Airsoft Firearms for Real Life Survival Training
By John Durfee
Arcadia, Ca –-(Ammoland.com)- Two Glock 19s. Put them side by side and you’d have a hard time telling them apart.
They feel the same, have the same weight balance, sights, materials. The only distinguishable characteristic is an orange tip and when you drop the mags one’s holding 15 9mm rounds, and the other is holding 15….plastic airsoft BB pellets.
It’s an airsoft gun, often considered to be a toy and recreational item. But they can be so much more. Many law enforcement agencies are utilizing them already with great success. And you can get in on it too. Airsoft fields and events can be an invaluable and inexpensive tool to reinforce gun safety, combat preparedness, and proper use of a firearm for defense.
Airsoft is different from air rifles and pellet guns in that they use standardized airsoft 6mm plastic bb’s that weigh far less than metal pellets or sabots, and are perfectly safe in a controlled play environment.
There are an increasing number of airsoft clubs and airsoft organizations establishing multiple day events that can be attended for a set fee. They’re run on weekends, centered around military scenarios, and the core skills practiced are valuable to real world preparedness. There are varying degrees of immersion, ranging from “play and go back to the car for a snack” to full airsoft milsim, where one acts, functions, and performs like a real military force for the entire duration. These latter are great for testing weapons skills.
Most events are in outdoor wooded areas, while some are more modeled after urban environments. Each type has its own advantages to real firearms training. Wooded areas teach players to scan large areas quickly to look for potential threats. They also put hunting camo to the test by seeing how effective it is against the ultimate target –watchful human eyes. Urban areas teach how to use cover effectively and about lines of fire and engagement.
For those that don’t have the time to dedicate a weekend or full day to these events, there are even small walk-in arenas where one can pay a flat fee for the entire day. They operate on round based team-on-team matches. The downside is that anyone can join in, so you’ll have lots of younger teenage boys playing war gung-ho, which can detract a bit from the experience. Find a group of like-minded friends, and it can make for both a fun and educational experience.
Proper Weapon Usage
Airsoft teaches proper weapon usage, maintenance, and safety precautions. Most airsoft guns in the mid-range price look, feel, and function as close to the real steel guns as possible. Most pistols are 1:1 true to scale, so if you own a real pistol, you can find its airsoft version and even use your carry holster to train smooth drawing. A few popular models made by airsoft manufacturers are 1911’s (both single and double stack), m92s, USPs, and Sig P226 series pistols. Some gas airsoft pistols even disassemble the same way as the real thing! Real firearms training is great for becoming accustomed to the physical feel of shooting a gun, but airsoft simulation events teach valuable self-defense tactics in actual firefights scenarios against other people.
Another often overlooked benefit is physical fitness. Running around all day from cover point to cover point with adrenaline rushing is fantastic exercise. Just make sure to stay hydrated! You’ll be sweating a lot more than you think. It also trains your body to react well under stress and flight/fight situations. The more you’re exposed to these moments, the faster your brain is able to process the correct actions and pathways, your muscle memory knows exactly how to draw your weapon , cock it, and fire it, and reload it. When you can do these actions unconsciously, you have more presence in the moment to make combat decisions.
The most important skill learned at these events is mindset. You can put all your tactical gear and holsters through real world paces and determine what works, and lose what doesn’t. You learn to distinguish between friend and foe. You’ll hone your aiming and marksmanship skills on real targets who will react and move. You’ll learn how to use your weapon defensively, so you’ll train yourself how to respond – rather than react – to surprises and potential threats. And if you’re “killed” you can learn from your mistakes, so you survive next time!
Airsplat also has a site with a comprehensive listing of fields across the US. If you are ready to get out there and try it Airsplat has a comprehensive listing of US airsoft fields