Neo-Noir Dry Practice Tools for Revolvers

Revolver dry practice tools

Ammunition is expensive, there's no denying that fact. Luckily we can practice the vast majority of our skills without ever firing a live round. From reloads, to our drawstroke, and getting an effective press of the trigger, dry practice can save us from breaking the bank. While simply replicating our live fire techniques is a solid start, we can add to this to help squeeze a little more from each repetition. One of the most widely known methods is the old "coin on the front sight" trick; helping to ensure a smooth press of the trigger. Unfortunately this doesn't work from the holster, nor is it conducive for reloads or at angles other than perfectly level. How can we help move our training into the 21st century?

Laser Grips for Dry Practice

Laser grips are a staple in the snubbie marketplace. Often considered something for use at odd angles, or when "floating" the gun, lasers can also be largely helpful as distance increases. When properly zeroed, the laser provides a pinpoint reference for our point of aim. As we begin pressing the trigger we get an incredible level of feedback thanks to the movement of our laser. This is magnified as distance increases, further showing flaws or strengths. Often times this movement is cited as a shortcoming of lasers, but I think it works to our advantage. Additionally, the more refined sight picture can be a massive benefit as target sizes decrease. Personally, I've put up some of my best 25 yard B8's using my 640 Pro, aiming with my Crimson Trace grips. However, this is almost entirely for naught if you fail to properly zero your laser before use.

S&W 640 Pro
"Dan, watching you run that revolver is making me turgid"
-Darryl Bolke

Of course we are limited to makes and models of firearms supported by companies making laser grips. As of this writing, Crimson Trace offers models for Smith & Wesson, Ruger, Kimber, and Charter Arms revolvers. Viridian is much more limited, supporting NAA, and Taurus wheelguns. Autoloaders are a different story, with a variety of mounting methods, supporting a massive number of pistols depending on your configuration. Some of these mount via a rail on the dustcover of our pistol, and others replace our factory grips, similar to those on our revolvers.

Red Dot Sights for Dry Practice

Red dot sights are often considered an even more egregious violation of common decency when paired with a revolver. Despite this, I think they are a stellar addition to our training tools, and most guns carried along the waistline. Much like laser grips, optics provide us with a significantly refined aim point compared to iron sights. Providing immediate feedback, the visual data given to us is more easily digestible, making for an excellent diagnostic tool for both our own practice, and when working with students. Even if we choose not to carry with optics, the positive repetitions in practice will continue to build skill that directly translates to our irons. As an added benefit, optics typically have far greater battery life than any laser grip, though some may need to be removed from the gun to swap batteries.

Revolver dry practice tools

Our selection here is even more limited than it is with laser grips. Historically, optics have been mounted in revolvers through complex and bulky methods, often not conducive to carry nor budgetary constraints. A few models, such as the Chiappa Rhino, or S&W TRR8 have featured picatinny rail for mounting more traditional optics like the Aimpoint CompM2.

Newer Options

More recently, a few companies like Allchin, Apex Tactical, and D&L Sports have devised mounts which replace the factory rear sight on S&W revolvers. These are substantially smaller, and compatible with micro red dots, like the Trijicon RMR, making them far more approachable for the average shooter. As of 2023 Taurus has implemented their TORO optics system to the 605 and 856 lines of revolvers, offering optics-ready wheelguns direct from the manufacturer. These make for an out of the box solution that won't break the bank. I've personally reviewed the 856 TORO, firing over 1,000 rounds through the gun, with triple that in dry practice, with no issues thus far. As of this writing, the Taurus is my go-to dry practice tool.

Wrapping Up Neo-Noir Dry Practice Tools for Revolvers

While lasers and optics may dramatically increase the price of our training tools, they don't turn into noise and smoke when you press the trigger. It doesn't take long to make up for the cost of these in ammunition savings. As someone who used to turn their nose up at both of these options, they've won my approval, and I trust my life to both devices with regularity. As a teacher, I've found them to be a massive benefit when helping new shooters, substantially simplifying certain processes, allowing more focus to be applied elsewhere. If you haven't given lasers or optics a try, I suggest you give them a fair shake. You may find yourself a convert of the neo-noir.

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About Daniel Reedy 389 Articles
Daniel holds instructor certifications from Rangemaster, Agile Training & Consulting, and the NRA. He has received training from Craig Douglas, Tom Givens, and Steve Fisher among others. He also has experience competing in USPSA, CAS, 3 Gun, and Steel Challenge. In his free time Daniel enjoys petting puppies and reading the Constitution. His work is also published by AmmoLand, Recoil Concealment, and Air Force Times. Daniel has also written and edited for The Kommando Blog.


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