The early 1990s doesn’t seem that long ago, at least for those of us that are a bit longer in the tooth. I entered the police academy in the winter of ’91. When we went through our defensive tactics to include weapon-retention training, we had two choices: use a plastic dummy gun or our genuine firearms, twice checked to ensure they were unloaded. For force-on-force scenarios, we went through the motions, but didn’t have any training guns that fired non-lethal projectiles.
Jump forward to the year 2007 and you would be hard pressed to find a duty pistol that does not have an airsoft training replica. In the past, one issue with replicas has been that most of the companies were overseas and merely had distributorships here in the United States. If you had customer service questions or problems with a product, you were out of luck. All this is changing now that stateside companies are importing airsoft replicas and staking their reputations on their quality.