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Old March 18, 2005, 02:16 AM   #26
Shawn Dodson
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Join Date: December 16, 1998
Location: Titusville, FL, USA
Posts: 1,030
I have one issue when it comes to airsoft as a training tool. The "honor system" works great for recreational games, but doesn't provide much feedback on the all too critical shot placement.
If your live target is wearing a t-shirt and the distances are realistic, then there should be no question where your "rounds" hit. Having been personally hit many times I can attest that AirSoft BBs do, indeed, hurt, and they raise a welt.

There is so much more to gain from AirSoft training than merely seeing if you can hit a live target. A good, reality-based AirSoft training program will fire you up emotionally and both activate and innoculate your sympathetic nervous system. It requires training to a specific objective, good role players, a good exercise controller and tightly scripted scenarios.

Attempting impromptu skirmishes may do more harm than good.
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Old March 26, 2005, 04:21 PM   #27
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Join Date: October 9, 2004
Location: Northeast Alabama
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In regards to paintball: Golgo-13 is right on the penetration thing. What will protect you from paintball/airsoft may not protect you from a real round. That is a serious limitation. That said, some of the newer paintball guns are very realistic. Armotech makes several M16/M4 copies that are very close, and some semi handguns that are in the MK23 size range. Nothing really smaller yet. Tippmann A-5 is a close copy of an MP5-PDW (especially if you add an aftermarket folding stock), and you can get a cap that limits it to 30 rounds capacity. We use such markers for CQB/Urban Rifle training and night training mainly because you do know immediately when you screw up. Range is under 30 yds, not "sniper" shots. USCG uses them for boarding party practice, or they did a few years ago. I put a rail on mine so I can take off my Surefire from my 870 and put it on my marker for low light.

As for Airsoft, I just spent an enjoyable afternoon teaching my pre-school son how to shoot with one. We used safety glasses, but no hearing protection was needed. We used a 1911 copy (train 'em right while they are young) and after some practice, he was keeping them all on a 4" shooters spot at 3 yds. Not bad for a 5-year-old.

EDIT: Wouldn't that freak out the Gun Control people!!!!

Last edited by smince; March 27, 2005 at 06:10 PM.
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Old March 27, 2005, 05:31 PM   #28
Capt. Charlie
Join Date: March 24, 2005
Location: Steubenville, OH
Posts: 4,419
Not sure about airsoft or paint ball, but our dept. does semi-annual FATS training, and short of actual range time, or simunitions, FATS is as real as it gets. The operator can change the simulator's response mid-scenerio, based on your response, use of cover, etc., and it shoots back! You wear a little gizmo with an infra red LED and the computer tracks you. If you're not quick enough, or don't make proper use of cover, you get pelted, and dam! but those things sting!!! The weapons are modified Glocks or Sigs (also shotgun in some scenerios, even OC spray) and used compressed air to cycle the action and simulate recoil, and the computer tracks the weapon the entire time. During critique, it shows exactly what your muzzle was tracking, exactly where each hit (or miss) was, and analyzes your patterns and mistakes. It's amazing when you see that almost everyone's first shot goes for the bad guy's weapon (that's what your eyes first lock onto), and then onto center mass. It's also amazing how you really get into it. After several scenerios, I find myself breathing hard and my heartrate really up. The only down side is the expense. FATS is really expensive, and most departments can only lease them once or twice a year.
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Old March 29, 2005, 01:14 PM   #29
Join Date: March 24, 2005
Posts: 54
"paintball is spray and pray" is quite the blanket statement.

Airball, speedball, xball- sure.
Rec ball- no.

And then there is "Stock Class", the origins of paintball. 10 round maximum, and some of the stock class guns cost more than real ones or eletropnumatic paintball markers!

In my experience, MOST paintballers (not birthday party players but consistent players) know a considerable amount about their equipment. A large majority of aftermarket products you will see originated from tinkerers that had the great idea to market their garage productions. Many gun owners whom I know do not know anything about their guns, be it a revolver, semi, or shotgun, other than load-aim-shoot.
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