Practice shooting defensively with airsoft

This is a discussion on Practice shooting defensively with airsoft within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have a XD SC in 9mm and I want to practice drawing and shooting as much as possible and figured I can practice at ...

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Thread: Practice shooting defensively with airsoft

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    New Member Array slowsword's Avatar
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    Practice shooting defensively with airsoft

    I have a XD SC in 9mm and I want to practice drawing and shooting as much as possible and figured I can practice at home with friends with an airsoft gun. What are your thoughts on it? Has anyone done this before?

    Also I know of a company, KJW, who makes what I think really realistic analogs to their real counterparts (full metal where it is on the real gun). They make a glock 23C, is that close enough in size, grip angle, width to the XD that it would be a pretty good simulation?

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    Senior Member Array Alex_C's Avatar
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    My CPL instructor used an airsoft gun during training when we were learning proper grip and stance.

    They are a nice training tool.

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    Ex Member Array hartlathers's Avatar
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    I use an airsoft pistol daily. I found one that is almost the exact size and weight of my CZ 75B. I practice drawing, presentation and firing in the comfort of my den. Occationally, I shoot a squirrel in the ass that gets in the bird feeder, but it doesn't hurt them.

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    New Member Array slowsword's Avatar
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    hartlathers- do you think your similar airsoft works just as good as if it was a CZ 75B airsoft?

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    Member Array AK_Brian's Avatar
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    I don't for my handguns, I use snapcap/dummy rounds for that. However I use my all-metal airsoft AR15 to do carbine drills and the like plenty when I don't feel like blowing money down range with my real one. Several respected instructors have touted the benefit of using quality airsoft guns to practice drills with.

    Aside from saving you money in live ammunition, quality makes are often very close in weight, and are identical in controls and shape, and nearly in function; aside from some very obvious exceptions. You can gain a lot of practice time without risking an ND, which alone makes it a great training tool.

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    Member Array rick21's Avatar
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    I try to spend some time with an airsoft pistol everyday. Shooting is fairly easy, drawing and shooting is a little tougher. Drawing and shooting quickly is harder still, drawing and shooting quickly from concealment starts getting difficult. Drawing and shooting quickly from concealment while moving is very difficult without practice. Airsoft allows that type of practice with realtive safety at home any time you want to practice. Airsoft also give you the option of FOF if you want to take it that far.

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    Member Array WarMachine's Avatar
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    You'll shoot your eye out! LOL!

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    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    Airsoft is a great tool for Force-on-Force. The participants will need to be honest with each other, though, as even with just jeans an a long-sleeve T, it can be hard to actually feel the impact of the BBs. The RAP4 (and associated RAP17/RAP226), when using the non-marking rubber-ball projectiles, can offer a bit more incentive to scenario participants due to the felt impact of the hits. Both are much more easily available and affordable than Simunition.

    Proper eye and facial protection is a must: I was very active in airsoft gaming from about '99 to '02-'03, and at typical Force-on-Force distances, I've seen lacerated lips, nostrils, ears, and even chipped teeth. Hand protection is something that should be considered as well; for those of us who've participated in firearms-related Force-on-Force, we know just how many times our hands have been shot. Finally, as with any Force-on-Force involving firearms, you'll want to double-check that people have properly secured their live/real firearms - this mistake is a fatal one.

    Because of the dimensional similarities between the replica and the real-deal, airsoft is great to keep in-practice when it comes to the draw stroke as well as movements with the gun. However, even the most accurate or highly modified replicas will show a noticeable difference in weight distribution, and similarly, there is virtually no way to properly simulate stoppages with airsoft. "Blow-back" forces can be quite decent in some models, and can also be tweaked...however, even with the best of the genre, it is still in the range of being below or only equivalent to a .22 caliber trainer. Similarly, effective range is limited. Even with good or highly-modified gas-blow-back pistols, while a 6 to 8-inch diameter target can easily be hit from 10 to even 15 yards, unless you have a really highly modified replica, point-precision/accuracy is completely lost at that distance.

    Tatsuya Sakai, a Japanese national who had until perhaps a month before never touched a real firearm and practiced solely using airsoft won the 2004 Steel Challenge, you can Google who he beat. And like AK_Brian pointed out, it can also extend beyond pistol work. Travis Haley's Haley Strategic YouTube channel has a segment on "Airsoft X-Training." It's a legitimate training tool, just like dry-fire, just like sub-caliber training, just like the SIRT. And just like those other devices, there will be instructors/schools/shooters who prefer one while downplaying the other.

    slowsword, there is a cheap Korean-made XD replica, single-shot, spring powered, that you can get if you just want the grip-angle/size of the gun to be simulated. It's typically available on eBay or even in your local "Asian Town Plaza" gift-shops. Tokyo Marui as well as WE both offer variants of the XDm in gas-blow-back format.

    ----

    My history with airsoft?

    Aside from skirmish gaming between '99 to '02-'03, I have an embarrassingly large airsoft collection for an adult. My first GBB pistol was a Western Arms CQB Special which was my skirmish sidearm, and I have several of their Shibuya Shop specials in my collection. I also have GBBs that were built by Far-Eastern "Airsmiths," a couple of which actually cost about as much as a real-deal Wilson Combat or the like.

    Oh, and that's right - I had the luck to be able to fire a Glock 18 this summer, at Costa's HE02 session in NE-Ohio. I actually think that the airsoft Glock 18 is almost just as fun to shoot.




    ----


    ETA:

    Doh! Forgot one more thing.....

    The trigger.

    Depending on the platform, there can be *significant* differences.

    The single-shot spring-powered airsoft XD I spoke of above? That trigger is completely unlike what is found on the real XD/XDm.

    I still don't have an airsoft XDm in my collection, but I do have several Glocks, and in comparison to my Glock 32, the differences are appreciable - and in many cases, it's not like the SIRT, which you can tune/adjust, either. So if you're looking to get actual "trigger time" with your gun - say, a Glock - that time would be better spent dry-firing or with a different tool (such as the SIRT), than you would with an airsoft. The triggers in my airsoft Remington 870 and 1100 are also completely different from what's on my real 870, and the M4 replicas are of no comparison at all.

    On the other hand, a 1911/2011, for example, you can literally tune the trigger to be just like your real-steel. For as much of a fan as I am of the classic 1911 and 2011s, I actually don't yet own a 1911/2011. That said, I've been extremely lucky in that a good friend of mine - one who lives close-by - is a certifiable 1911Addict, and he's been incredibly generous with me in allowing me to not only fondle, but actually shoot, some really, really, really high-end 1911s/2011s - and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that some of my custom airsoft 1911s/2011s have triggers that are just as good as some of those highly tuned real pistols'. Similarly, while the trigger is much lighter, the overall travel of the trigger and its feel is actually very nicely replicated in my airsoft H&K USP, Beretta M92FS, as well as Walther P99.

    So, again, you've gotta use this tool for what it is. Take advantage of its positives, and mind the negatives.

    It's just another training tool.
    Last edited by TSiWRX; February 5th, 2013 at 06:01 PM. Reason: Triggers

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