This is a scary looking bunch of characters, but have no fear. These are 3D targets from ZMB Industries, the company who brought us those cool bleeding zombie targets.
ZMB Industries sent us a $249.95 kit that contains one solid foamcore torso and four extra skins, as well as a pile of things for the dummy to hold. It also comes with these mounting sticks, and they also sent us the $99.95 leg unit.
We found that stapling the back of the legs to a carboard mounted in a Birchwood Casey steel target frame worked perfect and was able to hold up the whole dummy. You have to cut the holes in the top of the leg unit and the bottom of the torso for these sticks, but it goes together very easily.
This nonmarking variety offers very little drama in the way of entry and exit wounds. It is either a hit or not a hit, and the path of bullet through the torso is very clear.
Click this to make it bigger and you will see the damage to both the front and back of the target for .308 and .223.
Even 00 buckshot did little to damage the structural integrity of the target, nor did it knock it over. The target didn’t waver no matter what it got hit with.
Our kit came with a black handgun, a silver knife, and a cellphone and soda can, as well as some badges.
With 5 targets and a bunch of hand held props you can set up a whole bunch of different training scenarios.
Sometimes a silly idea turns into something really useful. You probably remember back at SHOT Show we ran across “bleeding zombie targets” at Media Day at the Range. Even back then the company making them knew that the zombie craze would eventually die out, but that they had stumbled onto something significant in the area of firearms training. Their marketing and product development company, Maddox Defense, has from the start envisioned these nifty targets, made by ZMB Industries, as a three dimensional training tool.
Sans the blood and zombie graphics these genuinely three dimensional training targets give you a unique perspective at the training range, and show you just how hard it can be to get the shot when the shot is what is required. This example you see here is the basic “Jacob” model. It is currently being used currently by the Navy SEALS and the US Border Patrol. The basic foam core torso with 4 extra skins carries an MSRP of $249.95, and the legs unit is $99.95. They aren’t cheap, but they are completely unique as a training tool, and when you compare them to the cost of finding something else 3D, that gives you this unique perspective, the price isn’t that high for five targets.
Made entirely in the USA, the ZMB Industries 3D targets come in both non-marking and marking varieties. The marking ones aren’t like the bleeding zombies. They don’t drip. As you can see from the pictures, shots on the marking targets just chip away about a 1/2″ circle of paint, leaving an orange marker for hits. Our test targets were the non-marking variety and they can take a lot of hits without losing structural integrity. It would have taken more money than we were willing to spend on ammo to cripple this torso, and it comes with four more skins. ZMB Industries also sells a matching color dot roll of stickers, so you can repair the holes in the torso skins as well.
This is obviously a law enforcement and military product mostly, but with all of the professional training going on out there, they should be a big hit in the private market as well. If you think about paper targets, or even steel plate targets, they are flat, and though they can be engaged from a slight angle, they are mostly a perpendicular target, period. 3D targets offer a 180 degree field of engagement, offering a real world look at the possibilities in which a target might present itself. One of the models, the blue Greg one, even outlines all of the major organs and nerve pathways for disabling a human target. Real situations require real training, and 3D is as real as it gets without anyone shooting back.
The most recent development in these fairly mature products is the addition of hands that hold objects. Identifying a friendly or a non-combatant is just as important as hitting the bad guys in a gunfight, and these targets can be placed into just about any scenario in order to train in real environments, facing real situations and making real choices. They come with several each of guns and knives in the target five-pack, and they also come with non-weapons for the dummies to hold, cellphones and soda cans. The kit also comes with badges that are easy to mount by cutting slits in the dummy torso for identifying law enforcement officers in the field of fire.
From a real training perspective, the $249.95 price tag doesn’t seem so high, especially for five re-usable targets. Think about what else you would have to buy to simulate a 3D human in a gunfight. Store mannequins? Crash test dummies? Just about any other option would be a much more expensive option, and these targets are made to take a lot of hits and still remain rigid and usable.
As you can see from the pictures, those extra shells can be stapled directly to the legs unit and also stapled at various angles to cover objects. We experimented with trees, but you could staple them just as easily to wooden furniture, sheetrock, or to a door or window frame. The possibilities are endless. These 3D targets from ZMB are the next generation in training for real operators in real gunfight conditions. They won’t be as politically correct as a zombie target to bring them down to your local range to blast away at Jacob, Johnny, Tony and the gang, but as we have said many times here at GunsAmerica, the 2nd Amendment isn’t about hunting. ZMB Industries is at this point the only company in the market making stuff like this, and in addition to this law enforcement and military line, as well as the zombies of course, they have a full line of animals as well. 3D targets are a new concept right now, but as the word gets around an volume increases, the cost will hopefully come down enough for all of us armchair enthusiasts as well.
Contact ZMB Industries directly for orders, or ask your local gun dealer if he can get you some through one of the ZMB distributors, Ellett Brothers, Accusport, and Jerrys. The ZMB website should be updated within a couple weeks for dealer orders and more information, but for now there is a very good PDF on the products. For all government sales please contact Maddox Defense at firstname.lastname@example.org.