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LEEP 2014

Lessons Learned: Building and Operating a Gun Range

Instructor: Tim Holley, Meggitt Training Systems

This session will focus on many of the unforeseen issues customers, law enforcement officers, range masters, and owners experience when operating an indoor firing range. More specifically, the presentation will outline material pros and cons by showing real examples of types of target carrier systems, bullet traps, and ballistic protection materials. Meggitt will describe the proper types of equipment to be installed in shooting ranges, such as the suggested target carrier systems for commercial ranges vs. law enforcement ranges, steel traps vs. rubber traps, and many other pertinent "lessons learned."

Tim Holley


With many customer service, sales and education awards, as well as a passion for ballistics, guns, and hunting, Tim served as the Manager of all Law Enforcement Live Fire Range Installations and Services prior to his promotion to Manager of Law Enforcement Live Fire Sales. Prior to joining MTSI, Tim Holley developed in-depth experience in the sales management and customer service industries. More specifically, Tim was an owner/builder of a Georgia residential building company, a finance/sales/training manager in the automobile industry, and a top producing Georgia realtor. He also taught many upper level mathematics courses his first several years after graduating from UGA.

Real World Scenarios

Fire burns new life into Maple Grove Police Department range

A fire is usually never a good thing, but what comes out of it can be. After a fire consumed its building more than two years ago, Maple Grove Police Department in Maple Grove, Minnesota has a new simulation and live fire range training complex.

Meggitt Training Systems worked with the Maple Grove Police Department to completely redesign and rebuild the facility with state-of-the-art training systems and equipment. In addition to the live fire range, new classrooms allow the department to conduct medical exercises, defensive tactics, and firearms training.

"The Meggitt bullet trap is a rock star down there," said John Peterson, Range Coordinator for Maple Grove Police Department. "We are extremely pleased with the new facility. The ease of maintenance is wonderful. We no longer have to shut down the range for four days of maintenance or to replace carrier cables that have been shot out. It's amazing."

Jon Read, Director of Law Enforcement Live Fire for Meggitt Training Systems, said, "Today's law enforcement agencies are dealing with constant training and budgetary challenges. Certainly no one wants to deal with a fire, but Maple Grove was able to make the best of a bad situation and build a range that addressed these challenges. Building a range that offers live fire as well as virtual marksmanship and judgmental, use-of-force training gives agencies improved flexibility and long-term cost savings."

The live fire range runs 39 yards from shooting stall to bullet trap, with a running man target system that travels 60 feet left to right at 18 yards. Using Meggitt's LE 5000 Bullet Trap, Maple Grove is able to save on trap cleaning and even makes money off the recycled lead. The facility uses 100% fresh air, tempered to provide comfort to the shooter during training exercises.

"In the near future we hope to have Meggitt's FATS® L7 [virtual simulation system] installed and running in the new facility," said Peterson. "This will allow our officers to engage in simulated training and then bring that training onto the live fire range. They can get the entire experience in one day."

Real World Scenarios

Dublin PD, Meggitt Training Systems "bring the street to the range"

The goal for Dublin, OH Division of Police was to bring as much reality to firearms training as possible. Working with Meggitt Training Systems, manufacturer of FATS® and Caswell technologies, Dublin Division of Police now has the ability to integrate real-world training tools into its live fire training.

"Our new facility allows officers to train any time of day, any time of year, with any weapon system we currently utilize," said Officer Jake Stoll, firearms / D.T. Instructor Dublin Division of Police. "We now have a 180 degree "combat area" downrange which allows shooters to experience a more realistic situation compared to a traditional "lane style" shooting range.'

'Our philosophy is, 'bring the street to the range', meaning officers should train in the same conditions, with the same equipment, completing the tasks that replicate reality as closely as possible, while doing it safely. Officers who train in these conditions will perform at a higher level while completing their duties," Stoll added.

Jon Read, director of law enforcement live fire, Meggitt Training Systems said, "It has always been an evolving world out on the streets for law enforcement professionals. Obviously they are dealing with the usual crimes seen across communities, but with rapid-fire media, new technology and monetary challenges, law enforcement is having to think differently as well as creatively.'

'Chief Heinz von Eckartsberg, Cpl Tim Hosterman, Ofc. Jake Stoll and the rest of the team were great to partner with on this project. The team started the process with an open mind, which resulted in the design and development of a range that facilitates training as close to reality as possible. These are the types of projects we love to work on at Meggitt where officers have the opportunity to train on state of the art systems that better prepare them for the realities they might face on the street."

The newly renovated 41 foot x 75 foot rifle capable indoor firing range was designed by Meggitt and uses many of Meggitt's live fire products including the Range Master 10K computer system, Meggitt's XWT wireless target retrieval system, the GranTrap™ granulated rubber bullet trap, AR500 baffles, and also features expanded training capabilities including, LED dimmable lighting and light and sound simulation. Additionally, ballistic steel on the walls and Standard Rubber Paver (SRP) floor covering provides ballistic protection from errant rounds allowing Dublin officers to shoot "close combat style" down range. The addition of 2x4 melamine covered walls and a true door allowed additional opportunities for active training.

Meggitt worked closely with Dublin to design a range to fit the needs of the department and of the community. The observation area doubles as a classroom, complete with full audio/video capabilities. The range was introduced to the community in late May with a community open house.

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Judgmental training is more important than ever in the law enforcement field. Meggitt Training Systems introduces a revolutionary portable system that makes judgmental and marksmanship training more accessible to law enforcement officials than any system on the market.

The flexibility, advanced features and authoring tools of the FATS® L7 allows the training instructors to continuously adapt training courseware to meet changing training needs.

Easy to operate

Controlled via a wireless touch screen tablet PC, the user friendly graphical interface allows for intuitive operation and reduces instructor training time.

Easy to setup

Self-contained system is ready for use as is, or can be installed as a ceiling mounted unit.

Easy to transport

Caster mounted case for ease of movement with four carrying handles for ease of lifting; housed in a durable, mil-spec, portable, self-contained case.


Non-lethal scenarios include Taser® training options using wireless BlueFire® tasers.


Baton training is also available for some less than lethal judgmental scenarios.


OC spray simulators are one option for less than lethal training. Spray effectiveness can even be altered for EDP and drug related scenarios.

Hostile fire system

This optional simulator increases training realism by discharging projectiles at trainees to stress the importance of cover and concealment.

After action review

After Action Review (AAR) is provided via an optional Lookback Kit that records body movements and verbal commands.

Authoring station

Simplified authoring courseware allows instructors to author their own marksmanship training course, while the integrated video authoring capability supports customer creation of video training scenarios and branching options.

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BlueFire® Weapons

Meggitt Training Systems' BlueFire® wireless weapon simulators use commercial wireless Bluetooth® technology to communicate with the FATS® L7 training system in the same manner as our system controlled weapons. Weapon recoil is achieved via a rechargeable magazine of compressed gas. This is significant in that while not tethered, BlueFire® weapons still retain the full sensor feedback. These patented BlueFire® weapon simulators can be used in conjunction with other system controlled weapon simulators without modification.


Meggitt Training Systems has already released BlueFire® versions of the Glock 17/19, M&P40, Sig P226, Beretta M9, Walther P99, and M4 simulators.


Achieved with a rechargeable magazine of compressed gas, BlueFire® weapons retain the full sensor feedback and simulated action.


Magazines can be refilled in just a few seconds with either compressed air or nitrogen. Our filling station is designed to accept any of our BlueFire® magazines and refill each one with a quick depression of the handle.

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XWT Target Carrier

Target retrieval systems are a standard feature in indoor ranges, however, there is no reason to settle for standard training. Meggitt Training Systems delivers the industry's first wireless, 360° turning target retrieval system.

Meggitt's XWT GEN3 Target Carrier now features a direct drive, dual motor system, with anti-static wheels for a quieter, smoother operation. The Gen3 XWT features greater reliability, durability and a sleeker, lower profile, operable to 100 yards with customized user management. The frontal armor has been upgraded form 1/4" to 3/8" inch at a shallow 35 degree angle.

Range Master Control System (RMCS)

Meggitt's RMCS is a fully networked, wireless range control system allowing for easily customizable courses of fire, lighting and temperature, as well as shooter profile and ordering capabilities. The RMCS Wirelessly controls carrier's operations, placing the target down range at any distance in feet, yards or meters, giving shooters the ability to move targets to any position between the firing line and the last target line without the use of signaling devices. Control commands such as face, edge, left and right turning with one-touch operation. Shooters can also program static or looping courses of fire.


The target can rotate 360° and expose either right or left facing in less than 1/2 of a second in either direction.


The target carrier houses a protected target illumination light fixture; providing up to 100 lumens of light with the ability to simulate muzzle flash, perfect for bringing low-light training into your range.


The carrier prow is made of AR500 steel and protects the rotating shaft of the target carrier system. The rail front exposed surface of the carrier and rail hangers are able to withstand occasional direct impact from most handgun and rifle ammunition (where rated).


The XWT is designed to withstand impacts from multiple distances, whether from the firing line or tactical, down range training. Wireless operation means no cables or pulleys to damage, resulting in less maintenance and downtime.

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Bullet Traps

With more than 80 years of live fire range experience, Meggitt Training Systems is recognized as an expert in ballistic containment. We developed and fielded the first environmentally friendly bullet traps, and were awarded the first patent for a product bullet trap which captured rounds largely intact, with minimal potential for ricochet, reduced potential for generation of lead dust (from smashing rounds) and very low impact noise.


GranTrap™ represents the best available bullet trap technology for bullet capture and containment. Utilizing granulate rubber material, or GranTex™, to stop incoming rounds, the bullet impacts the soft media and is captured predominately intact, minimizing airborne lead dust, averting backsplatter and ricochet, and minimizing impact noise. This provides a cleaner and safer environment for shooting ranges and maximizes bullet recovery and recycling processes.

Capture and containment

GranTex™ provides a cleaner and safer environment for shooting ranges while maximizing the round recovery and recycling process

5000E steel bullet trap

Meggitt developed the first commercially available steel bullet trap in the US nearly 70 years ago. To advance this technology, our engineers and shooters spent over two years designing and developing a unique trap to accommodate rigorous courses of fire with pistol and rifle rounds. The result: the 5000E - a dry, all steel scroll-style bullet trap in both pistol and rifle rated.

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Indoor Range Design Guide

Whether you are building your first range or upgrading an existing facility, Meggitt is here to help you every step of the way. From range design and ventilation to target carriers and ballistic containment, Meggitt's Indoor Range Design Guide is your desk side research tool to deliver critical information throughout the process.

Range Design Guide

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Contact Meggitt

Meggitt Training Systems
296 Brogdon Road
Suwanee, GA, 30024 USA
800-813-9046 (p)
678-288-1090 (p)

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