How to train with fun: Laser Ammo training system for hunters

Shooters love the Laser Ammo interactive dry fire laser training system. 

The Laser Ammo training system for hunters
This is the SureStrike .30-06 Adapter Sleeve, with the basic 9mm (9x19mm Luger) visible red laser SureStrike cartridge.

Firearms enthusiasts, sports and competition IPSC shooters, LE officers, all practice at home using this system, from the very basic SureStrike cartridge set kit all the way to multiple I-MTTS Arena target kits linked together. 

But there’s a lot more to it, as also hunters can enjoy safe indoor training with their favorite hunting gun, be it a rifle or smoothbore, with the Laser Ammo system.

The manufacturer offers additional ammo cartridge converters, to make the standard 9mm SureStrike laser round compatible with many large bore and smoothbore calibers. I received both .30-06 and 12 gauge cartridge adapters, to test the system with hunting guns.

The Laser Ammo training system for hunters
The similar SureStrike 12-gauge Adapter Sleeve, with the same 9mm SureStrike cartridge. The O-ring allows the round to remain in the breech during training.

One thing I have experienced is that the Laser Ammo kit is essentially a static target system. And that’s fine, most targets don’t move in a shooting range, and the ones that do are likely to be found in an IPSC competition stage… on the other hand, the opposite is true in the hunting sport, in which game is rarely stationary and shooting moving targets is the norm.

With a little creativity and the help of an inexpensive, no-name toy RC car, I was able to build a basic moving target system for the Laser Ammo kit, and I tested it with my Benelli Argo E-Pro semiauto hunting rifle in .30-06 and also a 12-gauge Piotti side by side shotgun. The results are incredibly fun and effective. A little note: it’s actually a lot harder that it looks.

The Laser Ammo training system for hunters
On the rear of the SureStrike 12-gauge Adapter Sleeve we can note the “primer” of the laser round, made of a tough polymer that does not damage the firing pin of our firearms.

First of all, the moving target I built can be made using a single Interactive Multi Training Target and a basic SureStrike 9mm (9x19) Red Laser Cartridge, plus a SureStrike Adapter Sleeve caliber converter for our rifle or smoothbore. Prices for each can be found at the end of the article. It is possible to incrementally build upon this barebone set, adding extra targets, or even complete target kits such as the Laser Ammo I-MTTS Arena target kit.

Mounting the basic 9mm SureStrike laser cartridge in the adapter sleeves is trivial. But, when loading the SureStrike cartridge and adapter in a semiauto rifle such as the Benelli Argo, it is important to ride the bolt home on the round and not let it slam on the breech to avoid possible damage to the laser optics. This is less likely to happen once the round is loaded in the breech, i.e. when we cock the hammer of the action pulling halfway back the bolt carrier to shoot again. 

The Laser Ammo training system for hunters
The full SureStrike set, with the camo wallet included with the SureStrike Ultimate LE Edition kit, and both  SureStrike .30-06 and 12-gauge Adapter Sleeves.

On bolt action or the increasingly popular straight pull rifles, operation is the same as in live fire. 

Removal of the cartridge from the gun is done from the muzzle, using a cleaning rod without brush and taking care that the end of the rod cannot damage the laser optics; I personally use a couple VFG cleaning felts hand fed to the muzzle and pushed down the bore with a bare cleaning rod. 

As for the toy RC car: it has to be large enough so that the interactive target hardware can be securely fastened to the roof of the toy car; I found a basic, no-name Chinese import toy online with remote and two batteries for about 40 euro with good reviews and got it in a couple of days.

The Laser Ammo training system for hunters
This is the no-name toy R/C Car Chinese import that I used to build my “running boar” target with the Laser Ammo system. It’s priced around 40 euro online.

I used the smallest, round target card that is supplied with the Interactive Multi Training Target as it makes the experience even harder and more exciting, in addition to improving our moving target skills. 

Also, I would recommend the red visible laser cartridge rather than the more efficient IR laser in this scenario, as it is more important to actually see where the POI (Point Of Impact) is on the target, and the shape of the beam is also important. This, to evaluate if I am correctly tracking the target and not just wildly swinging the barrel: a “red streak” on the target means I am swinging faster or slower that the target. The shot has to print a visible nice and round dot on the target.

Obviously, to operate the car I had to enlist the help of someone else, namely my son, that also enjoys range shooting. 

The Laser Ammo training system for hunters
The content of the SureStrike Ultimate LE Edition kit, with 9mm basic SureStrike cartridge, .223, .40 and .45 adapter sleeves, and the handgun safety barrel insert.

What I managed to replicate is in fact a “running boar” setup: the target can be made to move from left to right and vice versa at different speeds, and limiting the visible travel of the toy car – i.e. with boxes or furniture – makes the shot even more challenging and fun. It is also possible to place the target on the toy car facing forward and not to the side, to simulate game running away or towards the hunter, and make the car unpredictably zig-zag in its travel: again, a lot harder that it looks! The laser works in a reasonably lit environment up to at least 20 meters, that is the longest I could find in my garage, and it worked flawlessly. But even in tight spaces using the RC car and the Laser Ammo system is very productive and I feel I honed and improved my moving target skills a lot, especially with the zig-zag scenario, which up to now I could not replicate on the range, even though I do enjoy shooting 50 m running target when I can.

To wrap up, the Laser Ammo system is incredibly flexible, especially if you add a bit of creativity in the mix: the toy car can simulate any surface movement and mixing stationary and moving targets in my apartment makes for an exciting and productive training – both for sports shooting and for hunting.

I strongly recommend the Laser Ammo moving target mod idea to all hunters, as my experience has been remarkably eye opening on my estimated shooting proficiency… and even a few days of practice made a huge improvement. Watch the video!

Additional ideas continue to pop up: IPSC oscillating target simulation for example. And what about video simulations… But that’s material for a future article!

Video: Laser Ammo interactive target system

Stay tuned with us!

Prices of the products featured in this article: SureStrike 9mm (9x19) Red Visible laser Cartridge, 143 euro; Interactive Multi Training Target single pack, 143 euro; SureStrike .30-06 and 12-gauge Adapter Sleeve: 62 euro each. No name Chinese import toy RC car, appx. 40 euro.

For more information, visit Laser Ammo website

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