Derrick F. and his family live in a small Georgia town.
Around 2:30am one morning, Derrick and his wife awoke to alerts on their phones telling them that the front door of the home had opened.
Derrick got out of bed to investigate and grabbed his gun.
As he walked into one of the bedrooms, a male jumped from the closet.
Derrick fired at the male, killing him.
Sadly, Derrick’s teenage daughter had sneaked in her boyfriend. Then she hid him in a closet when she realized her parents were awake.
When they asked, she told their parents that no one was in the house.
After the shooting, Derrick tried to help the young man.
He told dispatchers:
“He’s dead. I can’t do anything. I can’t do anything. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
“He shouldn’t have been in my house!”
Derrick told police he thought the teenager was an intruder about to attack him.
No charges were filed against Derrick.
According to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office…
“He knew there was a stranger in the house and he was protecting himself and protecting his family”.
This was a real-life scenario that can be difficult to train for.
This is why virtual reality firearm training has increased in popularity over the years.
The training is designed to help police officers (and civilians) deescalate situations and make tough calls in use-of-force scenarios.
This type of virtual training used to only be designed for military and law enforcement.
But with state-of-the-art shooting ranges available to the public, more people can access the technology.
So, is virtual reality firearm training worth the time and money for the average shooter, or should you just go to your local range as you’ve always done?
What is a virtual range?
Virtual ranges are a whole different experience…
There is no live ammo. You don’t need eye or ear protection.
A virtual range projects an image from a computer onto a large screen that the shooter can interact with.
The range uses special weapons.
When the shooter fires at the screen, it registers where the shot hit.
The range software provides real-time data to assess the performance, giving the shooter feedback on their skills.
The benefits of virtual ranges:
The weapons used in virtual ranges are very similar to real guns.
For example, if you carry a Glock 19, many virtual ranges have this same gun but built or modified for virtual training.
From pistols to rifles, virtual ranges have the training guns.
Yet they are so similar to the real ones that many people wouldn’t know the difference.
The biggest advantage to virtual ranges is the different scenarios you can train for.
From home invasions to active shooter situations, the virtual software can create scenarios to hone your skills.
Another advantage to virtual ranges is the number of “rounds” you can fire compared to real live training.
For example, in virtual firearm training, you could shoot thousands of rounds and you won’t break the bank.
Also, virtual ranges allow you to practice skills that you can’t at live-fire ranges.
For example, you can practice drawing from concealed carry, or moving and shooting.
Again, these are things you might not be able to do at a live-fire range.
The drawbacks to virtual reality firearm training:
As mentioned, the weapons used in virtual training are very similar to real guns.
But with important differences….
For instance, they might not require cocking as the real weapon would.
Also, when it comes to malfunctions, and ammo reloads, these aren’t the same when using a training weapon.
In addition, the training weapons lack the real-life recoil of firing the gun, which means you can take follow-up shots a lot faster and easier than with a live gun.
So, there’s a danger that training with virtual firearms might convince a shooter their skills are more advanced than they actually are.
But there’s no doubt that virtual reality firearm training has its benefits.
If you have the opportunity to go to a virtual range and experience scenario-based training you should try it to see how you like it.
You may choose to use this type of training more than your time on a live range.
But don’t make it your only training…
You still need to go to the range and get the feel of live-fire training.