Airsoft as a training tool
AUTHOR Jeff Kirkham / RM Training Blog / PUBLISHED: NOV-03-2019
“One of the single most beneficial tools you can get your hands on to increase your firearms training is a quality Airsoft gun…”
One of the single most beneficial tools you can get your hands on to increase your firearms training is a quality Airsoft gun.
Now wait, before you roll your eyes and disregard Airsoft as a simple kids toy, think about this:
Have you ever trained by dry fire?
Have you ever used a plastic dummy gun for combatives or learning house clearing training?
Have you ever used a BB gun to shoot small game?
Have you ever wanted to shoot in a live fire shoot house but don’t have the money or resources to do that?
Have you ever wondered what it is like to shoot at someone who is moving and shooting back at you in a scenario crafted to help you learn?
The limitation with live fire is there is zero room for failure…
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, read on.
Anyone that is serious about firearms training either wants to do, or has done many of the above mentioned training iterations, but even if you are a police officer or in the military, it is never enough time.
Airsoft does a marvelous job closing the loop so that you can train! Airsoft has the added benefit of safely being able to shoot a projectile so that you can get the confirmation that you are actually hitting what you are aiming at.
Airsoft is like any other training tool; if you treat it with respect, it is invaluable in your training gear line up. If you treat it like a toy, then you will have just that, a child’s toy.
A quality Airsoft gun will shoot a BB in the exact trajectory (at short range) of that of a real firearm without the danger of killing someone, or destroying something that you don’t want to. This creates a series of tremendous advantages that we will discuss below:
A quality Airsoft pistol like this Glock authorized version will cost you less than half of that of a real Glock, and the look, feel and weight is virtually identical.
Ammo is incredibly cheap, coming in at approximately $10 for 5,000 BBs! Compare that to the same amount of 9mm and it would cost you well over $1,000!
Training on a budget.
In firearms training, repetition is essential, and if you are on a budget (and you should be) then it is impossible to beat the savings of Airsoft. The math is simple: Shoot 100 BBs for every one live-fire round. That’s a lot of trigger time to be had.
Range fees vary depending on where you live, but fees add up either way, costing you hard earned dollars. Also, take into consideration the time that is spent to travel to a range. Unless you live in Salt Lake where there seems to be an indoor range on every corner, you may have to travel long distances. With Airsoft you can literally walk into your garage making training convenient, inexpensive and safe.
Many ranges will not allow several of the essential steps in firearms training due to safety constraints.
Things like draw and shoot, rapid fire and moving-while-shooting are a big “no go” at the vast majority of ranges both indoors and outdoors. If you are lucky enough to be able to do those training skills at your range, then good on you! But unfortunately, the freedom to train in that manner is fading fast. The ability to shoot in any training manner you like is completely within reach with Airsoft and you don’t have to go to a range to do it.
Traditional ranges are two dimensional in almost all cases. Shooting on a highly regulated traditional range gets you ready to win a gun fight about as much as hitting a heavy bag gets you ready for a boxing match. Bottom line: it is not enough .
Flat range work is essential but far from enough to get you ready for a fight! Airsoft, if treated like a training tool, allows you to do training iterations, like clear your own home, run other scenario based training with your friends and family, and push the limits of your skills.
Ever wanted to learn how to clear your home and shoot at the same time? You can do it with Airsoft. Ever want to learn how to fight from your own vehicle? You can do it with Airsoft. Ever want to practice shooting at a 3D target when you are running to cover? Airsoft lets you do it.
Airsoft technology is improving constantly, and getting training tools that feel, look, and weigh like the real thing is now possible.
Yes, I said failure.
When you train, it is essential to train to the point of failure; to improve you must first identify your failure points, then focus on improving those weaknesses. The limitation with live fire, is there is zero room for failure because of the danger involved.
Airsoft allows you to push the limits of almost every aspect of firearms training without the danger that is inherently involved in live fire shooting. Yes you can get hurt, but injury is exceedingly rare.
So why not use Simunitions or UTM’s?
Without question UTM and Simunitions are valuable tools and should be used. There are several limitations with them however:
-They are hard to get because they are limited almost exclusively to police and military.
-They are very expensive, the kits cost as much as real firearms and the bullets are approximately $0.88 cents per shot.
-The protective equipment is very expensive and necessary.
-A certification is required to purchase the kits and is expensive.
-They are still considered firearms so may be restricted for shooting in city limits or just flat out illegal to own.
It is for the above reasons that Jason and I are writing a “How To” training manual on the proper way to use Airsoft so that it becomes a game changer in your preparedness skills. Stay tuned for more to come.