I recently purchased the SafetyOn software package at a price of $47.99 (shipping included) from http://www.safetyon.com/index.htm
The program, available on CD-Rom for Windows or MAC, is billed as " The Comprehensive Interactive Guide to Firearm Safety and Responsible Handgun Ownership".
The visuals, soundtrack and animation are all first rate. Each section is introduced by a speaker and the user then controls the program by clicking on various topics, subtopics and copious visuals. In many cases the visuals may be moved in 3-D to better understand the functions of various weapons.
The course is broken down into five topics: Basics, Safety, Sports, Defense and Care. Movement between sections is simple and straightforward.
The Basics section starts off with the Heritage of firearms in America, intro to different types of handguns, their function and parts, grip, sight alignment, trigger control and breathing. I was very impressed to note that there is neither mention nor endorsement of Point vs. Front Sight or Weaver vs. Isoceles. Yet, the basics of all of the above are explained in an interactive and enjoyable manner. Do's and don'ts are highlighted (milking, the teacup hold, flinching, etc). Lasers are explained and relegated to a fun toy, not a replacement for practice. At the end of this section is some interesting information about the Second Amendment and it's history.
The Safety section is comprehensive and thoroughly explains the rules of firearms safety. There is an excellent discussion of storage methods from bedside drawer to trigger locks to lock boxes to safes to auto transport....pros and cons of each are discussed. Protection of eyes and ears is covered. Range safety is set up as a separate subtopic and is well covered. A separate section is dedicated to drugs and alcohol. Yet another section discusses statistics for firearms accidents.
The Sports section discusses a variety of shooting sports, their applications, equipment and how to get involved.
The Defense module includes legal consideration for concealed carry, various forms of HTH weapons (including knives, batons, sprays, electronic stunners and martial arts weapons), mindset, tactics and more. Again, there is a separate section filled with relevant statistics.
The Care section discusses products and methods for maintaining your weapon, choice of bullets and the like. It has more than sufficient detail.
All in all, I give this program *very* high marks. While it is a bit too "pro-gun" to be accepted as a general firearms safety course in our schools it would be appropriate in a number of other areas. Certainly, the novice shooter or about-to-be novice shooter can learn a *great* deal from this program. Combined with formal instruction or CCW course, it can replace or reinforce lecture material in a substantive way. It is impressive that the authors manage to cover all the bases without straying into areas that might spark individual controversy (stances, calibers, pistol vs semiauto).
Criticisms? I would prefer to see the Safety Rules published right up front in addition to the Safety section. The program has the ability to set up a "student record", which bookmark's your progress. If Section tests were administered and stored, this would be valuable and fun.
In sum, I *highly* recommend this software as an addition to every shooter's and trainer's library. The information is not likely to be dated and you never know when someone might indicate an interest in learning a bit more about firearms before their first range trip.
[This message has been edited by Rich Lucibella (edited March 23, 1999).]