Force-on-Force Training with Airsoft Guns

Becoming safe and proficient with your defensive handgun is a critical aspect of being a responsible owner and carrier of a firearm.  The fundamentals of pistol shooting can be well practiced by going to a shooting range and practicing on a static target, but how do you train in a dynamic environment in which you may have to apply critical thinking skills before and during the discharge of your firearm?  The answer is realistic, practical Reality based Training that presents the gun owner with situations in which they need to decide who is a threat and who isn’t a threat.  This is accomplished by placing the participant into a force-on-force scenario, in which the participant and aggressor(s) have airsoft or Simunitions training guns.  This type of scenario training is commonly referred to as force-on-force, threat/no-threat, friend or foe, kill/don’t kill, shoot/don’t shoot decision making.

Often the most difficult aspects of using a firearm in a public situation is proper target identification.  There are often many variables and unknowns in a public active shooter situation.  Even once the threat has been identified, it may be extremely difficult to properly and safely address the threat.  Many variables may exist that require consideration, such as; multiple or hidden threats, positions of bystanders, and other armed responders.  Situations may be dynamic and changing during an engagement, and placing yourself in a scenario in which you experience this is the only way to prepare yourself for a real life incident.

The situation and your response are not over just because the threat has been neutralized.  You should make sure that emergency personnel have been notified and that people at the scene are ok or addressing those that may need medical attention.  Another post-action responsibility is making sure people know you are a good guy; the last thing you want is another gun carrying citizen or first responder thinking you are a threat because you have a gun in hand and just engaged a person.

Through the use of airsoft guns in a controlled environment, we are able to practice many dynamic scenarios in which each participant is presented with a progressive series of drills.  During these drills, participants will have to make the decision whether they even want to draw a firearm and then properly identify a threat and decide to shoot or don’t shoot.  This type of training is important for anyone who owns a firearm for a defensive purpose, whether just kept in the home, or carried in a concealed public environment.  One cannot expect to be able to respond quickly and properly in a situation which the person has had no practice in.  As with all things, practice, practice, practice!

Airsoft guns are modeled after common production handguns, matching them in shape, feel, and functioning.  The projectile is spherical non-metallic pellet which travels at around 375 feet per second, propelled by compressed air or gas.  Proper safety equipment is worn at all times during scenario training; full face mask and gloves.

Fingerlakes Firearms Training addresses these issues and scenarios during its Reality Based Training.  The class is limited to 10 participants where each person will act as a role player on both the defense and aggressor side.  For more information and to sign up for this class, click here.



Does airsoft training hurt?  Airsoft pellets give a slight sting upon impact on bare skin or thin clothing.  The feel of the sting can be mitigated by wearing thicker clothing such as a heavy sweatshirt or jacket, as well as a scarf or high-collared shirt/turtleneck.  A full face mask, gloves, neck and chest protection are worn to reduce the chance of injury.

Will I be shot at with airsoft pellets during the scenario training? Yes, all participants of the class must agree to role play as both the defender and aggressor.  You may wear thicker clothing to mitigate the feel of the pellets and a full mask and gloves are required (provided to participants at class).

Do I need to bring anything to the class?  No, all safety gear (mask and gloves) will be provided to the student as well as training airsoft guns.  It is advised that you bring a sweatshirt or jacket to better protect your skin from the sting of a potential shot.


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