Using any device that launches a projectile calls for the use of protective eyewear, like these glasses from Howard Leight.
While it’s obvious that these non-gun trainers can be of great utility, it should likewise be obvious that you can do the wrong things. Using them for unstructured force-on-force quickly degenerates into kids’ play “cops-n-robbers” – fun but failing to achieve proper teaching objectives and potentially training bad habits.
I was concerned about this trainer because I had nearly no airsoft experience. While it seemed remarkably “Glock-like,” I didn’t know about the accuracy, whether it’d have the power to properly cut a target or if it’d be worth the effort.
The 'target trap' is a cardboard box with packing paper. The B-8 repair center is a favorite target for real range use. Below, the 'indoor (quiet) range' is handy in rugged weather or when you can't get away to the livefire range.
It certainly appears to be worth the effort. It took little time to follow the documentation accompanying the ‘non-gun’ and learn about the two-step loading procedure: gas up the magazine, add polymer projectiles to the magazine.
These are round and they do bounce; protective eyewear is critical.
I used a cardboard box with the packing paper used to protect products in shipment as a target trap. The target was the NRA B-8 repair center, a favorite mark of mine. I elected to work on my trigger control using Larry Vicker’s “3-6-9” drill. Not having lots of space within the garage I used for a range – nor knowing about the relative accuracy of the Umarex-Glock 19, I used “feet” instead of the range-customary “yards.” Starting at only three feet, I quickly determined that it was too easy.
I was surprised to see I was tending right, something really un-Glock like. At six feet, the single hole in the B-8 simply got bigger. It was stringing further to the right. I glanced down at the gun and saw that the rear sight was slipping to the right. I’d not fired it much, indicating that the sight was too small for the dovetail in the slide – or the dovetail in the slide was too big. While I didn’t strip the piece to see about changing sights, I simply pressed the sight back to center. At 9 feet, the pellets continued to slam into the same long hole in the target.
The accuracy seems to be there.
The ‘target trap’ box worked too. I recovered every projectile.
What’s it good for? I used it for trigger control practice, something I can always use more of. From there, I’d move to single hits from the holster. From singles, I’d move on to work on movement during the draw, pivots and turns – and finish up with a ‘one-hole’ drill at six or so feet.
Turning the lights down, I could work on some adverse light – using a handheld light to identify the target before shooting. It’s not often that people who aren’t members of service to get to practice ‘night fire.’ You can with an airsoft analog, indoors, without disturbing anyone.
I found the Umarex-Glock 19 locked open on the last shot fired, very handy and ‘real.’ I appreciate that attention to detail. At the end, I used the relief valve on the back of the magazine to bleed off the unused gas.
For agencies, you could use these for force-on-force – tightly scripted with one person responsible to ‘field-strip’ anyone entering the training area. Keeping that area sterile is critical to participant safety.
As to the Umarex product, I’m concerned about the sliding rear sight. I imagine using an adhesive/thread locking compound – as XS Sights recommends on their sight installations – would keep the existing sight in place. As to changing sights, I’m not sure yet about doing that with the Umarex product.
So far, so good. We’re on our third accumulating snow of this season already, something we normally don’t achieve until at or near the New Year. I’ll still be getting some trigger time though, thanks to a garage and the Umarex Glock Collection.
- - Rich Grassi