Realistic Live Fire Training at Troy’s Gate
Oleg Volk 09.20.16
Michelle saw movement at the far end of the house. A scruffy man in a hoodie saw her too, and turned with a revolver already in hand. She drew her pistol and tried to shoot, forgetting that it wasn’t her usual DAO Sig…
The intruder got off two shots before she remembered to disengage the safety of her 1911, and one more before she calmed down enough to aim instead of sending the bullets over his head. The scenario ended, and Michelle stumbled out of the shoot house, shaking and covered in sweat.
Troy’s Gate is located in Lenoir, North Carolina. They travel as well, and can bring the training event to you. The genius of the setup is that it is portable, safe, and very realistic. The trainee isn’t fighting against video clips or computer simulations. Each actor is a living, thinking, scheming foe who can adjust the scenario on the fly. Some episodes are not supposed to end in gunfire. Others require thinking fast and shooting even faster. The actor might say “I give up, man!” while bringing a 12-gauge to bear on you. There may be two “no shoot” bystanders in partial overlap with an armed foe.
As the muzzle blast from the perp’s shotgun reaches the bullet-permeable mirror, we can see how this training is set up. The trainee and the actors are separated by a bulletproof wall, facing the same mylar mirror with a backstop behind it. The bullets go harmlessly through the image, leaving almost imperceptible marks. Multiple video cameras are used record the performance for later debriefing. The red lines encompass the safe zones.
The method works well up close, but also allows larger scale outdoor scenarios. Troy’s Gate home location has a 200 yard sniper training alley, which also doubles as a roadblock training scenario. The people who come up with the concepts all have military and law enforcement backgrounds, so the learning moments are based in real life experience.
Sometimes the threats are obvious, like the angry man with a shotgun. Could he be just the decoy for a less obvious rifleman hiding in the shadows further down the path? Troy’s Gate isn’t a shooting school, rather they teach a thinking and fighting, in that order. Their scenario library has hundreds of configurations, including setups for airborne operations.
Take a look at their web site for videos and more detailed explanations of how it works. The round count for such scenarios is low. Michelle and I together shot under fifty rounds that entire day. The amount of learning was high, and the learning was of the more cerebral variety than usual. I recommend this type of training highly, especially if you can bring your team or your family members to participate with you.