California Cops Training with Airsoft Amidst Ammo Shortage

sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com reports that California cops [not shown] are suffering from the same ammo shortage that’s keeping you and me from busting caps like Detective John McClane. “Everybody is fighting for what seems like a shrinking amount of ammunition out there,” said Lt. Louie Tirona, firearms and tactics instructor for the Richmond Police Department. “It’s become harder and harder to get the ammunition we need to train our officers on a timely basis,” said Albany Sgt. Dave Bettencourt. And so . . . “We’re using Airsoft as an affordable option to try to maintain the officers’ skills.” Try to maintain. How reassuring is that? Anyway, Airsoft. “The Airsoft guns used by the department look, feel, and function almost like the real thing. They shoot small plastic pellets that still pack a punch. There is also another advantage, according to Tirona. “With Airsoft, it’s pennies compared to dollars with live ammunition.” ‘Cause cops are cost conscious. These days.

comments

  1. avatar Greg Camp says:

    It’s actually not a bad choice, although recoil is hard to simulate. Aiming and trigger control, on the other hand, still are involved. And since (mine, at least) those guns require working the action manually, they’re good practice for malfunctions.

    1. avatar Dracon1201 says:

      You can get blowback gas pistols and rifles that simulate the recoil of the real steel equivalent.

    2. avatar uncommon_senes says:

      Great … so now we can expect a run on Airsoft BBs!

  2. avatar Gabriel Martin says:

    Considering what they do with real ammo, it might not be a bad idea to let them use the BB training wheels for a while.

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    I’ll bet that every newspaper delivery woman in and out of the Bay area is breathing a sigh of relief.

    1. avatar dirk diggler says:

      Ralph for the win !!!

    2. avatar CarlosT says:

      The canine population has a lot to be thankful for as well.

    3. avatar TX Gun Gal says:

      Nope, learning to duck & cover. Getting pinged by a BB hurts like the dickens!

  4. avatar Ensitue says:

    Flowers in their hair?
    Send in the clowns (don’t worry they are here)

  5. avatar Sean Cronin says:

    I have been doing this for a long time. I used to only do it for things like practicing moving and shooting around the house/yard. Now I set up paper and cardboard ranges in the backyard.

  6. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

    There are a number of issues..
    Besides the fact that well ammo is like gold.
    Finding a range in the Bay Area that can handle tactical training is like finding Adi Himmelbloy naked by your pool, aint gonna happen! To top that off, even cities like San Francisco want to close their ranges. Something about being a gun free city I think. 😉
    We train at CQB City in Stockton. They have one of the largest layouts in the state complete with various lighting, and pyrotechnics. They even have a plane..
    Is it exactly like the real thing, well no, but you can do a heck of a lot.
    The other benefit is you can “live” fire on another human who thinks, moves, and reacts. This allows you to try and try again. Make changes, make mistakes, and live to tell about it. Even if they did have ammo, I would say airsoft is something they should be doing regardless.

    1. avatar Ensitue says:

      I have a pool?

    2. avatar Rightontheleftcoast says:

      More realistic than paintball, too, which is also a lot of fun.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        +1 on paintball. Only done it a couple of times but it’s actually fun.

    3. avatar Al Cohol says:

      A really good friend of mine works and plays there. He keeps trying to get me into airsoft for the training aspect and he’s slowly convincing me. To be able to set up USPSA style courses in my backyard to practice speed, reloads, and point shooting is very enticing. Plus getting force on force training at a place like CQB City would be really useful and equally fun.

  7. avatar dwb says:

    with this ammo shortage you’d think violent crime would be down. Nope.

    1. avatar Shenandoah says:

      Knives, fists, clubs and crackheads are still functional without ammo, unfortunately.

    2. avatar William says:

      Violent crime IS down – 49% since 1992, FBI STATS.

    3. avatar Robert M says:

      That is because Criminals don’t practice and they get there ammo when the steal someone else’s gun they grab the ammo at the same time.

      Thanks
      Robert

  8. avatar csmallo says:

    Arming all cops with airsoft will make America safer.

    1. avatar Ensitue says:

      Don’t fret Obama is working in that direction (starting with the citizenry)

    2. avatar PThorn says:

      Perhaps you would like to live somewhere without cops. Try Somolia circa 1992.

      1. avatar Ensitue says:

        Or 2014 near Detroit

  9. avatar ChrisMcLain says:

    I have used airsoft guns to practice with for a long time. It is great for trigger control and building muscle memory from drawing. It also slightly helps the WTF response you get from people who see you doing this.

  10. avatar Aharon says:

    Obama’s National Police Force err Department of Homeland Security and the Obama Youth Corpse should share their billions of rounds with the local police.

  11. avatar Fred says:

    California is one of the biggest states for Airsoft, as well as being the US port most Airsoft products enter the US through, since all quality Airsoft products are produced outside the US (mostly Taiwan and China) and thus the largest retailers are located there. KWA has created some pretty good training replicas (although recently H&K and KRISS pulled their partnerships), but their hardest hitting pistols recoil like a .22 and their gas blow back rifles (M-series) aren’t much better. Recoil is there, but the real advantage is force-on-force training, shooting at targets that shoot back and going through “live fire” all the time. Penetration isn’t an issue either, but that can be considered a negative as well.

    I’ve been playing Airsoft for a few years (emphasis on “playing”) and it’s more for fun than training. There are accuracy limitations and major penetration limitations, so even the best of approaches can be foiled by a particularly leafy bush. In CQB you remove some of that but I find the biggest problem is the lack of recoil make most people overestimate their control with real firearms when it comes to shooting and moving. Airsoft is a step up from nothing, but there are serious catches with it’s relevancy. Getting into “Airsoft habits” would be my main concern if you want to be effective with a real firearm. The point of training for most cops is so they would know how to handle and control their firearm, to keep sharp on a perishable skill, Airsoft is great for the tactical bits but doesn’t cover the basics.

  12. avatar Bub says:

    i use airsoft for backyard training when i can’t get to the range. with ammo prices what they are range trips are fewer than i would like. higher end pellet and airsoft guns work for me. much better than the toys most folks think they are.

  13. avatar Jason says:

    They’ll shoot an eye out!

  14. avatar J Dingo says:

    If that really is an airsoft pistol pictured, does anyone know who makes it?

  15. avatar Jerryboy says:

    also considering that with airsoft they will be able to practice against live targets(each other) and associate that trigger pull with pain, and we might just start seeing fewer innocent parties being gunned down.

  16. avatar Tyler Tulchinsky says:

    I also use airsoft for practice in my basement. I have a double action air soft handgun that has almost the same trigger put at by BG380. Its excellent for trigger control training.

  17. avatar AJ says:

    I know I’m waaaay late commenting here, but I posit that they didn’t do too good a job training when ammo was available, so no change, right?

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