Airsoft for Practice

Here is another article found via Says Uncle. I hear about the whole concept of using replica Airsoft pistols to practice shooting. Cheaper Than Dirt has a nice write up on their opinion of Airsoft and dry-fire practice.

I mostly agree with what is written there. Airsoft and dry-fire practice is good for doing first shot drills. The problem is neither of the two replicate the recoil of a real gun. This means if somebody spends all of their time practicing with either of the two methods they will lack the ability to properly do multiple-shot drills as those require compensating for recoil.

I do dry-fire practice quite often, usually when I’m watching a show. It helps build good muscle memory for proper trigger pulls. It also helps alleviate the flinch reaction some people (including myself before actually practicing) have. But I also go to the range as often as I can and practice with real ammunition.

I never got on board the whole Airsoft idea because I can’t justify spending as much for a replica gun as an actual gun. For just a little more money I can buy the actual gun, and then I have something I can use for gaining full familiarity with a firearm.

I also agree with the Cheaper Than Dirt post on holster draws and reload drills should be practiced a lot at home as opposed to dry-fire. Remember you can be the fastest and most accurate shooter on the planet. But if it takes you ages to get the gun from your holster to aiming at an attacker you’re screwed. Likewise if you run out of ammunition, or Odin help you you’re magazine fails, being able to reload quickly could make the difference (be in competition or a self defense situation).

But overall the key is practice. That fancy $500.00 gun is meaningless if you can’t use it effectively.

3 thoughts on “Airsoft for Practice”

  1. The real beauty of Airsoft is live training aganst living, breathing and thinking human targets.
    So, I must ask, what’s the value of handling recoil if you don’t know how to handle stress?

    Simple solution, do both!
    Find an Airsoft club to “play soldier” with, and practice with your duty and/or carry gear under stress with non-leathal 6mm plastic pellets. Besides that, it’s fun!

  2. Stress inoculation can be done in several other ways though. The simplest method is introducing a shot timer when you practice. That will create stress. If you’re compete in something like IPSC that will greatly help you deal with stress.

    I’m not knocking Airsoft practice per se. If you enjoy it and it helps you go for it. The only quarrel I have with it is the cost. It would be difficult for me to justify several hundred dollars for a replica to my carry gun when I could buy another real gun for just a bit more.

  3. I understand what you mean, I’m just bringing up the other side of the debate for other readers.

    Using a shot timer is great. Quick, accurate hits is how you win, but learning how to get them when the target is shooting back? That’s where Airsoft comes in!
    The price… well it is one of the cheaper hobbies out there, ever play the “Magic: the Gathering” trading card game? You could put down two hundred easy on paper cards (not that I have ever done something like that…)

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