By Charlie Lawson, Guest Contributor
I recently procured an Armament Systems & Procedures Red Gun from one of our writers to discuss for our blog.
Admittedly, I hadn’t used a training weapon like this since I was in the Marine Corps almost 20 years ago. When it comes to training, these newer Red Guns from ASP are far superior in quality and actual effectiveness with the functioning magazine release and drop-free magazines.
The ASP Beretta 92 Red Training Gun is identical to the real Beretta 92. Asp seems to have really thought it through when they considered what all is needed for training. Every safety, magazine release, and button that’s on the outside of the Beretta is on these red guns. That tells me that ASP considered what’s important in a quality training tool.
It’s easily identifiable as a Beretta, which is valuable from a training aspect, and they got the weight right. It feels like you have a loaded Beretta in your hands. I’ve trained with rubber/plastic guns before that were either way too heavy, or more often, felt like an empty squirt gun.
In the world where we all try to train like we fight, I think all of these details are important.
Training with the ASP Red Gun
The Beretta 92 red gun has the same tactile feel as the actual weapon. All of the details are there, including the magazine release, which I found extremely useful.
As an identical training tool, you’ve got a couple of different options to practice disarming a threat.
First, you identify the threat, and then you come up with solutions to that specific threat. You might behave differently if you saw a revolver versus something semi-automatic with a large magazine. If avoiding the threat isn’t possible, there are different aspects to training for and dealing with the threat.
For instance, in some training methods you try to render the bad guy’s gun useless without having complete control. This kind of training is helpful because you can actually practice little things like dropping the magazine, which severely changes the threat level of an armed combatant.
Or, you can learn just how difficult and futile it would be to attempt to disarm someone by wrenching a weapon from their hand. This is especially helpful for the uninitiated when it comes to training.
Overall I would say that as a training tool, this red gun serves best in a self defense/Martial arts training area. It may not allow you to become Steven Segall and disarm henchmen, but you can get a feel for what it would be like to attempt such a maneuver. If you never train for certain situations then your chances of failure are several times higher than someone with a small amount of exposure to one of these training tools.
The only real aspect of the training Red Gun I didn’t really understand was the covered back side of the trigger. There are methods of weapon disarming or neutralizing a firearm that the trigger area is extremely useful, but they have it covered it. I assume they did that to help identify it as a training tool, along with the obvious red color.
It would have been nice to see an operating safety lever as that is another way to practice rendering the weapon neutral, but that’s one of my few gripes with the red gun. We all hope we never have to attempt to disarm someone who is holding a firearm, it’s most likely a do or die situation.
With the ASP Red Gun you can safely and realistically train for the worst case scenario.
More ASP Enhanced Red Gun Reviews
Want to read more about ASP’s new red training guns? Here’s the roundup.
“ASP made sure it fits just right in holsters so there is no adjusting. You just drop the Red Gun into your carry holster and go back to training. They also were smart enough to make sure REAL mags don’t fit into the Red Gun and Red Gun mags don’t fit into your real Beretta. SMART!”
“…a true replica firearm will naturally inherit feature the same ergonomics and comfort of your personal weapon. Objects that are familiar in the hand during training will translate to how you use them in a real encounter. As I’ve done dry runs with the Red Gun M17, nothing about it felt cheap or weak in its overall design.”
“You don’t have to worry about damaging your real firearm during firearm retention drills or injuring yourself or your training partner with sharp metal parts of a real pistol. This type of training isn’t done enough, given how many officers are killed with their own firearms every year.”
“I was able to easily mount various red dot and holographic optics as well as a weapon-mounted light. While seemingly an insignificant feature at first glance, having the full use of the pic rails further immerses the user by giving them the option to mount the exact same accessories as they would in the field.”
“Any accessories that are normally used on an individual rifle can be added to these rails. Thus you can add your lights, lasers, red dots, scopes, etc. so your training can be as realistic as possible without endangering anyone.”
“I find that the HK416 Enhanced Red Gun is a huge improvement of what I trained with years ago where the M4A1 Redguns had fixed carry handles and no rails at the foreend. With a flat top and rails, you can attach an optic and weapon light or laser if desired. That just adds to more realism into the training session.”
“…the ASP Red Guns can be absolutely invaluable. An ASP Red Gun allows an instructor to utilize techniques in a crowded classroom without worrying about flagging students or displaying less than safe firearm handling in front of potential students. Students can see something like proper stance from all angles safely, including in front of the gun.”