A little while ago I did a review of a laser training cartridge that you can practice with in the comforts of home. Well, shortly after that post went up I was contacted by Outwest Systems to see if I would like to take their OCATS for a test spin. I accepted and Wow! What a system!!
The OCATS works with live ammo or laser cartridge, your computer, optional spotting scope and OCATS targets and takes laser and live fire training to a whole new level! Not only do you get the benefits of training at home (laser) but the system actually records your shots and stores them on you computer allowing you to review past sessions for improvement and instant training feedback!
Pull the trigger, see your hits on the screen! No more squinting or changing position to reference your spotting scope. Reference your spotting scope? Yes! Not only does OCATS work for handguns, but the system also works for longrifles as well. How cool is that!
The laser kit comes with the software, multi caliber laser unit, PC camera and spotting scope adapter. As the software was loading I configured the laser and started messing around with that. Going from one weapon type to the next was a breeze and every time I pulled the trigger, it worked. The camera comes with a mount for a spotting scope. Hook it up, dial it in…Bam! The software is now looking down range and recording your hits. The mount is sturdy and well made and fits a wide range of optics.
After the software loaded up I put out the targets and set to work. The program is easy to use and simple to navigate. The Graphical User Interface (GUI) is easy on the eyes and devoid of crazy colors or shapes that could confuse the user. The buttons are right where you would expect them to be and the layout is spot on. Calibration is quick and the screen well organized. In my opinion, it’s a great system not only for the serious shooter, but for police agencies and teams. As the cost of ammo soars and time becomes an issue, the OCATS could pay for itself in just a few sessions and the ability to set up different users and record their training sessions is really where the system shines. Don’t get me wrong, the tech behind the screens is rather impressive but the heart is being able to review multiple sessions and analyze them creating a custom training environment for every user. Bad habits can be caught and corrected right away and individualized training paths can be developed at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.
From the individual perspective, it might be overkill if you train once every 6 months and carry only to feel cool…in which case turn in your gun and Man Card here and pick up your loafers and pink polo shirt at the end of the line!! This system is for all shooters! If you shoot competition or are a hunter and want to keep your skills up year round, this is the ticket for you. Its equally functional indoors as it is out, and will provide you years of enjoyment. The instant feedback on your skills is invaluable and this product, with time and practice will make you a better shooter.
Now, is this a replacement for live fire training? No. Admittedly I have focused on the dry fire aspect of this product of which I’m a huge advocate of when done the right way, but the OCATS system works with live fire as well. The software is such that it can track and record your hits down range and puts them up on the screen! How cool is that! If your doing long distance shooting, which the system is capable of, you get the best of both worlds in that you have to compensate for windage and bullet drop but yet get a digital record and instant results on how your doing!
I give the OCATS system four out of four stars!