Airsoft type Training pistols


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If you have not tried them I suggest you take a look at the current crop of Airsoft type gas operated semi-automatic training pistols. The best of the bunch weight the same as the real guns, look the same, have the same controls and shoot as well as the real guns at tactical ranges. I currently have all of the models of Glocks, a SIG P226, a Beretta M9, and a compact 1911. I shoot them all of the time in my garage. These guns shoot a 6MM plastic pellet. That pellet will penetrate cardboard and thus they give positive feeback as to where your shots are going. I use KWA models and have found them reliable.

SIGARMS offer courses now that feature Airsoft pistols. Link Removed

See the URL below for a video that describes the type of training I now do on a regular basis.

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I have started to use these training pistols in my training classes.

Definitely interesting. I had not known of this, though I suspected something similar must exist. Could you also provide links to reviews of these pistols and sales sites? What does it cost to equip yourself for one of these classes?

I have wondered if air soft or paint ball would be effective as training, besides being fun paint ball is a safe way to practice shooting moving targets while moving aroung obsticals. accuracy is very diferant in paintball and the controls are diferant. I dont have any experiance with air soft but even the wall mart models are similar in design to real pistols. So they may have a training advantage.
I saw something once on TLC or whatever where the military was using them to train for urban combat.

It might be helpful, but even better if it simulated the recoil, noise and forced you to reload like in the FATS simulator. Maybe even an occasional jam.
I use an airsoft pistol for my "dry fire" exercises. With a small target and pellet trap, I don't have to worry as much about where the pellets go down range, and the target gives immediate feedback on my technique.
I have the P226 airsoft pistol and I agree it's a good training ad. Very accurate for what it is. I can hit a 6"x6" target from across my living room without any issues. The green gas blow back pistols don't recoil as hard as the real thing or the F.A.T.S. system but still give just enough to work on keeping a good site picture. I like using it to work on my draw and first shot. Since its a replica it fits in the same holster that I have for my real sig. One other thing my bro and I use to do, when he lived with me, was to take a target (taped to a piece of old carpet) and place it some place in the house. Then the other would clear the house, starting from different points in the house.

Word of warning tho, some of the gas blow back guns will imbed bb's into drywall!
I have a green gas version of my Bereta Vertec. First it is the only simulated pistol I have found that accurately replicates the rail system so I can train with my tactical lights mounted and it fits both my with and without light holsters perfectly. The weight is very close, if perhaps just a shade light, of course recoil of the blowback is less than live fire but still a reasonable simulation ... certainly better than a blue chunk of plastic.

As the gas supply is in the magazine, I obtained several extra magazines and simply load each magazine with only the number of shots that I would carry with live ammo. This makes it possible to effectively practice required reloads (though I don't practice simply dropping the mag from the handle as they are not cheap and may not survive that). And as someone said in another post, I actually have had it jam and needed to clear it, so even that gives an edge of reality.

I would love to find more users to create more urban scenerios with a training focus rather than the in the woods, psudo military full auto fire type of air soft games that seem to be the majority of the hobby (although that is of course a good time).
2beararms covers a great point that - in my estimation - makes the green gas guns and other airsoft guns that replicate your ACTUAL sidearm a tremendous addition to any realistic CCW or tactical pistol training course.

The advantage of functionality, size/dimensions and weight (closely anyway) being the same as your actual firearm is that you can train with extreme realism. Drawing. Drawing from concealment. Emergency/combat reloads etc etc... makes for great training with your existing gear. Mask up with paintball masks and cover force-on-force drills etc... it's good stuff!

My green gas Beretta 92F is just a shade wider about mid-slide than the real deal, which affects which holster I could draw smoothly from - but otherwise, it's a great and cost-effective way to train pretty much anywhere.

FYI - I got my green gas gun through APG (Adreneline Proving Grounds) as one of the co-founders of that USNSTA approved facility was training one of our teams on tactical pistol, shotgun and defensive tactics. I'd seen air-soft guns before, but when I got to play with a green gas gun that looked, felt and operated like the real deal, I had to have one. And for a $100 I couldn't be more pleased. is where I got mine, but I'm sure there are plenty of options.
I have wondered if air soft or paint ball would be effective as training

Airsoft probably would be very effective. As for paint ball, I tried it once and came to the conclusion that you just keep pulling the trigger until someone walks into a paint ball.

I'm really interested in trying the airsoft thing for some force on force training.
Well, the actual air-soft gun or green gas gun is an entirely separate and unique training aid/gun. It's replicates the actual firearm, so you should still be able to use your existing holster, but it's a green gas gun unto itself.

Other simulators are available that either replace an actual gun's barrel, or insert into the actual gun's barrel (LMTS for example) but those are different training simulators all together than the airsoft/green gas training guns, and generally more expensive too. Those simulators (LMTS) use a combination of infrared light and receptors (some computerized, some stand-alones) and record "hits" accordingly. However, because they only "click" through the the gun's function, there is no blow-back or recoil or simulated "firing" beyond the "click" of the trigger mechanism which actuates the 'firing' of the infrared beam, which results in immediate feed-back on the infrared receptor. Generally speaking.

If you've got a training budget like the Army's, LMTS DOES provided specialized "blank ammo" and specialized uppers for M16/M4, and even ammo and "blank barrels" for M249's, so then you can use LMTS for training AND get the full functionality of the weapon system - which is outstanding training. I used to run LMTS courses for light machinegun and "fire" inside a warehouse. No environmental considerations, moderate hearing protection was used, and the training was great. A similar system was available for the M9, but again - we're talking Army training budget. I don't know how many "regular Joe's" could afford the Blazer uppers for the M-16, or the blank barrel for an M249, let alone the specialized blank ammo.

It's a far cry from the old crappy blank adapters and blank ammo that may or may not function through a weapon system on any given day.
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Airsoft type training pistols

As soon as Airsoft or other manufacturer brings out a replica of the XD-45, I will buy one and get in more practice time. I can see where it would be very helpful. The San Diego SWAT team practices, or did, in an old newspaper building downtwon, and they use special simunitions that consist of a wax bullet or paintball that is fired from their regular weapons. You can look in the windows of the building and see all the red splats on the walls. I have seen Airsoft war games, where the participants have to be dressed in authentic combat gear. They are ruled dead if the pellet strikes any piece of their gear. I can't agree with that. because if you are a soldier and a round hits your canteen, it doesn't kill you. Like our combat in the SCA, hits are based on the honor system, in that the one being hit determines how he was hit. we have people who try what we call 'rhino-hiding.' This is where a combatant gets touched with a weapon, and does not acknowledge the hit. The next hit they get from the same opponent leaves no doubt that they were hit. Rhino-hiders quickly give up that practice.
I've been playing airsoft for over 2 years now. I think that airsoft guns can be a very valuable training tool. When we go play they give all of the standard safety briefing that they would give people at a real range, and everyone treats the guns like they're loaded. I think that they're great for teaching a variety of things, from weapons handling, retention, mostly anything can be practiced with an airsoft gun. While of course nothing beats a real weapon for training these can be used with little fear of large collateral damage as such with simunitions. Although airsoft lacks the variety of real steel firearms as there are many popular guns out there that have yet to be made into airsoft version, hopefully airsoft can catch on and fill a niche between the red/blue guns and simunitions. Besides they are actually fun to shoot.
Anybody care to recommend me one? 1911, preferably commander size (carry is a Para LTC) or compact (alternate carry is a Springfield EMP)?

Run a google search for 1911 Airsoft, quite a few hits will come up.

Look for a pistol that is Metal, Blowback and Gas powered with a removable magazine (as opposed to spring). They should run between $100 & $150. Look for one that most closely resembles your pistol if exact model copies of your pistols are not available.
KWA makes a series of gas guns that were designed just for tactical training. They are called the professional training pistol. Currently they only make two models in that series one being the 1911. KWA is one of the finest gas pistol manufacturer out there. Some guys in the UK actually blew up a KWA airsoft glock to see if it could withstand the abuse that real glocks were tested with and the gun still fired. Also you can look at WE-Tech they almost exclusively focus on 1911 series pistols, they make about 20 different varieties and there are plenty of aftermarket parts that are available for them, just as like for the KWA. Neither of these series of weapons should run you more than $175 with an extra magazine
Here's a great source for all your green-gas/airsoft needs, to include blow-back and non-blow-back air pistols (and rifles).

Due to the ammunition crunch, I'll soon be promoting Green Gas Intermediate and Tactcial Pistol courses, with only a fraction of the training requiring live ammo. Of course, at the Tactical level, Force on Force is made possible with these training aids.

I like this site because they offer choices for a variety of budgets.

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I did the research on Simunitions and it looks great but the draw back in comparison to airsoft bb style are

- PRICEY FIREARMS...not cheap at all
- PRICEY AMMO...far more expensive than airsoft plastic bb's
- PRICEY GEAR...simunition is the closest thing to live fire and you have to have really good protective gear DESIGNED for Simunition ammo.
- PRICEY SHIPPING...not to mention its considered a FIREARM rather than a "toy gun" and if I recall you must use FFL rather than just regular USPS
- PRICEY VENUE...if your not outdoors you better have some good insurance will make BIG holes in walls.

I was gung ho for Simunitions but in comparison I can create a very inexpensive indoor training facility to mimic home invasion training, house breaches and of course if your lucky you can sweep up the ammo and reuse if not for your pistols then for the "GRENADES" that airsoft companies sell!!!

Airsoft offers safer and more economical training with similar results in that you will feel a hit so that there are "consequences to actions".

Minimal safety gear is needed if your using plastic bb's and with that you may even have the ability (with parental permission) to train teens along with adults seeing as many are into competitive why not defensive shooting as well?

My $20 on the subject.

I do have one question though...opinions on battery or gas powered airsoft? Pro's and con's?

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