Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > The Airsoft Forum

Using Airsoft for New Shooters

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ModernSurvival:
I don't know about you but I love taking a person who has never even touched a gun and converting them into a safe and enthusiastic shooter.  There are a few issues you come up against though. 

1.  I am always worried that the new shooter will act in an unsafe matter from lack of listening or just that sort of that blank confused look some of them get the fist time they shoot.

2.  New shooters are often intimidated by the firearm and getting them to shoot with good fundamentals is often about getting beyond their fear of the gun rather then getting them to understand what to do.

3.  New shooters often don't believe the coach who says you are jerking the trigger, pulling to down and left, etc.

4.  Unless you are lucky with a huge back yard out in the sticks, shooting requires a trip to the range.

Airsoft solves a lot of these things.  Safety wise there is still enough danger of injury to make your safety warnings matter but no one is going to die (WEAR EYE PROTECTION).  The weapons have all the functions, features and dimensions of their real counter parts for training and since you can shoot them at targets at reasonable defensive distances they give instant feed back to the shooter as to how well they are doing.   When a shooter jerks instead fo squeezes it is evident and when they pull you can actually see the bb respond in flight.   Most shooters will not be intimidated by them (no recoil, no muzzle blast, no fear of death) so they focus on taking in your instructions.  You get to view them with a weapon, reenforce safety and know your student before you go to a rim or center fire weapon.  Last you can shoot in a garage or back yard with a sheet hung from a ceiling or pvc frame as a back stop (if a backstop is even needed). 

Even law enforcement groups, professional shooters and many hunters are adopting airsoft as a tools for training and off season shooting.  Yet to me they are a great tool for new shooters and coaches of the same, what do ya'll think?

firetoad:
Late last year, Sighting In With Shooting USA did a story on Taran Butler - 3-Gun Champion, numerous IPSC, USPSA, IDPA wins, etc.  Butler was highlighted teaching actors and actresses proper firearms safety, use and marksmanship.  For initial training with some students, if I recall correctly, he used airsoft firearms for all the exact same reasons as you mention.  So, I know at least one accomplished firearms marksman would agree with you.

BTW, I think it is a good idea too!   ;D

wcff3431:
thats what i'm really starting my nephews (thier ages are 13 and 11) out on is airsoft and b.b. gunsi do have them a couple weapons. i dont totally trust them with the r4eal things as of yet. still trying to get them to think while they have them in thier hands.

Dan:
I agree with the use of airsoft as a training tool. Some people have expressed concern over the existence of airsoft and I think some of their concerns are legitimate but those are the same legitimate concerns people have had with BB guns for years. These concerns usually stem from the unsupervised use of these tools by children. These are not toys and should not be treated with any less respect than a "real" firearm.

As already mentioned airsoft can be used to train in environments where you couldn't use a firearm which opens up all kinds of training opportunities. With airsoft every home can be a shoot house where you can practice scenarios without damage to your home. You can also practice shooting from unconventional positions that would get you kicked off most square ranges. All that and it's cheap too!

DeltaEchoVictor:
New shooters scare the crap out of me.  Actually, anyone with a gun who I haven't been around before scares the crap out of me.  It's the whole "unknown factor" thing that gets me.  How are they going to handle their firearm...that kind of thing.

Great episode BTW.  I saw the title & was like "crap, Airsoft?".  Salient points though & well done.

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