Having a good guy with a gun around when danger hits is great, but that concealed carrier has to know how to respond to the threat of an active shooter if they are going to be fully effective.

The new Shield Training Facility, recently opened in Tulsa, Oklahoma, uses gun safety classes combined with training simulator programs to give users the experience of a real threat without the dangers of using live ammunition, according to this story from

The simulator has over 400 scenarios, ranging from person-to-person contact to home invasion scenarios, as well as target practice, all based on law enforcement training.

Shooters can choose from two different types of weapons to use in the simulator. The basic SIRT pistol (Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger) has no recoil or moving parts, other than the trigger, and is safe for shooters of any age or experience level. For an additional fee, you can choose to use a Glock, Smith & Wesson M&P, or an MSR with a drop-in recoil kit, which replaces the magazine with a CO2 cartridge holder. The gas is used to provide a bit of felt recoil, and to operate the slide (or bolt) on the firearm.

If you’re a range rat who loves putting holes in paper, don’t scoff at shooting simulators. They aren’t the grainy screens and bulky laser emitters they once were. I had a chance to participate in some target shooting and scenario training in a simulator much like the one Shield Academy uses at a Gander Mountain Shooting Academy in Lake Mary, Florida a couple years ago with a CO2 converted Glock. When it comes to target shooting, I’d rather be sending lead downrange, but with so many digital targets and target programs to choose from, plus the fact that you build muscle memory, coordination, and reaction time without spending a penny on ammo, a modern simulator is a very attractive alternative.

As for the scenario training, it will give you a sharp smack in the teeth that will hopefully serve as a wake-up call. You may think your skills are squared away, but until you have to actually identify a threat, get your weapon on target, and fire before the threat fires back, making so you don’t hit an innocent bystander in the background, all in the span of about two seconds, you don’t really know what you can and can’t do. This is about as close as today’s technology will let you get without using live-fire simulations (Simunition, paintball, or otherwise).

Shield also has ranges for the use of pepper spray and stun guns.