I first began noticing the NLT SIRT pistols circulating the market in mid 2011 – I heard some about the project from time to time, but had not had a good opportunity to spend time with the unit. Given my position here as a concealed carry instructor and working regularly with shooters of all levels, I was contacted by Ryan Higginbotham of Next Level Training and asked if I would be willing to provide a T&E for their units.
I am always happy to provide a product review and enjoy checking out the newest gadgets to learn what next-generation gear might be seen as a boon to our customers and colleagues. In doing so, Mr. Higginbotham sent me three devices on loan: The Performer Student model handgun and SIRT Pro handgun which are both essentially a Glock 17 modeled unit, as well as the NLT SIRT AR-15 bolt replacement with green laser.
The performer unit is considered more of the budget class pistol by NLT, but features solid polymer construction and accepts a weighted detachable magazine to mirror the weight of a loaded firearm.
Overall, the construction is quite impressive – both units are very rugged and I don’t feel any flex or signs that the units would suffer from holster draws or magazine drills. From my time spent with the units (about two weeks now to really get a feel for the units) everything still looks good as new, no chipping or scuffs and the magwell tells no tales of the excessive number of magazine drills I’ve conducted.
The trigger on both units is a very traditional feel and has some great benefits to generating positive muscle memory. I definitely prefer that of the PRO model as the triggerpull is a little heavier than the Performer and feels closer to the “real thing” The trigger is adjustable so you can tune this a bit to suit your needs.
The standard sights are basic plastic units and do not have dots or any indicator – when practicing in low-light, it could be advisable to paint these yourself or do some DIY work to replace them with actual glock sights (it can be done).
To revisit the magazine provided with the model a bit, the unit is high strength polymer and can be taken apart with simple screws to change the internal weight. One awesome part of this is that the magazines do fit in my REAL G17/G19, making it a possibility to practice mag drills with my real pistol as well, without having to trash my regular mags for hours.
Onward to actually utilizing a holster, I tested this unit with a few standard BladeTech units with great success. The SIRT was a snug fit and released properly as intended. The only issue I encountered is that with one unit, the SIRT pistol is actually slightly longer in the rear than my Glock and thus, would not allow the strap to come over the slide.
After spending time with these units and seeing how they feel, I’ve actually decided to purchase the PRO unit myself and include it as part of the curriculum in my concealed carry courses. I think this is a great tool to discuss proper grip and trigger control with new shooters and definitely saves rounds going down range while building upon standard fundamentals.
I really appreciate NLT giving me the opportunity to T&E their units and look forward to seeing what innovative new products they bring to market!
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