Air Guns for Practice


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Kager
January 26, 2005, 07:29 AM
Hi
I'm curious about the effectiveness of using an air pistol/rifle to supplement centerfire training?

I realise that some types of air guns require a different technique/hold to achieve good results, does this interfere with your centerfire ability?

I have heard some people comment that if you can shoot an air gun well, anything else is easy?

Are pneumatics better than spring guns in this respect?
Or am I simply better off spending the time dry firing/using squib loads?

Regards,
Josh

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jobu07
January 26, 2005, 08:44 AM
I think any trigger time you get is better than none. Even the crummiest of air guns will have sites for you to align while you squeeze the trigger. So at the very least, you'll have practice getting an accurate site picture.

Wild Bill
January 26, 2005, 09:24 AM
Bought a BRNO air-pistol austensibly to increase practice time back when I was doing a lot of bullseye shooting. Setup a 10 meter range cornered across the garage complete with spotting scope and target light.

I spent hours out there getting practice time I wouldn't have had if I had to go to the range. Shoot at midnight if ya want. Did see a marked improvement in my match scores because of a closer focus on the fundamentals and tighter concentration.

Not as good as hot range time perhaps, but it is indeed a good supplemental aid - and great fun to boot. Go for it.

JustsayMo
January 26, 2005, 10:26 AM
Shooting pellet guns has greatly improved my shooting. Air guns tend to be more hold sensitive and they require more discipline to shoot accurately. This pays big dividends when you make it to the range with your firearms.

I've owned a few and I would HIGHLY recommend the Beeman P3 pistol. FANTASTIC trigger and VERY accurate. It's less than $150 new too last time I checked. It's probably the best shooting "accessory" I've ever purchased.

I have a BSA Superstar rifle too. Excellent. Good trigger, easy to shoot but hold sensitive. Shooting "Field Target" with it is great fun with this air rifle and it's an excellent way to sharpen your skills.

Of the half dozen airguns I've had, those are my favorites. If I could only have one the P3 would win out. It's handy, it's fun and it's inexpensive to shoot.

Third_Rail
January 26, 2005, 10:29 AM
Here (http://www.pyramydair.com/cgi-bin/model.pl?model_id=556) and here (http://www.dnrsports.net/miva/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=DSC&Product_Code=BEE2360&Category_Code=airgunsbee) are two places you can get the B3. D&R sports is the cheaper of the two.

cslinger
January 26, 2005, 10:51 AM
Totally agree with the more trigger time the better post.

One other bit of training that is nice is if you can get a gun that approximates one of your real guns, for example I have a C225 with is just about identical and even heavier than my SIG P225.

Both the SIG and the airgun hold 8 shots and both will fit in the same holster. This is great for draw practice or shooting with a light technique practice etc.

Besides all this "training" they are just plain fun. Training is a great excuse for SWMBO though. :D

Bridger
January 26, 2005, 11:06 AM
I've done a lot of dryfire training with a broken (non firing) airsoft, as well as a wally world pellet pistol (the crossman revolver), and have seen an improvement in my pistol shooting. I don't own any pistols yet, so I only get to shoot other people's here and there, but it's helped.

SpookyPistolero
January 26, 2005, 11:07 AM
I definitely agree that its good to get all the time you can behind a rifle. I wore out two very nice and fun air rifles one summer at my dad's house. I put boxes and boxes of pellets through them. I would tie some tin cans up to a bird feeder and end up scooting farther and farther back to hit em. Eventually had to scoot back up from being down the driveway shooting past the house down the yard to the cans.
Anyway, without the rambling, they're great, and one of the reasons why I can actually hit the broad side of a barn (well, most of the time...). Have fun!

-Spooky

ps - sorry to not be able to offer brand name help, but the rifles I used were wal-mart specials if I recall...

YodaVader
January 26, 2005, 12:27 PM
I have heard some people comment that if you can shoot an air gun well, anything else is easy?

One important fundamental the air gun teaches you is to really stay on target and follow through because of the very long "travel time" for the pellet to leave the barrel as compared to conventional firearms. I practice with my Beeman R7 at the indoor range and absolutely love it! It is rated at 700 fps so it is much slower than any 22lr. Plus the rifle is very accurate so I know that if I do my part the gun will deliver. One of the shooters at the range chuckled when I was shooting the quiet R7 until I showed him the target and then he looked something like this - :what:


I've owned a few and I would HIGHLY recommend the Beeman P3 pistol. FANTASTIC trigger and VERY accurate.

This is on my "to buy" list. I bought the Chinese copy at Wal Mart manufactured under the Marksman label. Gun started to malfunction in less than 20 rounds fired. Returned it! Will buy the German made P3. Will be fun to outshoot the 22lr/38/45 guys at the indoor range using a .177 air pistol!

foghornl
January 26, 2005, 12:36 PM
When I can't get to the range, I practice in the basement with either my "Red Ryder", or my Crossman (Mdl 1706, maybe ? ? ? ) that looks like the Remington XP-100 pistol.

Falcon501
January 26, 2005, 01:14 PM
Here is a picture of my airgun..I picked it up at a sporting goods store for $20 and it is fun to shoot and very accurate. It is a good gun to practice with. Replica of a Taurus PT92. I used to have a Sig P226 Replica but dropped it too much and broke it lol. I kill spiders with this one :) http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v318/Falcon501/Airgun.jpg It is not a good pic, i just now took it w/ camera phone.

PMATULEW
January 26, 2005, 02:20 PM
Most definately yes.

Range time is range time. The muscle meory is the same regardless of the projectile.

Find a weapon you're comfortable with and go for it. It's great in the winter when you can head to the garage or the basement for a half hour or an hour and spend some quality time without the baggage of a full fledged range trip.

thorn726
January 26, 2005, 02:29 PM
the one thing i have read (lemme see if i got the link)
yeah ok one of the things i think this guy mentions somewhere is that doing comparisions with a real pistol, his groupings were pretty much the same, however rapid fire
was not the same because of the difference in recoil.

i need to get one of those airsofts so i can practice more, overall cheaper , use anywhere, and it's got to be good practice

here's the link, lots of reviews and stuff
http://www.airsoftcore.com/reviews-list-2.html

greg700
January 26, 2005, 02:52 PM
A GOOD air pistol/rifle will help you develop better shooting skills. It will force you to slow down and use proper technique, without all the noise/recoil that tends to reinforce bad habits. If you flinch with an air gun, it is painfully obvious.

saltydog452
January 26, 2005, 05:50 PM
At ten meters, the 'ten ring' is about the size of a pencil eraser. The 'x-Ring' is about the size of the pencil tip.

If you can compete at that level, it would certainly seem to help to your slowfire scores if nothing else.

salty.

Ironman
January 26, 2005, 07:44 PM
A good bb gun pistol to help show saftey skills and sight pics to new shooters is the walther ppk blowback, while it only has a fps of 300 the slide recoils every shot and stays locked back after the last shot, its realistic and fun.

Standing Wolf
January 26, 2005, 07:53 PM
I shoot my low budget Baikal air pistol every day. It's made a noticeable difference in my bullseye slow fire scores.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=108433

444
January 26, 2005, 07:55 PM
Yes, a good airgun will do wonders for you shooting ability.
And it is fun and allows you to be involved in your hobby every day.

Many years ago, when I still lived at home with my parents, I bought a Daisy spring air pellet pistol. It was a pretty decent gun. I used to come home from school, head down to the basement where I would fire 20 shots strong hand only, 20 shots weak hand only and 20 shots both hands at a target taped to a stack of Time magazines located diagonally across the basement. I would then do a weight work-out and head upstairs for dinner. Made a very nice routine for a year or so.

One problem I have is with my air rifle. I bought a Beeman R1 (years ago: 15 years ago ?) because it was the most powerful rifle they had at the time. Now I want to use it to practice position rifle shooting and it is too difficult to cock from a shooting position like prone. So, I have to stand up between each shot: which is a PITA. I wish I would have bought a more practical air rifle instead of making the decision on the childish notion of it being the most powerful.

I also have one of those Baikal air pistols mentioned above and a Beeman P1 air pistol.
I shoot into a bullet trap that is rated for .22s. I think it is made by Outers. I have actually fired .22s into it and it stops them with no problem. The trap is easy to move around etc. It is definitely the way to go IMO. Do not use one for shooting BBs.

Sparks
January 26, 2005, 08:40 PM
For some of us, airgun shooting isn't the practise, it's the real deal ;)

http://jga.anschuetz-sport.com/pm/img_detail/27.jpg
http://durc.tcd.ie/~dennehym/DSCF1278a.JPG
http://durc.tcd.ie/~dennehym/Air_tun_small.jpg

http://www.targetshootingireland.org/Photos/albums/Events/2004/10mNationals/normal_dscf0746.jpg

:neener:

ManChicken
January 26, 2005, 11:09 PM
Whats with the TRON outfits? (and I mean no disrespect, I'm just wondering) Is it a team thing or..?

Sparks
January 26, 2005, 11:32 PM
That's standard ISSF gear MC. Since the air rifles weigh up to 6.5kg (and few weigh less than 6), and the spine is twisted in three dimensions and supporting what doctors call an offset, assymetric load, you're allowed stabilise the spine using canvas jackets and trousers, same as you are in weightlifting and for the same reason - prevention of chronic injury. There are strict rules regarding those jackets and things like thickness, design, stiffness, and so on, to ensure that competitive advantage is kept to a minimum. They're bright colours because, well, it looks good :D
You have to admit, as a press photo, it's not half bad. And because it's air rifle, the "Safe and Harmless" image is far easier to get across.

BTW, as I understand it, the NRA shooting coats are far thicker and far more supporting than ours...

There's a fair bit of kit with the ISSF shooting though. From the "what's in your kitbag?" thread:
http://durc.tcd.ie/~dennehym/DSCF1271.JPG

444
January 27, 2005, 12:07 AM
"For some of us, airgun shooting isn't the practise, it's the real deal "

And of course, it is the real deal. The projectile or the presence or absense of powder really doesn't mean a thing. Shooting a rifle (or pistol) is the same whether the cartridge is powered by air or powder, whether the projectile is .177" or .452". The techniques of marksmanship are the same. Hitting the target precisely where you want to, requires all the same fundamentals no matter the "power" of the weapon.

Within the last year I became interested in shooting the targets put out by Fred of Fred's M14 stocks. They are reduced targets designed to be shot at 25 yards. Fred's idea is that you shoot at them with a service rifle. The reduced targets simulate firing at a much greater distance as far as the appearence of the target's size. Anyway, I start off the shooting session by shooting the course of fire with a .22 rifle, then I would use the same target and shoot the course of fire again with a bigger bore rifle like an M1, a 1903A3, or my M1A. It was very easy to get twice the life out of the target because you could easy tell what holes were made by the .22 and what holes were made by the '06. And, I was getting twice the practice. My shooting buddy would always say, "Yeah, that's good, but you shot it with a .22". I would beg him to explain to me why that made it any less of an accomplishment. Why did it make a difference ? Why would it be easier with a .22 ? I still had to have a good position, good breath control, good trigger control, and good sight alignment and the cartridge the rifle fired didn't make a damn bit of difference. But, he still doesn't get it.
An air gun is exactly the same. It takes just as much, if not more skill to hit the target exactly where you want to with an airgun as it does a .50 BMG. So, to make a long story even longer, I agree, air guns arn't practice for "real" shooting, they ARE "real" shooting.

Sparks
January 27, 2005, 12:26 AM
At ten meters, the 'ten ring' is about the size of a pencil eraser. The 'x-Ring' is about the size of the pencil tip.
Whoops, missed this. The ten ring on a 10m air rifle target (like the one in my post above) isn't the size of the eraser on the pencil - it's the dot in the center. 0.5mm diameter. There's no x-ring on a 10m target, for obvious reasons!

Kager
January 27, 2005, 01:15 AM
Thanks Guys for the great response, I will definitely check this out.
What are the pro and cons of pneumatic Vs spring.

Regards,
Josh

Dave R
January 27, 2005, 01:25 AM
FWIW, if you want to shoot your centerfire handguns in the garage, Speer makes plastic training bullets, powered by primer only. Takes a minimum of reloading equipment to reload 'em. They have 'em for .38/357 revolvers (can also use in 9mm and .380acp, and other .38 cartridges), .44 spcl/mag, and .45 colt/acp.

I shoot my 9mm and .380 in the garage all the time with 'em. Use a hung blanket as a backstop.

Kager
January 27, 2005, 05:20 AM
Hi Dave,
They sound good. What kind of accuracy do you get compared with normal ammo? How well do they feed?
I live on 4+ acres, but I have, a church, school and main highway on three sides and lots of valuable livestock all around on neighbouring properties. I am carefull when handling firearms, and can build a good moderate backstop but **** happens, and the thought of an ammo mix up/accidental discharge/riccochet/stray round worries me. Am I being a bit paraniod?
That is the primary reason I'm interested in an air rifle/pistol.

Regards,
Josh

Sheldon
January 27, 2005, 06:16 AM
I have read that the winner of the latest Steel Challenge speed shooting competition is from Japan and since handguns are illegal there he did most of his practice with airsoft type pistols. He got here early to practice with the real pistol and ammo, but you gotta think there's something to practicing with an airsoft when he beat all the big name guys. I wonder what model airsoft he used?? I wouldn't mind setting up something in the house for low noise practice. I think the kids would love it too. Something along the lines of an old bedsheet as a backstop and about 6 plastic cups strung up in the air for targets and maybe another sheet underneath it all to catch all them bb's or plastic pellets.

PzGren
January 27, 2005, 10:17 AM
I have a nice old Walther LP53 and using it helped me to improve scores in bullseye matches. I have many airguns and enjoy shooting chinese AK trainer air rifles, they have a folding stock, the same sights and creepy trigger like the average AK.
For action shooting, practice with a softair pistol helped my sons to improve getting into prone, kneeling position, shooting on the move etc.

It is a cost and time efficient way to improve one's shooting ability and up to a certain level can substitute the real thing very well!

thorn726
January 27, 2005, 06:37 PM
I shoot my 9mm and .380 in the garage all the time with 'em. Use a hung blanket as a backstop.

what? wait, just a blanket behind the target stops them??

this is something great for us city folks

ScorpioVI
January 27, 2005, 07:26 PM
I have read that the winner of the latest Steel Challenge speed shooting competition is from Japan and since handguns are illegal there he did most of his practice with airsoft type pistols. He got here early to practice with the real pistol and ammo, but you gotta think there's something to practicing with an airsoft when he beat all the big name guys. I wonder what model airsoft he used??


Probably something like this, made by Clarence Lai:

http://www.dentrinity.com/ClarenceLai/Img/Sc.JPG

More custom airsoft stuff here: http://www.dentrinity.com/ClarenceLai/cl.htm

Airsoft IPSC is a big deal in Japan and Hong Kong, where real guns are prohibited. http://www.airsoftipsc.org/

I've got a couple of airsoft pistols at home that I use to practice with for IDPA and USPSA. I've got a Western Arms 5" Infinity Limited (Single Stack) that matches my Kimber Custom II perfectly, fits in the holster and everything. Hell, even Bill Wilson owns a couple of Western Arms airsoft guns (info (http://www.wa-gunnet.co.jp/custom/bill-letter.html)).

I love airsoft though for the force-on-force training it provides.

smokemaker
January 27, 2005, 07:26 PM
I use my winchester 1000X all the time for practise. It's cheaper to shoot than a .22, or a .50 cal ML for that matter.

cgv69
January 27, 2005, 09:57 PM
I know this is generally not considered "cool" among "firearms" guys but I think precision airguns are just as cool as firearms. I have a Beeman R7 with a Leupold scope that I will eventually get a full tune and trigger job done on.

One of the attractions for me is, I have no place close by to go shooting but I can shoot this gun out my back door all day long. Another obvious advantage is the cost of pellets being relatively dirt cheap compared to most powder cartridges.

As far as their worth as practice tools for shooting center fire guns? To a degree yes. You can practice your concentration, breathing and trigger control which are pretty much universal shooting skills but there are some distinct differences to.

For one thing, many air rifles are "hold sensitive" meaning their POI will change based one where and how you hold it and these guns generally do not do well shooting off of a rest. Another thing is the recoil pulse of an airgun is completely different than that of a firearm.

A spring driven air rifle actually recoils in the opposite direction (meaning they bounce forward due to the spring releasing). That's why when shopping for a scope for an airgun, its important to buy a scope that's rated for airgun use. Its not unusual for a scope that would last for a life time on a 30-06 can be completely ruined on a high power air rifle in as little as a few hundred pellets.

Anyway, airguns are just like firearms in one respect. You generally get what you pay for. Most of your sub $100 guns are junk and will be more frustrating than anything (one exception to that rule is the CZ made airguns). Spanish made airguns use to be considered bottom of the barrel but compared to all the Chinese junk flooding the market, the Spanish guns don't seem so bad. (I still wouldn't buy a Gamo though).

bratch
January 27, 2005, 10:35 PM
Dave,

I too am interested in the rounds you were talking about. How loud are they? Safe for neighborhoods in a garage? Cost? Places to buy? This could be a neat deal if they'd work out.

Oh yeah :cuss: to all of you for getting me thinking about air guns now.

Farnham
January 27, 2005, 10:54 PM
Spanish made airguns use to be considered bottom of the barrel but compared to all the Chinese junk flooding the market, the Spanish guns don't seem so bad. (I still wouldn't buy a Gamo though).

I've got a Gamo 220 that I got cheap at Big 5, and it shoots effectively at 50 yards, puts them out there at almost 1000 fps, and is heavy enough and solid enough to provide me with good position practice in the back yard. The trigger sucks, though.

Incidentally, I've got a really good X-Ray of my foot that shows a .177 caliber pellet lodged in the largest bone of my foot that's still there, courtesy of a Gamo...yeah, somebody forgot the rules, but it proves a Gamo hits HARD. :evil:

444
January 28, 2005, 12:42 AM
I am not Dave, but I own and have shot the Speer plastic bullets.
First of all, let me say that they are fairly loud. Not loud like you have to wear hearing protection, but if I lived in a city with my neighbors 10 yards away, I wouldn't shoot them in my house. They also produce quite a bit of smoke that contains lead (primer residue).
What these are is a plastic case and a plastic bullet. The bullet is seated into the case with your fingers. The bullet is shaped like a full wadcutter. The case is primed with a regular large pistol or small pistol primer. So, you need some kind of priming tool. After you shoot the bullet, you can reuse it. If you shoot the bullet into something hard, it will damage the bullet beyond being able to use it again. The rifling is also engraved into the bullet upon firing.

4D5
January 28, 2005, 01:31 AM
I've got a Beeman P1. It's excellent for getting practice when you aren't able to get to the range. It's fun to shoot in the garage when there's snow on the ground outside.

Beeman http://www.beeman.com/p1.htm

Dave R
January 28, 2005, 01:01 PM
Sorry to miss all the questions. 444 gave some good data. Here are some more answers.

How loud are they? Safe for neighborhoods in a garage? Cost? Places to buy? This could be a neat deal if they'd work out.

How load? Louder than caps. Not as loud as regular ammo. I use hearing protection when I shoot them.

Safe for neighborhoods in a garage? That's where I shoot mine. In the garage. I'm in a residential neighborhood.

Places to buy? Ask at any shop that carry's reloading supplies. Or buy online at Midway. I got mine at Sportsman's Warehouse.

Cost? I think under $10 per 50? 100? Anyway, 0ne box is probably close to a lifetime supply. I have re-used mine many times. That's one thing I like about the hung blanket backstop. It catches 'em and drops 'em right on the floor where you can find 'em. Needs to be a heavy blanket, though. It'll shoot through a light one. I bought my own surplus blanket, after putting a hole through one of our winter blankets. Oooopps.

What kind of accuracy do you get compared with normal ammo? How well do they feed?

Accuracy is pretty good. Very close to POI for "real" ammo, at least at 15-25 feet. That's as far as I've shot 'em.

They won't cycle a semi-auto. They feed fine when you rack the slide. I mostly do draw/present/fire drills, or tap-rack-bang drills. Or some combo. Or just shoot for groups & trigger control. The drills have really improved my draw-from-concealment and get-off-first-shot-accurately skills. That's what I like best about them.

They were intended originally for revolvers. Feed fine in those! but I don't own any centerfire revolvers, so I use 'em in my 9mm and .380 carry guns.

444
January 28, 2005, 01:24 PM
The world at your fingertips:

http://www.speer-bullets.com/default.asp?s1=3&s2=8

shep854
January 28, 2005, 05:06 PM
I just brought home an Airsoft P226. It was less than $20 at Academy. Even though it's a single-shot spring pistol, it should give me a lot of trigger time for the fundamentals. It is magazine-fed, but the slide has to be racked for each shot chamber a pellet and cock the gun. This is not stated anywhere.

Zonamo
January 28, 2005, 10:02 PM
Here's an interesting article I found on the subject:

INTERACTIVE TRAINING - THE NEXT STEP-Gabe Suarez (http://www.tactical-airsoft.net/featured_article.htm)

ScorpioVI
January 28, 2005, 10:45 PM
Here's an interesting article I found on the subject:

INTERACTIVE TRAINING - THE NEXT STEP-Gabe Suarez




Pretty much confirms what I knew all along! :D

JohnKSa
January 30, 2005, 03:07 PM
Primer powered rubber bullets.

Don't forget that the primers contain lead which will be sprayed into the air with every shot. You need to be very careful about keeping things ventilated properly and also have some sort of plan for removing the lead residue that will build up over time. Frankly, I wouldn't consider shooting any type of firearm inside my house or garage.

On the other hand, airguns do not put lead into the air, and with a proper pellet trap, and proper hygiene, there is absolutely no danger of contaminating the shooting area or of elevated lead exposure issues.

Odd Job
August 11, 2006, 12:49 PM
I just bought this P226 replica:

http://www.airsoft-war4.com/details.php?pid=3169

I intend to use it to practise since I am here in handgun-banned UK. Can anyone recommend an IWB holster for this?
And can anyone tell me what the real pistol's magazine capacity is (since I bought a spare magazine and might as well start getting used to a certain number of available rounds).

I am hoping that one day I will own the real P226.

rev214
August 11, 2006, 01:50 PM
i like this RWS 34:

http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/item.asp?sku=000622166160

only problem is, living in the PRNJ, i would have to go through an FFL dealer...the gun would end up costing me over $200 anyway...

wondering, could i go though an out-of-state (Pennsylvania) FFL dealer when ordering through the mail???...may be a bit cheaper...

hso
August 11, 2006, 01:52 PM
Quick Kill shooting was taught with air rifles before progressing to ARs and Daisy adopted it as "Quick Fire".

zeke1312
August 11, 2006, 02:32 PM
I have a Crossman Beretta co2. I bought used from Scheels. Took it home and it jammed after shooting a few pellets. It has a rotary clip and jams when it is cycled. Anyhow, I took it back to Scheels for repair. Few weeks later, got it back. Still jams. Stay away from this product. Has a lousy trigger pull. In fact I understand many airguns have a less than desirable trigger pull.

JohnKSa
August 12, 2006, 12:26 AM
In fact I understand many airguns have a less than desirable trigger pull.Many BUDGET/LOW QUALITY airguns have a less than desirable trigger pull.

Wish I could let you shoot a couple of mine...4 out of the 5 best triggers in my gunsafe are on airguns.

Anyone who enjoys shooting and hasn't had/taken the opportunity to shoot a really nice quality adult airgun is really missing out on something.

SeanSw
August 12, 2006, 01:12 AM
I still get a lot of use out of my Crosman Quest 1000 and Marksman 2004, a budget version of the Beeman P3.

My natural ability with firearms is extremely poor and there was a great amount of improvement to be seen just by spending some quality time shooting paper with that Marksman 2004 pistol indoors. I went from spraying pellets at 7 yards to getting cloverleafs. The pistol, which must pale in comparison to the P3, still has a great trigger and is more accurate than I am. Loading and cocking is a small pain but I'm still pleased with the purchase.

If I'm a poor pistol shot than my rifle shooting is worse. Not only can the rifle help with sigh aquisition and trigger control but it can be a good introduction to using a scope. At the distances I shoot the scope wasn't needed so I stick to the (very handy) fiber optic sights. The Crosman Quest has now taken dozens of blackbirds and grackles saving a few hundreds dollars worth of sour cherries for the farmer's market. A 1000 fps air rifle shooting magnum pellets can easily pierce and exit large rabbits. They would have been tasty if I hadn't overcooked them :o

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