There are few programs more effective than force-on-force training.

The techniques and principles taught on the range can quickly be put to the test when pain is a real consequence of failure. Without real-world feedback, it is difficult to know if certain techniques or principles really work. Force-on-force training is the absolute best way to find out, short of having to use those skills in the real world. To understand why, though, we need to define what “force on force” training really is.

Force-on-force training is technically any scenario where an officer is faced with a simulated lethal-force encounter. These scenarios utilize weapons or ammunition that has been modified to be non-lethal yet delivers a pain penalty when hit. These weapons and ammunition range from simple airsoft and paintball guns to expensive training ammunition fired from modified duty weapons. The best options involve rounds that will leave a color marking on a subject, making it easy to see hits. This type of feedback is essential to not only verify hits but also assess accuracy. An officer may shoot tight groups on the range but turn into a wreck when put into a training scenario. The pain penalty involved is a reminder that we must be focused on protecting ourselves while still engaging the threat. The pain penalty is a good deterrent for those who may want to just “wade out” into the gunfight. A few hits—reminiscent of bee stings—will remind you to seek cover.

ATK’s Answer

Contrary to popular belief, all force-on-force gear is not the same. While cost is a real factor in law enforcement training, there is a point where super low-cost training begins to be less effective because of the quality of equipment. Enter ATK. Already well known throughout the law enforcement and shooting communities as the producers of Federal Premium and Speer LE ammunition, ATK has chosen to enter the training market with a complete line of Force On Force ammunition that is broken down into three categories: reduced-energy marking rounds, non-marking rounds and blanks. The rounds are designed to be fired from converted weapons such as the Glock 17T or those converted previously to run with Simunition rounds. While ATK offers conversion kits, they are not required. This is a solid move on ATK’s part, as there is no need to buy new conversion kits if agencies transition from Simunition to ATK Force On Force rounds.

“… the 5.56mm Force On Force rounds can regularly produce 1-inch groups at 40 feet.”

ATK has managed to take existing designs in training ammunition and improve on them. For those who have spent a great deal of time in shoothouses, there are two major factors to help these rounds stand apart. First is that all of the Force On Force rounds are lead free and safe for indoor use. Secondly, there is no gunpowder, which all but eliminates the smell associated with indoor training. The 9mm and 5.56mm marking rounds are available in five colors: red, blue, yellow, green and white. Other colors are available upon request. They are biodegradable, environmentally friendly and cold-water washable. You can simply wipe off training gear and uniforms.

“Without real-world feedback, it is difficult to know if certain techniques or principles really work.”

One very special component of the design is the inclusion of a copper-driving band. This band on the plastic projectile actually engages the rifling of the weapon and greatly improves accuracy. For example, the 5.56mm Force On Force rounds can regularly produce 1-inch groups at 40 feet. This offers much more realistic training and avoids the “spray and pray” that sometimes happens in force-on-force simulations because of accuracy issues.

Better Training

ATK has managed to build a better mousetrap with its new Force On Force ammunition. It is cost effective and, more importantly, reliable. The ongoing barrel cleaning that normally takes place during force-on-force training is almost completely eliminated. This, combined with improved accuracy, makes these rounds a far superior choice for training.

Agency budgets are anemic across the country. With funds being cut for everything, it is important that command staff choose wisely when investing training dollars. ATK Force On Force ammo is one of the best investments they can make. Thanks to its low failure rates and high-quality training capabilities, ATK’s Force On Force ammunition has become the gold standard in realistic training.

For more information, visit or call 800-379-1732.

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