I’m a fan of dry fire practice. One can safely work on improving one’s marksmanship at home with the minimum amount of expense and fuss, although I have to qualify that statement by also claiming that I’m a fan of moderation, so I’ve yet to beat a firing pin to death by excessive dry fire. As noted in earlier missives, I’m also a fan of gadgets that make dry fire practice less “dry” (so there goes the minimal expense and fuss part…), of which the Mantis training system and a variety of laser training cartridges have become a permanent part of my practice toolbox.
(Not At All) Free Ammo!
The laser training cartridge does what the label on the box says. A firing pin switch puts a dot of (typically) red dot on a target, and (also typically) a smartphone app records the “hit” on the target. I’ve been using the G-Sight Gen 2 cartridge for over a year, having placed thousands of practice shots in that time (and having purchased more than a handful of replacement and spare cartridges).
The biggest complaint that I’ve had with the G-Sight Gen 2 (and its virtual twin, Pink Rhino) is that the “point of impact” (POI - or where the laser “hits”) is never the “point of aim” (POA - or where I’m aiming with the sights). Given that other laser training systems like the SIRT costs hundreds of dollars while the Gen 2 runs about $40, you could shrug and say “inexpensive is as inexpensive does.”
Which then led me to get my hands on G-Sight’s Expert Laser Marksmanship System, a.k.a., ELMS.
ELMS Has Entered the Building!
The ELMS costs a tad more than twice what a Gen 2 goes for. You get a beefy plastic case with it, along with an extra set of batteries and rubber o-rings.
Although the little cartridge does look a bit lost in that sea of foam.
Zoomed in, the ELMS has a angularly sleek, kinda-like-a-miniature-warhead appearance.
And it’s about the same size as the (admittedly rather beat-up) Gen 2, but with an extra o-ring and tapered business ends.
It’s a Motherf*cking Walk-Off!
While there’s a bunch of factors that would determine which is the “better” purchase (e.g., battery life, durability, compatibility, and so on), the big question in my mind is whether the ELMS is more “accurate” than the Gen 2. And what better way to determine that than to compare both in a series of barely controlled, quasi-scientific home experiments?
Glock G19 Gen 5
Here’s a couple of 10 shot sessions with the ELMS and the Gen 2 using a Glock G19 Gen 5 at a distance of 3-1/3 yards on a 2" bullseye (simulating a 6" target at 10 yards). Can you tell which is which? The groups are pretty close, which probably has to do with my less-than-spectacular gun-wrangling, but the one of the left was the ELMS.
Next up, an IWI Masada with a Holosun red dot optic, same target at the same distance. The one on the right was done with the ELMS.
Perhaps the Gen 2 cartridge has had more than its share of wear and tear, but for some reason it would not work in a CZ P-10C. The ELMS, however, worked just fine. Both sessions below were done with the ELMS, which appear to be quite spot on. Perhaps the host platform (i.e., the gun that you’re using with the laser cartridge) makes a difference.
CZ 75 B
Perhaps the ELMS does work better with CZs? The left session was with the ELMS, the right with the Gen2.
And finally the CZ P-09. The one on the right was with the ELMS. If anything I do need to work on that decocked double-action trigger on the P-09.
Perhaps there is something in the CZ design that establishes a better alignment of the laser, but based on this tiny sample it is mighty tempting to conclude that the ELMS is more “accurate” with Czech hardware. To be fair, I’d been getting phenomenal mileage out of the Gen 2 cartridges not for their “accuracy” but more for the “precise” groups - yes the dots may be off the POA, but they’re consistently off.
With the increasing popularity of dry fire training apps that score based on “accuracy,” the ELMS cartridge would be the go-to choice for that use case. I participated in the beta test of the Mantis Laser Academy app and was turned off by the Gen 2’s “off-POA” performance, but with the ELMS, I may give that another try. Given the reduced accessibility of live fire practice these days, anything that’ll let you do something similar at home is a plus in my book.
And while doing all these comparisons, I broke 10,000 “shots” on the Mantis training app. Yay, me.