Most of us don’t get to the range as we’d like to or should. I know I don’t. Few of us live where we can just step outside and shoot. Even when we do get to the range, restrictions often limit our training options.
Ammo is not cheap these days. Even .22 LR is going for a premium, if you can find it. And as I write this, the latter is a big if, at least where I live. Most local gun stores are currently sold out or in short supply.
As we all know, it takes time and practice to become proficient with firearms. It’s an art that needs to be developed. And no matter how finely tuned a shooter you have become shooting is a perishable skill. This is especially true with handguns.
So then, what’s the answer? Well, one answer is to bring the range home to you and maximize your concealed carry firearm training by utilizing an air pistol.
Air pistols allow you to train more often and effectively. While not a replacement for live-fire firearm training, they’re a valuable adjunct to it. They’re also a great tool for beginning shooters to learn the fundamentals.
A wide range of air pistols are available today that are designed to replicate the dimensions, weight, handling characteristics and manual of arms of their firearm counterparts. Some of the air pistols even feature some recoil for added realism. They allow you to hone your skills at home for a fraction of the cost of going to the range. And the skills you learn translate directly to the actual firearm that’s replicated.
Air pistols are a great tool for concealed carry training. Not only do air pistols allow you to train more affordably and conveniently, they also let you practice a lot of the concealed carry drills that you may not be able to practice at your local range. For example, the similar dimensions of many of the air pistols to their firearm counterparts make it easy to incorporate holster use into your training drills.
For example, the SIG SAUER line of CO2-powered rifles and pistols are matched to original model specs using authentic materials. They mimic the size, weight, balance, controls and feel of the original SIG firearms and have a similar trigger pull. I have a SIG P365 blowback CO2 pistol (BB) that I use for training. Side-by-side it’s nearly identical in appearance to its actual P365 firearm counterpart. The manual of arms is also similar. It fits standard P365 holsters.
With any CO2 powered airgun, the number of shots per cylinder and the velocity will vary depending on environmental and shooting factors. You’ll get more shots and greater velocity at warmer ambient temperatures. Also, on any given day, you’ll get the best velocity and consistency with slow fire.
Fast shooting will produce a decrease in temperature of the CO2 cylinder and gun, resulting in reduced velocity. This can result in reduced accuracy and fewer shots per cylinder.
SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT
Safety must be paramount in all training. Training with airguns is no exception. They are definitely not toys and should be treated in the same manner as actual firearms. All rules of firearm safety apply. Eye protection is essential for everyone on the range. Steel BBs have a propensity to ricochet. While a ricocheting BB might not have much energy, it can take out an eye.
Pyramyd Air offers Air Venturi Dust Devil™ Frangible BBs that are designed to disintegrate into dust on impact with metal targets, eliminating ricochet hazard which is a safety issue with steel BBs. Dust Devils utilize a special lead-free powdered metal alloy blend that’s compressed into a .177 caliber (4.5 mm) round BB. You still need to take the same safety precautions that you would with standard BBs, including the wearing of eye protection.
A good target and backstop are essential. There are a number of commercial traps that are designed for BBs. Be aware that many airgun traps are designed for use with lead pellets, which deform and don’t pose the ricochet danger of steel BBs.
Building your own airgun range is actually quite easy and inexpensive to do. The National Rifle Association (NRA) Home Airgun Program is an excellent resource. It has complete information on constructing your own indoor or outdoor airgun range.
To sum it all up, replica CO2 airguns are great training tools that help maintain your skills. Although they don’t replace the need for firearm training, they allow you to train more often, in more places and save money too.
NRA HOME AIRGUN PROGRAM