Laser Shot’s Virtual Kill House has posted an article about Texan firm Laser Shot. They run kill houses which have projectors mounted on the ceiling that project virtual enemies on the walls. The enemy can even fire back with hits being simulated by impact vests that are worn by the trainees. It is very nifty technology.

[ Many thanks to Lt. and Chris for emailing me the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • SpudGun

    Well I know where my lottery winnings are going once my numbers come up – Xbox Live Fire. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Me want.

  • jdun1911

    A 360 degree shoot house with 2D targets projected onto the wall IMO is not good for training. There isn’t any physical depth.

    I saw the video. Three things that stand up.
    1. Are the shooters actors in the promo?
    2. The rooms they are entering is very roomy. Is that due to technology limitation of the projectors?
    3. Is the shoot house design for 360 degree simulation.

    Shoot house are fun but very stressful and even high speed low drag guys will mess up. They get too much tunnel vision and end up violating safety rules. There was a thread on arfcom where the shooter hit an instructor on the catwalk. A Navy Seal that was station in my area was killed in a shoot house when the bullet penetrated the wall and hit him.

  • dt

    Maybe the Olympics need a little PR work. Kill house pentathalon anyone?

  • Koup

    jdun1911, define good relative to the alternatives. While not ideal, having reactive, non-static targets is probably more worthwhile than a collection of stationary dummy/silhouettes. Along with tactics and marksmanship, a shoot house would also help teach dynamic stress management. Having never been in a shoot house I can only guess, but I would think the motion element adds to the stress, and training to that would result in better preparedness overall once placed in a real situation.

  • subase

    Looks pretty lame. No doubt a technique to save cash in facilities and bullets.

    I think a good innovation would be to have a some type of high pain stimulus when entering a normal kill house where if you get shot by other shooters, you get hurt like a mothereffer. Scrotum electroshock?

    Thus the fear and adrenalin dump experienced by SAS training where they use real bullets and sometimes real hostage is more accurately simulated. Without the dangers and costs.

  • jdun1911


    Shoot house by it nature is stressful. Placing 2D projection doesn’t make it more so.

    You need physical depth so the shooter(s) can distinguish between hostages and targets. The distance between the targets, hostages, shooters are small and having it projected to the wall isn’t realistic. In other words the targets and hostages does not always hug the wall. Small hallways where the enemy is in the middle and not the far end, middle of the room, etc. Those are the limitation of this type of technology.

  • subase

    That’s the key really. Shooting accurately and quickly at those distances isn’t what’s difficult (IPSC performers do it all the effing time).

    What IS difficult is doing it while your life is in mortal danger and your one bullet in the head away from losing your life. Or killing innocents.

    Simulating the fear and adrenaline dump as well as tunnel vision experienced in real gun fights (and entering into the lions den which is exactly what these guys are doing) is what should be simulated.

    This simulation is boneheaded, that’s why I suggest the “scrotum electroshock if shot” accessory. I’m sure volunteers will very much decrease, thus separating the wheat from the chaff.

  • SpudGun

    I think you are all missing the point of this system – that you can digitally change the look of your enemy. You could be shooting Taliban one day, Xenomorphs the next, and the day after that, Sesame Street characters. The list is pretty much endless.

  • They had a small shoot house at SHOT 2010 which I ran. It was neat but it was “video game” neat, not “realistic” neat. I’m sure that moving up to the MILES type system where you’re running blank ammo and doing actual reloads makes it more interesting…but the visuals need to either be integrated as part of a real environment or they need to look into 3D technology. For ANYONE who does even the most limited amount of tactical shooting the lack of depth is painfully evident.

    This was especially clear to me when I tried out a scenario on their static range which was supposed to simulate “leading” moving targets. It involved shooting tangos running between buildings on the screen at varying speeds. While compensating for the speed was easy, I had a lot of trouble when I set it up to put them at varying distances as it seems my brain was automatically telling me that they were all the same distance away…I had to REALLY concentrate and think about the size of the tangos and translate that into distance since there was no physical depth.

    Running the target trees and other fixed distance shooting was pretty neat but it was no different than what you can basically do with any home gaming system. They also REALLY need to upgrade the graphics and projection systems as the resolution sucked when blown up to cover large surfaces adding to the lack of reality. Even in a darkened room the static range had a washed out, blurry look to it as did the shoot house.

    It did seem that teaching group skills (moving and especially gun handling while working in groups) would be a strong point for this system. As for actual shooting skills…not so much.

  • jdun1911

    It really doesn’t matter what they look like. Why? Whoever is holding a weapon is a threat.

    For example you enter the shoot house. You see Big Bird with an AK. You see a Taliban with an AK. You see a guy in a suit with a pistol. You see Mickey Mouse with a Big ASS KNIFE ™.

    Who you going to shoot?
    1. Big Bird
    2. Taliban
    3. Guy in Suit
    4. Mickey Mouse
    5. All of them

    All of them right? Of course you have to prioritize which of the four has the best chance of killing you. In the scheme of things it doesn’t matter what they look like. All that matters is who has a weapon, who is capable of taking your life away from you.

  • SpudGun

    @jdun – LOL! – Obviously, I’m going to shoot Big Bird first as his extensive profile will be easier to acquire in my sights.

    As for the real world effectiveness of this or any other ‘shoot house’ – Live Fire, MILES, simmunitions, paintball, airsoft, etc. – as long as the environment can simulate the stresses of actual CQB, then it is a useful training tool IMHO.

  • KingCapybara

    This technology is the best suited for CQB training, though it is not perfect no simulation is as good as the real thing. Here is some feedback to various comments on…

    – Why this technology is good for training is the dynamic nature of the targets. Using static paper targets not only has a cost implication but they dont move plain and simple, nor do they shoot back. Within a few seconds instructors can place in a hostage, non-threat, more threats, or reposition threats as needed. In comparison the 2D projections are several steps above the paper targets that the soldiers were using. And it is cost effective, that is the short list of why this is good

    – The soldiers in this video are real soldiers and not actors for a promo. They are shooting live rounds and are running through various tactics they normally do in training. You can search for this product on YouTube and see various, unedited, videos (some short) that show breaching and engaging the virtual targets

    – This shoothouse was already built and was retro-fitted with ballistic tiles and simulation technology to further enhance training as well as extend the life of the current shoothouse. The size of the rooms was predetermined and had nothing to do with limitations of the technology.

    – What this video does not show is the impact vest/modules that allow the virtual characters to shoot at the soldiers. So yes, the soldiers do get a stimulation in various parts of their body depending on where the virtual characters round’s landed.

    The idea of this simulation training is to provide as close to reality as you can get while simulating situations that would be more difficult to replicate in the real world. Without putting the soldier in danger no training method will produce the heart pounding or adredaline rush they see in real-combat, the will always know they are paper or virtual targets and they will not perish by the hands of these virtual targets. What it can do it help prepare soldiers for engaging targets that can think, move, and shoot back.