This is not to say that a “Real Gun” is not as good as an Airgun or better in other ways, in this video I’m just pointing out how an Airgun in some cases can actually be better suited than a Real Gun.
Availability: What I mean by this, is that in many countries Real Guns can be very hard to acquire and often require safety course and applications before one can purchase a Real Gun. I have no problem with this but it is a reality that must be considered. Having an Airgun versus not having a gun at all makes it a better option for people that live in countries that have strict gun laws. Here in Canada we are allowed Real Guns, even pistols but we do have restriction on our pistols and so I can only get certain guns in an Airgun version. As a collector this is better than not having the gun at all.
Price to Buy: Generally speaking you can pickup an enter level Airgun for much less money than a real gun.
Cost to Shoot: Real gun ammo prices have been steadily increasing to the point that a day out shooting can cost several hundred dollars just on the ammunition alone.
Comparison of Price:
- 50 rounds of 9mm ammo will cost around $18.00
- 6000 rounds of 4.5mm Steel BB will cost about $18.00
- CO2 is a bit less than $1 per 12 gram Cylinder which can yield up to 100 shots each.
- To shoot 100 rounds of 9mm will cost close to $40 versus 100 shots of 4.5mm steel BB at around $1.
- For this reason alone an Airgun can make a lot of sense even for Real Gun owners looking to get more cost effective practice time.
Access to Shooting Locations: Depending on where you live you will have to consider your local laws and where you are allowed to shoot both types of guns but typically you can shoot an Airgun safely just about anywhere as long as you implement some backstop safety precautions. Here in Canada we can only shoot a pistol at designated gun ranges, where as Airguns have a lot more allowances to shot them as long as you are not braking any city bylaws.
Training Guns: Even if you plan to eventually step up to a Real Gun at some point, an airgun is a great option to first learn proper gun handling skills since if you where to make a mistake, the consequences are much less severe. Airguns are also a lot less intimidating than a real gun since they are much quieter and have less recoil, you don’t even need to wear ear protection with most Airguns which means an instructor can communicate to his pupil on the range a lot easier.
Prop Guns: Since Replica Airguns look so much like real guns these day, they can often be used as a safer substitute for use in Movie, TV or other Photo and Video productions. Using a Real Gun on set generally requires a certified “Gun Wrangler” be on hand as Real Guns must be transported, stored and handled using very strict regulations. Airguns generally do not need to follow the same rigid regulations that Real Guns are bound to.
Tactical Training with Live Targets: Obviously shooting a real gun at a live target would not fair well for anyone involved, so that is completely out of the question. Airsoft Airguns are however perfect for Tactical Training and other weapons based simulations. All that is required for safety when using Airsoft guns is the use of eye protection and generally some heavy clothing.
I am sure there are some more areas in which Airguns may have the advantage over a Real Gun but these are the main ones that I could think of.