Making multiple trips out to the range and spending money on ammunition can be expensive. Simulation technology allows trainees to practice in their agency’s own facility and hone their skills before switching to live fire. While this technology is not meant to replace live fire training, it is designed to enhance it and prepare officers or servicemembers so that they perform better on the range.
With the proper simulator that has enhanced ballistics and tracking capabilities, instructors can deliver a training experience that not only saves time and money, but will give students better scores when they step on the range. By practicing in the simulator first, students can perfect their aim and waste less ammo on the live fire range.
Dave Patterson, a Criminal Justice Instructor at Northwest College in Powell, WY, uses his VirTra V-300® to teach three firearms courses that range from introductory to intermediate. Amazingly, during Patterson’s 2018 Fall and Spring semesters, roughly 70% of his students began with little or no pistol experience prior to the course. But by the end of the semester, the average on-range POST score was over 90%. Through extensive practice and use of VirTra’s simulation, students learned transferrable skills at a higher percentage than in years prior. Patterson noticed that students who get high scores in the simulator only experience a 2% score drop on the range.
Real world conditions are never perfect, so why should they be in your simulator? Instructors have the freedom to customize range conditions all from the click of a button; whether its snow, wind, rain, fog or dust. Change the position of the sun to add the distraction of glare, or even let trainees practice in complete nighttime.
The same applies to targets and obstacles within the range. Train in a situation where moving targets pop into view from behind obstacles and through windows, or use traditional human-shaped targets that fall when shot.
VirTra’s technology lets officers and warfighters train using their own weapon – anywhere from a Glock to an automatic assault rifle. This is possible through the numerous recoil kits and CO2 magazines that fit dozens of firearm types. The V-ST PRO® is the best simulator for marksmanship out of all VirTra’s options due to its range-like structure, .02 milliradians accuracy and the ability to have up to six firing lanes per screen. Up to five screens can be added, allowing 30 trainees to practice at once.
Aside from precise ballistics, all of VirTra’s marksmanship simulations are designed to have perspective accuracy; meaning users can kneel, crouch or lay prone without having to tilt their weapon upwards to meet the target onscreen. During the after-action report, students and instructors can view performance, such as targets hit and missed as well as bullet placement.
How could your department benefit from the ability to train on a virtually unlimited variety of targets and courses? Naturally, this would be an incredible asset for any agency. Fortunately, this ability is provided via VirTra’s V-Marksmanship program, which is installed on every VirTra simulator.
Granted, there are some individuals who hold reservations about simulation training, stating that in-person marksmanship training is best. While VirTra believes range training is the best form of Marksmanship training, relying solely on this form of training limits an officer’s ability to train, as it costs the department significantly in time, money and personnel to have constant on-range training days.
Instead, range training should be balanced with simulation range training, which brings the range into the classroom. Here, instructors can use customizable environments and add an unlimited number of targets, environmental effects—wind direction and speed, weather, altitude, humidity, etc.—and other variables in a variety of distances to test and hone an officer’s skill.
Targets can be programmed to move front-to-back, left-to-right or in a box shape, all at different speeds. Training after this manner allows instructors to help trainees develop firearm manipulation skills in a safe environment that otherwise could not be performed on al live fire range. Furthermore, instructors need not fear about training scars or inaccuracies in the system, as independent third parties have verified VirTra’s firearms training simulators to be ballistically accurate.
While verification is good to know, what does it mean for customers? Showing that VirTra’s V-Marksmanship program is equipped with ballistic accuracy ensures an officer’s time spent training on the simulator can increase skills—skills that are ultimately transferred to the field.
For VirTra, it also shows the fruits of our labors to produce training simulators with the highest level of realism. All of the years of engineering effort, software development and testing were combined to create a powerful product any agency can benefit from.
But most of all, third-party verification shows that your officers receive the maximum amount of training and preparedness—no matter your department’s size, budget or other constraints.
To learn more about V-Marksmanship, instructors can watch this program in action below or contact a VirTra representative to learn more.
Train hard, train realistically, train for the field.
VirTra’s V-ST PRO® firing range simulator is an excellent marksmanship tool for police departments worldwide. It’s V-Marksmanship® program is a highly effective tool for training and maintaining law enforcement marksmanship. (While the V-Marksmanship program is equipped on all simulators, this article focuses on the abilities of the V-ST PRO’s V-Marksmanship program.) Here are a few ways VirTra’s firing simulator provides a superior training experience and helps supplement training in a traditional firing range:
The V-Marksmanship program allows instructors to use pre-designed environments and add an unlimited number of targets, environmental affects—wind direction and speed, weather, etc.— and other variables in a variety of distances to test and hone an officer’s skill.
Training after this manner allows instructors to test in multiple situations; something that is not able to be duplicated on the range. For instance, a certain day at the range may offer 80 degrees with a 5mph wind coming from the north and 30% humidity. This is the only variable an officer will train on that day. But with a simulator, instructors can change the variables drastically for every single shot.
Traditional firing ranges offer minimal variables for marksmanship training. For example, targets on ranges often are only able to “move” along motorized wires, track systems or are attached to robotic systems. While these options are certainly better than standard stationary targets, it could be more.
The V-Marksmanship program allows targets to be programmed to move front to back, left to right or in a box shape—and at different speeds. Now when officers stand in front of the V-ST PRO, they can engage in a training situation that would not be possible in the field.
Going into the V-Marksmanship technology, the program is equipped with an accurate ballistics calculator. This ballistics calculator duplicates the speed, trajectory and aim based on the type of weapon fired and the selected weather conditions. Furthermore, it is independently verified up to 2,500 meters with .02 milliradians accuracy—thus providing a powerful training that other marksmanship training simulator programs cannot provide.
While the simulator, programs and technology are excellent, training is taken to the next level with the officer’s weapons. VirTra offers multiple weapon options to best fit the department’s needs:
• Recoil Kit— The drop-in laser recoil kit is just as it sounds. This kit is dropped into an officer’s duty weapon and outfitted with a laser, allowing it to interact with the simulator.
• CO2 Magazine— As for the CO2 magazine, this provides realistic recoil as the officer pulls the trigger. Instructors can choose to outfit their trainee’s weapons with the just the recoil kit, or the recoil kit plus the magazine for added realism.
• Non-Guns— VirTra also offers non-guns, which mitigate real weapons being brought into the training environment. For maximum realism, each non-gun tool has replicated the shape and weight of the weapon it represents: the Glock 17/22 will look, feel and act like a Glock 17/22.
VirTra’s firing range simulators and accessories are much more customizable and powerful than any traditional firing range, making them an ideal supplement for officer marksmanship training. With a wide variety of pre-programmed and customizable environments, variables and weapons, this program can take marksmanship training to the next level. Learn more by contacting a VirTra specialist.