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.
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The biggest hindrance to adaptability is ego.