As we all know, shooting is a perishable skill. It must be continuously renewed through training and practice to maintain it. Yet few of us are able to get to the range as often as we would like to. Time, distance, and cost are often factors. Dry-fire training at home using your own gun with a laser firearms training system can be the answer.
Although it’s not a replacement for live fire training, dry fire training with a laser firearms training system is a valuable adjunct to it that that will allow you to practice your shooting skills virtually anytime and anyplace. It allows you to practice your stance, grip and presentation, sight alignment, breathing control, trigger pull and follow through with real time feedback that simulates the point of impact where a bullet would have actually hit, just as if you were at the range. The only thing missing is the recoil. It’s a great way to practice the fundamentals and can help you to overcome any bad habits that you have developed, such as the anticipation of recoil.
There are a number of laser firearms training systems on the market. I recently received the iTarget™ for evaluation. It’s an outstanding system for the money. Most of the laser training systems on the market are either very expensive or offer limited features,
Joe Crouch, the inventor of iTarget and a firearm owner, recognized the need for a solution. Being an app developer, Joe saw the opportunity to leverage the capabilities of a smartphone and build an app capable of functioning like the much more expensive laser training systems. iTarget is the result.
ITarget works in conjunction with your Apple iPhone® or Android phone’s camera using the iTarget Pro phone app, The app may be downloaded free from the Apple App Store and Google Play. The iTarget Pro app pairs with an iTarget Laser Bullet (or any other firing pin actuated laser bullet or laser training gun that flashes a red laser beam) and the iTarget Sled that holds your phone/case (up to 87 mm wide) and an 8.5 x 11-inch target. I have been using an iPhone 11 in an Urban Armor Gear (UAG) Monarch Series case in conjunction with the iTarget. I haven’t tested the Target with an Android phone.
The iTarget Sled appears to be very well made. It’s constructed of a durable, hard polymer with some metal hardware. The phone holder on the sled features rubber padding to protect the finish of your phone. The design has been well thought out.
The phone is placed in the iTarget Sled with the camera pointed at the target. The Sled is adjustable so you can adjust the target’s distance and lateral movement in order for the phone’s camera to be able to capture the entire target image. The phone can be canted and zoomed to perfectly match the target image.
iTarget comes with a Bullseye target. It’s printed on plastic so it should hold up well. A silhouette target is available for downloading on the iTarget website or you can use an 8.5 x 11-inch target of your choice. There are a lot of cool, free targets on the web that may be printed out and used with iTarget.
Each time you use the app you must first agree to the safety precautions. You must insure that your firearm is unloaded and free of live ammunition. iTarget recommends that all of the live ammo that was in the firearm be placed in front of the iTarget Sled as a safety precaution beforehand.
The app monitors the hits from laser bullet and displays the hits on the phone’s screen in real time. The iTarget Sled is designed to passively amplify the phone’s speaker so you can hear the “shots” from the app. The sensitivity of the app can be adjusted for different lighting conditions. In iTarget’s testing, the app is better at detecting the laser when target has black lines on white paper. You can save the results directly to the phone so you can track your progress.
The iTarget Laser Bullet functions like a snap cap so there’s no damage to your firearm. They are very well made. iTarget Laser Bullets are designed without a rim so that they’re not ejected from the firearm. They fit tightly in the chamber and bore due to rubber o-rings. When you are done practicing, the iTarget Laser Bullet can be removed by pushing it out with a pencil or, in the case of a rifle, cleaning rod.
ITarget Laser Bullets are good for thousands of shots. The batteries are simple to replace. Eventually, the repeated strikes of the firing pin will cause a permanent indentation in the rubber button at the base that will prevent the firing pin from activating the laser. At this point you will either need to replace the iTarget Laser Bullet or use a tube of silicone sealant to create a new button. Personally, when the time comes, I’d just purchase another iTarget Laser Bullet. They’re not all that expensive
iTarget also offers an app add-on called “Quick Draw” as an in-app purchase. It’s designed to allow you to test your speed an accuracy. When the app gives the signal, it starts a timer that records your time for each shot. Quick Draw is $4.99.
iTarget will also soon also be coming out with an app add-on called “Hi Score.” With Hi Score, there will be five numbered circles and your goal will be to shoot the number that the app calls out.
To Sum Up
To sum it all up, iTarget is an outstanding training aid that that represents an unbeatable value. It’s easy to set up and easy to use. It will not only help you to maintain your shooting skills, it can make you a better shooter. An instructional video on the iTarget website shows the iTarget in action and provides “tips and tricks” for using the iTarget.
The current version of the iTarget Pro iOS app (Version 1.6.10) for iOS requires iOS 10.0 or later. The current iTarget Pro Android app (Version 1.6.2) requires Android 4.0 or later.
iTarget is available directly from iTargetPro.com. Price for the iTarget Sled and Laser Bullet Package is $99.95. Price for the iTarget Sled only is $49.95. iTarget Laser Bullets (sold separately) are $59.95. Free shipping for all USA orders. Discounted international rates. The iTarget comes with a one-year warranty.
UAG / Urban Armor Gear
I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.
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