No ammo? No problem! G-Sight ELMS allows you to sharpen accuracy while dry-firing for minimal startup cost.
Firearms training … there is life away from live fire and the shooting range. In fact, if you get to the brass tacks of the matter, the work you put into sharpening your skills with nothing more than your gun and an empty chamber might do more to get you down the road to mastery than anything else. Look at some of the greatest gun gurus in the history of firearms, and you see that each had a rigorous and uncompromising dry-fire regime; it didn’t matter their pursuit.
Why is pulling the trigger on an empty firearm so fruitful? One word: repetition. Excelling at a physical endeavor—from a wrist shot in hockey to a bull’s-eye in darts—requires doing it right over and over and over again (and again).
Shooting is no different: Dirt-cheap and highly productive dry-fire training allows you to get that many more shots—even if there’s no bang! in the end.
But there’s a caveat to what is otherwise a sound addition to anyone’s firearms drilling: doing it right. And, for the longest time, outside of self-evaluation, there’ve been few ways to truly get a grip on how well you’re boning up your sight picture, trigger pull, follow-through and aim.
Now, the times are changing.
Rise of the Machine
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In addition to keeping us constantly connected and serving up an endless litany of cat videos, the digital age has vastly enhanced the shooting world—no more so than for training. From devices that connect your gun for digital analysis of trigger pull to how you manage recoil, there’s a wealth of diagnostic equipment that helps you get on target. In this cutting-edge world, one of the most useful is also one of the simplest.
There’s not a ton to G-Sight’s Expert Laser Marksman System (ELMS). Yet, this elegant, little piece of equipment goes a long way toward improving your aim. Much as its name implies, ELMS is a laser diode meant to help you sharpen your marksmanship in the comfort of your own home. Simply load it up into your handgun and “go to town,” so to speak.
Well, there’s a little bit more to it than that … .
Far from leaving you craning your eyes to see where each blast from the laser lands, you have the ability to record your shots and evaluate them. Utilizing the camera on your Android or Apple smart device, the G-Sight app records your shots, giving you a crystalline idea of whether you’re banging the 10-ring or if you need a bit more work.
On the free version of the app, you get a 10-shot mode, along with a grouping mode that measures how tightly you’re grouping. While these are enough to get you going, you can upgrade the app to include a shot timer and unlimited shot recording functions. At around $5, it's well worth it if you find that the device enhances your training.
The shot timer—an upgrade—is especially nice, because it adds a level of urgency to training with voice commands to “ready” and “shoot.” Anything that turns the screws—while demanding accuracy—is generally a worthy addition.
That said, it might not be the ideal spend (the MSRP starts at $54.99) if you’re a striker-fired or single-action pistol shooter. The issue here is that you’ll have to work the slide or cock the hammer after every shot to break the subsequent one. In turn, you’re not measuring how quickly you can accurately place shots on target … although, if you happen to favor a Sig P226, Beretta M9 or any other DA/SA pistols, it might be worth the investment.
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Your Own Gun
As many might recognize, G-Sight’s ELMS isn’t the first crack at laser training. Yes, there are other similar marksmanship systems out there. Many of them are solid—but almost all of them are lacking.
The big gap, in almost all other cases, is the absence of your own pistol. While it might be fun to squeeze off a few rounds with a plastic facsimile (and there’s no arguing that you’re getting some accuracy training via that method), it’s a pale alternative.
Every gun has its nuances, from balance to trigger break to overtravel. Building the muscle memory to accurately shoot—well and consistently—a particular make and model requires you have that particular gun in hand. That’s the great advantage of ELMS: You have exactly this; and that’s no small thing.
The ELMS device also has a large reach in improving your marksmanship, no matter your firearm. G-Sight makes ELMS devices that fit all the popular self-defense handgun calibers, including 9mm, .38 Special, .380 ACP, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. Additionally, there’s a .223 variant available, in case you want to solidify your aim with your AR-15 or AR pistol.
Even without a device of some kind to keep tabs, dry-fire is an important part of your training regime. Famed gun writer Jack O’Connor was said to have snapped off countless trigger pulls at a particular brick in his neighbor’s chimney with his .270 Winchester. And competitive shooters spend many of their leisure hours at home, honing every facet of their shot behind an empty chamber. They don’t do it for kicks; they do it because it gets the job done.
The opportunity now exists to get even more out of this vital style of training—which is saying a lot. Technological advancements have made dry-fire more important and productive than ever before. Sure, it’s not quite on par with live fire, but it’s getting closer.
ELMS is a step down this path. We, as shooters, would be fools not to take advantage of it.
For more information on the G-Sight ELMS, please visit g-sight.com.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the February 2020 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.