is turned off for a majority of high-volume shooting. When doing drills and exercising hundreds if not thousands of trigger pulls in a session, the simple feedback from the shot indicator is enough information to assess the quality of the trigger mechanics. Doing high-volume training with the take-up indicator is not needed, and in some cases can be detrimental if the shooter begins to use it as a crutch to tell them where to point the gun.

The take-up indicator (red laser) is, of course, good for initially specific drills in training trigger mechanics. When conducting higher-volume training, such as working on draws, reloads, target transitions, etc., turn the take-up indicator off. If you teach or practice front-sight focus, maintain that front sight focus/awareness and see the shot break with the green laser in your peripheral vision. If you instruct or practice more of a target focus, then train mount your gun, exercise proper trigger control and use the green laser to confirm your quality of movement.

In the course of your training, turning on the take-up indicator is advantageous for certain drills to illustrate muzzle movement during shooting on the move, transitions (to ensure the shooter is slowing down the pistol properly and not over transitioning past the target) and certain other specific drills.

Any tool or system can either propel you to the next level or allow you to rely on it as a crutch. The SIRT Pistol is no exception. You should always be diligent about ensuring you are training properly to get the correct response effect. There are a few ways of recognizing and remedying if you or a student is using the lasers as a crutch and not working on sight awareness and trigger mechanics.

Recognition of potential problem: When a shooter is taking multiple shots at the target and "walking in" the shots, they may be learning the proper orientation and mount of the pistol, but they are likely not sufficiently on their sights.

Remedy: Only take one shot per target so it is not possible to walk in the shot. Also, turn the take-up indicator off for a while.

Based on all the research we have done so far, no, it does not. Even top ranked shooters have been documented to miss targets where they had visual sight confirmation on breaking the shot. The underlying issue appears to be slight trigger control issues which occur within 1/100th of a second of breaking the trigger. One particularly advantageous training regimen is to set up four auto-resetting steel poppers on the range and one set of live fire (one round for each popper). After shooting all four rounds, unload and show clear the pistol and then use your SIRT Training Pistol for 5 quick sets. This protocol is advantageous because you are quadrupling the amount of trigger pulls and working on a plurality of skill sets, such as your draw, presentation, transitions, trigger prep, trigger break, etc., then instantly reinforcing these fundamental skill sets with live fire. When doing this kind of regimen, shooters are almost always amazed at how many misses they make on the steel targets. When front sight focused shooters miss even when on their front sights, the failure point is generally trigger mechanics which can be addressed with the SIRT Training Pistol.

This is a key feature of the SIRT Training Pistol, since when the trigger is fully depressed the shooter’s trigger mechanics can be more properly evaluated when the laser remains on. Our flash visual memory works extremely well at having awareness of the first blurry impulse of the laser while maintaining a front sight focus, and it can easily identify any comet tail-like sweeps of the laser thereafter. Therefore, we can see when the laser remains a fairly tight dot on the target, and this means the shooter is exhibiting good trigger control. When the laser shows an undesirable sweeping action, for example right to left, this generally indicates a trigger mechanic issue.

Top shooters, like police officer Robert Vogel, a two-time National Production champion, dry fires a large amount. In fact, after heavy live fire sessions of say 400 rounds, Robert feels he has to dry fire to reaffirm the proper mechanics. The traditional problem with dry firing is that it is generally too easy or engaging enough given the motivation level of a majority of shooters. The instant feedback and convenience of the SIRT Pistol provides a very natural system to promote dry fire, letting you use it right away without having to retrofit anything to a gun or otherwise waste time on setting up proprietary targets. To put it simply, it makes dry fire more fun. Therefore, we recommend that any shooter allocate some dead time, even just a couple of minutes, for using the SIRT to dry fire on any suitable target in a proper location (sticky notes on the wall works great).

Training with dry fire is important because with live fire, although many rounds can be expended very quickly, in some cases these live shots are not the most effective for providing specific training skills. People rely too heavily on live fire to train their draw and a plurality of other shooting skill sets, and because of budgets and the time constraints of going to the range, many people simply do not train enough. While dry fire is important, recoil management simply cannot be emulated outside of actual live fire. Therefore, live fire must be integrated into your training regimen as well.

To get the most out of your live fire, the most desirable protocol we have found to date is to shoot a drill, unload and show clear your pistol, and then do the same drill anywhere from 3 to 10 times with the SIRT Training Pistol. With the dry firing of the SIRT Training Pistol you are working on trigger mechanics, handling of the gun, and confirmation of sights and trigger break, basically all the necessary movements to make the shot other than handling recoil for follow-up shots. When you feel comfortable in your quality of movement, you can go back to shooting your real gun and reaffirm all the techniques integrated with live fire.

One desirable element of integrating live fire with dry fire is not only are you making your live fire more productive by getting a higher volume and higher quality of training in between your live fire sets, but you are also making your dry fire more effective. You practice to ensure you exhibit a proper grip, chest squeeze and low body position, which are necessary components for properly handling recoil management with live fire. In other words, the dry fire makes sure you are doing your live fire properly.

You can only properly train recoil management with your pistol, your particular recoil spring, and your ammo. Managing recoil and handling the gun for recovery shots is one of the skill sets for proper pistolcraft. In short, you don't train recoil management with the SIRT Pistol, you train and integrate all of the other skill sets with recoil management using your real pistol. There are other devices that have certain blowback action with compressed air, but physics tells us that the equal and opposite force that the raw energy of an accelerated bullet produces in your hands cannot physically be emulated other than firing your particular gun.

You don't. The tool is not designed for that type of training simply because there is no need for any tool other than your real gun to train manipulation of the slide. To enhance the structural integrity of the SIRT Training Pistol and make it brick house tight, the slide cannot be racked. Other tools, such as Air Soft, are notorious for breaking when in use for training. Therefore, train skill sets, such as “tap, rack and roll”, with your real gun, always abiding by proper dry fire protocol.

When manipulating a magazine, such as while doing reloads, the weight of the magazine has a significant effect on the quality of movement. In other words, anyone who has reloaded with an empty magazine and switched to a full magazine will have noticed a considerable difference in moving the magazine to the gun. Therefore, to make training as real as possible, the magazine is fitted with three weights, one to simulate 10 rounds of 124 grain 9 mm rounds, another to simulate a full clip of 17 rounds of 124 grain 9 mm rounds, and a final weight to simulate 15 rounds of 180 grain 40 caliber bullets, all with the approximately same center of gravity as the location within the magazine. Of course, there are different bullet weights, but these ranges give a close approximation of those which most simulate a real magazine.

This feature keeps Mama happy. Doing magazine changes in areas such as hardwood floors can damage the floor and be noisy. Of course, the SIRT Training Pistol accepts real magazines for training, but the practice mag can be used to be dropped on, for example, a hardwood floor minimizing damage and the thumping sound. We try to make it as conducive as possible to train in as many locations as possible, including your home living room.

The green laser is an unrestricted, class 3A laser. Although it is not recommended to use it to shoot someone in the eyes, it is generally considered safe because, to the best of our knowledge and research, the blink response of a human is faster (approximately 20/100th of a second) than the amount of exposure time the laser needs to cause damage to the retina. In other words, if the red or green laser hits someone in the eye, they should naturally blink long before it does any permanent retinal damage. Therefore, the laser is considered safe for force-on-force applications.

Yes, in fact it is a very useful tool when conducting force-on-force. Other tools, such as simulations, can be valuable; however, the SIRT Training Pistol can be used in more locations without the need for protective ballistic wear. Although the green laser impacts do not leave a permanent mark, the flash impulse memory of the trainer observing the interaction generally indicates the hits and, moreover, if all parties are playing fair, they can generally call their own shots as the slight auditory signature of the trigger pull can generally indicate who shot first.

With any other tool it is difficult to tell if the trigger was properly prepped. The SIRT Training Pistol emits the red laser when the trigger is prepped back to the sear location. Therefore, when doing instruction of any team scenario, the red laser will indicate to the instructor when the trigger is improperly prepped.

Basically, the trigger is designed to be almost completely adjustable for any possible variant. There are six attributes of adjustment which include:

Initial Position: The initial rest position is where the trigger sits when it is at rest in a fully forward location, towards the barrel of the gun.

Initial Take-up Force: The main spring in the center portion dictates the amount of take-up force, which is the amount of force needed to reposition the trigger away from the barrel of the gun, up to the simulated sear. There are two ways of adjusting this feature. One is simply to reposition the center fulcrum bar downward to increase the amount of force. The second way to adjust the force is to simply add additional springs in the top location. The force can adjust all the way up to 20 pounds for very specific training drills.

Sear Engagement Location: The sear engagement location is the upper left-hand cam which raises and lowers the simulated sear member and adjusts exactly where the tongue of the trigger engages the sear. When the trigger tongue engages the sear member, there is a distinct increase of force required to "break the trigger".

Degree of Sear Engagement: The degree of sear engagement is the space between the trigger tongue and the internal sear member when the trigger tongue first hits the sear member. In other words, a high degree of sear engagement means the trigger tongue slides across the sear for longer before breaking. A lower degree of engagement means the sear engagement has to travel a smaller distance in order to make the trigger break.

Degree of Sear Force: This adjustment feature is in the upper left-hand portion, which adjusts the spring element of the simulated sear member. A low amount of sear force means the sear will reposition more easily to break the trigger, and a higher degree of sear force means it takes a greater amount of force to break the trigger. The above factors work cumulatively for different effects, whereby a lighter sear force with greater sear engagement will have different properties than a greater amount of sear force with less sear engagement.

Over-travel: The over-travel cam also operates as a switch that activates the shot indicating laser ( the green laser). However, the amount of over-travel past the breakpoint can be adjusted to have a smaller or greater amount of over-travel.

It is critical to first loosen the cam on the right-hand side of the pistol and adjust the cam from the left-hand side. In other words, on the right hand side there is a locking cap screw which locks the cam member in place. The left-hand side allows for a 1.5 mm or 2 mm hex wrench to apply slight rotations to the cam. After it is adjusted to a desirable location, tighten up the locking screw on the right-hand side of the gun. DO NOT ADJUST THE CAM WITHOUT FIRST LOOSENING THE ADJUSTMENT CAP SCREW. This can cause damage to the right side of the trigger module housing.

The trigger is initially set to emulate a Glock 17 stock trigger. We provide general guidelines for adjusting the trigger to a competition trigger or to a trigger with a 3.5 pound disconnector.

We wanted to provide the best tool possible, and part of that is having an extended magazine release (specifically from Lone Wolf Distributors). However, there are some institutions and departments that do not allow extended magazine releases, so you can replace it with the provided standard extended magazine release.

The first prototype we designed actually embraced this concept of retrofitting a device to work with a real gun. We used it internally, simply to train. However, after several months of use, it took too long to implement on a real gun to be sustainable or reasonable in light of people’s busy lives and multiple commitments. Other devices that retrofit a laser to your gun have their place, but we feel a resetting trigger is critical for proper and complete training. While possible, retrofitting a resetting trigger to your real gun requires a disassembly of the trigger assembly. The practicality of disassembling, reassembling a resetting trigger, attaching the laser in the barrel, and sighting in the laser takes several minutes away from actual training. Therefore, we designed a complete, self-contained unit that you can pick up and train in seconds, in almost any location on almost any target.

Actually, anything anywhere can serve as a targeting system, and any object downstream of the muzzle is a target. We all have visual peripheral flash impulse memory, which helps us remember where the laser hits the target while maintaining a front sight focus, or if you are target focus shooter you will also have awareness of the laser. Practically speaking, shooting at a proprietary target gets boring after a while and takes too long to set up for short training sessions. So it is desirable to minimize the time it takes to begin a training session. Elaborate targeting systems have their place in the market; however, they require a designated room, are very expensive and are limited to the graphics and targeting system provided with that system. We are also dissatisfied with the guns provided with those systems, namely the weight, lack of actual recoil (considering the bulk of air systems), the trigger properties, etc.

The laser is powered by a 3-volt lithium battery, which is fairly common in the industry. You can generally buy these batteries in bulk for less than a dollar a piece.

The two pins to the slides are popped out, the slide is removed and the battery is replaced.

Volume: Higher volume indicates a higher number of repetitions and is a function of the number ofreps while training, number of practice sessions, and the number of reps per session. The problem with traditional live fire is that there are too many barriers to entry to get a sufficient number of reps. Even top shooters, such as Robby Latham, who may shoot in excess of 50,000 rounds a year (50,000 repetitions), is minimal compared to an amateur boxer who may throw hundreds of thousands of left jabs in the same time frame. Mastering any motion or movement requires repetitions and time. According to the latest book Outliers, a computer programmer, a violinist, an athlete and a shooter all require approximately 10,000 hours of practice to pursue mastery of their skill set. The practice makes these skills permanent for the individual; however, the repetitions must be of quality in order for this permanence to be worthwhile.

Quality: Quality of movement means that the high volume of training is done correctly. The first prototype was used for personal training where we noticed how many misses occurred from peripheral visual awareness of the laser, in particular even when maintaining a rigorous front sight focus. The misses were due to poor trigger mechanics, but the flash visual memory of the front sight while breaking the trigger did not tell the story (give feedback) of what the muzzle was actually doing when breaking the trigger. Many shooters are quick to blame the laser for going out of alignment with the sights, but when this happens the real causal problem is usually shooter error. Therefore, SIRT’s feedback of the muzzle orientation through the red laser is critical to ensure quality of movement. Dry firing is a critical element of enhancing pistolcraft, but sloppy dry firing only leads to poor shooting performance.

Please refer to the videos under the training session which provide some solid ideas and a training curriculum. The curriculum is constantly evolving and expanding, but in general the videos are 3 to 4 minutes and outline a drill you can conduct with students or for yourself.

It is fun. The feedback and affirmation received from use of the SIRT make its use sustainable for both shooters and non-shooters. To date, every shooter that has picked up the SIRT Pistol has "played" with it, shooting at targets, presenting the gun, and engaging in reloads. Basically, they are naturally using the pistol and starting to train whether they realize it or not. Having the auto-resetting trigger, the shot indicator and minimizing the "barriers to entry" for training are important for making a training regimen simple and sustainable. Even for advanced, dedicated shooters, the convenience and simplicity works with the daily, busy lifestyle and rigorous, diverse demands placed upon us all.

No, at least not if you have a correct grip. We have filmed high-speed video (120 frames per second) of rapid consecutive shots on a single target, such as the bill drill, and the amount of time where the gun does not move between shots is significant. In other words, the slide reciprocates back and forth and dampens down in the hands for less than 5/100s of a second. A fairly fast split with a striker fired gun is 15/100s of a second, and some individuals with single action guns, such as a 1911, can get down to 10/100s of a second. However, there is still a large amount of downtime when the gun is doing nothing after firing, and a limiting factor is repositioning the trigger to the reset and pressing the trigger finger to the flesh of the hand between the thumb and trigger finger to fire the follow-up shot.

It should be reiterated that the SIRT Training Pistol came about to fill a training void. Everyone on the NextLevel team has utilized Air Soft in some capacity and we find it to be a good training tool. However, we are limited to where we can shoot Air Soft because the BB's are solid enough to ding up walls (they actually have some terminal ballistic properties), and the percussion is too loud for many environments. It has some additional limitations which the SIRT Pistol seeks to get around. With rapid pistol movement, such as during draws, the green gas tends to get launched through the valve and come out the barrel, most Air Softs do not fit in holsters, they are not very conducive for training magazine changes, it is difficult to change the sights in most models. Managing an Air Soft BB target system can be a pain in the neck, and, most of all, the triggers are not sufficiently adjustable (or adjustable at all unless you are creative) to emulate the trigger idiosyncrasies of your real pistol. We are not trying to disparage the Air Soft with this assessment, but rather we want to be clear about its limitations, just as we are clear about the SIRT Training Pistol’s limitations (it is not a tool to directly train recoil management, tap rack roll, etc.).

Although there is no recoil with Air Soft, there is a slight sight disturbance when the slide reciprocates after firing a shot. With a proper grip, the sight disturbance should be minimal with an Air Soft, and it is not a bad idea to integrate a certain amount of Air Soft training into your regimen as well.

We like recoil and noise as well. Let's face it, we all like shooting real guns. When we press the trigger and let off a round, we also want to ensure that the rounds are shot as quickly and accurately as possible. Therefore, to make the most of your live fire experience, it is best to train your trigger mechanics in between live fire stretches (for example in between magazines) as well as away from the range.

This question is misleading because you cannot dry fire or train too much; however, you can dry fire too much in proportion to the amount of time you spend with live fire. Conversely, you can live fire proportionally too much compared to your dry fire training time. Current Production Division National Champion Robert Vogel states that after a heavy live fire training session of say 400 rounds, he has to start dry firing to keep his pistolcraft skill sets accurate and well-executed. In other words, sometimes the noise and recoil of live fire gets in the way of focusing on your trigger mechanics, such as being on the sight during a transition, the trigger prep (taking up the slack) when coming on a target, etc. Dry firing too much, on the other hand, particularly for beginning to intermediate shooters, can lead to a sloppy grip and poor stance. If you don't keep holding yourself accountable for the accuracy of your shooting when dealing with the recoil of live fire with a high enough frequency, your grip can become too loose and you may start to stand too upright to properly handle shooting a live round from a gun.

When you live fire, try videotaping yourself some time shooting at a plate rack where the camera is positioned on the side of you, and watch the back of your head while shooting. If your head (and upper body) is shifting rearwardly a few inches, this generally means you should get a little bit lower in your stance. When you live fire, be aware of your grip with a strong hand and a week hand, your chest squeeze, pressing your palms together and your stance. It is best, of course, to get some instruction, practice makes permanent, but being aware of these factors and burning them in to the brain helps you train properly at home while dry firing.