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Training with airsoft/BB guns

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Hunter125, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Well-Known Member

    With the cost of ammo and my moving away from a country home where I could shoot whenever I wanted, I've really been considering getting either a good airsoft or a good BB pistol to practice with in my garage.
    Does anybody do this, or is it even helpful? If so, what is a good pistol to get? I'd like to keep it as realistic as possible, not one I'd have to rack the slide each time like some airsoft guns. I carry an XDsc, XDm, and Taurus TCP. I'd be willing to get a pistol to simulate each one if it would be helpful. What would you suggest?
  2. rockhopper46038

    rockhopper46038 Well-Known Member

    I use a Tokyo Marui 1911MEU Airsoft pistol to train in my backyard. It emulates my WC 1911 CQB EDC surprisingly well. With a full magazine and the weighting in the grips it is somewhat bottom heavy compared to my carry gun, but the overall weight is similar. The recoil is almost indistinguishable from my other 1911 trainer, the GSG1911, and it is a true blowback pistol so the Nowlin sights move with the slide, as opposed to just sitting there on a static platform. The magazines fit my magazine pouches perfectly and the gun is accurate to a square inch out to at least 7 yds and I bet 3 inches square at 15yds (I train with it mostly at 7 to 15yrds). My shot timer picks it up so long as I wear the timer around my neck, and it is powerful enough to make a distinctive "ping" on an AR500 Steel Challenge target. It won't knock over my plate rack, but I think I'll cut some aluminum paddles to see how that works, someday. Honestly guys, I think it helps a lot with draw stroke, sight acquisition, trigger control (the trigger is not as good as my Wilson, but better than my GSG), mag swaps, etc. It fits my various 1911 holsters without any issue. A good one isn't cheap - the TM 1911MEU was right at $200 with 1 magazine, and additional magazines are almost $30, but the 6mm pellets are about $10/5000 and the propane is dirt cheap. I recommend it, personally.
  3. CoyoteSix

    CoyoteSix Well-Known Member

    Good News: Gas Blow Black airsoft pistols are amazing training pistols. Good ones ranging from $100-$200 replicate the real thing extremely well. They typically run on "Green Gas" which is over priced propane with a silicone lubricant mixed in. It can be replaced by the Coleman cans of propane from walmart, an adapter, and a few drops of silicone oil. Be sure to use heavier weight BBs!

    Drop free mags, last shot hold open, a slide that moves with each shot fired. They also fit the holsters for their firearm counter parts.

    Bad news: I don't know of any that are modeled after the XD series of pistols. The most popular styles are 1911's and M9's. I've seen some Glock copies but Glock has made sure that nothing can replicate it's guns without the trade mark and OK from Glock Corp. I think I've seen an M&P and CZ.

    Go to: http://www.airsoftgi.com/ Use the links on the home page to find the Air soft pistol section

    The best Airsoft guns come from Japan (where the sport originated) under the Tokyo Marui brand name, however due to Japanese laws they're restricted to plastic. Not what you want an understudy pistol made out of.

    The next best thing are guns from Taiwan. For some reason American made airsoft guns really bite.

    In my opinion, KWA makes some of the most realistic gas powered airsoft guns period.

    Please let me know if I left anything to question! :D
  4. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    There was a thread just a month or so back that asked exactly the same thing;


    And there's a new currently running thread that asks much the same question that is on this same page;


    My own feeling as stated in both threads is that airsoft and BB guns do not have good enough accuracy to tell you if you're doing it right or if you have lots of bad habits. The groups from these options is so spread out that you could have HORRIBLE technique and your errors will be easily hidden in the 3 inch at 10 feet size groups.
  5. rockhopper46038

    rockhopper46038 Well-Known Member

    I've been pretty surprised and pleased with the accuracy of this TM 1911 out of the non-rifled barrel, but maybe I'm lucky with the combo I have. I'm sure I'll shoot it this weekend more than a couple times so I'll measure off an honest 7yrds and shoot a 10 shot group, then post the results. I'll be surprised (and chastened) if its bigger than a 2" group...

    As someone said , the TM I have is plastic and I have resisted changing it to the metal "upgrade" kits for frame and slide primarily because I think it is kind of already at the limit for how realistic it can get - a little more weight, a little more evenly distributed isn't going to add much to the simulation, and it works pretty good as - is...

    Translating from the Airsoft practice to the "real" range work and matches; it certainly hasn't hurt my accuracy or times.
  6. rockhopper46038

    rockhopper46038 Well-Known Member

    Ok, for giggles I walked out into the backyard, taped an envelope from a credit card company up to the 2x4 base of one of my targets, marked off 7 yds and just half assed 10 shots. I didn't have any aiming point marked and its dusk here, so I'm pretty convinced this is not the best the pistol can do, but here are a couple pictures of what is certainly no bigger than a 2" x 1 1/2" group at 7 yds. Stellar? Not at all. But I'm still betting I can keep it to an inch square in daylight with a black box sighting square.

    Attached Files:

  7. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Well-Known Member

    So a good airsoft would be better than a BB gun?
  8. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    The reason I don't bother with bb guns, air rifles, etc, is that they are actually illegal to discharge in pretty much every municipality in my state. (MANY people flagrantly disregard this and shoot them anyway.) Bit I figure, if I have to go outside of town to shoot anyway, I might as well start with a .22.
  9. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Well-Known Member

    Is that true even inside your own garage?
  10. CoyoteSix

    CoyoteSix Well-Known Member

    never heard of such a thing....
  11. savanahsdad

    savanahsdad Well-Known Member

    I've been doing that for about 4 years with a 1911 Co2 AirSoft grip is a bit wider but slide and the 3 dot sights are about the same
  12. jad0110

    jad0110 Well-Known Member

    I do know one thing for sure. Shooting my break action .177 Gamo Whisper pellet rifle has improved my marksmanship with all my other rifles. Very, very cheap to shoot, and you can always find .177 pellets, unlike .22 LR.
  13. Nickel Plated

    Nickel Plated Well-Known Member

    BB guns generally have better accuracy especially if using a one with pellets and a rifled barrel, so good for practicing general shooting technique. But they generally doa poor job of accurately simulating some specific model of gun. Airsoft is best for that.

    Of the pistols you have I'm aware of only the XDm that has areplica made by Tokyo Marui and WE.

    Tokyo Marui is generally considered to be the some of, if not the best GBB manufacturers. They are all plastic (due to Japanese laws) but it is a high quality plastic and are very reliable as long as you don't use them as hammers. They are some of the most accurate airsoft guns as well out of the box because of quality hop-ups. But accuracy can be improved further with aftermarket tight bore barrels. Maruis are kinda pricy compared to other airsoft pistols. You can also get aftermarket aluminum and I believe even steel slides to replace the plastic one for more realism.
    They make a full size 4.5 XDm and I believe also a compact model.

    WE mostly clones Marui designs. Not as high quality but still decent (especially the newer models like the XDm) and again, as long as you don't beat on them they will work fine for target practice. About half the price of a Marui. Not as accurate but a good starting point if you plan on upgrading hop ups and barrels anyway. Keep in mind, that although WE is a Marui clone, parts may not always be completely compatible. They sometimes tend to change the design around just a bit. But most of the important stuff will be interchangeable. Also WEs come stock with aluminum slides. Parts are pretty easy to find if something should break.
  14. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    IMHO I don't see the value of training with an airsoft or bb gun.

    The weight distribution is different, there's no recoil, the point of aim & impact are different, just to name a few of the differences.

    Then again, I also don't believe in training with inexpensive or low-recoil ammo & carrying something totally different for SD/HD.

    I realize others will disagree with me, but I carry the same ammo I practice with.
    No, I'm not well-to-do, and yes, I reload my own.
  15. mr.trooper

    mr.trooper Well-Known Member

    There isn't much value in them as a shooting aid...

    But to practice gun handling / ready drills / draw stroke / transitions / tactical drills? You bet they have value. Doing those things with real weapons has some major safety issues.

    There are a lot of professionals on this board. Don't you ever practice your work related social skills with your team members on your own time? I know my department is VERY stingy with its training dollars, and I don't get as much training time ($$$) or facility access ($$$) as I would like. Why not run some drills with your team mates yourself on private land? The thought has crossed my mind many times ... So has the LIABILITY of trying soemthing like that with real weapons.

    For me and my purposes, YES, airsoft has value as a training aid.
  16. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    Rockhopper, if I could get accuracy of that level from my PPK BB gun I'd be one happy camper. Clearly there are different levels of BB and airsoft quality. And a better one such as your TM is certainly useable for some drills and practice or just for plain old fun.
  17. Nickel Plated

    Nickel Plated Well-Known Member

    Plus they're just fun to shoot. You don't always get to go to the range, but you can always set up some coke cans in the yard and have a go at em. And a select fire GBB is the cheapest way to get some full auto fun, especially with guns you'd otherwise never get your hands on. Good luck getting a full auto G36, L85 or Beretta 93R
  18. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel Well-Known Member

    If you are not training force on force then you are not ready for the real thing. I don't care if it is airsoft, paintball or what. The idea is to learn tactics and real world results without getting bloody or worse.

    I won't talk recoil, balance, noise levels, ect, ect. Suffice to say that my son and I own Glock replicas that are the same size and fit the same holsters as our real G23's. It doesn't take much thought to set up real life scenarios that will very quickly evaporate your preconceived notions about how just owning and packing a gun somehow makes you invincible or safe somehow.
  19. MattShlock

    MattShlock Well-Known Member

    BB/Pellet guns are good practice. 10 M range in the basement using a .22 trap.
  20. okiewita40

    okiewita40 Well-Known Member

    We have some people in my Dept. that do not like or wish to own firearms. These same people struggle to qualify at the range. I tell them to by a cheap airsoft pistol and practice with it.

    It helps with getting used to drawing, target sighting and pulling a trigger to put a projectile on target. Just doing this once or twice a month throughout the year really helps them at qual time.

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