The Choices Today

Sim Guns — Though they’re not generally available to the private sector, GLOCKs and SIGs are available which are built to fire Simunitions paint pellets. There’s nothing better for simulated gunfighting known as Force-on-Force training. Purpose built, they can’t accidentally be loaded with live ammo and the sting of a Sim round most definitely “reinforces the learning experience.”

Dummy Guns — People have been killed or crippled practicing disarming — and handgun retention — with functional weapons when a live cartridge slipped into the mix. Non-shooting dummy guns are the obvious solution. They’re also suitable for quick draw practice in your living room, and they’re great for wet-fitting and boning leather holsters. Even when you’ve applied Saran Wrap and grease, you can almost hear your handgun rusting in the wet leather overnight — an identical plastic or metal dummy alleviates the worry.

I also like the dummy guns for training new shooters; it’s less traumatic for them if they inadvertently point it at themselves or you during the early stages of learning safe gunhandling practices. I’ve had the best luck with the super-popular “blue guns” from Ring’s, but the gray ones from Blackhawk work well. They’re all made of lightweight polymer but if you want more realistic heft, Ring’s makes weighted ones and you can get rugged all-metal ones from Odin Press (“Google will get you there”).