Umarex is a company known for their air guns. But that’s about to change. They’ve redesigned force-on-force training, and are about to give the most popular man-marking rounds a run for their money. I got an advanced look at these at the factory back in October, and they’ve made some upgrades since then.
The basic concept is easy to understand. They’re really big BB guns. The T4E (Training for Engagement) guns have been around for a while, but these carbines are taking it to the next level. They shoot .43 caliber balls. Paint balls, dust marking balls, or rubber balls. The rubber ones can be reused, and (I know because I pulled the trigger on one of the working prototypes) they thump. I wouldn’t stand still and let someone shoot me with one. But I can’t wait to try them out in actual training.
The brains of these things are in the magazine. CO2 powered mags hold everything the gun needs to run, so it functions more like a real carbine. The guns are really close to the weight of their doppelgangers.
This has the potential to change just about everything we now accept about force on force training. I was listening to the way some people were talking at the show, and several departments had figured out that unit costs, maintenance, and ammo were surprisingly low. Some departments could afford to buy everything needed and still be under their annual Simunitions ammo budget. Guns, ammo, and parts for what you are currently spending on ammo? How fast can Umarex make these things? I bet they’re about to find out. As soon as we get firm pricing, we’ll let you know.
I’m headed home to Fort Smith, where Umarex’s stateside operations are headquartered. I’ll have a couple of them to work with soon, and we’ll see how well they stand up to the abuse.