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Posted: 9/12/2002 6:38:34 PM EDT
I recently completed some training with Simunitions, and am trying to find a way to do similar scenarios with my department. As is common with many agencies, cost is a factor. Since we have Glocks, we would have to purchase units that cost as much as a handgun. Simunitions ammunition also is very expensive to our administrators. Something I was thinking about doing is checking into purchasing 4 gas-operated airsoft Glocks and 2 electric MP5's for training use. Have any other officers here done anything similar? The roleplaying issues would be invaluable to our patrol and SWAT officers, and the cost of decent airsoft equipment seems easier to sell. For those who have doen this, where would be an agency-cost/friendly store be to purchase from? Comments? Thanks for the help.
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 6:43:54 PM EDT
We used the Airsoft Glocks in Advanced handgun class. They were a little problematic. The one I had would only get about three pellets off, then it was thru. They are better than shooting live ammo thru paper, but they are cheap!
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 7:01:58 PM EDT
MarkM, did you have the spring air ones or the gas operated? Remember the brand by chance, so I can check into avoiding them or not?
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 8:22:22 PM EDT
I know sims are expensive, but it is really hard to beat them for training. We use the heck out of sims, but the rounds do cost more than duty ammo. COnversion kits are another expense, but a one-time expense at that; they kits are very durable and I have yet to see one wear out. We have some surplus ones that the Navy really ragged out. They still work fine, and probably are pushing 10 years in age and have had many, many thousands of rounds fired through them. Our M4 uppers have probably had about 20K through them over the last few years because of active shooter training, and while they don't look pretty, they function just fine. Many distributors will rent conversion kits or converted weapons to agencies for training. If you have any active military bases bearby, you can probably borrow M4, MP5 and Beretta kits. We have also gotten M16 kits through the 1033 Program from the military for free. Another good place is in your own evidence vaults. Make sure to tag all of the .38 and .357s that are in any kind of decent shape for re-use. They do not require conversion, because .38 sims work just fine in them, and every box of .38 sims comes with chamber inserts. While the cost may seem prohibitive, I have no doubt that sims training has prevented shootings since we instituted it, because officers are calmer and more focused when bad things happen. I have been in really bad situations, and thought that they were easier than training, which is the point of this type of training. Push the liability aspect. 10 or 20 grand worth of training is much better than a couple million for an officer killed or the lawsuits that will come from a bad shooting.
Link Posted: 9/13/2002 6:06:13 PM EDT
CHWI548, I've got a few airsoft guns I use for training (along with the simunitions we use in tac training). The best brand to go with is Tokyo Marui. I've got a gas Beretta 92 that has woked flawlessly so far. There are several cheaper brands (KWC, KSC, etc) that usually wind up leaking gas after a short while. The T.M. gas guns can be had for @ $100 from several overseas distributors (Wargamer's, DEN Trinity) or from a few in the US (Airsoft Extreme, Airsoft Atlanta). The bb's are @ $17 for a bag of 3700, so they are much cheaper than simunitions, and the gas guns operate just like the real weapon (except for the decock lever on the Beretta). If you need some more info on airsoft send me an e-mail, maybe I can help (I've got about 4 airsoft guns so far).
Link Posted: 9/14/2002 5:39:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By chwi548: MarkM, did you have the spring air ones or the gas operated? Remember the brand by chance, so I can check into avoiding them or not?
View Quote
I think air! They belonged to the instructor. I saw him filling them with a little CO2 tank and the slide actually cycled.
Link Posted: 9/14/2002 8:56:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/14/2002 8:58:44 PM EDT by IAU149]
Airsoft guns are great until they break. I've never used them for training though. Simunitions are pretty good but gunk up the barrel. They hurt on impact which adds to the incentive to use good tactics. Whatever you do, DON'T use Airmunitions! I have two permanent scars from hits and one of our sergeants may need to retire behind a knee injury from a direct hit from a shotgun round.
Link Posted: 9/15/2002 12:23:19 AM EDT
Simunitions are fairly popular with the local depts. We are considering shelling out the money for some equipment at my PD next year. You can go with the barrel conversion kit, but you have GOT TO BE SAFE IN THE SHOOTHOUSE. It would be very easy to whack one of your buddies if a cluster f*** occured. That's one of the benefits of simunitions specific weapons which are a bright blue. They make a Glock that I'm aware of but I believe the cost is the same as a "real" weapon. Don't forget the cost of safety gear, also. Simunitions just did an instructor's school at the local academy and some of the guys said it was really valuable, especially as far as safety is concerned. Wish I could tell your staff how valuable this stuff is. I hate role-playing, but simunitions makes it a worthwhile exercise. Good luck.
Link Posted: 9/15/2002 12:33:10 AM EDT
Um, Don't know if this is any good but [url=http://www.paintball-china.com/e-m-4.htm]Paintball China[/url] is supposedly coming out with a MP5 like thier M4-RAM.. Guns and Weapons for Law Enforcment has a write up on the M4-RAM in the Nov issue.
Link Posted: 9/16/2002 7:30:55 PM EDT
Guns and Weapons for Law Enforcement has an article in their newest issue regarding Airsoft for training - They say its a very good cost alternative from what I gather.
Link Posted: 9/17/2002 3:36:08 PM EDT
I am an Assistant Chief of a 50 man Department and we purchased 4 dedicated Glocks and 38's that had been in evidence for 10 years. We only had $4000 in all equipment, including 3000 rounds of ammo. That price is a small price to pay for the training recieved. I can't say enough about how realistic and beneficial the training is. Go for Simunitions!
Link Posted: 9/17/2002 6:55:42 PM EDT
I work for a small PD in ND, about 13 officers, 3 Lt, 3 Sgt, 3 Det, Capt and Chief. We use sims maybe once a year. The training is decent but infrequent. Regardless of how good the quality is, without quantity it won't stick. Also, officer enthusiasm sucks. Most would rather play golf. Unfortunately there is little support from the admin staff on this issue. A lot of the younger guys are getting interested in Paintball. While the Pntbl guns are not a sub for realistic training weapons (sims) it's better than nothing and ammo is cheap. Most of them already have there own gear. Plus, we wouldn't be under the thumb of the admin and could cook up some interesting scenerios. I've been looking at the airsoft stuff as well for short range, limited engagement scenerios. Again, I'd most likely have to purchase the gear myself. My range officer training budget sucks and the head range officer has no interest in assisting with the admin. I recommend anything that increases the amount of time you can train. Even if it just gets the officers to THINK about the potential problems and try to come up with solutions. It doesn't have to be 100% realistic. Kudos to Big_dog, may you live forever and win the lottery. I wish all admin weenies (previously mentioned company excluded) were as supportive and as interested in their officer's training.
Link Posted: 9/17/2002 8:41:37 PM EDT
As to frequency and sustainment of Sims training: SWAT trains with Sims at every long quarterly training session (2-4 days), and usually every month. Every other officer in the department does "tactical qualification" every six months. It is part of firearms qualification and is mandatory for all officers. That is an 8-hour training day, usually at MOUT site at a nearby Army post, dedicated entirely to tactical training. The main focus is on the fundamentals of building clearance (by our doctrine, which was developed in-house and adapted from SWAT tactics), with additional empahsis on active shooters, mobile field force and specific scenarios, often to address specific situations that have come up on the streets since the last qualification cycle. We typically go through an average of 100 rounds per officer trained, per day, but most of that is shot by bad guys (especially if you are doing active shooter). Past scenarios have dealt with suicide by cop (based on an incident I was involved in), officer hostage, high-risk stops and anything else we could think of. I have gone from being one of the troops to one of the trainers on this. The best part of this training is that it gets you past the "startle response" to high-risk situations and gets you thinks, acting, and using your tactics (not to mention your sights). The first time someone gets into a sims fight, they exhibit all of the "classic" gunfight symptoms: tunnel vision, fire the whole mag in on long inaccurate string, no sight usage, hits on the BG primarily to the weapon hand/arm, among others. After you have done it a few times, you start to remember your tactics and marksmanship skills. You also remember not to do bad stuff because it hurts to screw up. I am certain that this training has kept me out of shootings, and since I started doing this, some of the real life hairy stuff I have been to was easier than training. I recommend everyone in LE do this training and make it a priority that is performed regularly. Oh, and if given the opportunity, do not be a bad guy for active shooter training. Longest week of my life.
Link Posted: 9/17/2002 8:43:10 PM EDT
I can't speak from a LEO point of view, but I can give some information on airsoft guns. The electric submachine guns are fairly durable, and low maintainance. Spray with some silicone spray every 500 rounds or so, and you're good, maybe check to make sure all the screws are still tight. Attempting to disassemble one can be a mess if you don't know what you're doing. Gas pistols are reliable and fairly rugged if properly maintained, and if they are made by Marui, KSC, Tanaka, or Western Arms. Use a regular gun oil rather than silicone oil, and you'll have yourself a nonfunctional replica. Gas powered submachineguns and rifles leave something to be desired in the reliability department. Spring powered (manually cocked, air cocking) pistols and rifles wouldn't make for very realistic training, unless you were doing some kind of sniper training. No airsoft gun, with the possible exception of some custom full-metal models in the $1000+ range, are going to be as rugged as a firearm, but they should do. With properly adjusted hop-up, most will outshoot a paintball gun quite easily. Keep 'em in the X ring.
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