Spring-piston air pistols for firearms practice?
I've been doing some research on air pistols, trying to find a way to do some affordable practice shooting. It seems to be universally agreed that the various types of pneumatic pistols (single-stroke, pump and CO2) are easier to shoot accurately as they have practically no recoil.
Spring-piston pistols are more difficult to shoot, as the spring assembly and piston start the gun recoiling before the pellet starts to move down the barrel. They have been likened to a flintlock rifle, in that it's very easy to let the gun start moving before the projectile leaves the barrel (with predictable effects on accuracy). They are also said to be very hold sensitive, with any slight changes in how you hold the grip affecting the point of impact. In as much as all this would teach consistency and follow-through, it's not necessarily a bad thing for training.
However, it also seems that Springers require a completely different technique than regular firearms. Apparently, gripping them tightly usually makes them less accurate (possibly it messes with the harmonics of the spring or something?) and holding them loosely make them more accurate. The description of the preferred hold for Springers that I'm reading is to support the pistol's weight with your weak hand and grip the pistol very lightly with your strong hand. Now, I've never shot a Springer, but the reviews I've found online make it sound like you're supposed to deliberately limp-wrist them and/or hold them loosely enough to mess with the grip safety of a 1911. This would not be a habit and muscle memory that I would want to carry over to shooting a real 1911!
So, I've heard some people say that Springers are excellent practice guns, and that if you can master a Springer, you can shoot anything! But the description of how to properly shoot a Springer sounds like it would teach you bad habits that you wouldn't want to carry over to regular pistols. So, are they good training pistols or not?
btw - To start out with air pistols, I've just gotten a pneumatic (one piece of advice I came across was to start with a pneumatic and then move on to a Springer after you've mastered the pneumatic first). But I'm still trying to figure out the whole Springer thing, and wondering if I should get one in addition to the pneumatic? Yeah, I know... more guns is always better. But decent air pistols cost as much as decent 22's, and I started this because I couldn't afford to buy ammo!