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The Best Alternative to Dry Firing Your Pistol

“Ammo… Is too precious a thing in these times.” For those of you who caught the Bram Stoker’s Dracula reference there, I applaud you. You are cultured and scholarly. Or film geeks. Whatever the case, ammo is in fact too precious a commodity to waste in these crazy pre-boogaloo days or any other day. “But dry fire practice,” you say.

And we say you can do better than that!

Airsoft guns aren’t just for the youthful-looking to play soldier in their leisure time. No, airsoft is a serious training tool that more and more firearms owners are taking seriously every day. Who is using air? Men and women who are taking a vested interest in securing the safety of themselves and their families. They are using airsoft pistols that mirror their chosen concealed carry pistols to do holster drills and live-fire training in their backyards (where laws and ordinances don’t prohibit) and garages.

Competitive shooters are turning to air to practice not just the mag changes and mechanics of their technique, they are getting in live-fire trigger practice with scorable targets all by adding an airsoft gun to their training routine.

Who else is using air? Any shooter who is looking to polish and retain the skills needed to maintain shooting proficiency.

You Need to Practice to Protect

Shooting is a perishable skill. It’s that simple. What you can do today has to be practiced tomorrow. If you don’t stay on top of your game and, as my brother is oft to say, “hydrate, train, and maintain” you will lose the edge you gained yesterday—practice to protect your skill. But life gets in the way of the best intentions. In various corners of the states, the weather can keep you socked in from any outside activity. Here in the bright, sunny South, we have ice, snow, and tornados… in the same week. You’ve got to roll with the punches, but sometimes there has to be some margin made and that trip to the range often becomes the item sacrificed just to make life happen for your family.

What To Do When Hoarders Buy Ammo

Then there are things like “Ammogeddon” that occur when the conditions are just right, when the level of freak-out approaches a thundering crescendo of chaos and all of a sudden the soul is willing (to practice) but the flesh can’t find ammo for love or money. Dire straits, it is for you and anyone else who has less than a truckload of his favorite bang-bang stored in the cellar. Sure you can go and shoot, but with re-stocking, a huge challenge, heading to the range becomes an obstacle of many dimensions. Let alone a trip to the range to help a new shooter get some trigger time and instruction from yourself.

No ammo is sweeter than the ammo you didn’t pay for, but all good things come to an end. The piper, i.e. the few stores who still have ammo, is calling a hefty price for even the most meager steel case-n-lacquered rot-gut ammo.

As noted above, let’s talk airsoft.

Use Airsoft Guns to Supplement Your Firearm Skills

Yes, chances are there is an airsoft version of the handgun you happen to tote. The 1911 platform has been around long enough that it’s available in a “generic” prescription. Our Elite Force 1911’s have been available for a loooong time in various forms and there is hardly an airsoft player who hasn’t owned a few of them. Blowback action, identical controls, and even field stripping just like the firearm, the EF1911 variants are just the ticket for you guys who genuflect at the name of John Moses Browning.

One of Umarex’s huge advantages in the market of building replicas is the license agreements we have with some of the biggest players in the firearms industry. Beretta, GLOCK, Heckler & Koch, Smith & Wesson, and Walther are the companies we will have 1:1 blowback replicas of their most popular models. Check out the airsoft pistols at and sort by brand in the left nav to see what I mean.

This means that you can hit the garage on Saturday morning and cut out some scaled down cardboard silhouettes and spend the later part of the morning practicing on your homemade custom course or doing shoot- no shoot drills with a live fire airsoft pistol. No hearing protection needed but we highly recommend eye protection! Premium Elite Force Bio BBs are about $23 for 5,000 BBs. Airsoft pistols are powered by either CO2 or Green Gas which are both easy to find and economical. In other words, shooting 500 rounds of airsoft will compare to shooting a couple of magazines out of your centerfire pistol. You can dump two mags of 9mm in less than a minute of slow, deliberate fire. You can train all morning with airsoft for pocket change.

Dry Firing is Good, But Airsoft Practice Provides Feedback

Dry fire has its place. It’s really cheap, i.e. free. While it does have that going for it, it gets old really fast. Each trigger pull requires a pull of the slide to reset the hammer or striker. If you have a magazine disconnect safety, you can’t take out the magazine and practice, so you’ll need to actuate the slide release each and every time you cycle through the process.

Getting your hands on an airsoft pistol means you get feedback from a target, a cycling slide, and as much realism as is possible from what too many people consider to be a toy. Here’s the truth about airsoft guns: they aren’t toys. Airsoft is being used as a serious training tool and too many people have turned up their noses at it for far too long. The truth is all the cool kids are down with airsoft. Just ask Gnat Warfare. Whether they are training for competition, carry, or just because, those training with airsoft pistols are getting the edge over those who are missing out with just dry-fire practice.

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4/2/2020 2:02 AM
Agree wholeheartedly
4/2/2020 2:02 AM
Agree wholeheartedly