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Going to the range can be a major pain in the ass. The noise, the expense, the time it takes to get there, the crowded firing line, the oppressive rules… It definitely isn’t ideal. In an ideal world, you should be able to practice with your firearm in the comfort of your own home — the backyard, basement, garage, what have you. Maximizing your time spent on drills and pulling the trigger rather than the administrative BS of going to a range. That has never really been available before for the average American, but UTM has just released something that will let you practice with your own rifle in your own home, without any major modifications: the UTM Civilian Target Ammo kit.


UTM has been making their Man Marker rounds for a few years now, and they are fantastic. Way better than Simunitions in my opinion. The key to their success is using two charges in the case: one to propel the projectile, and one to expand the telescoping case to cycle the round. This allows for a realistic feeling recoil impulse, coupled with an extremely low velocity projectile.These are the rounds that we were using for our Charly Hebdo simulation, and they work great.

UTM had previously only made this technology available to military and law enforcement, but with the introduction of the Civilian Target Ammo they are finally releasing something designed specifically for the average American.

The system requires you to use a specialized bolt (included in the kit) that fires the rimfire primer on the cartridge — live 5.56 ammo will not work in the gun with the special bolt installed for added safety. Once the bolt is installed, no additional modifications are required to the gun. Simply use your existing setup, and have fun blasting away in your own home. The kit comes with a proper backstop and some targets, for added convenience.

I think this is really cool. Anything that lets people train more and train where they would use their firearm is a huge plus in my book, and the icing on the cake is the price: $350. Usually the bolt alone costs that much, but they are really going all out to make this available to the average AR-15 owner.

We’ve got a kit on the way for a more thorough test, stay tuned. But if it works as expected, this might be my top pick for best non-firearm thing of SHOT Show.

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      • Yeah, that’s probably still a bit too loud; the neighbors will know/suspect something is going on, and you’ll get a visit from the po-po.

        While I like the concept, I don’t think this will ever take off with city-dwelling folks. The vast majority of cities have laws against the discharge of firearms within the city limits, and because this kit is used in a real firearm and still fires a type of “live” ammo, it simply isn’t going to be legal to use in most localities.

        Heck, in my city, even airguns are considered firearms, for the purpose of limiting use within the city limits.

  1. I have been toying with the idea of getting a SIRT pistol since the event at Patriot Protection, realizing that I need to really work on my trigger control more. I think I’m going to be putting this up on the 2015 buy list instead or maybe in addition to, most likely after the review. Since this seems to be for an AR, I wonder if they plan to make some pistol versions as well.

    Side note: Isnt it Charlie?

  2. What kind of damage will this stuff do to walls and windows? Seems like a great idea if not too loud or damaging for an misplaced shot.

  3. Lots of variables to consider but might be worth a look for many a shooter that currently has no other options…I spent the Holidays at my relatives place which is in a very rural area where life just seems better in so many ways to a “city-slicker” like me ;)…I find that so many people take their life for granted in these areas not fully realizing (until they hear city-folk complain) just how extremely fortunate they are to have the ability to go out into their backyard and squeeze off rounds until “the cows come how” if you will.

    So yes, I can see where this new urban answer to us city-dwellers might just hit the sweet-spot…

    • I am one of those country people who can squeeze some rounds off from my backyard but this is of interest to me. Being able to train indoors especially in dead of summer or middle of winter is always appealing to me. Main thing will be the cost of ammo

      • Just found it. The price for ammo is $29.95 for 50 rounds. So $0.60 a round. The price of $350 is a 30% discount with preorders starting in Feb.

  4. I was researching here and there and I think it will be (could be) more or less as loud as a .22LR or slightly less, but *that* kind of loudness (which could be considered loud in an indoor environment).
    Also, I Was reading that the military application type has a 375FPS power to it, so it’s not too bad – if we consider that airsoft alone at times goes well beyond that (500FPS and beyond).

    Can hurt naturally, but non-lethal for real. These my brief considerations (it’s possible that the civilian version will be low-powered at around 300FPS or so).

  5. Sounds like a great training tool. Civilian rifle classes would mostly benefit from tech like this. Not sure why they kept it LE/Mil only for so long.

    • Liability. These were designed to shoot people with.

      Anyways I think this is a symptom of the Simunitiion FX patent expiring. It was only after Speer started making FX compatible ammo that Simunition, and now UTM have decided “Maybe we should expand our market.” Simunition did theirs by actually talking to civilian trainers (before you had to be LE to even buy the stuff).

  6. Over the holidays I was at a friend of the family’s house and he has an 18 yard shooting range under his house in a residential neighborhood.

    Since I can’t dig under my house, this would be outstanding if it works.

  7. I don’t think this is something I’d use in my house, but their technology is pretty amazing. Extremely clever.

  8. This would have to be a MAJOR improvement over an airsoft rifle to invest in it. You could get a good gas rifle for less than this. After you buy the rifle and a few mags you would have something that you can shoot for next to nothing. The good gas rifles have the proper weight and probably similar recoil to this. 30rd mags and the bolt locks open after last one. Most gas airsoft rifles chrono around 400fps. The nice thing about airsoft is that it can pull double duty if you decided you wanted to go out exchanging bb’s with your buddies. The only thing this has going for it is that real men will buy this over the airsoft gun because they dont play with “toys”.

    • at a fraction of a penny a bb I’m with you on this one, of coarse my airsoft is a SBR and really, really makes me want a real one(actual stock). the thing will hit a pop can at 50ish feet every time in single shot mode, I think that’s good enough to get the basics practiced

  9. Wow. Very cool. I can see investing in this, after you get your AR dialed in, if you are really serious about being capable when it comes down to real world application.

    After reading for a long time, here on TTAG mostly, I am starting to agree with the idea of a handy light AR rifle as the go-to “one gun for home and property defense” weapon, for reasons of ‘easier to get to enough accuracy, higher capacity (than a handgun), stopping power without as much over penetration, and the ability for a smaller person to use it, vs an 870, for example.
    (some of this doesnt apply in states with mag limits).

    The problem then becomes, how do you train to the final end outcome- see where rounds go on moving target- its pretty expensive to go to go to a live fire range that has the people to keep you safe in an actual shoot and scoot in home, and to use Gunsite as an example- you have to move thru basics courses to get to the advanced level, and rightfully so- thats a month and $$$ thousands to get there, and of course- its not your home.

    A question- I have played paintball, so I appreciate the benefit of knowing when the other guy is shot- vs having to argue about it, in Airsoft. Having the benefit of a marker capability in your OWN actual gun, vs something bulky with an air tank, and different accuracy than paintmall gun,
    and the realism of cycling/gun operation is what makes Simunitions the improvement over paintball, AND Airsoft.

    I think you are missing the part about the gun- you dont buy the whole thing- just the specialized bolt for your existing AR, correct? The expense is the reloading and supplies, right?

    BTW, I admire the dedication of what some airsoft guys do- the tactics, the realism of equipment to mirror military ops, etc- but that’s a different direction from home defense drills that you can now do in your home, and of course, the cost or availability of an LE/MIL Simunition site, which is even rarer for a civilian, than a live fire tactics range.

    So, you get the benefits of BOTH airsoft- in weapons realism, AND paintball, in safety and kill confirm.

    I see this as opening the “paintball and airfoft for fun” and “serious home defense practice” market up a great deal, if the tech works as good as it looks it might- now I just need to figure out how to explain the blue paint on the wall in the living room to the significant other…:)

    I’m looking forward to that review, Nick.

  10. “We’ve got a kit on the way for a more thorough test, stay tuned.”

    Any chance we’ll see those results before this pre-order discount ends?

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