Question about Airsoft

This is a discussion on Question about Airsoft within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I've read that many people have airsoft pistols as a training aid, and I want to get one but I am slightly concerned about using ...

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    Senior Member Array BRTCP88's Avatar
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    Question about Airsoft

    I've read that many people have airsoft pistols as a training aid, and I want to get one but I am slightly concerned about using propane. Can you use compressed air in a "green gas" gun?

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    Member Array hoghunter84's Avatar
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    What are your concerns about using propane? My buddy has one and its a really good little pistol. Smells a bit but its neat for a toy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoghunter84 View Post
    What are your concerns about using propane? My buddy has one and its a really good little pistol. Smells a bit but its neat for a toy.
    My Grandma lost her eyebrows using a propane stove. I don't know anything about safely handling/storing it.

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    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    You can use "computer duster gas," too, but you'll lose a bit of the blow-back force/speed as well as muzzle velocity.

    The old-timers of the hobby (those who came to it either in the late-90s or early-00s) will know the tricks of making the fill-up work correctly.

    The lighter-polymer and oftentimes more finely crafted Japanese gas-blow-back (GBB) pistols often will function well with HFC-134a ("duster gas").

    Unless you're exposing the setup to an open flame, there's virtually no problems using a GBB pistol with Propane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRTCP88 View Post
    My Grandma lost her eyebrows using a propane stove. I don't know anything about safely handling/storing it.
    Dont smoke and shoot, its fine.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    Dont smoke and shoot, its fine.
    LOL. My grandma is a smoker, maybe that's what happened.

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    You'll be fine. Most of my airsoft guns work off of green or red gas.

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    TVJ
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    propane is fine

    no open flame

    You must get silicone lube for your gun and use per directions if you go with propane

    Green gas has the silicone in it already.
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
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    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    ^ Very good point about the lube, and that's definitely something that you'll want to do - but BRTCP, don't worry excessively about it. A drop of lightweight silicone "Shock Oil" from the local hobby shop is really all that you need, every few fill-ups (drop it on the gas-in port, then force gas refill into the reservoir - you'll force-in enough lube). The actual percentage of lube in commercial airsoft gasses is very low. Since the lube from the gas really doesn't do much for the hard wear-points on the replica (it's more for preservation of the seals in the replica's gas-system), remember to address those separately as a part of normal maintenance.

    I'm really not sure what you'll be using the airsoft for, but there's things that's more - and less - suited to their use as a training tool.

    First and foremost, they're great at Force-on-Force, particularly if you live in a warmer climate and need/want to go with only a thin short or long-sleeve T-shirt for training. Their low energy hits will still elicit some sting at closer ranges, but overall, it's much less messy than any marking rounds, and also much less painful than even the RAM trainers (which, actually, I prefer - especially if you live in a cooler environment and training using a hoodie or the like is more practical, comfortable).

    Safety is paramount, and for airsoft FoF, I'd recommend full-face-covering paintball masks, along with eyecup sealing goggles. I've engaged in plenty of airsoft play and training - I started in 1999, and trailed-off and out of the sport/hobby back in 2004 - and I've seen what these things can do: chipped teeth, lacerated earlobes, lips and nostrils can happen, even with the lower muzzle velocity/energy of the "softer" gasses and with un-modified, stock, replicas. And don't even think about just wearing your shooting glasses. Sure, it may keep spent brass out, but I have actually borne personal witness to a BB hiting the edge of a player's shooting glasses (this was back in the early days, where there was no set safety standards), and literally ride the lens inside, to hit the player's eye.

    Move-and-shoot drills with airsoft, particularly in an indoor home/garage environment is great (remember to have a suitable backdrop), but you'll want to get a replica that's true to your EDC: if you carry a Glock or a 1911 - or even the Beretta 92 - then great, you're all-set...but if you normally go with a LCP or a XD, you're going to be out of luck. And remember, while airsoft is touted as a 1:1 "true" replica, that really only applies to some of the more high-end models...a low-priced one may or may not achieve a decent fit in a molded Kydex or other thermoplastic holster, as it may actually not be quite so accurate of a replica.

    Tactical reloads, with retention, is also a good drill to do - but particularly with gas-operated pistols, you don't necessarily want to be doing emergency reload drills: the magazine is typically very heavy, weighing as much as or even more than a comparable real-deal magazine, fully-loaded. It's necessarily so because to contain the pressurized propellant gas, it needs to be strong, but even so, it's still made out of what we Americans would call "pot metal," and a drop onto a hard surface (to say nothing of the damage it could do to your toes, feet, or even the hardwood floor) could well render it completely inoperable due to breakage (we firearms enthusiasts who train will typically segregate our training/range magazines from our "social" mags, simply for fear of breakage or grime/dirt induced malfunctions - even dropped empty, it's not unheard of for feed-lips to be bent: now imagine a magazine weighing as much as a fully loaded one, being dropped on its feed-lip). Even outdoors on grass, you'd want to pray that it doesn't hit a rock.....

    Similarly, if your intent is to work malfunction drills, know that most airsoft GBB pistols never malfunction in the same manner as their real-steel counterparts. Thus, using your real-steel fed with dummy rounds or snap-caps is going to be more beneficial, just as you would use it for non-retention reload drills.

    [Note that while the much cheaper "springer" spring-powered (you have to re-cock the mechanism each time, manually, to effect discharge of the BB) pistols are likely to have magazines that are much lighter, and thus capable of being dropped to the ground without damage, many of those replicas may not have magazines that are anywhere near the shape/size of their real counterpart's, and thus will not only not fit into magazine pouches/holders, but may itself make it extremely hard for you to effect realistic reload drills with.]

    Finally, another word on safety: if you're going to have airsoft and real-steel in the same household, you need to be DOUBLY as careful in your gun-handling procedures, and this should be redoubled if you have *exact* replicas of your real-steel firearms, mirrored in airsoft or other training tools. This rule becomes even more important if you expect children to be around your airsoft/firearms, and/or if you invite friends to train with you. There are tales from within even our very own community here on DC.com of children mistaking one for the other - and I can tell you as a seasoned airsoft enthusiast that even well-knowledged adults can make this mistake. BE CAREFUL.

    If your airsoft is to be used as a tool, you should realize that as with any tool, there's going to be better and worse uses for it. Choose the best tool for your needs.

    I really love airsoft, but even after I finally get an airsoft XDm (Tokyo Marui has had one in the pipe for 2 years now, and it should be due), I will still likely seek a laser-based trainer, and will still continue to use my cleared (and double cleared) real-steel, along with snap-caps.

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    Senior Member Array BRTCP88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSiWRX View Post
    ^ Very good point about the lube, and that's definitely something that you'll want to do - but BRTCP, don't worry excessively about it. A drop of lightweight silicone "Shock Oil" from the local hobby shop is really all that you need, every few fill-ups (drop it on the gas-in port, then force gas refill into the reservoir - you'll force-in enough lube). The actual percentage of lube in commercial airsoft gasses is very low. Since the lube from the gas really doesn't do much for the hard wear-points on the replica (it's more for preservation of the seals in the replica's gas-system), remember to address those separately as a part of normal maintenance.

    I'm really not sure what you'll be using the airsoft for, but there's things that's more - and less - suited to their use as a training tool.

    First and foremost, they're great at Force-on-Force, particularly if you live in a warmer climate and need/want to go with only a thin short or long-sleeve T-shirt for training. Their low energy hits will still elicit some sting at closer ranges, but overall, it's much less messy than any marking rounds, and also much less painful than even the RAM trainers (which, actually, I prefer - especially if you live in a cooler environment and training using a hoodie or the like is more practical, comfortable).

    Safety is paramount, and for airsoft FoF, I'd recommend full-face-covering paintball masks, along with eyecup sealing goggles. I've engaged in plenty of airsoft play and training - I started in 1999, and trailed-off and out of the sport/hobby back in 2004 - and I've seen what these things can do: chipped teeth, lacerated earlobes, lips and nostrils can happen, even with the lower muzzle velocity/energy of the "softer" gasses and with un-modified, stock, replicas. And don't even think about just wearing your shooting glasses. Sure, it may keep spent brass out, but I have actually borne personal witness to a BB hiting the edge of a player's shooting glasses (this was back in the early days, where there was no set safety standards), and literally ride the lens inside, to hit the player's eye.

    Move-and-shoot drills with airsoft, particularly in an indoor home/garage environment is great (remember to have a suitable backdrop), but you'll want to get a replica that's true to your EDC: if you carry a Glock or a 1911 - or even the Beretta 92 - then great, you're all-set...but if you normally go with a LCP or a XD, you're going to be out of luck. And remember, while airsoft is touted as a 1:1 "true" replica, that really only applies to some of the more high-end models...a low-priced one may or may not achieve a decent fit in a molded Kydex or other thermoplastic holster, as it may actually not be quite so accurate of a replica.

    Tactical reloads, with retention, is also a good drill to do - but particularly with gas-operated pistols, you don't necessarily want to be doing emergency reload drills: the magazine is typically very heavy, weighing as much as or even more than a comparable real-deal magazine, fully-loaded. It's necessarily so because to contain the pressurized propellant gas, it needs to be strong, but even so, it's still made out of what we Americans would call "pot metal," and a drop onto a hard surface (to say nothing of the damage it could do to your toes, feet, or even the hardwood floor) could well render it completely inoperable due to breakage (we firearms enthusiasts who train will typically segregate our training/range magazines from our "social" mags, simply for fear of breakage or grime/dirt induced malfunctions - even dropped empty, it's not unheard of for feed-lips to be bent: now imagine a magazine weighing as much as a fully loaded one, being dropped on its feed-lip). Even outdoors on grass, you'd want to pray that it doesn't hit a rock.....

    Similarly, if your intent is to work malfunction drills, know that most airsoft GBB pistols never malfunction in the same manner as their real-steel counterparts. Thus, using your real-steel fed with dummy rounds or snap-caps is going to be more beneficial, just as you would use it for non-retention reload drills.

    [Note that while the much cheaper "springer" spring-powered (you have to re-cock the mechanism each time, manually, to effect discharge of the BB) pistols are likely to have magazines that are much lighter, and thus capable of being dropped to the ground without damage, many of those replicas may not have magazines that are anywhere near the shape/size of their real counterpart's, and thus will not only not fit into magazine pouches/holders, but may itself make it extremely hard for you to effect realistic reload drills with.]

    Finally, another word on safety: if you're going to have airsoft and real-steel in the same household, you need to be DOUBLY as careful in your gun-handling procedures, and this should be redoubled if you have *exact* replicas of your real-steel firearms, mirrored in airsoft or other training tools. This rule becomes even more important if you expect children to be around your airsoft/firearms, and/or if you invite friends to train with you. There are tales from within even our very own community here on DC.com of children mistaking one for the other - and I can tell you as a seasoned airsoft enthusiast that even well-knowledged adults can make this mistake. BE CAREFUL.

    If your airsoft is to be used as a tool, you should realize that as with any tool, there's going to be better and worse uses for it. Choose the best tool for your needs.

    I really love airsoft, but even after I finally get an airsoft XDm (Tokyo Marui has had one in the pipe for 2 years now, and it should be due), I will still likely seek a laser-based trainer, and will still continue to use my cleared (and double cleared) real-steel, along with snap-caps.
    FoF is what I wanted it for. Hadn't heard of RAM though.

  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    Guns for scenario training and target practice - RAM paintball, airsoft, air guns, blank firing - for SWAT, military, law enforcement, and government agencies.

    ^ That's the distributor. One of my instructors just buys them off eBay.

    What I like about them is that even with a thick hoodie and jeans, you*know* you got hit - it'll give you a good welt, at typical "shoot-house" distances, so the pain adds to the intensity of the FoF scenario, further inducing stress.

    Given that you're in FL, though, wearing a thick hoodie and jeans may not be all that fun for most of the year. In that case, airsoft, combined with shorts and a T-shirt, would likely be the better alternative.

    The problem with airsoft is that once you start "gearing up" (for LEOs/Military) or when you start putting on more layers of street clothing, you can't always necessarily feel the hits. When you're jacked up on adrenaline, that becomes even harder to feel.

    The only thing I did not like about the RAM was the configuration of its "magazines" (pistol). They're definitely far from realistic, and their size/shape makes for really awkward reloading. Even had I "lived" through my FoF scenarios to reloading, I honestly don't know that I'd have hit them...and to be honest, I'm not all that bad at reloading, in real-life.

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