I want to learn target practice inside my house. The goal is to eventually use these skills in The Great Outdoors. I'm looking for:

  • a non-real (e.g. BB type) handgun or rifle that has realistic recoil (as close to realistic as possible, i.e.)

  • a laser target practice thing that I can attach to the said gun above (something like this)

  • a target suitable for the laser target practice thing in the previous bullet point.

  • not necessary but nice to have: if the handgun/gun is loud but has a silent mode (or a silencer attachment).

Something that combines this with this (recoil/blowback) and a silencer would be perfect.

  • 7
    Voted to reopen since this is training for an outdoors activity. It's like saying that climbing gym questions are off-topic since they are indoors. outdoors.stackexchange.com/search?q=climbing+gym
    – OddDeer
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 7:17
  • 2
    I target shoot in the garden with CO2 canister powered air pistols or spring powered air rifles. The pistols are heavy, so they start to work your arm like a real pistol would. The set up isn't that hard, just an old straw archery boss and a couple of paper targets.
    – Aravona
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 10:28
  • 4
    I contend that shooting is an outdoor sport - and - most people go to a shooting range to practice - and - many shooting ranges are indoors - and - one would definitely get more practice if he/she had a shooting range at home - therefore, I think this question is well within bounds and would love to see answers.
    – 243DRob
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 17:44
  • 1
    You're not going to find a weapon with realistic recoil that doesn't fire bullets, nor will it be loud (silencers are illegal in the US anyway). So sure, you can get very good with an air gun, but that skill will only partially transfer to firearms. The feel, recoil, and aiming characteristics of firearms and air guns are totally different. Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 20:00
  • 2
    @CareyGregory Silencers have never been illegal in the US at a federal level. Just taxed and regulated. Commented May 20, 2019 at 23:58

3 Answers 3


There are a number of aspects you need to train for shooting a gun. The specific scenario you are training for will change your choice of gear and approach. I have trained a number of people for defensive style shooting, such as that found in IDPA or IPSC competitions, or for concealed carry purposes. For indoor training, I use SIRT pistols from Next Level Training. With the SIRT pistol, you can practice almost all aspects of pistol craft except recoil management.

All of the recoil simulators I have seen have not done an adequate job of simulating any real recoil, so I have stopped considering recoil as something I need to train with. I use the SIRTs and various targets to train things like:

  1. Trigger mechanics (finger placement, follow through, finding reset)
  2. Proper eye focus on the front sight
  3. Target identification
  4. Shot placement
  5. Safe and effective draw mechanics
  6. Reloading
  7. Basic malfunction drills (Needs to be combined with time on a real gun)
  8. Safe movement with a pistol

There is a lot more you can do with it. If you combine with the LASR software, you can have your shots scored with a web cam pointed at a target and get very good feedback as well as a lot of fun.

You can do rifle with the AR-15 SIRT bolt option.

The advantages of the SIRT option over the LaserLyte or similar options that convert your real gun into a laser simulator is safety and convenience. The SIRT gun cannot fire a real bullet. The magazines are weighted to feel like loaded magazines but there is no need for real bullets anywhere in your training area. The RT part of SIRT stand for "Resetting Trigger" which means that the trigger resets much like a standard pistol, and continued presses of the trigger will result in more laser strikes, whereas the LaserLyte solution requires manually operating the slide to reset the striker before a second shot.

I have put together Powerpoints of targets I want to practice shooting, and using that as my training. I have a big deck of deer and elk that helps me identify and shoot the vitals quickly, or pass on shots that are not ethical to take. Even though I am a bow hunter, this has helped my hunting decision making immensely. I also have a Powerpoint deck of hostile and friendly human targets to practice similar skills.

If the SIRT option isn't going to work for you, then you are best off getting an Airsoft gun that is a replica of your real gun, and practicing in an area that the plastic pellets won't harm anything.

If you have great eye alignment and focus, and competent gun manipulations like drawing, reholstering, reloading, etc., then at the range you can work on recoil management and be much more focused. I go out and shoot a box of live rounds every once in a while, but I have found that most of my skill increases come in my house with laser trainer.


My point of view will come from training for competition (eg, Olympics) since that is what I did. You won't find any non-cartridge BB/pellet gun that will simulate real recoil so I wouldn't bother. The closest would be the spring piston ones that were in use before CO2 and compressed air took over such as the Feinwerkbau 300 or RWS 75. I'm sure there were cheaper variants.

Second, I would focus on finding an area that you can shoot in your home rather than wasting your time and money on a laser system. I shot in my basement. I know many others that would shoot through living room, hallways, etc. All you need is 36' (though you could get by with as little as 20' if you scale down the targets). You can either make or buy a trap to catch the BBs/pellets.

You'll have much more fun shooting for real rather than watching a line squiggle around on a screen. Laser systems are great for certain things, but not something I'd invest in as a beginner though I can't speak to how useful the cheap ones would be. My quick glance at LaserLyte's site would seem they are made for real firearms (not BB/pellet) and they only show shot placement rather than the full trace of your movement so not much value.

If you're really set on not even shooting BBs/pellets, I'd be more inclined to find some lightweight laser to attach to whatever you get and then just video the trace at the target (note that it won't be aligned with the target you're aiming at, of course, but it's the movement and consistency that matters.)


I recently ran into a mention of the Coolfire system: https://coolfiretrainer.com/

My understanding of it is that it attaches to a real gun and simulates recoil. I have no experience with it.

There are also cameras that attach to a gun and record what happens when you pull the trigger.

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