After last night’s show, I wanted to circle back to the topic of Action Airgun and focus on some of the cooler things that came out of the interview and the show.
Obviously, I was impressed with the potential training value of Action Airgun, which is completely separate in my mind from its value as a shooting sport. As a shooting sport, it carries the value of being able to introduce new shooters to the sport, to break down the barriers that some people may have towards competitive shooting, and to provide a reasonable level of entry from and equipment standpoint into the shooting sports. Like Collins said, it’s a “gateway sport”.
But I also really, really like it’s value as a training tool. I’m a big believer in dry firing as a practice exercise, because it builds trigger discipline, which is in my opinion the most important part of shooting well. What it adds that you can get from just dry firing is the additional practice of having to re-acquire your sight picture after each shot. Sure, the airsoft pistol doesn’t have the recoil of a real 1911, even a 9mm one, but the fact that the slide still moves and forces you to pick up that sight picture again is extremely valuable as a training tool for action shooters; and for defensive shooting as well.
The other topic that I wished I had spent more time on was the support that NSSF is giving to Action Airgun. I really like to see that, since introducing new shooters to the shooting sports is sort of NSSF’s bread and butter, and I honestly haven’t seen a shooting sport come along that was quite this conducive to that in a while. Ultimately, that’s the biggest appeal of this to me – the ability to recruit new shooters and get them shooting real guns.
Airsoft is wildly popular, which means this sport starts with a built in user base. Secondly, children have notoriously short attention spans, so the kid who thinks that plinking with a .22 is boring may be interested by the plastic equivalent of “clang-‘n-bang”, specifically because it’s fast paced and interesting. Finally, it encourages group activity – forming a “fireteam” and shooting with your friends is going to be a lot more fun than running through the course all by yourself.
Personally, I’m actually really excited about this sport – I’m definitely going to be in on the inaugural season, one way or another.