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First Coast churches, charities at home on Reload-1's virtual gun range

12:04 AM, Feb 22, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Guns have been controversial in Florida and across the U.S. over the past few weeks, but one company locally is using guns a whole lot differently.

Reload-1 is the new generation of gaming.

It's a little like Duck Hunt on steroids.

And if possible, more popular than the old school shooting game.

"We've done this in restaurants, we've done this for charities, we've done this for churches," said owner Barry Chambers.

The technology has been around for the past 10 years, but the software was primarily used to train the military.

Chambers asked the company if he could distribute the program in Jacksonville three years ago, and it's been growing in popularity ever since.

Barry and his crew set up a movie grade projector screen and the guns uses lasers to determine where the shots hit.

He rents the system out for parties and fundraisers where people want to do things a little differently.

He has duals, and targets, and alien invasion scenarios, but said they all serve to get people more comfortable around firearms.

"It's very helpful for a lot of people who have never held a handgun, or never held a rifle, and for the first time they're experiencing what it's like to hold a gun," he said.

He started the company because he thought it was getting harder to open an actual gun range in the area, but still wanted people to have the experience of handling a firearm.

And even though he's virtual, he still has his critics.

"I guess there's probably some push back because it's associated with the shooting industry, but it's more benign, more along the lines of Wii and Nintendo," he said.

For the most part though, people who use the virtual range just want to know when they can do it again.

"People ask us 'where are you going to be next,'" he said.

And like any good virtual company, you can find them online.

First Coast News

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