I had a bit of a rocky start with it, with questions of it’s reliability, sturdiness and overall functionality. See, in an AR-15 platform, all I have ever known is metal, metal and more metal on the inside of the rifle and adding plastic pieces internally was not exactly my idea of sturdy.
After a couple failed attempts at direction reading and trying to match pictures up with real life, I began to get frustrated. This can’t be that hard, it’s such a simple device, what the hell gives? We reported we had a defective unit to NextLevel and they promptly jumped at the chance to troubleshoot, fix and take care of the problem.
We aren’t exactly what you call “a big deal” over here and I was really impressed with the Customer Service, Product knowledge and troubleshooting capabilities the team at NLT had. Not only did they try and fix it, they seemed to have another one on the way before I hung up the phone. When we got to Shot Show and ran into Mike Hughes, he set us straight, we were correct and it is not hard…we just suck at reading directions.
The SIRT-AR Bolt is a laser unit that replaces the Bolt Carrier Group (BCG) and charging handle in standard AR-15 platforms. This replaces your bullets with the awesomeness of (pew! pew!) laser beam power and is available in green or red laser. Green goes further and is more visible in daylight for those that don’t know, so if you plan on using it in well lit areas or indoor and outdoor use, green is your gal.
It consists of 3 main parts, the Guide Block, the Link Pin and the SIRT-AR Bolt. Stupid simple and I will tell you how. I made you guys an install video which you can find on the YouTube channel, or if your the reading sort, it’s just this easy:
- Remove Bolt Carrier Group and Charging Handle.
- Be sure upper receiver is clean of fouling and debris.
- Insert SIRT-AR Bolt (the big red thing) into receiver until black battery cap sits flush with upper receiver.
- Place Guide Block (little red piece with a small magnet) on TOP of safety selector in the lower receiver with the claw end facing the trigger group.
- Link Pin (two pieces that screw together) gets screwed together and placed in the Guide Block with the fatter end of the pin DOWN, contacting the trigger itself.
- Close the Upper Receiver carefully matching up the Link Pin to the hole in the Bolt. Some adjustment to the Link Pin length may be needed to set proper trigger pull for activation of the laser.
That’s it. Just that easy. If that doesn’t do it for you, just watch the video… takes approximately 2 minutes on the dot.
Once you get over that (not so) difficult install, the real good stuff begins. You can now begin practicing with your AR-15, your optic, your gear…without firing a single bullet. You can drill and drill and drill from low ready, safety on, magazine changes, transitioning to sidearm, or even long range offhand stability. What about using your AR-15 with your support side instead of strong side? Transitioning to and from weak side/strong side and being on target. I mean seriously, if you did 20 reps of everything I just mentioned, there’s an hour at the range but without the burnt powder, the hanging of targets, the spent money on ammo, gas, cleaning afterwards, akward looks from neighbors and all the shenanigans that comes with practicing with the tools you are counting on for protection. Now multiply that times 2 weapons platforms and you have some serious trigger time that has also saved you money immediately AND in the long run.
Now, does this replace live fire and live fire drills? Absolutely not and I believe the NextLevel Training team would agree that the point of this is not to replace live fire. This is made to enhance muscle memory, improve use of sights, improve safety and mechanics and most of all help you develop a smoother, cleaner trigger pull. At the end of the day, what you do on the range during live fire will still take practice to cure all your flinches, slaps and every other bad habit you have. I can tell you however that this does in fact help with all the above. When you get the amount of repetitions without the recoil and noise that you get with the NLT SIRT products, this is where muscle memory is born. You get so many more “rounds” off around the house, in the garage, wherever that you really have no idea how many times you have pulled the trigger. But your brain and body do and the results are echoed on the firing line.
Overall I have had a fantastic experience with both the SIRT-AR Bolt as well as the SIRT 110 Performer. I would consider these tools to be the equivalent to every performance enhancing drug you can test for when it comes to your shooting. They work, consistently but will not get you faster and more accurate just by owning them. These tools get results, an if you’re a big kid like me, you actually get much enjoyment out of saying “pew! pew!” as you subconsciously add more trigger pulls and improve your mechanics. The benefits I have seen include tighter groups, better accuracy off hand with the rifle. Better accuracy at longer distances with the pistol. Faster and more accurate follow up shots, faster reloads and transitions AND safer handling of all of the above. You sometime hear “pretend there is a laser beam coming out of the muzzle” in safety trainings and courses… well it’s a lot easier when there is actually a laser beam coming out of the weapon.
In the future, I hope to see NextLevel come out with more models of the SIRT Pistol like a Sig P226, M&P series or even maybe a revolver. Maybe a metal version of the SIRT-AR, or even a way to incorporate the same trigger mechanics of their pistol with slack and break. Who knows what the future holds for NextLevel Training, but I do believe they are onto something because they have some really useful gear.