And the award for the stupidest thing at the 2008 SHOT show goes to… SIMUNITIONS!


Not only for the stupidest thing revealed at this show, but possibly the stupidest product ever.  Because not just does it suck, it sucks to the point, that it WILL be killing people on accident.  I can pretty much guarantee that this product is going to fatally injure someone once it is in wide circulation, it’s just a matter of time.


Now there are lots of products at SHOT that will kill somebody eventually.  That’s kind of why we’re here.  However, these are usually people in dire need of killing.  But in this particular case, the people that are going to get popped are the users, not the bad guys.


Okay, allow me to explain.  A regular Simunitions round is a brass case, with a plastic cup, that holds a little paint ball bullet.  It is used for force on force training.  It is designed so that it can only (and pay attention, because this is the important part) be used in a gun that has been retrofitted with a special barrel that won’t allow it to fire REAL BULLETS.


Because shooting your buddy with a real bullet, on accident, while you’re trying to train, is usually considered a serious oopsie in the gun community, Simunition-Only guns are popular.  They are usually painted blue, and that way when you’re having a pretend gun fight, even if loose round of real live ammo sneaks into the mix somehow, it can’t be chambered into the gun.  It just won’t fit. 


This is a good thing because it eliminates one of the possible dangers in training.  Training in a dynamic environment always has the possibility of injury, but by utilizing the right types of tools, (i.e. guns that can’t shoot ammo that can kill you) you can minimize the types of injuries you can receive. 


Until now!  Simunitions is proud to present the all new CQT.  5.56 and 9mm Close Quarters Target Practice Cartridges.  It looks just like a regular paint round, only instead of being blue or orange, it is black, and it can kill you.  Hip-hip-frickin’-hoo-ray.


The idea is to have a low powered round that can be fired through guns fitted with the Sim barrel. Apparently this is for plywood shoot houses, or tormenting the neighbors’ pets, hell if I know. 


This is directly from the literature:

 ADVANTAGES: -Affordable-Convenience of target practice any time, any place, indoors or out-Will not damage training structures-Reduced lethality compared to ball or even frangible rounds 



-You may occasionally kill one of your training partners when one of these little bastards ends up with your paint rounds.


Okay, I’ll admit, I added that Disadvantages section.


I learned about these from a friend of mine who works on a SWAT team.  They were doing force on force, and were loading magazines.  He happened to see some one of his guys loading what looked like a black round into one of the magazines.  He was curious and stopped his guy, so he could check to see what the round was.  Even the box looked exactly the same, only the writing on it was different from the paint rounds.  He had never heard of a lethal round that could be fired through a Sim barrel, and was shocked.


I heard that story last night at dinner, and I thought, “No way, Simunitions can’t be that retarded.”  So I went by their booth this morning, and asked about it.  Sure enough, they are making this stuff, and they’re real proud of it. 


I asked the guy if they had given any thought to the idea that this might cause just a teensy little problem, because all these police departments out there that are conditioned to think their blue guns are non-lethal, now are lethal weapons.  He told me that if you obey all of the Simunitions safety protocols then that can’t happen.


Well guess what douche-bag.  If every driver out on the road obeyed every traffic protocol, then we wouldn’t have any more accidents either.  But last time I looked, stupid accidents happen.  So we still drive, but we try to minimize the potential problems.  This lethal Sim round is like drift racing through school zones. 


So he tells me, “Well, seriously it isn’t a big deal.  The 9mm only penetrates 2 inches of ballistic gelatin.” 


Yeah, that’s a comfort when I shoot a role-player in the trachea…  So he responds.  “Well, if you’re wearing the proper Simunitions brand face mask, then you can’t hit them in the neck.”  Okay, so we’ll disregard hits to the femoral or brachial arteries too.   


I didn’t think of it at the time, but this is the 9mm.  He didn’t say how many inches of gelatin the 5.56 would punch.  Ironically enough, right on their product literature it says -Reduced lethality compared to ball or even frangible rounds, because “reduced” lethality is like being “kinda pregnant”.   I don’t give a shit if it is reduced lethality, dead is dead.  If I really wanted to save money, we could all go out and shoot each other with high powered pellet rifles, which if I’m reading the 5.56 numbers right, is about what you’re going to get hit with.


Next he told me that it wasn’t a big deal, because they’ve only shipped like 100,000 rounds of it, and it has all been to the military.   And we all know that military equipment never makes it out into the LE world.  (and I’m sure that my friend, the SWAT instructor, that pointed this out to me, must have imagined the whole thing).  Silly firearms instructors…

 Basically I brought this up to Simunitions, and I was dismissed out of hand, because I’m just being silly.  I was also told that nobody else had brought up any concerns about this new product, which I happen to know is bullshit, because several other people I spoke with had also gone and talked to them about these rounds.  I personally hate when you bring up a safety concern, and somebody gets all smug and condescending. 

So if you do force on force with Simunitions, be extra careful.  You should be checking all of your ammo anyway, so watch out for these evil little things.


Or hell, just switch to Airsoft for training purposes.  It’s cheaper too.


So congratulations Simunitions.  You win the 2008 Stupidest Product award. 


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