Since my last article, I’ve talked to different SWAT team members about using air soft guns for training. Some of the members liked the idea of having different guns to use for the variety of scenarios that SWAT teams face; especially in these uncertain times. One of the biggest issues faced by police departments today is cost. The cost of police issued weapons and ammunition is substantial. The costs are much higher when compared to the guns and ammunition used in air soft. Most police departments get some form of discount on their weapons and ammunition, but even so, they could get two air soft guns for the price of one real gun for using in training.
Air soft guns can be used for fun and training. They make excellent training aids for the police force as well as for teaching youth and adults the importance of gun safety. It’s a great sport to try. There are many models of air soft guns out there, like the ICS m-4 M16 and the AK47. Other companies also have Benelli model shot guns and SWAT style sniper rifles, as well as pistols modeled after the Heckler and Koch USP 45 caliber, Colt’s model 1911, 45 calibers and any other Glock pistol you can think of. With the pistols price ranges between 100 to 200 dollars and rifles ranging between 200 and 400 dollars, you get what you pay for. With what I like to call, “Wal-Mart specials”, ranging between 14 to 70 dollars, and being made from ABS clear plastic they are good for beginner guns.
ICS models and KSC pistols are made of metal and other materials. They are a better bang for your buck. A lot if not most of the pistols out there are gas blow back and use green gas. The rifles are battery operated using 8.4 or 9.6 volt power source which can be upgraded. For the higher end rifles, muzzle velocities range between 300 to 500 feet per second; the pistols, between 280 and 350 feet per second. That’s good range for guns fire 6 millimeter BB”S.
Sun Project company, as well a few others, makes a M203 grenade launcher that fires about 160 BB’s at a clip. This grenade uses green gas to propel the ammo 180 to 250 feet per second. The cost is between 160 and 400 dollars depending on the model.
All rifles have select fire modes and most pistols only come with semiautomatic. There are some pistols that have burst and full auto modes. Everything on both rifles and pistols are upgradeable, from the inner barrels to hand grips and optics to lights. I have an ICS M4 with an upgraded spring and spring guide with a full custom airbrush paint job. I also have a KSC Glock 19 that has been upgraded with inner springs and has a slide with glock insignias, serial number and a heavier inner barrel all in which help improve muzzle velocities and accuracy.
I spoke with some local officers in the town I reside in, where I’ve also applied for an officer position. As a local air soft player I am interested in getting involved in their training and the possibility of using air soft for that purpose. The officers liked the idea of not having to clean their duty weapons after every training exercise and the convenience of simply plugging in a battery for charging. I believe that police departments as well as towns and cities would benefit from the money saved by switching to air soft guns for training. The money saved could go towards new and better equipment for our officers. In addition to police using air soft guns for training, I’ve also heard from a few military buddies that their units are now using air soft guns for military training; due to the fact that their guns and firing ranges are not always easily accessible. They have purchased their own guns for use in training and can train on their own time and in an array of locations. With air soft, they have all the convenience and still have the weight, look and feel of their real guns. They no longer have to worry about live fire accidents that have occurred in the past. Best of all they save money.