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.

Join the Mad Duo on Facebook , read their tactical gear observatations on Kit Up!  and watch Under the Radar for more compelling op-ed and insightfully insightful insight.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Gary Pursell October 31, 2011 at 4:49 am

I read kit up!!

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Jeff Benjamin October 31, 2011 at 4:52 am

I read Kit up!!

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Go Navy! October 31, 2011 at 5:04 am

I believe you have to go to CTA's website to enter for the contest. Not just make comments here. I hope CTA's training firearms will be more durable than the ASP's. We had a few of ASPs (M9, M16s ) and basically the broke like the trigger guards.

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Brandon Webb October 31, 2011 at 6:00 am

Go Navy! Yes…go to their website and enter with "I read Kit Up"…thanks for point this out.

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Hammer27 October 31, 2011 at 5:07 am

High speed rubber ducky

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Curtis R October 31, 2011 at 5:48 am

I really think giving the fake weapon to the public is just asking for bank robberies and assaults to happen. Put this back in the training section of military and not in SEARS catalog

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Hammer27 October 31, 2011 at 6:07 am

This is entirely illogical. People can buy real weapons, who cares if they can have a fake one?

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Jake October 31, 2011 at 8:04 am

All this for an airsoft gun that doesn't work?

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Go Navy! October 31, 2011 at 8:31 am

I would love to see how durable this M4 training tool is in comparison to airsoft. Airsoft does make some good training tools. Unfortunately, some of the more realistic airsofts can cost $300 or more…. And the normal Walmart ones aren't as durable and prone to breaking. It's a trade off I guess.

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Hammer27 October 31, 2011 at 8:42 am

Again, this is a high speed rubber ducky. Please show me an airsoft gun that you can dive, jump, and generally abuse for years. We used this extensively for training in CQB and EPW control. Why? Because when you're throwing weapons to the ground, kicking them out of someone's hand, and generally treating them like someone else's sh*t (which they will be downrange) you don't want to be using Uncle Sam's rifle and sure don't want something that is expensive or can break.

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Go Navy! October 31, 2011 at 9:00 am

I totally agree with you. If you are doing extensive CQB work then airsoft is not it. It wil just shatter on the ground. I think airsoft can work on some basic fundamentals. You have to look at cost and what type of training you are performing. So I wonder how durable this new CTA STANAG M4 is?

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CTA October 31, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Go Navy!

Our M4-A2 is made from from some very, very tough urethane. It has a full length solid steel barrel with a threaded flash suppressor. Weighs in at a stout 8 pounds. The stock is molded either long or short, and sells for $189. Cheaper than most airsoft guns, and i would throw this training aid from any vehicle or building and be confident it will not break. If you can bend a 34 inch by 3/4 round solid steel rod, you might be able to bend this gun. This is the real deal when it comes to cqc and bt. Ruck all day with this aid and you will be praying for the competitors.

Thanks for checking us out. Check out our FaceBook page too.

CTA

CTA October 31, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Hammer27, we may decide to use the above comment (with your permission of course) in some of our marketing materials- short, sweet and directly to the point! Nicely put.

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Hammer27 November 1, 2011 at 6:07 am

No problem

Jake November 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm

re:Hammer27 –

Are you serious? At no point in my service did we have problems scrounging up some old CAR-15s or M16A1s for use as training aids, there is no need to go out and buy an expensive toy when there is tons of surplus for a competent supply master to find.

I assume that since SF are so used to throwing away money that this is right up the market for the pampered bunch.

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Go Navy! October 31, 2011 at 8:29 am

They can just get an airsoft pistol and spray paint the barrel plug from orange to black…same effect and it's cheaper. This CTA is a training tool and I don't classify this as a weapon other than if you are going to beat someone with it.

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Weisman October 31, 2011 at 9:19 am

It's a Veteran owned company manufacturing well made replica tools, and IMHO much better then the M16A2 rubber ducks used right now. After the dry runs you move into simunition, then live fire. No one want's to see real weapons used in PT, or on ruck runs around post either.

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Skinny October 31, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Anyone else having problems with the link in the article?

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SGT ROBERT A DE SAND April 18, 2012 at 8:59 am

PLEASE LET ME WIN ONE I HAVE NEVER WON ANYTHING IN MY LIFE.IT WOULD BE GOOD TO IT AND I WILL BE ABLE TO COMPETE MORE I AM A WOUNDED WARRIOR AND HAVE THE VA'S BLESSING TO OWN AND POSSESS RIFLES AND PISTOLS.I LIVE IN UPSTATS NY

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Go Navy! November 1, 2011 at 3:14 am

CTA: Thanks for the very detailed information. I will definitely check it out. We had used ASP training guns before but the trigger guard seems to always break on them and airsoft is definitely not durable enough to be dropped or kicked out of someone's hand. The price range is what you would normally expect for this type of training tool. Thanks again for quick response.

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