Several months ago I decided I wanted something to practice handgun. I decided to create an arcade type practice gun that would shoot a very short duration laser beam. My State, Arizona, is one of three that allows open and concealed carry of handguns without a permit. In my training I was taught that in a life or death situation you do not have time to draw your weapon, aim and fire. You must be able to instinctively draw and fire without raising the firearm. This is defined as snap shooting. Besides, I enjoy the precision of being able to accurately point a weapon instinctively. On line I found a very good pewter copy of the 1911 GI 45 auto pistol made in Japan. After all, the 1911GI 45 pistol is my favorite firearm. The replica gun is almost an exact copy of a GI 45 except they made sure that it was just different enough that none of the parts from a “real” 45 would be interchangeable. The magazine area, after I removed the follower and spring, gave me enough space to mount a small electronic package and three AAAA batteries (4.5 volts when wired in series). With this type gun the problem was creating the actual mechanism that would create a pulse when the trigger was pulled. I toyed with one shot multivibrators and 555 timers but all the actual mechanisms for generating a pulse with the trigger, micro switches or reed switches, were kludgy and awkward. Then one day online I stumbled on the product line of firearm laser products from LaserLyte. Wow! why hadn’t I heard of these products before. They basically make three types of practice laser devices that fit into actual firearms and generate a short burst of red laser light when the hammer falls. They make the LTS Training Cartridge series which are replica cartridges that are loaded into the chamber of a gun.
The triggering mechanism is a tiny switch mounted in place of the primer being hit by the gun’s firing pin. Because it employs a physical switch to be activated there is no drain on the batteries when it is not being fired. One final note. You may have noticed the “O” rings on the front and rear. I believe this is to secure the device in the chamber so there will not be any movement. However they do cause the cartridges to stick in the chamber and you will probably have to use a wooden dowel to eject the device. Also on my 45, it would not fully chamber. The problem was interference from the front “O” ring. I just removed the “O” ring and it works perfectly. Creating a device like this is quite an amazing engineering feat. A quality made device.
I suppose they don’t make them in revolver calibers since then you would need six cartridges for the gun and that would be a lot of money. The cartridges are self contained and you just load them in the chamber and fire the gun either single or double action depending on your pistol. It’s a great product.
I have one in 9mm and one in 45 ACP.They have performed perfectly. I have read a review where someone complained about the switch not lasting long. I use my 9mm in a S&W model 59 which is a double action auto pistol. That means the hammer spring is not terribly strong. I use the 45 caliber one in a Rock Island GI 1911 and I haven’t had any problems. The hammer on the Rock Island 45 is fairly easy to cock, which means the hammer fall and primer punch are not terribly strong. However I also own a Springfield Match Target 45 and I cannot cock the hammer with just my thumb. I have never used my 45 caliber LT Laser Cartridge in it because I’m sure it would damage the switch on the cartridge.
As you can see, the primer/switch on the back is a replaceable part. Note the three batteries.
LaserLyte also makes the LTS Pro which works on any caliber from 9mm up: 9mm, 40s&w, .45acp, 38sp, .380 Auto, 357sig, 10mm and 45lc with a barrel length greater than 2 inches.
The device has a plastic expansion device screwed into the back that is adjusted by tightening or loosening the screw so it expands or contracts over the cone shaped surface.
The three batteries are accessed by unscrewing the tapered end on the right of the image. This device fits into the end of the barrel where it’s cone shaped design centers it in the muzzle and it extends only a tiny bit past the crown of the muzzle.
This renders it useful for use from a holster like the cartridge models. The main problem with this device is you must unscrew the end of the device after use or the three mercury batteries will become drained in a day.
Finally there is the LTS Universal.
This unit is usable on any firearm from 22 caliber to 50 caliber. It however, extends several inches from the muzzle so is useful as a bore sight and flash laser trainer but cannot be used with a holster. With this unit you interchange a module to convert it from a laser bore sight to a laser trainer.
These devices are manufactured here in the U.S.A. and the company is located in beautiful Cottonwood, Arizona. The real beauty of these devices is in the money you can save using them. They cost about $80.00 each but 150 rounds of 45 ACP ammo is about the same price. This is not to infer that actual live fire practice is not required to become proficient with your firearm. However you will be able to practice trigger control, one of the very most important aspects of accurate shooting without expending $0.50 every time you pull that trigger. That is awesome. By the way I am not in any way connected to LaserLyte. I just think they make great products. They are available on Amazon, at Cabelas, Midway U.S.A., etc. Note that the price varies quite a bit between different sellers. Shop around. Other reviews can be found online by Googling LaserLyte. In a later blog I’ll describe how these devices were incorporated into my arcade pistol.
I’m trying to figure out how to get reader feedback without being swamped with spam or trolls. Mail doesn’t seem to be an option. If I allow replies, I’ll have to moderate them so there will be no flame wars, political firestorms or trolls. I’ll post and decide on feedback later. I can use your ideas and maybe I can answer a question. Time will tell.