Ultra Low Cost BB guns for handgun training

Regular practice that allows for many thousands of trigger pulls is a great way to increase your handgun skills.  To afford such regular practice I recommend adding BB guns to the mix of live ammunition and dry fire training.
I’ve been doing this for years.  Daisy makes some of the best and most economical Co2 powered BB pistols on the market.  Just as important is that they are of the proper size, function, and trigger pull to allow presentation, rapid fire, movement, and multiple target engagement.
You can set up a training range in your backyard if you have enough space for safe firing.  What matters is that these guns allow shooting for considerably less than live ammunition and give you some level of satisfaction that dry fire drills can’t give you.  Even laser training gets old after a while since no real projectiles leave the barrel.  With 6000 rounds costing less than $10 and Co2 cartridges going for 50 cents each you can enjoy an hour of shooting for less than 4.
My first try on this was with some of the reproduction bb guns like the Walther Copy.  It was an $80 gun with magazines that cost a fair amount and eventually after not too much use it failed.
One day at Wally World I came across a Daisy 15xt on sale for $20 and tried it.
At the time it seemed like a winner compared to what I had tried.  I went through almost half a dozen of these as they eventually failed usually due to gas leak problems.  With a 15 round capacity it gave you as many trigger pulls as your average 9mm full size pistol.  I averaged almost 100 rounds per Co2 though the last 15 rounds had to be fired at close range to the target.  It also fit in a number of holsters that I already had including the HKP30 Serpa.  It didn’t fit perfectly but it did work.  I even started using this gun to dry fire to avoid so much wear and tear on my real handguns.
One problem with the 15xt was that the trigger pull was stiff and the edges of the trigger were sharp so blisters became a problem.  I think daisy has phased out this model in favor of a newer one with some of the issues resolved.
The new Daisy Power Line 415 is a winner.  It fits an HKP30 holster perfectly and locks into a Serpa.  It has an upgraded capacity of 21 rounds.  The trigger is smooth and relatively light.  The sights have been changed on the front to fiber optic so it is easier to see.  I get around 100+ shots per Co2.

You can find the Daisy Power Line 415  BB pistols Online for less than $35 at this time. 
Be advised that eventually these guns do fail.  Either something will break or more likely you’ll get a Co2 leak.  Daisy has sent me extra seals when requested but sometimes the problem is the plunger that punctures the Co2 gets dull or bent and it can’t be fixed unless you’re a good mechanic or are willing to send it back to Daisy.  I have a stack of both the 15XT and the 415 that have failed, but in general I get many thousands of rounds through them before failure.  When that happens I just order another.    Maybe someday I’ll get around to repairing them.
In the last few years I went through 60,000 rounds using this approach at a cost of $100 ($10 per 6,000 rounds) for the BBs and $270 ($18 per 40) for 600 Co2 cartridges.  This is a total cost for BBs and Co2 cartridges of $370 plus six BB pistols as they failed.  Combined cost is around $600.
Compare that to firing a .22 nowadays at 10 cents per round.  Cost of 60k rounds is $6,000.
Shooting 9mm  at 20 cents per round for 60k rounds.  Cost $12,000.
Do you see the logic here.
Here are the advantages. 
One tenth the cost of shooting .22 ammo and one twentieth the cost of 9mm.
Draw and fire training.  Presentation etc.
Moving and firing that is much safer but realistic enough.
If you want to master the movements this is an inexpensive way to go.
In addition to all of that you have a cheap way to plink and have fun.
(Warning:  Always wear eye protection when shooting bb guns as well as firearms.  As for targets, if you use metal targets make sure that they are located in a safe area with enough distance to take into account ricochets.)

Practice Sessions

So here is the setup for easy loading so that when the bbs drop past the feeding hole on the pistol they are simply caught in the plastic tub.   A plastic container such as this old tennis ball can is better than the one the bbs come in.  You can pour them easily into your hand and when you accumulate enough in the tub it’s easy pour back in the can.

Have a tube of pellet gun oil to rub a dab at the top of every Co2 cartridge before you install it in the pistol.  It punctures easier, protects the gasket, and is easier to remove the Co2 when empty.

Notice the eye-guards.  Wear them every time you shoot.

I practice with two pistols and have two holsters on the same belt.  One at 3 O’clock and one at 5 O’clock.  You have more practice shots and train for draw and presentation from both locations.

4 Co2s will get you at least 400 shots, 400 trigger pulls.
Do that a few times a week and you’ll see incredible improvement in your shooting skills.

Happy shooting.

Concealed Carry Issues

Getting the right holster is the answer for concealed carry or even open carry. I’ve found the old tried and true leather holsters are still the best. Anyone that has owned and carried handguns for a long period of time has a collection.

1. Buy one fitted for the gun you intend to carry.

2. Stay away from nylon

3. No fancy mechanisms. I had trouble with one that requires tilting the weapon a certain way to extract it. Something like that is lousy under pressure. Release buttons jam too.

4. Pay top dollar and get the best you can afford and only buy once. If you buy cheap ones you’ll have to replace them anyway and end up spending the same.

This one is one of the best articles I’ve read on holsters.
http://www.shootingtimes.com/2011/01/03/handgun_reviews_carry_100307/