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Using air pistols for defense training

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

  • Why the pseudonym?
  • Defense shooting
  • The ideal airgun
  • The training
  • Action targets
  • Holster?
  • Evolution
  • Suggestions

Why the pseudonym?

Some new readers may wonder why I still write as B.B. Pelletier, even though I put my real name above. Well, it goes back to the 1990s, when I was writing The Airgun Letter. My style of writing that you all feel comfortable with today was unheard of in 1994, when the newsletter started. At that time the world of airguns was full of cliques that tried to exclude others, or if they couldn’t keep them out they tried to ridicule and discourage them. The internet just gave them a larger overpass to spraypaint. Edith and I didn’t allow that on our Airgun Letter Forum, and it drove these guys nuts! We were hacked and spammed and everything else that’s bad, even though many of our detractors were also living on our forum!

Things became so acrimonious at the end that Edith and I decided I should not write this blog under my own name when it started in 2005. We were concerned that it might invite the same reaction. She came up with the name B.B. Pelletier, which I thought was great. It wasn’t until years later that I learned the name Pelletier is a real one and the first man beheaded by the French in their revolution was named Nicolas Jacques Pelletier.

During the first several years of the blog people who knew me figured it out, so I “outed” myself in 2007 or so. It turned out that the danger wasn’t there because this blog is so large and has good security software to keep things civil and running. But I kept the pen name, and I will continue to use it.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to know that I’m human and I make mistakes — lots of mistakes! In fact, if we learn from our mistakes then I am always in the classroom. Many of you can outshoot me, I have no doubt, and many others know more about airguns than I do. I’m just the guy who write about them.

Today’s subject is one that puts me ill at ease. It does because I have seen thousands of men and women (but far more men) who go to the range a couple times each year. They put up a full-sized silhouette target on the 25-yard target board, then they back up 15-20 feet and start blasting away! If I point out they are on a 25-yard (75 feet) range, they invariably tell me that most gunfights occur at room distance, which is less than 20 feet. That’s correct but why train that way? The Soviet Army had a saying, “Hard on the training field; easy on the battlefield.”

And why are they holding their handgun with two hands, if the target is so close? They do it because they saw it on TV or on the internet. Everybody does it — it must be right.

Defense shooting

Okay, there is common defense shooting and then there is the International Defense Pistol Association (IDPA) that runs competitions for defense shooting. And there is the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) that does even more of the same.

When I talk about defense shooting I am not referring to IDPA or IPSC competitions. There are no race guns, quick release holsters, or timers in what I am about to say. Those belong in sports, and they have their place, but I am talking about the person who is most likely carrying a concealed weapon on their person or in their car. They carry this weapon for protection.

IPSC shooters shoot 30,000 to 50,000 rounds of centerfire ammunition each year to prepare for competition. Most people who own a personal defense weapon shoot 20-50 rounds every year or two. Who do you think will function better in a crisis? Even uniformed law enforcement personnel don’t shoot that much more, and many of them dislike the shooting part of the job. They know it’s necessary, but it doesn’t appeal to them.

Until this year, the only air pistols that were suitable for training were the few action pellet pistols that exist. That’s because BBs are too prone to ricochet. Lead pellets are far cheaper to buy than cartridges for a firearm, but even then I hear moans about the cost of a tin of pellets and a couple CO2 cartridges! Well, now we have a better way!

The introduction of the Air Venturi Dust Devil BB has opened up the use of hundreds of realistic action BB pistols for training. Many of these pistols were derived from airsoft guns and are as real as it gets while still sticking with airguns. They fit in the same holsters, and have the same drop free magazines as our firearms.

Now, there may really be a benefit we can derive from owning these fun airguns. And I plan on finding out. But I’m going to do it my way, which is not holding a handgun with two hands and standing 20 feet from a full-sized silhouette.

The ideal airgun

The ideal airgun would be as close to your defense weapon as possible. If I carried a 1911A1 pistol for defense I would be in tall cotton, because there are a host of 1911 BB pistols with blowback and other realistic features. On the other hand, I carry a Micro Desert Eagle and I don’t think there is even one air pistol that copies it. But I have a BUL Cherokee pistol coming which is an Israeli-made copy of the CZ 75, and there are several nice realistic BB guns that are based on that firearm.

Micro Desert Eagle
My Micro Desert Eagle is a truly small concealed carry sidearm. It’s double action only, for safety. It’s .380 ACP caliber and I can keep all 6 shots inside 6 inches at 25 feet. That’s with a one-hand hold.

BUL Cherokee
The Israeli-made BUL Cherokee is a short-barreled 9mm variation of the ubiquitous CZ75. It’s polymer framed and has a great reputation for reliability and accuracy. But as you see, it’s going to be difficult to conceal.

The state of Texas now allows open carry of sidearms, but not many people do it, and it’s still alarming to see someone armed in public. I know it’s legal, but I don’t want to draw attention to the fact that I am armed. So I need to find ways of training with one of the smaller BB pistols that offer blowback and realistic features — one that I can conceal. All of that searching and choosing is still in front of me.

The training

Jason Bourne may shoot someone between the eyes while he is falling down a 5-story stairwell, but it doesn’t happen in real life. Nor does anything like you see in the John Wick movies. Fast draw is not something I will practice. But one-hand shooting is. And I will practice with both hands because you never know what you have to be able to do when things go bad.

Action targets

I’ll start with action targets both to improve my natural aiming ability and to keep my interest up. The Codeuce spinners seem perfect for this.


If you carry a sidearm in a holster, by all means practice that way. But if you carry in your pocket — practice that way. For gosh sakes don’t go out and buy some mall ninja holster because it looks cool. This is serious practice.


As my training proceeds I plant to evolve to different types of tarfgets. Air Venturi has a Cowboy Action Diamond Gong target that I’m planning on graduating to, once my accuracy and speed get up to snuff. I am even thinking of taking several of these to my church’s Watchman team for group training!


Now it’s your turn to chime in. I would like to hear your ideas and thoughts.

This is the first time I have felt air pistols were really useful for training. If we can devise a way of doing the training, this could be a big deal for everyone!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

51 thoughts on “Using air pistols for defense training”

  1. B.B.
    The concept is sound with the frangible BBs. Say you trained with your churches Watchman (person?) Team. I don’t know what level your fellow Church Watch are at, or how much resistance you would get from the pastoral or church elders. Having an armed Church Watch is certainly and unfortunately needed in our current times; but will the congregation balk at training in and around the church property. Would you all be able/permitted to train in the sanctuary using temporary room dividers or heavy curtains. If you have dummy parishioners in the pews/chairs it would create a realization that every round needs to be accounted for when the pews/chairs are occupied by real parishioners. The same concept could be used in other practice venues of course. Would you have a red on blue team for your training? Lots of questions but a great raw concept.
    I could also be completely missing your drift!


    • shootski,

      The Watchmen are a team of many people and they are very comfortable with arms. We all carry, and this is Texas, so the pastors are all agreeable to arms, as well. I’m just thinking this might be a fun thing that also has a training benefit.


      • B.B.,

        You are lucky to live in a mostly enlightened State!
        Your stated objective seems to call for an overwatch position(s) as a first layer. Then in depth layers around the congregation. Since your Watchman organization is capable as far as handling arms it obviates the need for disciplined communications. That needs to be incorporated with your practice.


  2. BB
    My regular self defense pistol is an AMT 45ACP, a tad larger than yours and when I have to investigate things that go bump in the night I hold the pistol in my right hand and my left holds the flashlight and I rest it on top of my right arm just behind my wrist so they both point in the same direction.

    The biggest problem I have is the massive adrenalin rush interfering with all the training I have read and watched. It all wants to flood your mind at once along with all the legal ramifications of anything I may do and it almost keeps you from paying attention.
    I truly believe you really need to practice a lot to avoid this situation and I’m not sure you really can, not being a pro.
    I have just about decided to forget leaving the house on a pitch black night to investigate the unknown without some sort of knowledge of what it is. I think it’s better to just take a stand in a defensive posture prepared if comes to you.
    Even carrying a Mossberg 500 with a light wont help you if there is another person behind you in the dark.

    I carry during the day in case I suddenly encounter a desperate illegal (Again) Picture this. You encounter a ragged looking guy on your property when you turn a corner. In broken English he would like a ride to Oxnard Ca.
    You say no way and all of a sudden he reaches into a sack hanging from his shoulder. What do you do? I cocked and aimed and remembered to slow down and pay extreme attention to what happened next. Turns out he wanted to offer me some white powder from a very large baggie in exchange for a ride.

    That never happened, I gave him some water and sent on his way. At least this one did not promise to burn my house down while I sleep.

    The best I can figure you need to have training as realistic as possible. Something that will give you an adrenalin rush and try to overcome it with practice. Having a loaded firearm is a serious situation and trying not to use it should be practiced too. When a bad guy is shot or dead ‘you’ will be going to jail. Just depends on how long.
    Bob M

    • This question about preparing for the real conditions of combat is an interesting one with an analog in martial arts training. I was reading an instructor of self-defense, and he said that often students would ask him the question: “Do you think I really ‘have it’ in a true life and death situation?” His answer was: “Probably not, and that is to your credit as a human being.” This is way outside the experience of most people.

      The question then is how to prepare for it. One logical response is to make your training as realistic as possible which was the inspiration for mixed martial arts and “full contact” training. There is sense to this, but it runs up against a barrier which is that you can’t simulate the real thing. The current MMA competitions are heavily regulated because the original no-holds-barred contests were so grotesque that the public couldn’t stand it. If this is true of unarmed combat, how much more true of weapons, even martial arts weapons which are not nearly as deadly as firearms? You reach a point where the more you try, the more you have to restrain yourself to keep from killing somebody in training.

      There must be another way than the brute force, more-is-better approach. The samurai did not learn to chop off someone’s head by getting their own heads chopped off. In fact, even their training could not be that damaging. They did not have the resources of modern medicine, and in an era where they had to be ready to fight at any time, they could not afford to walk around injured from training. They needed a safe way to become deadly. Based on a number of sources (including the Katori Shinto Ryu sword school, the oldest surviving school of Japanese swordsmanship which dates back 500 years), they were able to do this. One innovation was to use wooden swords in practice and to hit the sword instead of each other. (This would correspond to the Dust Devil bb and other simulations.) Much more importantly, they simulated combat with endless drills (kata). These drills not only entrained movements through repetition; they practiced the same principles in endless different scenarios which interlocked together to simulate actual combat. It’s like in the study of language. You don’t learn a word by repeating it from memory. A language scholar told me that you only learn a new word when you have actively used it 14 times, which is the kind of training the kata give you. As world champion freestyle wrestler, Cary Kolat, says, “Sparring is just polishing the tip of the spear. The essence of training is to drill your moves in as many different ways as you can.” So, in martial arts, a lot of the moves that are dismissed as “unrealistic” are using this principle and are the very essence of realism. Separating profound training from fraud and showmanship is an ongoing effort, but at least the goal is clear.

      The Russians, in their usual simple and radical way, have another interesting thought on this question. The practitioners of the Russian style of Systema are very relaxed in practice and are often laughing and joking around. It was completely different from what I expected. They didn’t look anything like grim James Bond villains or Asian martial artists, shouting and putting on war faces. Their rationale is that if you are getting yourself worked up and tense for a training situation what will happen when you face a real threat? The stress will be infinitely greater and with your reflexes maxed out in training, you will have no way to respond. Instead, they propose to become relaxed and casual in training, so that they can up their game for combat. This is compelling to me. Also, the people who advise this really do have the background from everything I can see. And after their training, I was all black and blue and much more banged up than with any Asian style that I have practiced.

      In any case, the free-wheeling relaxed Russian method is more fun, and I have the luxury to experiment since I am not in immediate danger of confrontation like a police officer or a soldier. In those cases, you might up the training intensity a bit, but being relaxed and intelligently trained seems like the way to go for me.


      • Matt
        Thanks for the info.
        What flies through your mind as you walk around crouched down to present a smaller target, in the dark is overwhelming. What if that flashlight beam that crossed your bedroom window belongs to a Border Patrol agent and we engage in the dark? Is he looking for a bad guy and mistakes me? Should I yell out and give myself away? Who would be climbing over my barbed wire fence? If I see a gun pointed at me do I shoot first? I can now be killed at any second, for what? Will a shotgun be fired at me as I turn the next corner? Is there more than one person out there? Was it just a passing illegal or someone intent on killing me and taking my vehicle? It happened around here.

        It is an extremely upsetting situation. 911 is a half hour away and my gate is locked, or is it now?

        I now think staying alert and ready after a 911 call is better than investigating a situation.

        • From what I’ve read, the advice on home invasion is to barricade yourself in a safe room and wait for the police to arrive. Going out in the dark to investigate is a very bad idea. A self-defense expert said that even trying to clear a house by yourself is impossible because you cannot cover all the angles, so dealing with the outdoors at night is even worse.

          As for the other scenarios, you’ll never protect yourself 100%, but I believe the assumption behind self-defense is that extreme violence rarely happens out of the blue. In our cause and effect universe, one thing usually leads to another. So, there should be signs of approaching violence, even your location in a high-risk area. Then, you rely on the threat conditions of Jeff Cooper which assigned various colors to threat levels with different reactions to go with them. That way you gain some control over the environment, at least with probabilities if not certainties. I think it is a very bad idea to snap shoot at any threat, although maybe that is justified if you are at total condition red and know that a homicidal maniac is actively hunting you.


          • Matt
            Although infrequent, extreme violence situations do occur out of the blue here. Border Patrol and undercover agents have been warning state park desert campers not to camp overnight because their life would be at risk for their transportation. There are some bad hombres among the “Friendly neighbors to the south” that sneak across our border and it’s only a few miles from me.
            A neighbor walked into a home and she was murdered by an illegal gang member found inside. He took her car and headed for LA. Even made it through a check point but was eventually caught.
            On the good side we don’t suffer from the problems encountered in the city.

  3. B.B.,

    This will be interesting. I would tend to agree with Bob M’s comment on air soft. It will be interesting to have some further data collected on the Dust Devils too. While I love my Coduece spinners (both), hitting the 1 1/4″ and 2″ paddles, 1 handed and shooting a bb pistol should prove quite interesting,… at any range.

    Good Day to you and to all,….. Chris

      • If you are practicing inside, you will eventually have to vacuum up the used ammo in whatever form and bbs are easier to see than dust. I’m not sure that the Dust Devils do something that hasn’t been done before. Between pellets, bbs, dry-firing of firearms and airsoft, there are other ways to simulate defensive shooting, although the Dust Devils are a welcome addition.

        Agreed about shooting at people. I don’t like games that encourage aggression because they rapidly transform into the real thing. Once I was watching a church fundraiser in which a nice visiting priest from South America volunteered to sit on a dunker, a seat over a tub of water that would release when a paddle was hit. People paid money for a number of softballs to throw at the paddle, and the money was donated to charity. The priest was actually well-liked, but before you knew it, the fangs came out in the heat of the moment. Hefty fellows were whipping the softball at the paddle as hard as they could while the priest looked increasingly like a drowned rat, crawling out of the tub, and the churchgoers shouted with delight.


  4. Good morning B.B.,

    Lots of interesting information here, but what was most striking to me is your willingness to admit when you’re wrong — not that I think that happens terribly often. Too many people are emotionally incapable of that. It’s one of the qualities that separates a leader from a “supervisor,” and strengthens rather than weakens that leadership.

    The good stuff in these blogs isn’t all about airguns.

  5. B.B.,

    Among the handful of sub-seven inch blowback BB pistols available the Walther PPS is the most slender: /product/walther-pps-co2-pistol?m=3360 . Of course all of them will have grips that are too long in order to accommodate the Powerlet.

    However, the very short-gripped WE Bulldog GBB airsoft uses green gas instead of CO2: /product/we-bulldog-black-metal-gbb-compact-airsoft-pistol?m=3252 .


  6. B.B
    I recently went shooting with a friend who has a sig 1911.
    I had never shot it before but having a 1911 daisy/Winchester air pistol it was very easy for me to shoot his gun . I don’t own a real 1911 and I know from shooting my air pistol it had helped a lot . I shoot into a carboard barrel fill mostly with paper that was my trap but still bb would fall on the floor so Iam all for dust devils. The concept isn’t old or we wouldn’t have airgun trainers rifles from the military. I like the idea of your church watch men also.

  7. B.B.
    My thoughts are it’s all about muscle memory. That requires using an air gun that is as near an exact copy of the side arm that you carry. Next would be situational realism, like being seated with the pistol in your pocket, after hearing commotion behind you then having to access your pistol while changing your position to confront the aggressor.
    Another scenario to consider would be while being seated in your car, then confronted by a car jacker. This would allow you to assess where you keep your gun at in the vehicle, how you access it, then how to use it most effectively.

  8. Howdy,Mr. BB, sir, how ironic. As you & a few of the long timers know, when I found this blog I was so ignorant about shooting, I didn’t even know what I didn’t know! Ms. Edith finally convinced me to open my yap & post. Thru the help of you 2 & several regulars, many of whom we don’t hear from anymore, who took pity on me, I went from struggling with a Super duper inter galactic all powerful magnum break barrel that turned out to be a lemon, to my T-Rex, that I still train with. I now am a range instructor for a company that teaches a “defensive handgun course for the real world”. I tell our clients that an air gun is a perfect way to practice your fundamentals of grip, sight alignment, sight picture & trigger pressss. Sound familiar? Yup, ya dun teached me that. This is my “email signature”:
    – You don’t rise to the occasion, you fall to your level of training.
    – The body ain’t going where the mind has never been.
    – Get competent training.
    Then perfect practice, practice, practice.
    As Jerry G. said, “what a long strange trip it’s been. Thanx y’all.

    • Beaz,

      I like your sayings. I’m going to share them with my Watchmen. Several of them are active or retired cops, so we get pretty good training. We don’t want to ever draw our guns. We want to defuse the situation as calmly and quietly as possible. The guns are for when the terrorists show up.


    • Beazer,

      Way to go, amigo. Unlike Jerry G., our trip isn’t quite over. You used the quote I intended to offer; I don’t mind, I just wanted to say great minds think alike (of course, there are a number of great minds who stop in here).

      Ride free, Beazer

    • Michael,

      Those look interesting. I do wonder how the skirt seals with those grooves.

      They sort of remind me of fishing lures. Most of them are designed to catch the eye of the fisherman, not the fish.

  9. Mr. Gaylord:
    While today’s post was mostly about frangible bbs using an air pistol for defensive carry training, as you train with your BUL Cherokee pistol will you continue to use LTC Bonsall grip and control techniques you told us about in Teach me to shoot: Part 12?
    Or is that mainly for larger frame pistols like the 1911? How much does LTC Bonsall techniques apply to air pistol shooting? Entirely? Mostly? Some? Or not at all?

    If you don’t mind telling us, what where the reasons and decision process behind you choosing the Micro Desert Eagle over other calibers and pocket pistols on the market.

    Respectfuly submitted,
    William Schooley
    Rifle Coach
    Ventrue Crew 357
    Chelsea, MI

  10. BB,

    Wow! Today’s blog opens a subject that has extreme depth to it. You could probably fill out the rest of the year’s blogs with just this subject.
    I tend to think about myself as a fairly typical gun owner. I grew up in the midwest while shotgun hunting for pheasant and rabbit. After college, I bought a .22LR rifle and a black powder percussion rifle kit and had fun with them. When I moved to Colorado, I took up antelope, deer and elk hunting with a centerfire rifle. Decades ago I bought a pistol, a Springfield 1911. when I started thinking I needed to improve my family’s defensive situation, mostly the at home situation. As time progressed, I realized I didn’t practice enough to be proficient at anything other than stationary paper punching. The cost, in both ammunition and time for range practice, was just too great. So I found some local USPSA (the US sanctioned IPSC) matches and started shooting them. I figured as long as it was recreation, I could justify the extra expense and time over my then current routine. Soon I started reloading to keep my ammunition costs in check. USPSA provided an excellent opportunity to practice my safe gun handling and movement while shooting with a pistol. I found the timer added a good source of stress, nothing like a clock to make you feel like you need to perform now and quickly.
    As more time passed, I realized I made the time to get to matches, maybe two a month, but the matches showed me my general skills were still deficient and I needed more practice time. In order to address that need, I looked into air guns. Unfortunately, at that time, air pistols were not very realistic when compared to the actual firearm, and I found them to provide little valuable practice benefit other than just target time. In fact, too much use of the poor triggers on the air pistols made the first few minutes with the good trigger of a firearm unsafe. Eventually, about a decade later, airsoft became a reasonable option to allow affordable practice at home. The airsoft pistols were much more realistic with a reciprocating slide and a decent trigger to match the actual firearm. By using the biodegradable airsoft BBs, I didn’t worry about having the BBs in the yard. I was also more comfortable with the safety of airsoft over metallic BBs or pellets indoors. With airsoft a simple hanging dropcloth backstop is sufficient.
    I also tried Steel Challenge matches as I could swing the time. They proved to be another good opportunity to practice safe gun handling, but didn’t provide the opportunity for movement while shooting. In hindsight, I would recommend Steel Challenge to a new shooter before IPSC. I did end up purchasing a miniturized set of airsoft Steel Challenge targets that let me practice the actual stages in my basement. The only downside I found is your concern about airsoft BBs being everywhere. If my basement were finished, the concern would prove to be greater.
    Your statement that IPSC shooters shoot 30,000 to 50,000 rounds each year is true only for the top few percent of IPSC competitors, but the vast majority shoot much fewer. IPSC originally was a defensive/combat/practical focused competition, but over the years the focus emphasised the competition rather than the practical aspects resulting in an arms race which has produced improvements of the equipment. Die hard practical shooters didn’t like the evolution of IPSC and created IDPA which still focuses on the defensive aspects. While similar in basics, the major differences between IPSC and IDPA revolve around those defensive tactics. IPSC competitors willing dump magazines to the ground which still contain cartridges, in IDPA that would be penalized. IPSC competitors do not worry about shooting from cover while IDPA encourages it. Very few IPSC competitors shoot from concealment (I only know of one) while IDPA requires it.
    As far as one handed or two handed pistol shooting goes, tradition favors one handed. However, modern practical doctrine focuses on two handed shooting to allow for better recoil management and more accurate fast shooting. Most shooters are more stable with a two handed stance. Both IPSC and IDPA mandate single hand shooting, both strong hand and weak hand, within some courses of fire to maintain the skill for the scenario where the shooter is injured.
    Final thought, training involves the introduction of new skills. Practice is the repetition of known skills for improvement.


  11. I love seeing this topic before my addressed. I for one will be adding frangible BBS to my practice regiment. But the comment about the use of air soft has merits, too. Airsoft BBs can be used in the right environment for force-on-force practice. I would be hesitant to use frangibles for that.

    And I echo the “Practice, practice, practice.”

  12. For myself, I can see why the “dust devil” bbs would be better to train with than air soft plastic bbs. With what I shoot, the airsoft doesn’t have the range as my bbs. Also air soft plastic bbs can and will bounce back and hit you if shot at a hard surface up close. I’ve had them tag me in the body and in the face (yes I was wearing safety glasses thank goodness). Just my 2 cents.


  13. Hi BB and all.
    I’m not sure where it would fit in a training regimen but I recently purchased this /product/daisy-408-co2-dual-ammo-pistol-kit?m=4413

    So far I really like it and think it deserves the full treatment from you BB.
    I know your plate is full but we rarely get new stuff from Daisy/Gamo and this one
    seems to be accurate as well as getting good numbers for shot count and velocity.
    It’s a DAO 8 shot revolver inside so it doesn’t have blowback (which I like) and the trigger
    feels pretty good to my unsophisticated finger.It’s shorter and lighter but feels similar to my Taurus .357 revolver.

    I’ve been hoping someone would start making compact revolvers like the J frame and compact semiautos with full
    features in co2 pellet guns for practice/fun instead of the full size Python frames etc..,

  14. BB
    Do you expect dust devils to vaporize when hitting a soft object?

    Seems to me trying to take out a terrorist is borderline self defense. At some point you become the aggressor for all practical purposes. Same training?

    I can see that you are more or less dealing with the actual handling of a pistol here and shooting it from various positions. I think dealing with the mind set is more important .
    Look at that officer who unloaded his pistol at a guy standing by a truck in front of him who was attempting to withdraw an M1 Carbine I believe. He completely missed and was eventually killed. When you get into a life or death situation you need to overcome your bodies natural reaction.

    I have lived in the country for about 10 years now and only encountered three people who presented a threat, not counting the half dozen who abandoned their vehicle in front of my property, climbed my fence, ran toward me but keep running and climbed over the back fence. They were followed by a Border Patrol agent.

    Is it worth all that practice and cost for such a rare event that may not happen in a way you trained for?
    I think we need a few basic rules we need to memorize. Perhaps there is someone here who agrees with me and can enlighten us one way or another. I believe you should avoid a gun fight at all cost. If that’s not possible, shoot to kill and always from cover. What do you do with an unarmed aggressor you have at gun point who may not follow your instructions?
    This may sound funny but playing war games and the like on play station has been very helpful in learning how to stay alive. They are trying to kill you after all. Unfortunately I don’t have any stun grenades !

  15. Today’s pictures of concealed carry guns reminds me of a cartoon from The Far Side by Gary Larson. A tiny cowboy is speaking to an enormous, glowering cowboy with a miniature hat perched on his head. The caption reads: “Now there’s a tiny hat.” I heard somewhere that Larson confessed to writing many of his cartoons in a hallucinogenic state but have not been able to verify.

    ChrisUSA, yes, my protege is embarking on the archetypal quest to man himself up in the army, and it is appropriate to wish him luck. Stranger things have happened. Apparently, Tommy Franks, the American general who orchestrated the defeat of Saddam Hussein in Gulf War II, was a never-do-well who got his act together after enlisting in the army. But there is no guarantee. You’re right that the key is to find some specialty in the army that you like or that can give you training for the civilian world. My protege said that he hopes to go into communications and “be out there.” Since he knows Russian, he hopes it might be in Ukraine(!)… It’s like the saying that youth is wasted on the young. You can only hope for the best.

    shootski, thanks for your info. Maybe I can pick up the biathlon on YouTube later on. That is interesting about the American origins of the sport. I had supposed that it originated in Scandinavia. Partly that is because it simulates what they seem to do there. Ultimate sniper, the Finn Simo Hayha, grew up as a hunter. Also, I remember that the Soviet bloc countries dominated that sport, so I supposed it was native to the region. I’ve never heard of the American Pursuit sport, and as I recall, the 10th Mountain Division, formed in WWII for winter combat, was an innovation for America when the Russians were already zooming around on skiis on the battfefield. Anyway, it will be fun to watch. I wouldn’t be surprised if the South Koreans come on strong. Korea has a great reputation for archery and does disproportionately well in the Olympics. They are also very familiar with harsh winters, so it doesn’t seem too much to put those together.


  16. BB
    This is a rather belated entry into your blog, but I’m not a well behaved blogger. No intentional rudeness, I just don’t spend much time at it and tend to be behind on all subjects. That being said, the topic of using airsoft handguns for defensive practice has been more and more of interest to me lately, and I have been mystified by PA’s lack of emphasis on the subject. Not a total lack, but it would seem that the orange tip doesn’t make it to the front page of their website very often, and they tend to provide only the basic catalog info without much background explanation or package offers. (Am I looking in the wrong places? If I am mistaken on this, please let me know of my error.)
    Your article was interesting in itself, but the responses following it were welcomed eye openers. You can’t beat real-life stories for making an impression. I’ve only woken up with an intruder in my home once, but he scrammed before I got out of the bedroom. Remember, keep the chamber of your shotgun empty. The bad guys know what that slide action sound means and you should be able to load another round before your next move.
    My immediate interest is in whether to pursue CO2 or “gas” airsoft technologies for defensive training, and I was hoping to find enough information to make an educated guess. (My apologies if you find the following whiny. These are the knee-jerk reactions of a newbee looking to make purchases and seeking clear answers and solutions to a set of basic problems.) Gas looks like a very attractive alternative. Did you know that “gas” means propane? It took me an hour of looking on the PA website to discover that, after finding that GBB mean “gas blow back”. During my search, I found that there are rather expensive gasses which are not odorized and which include silicon, but there are also adapters for hooking to propane tanks at much less cost and which will allow the user to add silicon, but there is no advise at to which type of silicon, of the many, will suit this purpose. Why not bundle or suggest sets of related items to guide the customer to the appropriate purchase? And, have you noticed that .177 bb’s and 6mm bb’s are both called bb’s. Sometimes the context is unclear and the information is confusing ([hubris alert] maybe call the latter pb’s?). On PA’s website, the manufacturers all make biodegradable bb’s white. Why not suggest to them that pale brown or green bb’s might blend in with the landscaping while they are left to decompose? My semi-automatic firearm is an S&W Model 908, which is discontinued and apparently not very common. I want to get an airsoft gun of similar size, weight and function for defensive practice. Have you noticed that the spec’s always state the length of the gun, but ignore the height. The pictures may be good enough for us to guess at whether or not the fourth finger will fit on the grip, but no dimensions are given. I guess that I just expected the process to be easy. Okay, whining done (for now). Maybe I could have looked harder or “chatted” with a company rep, but your blog seems to be a place where this kind of issue is addressed. And, frankly, it feels good to see it typed out.
    As the laws tighten here (California Republican. What can I say?), the need for the establishment of prior possession is increasingly necessary. It will be harder for the state to take arms away from us than to prevent the sale of weapons, and we need to find responsible ways to prepare ourselves. In this context, that means acquisition of the appropriate tools to develop our skills and taking the opportunity to practice and foster the mindset for defensive action. It would seem that Airsoft is a good step in this direction.

    Ya know, I think I know what I know, but I don’t know if I don’t know what I don’t know. I might know. Or not. No?

    “Can do” is not the same as “can do well” and neither is as important as “should do”, both as questions and as statements.

    Intelligence is not the same as wisdom.


    • Swayne,

      Welcome to the blog.

      And thank you for giving me a lifetime of questions to answer. 😉

      I’ve written about most of the things you ask, but that will take you years to read.

      I used to write more about airsoft, but the interest died off. Not that there aren’t still a lot of airsofters out there, but if it isn’t on social media, they don’t read it.

      Yes airsoft guns can be used for SOME training. I would like to see people learn to use a trigger, but the main emphasis seems to be on how fast can you draw the gun and get off the first shot.

      I will have a lot more to say about this in the future, if there is time. The airgun community is expanding faster than I can keep up wit it and that is the principal thrust of Pyramyd Air’s business. So I go where the interest is.


      • BB

        Thanks for getting back to me!

        The airsoft training would only be for mindset and muscle memory training in addition to professional class time. It is relative inexpensive and more likely to allow me produce useful self-criticism rather than hospitalization (or worse) if I make a mistake.

        Thanks for you hard works.


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