Cali Police Dept. Using Airsoft Guns for Training Due to Ammo Shortage (VIDEO)

04/23/13 4:00 PM | by

Classic Army M15A4 SPC Airsoft Gun w/ Aimpoint Scope

Michael Kim prepares for his first airsoft game. Many participants have military or law enforcement experience and play to keep their skills sharp. (The Washington Times)

Michael Kim prepares for his first airsoft game. Many participants have military or law enforcement experience and play to keep their skills sharp. (Photo credit: The Washington Times)

Everyone who knows anything about guns, even those who don’t, has surely heard about ammo shortages in recent months. The supply dwindles while the demand continues to rise, due in part to the growing threat of federal regulations on guns, magazines and ammunition. But as a San Francisco CBS affiliate reports, the shortage isn’t just limited to civilians. Some California police departments are also short on training ammunition and have therefore had to come up with alternative measures. One such idea is the use of professional grade airsoft guns for training.

Lt. Louie Tirona of the Richmond Police Department said, “Everybody is fighting for what seems like a shrinking amount of ammunition out there. If we get to a situation where we’re low on ammunition, we can do simple drills with airsoft that would mimic what we would do with live fire.”

In addition to using the airsoft guns, the Richmond Police Department is also incorporating the use of laser guns for scenario training.

The neighboring police department of Albany has also turned to the readily available and cost effective use of airsoft. Sgt. Dave Bettencourt of the Albany Police Department said, “It’s become harder and harder to get the ammunition we need to train our officers on a timely basis. We’re using airsoft as an affordable option to try to maintain the officers’ skills.”

Other nearby departments in El Cerrito, Emeryville and Berkeley also told the local news affiliate that while they currently have enough ammunition for regular patrol duty, they are actively searching for more training ammo.

While the thought of police departments not having a sufficient supply of ammunition may be unsettling to some, the use of airsoft guns, at least for training purposes, does have several benefits. One state-level agency tactical team commander points out some obvious advantages: Safety, versatility and cost.

Although safety is still certainly a priority in training, even with the use of airsoft instead of live fire, airsoft still provides a safer training medium, especially for new recruits, as the airsoft pellets are non-lethal.

Airsoft guns are also versatile in the aspect that models can be found in a wide range of different types of guns, all for a fraction of the cost of their genuine counterparts. In addition, as Tirona points out, the cost of airsoft pellets compared to live rounds is literally “pennies on the dollar.”

Of course the use of airsoft for training law enforcement and military isn’t new. They have been used as an effective training tool for years, as the professional grade models can provide realistic replicas for training with the same advantages described above.

 

Latest Reviews

  • Henry Side Gate

    Why We're Excited About Henry's .45-70 and .410 Side Gates

    We’re digging the .45-70 Side Gate, but the .410 shotgun is slick too with both built on the same frame....

    Read Now
  • Pint-Sized Parabellum: A Look at the New FN 503 9mm Pistol

    Pint-Sized Parabellum: A Look at the New FN 503 9mm Pistol

    Offering concealability and reliability, the new FN 503 shares the lineage of their full-sized pistol line but comes in a...

    Read Now
  • Henry Axe

    A New Lever-Action in the Arsenal: Henry Axe

    The Henry Axe fires .410 shotgun ammunition from a lever-action platform with metrics to match the Mossberg Shockwave and Remington...

    Read Now
  • Beautiful Black Ice: Checking out the New Kimber Rapide

    Beautiful Black Ice: Checking out the New Kimber Rapide

    A unique take on the M1911A1 platform, Kimber's new Rapide Black Ice series handguns are new to the market and...

    Read Now