Combat Training Aids is a manufacturer of high end inert weapon systems for training. Yes, you could use Nerf guns with a cool paint job, and absolutely you should us marker rounds or higher velocity airsoft stuff for training, but sometimes you need something with a little more meat to it. Something that can take a beating while making the training iteration as realistic as possible. CTA is a relative newcomer in this market but they are fast developing an excellent reputation (and they're pretty good guys too, if you can get past the fact that they're from the Buckeye state). Their kit is perfect for weapon retention, dry runs, defensive tactics training and the like, and they're much safer to have around once the grunts start drinking games in the barracks.
In all seriousness, these are very accurate replicas. You can't ask for much better from an inert training aid. They're the correct size, shape and weight of the actual weapon system, which means you can put all the correct furniture on them to enhance realism (ACOGs, Grip-pods, whatever you would normally be running on your burner...even one of those little Glock pistol bayonets, though that might be defeating the purpose of an inert training aid...)
An excellent example of CTA’s attention to detail and, dare we say it, verisimilitude, is the M4-STANAG. It’s the correct size and weight, made from a very tough urethane overmolded a full-length steel barrel with a flash suppressor on the end (sorry boys, not an Effin-A or a BattleComp 2.0, but it’s still realistic). You can put a can on it, though (alliteration intended) if you want to run a suppressor for training. (If you want to look really cool, put a War Sport suppressor sock on there.) There are aluminum rails on the handguard and full length upper receiver, so you can throw your broomhandle and a weapon-light on there, mount your optic, put on a laser, whatever you’d normally carry. The stock is 5-position collapsible and the NATO STANAG 4694 accessory rails is fully compatible for all MIL-STD-1915 rails, mounts and assorted other furniture.
Check out the M4-STANAG from Combat Training Aids (FYI they're a service disabled veteran owned business). They have a full online catalog, but here's the coolest thing: for the next 72 hours you can enter a contest with CTA to win an M4A2 inert training weapon for yourself or your agency. To Enter: Click on this link (Combat Training Aids) and fill out an entry form and MAKE SURE YOU PUT I READ KIT UP! INTO THE CONTEST CODE BOX. At the bottom, where it has a content section, feel free to tell them the Mad Duo sent ya!
You have through the week to enter. Winners will be announced on Friday morning. Luck to ya.