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Old September 27, 2000, 04:05 PM   #1
the_Rebel
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Last evening I had the opportunity to visit the local PD (noo, not like that, it was friendly) and was invited to try their simulator.

I was handed a Glock 17 (barrel changed to shoot a laser and recvr mod to fire compressed air, causing cycle) and an OC cannister (pulsed laser, no gas) and stood in front of an 8'x10' view screen. Initial instructions were, "you are on routine patrol and you see..."

The movie starts (there is a computer operator behind a screen that can alter the scene depending on actions/reactions of the subject) and I am in a marked unit driving past a city park. There is an adult female and ~10yr old girl standing near the road. The adult (mother?) strikes the youngster visciously across the face. Sees the unit and rolls her eyes and turns away. The unit (me) stops and gets out of the vehicle. On foot at a distance of 10'-15', I ask "Mam. would you come over here and talk with me, please?". The woman doesn't respond, but the child responds in spanish (of which I speak very little). She says "Mi Madres ista somethingorother..." The woman turns and sits down on a bench with her hands around her purse and won't make eye contact. I just got the words out to the effect of 'oh great'...when she draws a handgun from her purse and fires.

I recognized the threat and came on target at least as fast as she did...but the operator behind the curtain had one more surprise...the Glock misfires (I call it cheatin' but he was at the controls)...I move towards cover (about 3' to my left) while looking stupidly at the (fake) weapon thinking 'did it fire, or not?' The op says "malfunction" and I finished the tap rack and doubled to end the threat.

Since I don't work for him, he wouldn't give full critique. I'm sure you guys will :-) Or ask about the simulator, it was pretty cool.

Rick
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Old September 27, 2000, 08:17 PM   #2
LASur5r
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Rebel,
That is too cool.
I wish I could learn that way...Can you promise to post some more scenarios as you get to practice?

Over here, the local Lt. asked some of us to help his guys out with simunition guns. I used to be on 24 hour call and some nights when things were dull for some of LEO's I'd get a call.
The LT. wanted some of us non-LEO's to play BG's and innocent victims because we supposedly operate differently
It's lots of fun.

Rebel, maybe you can suggest that to the person who invited you to play with the computer simulator? IMHO it's even more fun that the computer...although you get to see it from an LEO's view. The simunitions practice, you get to be on the offensive as the BG.

I'm envious, Rebel...Have fun and learn a lot.
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Old September 27, 2000, 11:39 PM   #3
sigmund
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I got to use the same set-up at my local range when I took their Personal Protection Course. It's called the FATS machine (FireArms Training System). This one had a Glock 17 and a SIG 226. The handguns are the real hardware, non-functional, and are connected to a CO2 tank. They go boom and have muzzle flip when you pull the trigger. And they stop shooting after 15 shots, and you have to drop the mag and reinsert it, simulating a reload. For civilian applications, you are put in various levels of threatening situations: home invasion, BGs in a parking garage, couple of guys approaching you at a drive-up ATM, etc. You have to decide at what point the threat justifies use of the gun. Sometimes they back off, sometimes they don't. It got some juices flowing, and the accuracy of your shooting (usually not too good, especially the first time) is tracked very well. This is a privately owned range open to the public. Anyone can use the FATS for $30/hour. The simulations are on CD-ROM, and they have a ton of them. They are projected on a large screen with a front projector, so the BGs look pretty close to life size. I've seen articles about the FATS, and its use seems to be growing. You may have one in your area. (I am in Des Moines.)
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Old September 28, 2000, 10:09 AM   #4
LASur5r
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Anyone know of the FATS machine availability for civilians in soCal?
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Old September 28, 2000, 10:49 AM   #5
David Scott
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Anyone know of a directory of all such machines available for public use? I'm sure a lot of TFLers would like to know.
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Old September 28, 2000, 11:55 AM   #6
the_Rebel
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http://www.fatsinc.com/

The above web page has links that show new installations. I can't find/see any that are public. It would sure seem to make sense to install one at a public range as described by sigmund, but haven't found one on the left coast (yet).

This (FATS) doesn't look like the same sim I got to play on. The Glock was a real one with components changed out to work with the sim. The mag was actually loaded with special round charged with ~3000psi to provide recoil and slide op. Not sure if or when I'll get to go again, but I like LAsur suggestion of the simunitions BG!

One of the 'other' toys that y'all will probably recognize is the RedMan. The recruits really (mostly) like it. If we could figure out a way around the insurance problems it would be fun to be the BG in the RedMan suit. Probably couldn't take the job away from the training unit, they enjoy it waaaayyy too much.

gotta pretend to work for awhile....
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Old September 28, 2000, 12:41 PM   #7
tprT
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I have used both the FATS system and the AIS ( www.firearmstraining.com ) system to train on. The AIS is by far the better of the two because, as rebel said, it is a real weapon converted to shoot the bullets using compressed air. The weapon is not tethered as it is in the FATS system, allowing you to move and use cover. Also, the computer operator controls a small gun of his own that is attached above the screen. He uses a joystick and laser sight to operate this gun from his position. As he watches the student on a video screen he can use the laser sight to aim at parts of the student not behind cover and can shoot a .68 cal nylon ball with great accuracy. It won't injure but sure does teach a lesson!
However, my opinion is (for what it's worth) you can not beat training with simunitions for the next best thing to reality. Right down to human adversaries, reloading and stoppages this is as real as you can safely get. Besides, it's a hell of a lot of fun!
Saty safe,
T

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Old September 28, 2000, 12:44 PM   #8
tprT
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Sorry guys, a more direct link for the AIS simulator is www.firearmstraining.com/ais.html

T

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Old September 28, 2000, 07:17 PM   #9
LASur5r
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tprT,
Since you have had experience with the different systems...how do you compare paintball to simunitions practice?
To you which is more realistic training?

You lucky person...there's got to be better and more realistic methods of practice available for us civilians.

Any body know of other methods?
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Old September 28, 2000, 07:39 PM   #10
tprT
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LASur5r,
Paintball and simunitions? For tactics, use of cover,etc... in my opinion both are similar. However, when it comes to weapon handling it's simunitions hands down. Not even a second thought...not even close. With simunitions, I am able to use an exact copy of the weapon I carry on duty (Glock 17). There are two versions of the glock simmunition guns...one is a conversion, the other is made by glock and will only ever fire simmunition rounds. The polymer portion of this gun is blue. The other gun we use is the MP5 with the conversion kit (now we're having fun!) Anyway, these act exactly like our duty weapons, same magazines, same # of rounds, same problems associated with a gun fight (reloading, stoppages) and we can use and draw from our holsters just like in real life. Plus they can be used anywhere in any scenario. Building searches, traffic stops, suspicious persons. And for civilians..carjackings, robberies, home invasion. Your training with simmunitions is only limited by the number of scenarios your imagination can come up with.
So, between FATS, AIS, paintball or simmunitions, there is no question as to which provides the most realism. If you can find a place to use them, you won't be disapointed.

T

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Old September 28, 2000, 08:11 PM   #11
LASur5r
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tprT,
I'm glad to see your department cares to give you guys the very best.
I am not an LEO, but I had been assigned to work with our local agency, mostly warrants on gang houses, etc..for the last eight years.
The Lt. that I reported to wants his guys to be well trained, but his bosses put a budget on them so the only thing available was simunitions training in abandoned houses or businesses.
One time he needed some guys to play BG's so he asked two of us.
We went into an abandoned store that still had electricity and the first trainees showed up. The only thing they knew was it was a report of a robbery.
They came in cautiously but guns still in holsters.
My friend had put an apron on, gun under apron. He talked in this horrendous accent that no one could understand, he drew down on them and shot both of them.
We did variations of that on four other trainees that night.

Is there some scenarios that you can share with the TFL'ers?

Thanks in advance and keep your head down and stay safe.
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Old September 29, 2000, 11:44 AM   #12
the_Rebel
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Tr,

AIS is the one I got to play on. Didn't catch the name of it when we were there but I can recognize it from your description and the web page. I have looked on the web trying to find civilian availability for sims and it doesn't appear to be common. Might try to call the manufacturers and see if they know about some installs.

Haven't had the chance to try simunitions yet, but have heard ALOT about it. Sounds like the biggest problem is that since the training is with one's own weapon GREAT care must be taken to ensure ALL live ammo is out of the area.

Rick
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Old September 29, 2000, 12:02 PM   #13
tprT
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Rick,
Absolutely safety is the MAIN concern. As I said, Glock makes a gun just for simunition. The polymer portion of the gun is a light blue. I'm sure it's expensive and don't know of the availability to civilians or of the ammo's availability. I've never seen the glock pistols advertised but that is what my dept. owns. There are also some training schools that advertise the use of simunitions in classes if that is an option to you.
I've got some plans for retirement in this area but not for some time yet. Sorry.

Good luck in your training,
T



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Old September 29, 2000, 12:33 PM   #14
Lavan
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I...KNEW....there was a reason I carry a revolver.
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Old September 30, 2000, 03:30 PM   #15
JVC450
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Wow,
Great discussion on the simulation training.
Let me give you some background.
Simunition was designed in the early 80's by three guys, one named Ken Murray.
When you are talking about simunition rounds, what you are really talking about is the FX marking cartrige manufactured by the company "simunition" this may not seem important except for the fact, Simuniton makes many types of ammo that will kill you.
Ken Murray is the director of training for Armiger Police Training. He headed up the training for Simunition for may years. He is the person that wrote the training manual and continues to train law enforcement and other trainers in the art of senario based training.
As far as "getting" the students when you are the bad guy. As we all know the concept of action vs. reaction, we can "get" someone else if they don't know what we are going to do. The concept designed around this type of training is to make the student stronger through experienced based training. This helps the student survive when they encounter these type of situations on the street.
So the fun, when your playing the "B.G." is seeing students/officers become stronger and getting the skills they need to make it home after a long day at the office. If the officer fails because the B.G. is always playing the "got you" and not getting survival skills training you are sending them in the wrong direction.
This type of training is 99% mental 1%ammo. Remember training is to make the student stronger, not for instructors to make the students fail.
Anyways, the glock "blue" gun is the Glock FXT. it sells for about $450.00. Simunitions now has a conversion kit about $150.00. Other kits are available for most autos and for you revolver shooters the make a .38cal FX round.
To get the rounds as a civilian you must get certified as an instructor.
The Glock Gun is an AFT restricted gun, why? Their ATF, any question??

Stay safe, keep on fighting the good fight.
JVC450
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Old October 1, 2000, 11:28 AM   #16
tprT
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JVC,
Thanks for that information. Like I said earlier, once you're trained in firearms I believe that training with the simunition (FX) is the most realistic training you can get. You can train on your own make of weapon helping with reloading and stoppage problems under stress, and the mindset training involved is invaluable. Just one suggestion while we're on mindset - if you're hit, even in what may be a fatal zone, KEEP GOING! Count the hits and misses when it's over. Don't get in the habit of saying "oh nice heart shot...I'm done.
Just a couple of questions JVC, when you use the conversion kit can you convert the weapon back or is it permanent? I have heard that it is a permanent (expensive ) conversion. Also, even though I am LE, where can you get the training you mentioned?
Thanks,
T

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