Concealed Carry Weapons Training with Airguns

CCWT Part 2 

Drawing Practice and Stepping Down to A Subcompact 

By Dennis Adler 

Concealed carry techniques all have the same requirement, a handgun and holster that can be comfortable worn out of sight but easy to access if needed.

Concealed carry techniques all have the same requirement; a handgun and holster combination that can be comfortably worn out of sight but remain easy to access if needed.

I have had a concealed carry weapons permit for over 20 years and the majority of handguns I have carried have been compact and subcompact semi-autos or revolvers, and almost all carried in a belt holster worn at the 4 o’clock position. The vast majority of CCW permit holders go with a smaller compact or subcompact handgun and one of the smallest 9mm models available, and most definitely one of the narrowest at 1-inch, is the Walther PPS and new PPS M2. The matching Walther PPS blowback action airgun is one of the most technically accurate of all the Walther air pistols and ideal for this discussion on training with airguns. But first let’s look at concealed carry drawing practice.

exposing the gun...

There are stages to drawing from concealmet that begin (when wearing a coat or unbuttoned shirt), with sweeping the strong side hand back to clear the cover garment and grasping the pistol’s grips. When drawing the gun bring the suport hand to the ready position, which allows a two-handed hold with the gun pointed downrange at the target, but kept close to the body. The gun is then pushed out and arms are brought to the extended position in whatever shooting stance you have perfected. Mine is a modified Weaver stance. The trigger finger remains off the trigger until ready to fire. 

Over the years that I have carried concealed, I have never once had my handgun inadvertently exposed. I have worn them under sports coats, seasonal jackets, and even with an unbuttoned, tails-out shirt for concealment. No matter what the cover used, however, keeping your handgun out of plain sight is essential. This is where training with airguns can help hone your concealment skills.

Stepping Down in size

Exact in details and measurements the Walther air pistols fit the same holsters as their 9mm counterparts allowing the air pistols to be used for drawing, re-holstering and concealment practice.

Exact in details and measurements the Walther air pistols fit the same holsters as their 9mm counterparts allowing the air pistols to be used for drawing, re-holstering and concealment practice. The PPS airgun is shown with the Galco Stinger (left and below) and Galco Combat Master belt holsters. The open top Stinger belt holster is designed to keep the pistol close to the body for optimum concealment and ease of draw.(Shown worn at the 3 o’clock hip position) 

7. Part-2--post-PPS-4

The first time you pick up the Walther PPS air pistol you have to wonder how Walther could make a $90 BB gun look and feel so much like a $599 semi-auto. The degree of detail Walther has put into this air pistol to make it look and feel “authentic” pays off in its value for training purposes. The PPS air pistol has the same operating features as the 9mm model with the exception of a blade safety in the trigger; this has been replaced on the air pistol by a cross bolt safety that can be set and released with the trigger finger.

With nearly exact length, height, and width, and within in 2-ounces of the 9mm Walther PPS, the blowback action PPS air pistol is an excellent training gun as well as an enjoyable air pistol for plinking.

With nearly exact length, height, and width, and within 2-ounces of the 9mm Walther PPS, the blowback action PPS air pistol is an excellent training gun as well as an enjoyable air pistol for plinking.

The trigger’s shape is about the same and trigger pull a bit lighter at 5 lbs., 4.5 oz., compared to the 9mm’s average 7 lbs. 11 oz. It is still enough resistance at nearly 5.5 pounds to give the feel of pulling a real semi-auto trigger. Among other important features duplicated on the PPS air pistol is the use of white dot sights to match those on the cartridge gun, the same slide and magazine release levers, an integrated under-muzzle Weaver rail for mounting a small tactical light or laser, having to pull the slide to the rear to chamber the first BB, and of course, the slide locks back after the last round is fired. Thus, every operation once the gun is loaded is identical to firing a 9mm or .40 S&W PPS model.

Blowback action gives the new Walther air pistols a realist shooting experience as they require racking the slide to chamber the first BB and after the least round is fired the slide locks back (as shown).

Blowback action makes the Walther air pistol a realistic shooting experience as it requires racking the slide to chamber the first BB and after the last round is fired the slide locks back (as shown).

To make this a true head-to-head comparison I compared a 9mm PPS with the airgun and used the same holsters for both, a Galco Combat Master and Galco Stinger, a smaller contoured holster designed for optimum concealed carry use.

One of these is an air pistol…The real 9mm Walther PPS is the gun in the rear! The air pistol is just slightly taller by 0.44 inches due to the grip housing the CO2 capsule.

One of these is the PPS air pistol…The real 9mm Walther PPS is the gun in the rear! The air pistol is just slightly taller by 0.44 inches due to the grip housing the CO2 capsule.

I did one live fire comparison and aside from the different trigger design, lighter trigger pull, and, of course, recoil from the 9mm pistol (recoil management is the one thing you cannot learn with the airguns) you cannot tell one from the other until you rack the slide and pull the trigger.

8. Part-2-post--PPS-6

With a target set out at a combat distance of 21 feet, in terms of draw, sighting and firing, the air pistol gives you the exact same experience. You can also practice actuating the ambidextrous magazine releases built into the triggerguard, reloading and releasing the slide to chamber the first round. Everything works the same way on both guns. Thus for about $90 you can practice every aspect of handling the cartridge-firing PPS models.

The PPS 9mm had a best five rounds measuring 1.20 inches (with three overlapping) while the .177 caliber air pistol clustered five steel BBs at 1.22 inches.

The PPS 9mm had a best five rounds measuring 1.20 inches (with three overlapping) while the .177 caliber air pistol clustered five steel BBs at 1.22 inches.

As for accuracy, the best 5-rounds of Federal American Eagle 115 gr. FMJ fired from 21 feet with the PPS 9mm measured 1.20 inches. The air pistol nearly matched it with a best five clustered at 1.22 inches. The 9mm rounds  clocked 1,124 fps while the PPS air pistol sends its .177 caliber steel BBs downrange at 350 fps. Sighting with both guns was virtually identical. The air pistol has a bit more creep in the trigger but it is close enough to the 9mm PPS to make it a viable training tool.

3 thoughts on “Concealed Carry Weapons Training with Airguns

  1. I have the PPS M2 BB and the Fobus paddle holster from Israel. Fits perfectly and is excellent for concealed carry. Seems a record of some problems with the original PPS but the M2 performs well and accurately. No spare mags in the UK yet. The PPS ones do not fit.


  2. I have had this PPS since October and have used it every day. Consequently the washer on the co2 bottle has broken down and will no longer make seal. It all of a sudden blew and made an alarming hiss. Reminded me of diving cylinders in the 60s which used the same sort of washer and had an alarming habit of blowing when you were under water and emptying the cylinder. We replaced them with O rings which were far better and much less likely to blow as you were actually told not to scrunch them tight. I wonder when airguns will do the same?
    Incidentally it would have been embarrassing if being used as CCW.


  3. I solved the problem with this. The leak was not from the cylinder washer but in the main body of the gas valve which was obvious once you removed the slide. PTFE tape on the screw thread solved the problem.


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