A new gun range in Tarpon Springs offers more than target practice.

  • Reload offers simulator normally used for military, law enforcement training
  • Includes 250 scenarios that mimic real-life situations

Whether you’re just learning how to handle a firearm or an experienced shooter, there’s a different kind of bulls' eye at Reload. A simulator usually only available to train the military and law enforcement is now open to the public.

“Wherever you shoot, that laser picks up on the screen and then the gun itself reacts exactly how a normal gun would react under any circumstances,” said Reload's manager Mathew Jenkins.

David Perry has military training, but the simulator can even help him prepare for situations off the battlefield.

“I’ve been in the Army for the past 15 years," he said. "We do a lot of scenario-based training for combat situations. However the civilians getting access to something like this, knowing what to do if they encounter a certain situation is crucial."

There are more than 250 situations for the simulator, including scenarios where a concealed weapons permit holder is placed in the middle of an attack at an ATM or a mall or theatre shooting.

"Getting in the simulator, you’re encompassed 300 degrees with screens so you’ve got to keep your head on a swivel identifying what the threat is and what’s not a threat," said Perry. "Getting that reaction, you get the full sweat going, your adrenaline is pumping, so it was pretty intense."

While you might feel like you’re in the middle of a giant video game, instructors stress the scenarios are situations that could happen any day.

“It’s not a video game, it’s not a zombie game," Jenkins said. "It’s real-life events."