SureStrike .38/.357 Revolver Laser Ammo
By Chuck Hawks
Laser Ammo Training Technologies, manufacturers of the previously reviewed SureStrike 9x19mm Laser Training Bullet for 9mm autoloaders, has expanded their product line to include .38/.357 SureStrike laser training cartridges. As primarily a revolver shooter, I have wished for just this product, so when Chen Shoshani of Laser Ammo wrote to me asking if I would like to write a review, I jumped at the chance.
Laser Ammo's SureStrike .38 laser cartridge is a great training device. Loaded into an appropriate .38/.357 firearm, it emits a brief red laser dot when the gun is fired. Ideal for dry firing, the momentary red dot is basically harmless, but easily visible. (Of course, as with any laser device, do not shoot yourself, pets, or anyone else in the eye.) SureStrike is a product of Laser Ammo, Ltd. of Israel. Here are some features of Laser Ammo SureStrike cartridges:
The heart of the system is the SureStrike laser cartridge, which comes with an internal microprocessor and a 5,000 shot guarantee. This is essentially a stainless steel replica cartridge with a laser emitter in front and a snap cap, instead of a primer, in back. The .38/.357 laser cartridges have correctly sized rims for easy extraction/ejection from both rifles and revolvers. You simply load the laser cartridge(s) directly into the chamber(s) and dry fire at will. When you pull the trigger, the laser dot hits where the gun was pointed.
The SureStrike .38/.357 laser cartridges are available singly (presumably for .357 rifles and single shot pistols), in a revolver 5-pack, or in a revolver 6-pack. Since all of my .38 and .357 revolvers are six shooters, I requested the 6-pack for this review (SKU: 38SSLK). The 2013 MSRP is $550. A single .38/.357 laser cartridge with three targets and battery pack (SKU: 38SSLC) is $99.95. The high quality of SureStrike laser cartridges justifies the price.
The SureStrike blister pack of six .38/.357 laser cartridges comes with six battery packs and six 2.5x2.5" reflective targets, so the purchaser is good to go. You just put the battery (+ side down) in the base of the cartridge and screw it onto the cartridge's laser emitter front half. Well, usually. Being skeptical of anything battery powered, I tested each laser cartridge as I inserted its battery, which is easy to do by simply pressing the "primer" (activation switch) in the base of the laser cartridge with a pen point, or something similar. Unfortunately, I found that one of the supplied batteries was dead on arrival. Since I had previously reviewed a 9mm laser cartridge and thoughtfully ordered a 3-pack of SureStrike replacement batteries (SKU: 3BP) at that time, I had new batteries on hand. Problem solved.
Once all six laser cartridges had good batteries and were working correctly, I was ready to begin practice shooting, right in my living room. I tried the .38/.357 laser cartridges in a Ruger Blackhawk SA revolver, Colt Python DA revolver, Smith & Wesson Model 10 DA revolver, Ruger GP100 DA revolver and a new Winchester Model 1873 .357 lever action rifle. They worked perfectly in all of these firearms. Note that, in the case of the Winchester Model 1873, I loaded a single laser cartridge directly into the chamber and manually cocked the hammer for each shot. I did not attempt to cycle laser cartridges through the rifle's tubular magazine.
In my test guns, the SureStrike hit quite close to the point of aim indicated by the iron sights. SureStrike is certainly sufficiently bright and accurate for realistic indoor practice in a well lit room. I even took it outdoors on a typical Western Oregon overcast day and the laser dot was easily visible against the white aluminum siding of my storage shed at 30 feet.
Light colored targets are more reflective than dark targets and the highly reflective, 2.5" square, SureStrike laser targets are best of all. They reflect brilliantly when hit by the laser. However, I had no trouble seeing the laser dot hit a variety of common household items, including a white desk lamp, brushed aluminum floor lamp, white ceramic ashtray, tan cocktail coaster, ivory wall switch plate, framed photographs, various knick-knacks on the shelves in my living room and images on my TV set. The latter are especially fun to target, as they move and are displayed for only a limited time. Blowing away bad guys on TV from my Lay-Z-Boy recliner is great fun. (Hint: try shooting with both eyes open to more easily see the laser dot.)
For those interested in more sophisticated targets, Laser Ammo offers the LaserPET electronic target that has three modes of operation: Hit counter, Shot timer/Fast draw and Speed shooting. For more information about this sophisticated electronic target system, check the Laser Ammo website at www.laser-ammo.com
SureStrike lets you experiment with various point shooting and "flash" front sight picture aiming methods, as well as conventional sighted fire. I found point shooting exercises particularly instructive. You can also practice your quick draw and check your accuracy in complete safety.
All experienced shooters practice by dry firing and learn to call their shots. The Laser Ammo SureStrike makes dry fire practice much more fun and rewarding. For .45 Long Colt and .44Special/.44 Magnum revolver shooters, SureStrike offers adaptor sleeves to allow the use of the basic SureStrike laser cartridge in these firearms. They also offer 12 gauge and 20 gauge shotgun adaptors and even .223 and .308 rifle cartridge adaptors. All of these SureStrike products are beautifully machined. See the full line of SureStrike products on their website (www.laser-ammo.com), where you can also buy direct.
Copyright 2013 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.