It goes without saying that shooting is an expensive sport. The guns aren’t exactly cheap, nor is the gear that goes along with it, or the ammo, or the classes. Even 9mm gets expensive when shooting large quantities of ammunition. Sure you can reload, but even that requires an initial investment… and time to reload… and components.
Now anyone that is serious about firearms training does a good bit of dry fire practice. That’s important and it does help a lot. But there’s something else out there that is far better and fills in the gap very nicely between dry fire practice and actual live ammo training.
Umarex Glock 19 offical licensed by Glock
I’m no airgun expert and the Umarex is no fancy pants airgun. There’s airguns out there that cost over a thousand dollars. Thanks, but I’m not spending a grand on an airgun.
Umarex is good enough for my intended use. They make a very nice Glock 19, officially licensed by Glock. Trigger pull is close enough, geometry, grip, sights, all very much the same. So you’re not only practicing trigger pull, but the point of aim is similar, so is point of impact. The lack of recoil allows me to focus on the basics, meaning pulling the trigger without moving the gun. Creating muscle memory in the airgun version translates directly to the real Glock.
Glock Authorized Gen 3 G19 Gas BlowBlock Airsoft Pistol $169.95
So why bother with an airgun?
Five very good reasons.
1)They are cheap.
I got mine for about 100 bucks, and the Umarex Glock airsoft model showed above with a slide that cycles when fired costs 170 bucks. Sure, there’s junk airsoft toys for less, but for a good quality replica that doesn’t fall apart and you ‘ll be using maybe more than your actual gun, its pretty reasonable. Follow the link above and see what other models are available. Umarex makes airgun replicas of most common pistols.
Here’s where these things pay themselves off in a few shooting sessions. Ammo is dirt cheap in both steel BB 4.5mm and airsoft 6mm plastic BB. 3 or 4 bucks per 1500 rounds. That’s a lot of ammo. These guns are powered with small CO2 canisters, and these cost under a dollar a pop, each 12g canister lasting 50-100 rounds. At the end of the day firing 50 rounds of airsoft or steel 4.5mm BB costs about $1. Your typical box of 9mm costs at least ten times that, more like fifteen. As you see, the original investment on the air gun pays for itself in just a few shooting sessions.
With an airsoft or steel BB replica you get to save a lot of money, but also a lot of time. If I want to practice a bit and actually have an idea of where I’m hitting I have to drive to the range back and forth, which is easily an hour wasted in traveling. With my Umarex Glock 19 I just place a few targets around the basement, garage or backyard and get to shooting. So I’m saving money AND time. Two of the most valuable, and at times scarce resources we have. Even better, I can put my targets around the house simulating a home invasion scenario, and get to train and shoot in the same place home invasions would occur, not the range.
Also for new shooters and for teaching kids, this is a great way for them to get some trigger time and learn basic firearms safety. These are not toys though so eye protection is very much mandatory at all times.
The 6mm plastic version isnt powerful enough but the steel BB 4.5mm can kill small birds, rats and bats well enough at close range. 22LR is fine, but keep in mind it may be illegal or simply unwise to fire a gun indoors. Usually discharging a firearm within city limits is not allowed. With 4.5mm steel BB you can dispatch small pests easily.
Force on force can be practiced with airsoft 6mm plastic BB guns, which cant be done with steel 4.5mm BB. Just make sure you have airsoft protective gear. Ive been to classes were airsoft was used on the FOF scenarios and you do get to learn a lot from the experience.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”