I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse – The quotes on the wall by real gangsters like Pablo Escobar, and imaginary ones like Don Vito Corleone are the first thing you notice upon entering Insight Virtual Ballistics (IVB). Their words of wisdom set the stage for a little danger, and a realistic shooting experience – minus the live ammo.
Although safety officers do use IVB for training, my son and I visited simple for the fun of it. The experience reminded me a little of the virtual range we tried at the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning years ago where we learned that unlike video games, ammunition is limited.
The Real Deal
Although the set up at IVB makes it feel like a full sized video game, the guns are the real deal. Choose between a 9MM, AR-15, and M-4, which has the same recoil as if the user was shooting live ammo. I haven’t handled that many guns, but it seems to have the same weight too.
There are over 1000 scenarios you can play in any room that range from fun to military or safety training. We shot the bad guys (or were we the bad guys??) in a Spanish style hacienda, planes out of the sky in a World War II type of scene, and even did a police simulation, walking into a building where we had to discern the perps with weapons and the innocent victims with their hands up. Let’s just say I’d never make it as a cop.
Meet the Owners
The realistic nature of IVB is due to the background of owners Brian and Amy Dixon. Brian is an ex-marine and weapons trainer. His wife Amy is also an expert marksman. The couple had the idea of IVB about 11 years ago, but it was during COVID they decided to pull the trigger (ha, see what I did there). It’s a unique concept that has already garnered interest from potential franchisees – but first they are building out the Atlanta location.
Private Rooms at Insight Virtual Ballistics
Insight Virtual Ballistics has three private themed rooms with floor to ceiling screens that are perfect for groups. The largest is a 007 theme complete with clocks showing the time around the world. In addition to the shooting space, there is a sitting area with TVs for those who aren’t shooting. The Scarface room has a convex screen giving a slightly more surround feeling. The final room has a military feel. I would have liked to have a themed game that supported the theme of the room – but that could still be coming.
Meet Friends for a Night Out
IVB is building out an open area with multiple bays and a bar similar to Top Golf where you can relax, shoot, and see what games others are playing. This idea intrigued my 21-year-old. He liked the thought of a gathering spot vs. just being in a private room.
F&B By Nick’s Westside Grill
Adding flair to the facility, famed Atlanta chef Nick Leahy is overseeing the food and drinks that will specialize in classic cocktails – perhaps a shaken martini menu to compliment the 007 theme??
We tasted a bit of Nick’s brilliance that included items from his latest concept Nick’s Westside, located just a few miles from IVB. I went back for seconds on the biscuits with pimento cheese and locally sourced hot honey.
Give Insight Virtual Ballistics a try. They are located in Atlanta’s Westside neighborhood at 1425 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd, Suite 12, Atlanta, GA. 30318. I visited for the media opening, but all opinions are my own.
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