As an instructor, how much pressure does it create, knowing that studies show certain perishable skills can reduce by 50% in two months? Or that other studies have proven that not constantly practicing and performing perishable skills can result in a 25% loss in just two weeks?
Statistics like these should concern instructors, since shooting is considered a perishable skill, and a critical one for all law enforcement to have. While the best course of action to prevent loss of a critical skill is to practice often, it becomes difficult when instructors must transport trainees to and from a range, find ammo funds and practice on a limited number of targets. Not to mention, finding the extra training time amidst the need to train other critical skills such as de-escalation and judgmental use of force.
Thanks to modern technology, one helpful resource instructors now have is the V-Marksmanship® program—a range training program installed on every VirTra simulator. This modern technology allows realistic range training to be performed in the safe, convenient and controlled location of the classroom, saving instructors time and money while allowing these skills to be trained more often.
The convenience continues with the ability to program ranges that are difficult to duplicate in the real world. Now, officers can train in any weather condition—heavy wind, snow, dust— in a variety of environments, with any combination of targets: pepper poppers, Ivans, etc. Having this form of powerful training technology in your classroom allows for more in-depth marksmanship training than before.
In addition to more training possibilities, training via simulators also saves departments a large amount of money. For example, a standard 9mm shot costs an average of $0.51/round. Since simulators utilize CO2 magazines instead of live ammunition, the cost goes down to $0.01/shot. Imagine how much this adds up over the course of a month, or a year! A cost benefit such as this opens up more training, and less skill perishing, for both trainees and seasoned officers. Instructors can read more about the benefits of drop-in laser recoil kits and their corresponding CO2 magazines here.
While simulated ranges boast a variety of benefits, VirTra would like to note that simulated range training should act as a supplement to live fire training and not a full replacement. While simulated range training will never completely eliminate the need for live fire, it provides ample real-life training opportunities between trips to the range.
Whether your department travels to the range once a year or once a quarter, training with V-Marksmanship ensures your officer’s shooting skills remain sharp at all times.
To learn more, download VirTra Subject Matter Expert TJ Alioto’s 2021 ILEETA presentation.