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.