Training pistols vs SnapCap?

Plastic training pistols and snap caps are both great off-range training tools.

Do you prefer to train with a plastic training pistol or snap caps? Why?

Please share your reasoning so that we can all learn from each other! :slight_smile:


I like to train with a laser snap cap. I get to use my gun and get visible feedback. I’ve also incorporated the Mantis X.


I like snap caps for dry fire training using my actual pistol. This helps ensure i have the weight and feel and trigger control practice. I haven’t found a need for a training pistol yet, but have been considering one for practicing draw and presentation. I do think the training pistol would be good to have if providing instruction to others vs having an actual firearm.

I’ll definitely be looking into laser snap caps!


Snap caps :+1: and laser cartridge.
I’ve been taught to train with real firearm.
Plastic training pistol is good for demonstration purposes only.
We should train and practice with tool we are going to use, not replacement which doesn’t have the same weight nor functionality.

I’m using snap caps made from 115 grain bullets so everything is very close to reality.


I like to use my carry gun with a laser cartridge in the chamber and snap caps in the mag. I try to keep things as close as possible to what it would be in a real world defensive scenario. The laser cartridge along with a camera and some software gives me a great way to review my performance. You can also get laser reactive targets from several manufacturers like LaserAmmo that let you set up some great scenarios and drills for things like shoot/no-shoot, room clearing, target acquisition, etc.

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Both. I have exact replicas of my Glock 17 & 43. I also use these to train a newbie before we go to the range.

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Snap caps for reloading practice or teaching a new shooter how to load a gun. Laser ammo for indoor “shooting” practice. I have not found a need for a training pistol yet. Always open to new things.

I use it all. I have snap caps, rubber training pistols, airsoft guns, laser ammo inserts, and SIRT pistols and I use them all situationally depending on what I’m teaching or working on at the time. They all have their benefits and negatives. The main thing is that you train.

Training pistols come in really handy in the classroom for instructors–we don’t allow firearms in the classroom. They’re the thing we use for demonstration of functional skills (grip, etc).

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