I get the back-lash and the criticism all the time. People love to give their two cents which range from respect from the extreme negative to the highest level of praise. But years ago when I started training people I saw a reoccurring phenomenon with people who train with "Blue Guns" or anything other than a real gun.
My logic runs parallel to this analogy:
Do you not use a real car to practice in Drivers ED?
Do Chef's not use real knives to practice with while in school?
Does the Military not use real CS in the gas chamber?
And do we not here people repeat the mantra: "Train as you fight?"
So if more people die in car accidents and stabbings then by the use of guns (that's the argument Pro-Gunners like to use) in addition to the risk associated with the use of chlorobenzalmalononitrile or "C.S." which are as follows:
(Y G Karagama, MRCS DLO, J R Newton, MRCGP, and C J R Newbegin, FRCS. 2003)
From the above research conducted, it was found that no matter how small the risk within and outside of the control groups within their study which was featured in the Journal of The Royal Society of Medicine entitled "Short-term and long-term physical effects of exposure to CS spray". But, this begs the question: “Where are all the people screaming about safety and how someone can get hurt?” You want to know why you’ve hardly heard about it? This is because people only apply safety when it is relative.
Which means those 4 primary firearms safety rules are relative. Yes, when you training with a Blue Gun or with training tool to that effect you are inherently safe. However, the downside lies in the fact that your training is unrealistic. Thus, when you have unrealistic training people for the most part tend to crystallize unrealistic ideas and expectations which only leads to a false sense confidence. Without being too technical, here are three reasons as to why we and you should train with a real firearm (minus the ammunition).
There are many reasons
Biochemical – When facing the "business end" of any weapon system the body will produce a response: “Fight or Flight”. It is then and only then that we obtain the opportunity to truly explore the variable that matter most – "willingness to fight". Biochemically the body will change its composition [cortisol (stress) levels, dopamine, epinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrine (brain, body, action)]. By working in this manner, we at VODA seek to effectively take small steps to help rewire the flow of the clients neurotransmitters. Thus, decreasing the sensitivity to danger, increasing confidence as well as increasing the Clients likelihood of survival.
Repetition & Muscle Memory – Good luck cycling a slide on a "Blue Gun" or nearly any training pistol for that matter. At VODA we are big on building Fight-Efficiency™ through continuous repetition and muscle memory. Whether cycling the slide or loading the cylinder, pressing the trigger, or aligning sights on a real human subject, there is no training pistol that will give you that. Why? Because training pistols simply do not have the same physical attributes of a actual firearm; what they lack are the character, feel, and authenticity of an actual firearm. Like Coke-A-Cola: “There’s Nothing Like The Real Thing”.
Realism – Why train different that you fight? Even more important, why train different than you fight then expect to perform at optimum levels when it really counts? Even though you are training with a “Blue Gun” or training pistol and you may simulate that with all your heart following the “Safety Rules” (which are meant to be broken to a degree) your brain knows it’s not a real gun. Thus, it and the body will act accordingly for purposes of Fight-Efficiency™. It should be noted that our Force on Force work is truly one of a kind.
In short, using a Blue Gun for training is like trying to playing a Nintendo during a neighborhood blackout - your only playing yourself. And I always say if your going to play with yourself, you might as well masturbate. At least when you finish you'll have a little something to show for.
Y G Karagama, MRCS DLO, J R Newton, MRCGP, and C J R Newbegin, FRCS. 2003. "Short-term and long-term physical effects of exposure to CS spray". Retrieved - January 12, 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC539444/