It’s not hard to convince many Wisconsinites to voyage south during the Midwest winter months. Add in the opportunity to get the full insight on a firearms training company with more than 80 years experience in the industry and a foot in multiple aspects of the firearms training quotient and you’ve got LET on a plane earlier this year to visit Meggitt Training Systems at its Suwanee, Ga.-based facility with some 235,000 square feet of space to exercise its training arm.
Meggitt Training Systems combines simulation firearms training and live-fire systems to offer solutions for the military, law enforcement and commercial firearms training and practice needs. The company boasts 10,000 live-fire ranges and 5,200 virtual systems in place internationally. Used by the Marine Corps. and the Ministry of Defence in the United Kingdom, Meggitt is also the company that owns the Firearms Training Simulator (FATS) system as well as a multitude of well and lesser-known training products. From marksmanship and shooting judgment instruction tools to a specialty live-fire training house, Meggitt offers a variety of options to help agencies keep their team trained in the latest law enforcement firearms tactics. To keep up with today’s technology, Meggitt has put forth several new training-related products for firearms skills teaching and improvement. Its wireless target retrieval system for indoor and outdoor ranges, the FATS L7 system, advanced immersion technology and a mobile sim system are among the latest offerings from the training system supplier.
Indoor range system
Creating an indoor range system brings with it multiple challenges, including need for ventilation, possibly lead abatement, general environmental concerns, zoning regulations and finding the proper range equipment. Meggitt’s answer to these challenges are a variety of indoor range products such as its target carrier and retrieval system, a range control device, steel and rubber bullet traps and shooting stalls. Released from the company last year is the Meggitt Training System Next Generation Wireless Target (XWT) retrieval system, a wireless, 360-degree turning target system with a modern touchscreen interface. Another version of the XWT was released at SHOT Show in Las Vegas in January for outdoor range use.
Meggitt says its XWT eliminates the range’s requirement to replace frayed cables and continually adjust the tension of cables found on traditional target retrievers. The system is operated via wireless communication through a touchscreen controller. As the company’s vice president of law enforcement sales, David O’Meara, notes, wireless is an industry standard for most everything and targetry should be no different. O’Meara has been with the company through its various transitions and acquisitions of the last 20 years, working in all aspects of the business from sales to installation and range design. Recently, Meggitt helped a local commercial shooting range solve several range development issues that will celebrate a year in business this month, offering 12 rifle-rated lanes and Meggitt’s XWT.
Marksmanship & judgmental training
Many officers are already familiar with a Meggitt staple: the FATS (firearms training simulator) system, which was acquired by the company in 2006 but has long been in use across the nation for marksmanship as well as instructor-lead shoot or don’t-shoot decision-making scenarios. The latest version of the FATS system is the L7, a compact firearms training simulator. FATS L7 includes both marksmanship training and video training modes; marksmanship training ranges from basic to advanced, and judgmental training helps instructors develop shoot or don’t shoot skills and response from trainees, allowing for escalation or de-escalation of a situation based on the trainee’s actions.