Gun vs. Gun Training Rifles – Umarex’s T4E AR-15 Shoots Paintballs–SHOT Show 2015

The T4E carbine.

The T4E carbine.

Umarex is a company known for their air guns. But that’s about to change. They’ve redesigned force-on-force training, and are about to give the most popular man-marking rounds a run for their money. I got an advanced look at these at the factory back in October, and they’ve made some upgrades since then.

The basic concept is easy to understand. They’re really big BB guns. The T4E (Training for Engagement) guns have been around for a while, but these carbines are taking it to the next level. They shoot .43 caliber balls. Paint balls, dust marking balls, or rubber balls. The rubber ones can be reused, and (I know because I pulled the trigger on one of the working prototypes) they thump. I wouldn’t stand still and let someone shoot me with one. But I can’t wait to try them out in actual training.

The brains of these things are in the magazine. CO2 powered mags hold everything the gun needs to run, so it functions more like a real carbine. The guns are really close to the weight of their doppelgangers.

This has the potential to change just about everything we now accept about force on force training. I was listening to the way some people were talking at the show, and several departments had figured out that unit costs, maintenance, and ammo were surprisingly low. Some departments could afford to buy everything needed and still be under their annual Simunitions ammo budget. Guns, ammo, and parts for what you are currently spending on ammo? How fast can Umarex make these things? I bet they’re about to find out. As soon as we get firm pricing, we’ll let you know.

I’m headed home to Fort Smith, where Umarex’s stateside operations are headquartered. I’ll have a couple of them to work with soon, and we’ll see how well they stand up to the abuse.

A look at the top of the magazine, where air and rounds enter the gun.

A look at the top of the magazine, where air and rounds enter the gun.

The gun comes in a handy padded case.

The gun comes in a handy padded case.

The blue magazines won't accept live ammo.

The blue magazines won’t accept live ammo.

The bolt.

The bolt.

Functionally correct, as long as you train with this model.

Functionally correct, as long as you train with this model.

Blue furniture helps identify the training guns.

Blue furniture helps identify the training guns.

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{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Alyssa December 23, 2015, 6:13 pm

    It is good to read about the upgrades made by Umarex company in their products. No doubt force on force training can be made much better with their newly developed guns. Moreover their costs are low so they will be available for low prices that will be a great relief for many people. Yes there must be some drawbacks but they can eventually make their guns better and useful with more advanced features.

  • Buck May 21, 2015, 10:15 am

    Any update on your T&E of these?
    FoF training “connects the dots” from live fire and tactics. Making decisions, teamwork, functioning under stress…all change when the target is launching things at you.

  • Bruce January 29, 2015, 3:25 pm

    Agrees with Duane, if there ain no bang and no recoil what sorta training is that??? Might as well practice throwin crab apples at target! It’ll give you much more combat readiness n stuff!

    • Carter January 29, 2015, 5:47 pm

      Seriously? These are for force on force training, as stated in the article. If you did force on force training with live ammo, your department would be understaffed in a hurry. Live fire is for targets, paint balls are for living, breathing, running, hiding, shooting adversaries.

      You can spend all the time at the range you want. Until you practice shooting a guy coming trough a doorway before he gets a round off first, you are under-trained.

    • Kyle January 29, 2015, 6:01 pm

      I cant tell if your being satire or not, but FoF is completely different training. Engaging an actual person(or simulating it) and being engaged by them is a very useful tool. Live fire has its purpose as well but we can already safely do that. But I doubt were ever going to be able to combine FoF and Live fire safely.

  • Duane January 29, 2015, 2:00 pm

    No recoil, no bang. Not even close to live fire training.

    • Kyle January 29, 2015, 5:56 pm

      I didnt read anything in the article about Live Fire Training. Just a whole bunch of force on force applications. FoF is less about live fire experience and more about getting realistic feed back on TLP’s. When I first got into Ranger Regiment we used to clear rooms/compounds fast and furious. After we started using UTM rounds (another FoF sim round) in trainng scenarios we got a lot better feed back from our targets. Many units run drills where they fight paper targets and the only feed back is how well they put holes in the paper. Simulating actually being pinned down, or having to clear a room with a barracaded shooter thats actually shooting at you makes you realize that just getting through the door faster, or simply taking cover isnt as effective as its written in training doctrine. I get the need for actually shooting live rounds and the difference it is between sim rounds or blanks, but unless theres some serious advancement in ballistics technology. Theres no way to safley practice FoF and live fire exercises. Different tools for different jobs.

  • Russ January 29, 2015, 11:57 am

    Love the UN colors!
    The French should be armed with these for their Keystone Cops.

  • "Monkey" January 29, 2015, 11:08 am

    I play Mag Fed paintball and at this time the mag fed marker options are very limited. There are really only a couple of markers that are reliable.
    Umarex makes some great Airsoft products and I hope this means they will be moving into the paintball market as well, would love to see some more variety when it comes to mag fed paintball.
    On a side note I am wondering if the T4E is built using an Airsoft M4, if so, would it be possible to swap the internals with any airsoft gun that can take the mags like the Umarex HK416 or SCAR?

  • Brandon Groff January 29, 2015, 9:29 am

    Sounds very nice for training. It takes me back when I was a teen playing paintball with my friends. Would a approved citizen be able to purchase one for home self-defense?

    • Louis January 29, 2015, 12:43 pm

      What is an “approved” citizen?

      • Josh January 29, 2015, 4:01 pm

        Approved citizen my guess would be some one that is a registered democrat with a personal reaction ship to Obama to get a waver to all laws that the rest of us have to follow. I am guessing the poster above would probably define it as a former police officer of some sort.

        • Joseph Daniel Garrigan May 4, 2017, 8:38 am

          So thats where all the tin foil went.

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