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View Full Version : Airsoft As Training -- Substitute For Range


TexasCowboy
October 9, 2006, 04:32 PM
Just curious what do yall think of using airsoft rifles as substitutes for range pratice. You can use them in your backyard and they are very near to the specs of their real world counterparts.

Samurai
October 9, 2006, 04:44 PM
They're fun. And, they'll give you a great wake-up call as to how NON-bulletproof you really are.

That's about it.

Heist
October 9, 2006, 04:46 PM
I wouldn't say that "fun" and "raising awareness" are the only two benefits available. Some people just can't handle the idea of something that can be used as a toy actually having practical value.

marlboroman84
October 9, 2006, 04:49 PM
The only purpose I see for Airsoft in real world type scenarios is for Force-on-Force training. Some of them look,feel,and work like the real thing so they do have training uses. I wouldn't use them as a substitute for actual range time, firing the rifle,pistol,shotgun you'd be using for defense or competition.

Outside of training, Airsoft is just for fun in the backyard. Just my 2 cents.

BTW,welcome to TFL cowboy!:)

stephen426
October 9, 2006, 04:55 PM
While I am not in law enforcement, I really like the idea of airsoft for training. How often can you do stuff on the range that you do with airsoft. Heck, most ranges only allow slow fire, directly in front of you, from a static position only. IPSC adds some realism and relavence to real world scenarios, plus the much needed practice of shooting on the move. Airsoft brings in a whole other facet since it allows for shooting at live targets that shoot back. In my opinion, training does not get more relavent than that. With Airsoft, you don't have to go to a special field like you do for paintball. Plus it hurts a whole lot less :eek: . Just be sure to wear eye protection and you are good to go.

One important thing to remember is to always stow all real weapons before training so you don't mix up a real gun with Airsoft. Another thing is to treat the training seriously. Since Airsoft is so much fun and doesn't hurt much, bad habits may be learned and then applied to real world situations. Maybe even add paper targets to act as innocent bystanders to ensure the trainees don't just "hose" their opponents.

A lot of the Airsoft guns are excellent replications of their real counterparts. This will allow for muscle memory training and is very valuable under high stress situations. Pellets should be limited to the magazine capacity of the real counterparts and mag changes should be incorporated.

Airsoft, when used properly, is probably one of the best training tools for law enforcement and ccw holders alike. (Besides it is a lot of fun). Just be sure to stage realistic scenarios (unlike many IPSC courses) and the training should be very valuable.

AK103K
October 9, 2006, 04:57 PM
For force on force practice, I think they are a great idea. Some are better than others, but you dont need to spend a lot of money for something decent.

I have a couple, a 1911 and a select fire MP5. The 1911 fits in my Blade tech holsters and from across the basement, is accurate enough for fairly realistic practice drawing and shooting. At around 25 feet, I can get aimed 2" groups.

With the MP5 at about 20-25 yards, I can almost get them to go into the 1" holes on my burn barrel on a pretty regular basis. I can hit trees in a tree row about 50 yards from my porch with it, but its dying off pretty good by then. I put my old BSA red dot on it and it works very well. Full auto is fun and its great for keeping the barn cats out of the yard. :D

I wouldnt really consider them to be a replacement for real practice, but they sure are fun for stuff you really cant do anywhere but at the range with a real gun.

rickdavis81
October 9, 2006, 10:00 PM
My friend and I have used are M4 airsofts for training purposes and its good practice. They weigh the same and are the same size. When we play paintball we use our airsoft against the others paintball guns. It hones your ability to shoot on instinct and not have to use you sights. I also have a model 700 sniper with scope thats handy for practice to. Besides, where else to you get to shoot full auto for so cheap. It's alot cheaper than ripping of mags through the AR's.

GlockenHammer
October 9, 2006, 10:36 PM
Like most training aids, they have a place, but can't replace all the others, including real live fire. As previously mentioned, airsoft is the preferred tool for bi-directional dynamic ranges (FoF).

T. O'Heir
October 9, 2006, 11:08 PM
Airsoft and paintball guns are expensive toys. They're as close to a real firearm as a kid's cap gun.
If you want good shooting practice without the same safety requirements(safety is still required though) of a firearm, shoot an air gun. A good one. A good air powered rifle or pistol can cost as much or very nearly as much as a firearm.
Air gun shooting requires the same shooting skills as a firearm, but without the same kind of back stop, etc. So does air rifle shooting. There are match quality pellets and non-match quality pellets. Air gun shooting is an Olympic sport. Airsoft and paintball gun shooting is not and never will be.

Blackwater OPS
October 9, 2006, 11:09 PM
A good tool for tactical training, however when comes to actually shooting an airsoft gun there is no relation between it and the real thing.

stephen426
October 10, 2006, 03:00 AM
What good is marksmanship if the only way you can hit your target is if both you and it are stationary? Are you just going to trade rounds until one person drops? Those who can shoot accurately on the move will most likely dominate those who only practice hitting stationary target while standing in the traditional isocoles stance.

IPSC focuses on speed and precision, albeit sometimes too much on speed. The point is that you have to be able to draw and fire quickly in most self defense scenarios. The ability to make pretty little groups on a paper target has very limited value in a close quarters gun fight. That is why IPSC uses alpha, bravo, and charlie scoring rather than regular bullseye rings. A good fast center of mass "alpha" hit (usually double taps) will end most fights.

Air guns are great for building precision when you can't go to the range, but you aren't going to be shooting each other with them. Airguns, like Airsoft, also lack the recoil of real guns. Now the main difference is that you can fire airsoft in the house without causing any damage, and you can set up tactical drills where you can use force on force. For instance, you can practice clearing a house and have your training partner try to ambsh you.

Most airsoft guns closely replicate real guns. The are many models that actually weigh almost the same and have very similar handling characteristics. One thing I have heard (I can't confirm this) is that in a self defense situation, the adrenaline kicks in and you don't even notice the bang or the recoil. Hopefully, it comes down to lots of practice and good training.

4095fanatic
October 10, 2006, 08:15 AM
I play airsoft with my bro when he's home on leave (US Army, Combat Infantry) and he says it's pretty much just like the real thing except you don't die when you get hit (he's been in a few firefights overseas, so I'll take his word for it).

ATW525
October 10, 2006, 08:45 AM
The gas blowback guns aren't too bad, but I find that shooting AEGs has more in common with spraying a garden hose than shooting a real firearm.