In police training we use real guns on the target range. When we are in close-quarter situations learning about making entry into buildings or working in special tactics situations, we use Airsoft guns that are built to look like the real thing. We buy from an Airsoft shop that provides guns that look pretty much exactly like their real counterparts. In the UK you can get them for this type of service. You can get them if you are a registered Airsofter too. Otherwise, you have to get ones that are coloured brightly.
When we are in training, there is a weapons officer that makes sure that no one has any real weapons or live ammunition on them. All of it is training dummies and the realistic Airsoft guns from the Airsoft shop we get them from. Of course, we are using modern weapons in our training, but I find it interesting that Airsoft makes a lot of historical replicas too. They all look so real. The realism is why you need to be registered or authorized to own them. You would not want law enforcement thinking you were going about with the real thing.
The realism helps with the training. The officers get to know what it feels like to have a weapon pointed at them and be expected to take action in a split second. Some of the men and women say they actually have dreams about the adrenaline moments of the training and can vividly see those realistic Airsoft guns pointing at them. This is what we are trying to accomplish. We want them to respond appropriately to the stress but have the incidents seem as realistic as possible. I have compared Airsoft with the real guns we have in the armory. The level of detail in accuracy is quite remarkable.