Wheelgun shooters can have a realistic shooting experience with the ASG Dan Wesson 2.5 snub-nose revolver from ActionSportGames. One pellet is loaded into each realistic looking cartridge, then each cartridge is loaded into one of the cylinder’s six chambers. The cylinder rotates like a firearm. A speedloader also comes with this all-metal air gun. The CO2 cartridge is stored under the grip and powers pellets up to 425 fps. MSRP is $155. (<a target=blank href=http://www.actionsportgames.com/view-product-219.aspx?productid=17177@@SHOP1&backPageID=211>http://www.actionsportgames.com</a>; 805-529-7707)
The GFAP13 is a full-sized airsoft pistol that allows a user to fire in full-auto mode or semi-auto mode. AEG stands for Automatic Electronic Gun, meaning it runs off a rechargeable battery. The plastic 6mm BBs leave the barrel at speeds up to 250 fps, depending on the BB weight. Offering fixed sights and a Picatinny rail, the MSRP for this metal air pistol is $100. (<a target=blank href=http://www.crosman.com/gfap13>http://www.crosman.com</a>; 800-724-7486)
If a large-caliber revolver is in your home defense kit, then the SR357 can complement your training. This is a full-metal, double-action/single-action revolver with a swing-out cylinder. The CO2-powered revolver features reusable six-shot cartridges and fires its BBs at up to 450 fps. Each reusable cartridge is loaded into the cylinder’s chambers, simulating an actual revolver in operation. The MSRP is $100. (<a target=blank href=http://www.crosman.com/sr357-black>http://www.crosman.com</a>; 800-724-7486)
A dead ringer for the U.S. Army’s M9 combat sidearm, the Model 340 runs on spring-air power to fire steel BBs at a velocity of up to 240 fps. The trigger operates in double- and single-action modes. A 13-shot clip is filled from a 200-round reservoir in the grip. This is a low-cost alternative to running your Beretta. The MSRP is $25. (<a target=blank href=http://www.daisy.com/node/214>http://www.daisy.com</a>; 800-713-2479)
The PowerLine 415 is an entry-level trainer that features a 21-shot magazine, a fiber-optic front sight and a manual safety. It fires a steel BB with every pull of the trigger at velocities up to 495 fps, all though the power of CO2 cartridges. This is a good trainer air pistol that gives the user a full-sized pistol feel in the hand. The MSRP is $40. (<a target=blank href=http://www.daisy.com/node/224>http://www.daisy.com</a>; 800-713-2479)
Created in collaboration with SAI and EMG (Evike Manufacturing Group), the Model 17 and Model 34 is a first of its kind in the airsoft industry. The Model 17 is a true training pistol platform designed and manufactured from the ground up to be able to handle the rigors of real training. This model features a Melonite-coated steel slide, a titanium, nitride-coated barrel, a stippled frame, a fiber-optic front and dovetailed rear sight, as well as a match-grade trigger. (<a target=blank href=http://www.evike.com>http://www.evike.com</a>; 626-286-0360)
The P-25 Blowback is nondescript and not patterned after any particular firearm, but it offers a realistic blowback action with a trigger that operates in single- or double-action modes. Powered by a CO2 cartridge and offering two 8-pellet magazines, the P-25 fires pellets at 450 fps. A rifled steel barrel ensures good accuracy. The MSRP is $110. (<a target=blank href=http://www.gamousa.com/product.aspx?product=P-25%20Blowback&productID=356>http://www.gamousa.com</a>; 954-581-5822)
PTP stands for Professional Training Pistol, which means this airsoft gun is solidly built with all-metal construction and is designed to deliver performance. Just like its firearm counterpart, the M226 PTP features a double-action trigger, a decocking lever and an accessory rail. It fires 6mm airsoft BBs at 330 to 360 fps. The MSRP is $160. (<a target=blank href=http://www.kwausa.com/professional-training/kwa-m226-ptp>http://www.kwausa.com</a>; 626-581-1777)
If you shoot old-school 1911s, then Remington’s 18-shot 1911 RAC might be an option. At first glance it looks like a WWII-era, GI-issue 1911A1. This classic-looking air pistol features a blowback action—the slide cycles backward to simulate actual recoil—that fires BBs at 540 fps with CO2 cartridges. The weight and controls are nearly identical to a 1911, and even field-stripping is similar. MSRP is $130. (<a target=blank href=http://www.remingtonairguns.com/1911.html>http://www.remingtonairguns.com</a>; 877-387-6691)
If you carry a Heckler & Koch P30, Umarex has an air pistol for backyard defensive training. The HK P30 by Umarex fires either pellets using an eight-shot rotary clip or BBs with a 15-round magazine. Umarex simulates the weight, trigger pull and controls of the HK P30 firearm, including a single- and double-action trigger pull, an integrated accessory rail and adjustable sights. The slide remains stationary during firing and is powered by CO2. The MSRP is $238. (<a target=blank href=http://www.umarexusa.com/HK-P30.html>http://www.umarexusa.com</a>)
Built to look like a real AK, the AK-47 Tactical WarHawk Airsoft AEG Rifle works off an electric motor to shoot 6mm plastic airsoft BBs. Featuring a metal receiver, barrel and bolt carrier, the stock and handguard are wood construction. Magazines are manipulated in a manner similar to those on a real AK, letting you master tactical reload skills during training. MSRP is $130. (<a target=blank href=http://www.leapers.com/prod_detail.php?mitem=airso&level1=&level2=&itemno=SOFT-MAK47LE-A&status=close-out>http://www.leapers.com</a>; 734-542-1500)
Three BBs are simultaneously fired with each press of the trigger and pump of the forend. If you have a pump-action shotgun for home defense, the Combat Commando Shotgun from UTG will help you hone your skills. Authentic shotshell-style cartridges load just like they do in a firearm, with each holding 30 BBs for 10 shots per shell. This is a spring-powered air gun that requires manually pumping the action just like a pump-action shotgun. The M3S version offers a pistol grip, while the M3L features a standard stock. MSRP is $55. (<a target=blank href=http://www.leapers.com/prod_detail.php?mitem=airso&level1=&level2=&itemno=SOFT-M3S&status=>http://www.leapers.com</a>; 734-542-1500)
The full-sized M&P 9 is licensed by Smith & Wesson and features a polymer frame and a metal slide. The high-powered blowback action simulates real recoil. Just like the firearm its based on, this airsoft pistol has a modular backstrap system with three grip inserts, an ambidextrous slide stop and an integrated accessory rail. Expect 260 to 300 fps velocity with 6mm airsoft BBs from this trainer. (<a target=blank href=http://www.evike.com/products/47404/>http://www.evike.com</a>; 626-286-0360)
The airsoft ISSC M-22 is an airsoft variant. Muzzle velocity is 280 to 300 fps with 6mm airsoft BBs. Powered by either CO2 or a green gas magazine, the pistol’s frame is polymer and the slide is made of aluminum. If you train with a Glock, then this airsoft replica should be worked into your training schedule since it features a blowback action and an accessory rail for realistic operation on the range. MSRP is $99. (<a target=blank href=http://www.evike.com/products/45329/>http://www.evike.com</a>; 626-286-0360)
With the Full Metal 1911 4.3 Hi-Capa airsoft pistol, you can train with tactical lights or lasers. The pistol features an aluminum slide and frame, as well as a Picatinny-style rail that can accomodate any accessory a firearm would take. The pistol features a blowback-style action to simulate recoil and offers a portion of threaded barrel. Muzzle velocity is 290 to 330 fps. MSRP is $88. (<a target=blank href=http://www.evike.com/products/25015/>http://www.evike.com</a>; 626-286-0360)
Powered by an electric motor, the 4CRS fires full or semi-auto with the flick of a selector switch, just like a real M4. The 11-inch barrel delivers 6mm airsoft BBs at 350 fps. The rifle features a full-metal receiver along with a collapsing stock, accessory rails and flip-up iron sights. The MSRP is $473. (<a target=blank href=http://www.umarexusa.com/Elite-Force-4CRS-AEG-Elite-Series.html>http://www.umarexusa.com</a>)
We are all looking for an edge, a way to improve our shooting skills beyond the norm since average is just not good enough for self-defense. To gain that edge we don’t need to take hours out of our work week to travel to a practice range or burn up our retirement fund on ammunition. Air pistol and rifle training for personal and home defense makes sense since we can train in our backyard, basement or any area temporarily designated a range.
The real benefit with air gun training comes when you pair an air gun or airsoft gun with your firearm. The more this gun simulates a cartridge-firing firearm, like those that have a blowback action to replicate recoil, the more you will build upon your existing skill set. When I spoke with Evike.com, one of the largest online retailers of airsoft guns in the U.S., a spokesperson explained the parallels in airsoft and firearms training, plus innovations like the use of better materials, engineering and manufacturing. Airsoft is reinventing itself with new airsoft guns that offer realism and the ability to take the abuse training can dole out. Just think how easy it will be to practice holster drills from concealed carry. Air gun training is also an excellent way to ramp up a novice shooter on safe gun handling skills.
For More Information
Action Sport Games
Daisy Outdoor Products
Evike Manufacturing Group
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by Personal Defense World / May 8, 2015