Cruise Ship Firearm Simulator

I was on the Royal Princess Cruise ship going around the British Isles. The ship has a firearm simulator that they call the Bullseye Shooting Simulator. The Bullseye Shooting Simulator is only open 1 hour each day. The downside, is that it is often open while I was out for a shore excursion. I checked it out during our days at sea.

The simulator is made by a Swedish company called Marksman Training Systems AB. The program is their ST-2 Indoor Simulator. It is like the old Nintendo game Duck Hunt but on steroids. It uses a projector to display the image and video on the wall of the simulator room. It has a dummy shotgun tethered to the computer and has a light sensor hanging off the barrel. The shotgun felt like a fully loaded semi auto shotgun in terms of weight and size. The trigger was horrible. But it is a giant video game controller. The trigger pull was long and crunchy and breaking the sear was hollow. There is no short reset, you have to release the trigger all the way forward for it to reset. If you did not let the trigger reset to the very end, and you pulled the trigger, it would not register the shot.

There were two sets of games. Depending on the day, you could be shooting rifle targets or shotgun targets. For the rifle targets, they mounted an Aimpoint Pro to the top picatinny rail. Each shooter would calibrate the gun and optic first. Once calibrated you would shoot some simulated cans. The program allows you to set the distance. The cruise crewman would set it for us. He or she would operate the computer in order to reset the targets or to change parameters. Such as the balloon targets. There would be balloons rising from the bottom of the screen. The crewman can control the speed and direction the balloons showed up. At first you are shooting one balloon at a time. Then when that round was finished, the crewman would change the settings to have all balloons rise in a staggered order. After the balloon shoot, they would display a stationary paper target and you have to shoot 10 shots as best as you can at the bullseye. I took a knee and benched the shotgun and got a perfect 10 shots.

The shotgun games were more fun. I was curious to see how well this simulator would simulate clay birds. Would the simulator take distance and speed into consideration? Yes it did. I had to lead my targets just as I would shooting real clay targets. One helpful aspect of this simulator is that, after every shot, the simulator would show a quick blown up review of where you shot was in relation to the target. So you get feed back where you shot missed or hit.

One thing I noticed is that they do not allow shooting of simulated live animals. If you go to Marksman Training Systems AB website, you can see pictures of games that simulate hunting. There were options for a rabbit shoot but they were not allowed to access it. I thought perhaps it might have been like a sporting clays rabbit, but considering how they would not let us play that game it must be shooting virtual rabbits.


Here is a video of my dad and I shooting the Trap simulator.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • Johannes Axner

    It’s not uncommon for people studying to get their hunting permit in Sweden to train on these simulators.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    A lot of cruise ships used to have for real clay pigeon shooting off of the rear deck.

    • Nicholas Chen

      Yeah, I wish that was the case here. Unfortunately not on this boat.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I imagine its been mostly shut down by the insurance companies.

        • MclarenF1Forever

          I was on a cruise and asked the captain during an open meet the crew and q&a session about this, and he said that it was onboard until the late 90s, when the cruise line (Royal Caribbean) instituted a “nothing overboard” policy. At least that is the claimed reason for the clay shooting activity’s departure.

          • Dan

            I believe it, probably some enviromental group whined saying the lead was killing giant squid and that is the reason they are so hard to find

      • Tom

        I hate to be a pedent (who am I kidding…) but its a ship not a boat.

        • Mustascheo

          That’s right. Boats sink ships.

  • iksnilol

    I have always wanted a long distance simulator. Some way to simulate long range shooting without actually y’know, having to pay for ammo/fancy rifle+equipment and finding a long enough range.

    Sure, I could just use .22 LR at distance but ironically I want something more “realistic”.

    Maybe that’s an untapped opportunity in the world of firearms? I am learning IT so I might in some years make something like that, only need to come up with the analog interface (the simulator rifle and all).

    • Nicholas Chen

      The problem is the lack of other variables. Such as recoil, muzzle climb. As well as atmospheric influences.

      • iksnilol

        Atmospheric influences could be programmed, it is the recoil part that’s hard. Compressed air could work? I would rather avoid CO2 because that would require buying those CO2 flasks (and I sorta want it to only run on electricity, an air compressor runs on electricity so it isn’t breaking that rule).

        • jamezb

          Electric solenoids with a weight on the end simulate recoil nicely.
          Add “ear protection” with proper sound level muffled gunshots in the speakers, and a e-cigarette type arrangement to puff vapor out the end of the barrel and you really have something neat, ……………btw, I’ll be needing royalties…

          • iksnilol

            Of course, just don’t steal my future programming.

  • s

    Pretty neat but that is one cheesy simulator – I would have expected better on a cruise ship.

    Oh well, better than nothing.

  • Tom Currie

    Years ago, shotgunning off the fantail of a cruise ship was a regular activity.

  • Why was it only open for an hour????
    If it was really good (read realistic) i could spend the whole cruise there….

    • DNH

      Not uncommon for cruise ships to have oddly abbreviated hours for some amenities. For example, many larger ships have a library, only open for a couple of hours each day, closed entirely some days.

      I believe this is because the ship has limited “customer facing” staff, so they allocate employees to more revenue-generating activities and away from niche offerings like the library or shotgun simulator?

  • Billy M. Rhodes

    When I sailed on Royal Princess I tried to access the shooting simulator but the only people allowed were those who had registered for a tournament the first day of the cruise. I never even got a look inside.

  • jamezb

    i just can’t get behind anyone afraid to call “bullsh*t” on PETA.

    • Jack haskins

      All of the above comments may be correct. Never the less, I think that in this day and age, when the first shotgun blast was heard, there would be such panic among the passengers that they would not be able to control it.

  • MrEllis

    Too much internet for today…