Training with real steel weapons can be expensive. The guns are pricey, and the ammo costs an arm and a leg. Even police forces which have government funding have realized how expensive training on real firearms all the time can be. Many law enforcement and even military personnel use airsoft guns to train on some of the time.They are easier to maintain, cheaper to operate, and you can safely shoot a person with it and nothing but a little welt will happen to them. Airsoft training weapons simulate real steel weapons 1:1, and they cost a fraction of the price.
Airsoft training guns can be made in virtually any style of weapon available in the world today. From the venerable 1911 pistol, to the newest Glock pistol, from the KWA Lm4, to the HK MP7 there are airsoft versions of just about every gun on the market. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to real steel training, or to keep up your skills when you can’t hit the range, then airsoft could be for you. If you are in the market for an airsoft training weapon, there are a few things to look for in a training weapon. First, it should be an exact replica of the real steel weapon you use. Depending on the type of weapon you use, get the airsoft version that correlates to the real steel version. And second, it must function like your real weapon.
Most training weapons will function to some degree like a real weapon, but finding the ones that function exactly like a real gun. The thing to look for is how the gun works. All types of airsoft guns are propelled by air. What makes them different is how the air is compressed and shot down the barrel. There are generally three types of propellant for airsoft guns.
First: Spring powered. You manually pull back the cylinder to chamber a round and cock the gun. Then you can pull the trigger and fire the gun. These types of guns are alright for simulating pump action shotguns, or bolt action rifles, but they are the cheapest of the bunch, and usually won’t last very long.
Second: Electric powered. Guns that are powered by electricity, Automatic Electric Guns (AEG’s) are the most common type. They can shoot semi, or full auto usually, and you don’t have to cock them between each shot. An airsoft AEG is the VFC VR16 Avalon. When you pull the trigger a battery powers a motor, which turns gears, which pulls back and releases the piston, which propels the bb. These types of weapons are good, but they don’t make very good training rifles, or training pistols. For one, an AEG magazine can hold anywhere from 120-500 bbs. Another thing is that most AEG’s have no recoil, and the trigger pull isn’t very similar to a real weapon because all you’re doing is pulling a switch.
Finally: Gas powered. These guns are powered by a gas. It is either propane, or co2 canisters. The gas is stored in the magazine, and when the trigger is pulled, is fed into the bolt, and shoots the bb down the barrel. These guns are the most realistic training weapons that airsoft has to offer. Being double action, the gun will have to have a round chambered before it will shoot. The magazines usually hold the same number of rounds as a real weapon, and the trigger pull feels very similar. There is also blowback because the way the bolt functions is just like a real steel weapon. The gun shoots, then the bolt goes back, chambers a new bb, and then repeats for the next shot. These are the training guns law enforcement personnel use to train with.