April 23, 2013
PTS debuts an Airsoft Target Shooting Match
In order to improve public awareness regarding airsoft safety and shooting etiquette, PTS has recently launched an educational training program- Airsoft Target Shooting Training (A.T.S.T. )- at schools. The goal of this program is to explain the importance of airsoft safety, and to promote the ideology of marksmanship and shooting as a professional sport....
March 11, 2013
PTS Debuts Instructional Airsoft Videos
Industrial-leading airsoft manufacturer develops instructional video series are now launched on new YouTube channel, check this out!...
Training Tip #1
Airsoft was born in Japan during the late 1970s as a hobbyist's solution to the Japanese nationwide civilian firearms ban. Aesthetically designed to emulate real guns, these replicas shoot a plastic 6mm pellet propelled by gas or compressed air. Airsoft today is now used not only for the recreational market of hobbyists, sporting events, and in military simulation...
Training Tip #2
While the guns used in airsoft are not real firearms, the four basic firearms rules must still apply. Airsoft guns are fully capable of causing real physical injury if these basic rules are violated...
Training Tip #3
Force On Force training is an effective tool in preparing law enforcement and military personnel for armed confrontations. Force On Force training helps “bridge the gap” between marksmanship and weapons handling skills learned on the range and the application of those skills in a dynamic, life and death use of force situation...
Training Tip #3
USING AIRSOFT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT AND MILITARY TRAINING
Force On Force training is an effective tool in preparing law enforcement and military personnel for armed confrontations. Force On Force training helps “bridge the gap” between marksmanship and weapons handling skills learned on the range and the application of those skills in a dynamic, life and death use of force situation. This type of training is invaluable to both law enforcement and military personnel. With the affordability and availability of airsoft training guns, there is no reason not to conduct this training.
The mission of PTS is to provide the war fighter and peace officer with high quality Airsoft equipment. This includes providing airsoft technology information, so that airsoft can be utilized to it’s full potential. The purpose of this article is facilitate the most effective use of airsoft weapons for real world training.
Airsoft weapons can be used as both a marksmanship and weapons handling training tool, as well as for Force On Force training. First, we will look at the two types of airsoft guns best suited for training, and their advantages and disadvantages.
Types Of Airsoft Guns
Gas Blow Back (GBB) Airsoft Guns
Gas Blow Back (GBB) airsoft guns utilize a compressed gas to propel the BB. The most common types of GBB guns are pistols, but there are rifles as well. One of the greatest advantages to Gas Blow Backs are their method of operation, as they function similarly to real firearms. The gas allows the slide of a pistol to actually reciprocate with slight recoil. The same is true for the bolt of a Gas Blow Back rifle. The manual of arms for loading and clearing malfunctions is also nearly identical to the actual firearm.
Advantages of Gas Blow Back Guns:
1)Realistic action and functioning.
2)Realistic manual of arms for loading, reloading , and some malfunction drills.
4)Excellent for both pistol marksmanship, weapons handling, and force on force training.
5)Wide array of duty pistol models available, most will fit duty holsters.
Disadvantages of Gas Blow Back Guns:
1)The magazine, which stores the gas and BBs can be easily damaged if dropped on a hard surface.
2)Not 100% effective in cold weather, as cold affects the function of the gas.
Automatic Electric Guns (AEGs)
The second type of airsoft gun suitable for training is referred to as an Automatic Electric Gun, or AEG. An AEG utilizes a rechargeable battery to power a piston and spring mechanism to propel the BB. Rifles are the most common type AEGs and are usually select fire.
Advantages of AEGs
1)More robust and reliable than Gas Blow Backs.
2)Full size replicas of real weapon, excellent for weapons handling training.
3)Can serve “double duty” and replace plastic non-firing red and blue training guns.
Disadvantages of AEGs
1)Not suited for realistic malfunction drills.
2)Trigger mechanism: The trigger does not break; it is merely a switch completing a circuit, not suited for realistic marksmanship training.
3)Depending on the brand and model of gun, not all AEGs have simulated recoil.
Now that we are familiar with the two basic types of airsoft guns, let’s take a look at some ways to use the two types of guns for training.
Gas Blow Back pistols and rifles are best suited for marksmanship training. They are most effective at ranges of 7 yards and closer. The trajectory of the BB mimics the trajectory of a bullet most closely and consistently at this range.
Targets scaled down in size, can be used to simulate targets at farther ranges. For example a scaled down IPSC size target placed at 9 feet presents the same sight picture perspective as a full sized IPSC target placed at 23 feet, approximately.
Gas Blow Back pistols function identically to a real pistol, including slight recoil. This allows for practice and application of the fundamentals of marksmanship, with instant feedback, without having to go to a live range. This is a great supplement to dry fire practice, as well as live fire.
Weapons Handling Training
Both Gas Blow Backs and AEGs are excellent for weapons handling training, including reloading drills. AEGs can be used for practicing speed and tactical reload manual of arms, anywhere, safely. This makes AEGs superior to plastic red or blue guns traditionally used in a classroom environment. Airsoft guns are also safer than using real weapons in a classroom setting.
Force On Force Training
Gas Blow Back pistols are excellent for Force On Force training. Trainees can use their regular duty gear, as most pistols are compatible with duty holsters and magazine pouches. Again, they are most effective at ranges of 7 yards and closer. Gas blow back airsoft guns are the most realistic, but have robustness issues. If the magazine is dropped on a hard surface, it can be permanently damaged.
AEGs are more robust, however, as stated previously they do not function exactly like real firearms. AEGs are still excellent for conducting Force On Force training focused on movement, decision making, and stress inoculation, but are just lacking some of the realism in regards to weapon cycling.
As with any of the Force On Force training equipment utilizing an actual projectile, it is important that trainers and trainees take the cover vs. concealment issue into consideration. What will work as cover in a simulated environment (dry wall, heavy brush, cardboard) will only be concealment against an actual bullet.
General Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Airsoft For Training
1)Low cost, low maintenance. 3000 rounds of airsoft ammunition BBs is about $30
2)Safety. Not capable of firing real ammunition. Can also be used as a “Red” or “Blue” gun.
3)Can be used virtually anywhere, easy to clean up.
4)Airsoft guns function more reliably than other types of Force On Force equipment.
5)Airsoft weapons are 1 to 1 scale replicas of real firearms, excellent for weapons handling, movement, and Force on Force training.
6)Many real firearm accessories are compatible with airsoft guns including stocks, handguards and optics.
7)Gas Blow Back guns provide low cost, effective marksmanship training supplement to live fire training.
1)Airsoft guns are not as robust as real firearms.
2)AEGs do not function exactly like real firearms, limiting usefulness as marksmanship training tool.
3)Both Gas Blow Backs and AEGs functioning can be affected by the cold.
4)AEGs do not provide realistic training platform for malfunction drills.
Airsoft can play an integral role in FOF training if used right and the limitations of the tools are understood. It is an alternative to FOF training but it should not replace FOF training with Simunitions and UTMs. Given the fact that law enforcement department training budgets are generally shrinking nationwide and the cost of SIMs and UTMs are relatively high, airsoft can be used as a means to supplement the additional training needed but cannot be financially afforded to ensure that individuals put in harms way on a daily basis have just a few more opportunities to practice the skills they need in that crucial 1% of their careers.