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jasonpaul

Which airsoft pistol for live firearms practice?

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Price Range: $100-$300

Type of Gun: preferably CO2 (availability wise), electric and spring will do

Preferred Gun Models: m9 etc. (any pistol with a functioning -internal or external- hammer for single action)

Role: trigger and accuracy practice for live firearms (specifically 9mm pistol).

I need an airsoft pistol that's for low rate of fire, off-hand practice shooting. I "primarily" need a very realistic trigger, blowback isn't necessary since I don't mind cocking the hammer every single time and I don't care about recoil, but it should eventually be capable of single action. Secondary feature would be accuracy downrange, therefore decent fps wouldn't hurt, for the same purpose. Tertiary, realistic weight and ruggedness, preferably full metal. Thanks in advance for your time and knowledge.
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Even indoors, airsoft guns have significantly lower accuracy than their 9mm counterparts, and feel nothing like the recoil you get from firing live ammunition. Tokyo Marui are reputed to be some of the most accurate, however they can feel very "plasticky". WE produce some faithful-feeling guns, but often lack accuracy. If you want the DA/SA action that feels good in the hand, the WE P226 is a decent choice. If you want that snappy recoil (that will feel vaguely similar to shooting a .22LR), the WE Glock range is good. With both of these models, you will be lacking on the accuracy front. The TM produced P226 and Glock range are more accurate and have higher quality internals, however the frame and slide will be made from plastic.

 

Guns feel different depending not only on the make and model but also the ammunition you run through it. Therefore, a 6mm plastic BB-firing TM Glock 17 will feel completely different to a 9mm live-firing Glock 17, and I would only recommend using an airsoft pistol to practice handling. If you want to practice for live firearm use, use live firearms, that much should be obvious. Otherwise, it would be like going to the racetrack and doing all your practice laps in a Vauxhall Corsa, then right before the actual race starts, switching over to a McLaren P1 just before the lights go. Sure, they're both cars, but for anything other than just seeing the layout of the track nice and slow, your practice time is pretty much wasted. I hope you can see the analogy there.

I think your best bet is to buy a WE P226 or M9, then spend the majority of your cash on upgrading the internals to the point that you can comfortably shoot gas such as Nuprol 4.0 through it. Even with the upgrades, you should understand that your airsoft gun's "Life expectancy" will be significantly reduced. Also bear in mind that some airsoft models have very slightly different dimensions, holsters that are polymer-moulded or use locking levers through the trigger guard or ejection port may not be compatible.

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I get these questions fairly often on my other media stuff, pretty common practice these days using airsoft for training.  Might be better off asking on AirsoftSociety though, the range of GBB pistols that's actually available in the US is surprisingly different to what shops here sell.

 

Have a look for starters:

http://www.airsoftgi.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=m9&sort=1a&inc_subcat=1&categories_id=485

 

HFC have always had good reviews that I've seen, but they're not a common brand in the UK.

 

You're never going to get a trigger that's really bob-on to a firearm is the key issue.  Every GBB pistol I've ever fired I've compared to the real thing whenever the opportunity has presented and airsoft triggers have always been a lot lighter on the pull weight on every one I've ever tried myself.  Most of my experience handling the real thing is the issued Glock 17s and all the airsoft equivalents I've owned and handled had similar take-up, spongy break and over-travel distance with similar reset as well, but again at every point in the pull and reset the forces are a lighter on the replicas in my experience.  All the springs and parts are just weaker than the real equivalent.  That's not to say as a concept it's no good, it Mr Haley likes it then realistically I'd bet he knows more about firearms training than everyone on here combined.

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