Orlando gun range allows customers to shoot at each other

Combat City allows realistic shooting experience

By Matt Austin - Anchor

ORLANDO, Fla. - The video game Call of Duty is incredibly realistic. The situations test survival skills, but in the end, it's just a game.

Now, there is a new, first-of-its-kind gun range in Central Florida that brings Call of Duty -- and other real-life scenarios -- to life.

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It's a place where people can take their gun and shoot at people -- and they shoot back.  There are, however, important rules of engagement that the owner says makes his gun range perfectly safe.

The place is called Combat City.

Before you step foot inside the range, customers meet with owner Dave Kaplan.

"First thing, when you get here, everybody's checked. No guns, knives, ammunition on them," said Kaplan.

He then modifies the customer's weapon, replacing the barrel so a live round will not fire but will still function as a regular weapon, shooting a soft rubber bullet instead.

"A revolver would work the same, semi auto, the action actually cycles. There's full recoil with the weapon. The assault weapon fully cycles," Kaplan said.

Participants then suit up, protecting their head, neck and private parts.

But make no mistake, anyone who gets shot, feels the pain, which was described as more severe than being shot with a paintball. 

"There is supposed to be a degree of pain so that you do learn from it," said Kaplan, "Someone's trying to hurt you.  You learn how to be as tactical as a civilian can be."

And that's why a growing number of women come to Combat City.

Tiffany Chapin is a single mom who believes the real-life scenarios she creates at Combat City are the best way for women to learn how to defend themselves.

"Most of the time, they feel a little bit uneasy, nervous.  I think it helps to have a female instructor," said Kaplan.

But how long does it take a woman to get comfortable in this environment?

Chapin says it depends on the woman.

"Most women walk out of here very empowered, and that's the key," Chapin said.

Employees at Combat City say their facility tests a person's nerve and helps them to know if they have it in them to shoot another person if their life depended on it.

Firing at a paper target only teaches people to shoot straight in perfect conditions, they said.

The cost is less than $150 dollars, which includes the gun modification.

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