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Good Gun Gear: DryFire Simulator

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February 29, 2012

Good Gun Gear: DryFire Simulator

By Phil Bourjaily

Our high school trap club recently bought a DryFire laser shooting simulator and already I am a believer. A device that eliminates the noise, recoil and expense of live fire makes huge sense as a teaching aid.

For instance, we took a senior who had never shot a gun and taught him the basics with the DryFire. He shot two rounds of laser trap a few days before his first trip to the range.

We started him on straightaway clays first at the gun club, and then let him try a full round of 16-yard trap. First time he broke 7x25. After another session on the DryFire, he broke 22x25 on real targets the following Saturday. I have never seen a kid climb the learning curve that quickly. He gets a lot of the credit, but so does the DryFire.

The unit consists of an oscillating head that projects a dot onto a mural and a laser arbor that fits into the muzzle of your gun. A button that fires the laser straps onto the trigger. You plug the system into a laptop and it shows the result of every shot immediately. When you shoot with proper form and keep your eyes on the laser dot, you hit it. When you make a mistake that would cost you a real target, you miss, as you can see when you watch the guy on the video struggle with right-angled birds.

Although DryFire can also be set up for trap doubles, bunker trap, skeet and Sporting Clays, from what I have seen so far, it is best for trap. Initial software installation took time, and there is some setup and recalibration involved if you switch guns, but overall, it has been money very well spent. You can buy a single unit for $1,050 and set it up in your home. While that may seem like a lot, it really isn’t when you compare it to the cost of gas, targets and ammunition for a day at the range.

Comments (17)

Top Rated
All Comments
from mexhunter wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

this should have been posted before christmas

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter_Fass wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

This is an impressive piece of technology. I’m sure it would work wonders for my trap shooting skills. I wonder if they do and will have a simulator for bird hunting say; pass shooting waterfowl, decoyed waterfowl, different types of upland birds and etc. Punch in the type of bird and have them randomly appear from different angles and speeds. Although, getting out in the field would be much more enjoyable than just running down in the basement.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mibasshunter wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

That looks like it would be really fun. But for that much I'd rather do the real thing, even if it is a little more expensive.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dave63go wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

This looks fantastic. Not so much because of cost savings, or no noise or no recoil, but because of the immediate feedback of how you missed the target.

I wonder if Trap & Skeet ranges will purchase these. Seems like a no-brainer for a high school trap & skeet club.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from davycrockettfv wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Hunter_Fass, I think they have that already. They call it the Wii. haha! Actually I agree with you, they could really up the anty with this technology and create very realistic simulated hunts for those of us who just aren't satisfied with a few weeks in the field. As cool as it is now, this has the potential to be really awesome!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

What? No wind bouncing the clay around, no broken clays coming out, no bad lighting conditions, snow, rain?
Gee, what will I use for excuses?

It's appears to be a great tool for learning or even working out of a slump/bad habit.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

A couple of years ago the WV DNR Hunter Education section purchased something similar to this that had deer, turkeys, elk and other animals on it. The unit was very touchy to set up. When set up , the key was the person who was running the laptop. That seemed to be the main problem. The unit was a huge success with the students and all others who "hunted" on the unit. As I remember it cost quite a bit more than that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Maybe FUN for a rookie, but not for aging punks like me!I gotta have BANG, RECOIL, and the smell of GUN POWDER to make that game feel right!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

for $1050 id rather just go buy a new shotgun...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from alwaysWRIGHT wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

I wouldnt waste my money on that thing, the first time i shot trap i got 21 out of 25 with absolutly no experiance.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from okie_goose_hntr wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

scratch,
You obviously don't put many rounds through a gun for practice. My son and I shot around 10,000+ rounds last year for practice and tournaments. This doesn't mean everyone needs to take it to that length but it sure helps. If you figure that $1050 in boxes of shotgun shells it comes to 175 boxes of cheap 1-1/8 at $6/box. If you throw in a round of skeet at the club this will bring you to $10 or more per box then we are at 100 boxes or rounds.
But part of me agrees with you - because last year I looked into buying one and decided to spend my money on another reloader and bought bulk on my reloading supplies instead. I can't justify the expenses of this with the other toys I seem to want.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

What choke do you use on that laser from 16 yard?????

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ncarl wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I have a hard time believing that this can be as accurate as the real thing

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I just watched the video and it is very apparent by watching the shooter and the gun, what errors were made by the shooter on the lost targets. Most of the time, it appeared the shooter raised his head and 'choked off' the target (shot it too fast), and on one quarter angle, it appeared that the shooter ran off and left the target, resulting in a dead gun at the time the shot was fired.
Usually, when you raise your head, you are trying to see the target because you have started with a too high hold point and the target is under your gun and the result is shot panic, causing the shooter to react by shooting too quick. The shot where the shooter ran off and left the right angle target resulted from anticipation and started moving the gun before he actually saw the target. You cannot move your gun until you see the target if you desire success.
Pretty cool simulator and I think it would be a great teaching aid.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian V wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

He's got a great follow through...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Trapper Vic wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Ohio DNR has one we used during jakes day for the kids they love it. Problem was we about wore it out the day before the kids got to use it. Great way to practice, fun and cheap. If they could add recoil for sporting clays it would be perfect!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lillico wrote 1 year 51 weeks ago

The simulator can not do broken clays or rain, but you can get the wind to move it around a full 360, with adjustable gusts and speed.
You can also set the latitude and time to show what you will see on the day, (only on the PC screen, not your wall)

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from mexhunter wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

this should have been posted before christmas

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter_Fass wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

This is an impressive piece of technology. I’m sure it would work wonders for my trap shooting skills. I wonder if they do and will have a simulator for bird hunting say; pass shooting waterfowl, decoyed waterfowl, different types of upland birds and etc. Punch in the type of bird and have them randomly appear from different angles and speeds. Although, getting out in the field would be much more enjoyable than just running down in the basement.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Maybe FUN for a rookie, but not for aging punks like me!I gotta have BANG, RECOIL, and the smell of GUN POWDER to make that game feel right!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from okie_goose_hntr wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

scratch,
You obviously don't put many rounds through a gun for practice. My son and I shot around 10,000+ rounds last year for practice and tournaments. This doesn't mean everyone needs to take it to that length but it sure helps. If you figure that $1050 in boxes of shotgun shells it comes to 175 boxes of cheap 1-1/8 at $6/box. If you throw in a round of skeet at the club this will bring you to $10 or more per box then we are at 100 boxes or rounds.
But part of me agrees with you - because last year I looked into buying one and decided to spend my money on another reloader and bought bulk on my reloading supplies instead. I can't justify the expenses of this with the other toys I seem to want.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

What choke do you use on that laser from 16 yard?????

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mibasshunter wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

That looks like it would be really fun. But for that much I'd rather do the real thing, even if it is a little more expensive.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dave63go wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

This looks fantastic. Not so much because of cost savings, or no noise or no recoil, but because of the immediate feedback of how you missed the target.

I wonder if Trap & Skeet ranges will purchase these. Seems like a no-brainer for a high school trap & skeet club.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

for $1050 id rather just go buy a new shotgun...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from alwaysWRIGHT wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

I wouldnt waste my money on that thing, the first time i shot trap i got 21 out of 25 with absolutly no experiance.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from davycrockettfv wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Hunter_Fass, I think they have that already. They call it the Wii. haha! Actually I agree with you, they could really up the anty with this technology and create very realistic simulated hunts for those of us who just aren't satisfied with a few weeks in the field. As cool as it is now, this has the potential to be really awesome!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

What? No wind bouncing the clay around, no broken clays coming out, no bad lighting conditions, snow, rain?
Gee, what will I use for excuses?

It's appears to be a great tool for learning or even working out of a slump/bad habit.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

A couple of years ago the WV DNR Hunter Education section purchased something similar to this that had deer, turkeys, elk and other animals on it. The unit was very touchy to set up. When set up , the key was the person who was running the laptop. That seemed to be the main problem. The unit was a huge success with the students and all others who "hunted" on the unit. As I remember it cost quite a bit more than that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ncarl wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I have a hard time believing that this can be as accurate as the real thing

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I just watched the video and it is very apparent by watching the shooter and the gun, what errors were made by the shooter on the lost targets. Most of the time, it appeared the shooter raised his head and 'choked off' the target (shot it too fast), and on one quarter angle, it appeared that the shooter ran off and left the target, resulting in a dead gun at the time the shot was fired.
Usually, when you raise your head, you are trying to see the target because you have started with a too high hold point and the target is under your gun and the result is shot panic, causing the shooter to react by shooting too quick. The shot where the shooter ran off and left the right angle target resulted from anticipation and started moving the gun before he actually saw the target. You cannot move your gun until you see the target if you desire success.
Pretty cool simulator and I think it would be a great teaching aid.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian V wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

He's got a great follow through...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Trapper Vic wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Ohio DNR has one we used during jakes day for the kids they love it. Problem was we about wore it out the day before the kids got to use it. Great way to practice, fun and cheap. If they could add recoil for sporting clays it would be perfect!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lillico wrote 1 year 51 weeks ago

The simulator can not do broken clays or rain, but you can get the wind to move it around a full 360, with adjustable gusts and speed.
You can also set the latitude and time to show what you will see on the day, (only on the PC screen, not your wall)

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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