Guns sure are great! But they’re also supremely dangerous and that’s why it’s important to always be properly trained and to have the correct safety gear available to you whenever possible. One of the best investments you can make for yourself or for a friend is with firearms training classes. Whether that means it’s your first basic pistol or carbine course or a more advanced counter-sniper course, training often pays back in dividends more than any other firearms-related purchase out there. Safety gear, like hearing protection is another area of purchasing that can both enhance your training and pay off further down the road (you know, when you still have your hearing). So if you don’t want to have your grandchildren screaming in your ear next year to tell you what they want from Santa for Christmas, maybe it’s time to invest in a new pair of hearing protection. Today we’ll be covering some basic training and safety gear to keep you on target and out of harm’s way. Just ask this guy how important training at home is (profanity warning):
The 10th Day of TFB’s 12 Days of Christmas: Training & Safety Gear
There is this great rule out there I’ve always heard that you shouldn’t have any ammunition in the same room as a firearm when you’re either cleaning it or playing around with it not intending to actually shoot it (dry fire, for example). Cue the Dry Fire Mag. The Dry Fire Mag allows your handgun to not only be dry-fired safely but also has the added benefit of allowing multiple pulls of the trigger without having to remove your support hand to re-rack the slide to get a genuine trigger pull. In theory, this will allow you to better train to stay on target between multiple trigger pulls. It’s no replacement for live fire but it costs a lot less than live ammo and doesn’t require you to leave your own home.
- Fits Glock pistols in 9mm, 40 S&W, 357 SIG, and 45 G.A.P (Double stack Glocks)
- User-adjustable spring pack allows you to dial in the trigger pull weight
- Works with all generations of Glock in calibers listed above
- No need to rack the slide after each trigger pull
- Also available for SIG P320, Springfield XD, and Smith & Wesson M&P pistols
- $104.99 with spring pack or $98.99 without spring pack at Amazon.com (Double Stack Glock Version)
If $100 sounds a bit too steep for a dry fire training device, then maybe you’d be interested in something that still lets you get trigger time in without locking the slide open every time you cycle the gun to reset the trigger. Snap caps are a great way to improve not only your trigger skill but also teach newer shooters how to properly load their handgun or rifle without the risk of involving live ammunition at home.
- Dummy rounds made from machined aluminum
- Synthetic rubber primer to lessen the impact on your firing pin
- Available for virtually any caliber including rimfire calibers and shotguns
- Perfect for use with older firearms with sensitive firing pins
- Average price is about $19 for a pack of 6 snap caps on Brownells.com
Hearing protection is a pretty high priority on my list of things to have – even if I am out hunting. Although the use of a suppressor can either partially or fully eliminate the need for hearing protection, if you’re out at a public range it won’t really matter if you’re rocking a can on your rifle or pistol as there is a strong likelihood that bubba two stalls down from you has just received a new SAS Tactical muzzle brake for Christmas and is itching to dump an entire mag of .308. If you’re not going to wear it all the time, at least keep it handy. Howard Leight electronic earmuffs are some of the best in the business and come in a variety of colors and also make great gifts for new shooters.
- Available in 7 different colors
- Under $70
- 22dB NRR
- Sound amplification for enhanced hearing at the range output at a hearing safe 82dB
- Every unit includes 2 AAA batteries
- Automatic 4-hour shut off
- 350 hours battery life
- Starts at $54.99 at Brownells.com
Dry fire for pistols has become somewhat commonplace and I’m happy to see that the same systems are coming to the AR platform as well (maybe similar systems will be out for the AK soon?). Mantis Tech has a load of really cool training aids including their popular Laser Training Academy system but the Blackbeard auto-resetting dry fire system is unique in that it requires only a simple bolt carrier group and magazine change to work. Simply drop in the Mantis Blackbeard and its supporting magazine and you’re capable of ripping off up to 10 dry fire shots per second making it easy to shore up your split times or simply train your trigger finger.
- Available with or without a laser
- Infrared lasers available for night vision junkies like Nick C
- Works with both DI and piston-driven AR-15 platforms
- No permanent modifications needed
- Starts at $199.99 without laser at Brownells.com
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