The Blade-Tech Training Barrel.
Photo courtesy Blade-Tech
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In my humble opinion, Simunitions are currently the ultimate training aid for tactical scenario training. If you're fortunate enough to work for a department that can afford to purchase and utilize them, thank your lucky stars. In far too many agencies, the higher quality (i.e., more expensive) training equipment isn't even in the equation. These departments are forced to improvise in tactical scenario training, which usually means using unloaded service weapons. Solid plastic or aluminum training weapons are another option, but they, too, have disadvantages. At roughly $50 each, they really aren't cheap, and they don't have the same feel or functions of a real firearm; you can't dry fire, perform magazine changing drills or operate the slide of the weapon. A training pistol that could perform these would likely be far more expensive than the solid-cast training guns.
So, what if you could absolutely, positively, unequivocally prevent accidental shootings when using actual service weapons for training (as in no more accidental discharges nada, none)? But you could still do tactical scenario training, and be able to dry fire, do magazine changes, malfunction drills or any combination of the above. And what if you could do it all for under $14 per firearm?
In my 20-plus years of reviewing products, never have I reviewed an item that's so simple and inexpensive, but such an absolute revolution in training safety. The Blade-Tech Training Barrel renders a semi-auto pistol incapable of being fired while increasing an officer's firearms handling competence by allowing all pistol functions except live fire. Finally, you can have an absolutely safe duty weapon that you can use during tactical scenario, gun retention or even basic level firearms training.
As you can see from the photos, the Blade-Tech Training Barrel is an injection-molded, hard plastic replacement for the actual barrel of a semi-auto pistol. There's no chamber cut into the barrel, thus nowhere for a live round to be seated even if you tried. It makes the pistol totally inert as a firearm, but otherwise fully functional for training purposes. No special training is required to use the Blade-Tech Training barrel. If you can field strip your pistol and reassemble it, you're ready to use this outstanding product.
This is one product I wish would come as a standard training aid with all new pistols, as there's no doubt it will save lives and prevent needless injuries. Since the training barrel is used in our R.A.C.S. Seminars (visit www.racstraining.com) I have included a slide in our presentation to ensure that all attendees at our courses are fully aware of this incredible advancement in firearms training safety.
Visit Blade-Tech's Web site at www.blade-tech.com.
Sergeant Charles Humes Jr. has served in law enforcement for 26 years and nearly 20 years of field operations. He now serves as a supervisor in support services of a major Midwest police department. He's internationally recognized as one of the pioneers of modern defensive tactics and subject control, and he's taught seminars and instructor certification schools throughout the United States. He's also trained police instructors from as far away as Hong Kong. Contact him through his Web site, www.charleshumes.com.