Non-Lethal Firearm Training Options

Training is necessary for anyone who plans to handle a firearm, even when using non-lethal ammunition. It is an essential part of gun ownership and safety. Learning to properly handle, clean, and store your weapon reduces the chance of having an accidental situation that is dangerous. Firearm training is not just for beginners. It is for law enforcement, the military, and professionals who want to brush up on their skills. Firearm training is all about creating good habits, and practice makes perfect.

Non-lethal ammunition is used so that any injuries during training are reversible. However, proper training is still crucial. There are various options when it comes to non-lethal ammunition and weapons. Here is some helpful information on firearm training with non-lethal ammunition.

Types of Non-Lethal Ammunition

  • Paintballs – These are made of water, gelatin, polyethylene glycol, mineral oils, and iodine food coloring. They are solid on the outside and liquid on the inside. The benefits are that they can shoot through bushes, and make a distinct sound when they are fired. You can also tell exactly where a paintball landed, by the mark it leaves.
  • Blanks -  Blanks are typically used in situations where a projectile would not be safe, such as in certain military training. They create a muzzle flash as normal shots do, but the user will experience less recoil. These are typically used in prop guns. 
  • Lasers - With Lasers, you can practice your marksmanship anywhere. There’s a red light to simulate the point of impact on your target. They are great for military and law enforcement training because you can practice your stance, trigger pull, sight picture, and run other gun handling drills. Lasers are limited in their training realism by the lack of projectiles and impulse.
  • Airsoft/Solid Core Plastic Rounds – This type of bullet was created to replace the rubber bullet and reduce fatalities. They are fired at a lower velocity, which reduces the impact energy, and are effective rounds for training.
  • Wax Tipped Rounds – These are usually made of paraffin wax or a mixture of waxes. They can be used with or without gun powder. Wax bullets without gunpowder are typically used in revolvers or other manually cycled firearms, while drop-in bolt systems such as UTM and Simunition use primer as a propellant for their wax tipped rounds. They are capable of doing serious damage to sensitive areas of the body.

Non-Lethal Firearm Types


  •         UNIT4 Training Rifle – Classified by the ATF as a non-firearm, the UNIT4 Training System allows users to train in authentic environments outside the range or shoot house, with minimal protective equipment. Identical to the M4 service weapon in fit, form, and function, the Unit4 fires in both semi and full auto with a completely realistic trigger pull and recoil. The system utilizes 8mm plastic rounds or paintballs. , which will not penetrate covered human skin or break glass; so situational awareness can be tested in authentic environments. 
    •  Airsoft/BB Gun – This firearm is very similar to a lethal firearm. The pellets can strike a target but will not penetrate the skin. The range is up to 20 feet or more. Air Pistols or BB guns are mostly used for target practice. They do have the ability to put out an eye or damage sensitive areas.
    • Paintball Gun - Paintball guns are used in military training frequently. They are completely safe and allow the user to engage in real combat situations with no injuries. The projectiles used are filled with paint to mark their target. 
  • UTM/Simunition - The UTM training system delivers close-range, realistic training with non-lethal and non-toxic ammunition. It is used by military and law enforcement to improve tactical skills but depends on using a real firearm to power the weapon, leading to accessibility issues.


    Non-lethal training systems are used in law enforcement, military, and civilian training. The systems can be very cost-effective to use and very closely mimics training with live rounds. If you are looking to purchase a non-lethal trainer, UNIT Solutions has excellent options. The UNIT4 training rifles are available in three primary configurations: Unit4 Classic, Unit4 CQB, and Unit4 Special Operations. Check out the UNIT Solutions website to purchase your UNIT4 today.

    About Unit Solutions

    UNIT Solutions is dedicated to being the pre-eminent non-lethal training solution for law enforcement and military worldwide. Based on direct feedback from military and law enforcement professionals, we have custom engineered an affordable solution to directly address existing training challenges and provide the best training system on the market for realistic force-on-force and decision-making training. Visit our website for more information.