A marksman aligns her sight on the target 25 yards away. She pulls the trigger, steadies the recoil, and watches the round pierce near the bull's eye—but she never fired a bullet. The target wasn't actually 25 yards away, either. That's how precise Gander Mountain Academy's simulators can render its simulated targets, from scaling distance to adding bullet holes based on its laser-guidance system. The simulator's technology delivers an array of training benefits, such as making the experience less intimidating for novice shooters, allowing more repetition by cutting out ammo costs, and letting advanced marksmen choose more-sophisticated target scenarios.
Gander Mountain's ownership developed this training technology upon recognizing that with nearly 120 stores, it was among the nation's largest retailer of firearms. This led to Gander Mountain Academy, a place where technology meets elite-training resources previously available only to the military and law enforcement. Blending multimedia classroom and hands-on range training, instructors use the academy's FRS Learning System—which stands for fundamentals, repetition, and simulation—in every class, from youth safety programs to advanced tactical training. The live-fire range's booths are wide enough to comfortably accommodate both a shooter and instructor, and fully armored partitions encase each booth in bulletproof protection.
For even more in-depth training, program directors load simulations that challenge marksmen to engage threats in up to a 300-degree space. An array of scenarios allow students to develop accuracy, speed, and precision. Time on the ranges or in the simulator can be prebooked through the academy's online reservation system or by phone.