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I’ve always been fascinated with trailers. Not the kind that tornados always seem to favor or the sort that supplies a steady stream of guests to the Jerry Springer show. I’m talking about the secret agent-like potential hidden within a tractor-trailer’s 4,000-cubic-foot cargo holds. For those of you who grew up in the Eighties, reference Knight Rider, Spy Hunter and The Dukes of Hazzard. A rolling casino hidden inside an eighteen-wheeler? Magic. Today’s “toterhomes” shelter everything from mobile mammography clinics to NASCAR gymnasiums. Still, none of these specialized semis are all that—in a star-struck little kid sort of way. With one exception: the Meggitt Training Systems Road Range TM.

The Meggitt Road Range can’t collect a secret agent’s sports car at 60 MPH to evade Smokey. But, according to its manufacturer, the trailer is a “total weapons training solution.” Not quite. You can’t run, shoot, duck, cover, or practice your sniper skills in such a small space. Aside from those specialized limitations, this trailer takes conventional firearms training to the next level. Starting with convenience.

When it comes to firearms training and qualification, police departments, security agencies and military units face a logistical challenge. The individuals requiring range time are geographically diverse (i.e., spread out all over the place). The time, cost and confusion involved in assembling them in one location is daunting and expensive. Aside from the social/cultural advantages, it makes more sense for the training system to come to them.

Although it’s “only” three lanes wide in its standard configuration, the Meggitt Road Range is a state-of-the-art live-fire training range on wheels. Entering the Road Range through a bullet-resistant door, you leave the brightly lit world behind. The company has covered the interior walls with dark, charcoal-colored acoustic foam, accented by the glow of here-and-there LEDs from sundry electronic controls.  If Darth Vader built a firing range on the Death Star, it would look exactly like this.

First up: a small, ballistically- and environmentally-secure control room, surrounded by a first-aid kit, a fire extinguisher, a gun safe, a tool chest, a dedicated climate control unit, and a small desk. From this vantage point (behind a bullet-resistant window) the range manager can monitor and communicate with each shooter. He or she can also control all range and target systems electronically, via Meggitt’s patented RangerMaster 9000 range management system. A fully-integrated affair, the RangeMaster is comprised of a PC-based master control workstation and individual (touch screen) control units on each lane.

Yeah, control rooms are cool, but the real action is on the firing line.

After passing through another ballistic door, you enter the range proper. Three shooting lanes (separated by clear ballistic dividers) boast all the bells and whistles:

– A security system provides audible and visual alarms upon detecting any random movement beyond the firing line.

– “Wing barricade” panels (attached to the front of the lane dividers) that can fold sideways 90 degrees in order to simulate firing from behind a wall

– An advanced wireless, cableless target carrier (XWT TM) capable of either systematically or indiscriminately illuminating and turning targets for rapid presentation (it’s also aerodynamically designed to minimize air disturbance around the target)

– A complete ballistic environment (floor, door, walls, and ceiling), including Meggitt’s long-lasting granular rubber bullet trap (GranTrapTM) – all of which can handle calibers up to 7.62X39 and bullet velocities up to 3,600 fps

– A 100% outside-air ventilation system that provides a balanced 75 fpm of airflow across the firing line before scrubbing the air in two stages (the second of which is 99.97% HEPA filtration).

Now how much would you pay for all this? The standard model covered here hovers in the ballpark of two-fifty large, with an attractive eighty-grand-per year lease option.  But Meggitt’s man was quick to point out that they’ll build the trailer any damn way their customer specifies.  He said that one shootist ordered a two-semi, side-by-side unit with six adjacent firing lanes.  That’s one double-wide that no tornado will want to mess with.

{Check out the Road Range promo video here.]

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