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SIRT STIC Review: Set Lasers to Practice

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Improve your skills at home with the SIRT STIC Training Carbine.

For all but a few, the ability to practice rifle skills with live ammunition weekly, if not daily, is simply out of reach. At the same time, those who regularly work with firearms know that the difference between the good and the great will often be found in their dry-fire rituals. Training without live ammunition polishes most, but not all, skills needed to be proficient. To fill that gap, new trends in tools rise and fall every year, taking a shot at new ways to improve marksmanship. While many end up stuck with a master-of-none approach to individual skills with a tool that at least resembles as much of a real firearm as possible, Next Level Training has chosen to buck the generalist approach and instead focus tightly on the specific mechanics they believe are most necessary for proficient, effective marksmanship.

sirt stic

When there’s no ammo on the shelf, tools like this feel priceless, but there’s never going to be a time to overlook gaining the advantage of familiarity with sights, lights, and accessories before fielding them on the real thing.

Those who have already trained with a SIRT pistol are familiar with the design intent built into the name: Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger. With models matching the shape and weight of their real-steel counterparts, their utility comes from isolating the effects of one’s trigger press with a laser that shows the user how much their finger alters the point of impact. And then there’s the solution to what dry-firing a real handgun can’t produce: the trigger effectively replicates a distinct reset between shots.

Let’s not fool ourselves; the process of becoming proficient with an AR-15 begins with familiarization. Whether or not you were born with a rifle in your hands, it takes time and deliberate repetitions to become both faster and more consistent. Without at least something to imitate a rifle, even practicing room-clearing footwork only goes so far. Next Level Training produced their own solution: the SIRT STIC. The blessing and curse of the tool is that it requires a SIRT Glock replica to fit into the mock AR-15 frame. For those who carry a Glock and train with a SIRT pistol, you’re halfway there.

From muzzle to stock, the SIRT STIC resembles an AR-15 just enough to facilitate effective training by including space for mounting optics, lights, and whatever else on Picatinny, M-LOK, and KeyMod mounting points. The polymer used for the frame retains its shape under a firm grip, setting it apart from many airsoft rifles. In the hand, it feels like a genuine rifle, albeit a bit light. The magwell accepts AR magazines, though it lacks a functional release button. On the left side of the frame, a working selector moves a blocking bar back and forth behind the trigger to simulate manipulating a safety, at least for right-handed shooters.

sirt stic broken down

At first look, using a Glock trainer as a pistol grip for an AR-15 looked off-putting, but it became unnoticeable when using the SIRT STIC for where it shined: indoor movement and trigger control.

Though it immediately appeals to instructors and those new to AR-15s, the utility carries on for various experience levels. While a new shooter could use it as a tool to become familiar with basic safety, movement, and manipulation, the ability to mount any optic that affixes to a Picatinny rail translates into more practice time rapidly establishing a good sight picture, especially with magnified optics. Whether quarantined in your house or at a training facility, having a realistic rifle in hand drastically helps when developing the spatial awareness for maneuvering in close quarters. Compared to rifle triggers, the SIRT feels similar in break and reset to a heavier CMC or clean Mil-spec trigger. 

Whether or not ammo’s in short supply, the SIRT STIC has a place in habitual training. As a tool for deliberate practice, it should be distinguished from other teaching and skill development tools not as a cure-all, but as a way to deeply focus on skills vital to excellence with a rifle. 

MSRP: $240 for the SIRT STIC, $400 for a SIRT pistol, carbine, and sling.

Where to find out more:

[Editor's Note: This article first appeared in RECOIL #51.]

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