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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Tucson via Detroit
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    627

    Default The Value of UTM for Civilian, LE and Mil force on force.

    This post isn’t intended to discuss the value of force on force as I feel that conversation is rather moot. If as modern students of the gun you haven’t found the value in training against actively resisting partners, your belief in your capabilities might not be based in reality. This post is however intended to discuss the value and benefits of UTM over some of the other options that might be available to us.

    For us mere civilians, when all is said and done, Airsoft is about the only viable option we have. Airsoft’s benefit to us is that it’s widely available and inexpensive. We can go to a local Walmart and purchase BB’s or propane, and we’re set for a day of training. It requires no special gear or venue, just a paintball mask (or just goggles if you’re a bit of a masochist) and your garage will suffice.

    Were Airsoft starts to veer off the “Beneficial Highway” is when attempting to make accurate shots outside of 20 feet (always exceptions with different equipment), factors such as wind on such a light projectile, ambient temperature, and the amount of gas left in the gun, can make for a less than beneficial outing. Where Airsoft sees its “crash and burn” moments, is in its durability. Airsoft equipment can be extremely fragile and finicky. Aside from the time wasted trying to fix the gun during a training evolution, the cost of replacing these guns every other time they’re used, really starts to ebb away at their “value”.

    A few weeks back I had the opportunity to experiment with UTM. Our own Jeromy Hasenkamp was in Prescott and brought some items out for us to try, including various ammunition types and conversion kits. That’s correct folks, conversions; as in you can use your actual carry pistol or rifle.

    The immediate benefit is of course being about to use your actual carry or duty weapons. Not all conversions are the same as some pistols required a complete upper swap while other models can simply change out the barrel. Most rifles are easily converted with a BCG change, including some gas piston varieties.
    The second benefit is the accuracy provided with these munitions. UTM’s Man Marker Rounds, out of a 9mm pistol, have an advertised maximum effective range of 30 meters. I saw Gabe and a few others consistently hitting an 8” plate at about 15-20 yards with this stuff.

    Finally, one of the types of ammo that is offered is blank firing rounds. These were very quiet and expelled nothing out the barrel, making them ideal for a pistol ground fighting class like the one Brent is having at the end of January. The value of being able to use my carry gear in such an environment simply cannot be over emphasized.

    So what is the draw back? I’d imagine most would say cost. Yes, it’s not as inexpensive as Airsoft, but quality gear by definition isn’t. Yes, there is at a minimum a helmet with face shield that needs to be purchased since the typical paintball masks are inefficient. However, to quote Greg, if “ballistic masturbation” is more important to you than Force on Force (yes, it will magnify your deficiencies and probably bruise your ego) then carry on. If you’re looking for equipment that’ll allow you the opportunity to verify your abilities, I’d highly recommend reaching out to Jeromy.
    Last edited by CDX09; 11-14-2016 at 12:47 PM. Reason: Image wouldn't load so removed.
    The biggest hindrance to adaptability is ego.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    367
    I bought a gas powered M4 & Walther P-99
    a few years ago. I run propane for economy,
    and the heaviest pellets I can find, for more
    felt recoil. Magazine pouches, holsters, slings
    and optics all work with the airsoft guns from
    my real gear.

    I will often have my son set up ipsc targets
    around the driveway & house for me to clear.
    I can safely shoot 360 degrees in my yard with
    no safety concerns and without my neighbors
    knowing what I'm doing.

    The buy in is a little steep, but it makes for
    some fairly realistic training, within reason,
    at very affordable rates for rounds/pellets
    down range.

    AS does have some obvious limitations, but
    it has some good advantages, as well.

    John

    Edit to add: I misunderstood what UTM is/was.
    My bad, but I'll leave my post intact.
    Last edited by Johnny C!; 11-14-2016 at 04:28 PM. Reason: Added note.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    961
    Thanks CDX for the thread. It was great getting to expose the attendees at Gabe's Instructor Class to UTM. I believe though it was actually 30 yards that Gabe was hitting steel at.

    John, Airsoft is a decent tool. However there are a lot more limitations to it. CDX, how many drills/ failures did you guys have during the demo of the Force on Force drills with Airsoft? How many did we have during the hands on portion and shooting drills we did with UTM?

    We were able to get realistic gunfight distance from contact all the way to about 30 yards and probably beyond when running UTM drills.

    CDX, what did you think about the demo with me shooting myself at point blank with UTM in the cargo pocket? And what did the other folks say about when I shot them on 2 layers of clothing and 1 layer of clothing? Some said it seemed to hurt less than Airsoft? Thoughts? There is still a pain penalty but it isn't unbearable or require a ton of expensive protective gear like some of the other NLTA (Non-Lethal Training Ammos) on the market.
    Kamp

    Kamp's Suarez International Training Schedule
    (and no, unfortunately it isn't the summer camp for our kids we all want to send them to)
    Pacific Tactical Website
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    Twitter: @pacifictactical

    "Progress comes to those who train and train; reliance on secret techniques will get you nowhere."
    Morihei Ueshiba

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    SW Florida
    Posts
    279
    Been working with UTM since 2011 and Simunition before that. UTM was a giant step forward and the variety of training rounds open up virtually limitless possibilities for Force on Force, with or without projectiles. The reliability of the UTM Man Marker Rounds (MMR) is simply amazing compared to the FX cartridges that you have to run a cleaning rod down the barrel every 20 rds or so. I have UTM guns that I have yet to clean even once, and have gone through several hundred rounds a piece. Plus the realism of dealing with stoppages (actual or staged) the same way you would with an actual firearm makes for consistent training. The guns take a beating like no airsoft weapon could dream of.

    You need a light cover garment like a BDU shirt, with throat and groin protection and the cost is a bit higher than gas and pellet systems, but to me that is a fair trade for the benefits of a more realistic and beneficial training experience.

    Kamp did a great demo at the SI Combat Arms Instructor School last week and gave everyone a chance to see FoF technology usually restricted to LE and Mil.
    Last edited by Fletch Fuller; 11-18-2016 at 04:54 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Tucson via Detroit
    Posts
    627
    Yeah, you're probably right about the distance. I was busy fondling all the other gear you brought while they were doing that. I now I personally hit steel at about 20 yards, POA/POI.

    In regards to failures, I've been to classes where students have to conduct failure drills after each shot with Airsoft pistols. As a matter of fact, the last Gunfighter School I went to, I ended up loaning my pistol to another student since theirs was having constant issues. During the force on force demonstration and while conducting scenarios, I didn't witness any malfunctions with the UTM equipped pistols.

    My opinion on the pain scale is that I found UTM to sting less than a paintball round and even less than a fully gassed Airsoft pistol. Though completely subjective, when you shot me with it from a few feet away, I was really surprised at how little it stung. I assumed it'd would have been much worse considering the safety briefing we received on the product and associated gear. I remember when you shot Gerald, he gave you a look that implied "have you shot me yet?". I don't want to mislead people into thinking there will be zero pain involved with the use of UTM. The fact that these training rounds have no ballistic effect necessitates the need for some sort of pain compliance, but I would still feel comfortable running a scenario without a hoodie.
    The biggest hindrance to adaptability is ego.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    SW Florida
    Posts
    279
    It seems that no matter how well we maintain and care for our Airsoft gear, it is prone to leaking seals and not being there when you want it.

    I remember wanting to pad up more and thinking it was gonna be worse, but ended up stripping down to a BDU top and it ended up being about the same... minus the stoppages.
    Last edited by Fletch Fuller; 11-18-2016 at 04:54 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    OH
    Posts
    16
    Thread bump. On force on force tools, I did find the RAP4 468, which seems like a good option.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,248
    I was at a get-together where Doc Kibbey demonstrated UTM. Very interesting.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    The Republic of Pirates
    Posts
    43,672
    By the end of 2017 we will no longer be using airsoft in our classes. It will simply not be allowed.

    It will be UTM only. Yes it will cost a little bit more but those shopping for training only on price are not the students we want.
    Gabe Suarez

    To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing,
    unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.


    ― Winston Churchill


    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    South East US
    Posts
    1,346
    UTM also allows you to use your exact weapon with all of it's gear, optic, etc. thus making for much more realistic training. Subsequently more confidence in both your gear and your training....a very important intangible asset!!!

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