Category: AT Short Article

Identifying and Pursuing Funding Opportunities

by Ian A. Reeves, AIA | Vice President | Architects Design
and
Jean Pierre LeBlanc | Research Coordinator | Group Research Coordinator – Center for Public Safety

*This article first appeared in the Spring 2011 issue of Florida Police Chief Magazine and has been republished with their consent.

Editor’s Note: It seems as if anything related to firearms is controversial. If you want to sell, carry, train with, or build a shooting range, you will always be confronted with some type of challenge. Therefore, it is vital that when key information becomes available to help navigate the complexities and minutia of firearms-related issues, it be passed on through multiple mediums to further educate us all. We know this information is important and our subscribers would appreciate it, which is why Action Target has chosen to republish this article in our own weekly newsletter, The Action Target Journal.

One of the primary factors in the consideration of any new Law Enforcement or Public Safety facility is the necessity to identify a funding source, or as is true in most cases, a variety of funding sources. In essence, it is important to not only qualify a project’s spatial needs, but to also provide meaningful information as to how a project can be funded.

Assistance, in this regard, can generally be provided by City/County staff, either a Budget or Finance Director, or by City/County Administration. The more you can assist them in this endeavor, the greater are your chances to see your prospective project move forward.

While Federal grant funding has traditionally been rare for local facilities, the events of September 11th, coupled with the current economic expansion, created an environment which resulted in funds becoming available in a wide variety of locations. Many cities and counties, in that respect, have initiated studies in order to have appropriate documentation assembled for Federal grants. Additionally, they have contacted their respective legislative delegation members in order “to make their case.” Clearly, time becomes of the essence, as when Federal Funds become available, they will go to those that are prepared and who are situated in a geographically and politically important location.

Current Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) philosophy is patterned along these lines: If your community feels the need to support the premise of public safety, then it should be willing to provide the basic necessities for that to occur.

These basic necessities include:

  • Buildings to work from and house equipment
  • Manpower; in the form of either paid employees or volunteers
  • Vehicles/Specialized Equipment

While there are a multitude of potential funding sources, such as Development Impact Fees, General Obligation Bonds, Law Enforcement Trust Funds, Franchise Fees, and Federal Legislative Requests, this article focuses on Grants which can provide some funding for the development of new Law Enforcement/Public Safety Facilities. Below is an applicable outline, including links for more information. Several of these grant programs have closed for FY 2011, but are expected to be available for FY 2012. We suggest you begin planning now, as this process requires a strategic approach that takes time to develop.

1. State Homeland Security Program (SHSP)
Funding Agency: DHS, FEMA
Forecasted Deadline: Deadline has passed, but anticipate similar deadline of 4/2012
Total Estimated Funding Available in FY 2011: $890 million

Purpose: SHSP is a core assistance program contained within the overarching Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP). SHSP provides funds to build capabilities at the state, local, tribal, and territorial levels and to implement the goals and objectives included in state homeland security strategies and initiatives in their State Preparedness Report (SPR). Activities implemented under SHSP must support terrorism preparedness by building or enhancing capabilities that relate to the prevention from, or response to, and recovery from terrorism in order to be considered eligible.

Eligible Applicants: Applicants to SHSP are the designated State Administrative Agencies (SAAs) of each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands. Available funds are distributed to each state based upon the risk and effectiveness scores associated with each application and also on a minimum allocation consistent with the statutory formula set by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.

For More Information: http://www.fema.gov

2. Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI)
Funding Agency: DHS, FEMA
Forecast Deadline: Deadline has passed, but anticipate similar deadline of 4/2012
Total Estimated Funding Available in FY 2011: $930 million

Purpose: The FY10 UASI program focused on enhancing regional preparedness in 64 major metropolitan areas, and the list of areas is expected to remain relatively unchanged in 2011. The UASI program directly supports expanding regional collaboration in the National Preparedness Guidelines and is intended to assist participating jurisdictions in developing integrated regional systems for prevention, protection, response, and recovery. In 2010, DHS elevated three previous Tier II areas to Tier I (Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, and the Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington Area), bringing the Tier I area list to 10, and added two new areas (Bakersfield, Calif., and Omaha, Neb.) to Tier II.

Eligible Applicants: Applicants to UASI are the designated SAAs of each state/territory containing a UASI Area. Eligible area candidates for the UASI program are determined through an analysis of relative risk of terrorism faced by the 100 most populous metropolitan statistical areas in the United States, and funds are allocated to each area based on risk analysis and the anticipated effectiveness of proposed investments by the applicants. Similar to previous years, the FY11 program is expected to direct approximately $598 million, or 63 percent of the total funding, to the 10 highest risk urban areas (Tier I), and the remaining urban areas (Tier II) will receive approximately $352 million.

For More Information: http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/uasi/index.shtm

3. Emergency Operations Center Grant Program (EOC)
Funding Agency: DHS, FEMA
Forecast Deadline: Deadline has passed, but anticipate similar deadline of 2/2012
Total Estimated Funding Available in FY 2011: $31.5 million

Purpose: The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Grant Program is intended to improve emergency management and preparedness capabilities by supporting flexible, sustainable, secure, and interoperable EOCs with a focus on addressing identified deficiencies and needs. Funding is intended for construction or renovation of a state, local, or tribal government’s principal EOC. Similar to FY10, it is expected that if EOC receives funding in FY11, a portion will be allocated via congressionally directed spending (earmark) and the remainder competitively awarded.

Eligible Applicants: SAAs apply for EOC funding on behalf of eligible state, local, and tribal EOCs.

For More Information: http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/eoc/index.shtm

4. Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program (IECGP)
Funding Agency: DHS, FEMA
Forecasted Deadline: Deadline has passed, but anticipate similar deadline of 2/2012
Total Estimated Funding Available in FY 2011: $50 million

Purpose:
IECGP provides funding to states, territories, local, and tribal governments to carry out initiatives to improve interoperable emergency communications. All activities proposed under IECGP must be integral to interoperable emergency communications and must be aligned with the goals, objectives, and/or initiatives identified in the grantee’s approved Statewide Communication Interoperability Plan (SCIP). If an SAA and SCIP certify that its state or territory has fulfilled its SCIP’s governance, planning, training, and exercise objectives, the program provides the flexibility to purchase interoperable communications equipment with any remaining IECGP funds.

Eligibility: All 56 states and territories are eligible to apply for IECGP funds. SAAs are responsible for the administration of this program. SAAs are required to coordinate with the Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC) and/or SCIP point of contact to ensure IECGP program requirements are met. The SAA must obligate 80 percent of the funds awarded under the IECGP to local/tribal governments within 45 days of receipt of the funds.

For More Information: http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/iecgp/index.shtm

5. Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grants
Funding Agency: DHS, FEMA
Forecasted Deadline: 12/01/2011
Total Estimated Funding Available in FY 2011: $75 million

Purpose: PDM is one of the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) programs. Hazard mitigation is any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards and their effects. The PDM program provides funds to states, territories, federally recognized Indian tribal governments, and communities for hazard mitigation planning and the implementation of mitigation projects prior to a disaster event.

Eligible Applicants: The state emergency management agency or a similar office (i.e., the office that has primary emergency management or floodplain management responsibility) of each state, the District of Columbia, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments are eligible to apply. Each state, territory, or tribal government designates one agency to serve as the applicant for each HMA program.

For More Information: http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/pdm/index.shtm

6. HMGP – Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
Funding Agency: FEMA/DHS
Forecasted Deadline: 12/01/2011
Total Estimated Funding Available in FY 2011: $23 million
Purpose: Authorized under Section 404 of the Stafford Act, the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) provides grants to States and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration. The purpose of the program is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster declaration.

Eligible Applicants: The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding is only available in States following a Presidential disaster declaration. Eligible applicants are: State and local governments, Indian tribes or other tribal organizations, and certain private non-profit organizations. Individual homeowners and businesses may not apply directly to the program; however, a community may apply on their behalf. HMGP funds may be used to fund projects that will reduce or eliminate the losses from future disasters. Projects must provide a long-term solution to a problem, for example, elevation of a home to reduce the risk of flood damages as opposed to buying sandbags and pumps to fight the flood. In addition, a project’s potential savings must be more than the cost of implementing the project. Funds may be used to protect either public or private property or to purchase property that has been subjected to, or is in danger of, repetitive damage.

For More Information: http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/hmgp/index.shtm

7. CDBG – Community Development Block Grants
Funding Agency: DOA (Department of Agriculture)
Forecasted Deadline: 12/01/2011
Total Estimated Funding Available in FY 2011: $3.804 billion

Purpose: The CDBG funds may be used for activities which include, but are not limited to: acquisition of real property, relocation and demolition, rehabilitation of residential and non-residential structures, construction of public facilities and improvements, such as water and sewer facilities, streets, neighborhood centers, and the conversion of school buildings for eligible purposes, public services, within certain limits, activities relating to energy conservation, and renewable energy resources.

Eligible Applicants: Principal cities of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA’s), other metropolitan cities with populations of at least 50,000, and qualified urban counties with populations of at least 200,000 (excluding the population of entitled cities) are entitled to receive annual grants. HUD determines the amount of each entitlement grant by a statutory dual formula which uses several objective measures of community needs, including the extent of poverty, population, housing overcrowding, age of housing and population growth lag in relationship to other metropolitan areas.

For more Information: http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/programs/

8. USDA – Rural Facilities Block Grant Program
Funding Agency: DOA
Forecasted Deadline: 12/01/2011
Total Estimated Funding Available in FY 2011: $25 million

Purpose: The Community Facilities Grant Program is typically used to fund projects under special initiatives, such as Native American community development efforts, child care centers linked with the Federal government’s Welfare-to-Work initiative, Federally-designated Enterprise and Champion Communities, and the Northwest Economic Adjustment Initiative area. In most cases, grantees are able to leverage Community Facility funds with private and state dollars to enable completion of more construction than might have otherwise been possible.

Eligible Applicants: Community Programs provides grants to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population. Grants are authorized on a graduated scale. Applicants located in small communities with low populations and low incomes will receive a higher percentage of grants. Grants are available to public entities such as municipalities, counties, and special-purpose districts, as well as non-profit corporations and tribal governments. In addition, applicants must have the legal authority necessary for construction, operation, and maintenance of the proposed facility and also be unable to obtain needed funds from commercial sources at reasonable rates and terms. Regarding Essential Community Facilities, the USDA Rural Development Community Programs has invested $1.2 billion in rural communities. Of the $1.2 billion in the loan portfolio, 33% was invested in rural health care, 12% in public services, 27% in public safety, 9% in cultural and educational facilities, and 4% in transportation services.

For More Information: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/HCF_CF.html

10 Tips for Getting More Grants
Source: Homeland Security Today
1.    Learn as much as possible about each program to which you intend to apply.
2.    Involve others in your project but be judicious-have a purpose for their involvement.
3.    Customize each proposal to the requirements of the funder.
4.    Include only support letters that demonstrate a real commitment on the part of the sender.
5.    Get reviewers’ comments for rejected proposals and use their feedback in future proposals.
6.    Make grant seeking part of your agency’s strategy–don’t put all your eggs in one basket and look for funding from only a single program.
7.    Be specific in your budget–most foundations have generous allowances for budget length.
8.    Don’t include materials other than those specifically requested by the funder.
9.    Have an outsider edit your proposal before you submit it.
10.    Follow the funding guidance meticulously.

“New Age” Strategy
There are a number of things you can do to properly cope with these new challenges:

  • Re-educate yourselves and your governing bodies to the new landscape that exists regarding federal funding.
  • Do the research and learn what is available now for you to consider.
  • Learn what the grants will or will not fund. Look at past grants to see what they funded in previous years, and match your needs to those programs.
  • Set aside local match monies so that you can apply and more importantly, accept an award when you are offered a grant contract.
  • Adjust your budgets to eliminate using your own funding for items that grants will supply and then re-invest those monies into capital investment funds that are managed by professional money managers. This will allow you to have a 10 year replacement program for vehicles, building improvements etc. and will let you take advantage of the miracle of compound interest.
  • Stop procrastinating and quit “bellyaching” about what the other guy got and figure out what you need to do to get what you need.
  • Apply! Grants are like the lotto-you can’t win if you don’t play!

While grants can provide the “seed” money to get a project initiated, very rarely will it provide necessary to complete construction of a project. There are a multiple of other funding options that should be considered for, as we know, there is not a singular source of revenue that represents a “silver bullet.”

ADG and CPS take pride in assisting our clients and colleagues in the Public Safety Community with pursuing and achieving supplemental funding for their projects. Please consider us as a resource in your pursuits of launching these important projects.

Biographies

Ian A. Reeves, AIA is the Law Enforcement Design Specialist for Architects Design Group (ADG). Mr. Reeves received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of New Mexico and a Master of Architecture from the University of Florida. He has dedicated his architecture career to Public Safety facility design, was the project manager for the recently completed Sarasota Police Department Headquarters and the Sanford Public Safety Facility, and has served as project manager for numerous other projects among the last ten years. Mr. Reeves is a graduate of the City of Winter Parks Citizen Police Academy and the Orange County Citizens Sheriff Academy. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police Chiefs, the Florida Police Chief’s Association, and the International CPTED Association.

Jean Pierre LeBlanc joined the Center for Public Safety (CPS) as the grants researcher and coordinator. He brings a unique skill set to CPS, able to blend his years of private sector business leadership experience while working with federal government agencies. His area of expertise focuses on research and knowledge in the field of public safety grants at the state regional and federal levels for law enforcement, fire service, emergency communications, and dispatch clients. Mr. LeBlanc tracks a multitude of grants and works with ADG and CPS clients to assist them in grant awareness, applications, and management.

* The views are the authors’ own and don’t necessarily represent those of Action Target, Inc.

Range Project Spotlight: Junction City, KS Commercial Range

Action Target is widely known for constructing the toughest and most challenging shooting range projects in the world. Working together as a team allows us to overcome various obstacles we face as we design, build, and create ranges for our clients. For example, Action Target was approached by the Federal Reserve Bank to design and build a shooting range on the 17th floor of a major office building in Chicago, Illinois. When considering the noise, ventilation, and other items associated with a range, constructing a range in a skyscraper surrounded by offices was a challenge, but not an impossible task for Action Target. Through careful planning and execution, we created a .50 BMG rated shooting range complete with three lanes, stalls, and retrievers.

Action Target Builds New Commerical Range in Junction City, KSAction Target’s challenging builds don’t end there. When Chris Hart, Action Target Range Consultant of the South Central Territory, was approached with an equally challenging range project, he welcomed the opportunity by stating, “It’s not every day that you install a modern shooting range in a building from the 1800’s.”

Every commercial shooting range project requires two key elements to get it off the ground- passion and hard work. When it comes to Godfrey’s Indoor Range, Todd Godfrey had plenty of both in reserve when he embarked on this project. Todd, an officer with the Junction City Police Department, envisioned opening a commercial indoor shooting range to serve not only the citizens of Junction City and his fellow police officers, but also the soldiers stationed at neighboring Fort Riley.

In 2008, Todd toured Kansas City PD’s 30 lane tactical indoor range with ATI Midwest Range Consultant Chris Hart and Bill Provencher from Carey’s Heating and Air Conditioning, as the two companies worked together to build this range several years earlier. After viewing the range, Todd decided that Action Target was the partner to have. With a visitor’s pass from Action Target, Todd attended this year’s SHOT Show where he secured everything he needed to run his range business, from firearm distributors to inventory software (we are also happy to help all of our future range clients attend the SHOT Show with us).

Junction City, KS Commercial Range Build by ATIFor this commercial range, Todd secured some prime real estate in downtown Junction City–three vacant buildings totaling 20,000 sq-ft. on a main thoroughfare. However, this perfect location came with one catch–the building dates from the 1800’s. Building a range in a building this old would be challenging, but not impossible, for Action Target. Using ATI’s detailed range drawings, Todd began building out the structure to accept the modern range equipment. His company (yes, Todd has three jobs!), Godfrey Construction and Renovation, LLC, installed new ceiling trusses and concrete work. He also remodeled the building with a new store front that includes a luxurious lounge area for those waiting to shoot.

To accommodate the expected high volume of shooters, Todd chose Action Target’s Total Containment Trap with Dust Collection Unit, Rifle Rated Ceiling Baffles, Digital Smart Target Retrievers with SmartRange Master Control System and Level III clear Ballistic Glass Shooting Stalls. To enhance the realistic training environment, he connected the SmartRange system to his P/A system so he can broadcast sound effects such as gunfire, screaming, and sirens. The range also has police light bars to simulate felony vehicle stops. Carey’s provided a fully automated range ventilation system guaranteed to meet all OSHA and EPA regulations.

Junction City, KS Commercial Range Built by Action TargetGodfrey’s Indoor Range opened to the public on July 31, 2010 and was named Junction City’s 2010 Business of the Year within five months of opening. However, that wasn’t enough for Todd–he then got creative with his extra space and installed a state of the art 6,000 sq-ft. 3D archery range. To further service his range customers, Todd leases 4,000 sq-ft. of retail space to Quantico Tactical.

If you’re ever near exit 296 on I-70 west of Kansas City, do yourself a favor and stop by to meet Todd and his great staff and send a few rounds downrange while you’re there. Todd is currently available for consulting on range franchise opportunities and the construction of range facilities.

www.godfreysranges.com
Godfrey’s Shooting and Indoor Archery Ranges Facebook Page

Other recently completed projects include:

  • Smith & Wesson Range – Houlton, ME
  • Watts Bar Nuclear Range – TN
  • Triad Gun Source Range – NC
  • Denton County Sheriff’s Department Range – TX
  • Atlanta State Penitentiary Range – GA

End of the Fiscal Year Drawing Near

With the end of this fiscal year right around the corner, now is the best time to obtain one of our innovative training solutions with your remaining budget. At Action Target, we understand that each company’s internal dynamics have different needs and time lines. That is why weapons training units, Rangemasters, firearm instructors, and others associated with their organization’s training division continually reach out to us during this critical time of year.

Action Target Conducts Firearms Training

Spending your remaining training budget at the end of a fiscal year – to minimize the risk of losing it next year – sometimes takes creativity. Last year, we worked with an agency whose training budget consisted of five different accounts. Each account had varying levels of funds still available requiring an invoice for each one. With a little strategic planning, this agency placed five different orders with Action Target that were shipped at same time but charged to their different training accounts. Our dedicated sales staff helped this agency with their complex purchase and provided them with the equipment they needed. We are ready to do the same for you.

Whatever your training needs, we have the solution. If you are under a significant time constraint, we can help. Call us today and let our sales staff help you maximize your remaining budgets by providing the best training solutions available.

For an immediate purchase, visit our online store: www.shopactiontarget.com

Our current online specials:

For product requests not available through our online store, please contact the Range Consultant for your geographic territory. They will work with you to stretch those last few budget dollars into your training solution.

Go online or call today!

Action Target Releases New Catalogs

Having a diverse line of firearms products for personal and training uses can be challenging as needs among the firearms industry are ever changing. That is why Action Target continually creates new products and forms partnerships with the top companies in the firearms industry. To help educate our customers about all Action Target changes, we recently released new catalogs showcasing our new products and partners.

At Shot Show 2011, Action Target received thousands of visitors to our booth. The size and impressive layout of our booth were not the only things that caught people’s attention this year – the introduction of many new products and partners took center stage during this year’s show. One of the most popular products this year was the Hufcor Flex Tact reconfigurable shoothouse technology. Great for law enforcement, military, and firefighters, many people were able to experience this innovative training tool firsthand through actual demonstration.

The Action Target Portable Target (PT) also unveiled some new product lines. Prior to the Shot Show, Action Target partnered with Reactive Target System (RTS), making us their exclusive worldwide product distributor. Some of the many benefits of the RTS system include the ability to use the targets for close quarter live fire trainings, to the ability to count every round on target with the Mobile Wireless Shooting Range.

New partnerships and products like these are one of the many reasons Action Target wants to put our new catalogs into the hands of our valued customers. Now available at our web site, our new catalogs include:

For more information about Action Target’s full line of products and services visit our web site, www.actiontarget.com. To purchase Action Target products for drop shipment direct to your U.S. range or facility, shop online at www.shopactiontarget.com . For all other range-related needs, visit our subsidiary website at Law Enforcement Targets.

Outdoor Shooting Done Right with Action Target

Summer has arrived! To complement these long sunny days and make outdoor shooting even better, Action Target is offering multiple products for July’s Target of the Month program!

Setting up targets for outdoor shooting can be a daunting and exhausting task. Most outdoor setup requires carrying heavy targets across uneven terrain to set up a single shot. That is why we are proud to offer our exclusive self-healing target line by Reactive Target Systems (RTS). These systems are light and easy to assemble, making shooting outdoors more enjoyable.

Our RTS targets are not only great for outdoor use but they are also the best close quarter combat targets for live fire training scenarios. In addition, they can be placed in front of steel targets with no splatter, making them great for indoor range use. During the entire month of July, we are offering our RTS Static Packages at a discounted price:

RTS Static Target Package

  • 1 Target Torso
  • 1 Target Pole
  • 1 Target Base

RTS Static Target Package

Regular Package Price: $140
July’s Price: $115
Coupon Code: JulyRTSStatic

RTS Reactive Target Package

  • 1 Target Torso
  • 1 Target Pole
  • 1 Target Base
  • 1 Smart Joint

RTS Reactive Target Package

Regular Package Price: $185
July’s Price: $150
Coupon Code: JulyRTSReactive

AT Torso Collection

To ensure a perfect target visual, we offer our Torso Targets in six different vibrant colors.

Don’t wait any longer! Purchase your RTS targets today. Visit our Action Target Online Store and use the appropriate coupon code to receive your discount. Offer ends July 31, 2011. Only one coupon code may be used per order.

New Features for Action Target Website

We received some great feedback following the launch of our new Action Target web site a few months ago. We know that the firearms industry is constantly growing and developing new ideas, products and solutions, which is why we are continually improving and adding new features and offers on our site.

Screenshot of the new Action Target Home Page

These great new features include:

Search: Have you ever wondered if our Action Target Journal has an article discussing a specific question or training need you may have? Or maybe you are looking for a certain target but are not sure which category it is under? To make navigating through our site easier, we have added the search bar to the top of every page to help you find the information you want faster. → Search for Action Target Journal Articles

Home Page: Another way we’ve made navigation easier is by updating our Home Page. The new Home Page design provides access to our three most recent Action Target Journal articles. There are also new scrolling boxes that contain information and specifications about recent Action Target builds, highlight featured products and feature our high-quality range products. A scrolling ticker also informs of recent Action Target and industry news. All of this information is just one click away when you visit www.actiontarget.com. → Visit the Home Page

Webinar: Action Target now presents webinars, or free online trainings. Each webinar is highly informative and entertaining, presented by various experts on topics that help you have the most successful range and training programs possible. Our recent webinar introduced the Total Containment Trap. During the webinar, Addison Sovine (co-founder of Action Target, Inc.) gave critical information and tips for those considering a new bullet trap, answered common questions concerning bullet traps, presented an overview of the Total Containment Trap, and explained why Action Target is an invaluable partner in shooting range planning and construction. Our Online Training page also provides information about upcoming trainings and hosts archived videos of past webinars. → Visit our Online Trainings Page

Partners Page: At Action Target, our top priority is to provide high quality firearms training products and solutions. To ensure this high level of standard in all we do, we have taken great care to only partner with companies that uphold these same standards. We are proud to be partners with some of the greatest companies in this industry and we look forward to working with you to provide the best shooting range equipment and training solutions available in today’s market. To get to know our partners better, visit our Partners Page where you can access their web sites and other great sources of information in the “Links of Interest” section. → Visit the Partners Page

Careers Page: Be a part of our team! Action Target is built around a team of proven executives, skilled engineers and machinists, dedicated sales representatives and tireless customer service technicians. Our team has passionate, knowledgeable and skilled people who are creative and driven to develop innovative new firearms training technology and support in this industry. Now you can be a part of our team by visiting our Careers Page and applying for open positions today! → Visit the Careers Page

Programs Page: We have added a new page devoted to our exclusive Action Target programs. Currently there are two programs, the Brass, Ammo & Firearms Trade-In Program. Check back soon as we will be adding more programs in the near future. → Visit the Programs Page

Online Contact Form: In addition to providing contact information for all of our Territory Managers, we have provided another easy way to contact us – our Online Contact Form. Submit your question, comment, or praise, and we’ll get back to you quickly. →Visit the Online Contact Form

We are incredibly excited about the new changes we have made and we will continue to add more features to ensure the best online experience possible for our customers. If you have any feedback regarding our improved site, we want to hear from you! Simply leave a comment telling us what else you would love to see on our site, what you like about our new design or anything else you want to address.

Action Target Weekly Newsletter Celebrates One Year Anniversary

On June 3, 2010, Action Target became the only shooting range development company in the world to produce a weekly newsletter, called The Action Target Journal. Accomplishing this challenging task created a new innovative source of information about superior products and special pricing on targets exclusively available to our subscribers, as seen in our ‘Steel Deal’ section.

For the last 52 weeks, without disruption, our newsletter has been published to an ever-growing list of subscribers. After launching our first newsletter, Action Target quickly gained over 15,000 civilian, law enforcement, and military readers. Now at our one year mark, our list of readers has more than doubled.

Action Target NewsletterThe Action Target weekly newsletter has definitely caught the attention of the firearms industry. Despite the many requests to purchase advertising space by industry related companies, firms, and organizations, our readers will never see their advertisements in our newsletters.

“Action Target previously adopted several different forms of a newsletter, but the formats did not fully support the entire world market that makes up the shooting industry. After discussing the matter very candidly with many of our clients, it was obvious there was a need not being met. So, we put together a very ambitious plan for a weekly newsletter that would properly address the items that encompass the aspects of the shooting world desire from Action Target. To date, we have received thousands of positive comments about our weekly newsletter in addition to the hundreds of times it has been republished,” said Chad Burdette, Portable Target sales consultant.

Action Target’s weekly newsletter continues to evolve since its first publication. It went from a static publication to one actively soliciting feedback from our readers. The received feedback resulted in strategic partnerships, as seen with Hufcor and their FlexTact reconfigurable shoot house and Reactive Target System (RTS) for their Self-Healing Targets and economical Mobile Wireless Hit-Counting system.

To subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Action Target Journal, click here. For Action Target’s full line of products and services, visit our website, www.actiontarget.com. To purchase our products for drop shipment direct to your U.S. range or facility, shop online at www.shopactiontarget.com .

Action Target Media Contact:

Chad Burdette
chadb@actiontarget.com
3411 S Mountain Vista Parkway
Provo, UT 84606,
Ph: 801-377-8033

New Target of the Month Program

At Action Target, we know budgets are tighter more than ever right now. We also know that training needs have to continually change to avoid complacency. To help ease the burdens these factors place on the training industry, we are excited to announce our Target of the Month program.

The Target of the Month program offers one of our portable target systems at an unbelievable low price to our newsletter subscribers. The discount price lasts the entire month that the specific product is advertised, so be sure to place your orders early before the month ends. There is NO LIMIT on the number of products ordered.

To kick off this program, we are featuring our PT Hold (Set of 3) Package . This package includes three target bases that utilize 1” x 2” strips of wood and provides a superior stable platform for you to mount targets onto. Regularly priced at $199 for the three-pack, this program allows you to purchase all three PT Holds for $150.

Action Target Hold Plus

This offer is now available through June 30, 2011 at our Action Target online store, www.shopactiontarget.com , by entering the coupon code HOLDUP3 upon checkout.

With this promotional offer changing each month, we also want to announce our ‘Standing Offer’ that starts this June and continues through the end of December 2011. This offer includes our Newsletter Steel Target Package consisting of the following target systems:

  • AT Hostage (AR550 rifle rated steel)
  • AT Dueling Tree (AR550 rifle rated steel)
  • AT Plate Rack (only available in AR500 handgun steel)

When priced individually, these target systems cost about $1800, but through the Newsletter Steel Target Package, you only pay $1,500. To purchase these systems, add the Steel Target Package (AT Hostage, Dueling Tree AR550 & Plate Rack Package) to your shopping cart and enter the coupon code STEELSPECIAL2011 upon checking out to receive your discount.

Action Target Now ISO 9001:2008 Certified

Recently, Action Target underwent a detailed, comprehensive, and rigorous certification process with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The ISO is a worldwide network of standardization entities which establish quality management benchmarks for all levels of an organization to adhere.

Kyle Burdette, Action Target’s Vice President of Quality Assurance championed the certification process. He commented, “To demonstrate our ongoing commitment to superior quality and reliability, Action Target is now officially ISO 9001:2008 certified. ISO 9001:2008 is a set of international standards for quality management and quality assurance. This exclusive standard represents an international consensus on good management practices, policies, and procedures that allow us to consistently deliver superior quality products. Because we are registered under ISO 9001:2008, you can take comfort in knowing that your shooting range equipment will be designed and manufactured under its demanding quality standards.”

Considering the rapid growth and expansion of Action Target not only in the USA but internationally as well, it was imperative to achieve the highest level of standardization. Therefore, they strategically embraced the ISO established requirements by addressing these areas of their organization:

  • Business Development
  • Market Development
  • Product Development
  • Policies & Procedures

Action Target is committed to continuous process improvement and excellence. Being ISO 9001: 2008 Certified is just one example of our relentless dedication to being the world leader and preferred choice of the firearms training industry.

Action Target Announces Early Registration for 2011 Law Enforcement Training Camp

Law Enforcement Training

For 20 years, Action Target has hosted one of the most comprehensive training camps for law enforcement in the United States. Law Enforcement Training Camp (LETC) is a week-long curriculum consisting of four eight-hour classes that are taught by world-class firearm instructors.

Law Enforcement TrainingThis year’s LETC provides highly qualified instructors with backgrounds consisting of the Safariland Shooting School, Hoffner’s Training Division, Team Spartan, GLOCK Training, Bill Rogers Shooting School, and the Action Target Academy. Combining high caliber instruction with an effective and comprehensive curriculum makes LETC one of most anticipated events among law enforcement agencies from the U.S. and abroad.

This event creates an opportunity for more hands on practical application of training, idea sharing, the exchange of great stories among advanced trainers and fellow law enforcement officers, and of course, the most trigger time. Each year, those participating in LETC take what they learned and incorporate that knowledge into their existing firearms training programs to help their academy and in-service personnel become more effective.

LETC provides students the opportunity to select a different course to take each day. Some of the courses available this year at LETC are:

  • LETC TrainingHigh Performance Handgun
  • Patrol Rifle/Carbine
  • Ultimate Shotgun
  • Rapid Deployment Patrol Rifle Operator
  • Emergency Medical Response for Firearm Instructors
  • Shoot, Move, & Communicate
  • Glock Armorer
  • Reactive Shooting on Steel for Speed & Accuracy
  • Advanced Practical Handgun
  • Success with Remedial Shooters

LETC

LETC will be held September 12-16, 2011 in Provo, UT. Don’t waste any time! Register by July 31, 2011 and only pay $450 to enjoy a week of shooting and learning from the best law enforcement firearms instructors in the US. Regular admission pricing for LETC begins August 1. Hosting sponsors provide for some scholarships, so please contact your territory managers to see if you qualify.

For more information on LETC, or to take advantage of early registration savings, visit the Training Calendar on our website, or download our information packet and registration form (PDF).

Action Target at the 2011 Bianchi Cup

2011 Bianchi Cup Logo

Action Target is proud to support and sponsor this year’s 2011 MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup. For the past 25 years, Action Target has sponsored and provided target equipment for firearms competitions across the U.S. and throughout the world. Action Target equipment has been used at the Bianchi Cup for over 20 years and we are proud to be expanding that role and are pleased to continue to support this event.

The Bianchi Cup began as a law enforcement training match in 1979. It was created by former police officer John Bianchi of Bianchi International, the holster manufacturing company. Ray Chapman worked with John and developed this world-class event. Action Target worked with Ray at his facility to provide a target system fit to meet the needs of the cup in the late 80’s. Over the years, this event has brought together shooters from all over the world. Last year’s competitors came from Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States.

The 2011 Bianchi Cup is a competition of speed and accuracy. This year’s awards include the World Famous Silver Bianchi Cup and Division Champion Trophy Cups for the Metallic and Production Division. Class awards are awarded to various categories including High Law Enforcement, High Woman, High Junior, High International, High Newcomer, High Senior, High Grand Senior, High Service, High Semi-Auto, High Revolver, and Aggregate.

The Course of Fire consists of four separate matches:

  • The Practical Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at distances of 10 to 50 yards under varying time limits.
  • The Barricade Event: From within shooting boxes and behind barricades, a shooter fires at targets on either side of the barricade under varying time limits and distances.
  • The Falling Plate Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at 8 inch round steel plates arranged in banks of six at distances of 10 to 25 yards under varying time limits.
  • The Moving Target Event: From within shooting boxes at distances ranging from 10 to 25 yards, the shooter fires at a target moving from left to right, with the target being exposed for only six seconds.

Throughout all matches, competitors shoot from standing and prone positions and are required to shoot with both strong and weak hands at various stages.

The 2011 competition runs from May 25th through May 28th in Columbia, MO. To assist new shooters in their first attempt for the Bianchi Cup, a Newcomer Orientation will be held at the Competitors’ Meeting, also attended by former and current champions and the Match Staff.

To help during these tough economic times, we have instituted a lower entry cost and a “bring a buddy” option. If a competitor brings a friend who has never competed in the Bianchi Cup before, each competitor receives a reduced entry fee. We have also reduced fees for juniors, production firearms, active duty military, and those who register early.

For more information about the 2011 MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup or to compete, please visit the NRAhq website.

Action Target Selling Paper/Cardboard Targets and Backers at Discounted Price

Action Target is selling its existing inventory of all paper, cardboard, plastic and foam targets and backers at a discounted rate for newsletter subscribers, available through the online store. This offer will run the entire month of May. After the sale is over, we will be moving our inventory to Law Enforcement Targets.

Here are the items that are available:

TypeProduct DescriptionMSRP/eaLiquidation Price/ea
Cardboard TargetsB21 E – White Perforated Silhouette (23”wide x 34” tall)$0.80$0.59
B27 E – Black (23”wide x 35” tall)$0.75$0.63
FBI-Q – Die Cut for Turning Target Systems (19”wide x 39” tall)$0.65$0.50
Transtar II – Blue Color Image; Die Cut for Turning Target Systems (24”wide x 39”tall)$0.95$0.70
Paper TargetsB21 E – Black (23”wide x 35” tall)$0.35$0.29
B21 E – Blue (23”wide x 35” tall)$0.35$0.29
B27 E – Black (23”wide x 35” tall)$0.35$0.29
Plastic BackersVertically Fluted Backer – White; (24” wide x 36” tall x 4mm thick)$2.75$2.00
Vertically Fluted Backer – White; (24” wide x 36” tall x 8mm thick)$7.50$4.75
Foam BackersFoam Backer – Cut for Turning Target Systems; White (24” wide x 48” tall x 3” thick)$40.00$30.00

These prices are ONLY available through the Action Target Online store . If orders are placed with Law Enforcement Targets, you will be charged full retail price. No coupon code required; discount automatically given upon checkout.

After Action Target sells the inventory set aside for the sale, they will move their inventory to Law Enforcement Targets. After May, you can continue to place all future paper and cardboard target/backer orders by visiting the Law Enforcement Target website or by calling the following individuals at (888) 489-7830:

  • Federal & Military – Kara Hale
  • International – Dan Swanson
  • Western US – Kathy Dube
  • Texas to Southeast US – Louanne Slattery
  • Midwest to Northeast US – Jennifer Deelstra

Please note: Action Target will continue to inventory and sell the 3D cardboard targets and the cardboard target holder used for indoor shooting range retrievers, even after May.

Free Webinar – Choosing the Optimal Bullet Trap: The Total Containment Trap

Choosing a bullet trap is one of the most important aspects of designing and building a shooting range – an area you simply cannot afford to cut corners in. Unfortunately, it can quickly become overwhelming to determine the best, safest, most reliable, and most economical solution to fill your range’s needs. Luckily, Action Target is hosting a free 30-minute webinar entitled “Choosing the Optimal Bullet Trap: The Total Containment Trap” to help you understand what to consider when making a decision and why the Total Containment Trap is the most advanced, most effective, and safest bullet collection and disposal system available.

About the Webinar

During the course of the presentation, Addison Sovine, co-founder of Action Target, Inc. will:

  • Give critical information and tips for those considering a new bullet trap
  • Answer common concerns regarding bullet traps
  • Outline what to consider when building a new bullet trap or modifying their existing trap
  • Present an overview of the Action Target Total Containment Trap
  • Explain why Action Target is an invaluable partner in shooting range planning and construction

Event and Registration Details

When: Thursday, May 12, 2011
Time: 11:00-11:30 A.M. (MST)
Where: Online
Cost: FREE
Registration Link: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/464282150

Whether you are actively looking for a new bullet trap solution, or simply curious about what goes into making the bullet trap construction process a success, you can’t afford to miss this informative and entertaining webinar. →Register Now

Action Target Installs Total Containment Trap for Livonia PD

Action Target would like to announce the newly updated Livonia Police Department Outdoor Rifle Range in Livonia, Michigan. The Livonia PD oversaw the removal of their existing bullet trap, heavy excavation and modification of existing dirt beams, concrete work and installation of Action Target’s Total Containment Bullet Trap.

We wish to thank the Livonia PD Procurement and Livonia PD Project Managers Ben McDermott and John Kalil, Tony Angelo Cement Construction Company, Action Target Great Lakes Territory Manager Jason Snell, Action Target Project Manager Kris Ardohain and many others for their hard work and a job well done!

Some of the equipment Action Target provided and installed included our 32′ AR500 Steel Total Containment Trap.

Action Target's Total Containment Bulle Trap

Back of the Total Containment Bullet Trap

Shown here is the back of the Total Containment Bullet Trap, using the Canister System.

Congratulations to Livonia PD and all those involved!

Other Recently Completed Projects

  • Polk CSO – Robb Anderson
  • Watertown Police Department, MA – Matt Brinkerhoff
  • Dearborn Police Department, MI – Jason Snell
  • Linden Police Department, NJ – Mike Stillwell
  • St. Charles Sheriff’s Department, LA – Aaron Ludwig
  • Elk Grove Village Police Department, IL – Chris Hart

If are interested in our products and are in the Great Lakes area, contact your Regional Representative Jason Snell. For all other areas, please visit our Contact Page to find the territory manager for your area.

JASON SNELL
801-377-8033 ext. 158
801-809-6966 cell
jasons@actiontarget.com

Action Target at IWA in Nuremberg, Germany

Action Target’s International Department recently returned from a very successful trip to Nuremberg, Germany for the annual IWA show. Similar to the Shot Show held annually in the USA, IWA has been one of the world’s leading exhibitions for the hunting, shooting, sporting and outdoor industry for over 30 years.

Action Target's Adam White Showing the RTS Hit CounterIWA is the abbreviation for Internationale Waffen Ausstellung or International Weapons Exhibition. For 2011, over 1,100 exhibitors were revealing their newest products and services to the world. IWA traditionally attracts more than 30,000 visitors from over 100 different countries. Due to the interest IWA draws from the international community, it was a great place for members of the Action Target International team to showcase some of the newest products. A few items generating the most interest were the FlexTact reconfigurable shoothouse system by Hufcor, the Self-Healing reactive targets from Reactive Target System (RTS) and the economical hit counting mobile wireless shooting range system also from RTS (shown left).

For many years, Action Target has been increasing its position of dominance in the international community. The entire complement of Action Target products have been sold throughout the world. Those most prevalent are the MATCH (Modular Armored Tactical Combat House) shoothouses that have been incorporated into multi-story, cross-functional and fully automated structures. When these have been placed in close proximity of each other for CQB (Close Quarter Battle) and MOUT (Military Operations in Urban Terrain) training purposes, they are exalted to what we term a ‘MATCH Village’. These structures have been built and utilized for years by foreign customers, their military, secret police, special forces and other groups requiring the best training equipment.

Overall, IWA was a huge success for Action Target with thousands of past, current and future customers stopping by to say hello and investigate new products. To read the IWA News Daily (PDF) about the event, click here.

Action Target Completes New Shooting Range and Retail Store in Piney Flats, TN

Action Target is excited to announce the completion of the Shooters Edge Commercial Shooting Range and Retail Store located in Piney Flats, TN. This facility offers 5 Star accommodations and a clean and well designed atmosphere with extraordinary customer service.

Having the help and dedication of Joseph Bush, Don Reimer, Action Target Great Lakes Territory Manager Jason Snell, Project Manager Bryan Dahlberg, Bill Provencher from Carey’s Heating and Air Conditioning and many others, allowed us to create a range that is innovative, effective and accommodating to all types of shooters.

Equipment provided and installed by Action Target in this Action Target shooting range includes the following:

  • Tactical Baffle Layout: Provides for realistic training, including movement and shooting from any given point on the range with full errant round containment.
  • 360 Degree Turning Target Retrievers: These retrievers for shooting range targets are perfect for decision making drills, qualifications, and tactical training. Also, includes Master Control for RSO.
  • Track Runner: A running target that moves back and forth the width of the range.
  • Shooting Stalls: Installed stalls came with lighting, keypads, barricades, and signal lights.
  • Photo Eye Beam Security: Ensures all civilian shooters remain behind the firing line.
Stalls with new lighting, keypads, barricades and AT 360 degree target receivers
Stalls with lighting, keypads, barricades, and signal lights looking at one of the targets hanging from the 360 degree turning target retrievers.

New stalls with lighting, keypads and signal lights
Stalls with lighting, keypads, barricades, and signal lights, including Photo Eye Beam Security.

Congratulations Shooters Edge for a beautiful facility and phenomenal shooting range!

Other Recently Completed Projects

  • Martin CSO – Robb Anderson
  • PA State Police Academy – Matt Brinkerhoff
  • Shelby County Sheriff’s Department – Jason Snell
  • Fairfax County Law Enforcement Academy, VA – Mike Stillwell
  • Odessa Police Department, TX – Aaron Ludwig
  • Appleton Police Department, WI – Chris Hart

If you are interested in our products and are in the Great Lakes area, contact your Regional Representative Jason Snell. For all other areas, please visit our Contacts Page to find the territory manager for your area.

JASON SNELL
801-377-8033 ext. 158
801-809-6966 cell
jasons@actiontarget.com

Action Target Introduces New Sport Rack

The Sport Rack is a new training option that provides a ‘shooting gallery’ type of design and application. The Sport Rack is another bolt-on head option to the AT Static and Evil Roy stands and can be applied to various organizations and levels of training. Similar in design to the Plate Rack , these plates do not need to be reset once struck.

Here are some things you need to know about the Sport Rack:

Target design:

  • Bolt-on option
  • Mounts onto Static and Evil Roy stands
  • No welds on moving plates – welds on front protective plate
  • Auto-reset & reactive
  • Does not affect the safety of the shooter at appropriate distances

Specifications:

  • Four (4) 4” round plates in 3/8” AR550
  • Total weight of option is 20 lbs. (4 plates, mounting bracket, bolt kit)

How do I order?

Since the Sport Rack is currently a prototype, they are not for sale yet; however, we are putting names on our wait list for when they become available:

Person Information
First Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Options
Please select one:
Yes, I am interested in the Sport Rack and would like to be added to the list so I will be sent more information about the final products price and release date when it becomes available.
Yes, this looks like a product that I would buy when it is released, but I do not want to be sent more information about it.
No, I don’t imagine ever purchasing this product and would prefer not to receive any more information about it.

We are always creating new innovative products and we want your feedback and ideas. If you have a design or concept that would assist your training needs that is not available on the market, let us know. Email Chad Burdette at chadb@actiontarget.com with your product ideas.

Free Action Target Webinar featuring Hufcor’s FlexTact

We know that scenario training can be expensive and difficult to create. In most cases, staff members are required to travel to off-site facilities and spend an average of 4-8 hours reconfiguring a single scenario, shortening time spent actually training.

That is why we are proud to offer you a scenario training system that configures scenarios in less time increasing your training time – Hufcor’s FlexTact.

What’s even better is that Action Target is holding a free webinar entitled “Scenario-Based SIMS Training with FlexTact” to help you understand more about the product, how it saves you time, improves scenario training, and better prepares your organization for the myriad of threats and situations they will find themselves up against.

About Hufcor FlexTact

The Hufcor FlexTact is an innovative, affordable and moveable panel and track system that is designed for public safety training centers. It allows law enforcement and military trainers to quickly reconfigure layouts on its rugged tracks and trolleys to create different scenarios for various room-entry and clearing techniques. The system allows room changes to be completed in minutes. It effectively creates scenarios that presents the training needs of police, fire, rescue, SWAT teams, homeland security and military police. Currently, the FlexTact is being used by criminal justice colleges, regional training facilities, local law enforcement agencies and commercial range owners.

About the Webinar

During this 30 minute webinar, Scott Staedter, National Commercial Accounts Manger for Hufcor, Inc. will:
·      Introduce the Hufcor FlexTact
·      Discuss the benefits of the FlexTact system
·      Explain how the FlexTact system is installed within existing facilities
·      Present testimonials from current clients using the system

Update: This webinar has passed, so please visit our Online Trainings page to view the full, archived video of the webinar.

Electronic Scoring: Kongsberg Mikroelektronikk

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in February 2011. As of March 2013, Action Target no longer distributes or sells Kongsbert Mikroelektronikk electronic scoring targets.

At Action Target Inc., we are proud to be the US distributor of Kongsberg Mikroelektronikk electronic scoring targets. These targets are specifically designed to meet police and military marksmen, long-distance competitive shooters and club requirements. Through the use of acoustic technology, the targets accurately calculate every shot’s point of impact. We have targets for big and small bore applications with additional target sizes for various distances being shot.

Targets

Target sizes range from 280mm to 1500mm (approx. 11” to 60”) with three to four target sensors in each target. There are target options for all calibers including air rifles, big bore rifles and both static and lateral moving targets.

Monitors

Each target connects to a monitor that displays the hit locations to the shooter. Easy push-button controls allow the shooter to cycle through hits and options without having to change positions. The monitor is well protected by its aluminum frame that acts as a shade ensuring good visibility for the shooter. Thick non-glare glass adds additional protection to the display. These units come with a flexible carrying handle with adjustable stand.

Communication

The Signal Distribution Unit (SDU) is the communication link between the targets and monitors. It converts data from the hit sensors and gives precise readouts of hit locations on the monitor. An optional printer connection allows target and hit printouts to be made using the SDU.
For more information, please contact us, visit our Electronic Scoring page, or visit Kongsberg Mikroelektronikk’s website.

Reducing Lead & Noise at Indoor Firing Ranges

A major concern when shooting at an indoor range is the contained nature it requires and the hazards present.  Workers and users of indoor firing ranges may be exposed to hazardous levels of lead and noise. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends steps for workers and employers to reduce exposures.

Shooter at Indoor Firing RangeAccording to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 1 million Federal, State, and local law enforcement officers work in the United States [DOJ 2004]. They are required to train regularly in the use of firearms. Indoor firing ranges are often used because of their controlled conditions. In addition to workers, more than 20 million active target shooters practice at indoor firing ranges. Law enforcement officers may be exposed to high levels of lead and noise at indoor firing ranges. NIOSH estimates that 16,000 to 18,000 firing ranges operate in the United States.

Several studies of firing ranges have shown that exposure to lead and noise can cause health problems associated with lead exposure and hearing loss, particularly among employees and instructors. Lead exposure occurs mainly through inhalation of lead fumes or ingestion (e.g., eating or drinking with contaminated hands).

Action Target has been a pioneer, innovator and industry leader for limiting lead exposure and the reduction of noise at indoor shooting facilities.  Our ventilation systems are designed to ensure proper airflow across any range. Through our partnership with Carey’s Ventilation Systems, we provide the best performing and most efficient systems available on the market today. Our design exceeds NIOSH standards, and maintains a 100% success rate in industrial hygiene utilizing:

  • Ceiling Mounted Unique 180 degree Air Delivery Systems.
  • A design which makes plenum walls obsolete.
  • Digital and Analog control systems which adapt to changing environmental conditions to maintain the required air velocities and building pressures.
  • Upgrade packages for existing Firing Ranges available.
  • Custom designed systems to meet any type of application.

Carey’s has constructed our own Plexiglas-walled test range, which allows us to test air speeds, diffuser angles, ceiling heights and transitions, supply and return locations, duct sizing, and vortex settings to determine the optimal configuration for any type of range.

As another example of Action Target’s industry-leading partnerships, we have teamed with numerous sound abatement companies to meet the requirements of our customers.  Our sales staff can provide you with detailed information on past projects that required the expertise of our sound abatement partners.

We will work with you to design and build the indoor range that meets your needs.  If you would like to speak with an Action Target representative about the proven solutions we have for reducing lead and noise at your indoor facility, go to our Contact Us page.

To read more from NIOSH on this subject, Reducing Exposure to Lead and Noise at Indoor Firing Ranges

Pneumatic Target Systems

What is a Pneumatic Target System?

Being in the business of providing world-class target systems, Action Target has numerous options to choose from. When you work with a member of our staff, they will help you design and build the best target solution to meet your training needs.  A staple among our diverse line of target systems are those that are pneumatically operated.

Action Target’s pneumatic target line is designed to be a modular, component system. This means that there are many different building blocks to choose from. By putting the pieces together in different ways, you can build a system large or small, simple or complex. Everything is based on your individual needs.

In order to design your own custom system, you must first understand how the different building blocks fit together – the main power source (air pressure) flows from the air supply, through the controller, and on to the actuator.

What Is An Air Source?

With the exception of the AT Runner and “PT” products, Action Target actuators use air pressure as the driving force required to operate the target itself. Air is a clean and simple source of power which is very reliable and easy to use.

If you are designing a portable system, you will probably want of use compressed CO2 tanks as your air source. In this case, you will want to order an REG-1 from Action Target. This is a pressure regulator that converts high pressure from the tank (about 750 psi), to the lower pressure used by tour target components (40-100 psi).

More permanent applications benefit greatly from the use of an air compressor that runs on regular AC power. It doesn’t take a very large compressor to operate even the most specialized and involved ranges effectively. For most fairly large applications, a two horsepower compressor will provide more than enough capacity to meet your needs. Compressors can be ordered through Action Target, or obtained through any local vendor you desire. If you have questions about the suitability of a particular air compressor, feel free to contact an Action Target salesperson.

What Is An Actuator?

The actuator is the part of the system that you shoot at, or moves the target you shoot at. Some Action Target actuators move a cardboard or paper target into view on command. Others move a steel plate up and down. Others may simply reset a target you have already knocked down. The thing they all have in common is the compressed air they all use to do the work.

Each actuator has been designed with particular types of training in mind. Some work better in portable applications, while others are designed for more permanent use. Some actuators are designed for reaction training, while others are better suited to precision training. Read through the descriptions of each of the Action Target actuators and decide which ones will best perform the tasks you require for your own training needs.

What Is A Controller?

Every target system has to have an operator. Someone has to press a button, step on a board, shoot down a plate, or open a door to make a target function. Controllers are the devices that form the link between a human operator and the rest of the system.

The ultimate function of a controller is to switch the air pressure on or off at the command of the operator. There is a wide range of Action Target controllers that serve this function, from simple push-button air switches to sophisticated computer controlled systems. Controllers can be hard-wired to the rest of the system, or you can use a radio controlled device to give you even more flexibility. It all depends on your individual training needs.

Which Components Are Compatible With Each Other?

In order to help you understand how the different parts of a system fit together, “Function Codes” have been assigned to each of the various components. By understanding how the Function Codes work, you can easily determine how to put the proper components together into a system.

With all Function Codes, the first letter represents an input, and the second letter represents an output or action. For example, the VERSATARGET actuator uses the Function Code “A-T.” The “A” means the unit’s input is Air, and the “T” means the output or ultimate action is to move the Target. So, by seeing the code A-T used with the VERSATARGET, you know that it is a device that uses air pressure to move a target.

As another example, the HS-1 hand switch controller has the Function Code “C-A.” The “C” means the unit receives a Control signal at its input, and releases Air as its output. The Control signal in this case would simply be the operator pushing the button on the HS-1.

If you lay your system out on paper with the operator on the left and the targets on the right, you can easily use the Function Codes to make sure you have connected compatible parts together.

Controllers With Multiple Parts

Often, the part of the system referred to as the controller actually consists of more than one component. A good example of this is the combination of the PRO-INT shot timer and the TI-1 timer interface. The shot timer is a device that can be “set” much like an alarm clock to go off at a certain time. During the time before it goes off, it outputs a 12 volt signal down a wire. Because the input of the PRO-INT is a Control signal from a human operator, and its output is an Electrical signal, its Function Code is “C-E.”

The TI-1 timer interface has a Function Code of “E-A.” This means that it receives an Electrical signal at its input, and sends Air pressure from its output. By connecting a PRO-INT (C-E) to the TI-1 timer interface (E-A), you have created a two-piece controller with an ultimate Function Code of “C-A”, just like the HS-1 hand switch described earlier.

If you have any questions about setting your range equipment, please feel free to contact the Action Target Representative for your area.

Rangemaster: Behind the Scenes in Firearms Training

Those of us who have either worked in law enforcement or closely with public safety personnel know there are many other positions that support a first responder.  Courts have bailiffs, the jails and prisons have correctional deputies/officers, all of which are sometimes the “forgotten cops” since they are not always in the public’s view.  There are a host of supporting positions as well.  Some of these are detectives, gang, drug, multi-jurisdictional task forces, air units and SWAT.  Action Target recognizes and respects public safety personnel at all levels, whether in a highly visible position or not.

One of the segments of public safety that is vital to a first responder’s success is training.  When a peace officer is on or off duty, they are usually carrying a firearm.  Therefore, firearms training is paramount to their surviving a critical incident.  The training program designed for most agency is specific to the threats they encounter.  These programs are developed within the state Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) requirements, but are still unique to the agency.  Most of the time, the coursework is established by the Rangemaster.

What is a Rangemaster?  What do they do?  If you are Orlando Police Departments Rangemaster, your work never ends.  You are responsible for  training and qualifying 750 officers with handguns, shotguns, and rifles, specialized weapons training, less lethal weapons, as well as maintenance, repair and armorer inspection of over  1800 weapons. You are responsible for all daily and long term operations of one of the largest indoor gun ranges in the country, coordinating training with local, state, federal and military organizations, and the list goes on and on.  The ultimate goal with this title though, is to help prepare officers with the skills they need, to survive the challenges they face in today’s world.

Eric Clapsaddle is Action Targets “Rangemaster of the Quarter” because he does just that.  The efforts made by him, and ultimate results of those efforts,  have far exceeded national averages in a positive way.  He has gone above and beyond, and continues to constantly re-evaluate and improve.  Who benefits…..the Citizens of Orlando and the Officers who serve that community.

Why is his Training so good?

Because he prepares his officers for “REAL WORLD” situations.  The National averages show that about 90% of police gun fights occur at night.  Therefore, Orlando does about 90% of their training in “low light to no light” conditions.   Why…..because it is what they will face.

This training includes “Multiple Adversaries” because again, in the real world, 67% of all gun fights have 2 or more bad guys.

Additionally, officers training and qualifications include live fire combined with decision making under significant stress. This helps prepare them for real life shoot/ no shoot incidents. Is that a cell phone or a gun?  Remember, the time to make these decisions is about 1/4 of a second. Realistic training helps prepare them too make the right decision.

The scenario’s used are replica’s of real life situations re-created.  They include moving adversaries, because the bad guys don’t just stand still.  Innocent bystanders get in the way, and have to be worked into the scenario’s as well.  You have to work and look for cover, and the scenario’s include these props as well.

Eric, who has an Engineering degree,  designed several unique features in the equipment used at the facility that help make the training more real, and better fit the training needs of today’s officers.

The training that is done becomes very real and recreates the stress felt in a real gunfight.  It thereby prepares the officers so they can deal with adrenaline dumps, tunnel vision, and hearing issues, to better defend themselves and the public they serve.

The bottom line to all of this is…..Officers return home at the end of their shift, and the Public is better protected from criminals.

The Ultimate compliment a Rangemaster can receive is when his training efforts have paid off…..and an officer knows it, saving his life or the life of a citizen.  The results of Eric and his staff, will never know the unspoken “thank-you’s” for those they have saved.

At the recent Chiefs of Police convention held in Orlando, many Top Notch Trainers were able to see first hand some of the techniques and scenarios used by the Orlando Training Department on their Tactical range.  Now, months later, I am still getting phone calls about how fantastic that was.

Agencies from not only the United States were blown away, but representative’s from Taiwan, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Brazil, New Zealand, England, Spain, and the list continues, were impressed as well.  They were impressed with the Facility, but more importantly, how the facility was used with real world scenario’s.  This was where the rubber met the road, and this is where we have seen no finer training anywhere.

An example of the results are this…..

The National average for misses in gunfights (at a distance of about 9 yards or less) is approximately 80% based upon statistics from the FBI’s study on gunfights.  For the Orlando Police Department, their hit percentage is around 86%.  This is a result of the efforts of Eric and his staff.  What a fantastic job!  Our hats are off to him and that is why we recognize “Eric Clapsaddle” from the Orlando Police Department as Action Targets ” Rangemaster of the Quarter.”

Range Training – Orlando Police Department

A little over a year ago, the Orlando Police Departments Indoor Shooting range opened for firearms training. The range is a total of 55 lanes and is broken up into 3 separate training bays.

Bay #1 is a 20 lane, 50 yard long shooting distance that includes Tactical ceiling baffling, a High Power Rifle rated Total Containment Bullet Trap with the auger collection method, Dust Collection Unit, and Air Handling system. The primary targets used on this range are reactive Steel targets, incorporating a steel center mass target with either a round head or octagon head being raised for “shoot” or “don’t shoot” scenario’s.

AT Builds New Orlando Firing Range

Bay #2 is also a 20 lane, 50 yard long range that also the same baffles, bullet trap, etc. and the targetry features the inverted runner, swing down targets, and DTAPS decision making targets.

AT helps construct innovative range for Orlando PD

Bay #3 is a 15 lane, 100 yard Rifle Range. This has a “Fixed” firing line and has targets staggered at the 25 yard, 50 yard, 75 yard and 100 yard lines. (again, it has fixed baffles, and the TCT trap, air handling system, etc)

Orlando Police shot at indoor Range

All of these ranges are designed to allow police vehicles to enter the range and replicate traffic stops.

AT Constructs Indoor Shooting Range for Orlando

Eric Clapsaddle, the Orlando Police Department’s Rangemaster, designed several key ideas into the range, such as:

  • The ability to recreate a variety of “low light” conditions again, replicating “real life” gun fight situations.
  • The ability to create flexible barriers, walls, and cover with an insert-able panel for replicating “real life” scenario’s.

The Training that is provided to the Orlando Officers, is some of the closest we have seen to creating as real a situation as possible that the officers have faced or may face. The result of this type of training has been fantastic! Keep in mind the national average for “hits” in a gun fight 7 yards and closer is about 20%. With the training Orlando is doing, that number is closer to 80%, which is truly amazing, and life saving.

As you plan your range, think of ways you can recreate “real gun fights” that have happened in your area, or ones that may be common scenario’s you run into. Think of things like Traffic stops, multiple adversaries, working on scanning and avoiding tunnel vision, decision making targets (good guy / bad guy & shoot / no shoot), hostage drills, and so on. Try to allow the flexibility you need to be able to use these tools in training your officers.

The result will be a better protected community, better protected officers, and because the are better equipped, they will be better prepared.

Action Target thanks our first responders and all those who put themselves in harm’s way to protect the lives and property of others.

Stay Safe!

New Action Target Website

Action Target is pleased to announce the launch of the new Action Target website. The new website will continue to be a key source of information for firearms training, addressing the specific needs of our major customer segments: Military, Law Enforcement, Commercial/Sport Shooting, and Planners/Architects. In addition to the great information and product descriptions that were already present on our old website, we have also added some great new features and will continue to add more throughout the year:

Online Store: Our online store is now more fully integrated with the main ActionTarget.com website. In addition to selling all of our Portable Targets online, you can also purchase other important shooting accessories such as cardboard targets, clearing traps, and Action Target apparel. The shopping experience is now easier than ever with a streamlined shopping cart, product recommendations, and expanded product descriptions. → Visit the store

The @ Report: Our weekly newsletter, officially known as The @ Report, now works together with its online counterpart to create a socially interactive atmosphere. After reading an article, you will have the ability to post a comment, share the article through social media buttons, and find other related articles by through article tags. The @ Report is a vibrant and interactive resource to stay up-to-date on industry news, recent builds, and informational articles that will help you and your organization create the perfect firearms training. → Visit The @ Report

Media: Our Media page now consolidates important industry news and Action Target press releases so you can stay current on changes that are important to your organization. We also pull the most recent articles from PoliceOne.com and Officer.com for your convenience. → Visit the Media Page

Action Target Academy: Starting in 2011, we will offer online registration and payment for our Action Target Academy events. Offering online registration will allow you to quickly register whenever is convenient for you, also allowing registration for your whole department or organization at once. → Visit the Action Target Academy Page

Online Project and Proposal Builder: One of our most exciting features to be added in 2011 will be our online Project and Proposal Builder. This new feature will allow you to build and design your dream range online by selecting the parts and features you want. After defining the scope of your project, the builder will give you an approximate bid and put you in contact with your area representative for further information and counseling before building your site.

We’re excited to have these great new features and look forward to hearing your feedback and working with you in the future!

Enhance Training Realism

Be honest. How many people reading this have attended or even taught a training course where you have used 2’X4” pieces of lumber to outline a room? How many of you have used this wood-outlined configuration for dynamic or static entry training? What about searching rooms outlined by strips of wood? These concepts are good at building on classroom instruction and enhancing the fundamentals necessary for entry and clearing. But is it great? Realistic?

Don’t worry, we both know the answers.

It is time to demand more out of training. The list of “props” that have been used by law enforcement and the military in training to add realism would take too much time to list. The days of telling an academy recruit, “Now simulate these pieces of wood are a room and this is the door,” are over. The technology of today allows us to have better training materials. Current technology allows us to have more realism added to our training scenarios. It allows us to train in controlled settings that are as real as possible without actually being in a free-standing structure, which has been vacated for your coursework.

There is nothing wrong with conducting your training in a real building. Personally, in the past I have run my recruits to several locations in various cities for them to get the most realistic training possible. If your organization is lucky enough to have established relationships with businesses, warehouses, apartment buildings and private homes, then you know just how challenging having a training course in those locations can be. It takes a significant amount of time and effort to set training dates, coordinate with all parties involved, ensure your class know the location, have enough parking space, obtain approval from the neighbors and/or city if necessary. Wouldn’t it be much easier to have training that encompasses all of those types listed in a single structure?

Of course! It would be great to have that type of capability in a single location. Is it possible and is it cost effective? Those are the key questions. And, by the way, the answer is yes, it is!

The days of training our first responders, SWAT, corrections and military personnel with the most realistic and safe training using only one building are here! The answer can be found with Action Target and our newest product, FlexTact®. Action Target has recently partnered with Hufcor to be the Exclusive World Wide vendor for their FlexTact® movable wall training system.

The FlexTact® system is currently used for non-live fire training only. Since non-live fire training can really be conducted anywhere, what is so great about this system? It’s simple. The system can be completely be reconfigured within minutes. For example, in a matter of a few minutes, you can transform your office scenario to a warehouse then into a residential setting. If you need to serve a high risk warrant and want to realistically structure your breach training, the physical layout of the residence can be duplicated with the FlexTact system.

Since FlexTact® is only available from Action Target, we have been receiving requests from all areas of the world on how to incorporate this revolutionary training system into a new building or existing structure. The great aspect of FlexTact® is that it can be placed in either! Those interested in FlexTact® are from the commercial, military and law enforcement communities. The FlexTact® system compliments our core expertise in live fire ranges and shoot houses such as the M.A.T.C.H. (Modular Armored Tactical Combat House) live fire structure shown below.

Top View of FlexTract Training SystemThe FlexTact® system employs the following:

  • Rugged 16 ga. welded steel frames resist impacts
  • High Pressure Laminate surfaces are easy to clean and resist impacts
  • Quickset bottom seals hold walls in place during exercises
  • Overhead architectural aluminum tracks allow panels to move smoothly and quickly into place
  • Side bulb seals allow panels to be configured quickly
  • Specially designed passdoors for entry exercises.
  • Optional window inserts and glass walls panels for diversified training scenarios.

FlexTract Moveable Training SystemPlease notice from the picture that everything is suspended from above. There are no grooves in the floor, which means there are no tripping hazards. The FlexTact® system has an overhead railing system built on a grid pattern that can be self-sustaining or tied into the existing beams of a building. The panels can be moved quickly and set onto the floor with rubber feet that keep them in place. These panels accommodate full impact breach doors for entry training. They have frangible window options that can be struck with shotgun less than lethal rounds, training with explosives like Stingball Grenades or Flash Bang technology.

In addition to those already listed, you can enhance the realism of FlexTact® even further with the following options:

  • Low light / No light capability
  • Doors with handles that actually shut
  • Wall graphics for custom scenes / murals
  • Standing targets
  • Foam furniture / props

This system has already been installed and used in many locations. It has been used by more than just law enforcement and military. This technology allows for firefighter training by filling the structure with smoke and having to search. Fire Departments from local, state and federal agencies are discovering the multiple uses for FlexTact®. They are also finding it is easier to obtain funding for a training structure that can be used for multiple purposes.

Man Training in FlexTract Training SystemImagine having a 40’x40′ room, like a typical gymnasium. It is a big box with a wooden floor. How many of you have a room like this somewhere? I would bet that most of you have something similar that is the property of your agency. What is that space being used for? Storage? Offices? Mat room for Arrest Techniques / Defensive Tactics? Classroom? Now imaging having all of those capabilities in just one room! With FlexTact®, you can quickly reconfigure that room into anything that supports your training needs.

This is the most revolutionary new product for public safety training! The capabilities are so substantial, that it warrants a further look. Action Target welcomes you to review it for yourself. Here is the FlexTact® Brochure for you to review.

Two Shooters Training in FlexTract Training SystemTake a look and you will see that FlexTact® will meet your training needs and can be placed in almost any existing building or incorporated into new builds. If you have a project currently underway and want FlexTact® installed, our lead time is as little as (5) five weeks from design approval to installation!

You will not find a better option for a realistic structure that can be used for such diverse applications. As the industry leader, Action Target asks you to contact us today to learn how we and the FlexTact® system can support your training needs. Enhance your training realism today with FlexTact® by contacting Action Target!

To learn more about Action Target and its full line of products, please visit www.actiontarget.com. For additional information on Tactical Breaching Door technology, please contact one of our Action Target Representatives, Law Enforcement & Commercial, Federal, Military or International.

Tactical Breaching/Forced Entry

Who out there has actually breached a door? Most of our readers have breached many doors in the past. Most will have the opportunity to do it in the future as well. But, how many have actually trained over and over again within the same day? The truth is, not that many.

Action Target has developed a revolutionary Tactical Breaching Door™ that affords instructional staff the best option for consistent and realistic training. Our Breach Door adds a whole new dimension to training realism and eliminates the problems faced when training breaching techniques to students. The Tactical Breach Door uses advanced engineering which allows trainers to adjust the tension holding the door closed (shown below) and gives them complete control over the level of force required for a dynamic entry.

The Tactical Breach Door is designed especially for use in Action Target’s Modular Armored Tactical Combat House (MATCH) shoothouse but it can also be used in a stand-alone frame or can be modified to fit into any existing shoothouse.

There is no better option available.

Here are some of our breaching door’s capabilities:

  • It can stand alone
  • It can be integrated into a shoot house
  • It can be integrated into our FlexTact system
  • It resets in seconds
  • It is reusable

Shotgun, ram or explosive entries can be exercised and the patented latch system allows an immediate re-set for multiple training sessions. No more replacing doors after each entry-simply close the door and reset the latch. This allows for instant correction of improper technique, multiple repetitions in shorter training sessions and a range of difficulty levels for various entries.

“Action Target’s Tactical Breach Door will advance training to a whole new level. For those of us who train, this innovation is a powerful and functional tool that will allow us to better prepare our teams to protect their own lives and the lives of those around them. Every law enforcement officer, special ops team and military recruit needs to be trained with this door so they can learn the techniques that will make building and room entries safer when breaching the fatal funnel.”
– Sergeant Daniel Gray – Firearms Instructor, Turlock Police Department

Take a look and you will see that our Tactical Breach Door will meet your training needs and can be used by itself with our free-standing option or integrate it into your MATCH or FlexTact® shoothouse.

You will not find a better option for forced entry training. As the industry leader, Action Target asks you to contact us today to learn how we and our Tactical Breaching Door can support your training needs. Enhance your forced entry training today with our technology. Contact Action Target today!

To learn more about Action Target and its full line of products, including the Tactical Breaching Door™, please visit www.actiontarget.com. For additional information on Tactical Breaching Door technology, please contact one of our Action Target Representatives.

Reactive Steel Shooting – Bobber X-treme™

Reactive shooting is the skill a police officer must rely on when confronted with a suddenly hazardous situation. It is a critical skill that can save officers’ lives, and it is the result of conditioned hand-eye coordination developed by training on Action Target air-powered reactive steel systems.

As we learn more and more about the human dynamics involved in armed confrontations, we understand that physical skills that require conscious thought or intellectual processing tend to break down rapidly under high levels of stress. If defensive skills and responses are not programmed in at a subconscious level, the sudden stress may cause us to fumble, freeze or panic. It is in this environment that reactive shooting skills are needed. Such reflexive shooting skills can be taught through the use of extremely short time limits, thus pushing the shooter to function at the limits of reaction and response time. This can be compared to learning how to hit a fast moving ball with a bat or racket, or developing the reflexes to block a punch or kick at full speed. Reactive steel targets provide the instant feedback required to program an officer’s reflexive shooting skills effectively and efficiently.

Over the next several months, we will be showcasing our entire Reactive Steel line of targets. First one to be discussed is our Bobber X-treme™:

Bobber X-treme ™

  • Reactive steel with automated reset – Independent target control
  • Multiple AR500 steel target plates – Variable exposure times
  • Choose knock-down or “flop” heads – Computerized scenarios

The basic function of the Bobber X-treme™ will probably sound familiar. A steel plate is presented to the shooter from behind cover. This plate can be hit at any time while it is exposed, and a computer interface is used to control the frequency and duration of the target exposures.

Speed – The exposure times with the Bobber X-treme™ can be as short as a ½ second, so speed is of the essence. The whole idea behind reactive shooting is to train the body to automatically carry out the complex action of firing a gun without having to process the whole sequence with your conscious mind.

Accuracy – Not only is missing the intended target inefficient and ineffective, it is a staggering liability during an actual armed conflict. Because the 8-inch target plates on the Bobber X-treme™ jump up from and retreat behind total cover, only accurately placed shots will have any effect. Painting the chest plate and assuming it to be an innocent bystander or hostage increases the pressure for accuracy even more.

Judgment – Split-second judgment and threat analysis may be the most important elements of the training triangle. The revolutionary Bobber X-treme™ addresses this issue by presenting the shooter with two separate target plates, one directly behind the other. One plate is an 8-inch circle, and the other is an 8-inch octagon. Depending on your training scenario, you can classify all the circle plates as hostile, and all the octagon plates as friendly. When one of the plates jumps up from behind cover, the shooter must quickly determine whether the plate is hostile or friendly and then take the appropriate action. The circles and octagons look enough alike to force the shooter to be sure.

If you would like some more information about the Bobber X-treme™ or other Reactive Steel products, please contact the Territory Manager for your region.

Function Testing: Why and How

Written by Benjamin Kurata

I’ve had the benefit of traveling to many different locations and training with many different departments and agencies. It’s been a pleasure and an honor to train with the men and women who are on the front line protecting our country and society. That being said, a universally neglected area is proper preventative maintenance of the semiautomatic pistols, rifles, and shotguns issued and carried. IF YOUR WEAPON DOESN’T WORK, YOU CAN’T PROTECT YOURSELF, YOUR PARTNER, OR OTHERS!

Cleaning and Lubrication:

Here, I have to defer to, and ask you to do that most unnatural thing: read the Owner’s Manual that comes with every firearm. If you don’t have a copy, you can go to the manufacturer’s website and download a copy, or see your department RangeMaster. (S)he will likely have a copy. The other unnatural thing that I will ask of you is to follow the instructions. Light lubrication means a light coat of lubricant, not half of the 4 oz. squeeze bottle of CLP. We all have our favorite concoctions and potions to use on our firearms, just keep in mind two things:

1. In general, solvents are good at dissolving carbon, fouling, and copper from the surfaces of your firearm. They are not good at lubricating the same surfaces. A really good solvent will strip away all the residue on the surface being treated and LEAVE THE METAL BARE AND UNPROTECTED.

2. In general, lubricants are good at protecting metal-to-metal contact surfaces and metal parts / finishes from corrosion, but they are not necessarily good as a solvent.

Firearms Function Test

Which means, yes, in general, you will have to use two bottles of magical mystery stuff. I’m sure in saying this I will get barraged with spam about the latest and greatest whatever, and if it’s out there, please feel free to hook me up with lots of free samples. I’m just saying that I haven’t encountered the ultimate all-in-one product yet.

In a future article I’ll go over general guidelines for preventative maintenance for semiautomatic pistols, but for now, let’s assume that you have successfully disassembled, cleaned, and lubricated both your weapon and any associated magazines. Yes, I am a proponent of cleaning and lightly lubricating your magazines every time you clean and lubricate your weapon. Let’s think about it. Magazines are your weapon’s ammunition feeding system. If a magazine fails, your weapon will likely no longer fire with that magazine. That’s why we practice stoppage clearance drills every time we practice. (See previous article on magazine maintenance and function testing.)

To Function Test a Semiautomatic Pistol:

  1. Make certain that there is no live ammunition in the pistol or any of the associated magazines. Check a second time.
  2. How and Why Firearms Function Test

  3. With the hammer down / striker in the “fired” position, insert and lock an empty magazine into the magazine well. This checks to see that the magazine locking notch(es) line up with magazine release, and the magazine release spring has enough power to retain the magazine in the magazine well..
  4. How and Why Firearms Function Test

  5. Smartly rack the slide to the rear. The slide should stay open. This tests the magazine follower, magazine spring, and the alignment of the follower with the slide stop. If the slide does not stay open, you may have reassembled the magazine with the spring backwards or upside down.
  6. Function Test Magazine Release Step

  7. Press the magazine release. The magazine should fall free of the magazine well under its own weight. If it doesn’t, the magazine tube may be bent.
  8. How and Why Function Test Firearms

  9. Using the slide stop / catch, release the slide and let it fly forward under it’s own action. DO NOT “RIDE” the slide with the support hand. You are testing the recoil spring’s capability to drive the slide into battery and lockup.
  10. If your handgun has an external hammer and full cock notch, press under the hammer spur, attempting to push the hammer into the fired position without pressing the trigger. If the hammer slips or wobbles, the handgun is unsafe, do not use it, turn it over to a qualified armorer immedi ately!
  11. How and Why to Function Test Firearms

  12. If your handgun has a safety lever, put it on “safe”. Press the trigger. Nothing should happen.
  13. How and Why to Function Test Firearms

  14. If your handgun has a decock lever (like a SIG), decock. Again, nothing should happen except the hammer being lowered safety to the decock notch.
  15. With the muzzle pointing in a safe direction, take the safety off (if applicable), and press the trigger AND HOLD THE TRIGGER IN THE REARMOST POSITION OF ITS TRAVEL. The hammer / striker should fHow and Why Function Firearm Test all normally.How and Why to Function Test Firearms
  16. Continue to HOLD THE TRIGGER TO THE REAR and manually cycle the slide.
  17. SLOWLY let the trigger go forward until you feel / hear the disconnector reset “click”.
  18. Press the trigger. Again, you should get a normal hammer / striker fall. Steps 9 -12 test the disconnector, the integrated safety mechanism that makes the semiautomatic weapon semiautomatic. A broken disconnector means your wea pon may go full auto on you. While that sounds exciting, it really is a nasty suprise!
  19. Repeat steps 1 – 12 with all remaining magazines.

If you are thinking, “That’s a lot of work!”, consider the following:

1. When you get the hang of it, it will take you 5 – 10 seconds to function test your weapon with each magazine. Most officers carry 3 magazines, so 15 – 30 seconds total!

2. Do you really want to charge your weapon with live ammo, holster it, and not know if it is mechanically functioning properly? A gunfight is not the place to perform a function test!

Next up: function testing the AR-15 (and similar) patrol rifle and the semiautomatic or pump shotgun.