People use airsoft guns for all sorts of reasons; target practice, as movie props and even in firearms training. That’s right—airsoft guns are frequently used in firearms training.
Throughout this article, we’ll discuss using airsoft guns during firearms training, and which types of airsoft guns are best for that purpose. For more detailed information on airsoft guns and the benefits of using them during firearms training, review the sections below.
Why Practice Using Airsoft Guns?
Who Uses Airsoft Guns?
The Types of Airsoft Guns Available
Spring Action Airsoft Guns
Automatic Electric Guns
Gas Airsoft Guns
Types of Gas
Propane: Your Economical Solution
What Type of Ammunition Do You Use for Firearm Training?
Cleaning and Maintenance for Your Airsoft Guns
Airsoft Guns in Firearm Practice
Airsoft Guns vs the Real Thing
You may be wondering why someone would choose to use airsoft guns for firearms training.
Well, it is quite simple. First, airsoft pellets are a whole lot cheaper than expensive ammunition costs. Second, airsoft guns can be shot at home in the comfort of your own garage. This enables people to practice their training as often as they would like. These days airsoft guns look and feel similar to real guns. They are very effective in helping shooters to improve their shooting capabilities.
It may sound surprising, but many police departments and military personnel practice firearm training using airsoft guns. Even leading gun instructors throughout the nation are encouraging students to practice shooting using airsoft guns in addition to dry fire and live fire training.
If you’re looking to get into firearm training, you may want to start by getting familiar with the airsoft version of your handgun. As you get started, it’ll also be useful to get to know airsoft guns in more detail to understand the types of guns available and find the most compatible gun for you.
There are three different types of airsoft guns available, including spring action guns, automatic electric guns (AEGs), and gas airsoft guns. The type of gun you purchase depends mainly on how you plan to use it.
Let’s dive in and talk about the pros and cons of each gun and what each one is used for.
Spring airsoft guns are inexpensive and can even be found in the children’s toy section of many stores. They sell for as little as $4 each and as much as $69 for higher-end spring action guns.
Spring action guns are also easy to use, which is a major bonus. You simply pull the spring back to the gun’s lever until it clicks right into place. As you pull the trigger, the spring releases and fires the BB or airsoft pellet.
But before you jump off the couch and head to the store to pick up a new spring airsoft gun, there are a few important considerations. First, spring action airsoft guns have a relatively slow fire rate. Whenever you want to fire the gun, you need to pull back and cock the gun’s spring.
Spring action guns are the most basic of the airsoft types. They are typically thought of as entry-level. When you hold these types of guns, it doesn’t feel like holding a real gun in your hand, making it difficult to train with them.
A more compatible option for firearm training would be AEGs. AEGs contain a rechargeable battery which powers a small motor, activating a series of gears, which then release a piston that blasts pellets or BBs out of the gun at a high rate of speed.
While AEGs are the most popular type of airsoft gun for many airsoft battles and games, they’re also a great option for firearm training. Many handguns and most machine guns and semi-automatic rifles are AEGs. These types of airsoft guns help you to get used to the look and feel of a real gun.
One of the greatest benefits to using an AEG is its speedy firing rate, making it an excellent option for use during firearm training. Even military units and police officers practice firearm training with AEGs. Plus, higher-end AEGs are made to look nearly identical to real-life guns.
There are still some notable differences between airsoft and the real thing. The trigger pull, for example, doesn’t “break” like it would with a real gun. Therefore, users don’t get the “wall effect” like they would while using an actual firearm.
Perhaps one of the best types of airsoft guns to use during firearms training is gas airsoft guns. These type of airsoft guns use gas to propel the airsoft pellet out of the gun. Many gas airsoft guns even have a blow-back feature that result in a bit of recoil. Not bad for an airsoft gun, right?
There are many benefits to using gas airsoft guns during firearm training. For instance, some gas-powered guns are clones of real handguns. They are a bit easier to fire than real guns, but they are similar, in terms of comparison. Most gas airsoft guns can even use the same accessories as real guns, like tactical lights and sights.
For the most accurate portrayal of using a real gun during your firearm training session, opt for gas-powered airsoft guns with a blow-back option. They’re more expensive than non-blow-back guns, but it’s certainly worth it for firearms practice.
If you do choose to practice firing using a gas-powered airsoft gun, it’s important to consider the different types of gas available to use, as well as the pros and cons to each type.
CO2 guns are powered by Carbon Dioxide (CO2) cartridges. The cost of a single cartridge is around 65 cents, but the cost goes down when purchased in bulk. They can last for 50 – 100 shots each depending on the gun and operating temperature. CO2 cartridges are held in the magazine or the grip and the magazine capacity is dependent on the model or manufacturer of the gun.
Green gas is a mixture of petroleum gas and a silicone oil lubricant. Green gas is a favorite among many players, due to its low cost (under $10 / 8oz can) which can last from 1500 – 2000 Shots. The Green Gas is held inside of the magazine or the grip of the gun. The magazine capacity will differ based on the model or manufacturer of the pistol.
Another option is to buy a propane adapter and silicone oil and use propane to power your airsoft gun at a fraction of the cost! Users can purchase a propane tank for easy and inexpensive refills. When you’re running low, you just need to visit a local refill station to fill up the tank.
Now that you know the types of airsoft guns and gasses used to power them, we can get down to the fun part—the ammunition. After all, it isn’t firearm training without ammunition, right?
Typically, 6mm plastic airsoft BBs are used as ammunition in airsoft guns. They’re much safer to use during firearm practice, and you can even shoot them at other players (if everyone is geared up and wearing proper eye protection).
One of the greatest benefits to using airsoft BBs (other than their safety) is their cost-effectiveness. Bags of 5,000 BBs cost around $10. However, you do want to make sure that you’re purchasing quality BBs that won’t shatter or break during fire. If BBs shatter or break, they could damage the inside of your airsoft gun.
Lower quality BBs may have a rough surface, bubbles, dimples, or even seams. Be sure to purchase higher quality BBs. When you use lower quality plastic pellets, you save money at the time of purchase, but you end up spending more money in the long run. Competition grade 0.20g BBs or heavier are generally recommended for use in most airsoft guns.
Airsoft guns are easy to clean and maintain. In fact, they require very little maintenance at all! Most airsoft guns only need to be cleaned occasionally, and many guns come with a handy cleaning rod and cleaning instructions.
Most airsoft guns only need an occasional lubrication, but as we mentioned earlier, gas-powered airsoft guns do require a periodic silicone spray. Additionally, airsoft guns should be cleaned and cared for in the following ways:
Users should not dry fire their guns, as this can damage the gun.
Ammunition should never be reused. After being used, ammunition becomes deformed and dirty. Reusing these BBs can jam the airsoft gun, causing additional issues.
Make sure the battery is fully charged at all times. Weak batteries may cause the gun to malfunction. It helps to buy a set of spare batteries to keep on hand in case you start to run low but don’t have access to a charger.
Don’t expose your gun to moisture or dirt. After using the gun, wipe it down and dry it off. Make sure the gun stays dry at all times.
To lubricate your gun, don’t use oils or lubricants other than 100 percent silicone spray. Other substances may cause damage.
To ensure that your airsoft gun lasts, treat it like you would an actual firearm.
Surely by now you’ve noticed how many benefits there are to using airsoft guns during firearm practice. But in case you need further persuasion, let’s discuss the benefits in more detail.
For instance, some of the best benefits to using airsoft guns during firearms training include:
Airsoft guns offer an almost exact replica to firing a real gun. Many airsoft guns look and feel like an actual gun, but without the safety hazards of practicing with a real firearm.
The firing experience of an airsoft gun is comparable to firing a real gun. Airsoft guns with gas blow-back features help users to accurately portray the firing of a real handgun.
The low cost of using an airsoft gun is just another great benefit to using them rather than real guns and pricey ammunition. Not only do you purchase your equipment and ammunition at a low cost, but you get a pretty accurate firing and handling experience.
Airsoft guns are much safer than real handguns, so you can even practice them at home in your garage. Airsoft guns won’t shoot through garage walls, putting other people’s lives at risk. While you should always practice safety precautions when operating any type of toy or gun (real or fake), airsoft guns are a much safer option.
When you practice firearms training with real guns, you need to commute to the closest gun range. However, airsoft guns can be practiced at home in your garage, making it much more convenient to practice firearms training as much as you’d like.
Since airsoft guns won’t physically harm your opponent (just make sure they’re wearing eye protection), you can actually fire at your opponent to play out real-life scenarios. Not only are airsoft guns great for practicing firearms training, but they’re also great for acting out potential situations where a gun may be involved.
Let’s highlight some of the differences
As you’re already aware, airsoft guns are not identical to real-life firearms. While they are an accurate portrayal and nearly identical replicas, they are not the same thing as firing real firearms. Everything from the physical aspects of the gun, to the sound they make when fired, to the way you think and feel while holding an airsoft gun are different from a real gun.
For example, many people are much more alert and focused while holding a real gun (understandably), and they don’t feel that same way while holding an airsoft gun.
Even though airsoft guns are perfectly acceptable for firearms training, it’s important to get real-life gun experience as well, especially if you plan to get a conceal and carry license. To ensure that you know how to properly handle and fire a gun for safety reasons, you do need to have real firearm experience.
That said, airsoft guns are a great place to start your firearms training! Plus, airsoft guns are fun, interesting, and they’re much cheaper to operate than real firearms.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay / flynn_chris
In Post Image 1 Credit: Pixabay / mlgdave
In Post Image 2 Credit: Airsoftstation.com
In Post Image 3 Credit: Airsoftstation.com
In Post Image 4 Credit: Airsoftstation.com
In Post Image 5 Credit: Airsoftstation.com
In Post Image 6 Credit: Airsoftstation.com
In Post image 7 Credit: Pixabay / Foundry