ASP HK416 Enhanced Red Gun
By: Fifty Shades of FDE
Over my entire career in Law Enforcement, dating way back to when I was a teenager Police Explorer, I have been using ASP Red Guns for training. ASP is best known for their impact weapons, particularly with expandable batons as well as other law enforcement related gear. Red Guns are essential for safe training events where using live weapons is unnecessary and or too dangerous to have in certain environments.
ASP Red Guns are most common in the form of handguns and pistols. They do, however make long gun versions as well. The new Enhanced Red Guns are a new and improved offering from ASP that features a functional magazine well and magazine release button. The model I received is molded from the Heckler and Koch HK416 with a 16″ barrel. It has an additional feature with removable rails in the foreend, a flat top upper receiver and a front optional sling mount. It comes with two inert red magazines modeled after the Hex mags.
Since the HK416 closely resembles that of the AR-15 Platform, with only minor differences in certain areas, ergonomically they are close enough as a training tool to represent the AR-15 in that role. 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.
Red Guns in the long gun form are useful for initial movement drills for active shooter or CQB training events where everyone can focus on moving safely with inert training tools. There is absolutely no mistaking a Red Gun as a training tool whereas blue masking tape on a barrel and magazines may not be seen in certain lighting conditions. While those in the early stages of training can get used to the movement in tight, dynamic drills, the Red Guns can take the beatings from hitting door jams, walls and other obstacles and saving the live firearm from unnecessary abuse, not that they can’t handle the abuse, but why expose them to it when live fire or simulations aren’t in play?
Weapon retention drills also are just as important with a rifle as they are with a pistol. Like their pistol counterparts, it isn’t practiced much and probably less by a long shot in comparison. The Red Gun will be much more forgiving than a full weighted rifle if there is any accidental contact during a drill, reducing and minimizing injuries if that happens.
With the HK416 Enhanced Red Gun, I was able to practice my emergency and tactical reloads in my living room with full confidence that I will not have any chance of a negligent discharge as there is no possibility of clambering a round in a mostly solid piece of polymer.
Since the Enhanced version has the capability of inserting and dumping a magazine, it can be an effective tool in teaching a total newcomer with the AR-15 Platform on how to safely handle and load and unload it before moving onto a empty live firearm.
There is an option for a collapsible stock on other Red Gun M4A1 and I wish the HK416 Enhanced Red Gun had one since I have short arms and an adjustable length of pull would be appreciated but I understand that it increases the cost of the Red Gun.
Overall, the quality, fit and finsh of the sample ASP HK416 Enhanced Red Gun is excellent. The addition of the magazine drop feature as well as the rails puts it on another level when compared to the previous Red Guns. It gives the end user more ways to practice safely than before. Red Guns are the best tool to stand in place of real firearms in the training environment where sims or live fire is not needed. ASP did a great job in improving upon their line of Red Guns to make them even more versatile and practical.
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