With social distancing and shelter-in-place in full effect around the country, and ammo in short supply, getting to the range to keep your skills sharp has become increasingly difficult lately. But Walther Arms, through their airsoft and BB gun division, has devised a way for you to continue honing your CCW pistol skills without having leave your house.
The CQT (Corona Quarantine Training) kit includes an officially licensed gas blowback airsoft pistol, spare magazine, bottle of 2700 6mm plastic BBs and a can of airsoft “green gas” which provides more than enough fuel to fire all of the aforementioned 2700 shots. Both PPQ and PPS pistols are available in the CQT kit configuration.
As training aids go, this is a pretty close approximation to repeatable live fire for the cost. At $169 for the training kit and $50 for the holster, it beats trying to buy 2700 rounds of 9mm in today’s COVID-panic climate.
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On their blog, Walther recommends using an empty pizza box to shoot at. We had a number of empty cardboard boxes already laying around and repurposed one of them. It took us a little trial and error to build the target out properly. First we tried using an empty box by itself, and found that, from 5-7 yards away, the pellets would go through the back of the box and off into oblivion. There are a couple of things you can do to get around this. Walther recommends putting a towel inside the box to catch the pellets. We used an old blanket. Your mileage may vary, but you’ll need something soft inside to trap pellets. This will prevent damage to walls, injury to bystanders or pets and allows for easy re-use of the pellets between sessions.
Once you have your backstop/pellet trap built, you’ll want an actual target to train with. On their website, Walther offers a Coronavirus target you can download and print yourself.
We’ll talk more about this target and Walther’s CQT challenge below. But if this doesn’t suit your fancy, there are a number of other targets that are sized to print on 8.5 x 11 copy paper. We like the downloadable Handgun Combatives chest cavity target, which provides an anatomical sketch of the high thoracic cavity.
In addition to the trap and target, you’ll probably want a couple other pieces of equipment to optimize and properly structure your training. If you don’t already have a holster that will fit a PPQ pistol, Walther offers them through their webstore. The sample they sent us is a kydex IWB rig produced by LAG Tactical. It’s a standard open-top belt holster with adjustable retention. But any holster that will fit an actual PPQ should fit the airsoft clone as well. Same goes for mag pouches.
Finally, proper training requires standards of accuracy and time to gauge progress. Initially we pulled the Pocket Pro shot timer out of our range bag but ran into a snag. Blowback airsoft guns do produce a sound, but it’s not nearly as loud as an actual gunshot. We found that our shot timer, even with the microphone set to max sensitivity, would not register the airsoft “shots” during our first couple of practice reps. Fortunately, there are myriad shot timer apps available for download in both Apple and Android app stores. We went to our app store, searched “shot timer” and downloaded IPSC Shot Timer. Success! After playing with the onboard mic calibration feature, we were able to get our phone to register both shots and split times while using the airsoft PPQ pistol. We did still have some issues with the timer app while running fast-paced, multi-round strings. Primarily, it wouldn’t log out last round. So, for a five-round string, it was only counting the first four shots. Likewise for five, six or seven-round strings. After playing some more with the mic sensitivity and the echo delay, we got the problem pretty much fixed.
With the Walther CQT kit, a holster and a shot timer app, you can practice everything from concealed draws to movement to reloads, no face mask required. Want low light training? Draw your curtains and grab your handheld light, regardless of what time it is. Have a spouse or room mate that wants to train with you? Take turns setting up box trap targets in different rooms and clearing the house. Setting different lighting conditions in different rooms can force transition to and from a handheld light. The slide lever and mag release are positioned exactly where they’re supposed to be and function just like the “real steel” version. So some weapons manipulation drills will also be possible.
The Walther staff have created a social media challenge they’re calling the Corona Quarantine Challenge. Print out the Coronavirus target listed above and shoot it for yourself. The drill is five rounds from seven feet for time. They have a demo video of the challenge below:
If you decide to try it, make sure you hashtag #WaltherCQT on your Facebook or Instagram post and see where you stack up.
The movement restrictions and ammo shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have created some unique constraints on training. But with the Walther Corona Quarantine Training kit, you don’t have to take “no” for an answer when adapting your skill development plan to indoor life.
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