World 3 Gun – Does simulation provide value?

Earlier last month we met up with Charlie from at World 3 Gun in Farmington Hills, MI for a day of gun fun. Billed as a training and competition arena, World 3 Gun offers all of that and more. This isn’t necessarily the 3-gun most know, as its pistol, carbine and full auto carbine, no shotgun at this point.Also, it’s airsoft.
At the Great American Outdoor Show we experienced the NRA’s 3GE (3 Gun Experience) and had a lot of fun shooting mock 3-gun courses with airsoft guns. I think we visited more than the kids did. When we met W3G owner Peter Bakatselos at one of the many shows/conventions we go to every year, we knew we had to try it.Upon entrance, there is a stand full of kit, such as belts, mag pouches, LBV, plate carriers and more. They quickly outfitted us with the gear we needed and briefed us on the guns we would be using, the equipment, the course and more. Obviously we were chomping at the bit so we got right into it. Peter preaches thinking and problem solving and we witnessed it first hand. First we did some defensive style drills on paper, a bit of moving and shooting as well as off hand and strong hand drills. From there we moved into one stage that required some thinking.The stage has a large area in the middle that has three targets attached to a robot vaccuum. You know, the kind that senses barriers and changes directions, etc. This resulted in some true chaos as you could never tell where it would be and we were always shooting at targets on the other side. The stage starts out with a cornhole game. Timer sounds, you must sink one beanbag in a cornhole board, then move to your first shooting position. Engage the moving targets, engage some other targets, run across, walk across a balance beam, shoot some more, etc.

It’s very strange how something as simple as tossing a beanbag can totally fog your brain as to the task you need to perform. Integrating these thinking exercises was actually really hard, because we hadn’t done it much before, if at all. Then we moved to another stage where our first task was to activate a swinging target, run to a barrel, open a combination lock, then engage the swinger and other targets before the swinger stopped moving (60 seconds).

Again, very difficult, in fact, even though I knew about the lock and had watched two other people do it, I completely skipped the lock and engaged the targets. I was absolutely shocked and it shows that my mind game was not prepared. This is also very important when stage planning at a shooting competition. Your mental game needs to be just as good if not better than your actual shooting skill. Through these different drills, we started exercising some parts of our shooting skills that we hadn’t previously and really exposed some gaps in critical thinking under pressure.

The culmination of what we learned, we finally entered the arena, which is set up like a tactical training / room clearing facility with puzzles sprinkled in, targets hidden, corners, windows, targets for both pistol and rifle and on and on. This was also a ton of fun and a great learning experience.

I will say that as a consumer, I don’t love their members only scheme. I would love to be able to just walk in, pay a fee and leave. The staff however was great and we had an incredible time. This is great training and an excellent supplement but not a replacement for live fire training. Even though the airsoft guns are good and the slide cycles, they do not recoil like a live firearm. Our best guess was that you would want to live fire at least as much as you airsoft train. Certain skills can be learned with airsoft and perfected with live fire. It’s not a replacement, but it is a damn good supplement and I wish there was one near me.


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