UTM Civilian Training Ammunition Hands-On, New Products

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I was initially unsure about UTM’s decision to bring to market a civilian derivative of its training marker ammunition; it seemed to me that most would rather shoot regular ammunition through their rifles on a range than buy a multi-hundred-dollar conversion kit and $0.60/round ammunition to do nonlethal training.

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Everything that comes in the UTM training kit, minus the shot trap.

 
I still think most will take to the range and shoot in the traditional way for training, but actually shooting UTM’s product has made me more optimistic about their chances. UTM’s civilian training ammunition has several advantages that become obvious once you get a chance to shoot it:
-It has similar ballistic performance to airsoft pellets, allowing training in a wide variety of locations.

-No hearing protection is required.

-Recoil is very similar to an unmodified weapon.

-Only a bolt change is needed; even standard magazines can be used.

-The kit comes with a target trap, for shooting anywhere.

-The cartridges use two primers: The primer at the base operates the gun and sets off the primer at the top which sends the projectile out the barrel. This means ammunition can be easily adapted for a variety of guns, without raising the performance of the pellets to dangerous levels

-The civilian ammunition uses non-marking pellets, which are still useful for force-on-force training, but don’t make a mess.

-The power of the base primer is good enough to reliably cycle an automatic rifle.

-UTM ammunition is very accurate; much, much more accurate than an airsoft gun.

 

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UTM’s ten-scale cutaway ammunition displays, showing the double-priming system.

 

UTM ammunition is too expensive for training the fundamentals, but for some I could see it finding a home as a creative training aid, perhaps to ease in new shooters to the sport in a safer and more comfortable environment, or as a more realistic alternative to airsoft training. I think UTM has a very good product on their hands, that could become very popular if the price comes down. I also think UTM would be well-served demoing these kits on a regular basis, perhaps at gun shows or other venues. For me at least, shooting the product put it in a whole new light.

UTM has also introduced 7.62×51 and 7.62×39 training ammunition, and had on display belted 5.56mm ammunition for the M249 SAW.

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AK clone with UTM adapter inserted.

 

 

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UTM released a press release regarding the new 7.62mm marker ammunition:

Mildenhall, United Kingdom (PRWEB) August 27, 2014

UTM Reality Based Training (UTM RBT) has announced the latest addition to their Non-Lethal Training Ammunition (NLTA) product line, the 7.62mm, to include both 7.62mm x 51 and 7.62mm x 39. The 7.62mm is available in both loose and linked rounds and all four types of UTM RBT NLTA; Silent Blank Round (SBR), Battlefield Blank Round (BBR), Man Marker Round (MMR) and Target Bullet Round (TBR). In conjunction with the new 7.62mm NLTA, UTM RBT has also developed weapon conversions for the H&K 417, FN Minimi and M240B and will be announcing the availability of a new UTM RBT dedicated AK47 weapon in the coming weeks.

“This is an exciting time for us. We are really forging ahead with new developments and designs, which are being reverse engineered based on the needs of our clients. We are really listening to what the soldiers and law enforcement community are saying and making sure that our products address those demands. What sets us apart is that we are actually designing new machines and technology in order to meet those needs – rather than just settling on the technology already out there and trying to retrofit a product around those limitations. We will be announcing several new products in the coming months. We’ve set the bar very high and will continue to do so,” says Tony Lambraia, UTM RBT U.S. Chief of Operations.

“What is so important about the new 7.62mm NLTA line is the ability for units to now integrate all of their unit level weapons systems into their training for the first time. It has the added advantage of offering safer and more realistic blank fire training with no BFA required and minimal weapon cleaning – saving time and man hours. The Man Marker option gives these units a completely immersive and realistic training experience, which creates a more effectively trained force – ultimately saving lives,” explains Steven Didier, UTM RBT Int’l Chief of Operations. Full product details on the new 7.62mm NLTA are available at http://www.utmworldwide.com

UTM RBT is a training company which manufactures training ammunition, weapon conversions, products and provides training course, curriculum development, training facility designs and consultation. UTM RBT currently offers products and training to Military, Law Enforcement Agencies, Private Training Organizations and Private Security Companies in over 65 countries around the world.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • TechnoTriticale

    Can it be reloaded?
    Their FAQ says no, but their web site is only covering the mil products at the moment.

    And since many will be lost, can the projectiles be bought separately?

    • Dan

      I’m highly doubting it

  • Roy

    Considering the buy in for high end airsoft gear, this seems pretty reasonable to me actually. Now to just try talking enough buddies into it that we can actually have some fun with it.

    • joe

      Except the $1.50 per bullet vs. $.00015 per pellet part.

      My unit is borrowing the guns from the SF unit on base. Airsoft is prime-time training.

  • Grindstone50k

    Not very practical for the vast majority of non-agency shooters, at least cost-wise. A decent airsoft set up can be had for under $500 and that’s only the initial cost. Ammo and propellant/battery costs are minuscule after that.

  • Cheese_McQueen

    Civilian available?!?!?!?!

    Any bets on how long before someone gets shot with live ammo because a live round got “mixed” in? I didn’t see if the bolt was modified enough to prevent live ammo from being fired.

    • The bolt is rimfire. So even if a centerfire round got mixed up, it would just go click.

      • Cheese_McQueen

        Now that I look at the website I see that. It wasn’t mentioned in the article.

    • Albert Einstein

      Shut up Feinstein

      • Cheese_McQueen

        Shut up Einstein.

  • MR

    Can it be fired legally inside city limits, without special permits? Obviously, much depends on the specific wording of each municipality’s ordinances, but I’m thinking in most cases this would be frowned upon.

    • Albert Einstein

      It probably comes down to what you can get away with it, which probably comes down to how much noise it makes. If all it takes is closed blinds and a bench grinder running in your garage for people to not care about/hear a semi-loud “popping” noise, then you’re probably fine. I imagine it’s very quiet since it’s only primers.

      Because of the way it has 2 primers, if there is any dumping of gas from the rear one, it may be impossible to suppress effectively using a normal can. I believe simmunition and its 1 primer was possible and very easy to suppress, since it worked much like a normal super low power cartridge that powered a straight blowback action(rather than some weird 2piece cartridge consisting of a piston/cylinder to power the bolt).

      If you’re not hurting anyone, or disturbing them, they probably won’t care. I guess it just comes down to how many old GOP farts/democrats you have in your neighborhood.

  • Tahoe

    Considering it uses standard mags and receivers, I foresee training accidents for those who use this route. Not having a dedicated sims weapon is asking for trouble.

    It is odd that it’s non-marking; so it relies on the standard airsoft “honor system”? I’ve never considered the marker rounds to be a problem.