Safety Tip: Simulated-Weapon Safety - Tactics and Weapons -

Safety Tip: Simulated-Weapon Safety



Ralph Mroz | From the October 2007 Issue Sunday, September 30, 2007

Over the past several years, the number and frequency of force-on-force scenarios run in even the smallest agency have increased quite a bit. Initially constrained to those agencies and units that could afford the pricey SIMUNITIONS conversion kits for real firearms, and the $1 or so per round cost of the projectiles, force-on-force simulations have now become practical for every agency (and even individual officers) with the widespread availability of Airsoft guns. Airsoft guns and projectiles are inexpensive, and since they are non-marking rounds, there s no requirement for a special training facility. You can train in your real tactical environment and with your real equipment. You can train in your schools, businesses and even the department conference room.

However, one safety consideration often overlooked in force-on-force simulations is that simulated weapons aren't distinguishable from real weapons. I like to have the safety officers know at a glance if it's a simulated weapon or a real weapon, whether the weapon is in the hand or in the holster. This is just one link in a chain of safety precautions that ensure that the simulations are run safely.

How can you accomplish this? Simple. Just place a piece of colored tape around the grip and under the dust cover of all simulated weapons (see photo).

See our free Force-on-Force Simulation Instructor program at for details.

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Ralph MrozRalph Mroz is a police officer in Western Massachusetts, currently assigned to his county's drug task force. He is the co-founder and training director of the Police Officers Safety Association (POSA). The POSA provides free force-training video programs to police officers. To obtain them, visit


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