Shooting Simulators and The Evolution of The Trainer

January 16, 2018

Shooting Simulators and The Evolution of The Trainer

by Ian D Scofield

Law enforcement officers and agents have a lot of tools on hand from their words to their firearms. A lot of people focus very heavily on the firearm.  It is one of the tools that demands a lot of practice, religious practice.  There are a lot of options out there for firearms training and there are options that are soon to come.

Today we are going to take a look at some of the options both you and your department have to keep up on your weapons skills.  And the potential of VR to be the next big police shooting simulator.

FATS Training Simulator

FATS is a fairly well-known option for firearms training.  It is a portable training system that uses a laptop, projector, 3D sound system, and training weapons.  Up to 6 of these simulators can be connected and there are over 250 different simulations with more than 4 times that in options for how the simulations can go.

The system allows for very realistic imagery and videos to allow for the situation to feel like it would in the field.  However, it does not surround you, you look straight forward and engage with the projector screen.

Ti Training

Ti Training creates a variety of different simulation products that range from the very basic police training to a taser training simulator.  These simulators have over 800 different scenarios that you can engage in to further your training.  Ti also has options for military training and school training.  Any department with a school in their jurisdiction could benefit from the trainer.

Another one of their systems is UltraWorld where a full shoot house with multiple configurations is set up and four projectors are placed around the shoot house to add different scenarios.  Based on how officers interact with the shoot house, the results will change.

The firing line option allows you to have virtual firearms training that allows for officers to practice their weapon skills and get rated, just like a shooting range.  Ballistics can even be configured to match individual duty weapons.


ViraTra is another maker of Law Enforcement training programs.  They make a variety of options but the ViraTra 300 is one of the coolest.  Utilizing multiple screens, you have a 300 degree environment to train in.  It allows for a more realistic simulation than some other options out there.

Not only is the system used for use of force training but de-escalation training.  That allows you to get a full experience.

Up to 15 different firing lanes can be set up with the program in order to train part of a class (or a whole class) at the same time.

Virtual Reality

Where is firearms training going from here? With the public introduction of virtual reality there is a new potential for training.  Currently, you can’t train with realistic guns in either the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive but that doesn’t mean there isn’t potential.  Two games: Range Day VR and Hot Dogs, Horseshoes, and Hand Grenades both allow for you to go shooting at a realistic range.  They also allow you to take on various shooting scenarios.

Not only are you able to go to these realistic atmospheres, they are 360 degree visuals and interaction.  You can even move physically around the environment. This adds a new level of realism to dry fire or off the range training.  It takes the forward looking projector and adds to the realism.  Some companies are also exploring the ability to use real camera footage to make VR programs.

Further enhancing the realism of the system, you can fully interact with the virtual guns. Rack the slide, adjust the fire selector, eject the magazine, and even load the magazine.

Other programs have come out, like the military simulator Onward, which place you in a 3D world in which you have to use realistic weapons in order to engage in multiple different military situations.  Software like this could be adapted to law enforcement training.

Take a look at one of these systems and decide if one could save your academy or department money on training, or add to the level  of authenticity of your training.  There should be a quick note that this is just a list of some of the simulator options out there.  It is not comprehensive and we do not get any money.

Stay safe out there.

About The Author:

Ian is a staff writer at APTI and hospital security officer at a major medical center who has a

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a Specialization in Administration of Justice. He has

held multiple positions in the security industry from patrol supervisor to auxiliary public safety

officer. At APTI he brings his writing skills to help further the careers of others and provide

quality content. Feel free to visit his freelancing site or his creative writing site.

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