If you conduct any dry fire practice as part of your firearm training, a little-known product called BarrelBlok should find its way into your Christmas Stocking this year.
Why the need?
I won't bore you with a rant about how vital dry fire practice is. But, suffice to say, we've published numerous posts on the topic.
Hopefully, you're already doing some dry fire practice at home and reaping the benefits.
However, anytime we handle firearms, there is the risk of injury or even worse. Unfortunately, nothing in and of itself can eliminate the chance of negligence 100%. And the more frequently you handle firearms, the greater the probability of a lapse in awareness leading to an unintended mishap.
Therefore, establishing reasonable methods of reducing that risk is a prudent thing to do.
The most obvious example is adhering to recognized standards of safe gun handling. Yet another way of mitigating risk is to build systems of practice that you perform every time you handle the gun. One example is performing a press check on your everyday carry (EDC) gun.
We can also use products that reduce risk by rendering the gun inoperable.
For about the cost of a Mcdonald's value meal, you can purchase a device that renders your firearm completely incapable of chambering or firing a cartridge. The Barrelblok achieves this without affecting any other function of the gun.
Yes, the device is called ‘Barrelblok‘ and not ‘barrel block.‘ Imagine a dummy round made entirely of polymer. The cartridge has no rim, so it stays in the chamber even if you cycle the slide. The polymer, rimless cartridge essentially blocks the chamber from accepting a cartridge. Once installed, the user must intentionally remove the device. It would be a valuable tool if that were all the BarrelBlok could do. But, the device does more.
Barrelblok also provides the user, or anyone observing, a visible indication the gun is incapable of firing. Formed into the ‘bullet end' is a polymer shaft that extends the length of the barrel. Properly trimming the rod allows a portion of it to protrude visibly out of the muzzle end. Again, the visible indicator is helpful, especially in situations wherein it is helpful to provide others with a confirmation that the gun is clear. This attribute is one reason I like using the Barrelblok in my firearm classes.
Included in the package with a Barrelblok are three Magbloks. The Magbloks consist of the same polymer as the Barrelblok, but the intended purpose is for the magazine. Just as a regular cartridge, when inserted in the magazine, the magazine's follower isn't in a position to engage the slide stop. So, you can conduct dryfire practice involving racking the slide without it unrealistically locking to the rear.
No, using Barrelblok and Magblok does not relieve the person of following the firearm safety rules. However, it can render the firearm incapable of firing, which is good during dry fire. Right now, they cost around thirteen bucks, which in my opinion, is money well spent!
Make sure you order the correct caliber for your firearm. You can find the caliber molded into the device.
The Barrelblok and Magbloks come in all common pistol calibers and .223/5.56 as well.
Additionally, each caliber has its own color, so you won't get confused if you own several guns in different calibers.
If you're new to dry fire or want to add some variety to your routine, check out this online dry fire course from John Wallace.