Lowa Zephyr Mk2 GTX

Travis Haley on Airsoft X Training

Travis Haley makes a compelling argument that airsoft has a place in a well rounded training regimen. Remember, if it’s a tool you are going to use, identify its limitations and use it to supplement rather than supplant live fire.



16 Responses to “Travis Haley on Airsoft X Training”

  1. crusader says:

    Great Video! Love Haley´s stuff and so…

    Hope we will meet him on the shot 2012 in vegas.

    From Germay,


  2. Stuart Neilson says:

    Years ago in Hong Kong I helped a friend out with his management training and development company. One of the things he did was airsoft. I was sceptical but one of the things that I noticed was how quickly they got the point of taking cover and fire and manoeuvre.

    Blanks and even laser sims don’t hurt when they hit nobody takes cover from them. Airsoft pellets do hurt. People take cover because they don’t want to be hit.

    Of course the limitations are that cover from airsoft pellets would not be likely to protect you from live incoming and range.

    Still a useful tool if used within it’s limitations.

  3. Bill says:

    We featured an article on this a while back written by a prior service Royal Marine; same conclusion reached.

    Any tool to aid training should be considered!

  4. CJ says:

    Since we’ve hit some snags on getting funding for Simmunitions, our unit purchased some airsoft M4s and M9s, and we’re doing our first full-on FTX with them this weekend. I think it’s a great tool – it’s economical, and can provide good training as long as its used within the scope of limitations.

  5. Rob says:

    We went to airsoft for (a good portion of) training a few years ago. First because of cost and second safety. It allows us to go beyond normal speed/direction in training and learn from mistakes rather than… kill someone accidentally or die them self.

  6. Administrator says:


    If you have that article online please lik to it. If not, give us the issue number for our readers.

  7. Mach1na says:

    If you want to use an airsoftgun for training use a gas blowback model.

    bolt, boltcatch and magazine are way closer to life rifles, my M14 even got recoil similar to a .22 rifle

  8. crusader says:

    but the magazine are expensive, i agree, the gbb model´s are nicer but the cost… think the m4 modell, what travis show us, is good, the bolt catch function is there…

  9. Mobious says:


    I love GBBs as much the next guy, but also mentioned are the extra costs of magazines and gas. And since the felt recoil gets only as close to a .22 it’s not going to add that much more over what’s felt from just an AEG. Though certain GBBs will work in worse weather conditions so that’s good, but good luck using them in winter, loss of power and maybe no function at all. Some electric blow backs have working bolt catches as well.

  10. Eric says:

    Some of the newer Electric Blow Backs (KWA comes to mind) will also have the ability for the bolt catch to lock back when a magazine is empty, and has recoil.

    The video also made it clear that treating the AS AEG like a real steel M4 is important. And training properly vs training in bad habits can affect one area to another.

  11. Patrick says:

    Keep in mind that with the GBBR (Gas Blow Back Rifle) that it works with gas and are sensitive to temperature. If you’re training is inside @ room temperature it will go fine but in winter outside…good luck to get it work properly.
    You also need to refill the mag with gas all the time while with an EBBR (Electric Blow…) you just need to change batteries in the gun…and that is like when you finished shooting since batteries last easely all day.

    If you gonna buy an airsoft gun tell the seller what you want it for and in what conditions you gonna use it.

  12. Larry says:

    You can`t drop the “Gas Blow Back Rifle” mag like the electric airsoft mag or the real M4 mag…

  13. Sgt A says:

    It takes a bit to really understand the limitations and caveats of adapting airsoft to FoF training, but at minimum the most applicable cases are for the core skills that civilian shooter should be focusing on (use of a pistol from holster in a dynamic CQC environment).
    On the military side, I’m light years ahead of 99% of my battalion on setting up my kit just because I tried it out at large airsoft events, and learned in days what most take entire deployments to grasp.

    It’s still important to be aware of the limitations – I’ve got the broken AEG charging handles and broken GBB magazines to prove it, but the information and learning gained is worth it.

  14. MilanWG says:

    For those talking about “Gas Blow Back Rifle” or GBBRs and not being able to use the mags in cold weather – look into a company called WETTI.

    They have both gas (propane) mags for indoor use and C02 mags for outdoor use.

    Fantastic system and the costs are very reasonable. Highly recommended.

  15. MilanWG says:

    Here is an example of the system mentioned above: