The U.S. Coast Guard recently selected an airsoft pistol as its new training pistol.
The service will acquire the SIG AIR Pro Force P229 airsoft pistol -- a high-end airsoft pistol designed to be an exact replica in look, weight, balance and handling characteristics of the Coast Guard's Sig Sauer P229 service pistol, according to a Nov. 2 company news release.
The Coast Guard, which falls under the Department of Homeland Security, has long used the Sig P229 .40 caliber pistol as its duty sidearm.
The service is expected to join the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps in fielding the Army's new Modular Handgun System.
But the Coast Guard will use the SIG AIR Pro Force P229 for simulated training, according to the release. The Sig airsoft pistol uses a semi-automatic firing mode with a gas blowback to mimic traditional firearm shots with a functional slide lock. It has a muzzle velocity of 280 to 340 feet per second and a range of 50 to 80 feet, the release states.
"The SIG AIR Pro Force P229 airsoft pistol is engineered and manufactured to meet the SIG standards for precision, quality, accuracy and reliability," Joe Huston, vice president and general manager of SIG AIR, said in the release. "The SIG AIR Pro Force P229 airsoft pistol gives the U.S. Coast Guard's Cadets and Guardsmen the ability to practice gun handling, conduct target practice in various environments, and train in realistic force-on-force scenarios with a pistol that has the same look and feel of their issued P229 sidearm."
There was no mention how much the Coast Guard spent on the deal, but the contract was awarded to Tidewater Tactical in Virginia Beach, Virginia, through a small business set-aside, according to the release.
The SIG AIR Pro Force P229 airsoft pistol comes equipped with a SIG rail and one 25-round magazine. It will be available for commercial sale in 2019, the release adds.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.