Saturday, December 26, 2009

Blue guns?

I'm happy as a clam to have "blue gun" versions of both my primary CCW piece and my HD carbine. I find them useful for a variety of purposes, from practicing certain drills without having to clear a hot weapon or worry about muzzling the neighbor's house, to getting a hands-on feel for something I'm reading about before trying it at the range, to weapons retention stuff.

How many other people use dedicated dummy guns for these purposes, or am I just overly paranoid?

46 comments:

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Not yet, but it is on my list of things to get to help try and make myself better.

The Freeholder said...

I'd love to, but for crying out loud, why are these things so bleeding expensive? I simply can't justify it--not when Airsofts are way less expensive.

Joseph said...

I am with Freeholder...I use airsofts. Not the EXACT same thing, but I don't have the cash to spend on an expensive piece of plastic. And I really don't like to use the real thing for practice.

Tony said...

U.S. government hysterics have made it difficult for me to obtain actual dummy guns that actually fit into holsters. The price is another factor, too. So thus far I've used toy guns. :P Hardly a perfect situation but better than no firearm simulator at all. I really wish I could get a Commander sized 1911 and an AK clone as actual blue guns though.

Anonymous said...

Yep, both AR and G19. I gave a blue G26 to a friend for the classes she teaches. With it you can point the prop at folks so they can see the presentation and grip as well as for the uses you mentioned.

You really need one for retention and disarm drills.

Gerry

Pathfinder said...

I have pistols people do not make blue copies for, like the LCP. I was toying with the idea of making one from resin and a mold of the LCP, dressed up with a Dremel.

I guess I could paint it blue if I ever get around to making one.

Lorimor said...

I should....

Anonymous said...

Problem with airsofts is that they are less than optimal for disarm/retention drills.

I've ripped the barrel out of an M-16 airsoft. Airsofts just don't hold together.

The good thing about gun gear is that you usually get what you pay for.

Glad you are enjoying your blue gun.

Merry Christmas, glaza volka.

Shootin' Buddy

Joe Huffman said...

I have a Glock and a 1911. They are yellow, but the concept is the same. I use them for training. I frequently have one at work to show to new shooters and teach them about things like "sight picture" and proper grip.

The Duck said...

Every week, looking to add a couple of models. They are great in both the classroom, and the range.

The Big Guy said...

Want.
Wantwantwant.

Will eventually have...

TBG

Eric Shelton said...

A blue G19 will accept my light, fit into my holster, and is totally legal for me to bring on base to teach CCW at my Guard unit.

BryanP said...

Whatever you're comfortable with. Me, I triple-check that it's unloaded and that there is no ammunition of any variety in the room before I use the real gun for that sort of thing. Even so, I still stop and re-check its status regularly.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I had one. My son thought I was nuts spending all that dinero for one. His friends loved it. It wandered off. It eventually came back, but was beat to hell. Hammer spur gone, etc. As I recall, it vanished again, and I bought yet another one, only to have that one disappear too. I occasionally think of buying yet another, but to date that hasn't happened. Sigh.

Hank

Rob said...

Just ordered one for my XDm. They just finished the molds. Looking forward to playing with it.

Montie said...

Tam,

I got onto the blue-gun bandwagon after going through a weapon retention class at my department. We also use them on occasion when discussing scenarios during the tactical briefing at the start of each shift. It beats plugging another offficer because you though your gun "wasn't loaded".

My personal at home blue-guns consist of an 870, an M-4 and a 1911. A little pricey but better than shooting a hole through something I don't want shot.

Sam said...

Though I will eventually get a few blue (or red) guns for training, I currently use Blade-Tech's training barrels for my Glocks and 1911s.

They also make a training bolt for the AR.

I will continue to use my gunsafe as my backstop. Using magnets as target holders is fast and easy.

mariner said...

I wouldn't say you're paranoid, you just have enough money to spend it on guns that don't even work.

Old NFO said...

You aren't, and yes, I do use them too...

HandgunTrainer said...

I've got both a blue gun and two airsoft versions of my primary carry gun (Glock 19). I recently got a weighted blue magazine from Ring's Manufacturing for my Glock as well. The added weight is great for dry fire and reloading practice.

Noob said...

A noob question: what's the catch with using dummy(inert) ammo and real guns?

Tony said...

@ noob:

And how will you make absolutely, positively, definitely, 100% sure that the weapon used for a retention drill will have an inert round in it, and not a live one?

The police are perhaps not the best group to look at when discussing any firearms related issues, but they have managed to shoot each other often during training exercises. Weird shit happens - why take the risk?

Dave said...

That is kind of next level stuff from where I'm at. Even though I've been in the Army and I've owned firearms for a good percentage of my lifetime, I'm still just a schmuck that owns a few guns compared to you guys.
I use airsoft for extra practice.

og said...

I would love to- but they don't make a blue gun version of my primary carry. I've actually thought about making one.

I can take the firing pin out of my carry gun. I don't drill as hard as you do, though.

Weer'd Beard said...

I know blueguns makes a commander 1911 with the hammer cocked. I REALLY want to get one, but as of yet I haven't squared away the funds.

You're totally smart to have them.

Anonymous said...

I have about three dozen blue guns and several airsoft guns. Then again, I do make holsters, but I use the blue guns for drawing practice, and teaching new folks gun safety.

D.W. Drang said...

I've used 1911-shaped water pistols for drills...

Anonymous said...

I will not use a functional firearm for drills. Even triple checking everything twice, I still am not comfortable.

I will use a training bolt or barrel, however, but they also suffer from limited availability...

GrantCunningham said...

Well, Tam, you already know my (in)famous stance on safety; I thus use one anytime I have a need to point a gun-like object at something I'm not willing to shoot.

You're not paranoid, you're intelligent.

-=[ Grant ]=-

wcy said...

Mine's red, not blue.
It helps a great deal on drills.
I needed to cut and file the sights to match my Kahr's, then I blacked them out with a Sharpie.
Paranoid? No. The same reasoning for why I don't train with a sharp knife: it is a much more forgiving set-up.

Whitebread said...

At my department, "blue gun" means one that fires simmunitions, and all our completely inert guns are "red guns" and are, of course, red rubber or plastic.

Be careful if practicing retention and takeaways. Some folks don't think to be mindful of where their trigger finger is, and a lot of disarms will damage a finger that is in the trigger guard or indexed along the frame.

John said...

Seems pretty sensible to me. Haven't gotten around to it yet, myself, though.

Sebastian said...

I practice draw and fire with an airsoft version of My Glock 19.

Ed Foster said...

Sam's comment about Blade-Tech got me thinking.

I don't practice, and I should. Yes, I shoot a lot more than most, and I'm not worried about my marksmanship, but retention drills make muscle memory, and muscle memory can keep you alive.

If you have it, you don't want to lose it. The muscle memory or the weapon.

My armed and unarmed was 40 years ago, and it's something that should be practiced as often as shooting.

So, Blade-Tech inserts for realism, but where do I practice, and with whom?

I don't have a clue. I think I'll have to have a talk with the chief instructor at my club. I haven't even heard of a place locally where it's taught or it could be practiced.

Son number one is a police detective, but his Chief is an anal retentive New Yorker who prefers obedient sheeple for citizens. Still, it's worth a chat.

Tam said...

Oh, I do dry-fire with the Real Steel, but that requires going to the Dry Fire Place Downstairs(tm) with the Appropriate Concrete Backstop(tm).

This doesn't cover but a fraction of the Gun Kata one needs to do. As a f'rinstance, lately I've been playing with the New Hotness 3-Gun Carbine Technique of sticking your hand way out front on the handguards for greater stability while moving. Rather than having to clear the housegun and go to the basement, I was able to grab the blue gun and mime out some drills in the living room. SO much safer and easier...

skipelec said...

Muscle memory, key point.
I always use the carry rig and carry pistol.
Dryfire the hell out of it.
Just don't sweep anything ya don't wanta kill.

Ed Foster said...

On the subject of defensive kata, I would rank the humble shotgun as more needful of work than the pistol.

I remember a little chat I had with some cop buddies on the evils of "Cruiser" type stocks. I showed how easy it was to disarm someone carrying a pistol grip only weapon, compared with a fixed buttstock weapon with the butt clamped under the elbow.

It was the way we were taught to guard Brig Rats, and has several other advantages. First, accuracy from the hip (again, with lots of practice). You're a gun turret, rotating from the waist, with legs solidily braced.

Second,if he gets hold of the barrel, his hands are busy, while your butt is free for a strike at anything from his shin north, and you maintain the leverage advantage while he's extended forward and off balance.

Third, a butt clamp makes for a shorter weapon. Try it. With the same length barrel, the muzzle is several inches closer to your body with the butt/upper arm weld and the stock against your ribs.

Finally, although this is mostly important to military or perhaps prison guards, a bayonet can be a useful addition to a full stocked weapon, and is as wasted as a bucket under a bull with a pistol gripped stock.

I'm not bad with a pistol, but if I had some warning before it hit the fan, my weapon of choice indoors would be my 12 gauge High Standard pump, for all the above reasons plus the intimidation factor.

Open up a two and three quarter inch steel shot load, dump the shot, and replace with pieces of steel coathanger cut to length. The effect on ballistic gelatin is atomic, and penetration in wallboard is less than any other projectile.

I would imagine ricochet is also reduced considerably, but I haven't experimented with that yet. Something to consider in the confines of a basement.

All this blue gun stuff should be available through NRA affiliated clubs, and to the best of my knowledge, it isn't. Perhaps it's time to start cranking off letters to the Board Of Directors.

global village idiot said...

I bought one for the express purpose of having a custom-made holster for my Hi-Power made by the guy in the leather shop on Balad.

Trouble is, it's hard as all-get-out to get the thing out of theater. So I gave it to some Brits near my office who work as PSD. All ex-mil (and all, oddly enough, named Ian), none had ever seen a red-gun before.

They asked me why I was giving it to them - I told them why I got it and why I couldn't take it home. They asked me why I was giving it to THEM, and I told them what it's used for in the States. You could literally see the lightbulb go on above their little limey noggins.

May get one in the future. Mine has served its purpose and my holster is a beaut.

gvi

wv: bille

Carteach0 said...

I am apart from the crowd on this one.

I don't own a blue gun to match any of my live weapons. When I practice or try out movements (I won't call it training... too disorganized for that) I use my regular weapons, thoroughly cleared.

Since it's something I do alone, in an empty building with no close neighbors, I'm comfortable with simple clearing procedures.

If I began doing retention drills and such with another person, that would be a different story.

ToddG said...

Absolutely. Blue guns serve a purpose that you cannot match with Airsoft when you need an inert training aid. If you're very nice to the folks at Crimson Trace, they can even make you one with a set of Lasergrips built in... this is one of the best teaching tools I've ever seen.

I have Airsoft guns. I have Simunition guns. But I keep a blue gun in my range bag all the time.

Gewehr98 said...

Paranoid?

Naw, you're not paranoid, Tam.

They really are out to get you.

My 2010 New Year's resolution is to throttle way back on the SHTF and house-clearing drills at Casa de' G-98, myself. One doesn't need to live in Condition Red or even Orange every day, and there's plenty of self-proclaimed tactical bad-azzes out there on the Intarwebz to make up for my decided lack of advertising in that department.

That doesn't mean I won't pack my beloved 696 when flyfishing next year, or that the Krinkov leaves the bedside station of honor, but my entertainment budget doesn't include blue training guns, either. I don't consider myself an attractive target anymore, and if somebody really wants to make the effort, they're still gonna be in for a bit of a surprise.

WV: Impare - so hung up on repelling boarders w/boomsticks it will otherwise impare our enjoyment of daily life...

Tam said...

I'll go take up some sane and rational pastime, like fencing or karate, then. ;)

Dude, I don't think any of this stuff is strictly necessary, but I do think it's fun.

Jeff the Baptist said...

"Problem with airsofts is that they are less than optimal for disarm/retention drills."

Yes, but blueguns are less than optimal for any drill that might require a mag change or using a manual safety.

Tam said...

Thankfully there's no law against having both. Yet. ;)

Mike Gallo said...

Jeff stole some of my thunder; I was going to say I will allow anyone to start making and marketing a blue gun that takes magazines for their respective real gun analogs, and I only ask 5% royalties on all sales. It's an idea I got several months ago whilst talking to a family member LEO. I hadn't thought of the safety, though, mostly because most cops don't carry guns with them (safeties, that is)

What I've been practicing lately is magazine changes from both my plate carrier and from belt pouches. I'm going to start loading duds into my mags for FTF drills at the range (where I do my drawing practice for handgun).

Word Verification: nonions. Looks like I'm SOL if I want to use charge to purify by chromatography.

Will said...

Glock makes blue/red trainers. One version has mag swap capability. One has trigger reset capability.

Blue guns of any type are illegal in Kalipornia for those sans shield (badge).