A question about training was asked on the GT-Steyr forum a while back and I chimed in on that one. I was out of shooting for about 10 years and just got back into it. I sold all my reloading stuff back then and it wasn't cost effective for me to practice the way I wanted to with live ammo. I read a great article about the Airsoft phenomenon in Shotgun News and did some searching around on the net.
I ended up buying a couple of Gas Blowback Airsoft replica Glocks. The highest-quality ones are made in Japan or Taiwan and sold under the brand names KSC or KWA (same manufacturer). Several options have metal slides and with the metal magazine/gas chamber are just about as heavy as the real thing. Recoil with the metal-slide versions is surprisingly realistic, about the same as a Walter P22. The grip angle is only 6 degrees different.
The most fun part of these things is that they can be had in Selective Fire. There is a fire selector on the slide and the one dot position is single shot, while the 2 dot position is FULL AUTO at 1200 RPM. It is so amusing to empty the 24 round magazine in under 1 second. They are surprisingly accurate and will shoot about 1-2 inch groups at 15 feet or even longer.
They run around $130 or so, and a good place to get them on the net is this place: http://www.evike.com - look under gas blow-back guns and you'll see a huge selection. I bought from them before and can recommend them.
I think these are one of the best training tools available to practice drawing, sight picture, trigger control, etc. I made a target trap out of a garment moving box. I folded a towel over the hangar bar and then use a pants-type hangar to hold the Shoot-N-C targets in front of the towel. The BBs go through the target then stop in the towel and drop right down. Easy clean up and I have an ultra cheap range in my garage!
just ordered a Tokyo Maru (supposed to be one of the top tier airsoft makers) Gas Blow Back (slide gives you 'kick') steyr GB. TM is who makes the best aug replicas and i think is the manufacture with the permissions to use the steyr logo, so write them to ask for a M or MA1.
I almost got a sig 226r but as the newest model out they are hard to find and when i found one i waited to see if i could find it cheaper and found this instead. The sig 226r was gone when i went back anyway.
Also the Maruzen p99 is supposed to be top notch and if you can't find an M it is probably the closest in hand feel pistol out there. But they're like $150+shipping.
the sig would've been $136 w/ shipping
the GB was $78 w/ shipping
first of all the steyr gb replica made by tokyo marui (supposed to be the best brand in airsoft) is indeed not a Gas BlowBack (i thought most gas pistols had bloeback, but appearently this one is a rarity and does not as i read the day after i ordered it). In other words the gb is not gbb
It does however have all the logos and even austrian proof mark, only in one spot does it say made in japan, but things like the decocker and slidestop do not function like they do in the $$# airsoft. It is also EXTREMELY acurate so far up to the 20' garage conditions i have tested it under so far. I can at that range put 14 of the 15 round mag touching
I know TM makes the best airsoft aug and tmp so hopefully maybe a gbb M9A1 might appear someday.
Ok i will say I'm already sold on it as a training tool. FEEDBACK IS INSTANT. being a non-gbb model it is kinda not what i was looking for in terms of being able to practice moving while firing drills as it doesn't kick at all.
However the lack of ANY kick makes it as good as dry firing for watching what the front sight does depending on triggger finger placement etc.
While not being modeled or even very close the the M in charchterisics (never realized the gb is a pretty big gun, like a 92fs w/ fat grips) it might not translate to my carry or competion piece exactly but gives me the theory while SEEING MY HITS AND NOT HAVING TO RERACK THE SLIDE. Racking the slide on this thing gives you a shorter "SA" feel vs just banging away w/ a heavier "da" trigger but is not nescacary to cylcle it like a spring airsoft gun (hell the internals might actually be da/sa or just made to feel that way).
OH and the wife and i agreed to treat it like a real steel gun w/ all safety rules. HOWEVER since these things are made for people burned out on paintball to skirmish w/ i did have to shoot myself in the foot :lol: Through my sock i have a nasty welt and swolen bloodblister about the size of a nickel. I will NOT do that again
The heavier .2g bb's are much harder than the .12g walmart ones your nephew uses. Also 220-250fps of gas power is more than 80-120 fps of springpower from same 12 year old nephews airsoft walmart pack..
I did also have some bounce back from my target box until I figured out to leave a gap between padding and front panel as any touching doubles would come back at me. SO GLASSES ARE MANDATORY!!
ok now i gotta get the TM sig 226 GBB to give some kick and work on the real drills i wanted to do.
is mildly more useful for target transition drills, but again after about the second magazine from 15 feet i only get 1 of 15 outside the 9 ring. Maybe better when it's light outside to see in the yard and try from 50 feet.
conclusion: a airsoft gas NON blowback pistol is neat and maybe more satisfying than dry firing IF you find a replica of your pistol, but might as well give as realistic of a simulation as going to the arcade and playing some old school area 51.
It's just too acurate and repeatable!!
Maybe useful for instructing a NEW shooter on stance, grip, sight picture, and mostly SAFETY but if you want airsoft for training you have to find a model KNOWN for HEAVY kickback (hopefully anyway, I'll give feedback on this later).
Oh and I'd love to get my hands on and fire a real steyr gb, but i prefer the ergonomics and size of a m or s.
If you like your non-blowback, you really should try the KSC/KWA Glocks, especially with the metal slides. These things are probably the hardest kicking GBBs out there and give you good practice in watching the front slide throughout the recoil cycle. The grip angle is only 6 degrees shallower than the M or S so it would be closer practice for your M and S.
And as I mentioned, some of them can run at FULL-AUTO!
sorry jng I dislike glocks enough to actually not even want an airsoft one :lol:
I know they are great for their intended purpose and meet their original design criteria well, it's just a feel thing for me.
I have the 226r on order. I'll drag out the digicam sometime this weekend.
My foot is fine, i think the reason it swelled up so fast is i believe i hit one of those small veins you can see on the top of your foot 8O
I almost got a ksc usp compact from e-bay untill it went up over what i could've ordered it for. Those are supposed to have some of the hardest kick in airsoft, matched only by the new 226r (someones been cruising the airsoft forums).
Airsoft is a great training tool for those of us that can't use simunitions, don't have special training houses with bullet trap walls, and can't walk out into our backyards to do drills with live fire.
I find that it is most helpful when my friends and I use it to practice basic close quarters battle drills by firing on moving multiple targets. You can only do so much to prepare for real life by firing at fixed targets or even at mechanical moving targets. Nothing can replace firing at an upredictable human body.
There is a reason that the armed services spend so much time and money on their MILES gear. Unfortuantly, if you're like me you dont' have thousands of dollars to burn on the equipment and have to go with the next best thing which is Airsoft. Just remember to always wear the appropriate eye protection that forms a complete seal around your eyes. In addition, some of the airsoft rifles can reach some pretty painful FPS with upgrades and cause a few very minor wounds (broken skin, maybe a knocked out tooth, etc.). Tokyo Mauri is a great company and I also like a company called Classic Army. KSC builds some very high quality handguns some that are made to be the same weight and have heavy recoil to simluate the real steel.