Action Target’s Shoot House featuring Auto Target Hit Sense Technology.
Action Target’s MATCH™ is a 360°, live-fire, ballistically safe, shoot house designed for teaching and learning close quarter skills, like room clearing and hallway navigation, with realism and safety.
AutoTargets enhances training and the shooting experience. Each lift unit can be placed as a stand-alone target, or daisy-chained from a single air supply. Because AutoTargets is portable, it can be placed in any configuration or incorporated into any terrain. It is effective in shoot houses, Hogan’s alleys, and other close quarters combat environments, as well as open- eld, long distance training courses. A pressure sensitive target version is also available for use with non-lethal ammunition projectiles.
DELIVERING AN ADVANCED RUNNING MAN TRAINING SYSTEM.
PROVO, Utah – September 26, 2016 – Action Target INC., the leading manufacturer of modern shooting ranges, is pleased to announce the launch of the Dual Running Man Pro, the most powerful and feature-rich running man system ever designed.
The DRM Pro boasts 3HP motors, ultra-wear resistant pulleys, speeds up to 20 fps, realistic acceleration, and an easy to use control interface for use on tablets and mobile phones. The DRM Pro uses two lateral traveling, non-turning target carriers capable of moving independently from one another because they are mounted on two separate tracks that run parallel to each other.
The DRM Pro includes industry leading technology, with added features such as built-in Wi-Fi, easy to use control interface that runs on a tablet or smart phone. The DRM Pro integrates with our range control software for advanced features and functionality. All components of the DRM Pro are IP54 compliant for year-round outdoor and indoor use. The DRM Pro is capable of traveling at variable speeds, up to 20 feet per second, which allows for a more advanced target acquisition training. The DRM Pro boasts high precision encoders to ensure target positions are accurate to within 6 inches. The modular ratcheting mechanism on the DRM Pro make cable tensioning quick and easy.
The DRM Pro is the perfect running man training system because it allows users to advance their training by having duel targets moving independent of one another. This allows trainers to designate one as a non-shoot and the other as a target. This will add stress and reality to training scenarios, allowing the user to develop and improve their decision making skills.
For more information about the DRM Pro or to purchase yours today, call 801-377-8033
When it comes to steel targets, it is important to understand there are crucial differences in the quality of the steel used to make the targets and the design of the targets themselves. In an age where it seems everyone “knows a guy” who can make steel targets for them out of a welding shop, understanding the facts about steel is even more important. Steel targets can be perfectly safe and a fantastic training tool if done right, but they can also be extremely dangerous if done wrong. Here at Action Target, we have been designing and manufacturing steel targets and tactical training systems for nearly 30 years. Here are some of the things we’ve learned along the way.
TRUTH – THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE IN THE QUALITY OF STEEL BEING USED
Unfortunately, there are steel targets out there that are poorly designed and are made of inferior steel. Homemade targets from local welding shops are usually the culprits, but some commercial target manufacturers use inferior steel as well. Because these targets are vulnerable to cratering, pocking, and general deformation, they are very dangerous and should be avoided. Any steel with a Brinell hardness rating under 400 falls into this category, including standard “T-1” steel with a hardness rating in the 300 range.
After many years of experimenting to find the best solution, most major manufacturers of dependable, high quality steel targets now use steel with a Brinell hardness rating of at least 400. A few premium quality manufacturers use steel with a higher Brinell hardness rating of 500 or even 550. Fewer than 10 steel mills in the world can provide quality AR500/550 steel. Action Target has direct relationships with many of these suppliers which allows us to purchase steel mill direct. Steel of this quality is always certified by the plant that created it, however, at Action Target we conduct independent hardness testing on every shipment we receive. If the steel does not meet our ballistic standards, we reject the entire order and send it back.
Other steel certifications like “Magnum Steel” or “Extreme Steel” are merely marketing terms added by the manufacturer. When all the rhetoric is boiled away, there are manufacturers who use steel that is not appropriate for targets, and there are those who use steel that is. Make sure you know the difference.
PROPER DESIGN IS CRITICAL
Even the best steel can’t compensate for poorly designed targets. There are several unavoidable principles that must be followed to create targets that are as safe and durable as possible.
TRUTH – SMOOTH AND TOTALLY FLAT SHOOTING SURFACES ARE ESSENTIAL FOR CONSISTENT SPLATTER PATTERNS
There are two things manufacturers can do to ruin the smoothness and flatness of a steel target. First, they can use inferior steel that will crater, pock, and deform. Second, they can put brackets, clamps, or bolts in the way of the shooting surfaces. Remember, anything that can be shot will be shot. Why is this an issue? Because you can do a reasonable job of predicting and protecting against a bullet’s splatter pattern when it hits a flat, uniform surface. If the steel is damaged or if anything else is in the way, all bets are off. Bullet fragmentation and ricochet are inherent and acknowledged issues when shooting on steel targets. Proper target design helps you address those issues with the highest degree of safety possible.
TRUTH – DISSIPATING A BULLET’S ENERGY IS SAFER AND HELPS YOUR TARGETS LAST LONGER
When a bullet strikes a steel target that is completely stationary at a 90-degree angle, all the bullet’s energy goes directly to weakening that point on the steel. If the target is completely stationary but is positioned at less than a 90-degree angle, a portion of the bullet’s energy at impact is deflected rather than absorbed. If the target is positioned at slightly less than a 90-degree angle AND the target is able to move on impact, a much larger portion of the bullet’s energy is deflected rather than absorbed.
NO STEEL TARGET IS INDESTRUCTIBLE
Without exception, every steel target out there today can be damaged. Steel hardness and proper design can both be defeated by misuse and/or abuse of the target.
TRUTH – THE BASIC DESTRUCTIVE FORCE GENERATED BY BULLETS STRIKING STEEL TARGETS IS HEAT
Excessive concentrated heat alters the steel’s hardness properties and results in damage to the target’s face. The amount of heat generated is proportional to the speed of the bullet, which is why rifles cause more damage to steel targets than handguns.
TRUTH – RIFLE DISTANCE ON STEEL TARGETS IS NOT AN EXACT SCIENCE
No matter what anyone tells you, shooting a steel target with a rifle – even at 100 yards – can damage your target, even if it has a Brinell hardness rating of 550. You must be very careful about your choice of steel and ammunition! Even with 550 Brinell steel and the target mounted at a significant angle, some damage is still possible, even at 100 yards. For best results, use only steel targets that are specifically designed for use with rifles.
With so many complex variables like ammunition type, rifle manufacturer, barrel length, bullet velocity and so on, it is virtually impossible to establish a set distance for shooting rifles on steel targets. To determine what works best with your specific equipment, we suggest the following: Fire a test shot from 100 yards and then examine the target. If there is no damage, move in a few yards and fire another test shot. Repeat the process until you find the optimal distance for your combination of rifle and ammunition. Some people may be comfortable with a certain amount of dimpling on the steel. Minor damage to the shooting surface will not create a shooting hazard if you are shooting at 100 yards, but if can be very dangerous if you choose to shoot at close range with a handgun on the same target. Even if your steel targets have only minimal rifle damage, they should never be used for closer distance handgun training.
TRUTH – SHOTGUN SLUG DISTANCE ON STEEL TARGETS MEANS 100 YARDS MINIMUM
Shotgun slugs have the greatest potential for bodily harm to the shooter due to the sheer volume of lead that can be returned from damaged or poorly designed steel targets. Stay back!
TRUTH – FRANGIBLE AMMUNITION REQUIRES THE SAME QUALITY STEEL AS REGULAR AMMUNITION
Many types of frangible ammunition, particularly for rifles, are lighter than regular lead ammunition. Remember that lighter bullets can mean greater speed, which means more heat, which can mean damage to your steel target. Just because frangible ammunition is designed to break up on impact doesn’t mean the distance requirements do not apply. You should follow the exact same rules with frangible ammunition as you do with any other.
TRUST THE EXPERTS
When it comes to your safety, don’t settle for the advice of your local welder. Steel targets can be fun and safe as long as they are made of quality steel and designed to produce predictable splatter. In fact, steel targets can be one of the greatest tools for firearms training, but they have to be manufactured correctly. Shooting on poorly designed targets made of inferior steel can result in severe bodily harm. Here at Action Target, your safety is our biggest concern. We have decades of experience manufacturing steel targets, and we constantly conduct ballistic research to make sure the steel we use meets our standards and your expectations. If you are looking for a steel target, trust us to point you in the right direction.
I was first introduced to live fire shoot house training in 1986 at the world famous Gunsite Academy in northern Arizona. I had already been a Denver, Colorado, police officer for more than 10 years and was then a member of its full-time special weapons and tactics team (SWAT). Prior to transferring to SWAT, I was a patrol officer assigned to the northeastern quadrant of the city and county of Denver.
As a police officer, I had to search many businesses after silent alarms had been tripped as well as respond to calls that put me inside someone’s house. I had been trained to conduct building searches and how to handle calls inside structures, but I had not been exposed to firing live ammunition in that training arena. Was I sufficiently trained to conduct such police actions? I believed I was, but my eyes were opened to a higher level of training that my department had not exposed me to.
In 1993, my department received a civil judgment against it for not providing adequate training to its police officers. My department had not provided “periodic target course shoot/don’t shoot live training under street conditions, particularly for officers on the front line.”1 We had required our officers to qualify once a month (later changed to quarterly) on a live fire course on a square range. This traditional range is exactly the same as all firearms ranges in the country used for law enforcement qualification and training. But our qualification courses did not require decision making, had little to no movement by the shooter, and was performed under adequate lighting conditions. The qualification target would turn and face the shooter which initiated the officer to present his/her weapon and fire the required number of rounds into the target before it edged away. This is the standard for all law enforcement agencies in the country. Then, some type of score is given for the officers’ records. If the officer passed, no further action was required. No additional training was given.
We know today that periodic qualification is just the beginning for our officers’ records. Continuing education is required in subject areas such as changes in the law or department regulations relating to the use of force, other options available other than the use of deadly force, and the list goes on. We now know we have a responsibility and obligation to expose our officers in training to as many situations as possible that they may encounter on the street.
If you believe you do have a responsibility and obligation to train your officers to the highest possible level, and your officers may find themselves in a structure like a building or house or business, then you need a live fire shoot house.
Historically, live fire shoot houses have been made out of old automobile tires, plywood, cinder blocks, and other material that stops bullets. My SWAT team even made portable bullet traps that allowed us to make any building into a live fire shoot house. With today’s modern technology in clean ammunition and live fire shoot house construction, we have no excuse not to train our officers in live fire indoor simulators.
Companies such as Action Target make an excellent portable bullet trap. Its design and construction allow law enforcement agencies to tailor a structure to their environmental and economic needs.
I call it the “pay now or pay later” program. You can either pay now to build an indoor live fire simulator or you can pay later for not providing this level of training to your officers. You make the decision. If it was my decision, I would pay now. I would play every possible card in my deck to get a live fire shoot house.
Contact Action Target for options about getting your shoot house. I am confident that they will help you with your needs.
About Bob Schneider
Bob Schneider retired from the Denver, Colorado, Police Department after 21 years of service. He spent 18 years assigned to his department’s full-time special weapons and tactics team. He is a certified firearms and less-lethal weapons instructor and has taught classes to federal, state, and local law enforcement officers as well as to U.S. and foreign military units here and overseas. Bob has developed several firearms and tactics courses to include training scenarios that are being used by popular simulator manufacturers. He currently lives in Denver, Colorado, with his two sons, Dylan and Jake.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Action Target as a company.
1. Zuchel v. City and County of Denver, Colo., 997 F. 2d 730 – Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit 1993.
Officer David Staskiewicz receives Range Master of the Year Award from Action Target
PROVO, Utah – Officer David Staskiewicz was recognized by Action Target as the 2012 Range Master of the Year for his continued excellence in law enforcement training. Action Target founder Addison Sovine presented Staskiewicz with the award at a ceremony held in his honor on December 13th.
“Officer Staskiewicz has done an incredible job in with the Omaha Police Department,” Sovine said. “Action Target has had the pleasure of working with him on several projects in the past, and we hope to continue our relationship in the future.”
For the past ten years, Officer Staskiewicz has been the Omaha Police Department’s range master. During that time, he has overseen the closing of the department’s 30-year-old indoor range and was instrumental in the opening of the new Public Safety Training Center ranges four years ago.
The new center includes a firearms simulator room, rooms for weapon, ammo and target storage, a room with 20 stations for weapon cleaning and two indoor shooting ranges equipped by Action Target with advanced tactical training technology.
“Coordinating the fair use of all three ranges can keep you busy, but these facilities are an incredible training tool,” Staskiewicz said. “We have up to 25 local and federal agencies that train on one of our ranges throughout the year.”
According to Staskiewicz, the last thing a police officer wants to do is discharge his or her firearm, but training for those occasions where force is necessary is extremely important.
“Shooting is a perishable skill that needs to be practiced on a regular basis”, Staskiewicz said. “It’s extremely important to train our officers under similar conditions, especially elevated heart rate shooting. It’s our job to prepare our officers to react to a situation so they can go home to their family at night.”
In addition to running his agencies three ranges, Staskiewicz oversees the firearms curriculum for his 800 officer department. He has always been willing to share his lesson plans and training tips with other agencies and trainers over the years. Some drills they conduct on the indoor tactical range include split-second threat identification, accuracy and speed training, as well as ambush drills in a patrol car with the windshield removed, drop targets and flashing lights to add to the stress.
“Along with providing common sense firearms training, our goal is to provide a safe training environment,” Staskiewicz said. “I’m honored to have won Range Master of the Year, but the best reward is seeing our officers go home at night after a situation.”
About Action Target Inc.
Action Target Inc. is a privately owned business headquartered in Provo, Utah. As a world leader in shooting range technology with more than 4,000 products and 40 patents for the systems it designs and manufacturers, Action Target has installed thousands of shooting ranges across the United States and in 25 other countries around the world. Action Target also designs systems and conducts firearms training for law enforcement and various military divisions. For more information on Action Target, visit www.ActionTarget.com. To learn more about Action Target products or to purchase items online, visit www.ActionTarget.com/store.
At its most basic level, a rubber berm trap is approximately two feet of chopped rubber laid on top of an angled support structure to create a backstop or “berm” to catch bullets fired into it. There are several different approaches to this fundamental idea, but the same basic principles apply to them all. When you shoot into a dirt berm, the friction of passing through the dirt is what ultimately stops the bullet. A rubber berm trap works exactly the same way, with the obvious difference being the use of chopped rubber instead of dirt or sand.
Because the rubber is a softer collection medium, ricochet and lead dust can be significantly reduced in some applications. Cross-range firing is safer, as is firing at extremely close distances. Such benefits make this trap an excellent choice for certain indoor ranges and other low-volume ranges where lead dust is a concern.
Rubber berms aren’t perfect in every circumstance, however, no matter what you may read. In our experience, we’ve encountered several myths about what rubber berm traps and their accompanying accessories are capable of doing. Before you make any decisions on your range, make sure you know the facts.
CLAIM #1: Action Target disapproves of rubber traps because all they make are steel traps.
Not only does Action Target approve of rubber traps for certain shooting range applications, we have been manufacturing our own for more than a decade and have patents covering our unique berm trap technology. The hassle-free design of Action Target’s rubber berm trap takes advantage of the practical and beneficial properties of rubber, while eliminating the weaknesses and unnecessary elements of other designs.
We recognize steel traps and rubber traps have very different benefits and limitations. It is important for the range operator to understand these issues clearly before choosing one technology over the other.
CLAIM #2: Rubber berm traps capture all bullets whole and eliminate splatter and ricochet.
Chopped rubber is obviously softer than steel, so some bullets can indeed be captured whole. However, that is not the whole story. After multiple rounds have been fired into the same concentrated area of the trap, newly fired bullets can begin impacting other bullets previously suspended in the rubber. As one bullet impacts another, both can begin to break into small pieces. These “hot spots” of concentrated lead can form behind turning targets, indoor range target retrievers, and other fixed-position targets on your range and can pose a significant ricochet hazard if not managed properly.
When cleaning rubber berm traps, it is not unusual to find masses of small bullet fragments that are nearly indistinguishable from bullet fragments taken from a steel bullet trap. Just because you are shooting into a soft substance does not mean the bullets won’t fracture and break up. There is still the chance for the bullet to strike another bullet, and that chance increases with every day of range use.
Because rubber berm traps have no hard surfaces or obstacles to interfere with cross-lane shooting, they can be particularly effective in tactical applications where shooters move from one position to another and engage targets that are not directly in front of them. As long as hot spots are effectively managed, a rubber berm trap can also be a good choice for very close range shooting.
CLAIM #3: Rubber berm traps are specially treated so they will not catch fire.
There are many documented cases of rubber bullet traps catching fire. Most manufacturers, including Action Target, treat their rubber with some kind of fire-retardant substance to reduce the risk of fire, but without taking additional precautions, it is still possible to have a serious problem.
You may see a demonstration where a piece of fire-treated rubber is held to a direct flame without burning, or you might read reports about tracer rounds being fired into rubber berm traps without igniting the rubber. These are unrealistic scenarios. A full size trap on an actual shooting range can collect large quantities of unspent gunpowder and flammable debris from paper and cardboard targets. Also, bullets fired into the trap can break open chunks of treated rubber exposing the untreated surfaces inside. These issues alone may pose a considerable risk of fire, but the risk can increase dramatically if tracers or other incendiary rounds are fired into the trap – a practice that Action Target strongly discourages.
A recent attempt to decrease the potential fire hazard of rubber berm traps involves mixing the chunks of chopped rubber with hydrated gel beads. The theory is that as bullets are absorbed into the rubber, they will be cooled by the gel to reduce heat build-up. Because no long term data seems to exist to support this theory, it is unclear whether the gel can keep a fire from starting or keep the fire from spreading after it has already started. It is also unclear what difficulty such a gel may cause when it comes time to clean the trap and separate the lead from the rubber.
Rely on the Experts for Help
There are hundreds of things to take into consideration when building a shooting range, but your top priority should always be safety. Before anything else, make sure your range is going to be safe for your customers, your employees, and the environment. If you are considering building a range, talk to the Action Target representative in your region and he will be happy to help you find the right equipment to fit your needs and budget. You can also use our Request a Quote form to get started on your range upgrades today.
Please note: the information included in this article has come from both documented studies and the personal experience of Action Target shooting range specialists. This information has been found to be helpful for many clients throughout the years but may not apply in all situations. Please use judgment in determining which tips will be helpful in your particular situation.
Action Target is pleased to introduce the newest member of the Torso Family, the IPSC A-Zone.
The IPSC A-Zone was designed with competitive shooters in mind. With a torso made to the exact size and dimensions of the standard IPSC Metric Target and a reactive A-zone cutout for immediate visual feedback, the IPSC A-Zone is a great target for competition training.
Because it combines the scoring benefits of a paper target with the immediate visual and audio feedback of a steel target, the IPSC A-Zone can save you time and frustration. Instead of having to constantly go downrange to switch out paper targets, you can shoot thousands of rounds at this steel version of the IPSC torso without having to reset or replace anything. The A-Zone cutout also makes scoring simple with a reactive swinging plate that allows you to instantly see if you hit the right spot. The swinging plate is gravity reset and can be repainted with a spray paint of your choice to show shot placement.
The torso and swinging plate are made of through hardened AR550 armor steel with no exposed bolts, clamps, or brackets allowing you to shoot just about anything you have at it without fear of ricochet, splatter, or damage to the target. The rear hinge brackets are also made of armor steel (AR500) to minimize wear and tear from daily use and provide you with a lifetime of tactical training.
Because all of the shooting surfaces are made of AR550 steel, the IPSC A-Zone is compatible with rifle shooting from distances greater than 100 yards and with ammunition that does not exceed 3,000 fps. Shooting the target closer than 100 yards and/or with rifle ammunition exceeding 3,000 fps may cause dents and deformities in the shooting surfaces rendering the target unsafe to shoot.
Be the first of your buddies to get the new IPSC A-Zone!
Field Time Target and Training in Stanton, CA, has teamed with Action Target to create a state-of-the-art shooting range for firearms training. The new facilities include a firearms and ammo retail store, two indoor shooting ranges, and classrooms for in-depth instruction.
“Orange County is range deprived,” said Field Time owner Greg Caringella. “There was a great need for another range in the Orange County area and I think our range is going to have an extremely positive effect on the community.”
Field Time Target and Training includes two 25-yard indoor ranges with 14 lanes each. One side was specifically designed for civilian use and utilizes digital target retrieval systems for fast results. The other side was designed with local law enforcement in mind and includes a pneumatic target system from Action Target capable of turning 180 degrees. In the future, police departments will be able to use this system to test officers’ decision-making abilities in tactical situations with hostile and friendly turning targets.
The tactical shooting range also includes ballistic doors that open to the outside to allow the use of police cars in vehicle training situations. With the option to have a vehicle actually in the shooting range, police officers can practice drawing their weapons while exiting a car and firing from protected positions.
With the help of Action Target, the world’s largest manufacturer of shooting range equipment and technology, Caringella made sure that his range is up to par with law enforcement standards as well as safe and comfortable for all of his customers.
“I’ve been inside shooting ranges my whole life, and I would always come out feeling like I breathed in half of all the debris that went down range,” Caringella said. “I wanted to create a shooting range where you could leave without feeling like you needed to take five showers.”
Caringella said he feels like he has accomplished his goal through the use of quality materials and safety technology. Both ranges are equipped with Carey’s air ventilation systems to protect shooters from lead dust contamination and debris.
“The air coming out of our range is much cleaner than the air you breathe outside,” Caringella said. “Our range presents itself as something you would find in your living room.”
Field Time Target and Training officially opened to the public on May 26. For more information about memberships, hours, and classes, visit their website at www.fieldtimetargetandtraining.com.
During tough economic times, many shooters decide to create or build their own steel targets to save money. With more and more companies and individuals manufacturing steel targets, the water has become increasingly muddy where accurate information is concerned.
Safety should always be the highest priority when choosing or building a target. Action Target’s steel target product line has been developed in conjunction with law enforcement and the U.S. Military for the last 26 years so it is time-tested and proven to withstand even the most intense firearms training.
Steel is Steel Right?
The hardness of the steel is so critical because only a smooth surface will generate predictable splatter patterns. Steel that is not sufficiently hard can develop pits, craters, dimples, and other hazardous deformations. When a bullet hits one of these deformations, it is impossible to predict where the splatter will go, thereby creating an unacceptable training environment.
Many times, shooters find an old piece of steel in their garage and think to themselves, “I can make a good steel target out of this!” While, you may be able to shoot and hit the target, with no problems, it may not always be the safest option every time.
Action Target Steel Target Design
Because steel target training is extremely effective, we have spent years combining high quality materials and practices in order to create innovative, effective, and safe steel target systems.
Our target designs include:
Made exclusively of the finest through hardened 500 and 550 Brinell steel with proper alloy elements that produce the required toughness and depth of hardening. In other words, they can withhold more rounds and they remain solid. The more craters and dents a steel target gets, the more unsafe it becomes. This is because its splatter pattern and ricochet is no longer constant and predictable.
Designed with smooth and flat shooting surfaces for consistent and predictable bullet splatter patterns. There are no dangerous brackets, clamps, or bolts to get in the way and to deflect rounds in unforeseen directions.
Designed to rest at a downward sloping angle, allowing for dissipation of bullet impact energy.
Designed to move when struck allowing for even greater dissipation of bullet impact energy.
Pay Today, Save Tomorrow
Steel targets in general are great investments. Action Target’s steel target product lines aid shooters with their pocketbook. Although these targets can cost more up front, they save money in the long run. Because they are made out of the best steel available, steel targets last much longer than a homemade target would.
In addition to our top quality products, we offer promotions, discount codes, and other types of savings to help our fellow shooters stretch their shooting budget needs. To learn more about Action Targets award-winning line of steel targets, visit http://www.actiontarget.com/portable-targets.
A range is a business. Despite the fact that many people end up turning range operation into a humanitarian effort by working more than 90 hours a week, it must be remembered that most people chose to run a range for the purpose of financial gain. Similarly, the goal for most facilities is to be profitable. However, this is always more difficult to execute than it initially seems. This causes us to ask the question: how can a range raise more of a return on investment?
First off, it must be remembered that the range exists as the profit center to the business. Secondly, a decision needs to be made in regards to the operations of the range. In regard to the commercial value of a range, there are typically two lines of thought in the industry: one is to combine the range with the store, and the second is to not.
If one were to do the simple math of operating a range, the numbers would not point to a viable business plan with the proper rate of return. In contrast, an indoor range working in conjunction with a properly operated store has the ability to produce a significant return on investment and be of great value.
A quick example might be helpful to understand this line of thought. A client comes into the range store and has a desire to purchase a gun for self-defense. Not being familiar with different firearms, the employee in the store can offer consultation and recommendations as to what might be the best choice. Now, if the store were equipped with a shooting range, it would be very easy to take this client onto the range with two or three different guns and to let them have some practical experience to aid in the sale. After the client has first-hand experience with each of the choices, it is much easier to properly guide the clients to make the best choice for their set of circumstances and needs.
Using this small example above, it is easy to see how a range really does have the ability to turn a good store into a great store. This is not a question of price—this is a question of service. The ability to serve the client does matter. While true that today’s marketplace faces the challenge of customers being able to access a limitless amount of information online, in this market, the store that provides a quality service will always prevail.
“If you build it, they will come.” It is always the hope that this adage will prove to be true, and oftentimes ranges are built under that assumption. However, those who run the range must remember that the business plan is the most important thing to take care of because it is what makes sure there is money coming into the register when people visit their range. Whatever programs are initiated for the facility, remember: there must always be a return on investment.
For more help in making your range economically viable and to increase your return on investment, contact your Action Target Territory Manager.
Action Target first worked with Ohio State Highway Patrol back in 1999 when we installed our “state of the art” Total Containment Trap. When it was determined the Highway Patrol would renovate the rest of their existing facility in 2011, we were contacted directly by the architect for specifications on the new equipment that would be provided. Because of the quality, performance, and robust nature of our Total Containment Trap, it was the only piece of equipment not removed and replaced in the 2011 renovation. Due to the heavy use of the range, the project was to be completed on an extremely tight time-line with only six weeks of manufacturing time. Action Target acted as a sub-contractor to Williamson Builders Inc. and together completed the tremendous facility in the time required.
This 24 lane, 25 yard indoor range now provides officers a variety of training options, including timed training qualification courses and decision making drills. In addition, the total containment trap system, and tactical baffle layout allow for dynamic cross lane firing and moving and shooting drills, accomplished under the watchful eye of the RSO through our clear ballistic glass stalls. Such dependability, quality, and versatility are completely unique to Action Target’s design. We thank Ohio State Highway Patrol for their continued business and support!
Editor’s Note: The views in this article are the author’s own and don’t necessarily represent those of Action Target, Inc.
Action Target hosted their 20th Law Enforcement Training Camp earlier this year. While pondering some of the unfortunate recent tragedies that have struck the law enforcement community nationwide — including a higher percentage of lethal attacks against police officers as well as the accidental shooting death of a 24-year-old corrections officer — I thought I’d offer some tactical tips to law enforcement training instructors.
Now, although this piece mentions officers and may be geared towards law enforcement in general, all the points can most definitely apply to the tactical shooting community as a whole. Here’s my advice:
Repetition is the law of learning. The more students accurately perform a variety of techniques, the more comfortable they will become. Tactical training drills allow officers to develop individual skill and assist in building muscle memory.
Muscle memory is a kinesthetic phenomenon whereby specific muscular patterns and movements become ingrained. When movements are repeated over and over, eventually these movements can be performed without conscious effort.
Under such extreme stress, cognitive ability is diminished and thought process is narrowed acutely. When facing the stress of lethal confrontation, officers should not have to think about basic weapons manipulation or marksmanship fundamentals; if they have to think about these basic fundamentals under stress, their chances for losing increase.
On the other hand, regular practice and difficult, realistic, and challenging drills will increase survivability. Repetitive training, therefore, is vitally important when considering survival and life-saving tactical techniques.
As with any type of improvement, officers can never increase their ability unless they fail on occasion. No person can develop unless they try something new and push themselves to the limits. Failure or imperfection on a specific technique or drill is likely to occur. The idea is to have officers meet successes.Small improvements provide satisfaction which, in turn, buoys individual esteem and maintains interest and encourages persistence.
As a training instructor, here are some of the key points to remember during every range training opportunity or any tactical firearms training period.
1) Individuals that are considered “experts” in their chosen field are extremely good at the fundamentals. Focusing on the basics is a positive thing. On occasion, give students something fun too. No one wants to be bored at the range.
2) When training, it is important to remember the end goal: preparing for lethal confrontations. In order to maximize training, (a) the individual shooter should envision that each and every shot during the tactical evolution is, in reality, a lethal force situation; and (b) trainers should mimic real world events. For instance, in my last custom tailored Patrol Rifle Course, I had police officers wear the same Active Shooter go-bag that they carry in their squad cars. I had them reload from that pouch. The feedback was positive, mostly because the training mimicked real circumstances. In short, train as you fight. Don’t say, “In reality we’d do this but we’re not going to train like that.” That’s cheating yourself and your team of valuable training! Cheating or foregoing reality will get someone hurt or killed in the long run.
3) Give students several tools to fill up their tactical toolbox, but focus on what will work best. Remember, it’s not a good tactic if it doesn’t work well(a) on the move, (b) in low-light, or (c) under stress.
4) Start out slowly. Speed will come in time. Or, perhaps once you’ve done some drills at full speed, slow down to quarter or half speed until techniques are perfected, then speed back up.
5) Weapons handling skills can increase dramatically without ever shooting a single round. Dry and/or dummy round training periods are extremely helpful and are all too often overlooked. The nice thing about that is the price is right. With the budget crunch, remember, weapons handling skills doesn’t mean you have to shoot a lot of rounds. In fact, dummy rounds work wonders.
6) Firearms are inherently dangerous. Safety briefings and safety are occasionally thought of as the same thing; we’ve said it and we’ve heard it said a thousand times. Unfortunately, it’s under that premise when accidents happen. Don’t think it will never happen here. Creating an atmosphere where everyone’s comfortable enough to say, “Watch your muzzle” or “Get your finger off the trigger,” is essential. No egos among the instructors or the students. Remember, always keep safety first.
Use these tips for a safer, and more effective, training environment and continue to hone your skills and keep adding to your tactical toolbox.
About Jeffrey Denning
Jeffrey Denning is a former SWAT team leader, security contractor, undercover Federal Air Marshal, and Iraqi War Vet. He is the founder of Warrior SOS and writes tactical articles for Guns.com.