Monday, May 25, 2020

Cheap & Awesome Handgun Training with Airsoft

Cheap & Awesome Handgun Training with Airsoft

We live in an amazing time where we no longer need to bang away with high priced ammo and can now reach for many of our same gun models chambered in cheap-to-shoot caliber options. For handguns we have numerous clones of popular defensive caliber handguns now in airsoft options hit the market in the last few years. Let’s take a look at a few of the great options available. 

UMAREX Options - Umarex offer various air-powered pistols from Beretta, Browning, Colt, Elite Force, GLOCK Airguns and Airsoft, Heckler & Koch, Smith & Wesson, T4E, Tactical Force, Umarex USA, UZI, and Walther. If you want to train cheap, Umarex delivers really great quality and reliability with a legacy of great support. 

Walther USA also owns Umarex USA which is the definitive source for air powered BB, Pellet, Airsoft, Training, and paintball marker pistols that mimic the look and feel of the real defensive pistols. In fact all are licensed versions of each respective firearm company. 

Walther PPQ M2 - The PPQ has a well renowned reputation as the world's most comfortable handgun. My PPQ 9mm gets shot a lot, but thankfully I have options that are less expensive to shoot. Among those options within the Walther family is a complete series of Walther PPQ M2 pistols in various 9mm & .40 S&W PPQ defensive pistols, PPQ .22LR models, and then a host of PPQ pellet, BB, airsoft, and marker pistols from Umarex for training use. One of the primary reasons I love my PPQ format is that I can seamlessly train from the same holster with my 9mm, .22LR, airsoft, and paintball marker pistol versions and for the most part they all give me a similar weight to the 9mm version.

With the airsoft and paintball models, I can move into a backyard, or urban training environment with a high margin of safety for more dynamic and realistic person to person training. In the midst of COVID backyard airsoft training has been such an amazing tool. In most cases you can shoot airsoft for about $20 per 5000 rounds which is exponentially lower in cost than even .22LR ammo. My personal favorite backyard targets are the Rubber Dummies rubber targets. Even Airsoft rounds will flake off paint and indicate hits on this target. I probably have 50K+ rounds through the three PPQ airsoft models I own - phenomenal training fun.

Walther also offers BB, Pellet and .43 caliber Marker pistols. I recently picked up a Marker pistol to add as a backup for paintball but it is a much more serious training option. The PPQ Marker is part of the Umarex/Walther T4E training solutions for LEO and military departments. For force on force training, airsoft hurts and delivers the needed indicator that a shot has landed. The .43 Caliber Marker pistol pictured here is even more of an incentive to think about how you are engaging opponents with the option of both paintball and the even more painful reusable .43 caliber hard rubber ball ammo. For those that are extremely adventurous there are also aftermarket .43 caliber pepper mace ammo available which could be used as deterrent ammo in a defensive situation. Umarex markets the marker pistols and airsoft line as significantly less expensive options to expensive simunition rounds. Across the PPQ training stack, there is a model to choose to fit your training needs even if you prefer a pellet or BB option.

Glock - At one point Glock took itself way too seriously and would not consider .22LR or airsoft versions of their G19 and G17 pistols and the result were knockoff pistols that lacked a lot of reliability. Times have thankfully changed and now there is a Glock G44 .22LR for cheap and reliable range training and licensed partnership with Umarex offers a variety of GLOCK Airguns and Airsoft branded models in airsoft, pellet and BB pistols. Our Glock trainers shown in this article are the G44 which has already had thousands of rounds of .22LR pushed through it as a low cost range training and plinking option of the G19 format pistol. The G44 has been a fantastic little pistol, however I do wish I had a suppressor option for it. 

When we get into non-lethal training options, I personally love the sub-cent cost option of the Umarex Glock Training airsoft G17 especially for room clearing training and doing drills which could be potentially dangerous such as very close target draw, charge, and shoot drills. 

There are plenty of options on the market now, but these are some fantastic options. In the midst of our global containment, many of us are not getting to the range as much as we would like. The result is either not training or getting out to training with non-lethal options in our garages and backyards. When we do get to the range, why not save a bit more cash with a rimfire option. Get out practice, train, and save some cash.

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