Via artofmanliness.com -
Airsoft. It’s Not Just For Kids: Using Airsoft in Your Firearms Training
byon June 26, 2013
One of my sheepdog goals this year is to become proficient with a handgun and to get my carry license.
I bought my first handgun a few months ago — a Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm — and have been taking defensive handgun classes at the U.S. Shooting Academy. One thing I quickly discovered is that firearm training gets really expensive, really fast. First there’s the range time you need to pay for, but what really kills you is the ammo. Holy smokes, that stuff was like gold for awhile. I saw places selling 9mm ammo for $1.50 a round. Sheesh. While ammo prices are beginning to drop as producers catch up with the demand, you’ll still need to fork over a pretty penny for a day at the range.
At one of my classes I overheard some guys talking about how they were using airsoft guns in addition to their live and dry fire training.
“Airsoft guns? Isn’t that what little kids play with?” I asked with some skepticism.
You see, up until that point my only experience with airsoft guns was watching neighborhood kids run around with their neon orange space ray toy guns and plink each other with plastic BBs.
One of the crusty old-timers responded, “Hell yeah, partner. They’ve gotten real sophisticated in recent years — to the point they have exact replicas of almost every real firearm on the market. I’ve got an airsoft version of my Glock. It even simulates recoil when you fire it. Shooting plastic BBs is a hell of a lot cheaper than shooting live ammo. Plus, I can fire it at my house in my garage. It’s been an invaluable tool in improving my gun manipulation.”
He went on to explain that police departments and even the military are using what used to be a kid’s toy as part of their firearm training. Still dubious, I started doing some research, and I’ll be darned if the old guy wasn’t right. Airsoft guns have gotten incredibly realistic in recent years. If it weren’t for the orange tip that’s required on them, you couldn’t tell the difference between a real gun and the airsoft version of it. He was also right about how military and police forces around the world are using airsoft guns to train recruits. What’s more, many of the top gun instructors across the country are encouraging their students to include airsoft training along with live fire and dry fire training. I also discovered there’s a HUGE airsoft community offline and online. Instead of shooting each other with paintball guns, people are getting together for massive airsoft matches that pretty much replicate real-life military scenarios.
Intrigued by what I read, I went online to some Asian website and bought the airsoft version of my Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm so I could give it a try. I also started researching as much as I could and talking to experts about airsoft and how you can use airsoft guns in tactical training. Below I share what I’ve learned.
Read the full article: Airsoft. It’s Not Just For Kids: Using Airsoft in Your Firearms Training
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