Friday, October 22, 2004

General FAQ about Airsoft

Whoah, here's more info from they have a pretty good website, although it's not the biggest:

What is airsoft?
Airsoft is a wargame much like paintball. The idea of both of them is to shoot the opponent with your gun. Airsoft includes a lot more military simulation (Milsim) in part because all airsoft guns are replicas of real firearms. Airsoft shoots 6mm plastic pellets, which are safe as long as you cover your face properly. Paintballs are available, but not used much for a few reasons. Airsoft also is the only gun type which includes the hop-up system.
Miltary simulation is when you are simulating common, or past military situations. Very popular ones are hostage rescue, downed pilot, disarm a bomb, and reenactments of real battles such as D-day. Included in the military simulation is the gear. Since it is easy and relatively cheap to buy the exact same gear real soldiers use, teams can really get themselves looking like a Delta Force, Navy Seal, or paratrooper squad. You can see some good examples of this in the video and picture archives. All of this really adds to the cool factor. With the real looking gear, real looking guns, the realistic skirmishes, changing of magazines, machine guns, and anything else you can imagine.

Picture of team wasp, example of how real these teams lookThe pellets or BB's are 6mm and plastic. The average price is $15 for about 3500 BB's of the highest quality at the .20g weight. The plastic BB's in stock guns won't break most things either. Most will bounce off windows, and cups and such, but I have seen things broken so its not worth testing. Weak guns such as the mini electrics can be used in and around the house with no problems besides the mess they leave behind. These BB's will not penetrate paintball masks (none that I've seen at least) and thats what I reccomend using. Some people who only wear goggles, or glasses have the problem of chipping teeth. It is very possible and does happen. 6mm paintballs are available but are not used all that much. For one reason airsoft guns have Hop-up, which is a bump in the top of the barrel, giving the BB spin so that it will travel farther. More on that later. Anyway the paintballs tend to break on that bump, causing a lot of trouble. An additional problem with paintballs is that they don't always break, and they have to hit something solid. Then there is the price issue. Airsoft pellets are extremely cheap compared to paintballs. You can get them in packs of 200 paintballs for $4-7. A big difference from 3500 for $15.Back to Top
Well, if CQB is more your style, then you can look like the real CQB guys.

How do you play?
So how do you play the game of airsoft? Well there are many variations, really an unlimited amount, or ways you can play. Most ways depend on three things, who you have to play with, where you have to play, and what guns you have to play with. Most of how to deal with what you have to play with will be covered in the scenarios section, here I'll just discuss the basics.
So when your ready to play, and you have everyone, you first create an objective. Common objectives are capture the flag, kill the entire opposing team, and rescue the hostage. Again, these objectives will be discussed in detail in the scenario's section. So now that you have an objective, you can divide up into teams, and begin going after your designated objective. You also want to make sure everyone is geared up properly with eye protection, as well as face protection.
Included in the objective making decision, you would also want to decide what it takes to be "out" and when you are back into the game. Most people do one hit and your out, and you can't come back until the objective for one of the teams is completed. Some people however complicate things, and make it two or three hits kill, and some even make them depend on location. For example, one head shot, one chest shot, or two limb shots and your out. You can also designate a respawn area, a place you have to go to, to come back into the game. The idea of this is so you completely leave the fighting, and then reach a certain point and then come back. This allows for people to remain playing, but at the same makes getting hit a big disadvantage. Making a close respawn would result in people doing daring things, and not caring about getting hit. This can be okay for awhile, especially when your new to airsoft, but not for long.
Okay, now the teams are out to seek their objectives, and fire fights break out, and eventually someone will get hit. Now here's the big concern of airsoft, how do I know when someone is hit? Well there are three ways, and most of the time all three are obvious, but it can vary. The first way is the shooter can see it. It is very easy to follow where your shots are going with the white BB's, and you can even see them hit the opponent and fall to the ground. The second thing is the opponent will feel it. Yes they will hurt sometimes, but it all depends on location. If it hits a part of your clothing that is tight with your skin, they can sting pretty bad. A lot of the times though it will hit a baggy part of your clothes and you'll barely be able to feel it. The third thing is the load "POP" made when ever someone is hit. Its quite obvious, it can be heard from long distances in the heavy firing. So after getting hit, you can proceed with what your supposed to do, either leave to game or go to a respawn location.
Here is a nice guy, correctly, and honestly calling his hits
A large concern in this sport is that it runs on the honor system. It works amazingly well, and most people will call their hits, and usually no problems occur. A big reason to that is that airsoft organizations will kick out cheaters, and not let them play. So the reasonable airsofters always give the enemy the benefit of the doubt, just so things continue to go smoothly. If you would like more information, try to talk to someone in a chat or forum, that can answer your questions about the sport. Just make sure this is never the reason that you don't play. Paintball and Airsoft will discuss the situation between the sports and that could also help answer questions.

What do I need?
Well it all depends on which route you choose to take. There are an infinite amount of routes, but the most common, is to buy cheap spring weapons as newbies, and then slowly upgrade in price and quality until you get to AEG's. Others will start somewhere in the middle ground, with either a good spring weapon, or decent gas gun. Some people actually start with the highest quality AEG's and weapons. This usually only occurs if someone is introduced to airsoft as AEG's and only AEG's. For example, someone takes a friend to an AEG skirmish. Well if that friend wants to play, he has to compete with the people he will be playing with, and he doesn't know too much of any other way besides AEG's, so AEG's is the route. The other way is if your used to using the cash, or don't mind it. The only reason newbies begin with springers, is because no one wants to put $300 into a uncommon sport, that they have no idea about, and might not even like.
Enough about all of that, here I will outline the different routes, and estimates of what you will NEED to play.
Route 1: you don't want to spend much at all, your completely new to the sport, and you want to skirmish.
Okay, to start off you have to make a decision between pistols, rifles, or mini electrics. I would reccomend rifles, they are more fun, due to their size, and they have the "cool" factor going. But the others are fine too, but all three are not perfect. If you want a rifle you are going to NEED the following: clothes (preferably camoflouged, and long sleeved if not too hot), a gun (duh), magazines (thats right plural, the only gun that you will only need one is the G3a3, the others you will need at least an extra mag unless you plan on packing a sidearm. One 20 round mag doesn't make a good skirmish, and I am unaware of any cheap spring gun holding more then 20 rounds), a mask (glasses at a bare minimum, never play without eye protection. A wire mask is a great solution, cheap, and they will never fog), ammo (.12 gram 6mm pellets are the size) and a place to play.
Pistols are more your style? Well thats good too, pistols also have the "cool" factor, but more as in a city based gun movie rather then any realistic military movies. Spring pistols range from $15 to $50. Some may say, "$15 is obviously the better decision." Well let me just say, you get what you pay for. The $50 pistol's will be made by Tokyo Marui (if they aren't don't buy it) and some will say that they are worth every penny. I don't think I can affect your decision, newbies are usually strict on their budget, which is understandable, and fine. So whichever you choose, you will need the following: Clothes (preferably camoflouged, and long sleeved if not too hot), gun (duh), ammo (.12 gram 6mm is the size), magazines (plural, you will never have a real skirmish without more then one, you can however plink around the house), mask (some people decide to be brave with little pistols, and go without eye protection. Not a good idea, at the very least wear glasses), and a place to play. Some may shudder at my absence of a holster... Well it is not NEEDED.
Mini electrics... Well, they are the bottom of the barrel in airsoft, but still are worth the money in many cases. Mini electrics coming in at $15 is not bad for full automatic, around and in the house plinking (not that I reccomend that sort of thing). Here is what you need: gun, ammo (.12 gram 6mm), and eye protection. You do not need any special clothes or anything more, they are very weak (but can damage your eyes) and there is no point in camoflouge since their accuracte range is probably 25ft maximum. Now if you were thinking of a EBB (electric blow back) pistol... well think again. Not worth the money. With a range maybe 10 ft, they are not worth the $35+ people try to charge for them.
Route 2: Willing to spend a fair amount for gas gun, or high quality springer.
This will be divided up into three sections, intro (this paragraph), springers, and gas guns. To introduce you to this section, I would assume, and hope your price range for a gun is somewhere in the $50 to $120 range. Anywhere in there will do. Some may be coming here thinking they can get a cheap AEG, well the answer is no. There are products that sell for these prices, but are of the poorest quality, and won't be worth more then $5. The most infamous is the Y&P FAMAS, and the entire company of Academy. I reccomend checking in with us at the message board before making any purchases.
So you want a spring gun? In this price range you will have the HFC spring rifles (M16's among others), the UHC super 9, and the Tokyo Marui's along with some side brands. Well the HFC spring rifles aren't too bad, but probably a bit overprices, the super 9 has two stories; some say its horrible, some say its awesome, and Tokyo Marui as always is near flawless in reputation. So what do you need? You will need magazines (plural!! No fun with one. Marui's however do hold more then most other guns, but still not enough), clothes (camoflouged prefered, and long sleeves if not too hot), mask (or at least some eye protection, unless you want to lose an eye), ammo (.20 gram 6mm for most in this category), and a SAFE place to play. Please don't terrorize the urban neighborhood you live in, or down the street. I'm serious, a lot of people have enough trouble keeping the sport legal in some areas.
Gas guns is more your style? That great! The great thing about GBB's (gas blow backs) is that if you buy one as a newbie, you will always have it as a sidearm if you upgrade to a AEG, or sniper rifle. In the range of $50 - 120 there are a lot of different kinds of gas guns, all of which will need the same to operate. Always keep in mind that a gas gun has expensive spare magazines, and if you plan on skirmishing with a gas gun alone extras would be a great help. If you plan on getting a machine pistol, then you definately need more mags. Nevermind that, here is what you need: Gun, ammo (.20 gram 6mm), mask, gas (most take green gas, there are other kinds for different guns), clothes (camo, and long sleeves would be nice), magazines (or clips if you prefer), and a place to play. Gas guns look and act very realistic, so a safe place to play can't be stressed enough. With a good GBB, no one will be able to know from a distance if its real or not. You can seriously get shot by a local person, or a police officer. You may laugh, but it can happen.
Route 3: Straight to the top with high quality
Veteran airsofters would call you the smart newbies, since people usually regret spending money on springers, after they get to AEGs. There is also the in this route high quality gas assault and sniper rifles. At this level there is also spring operated sniper rifles and shotguns. You will need the following if you want a spring or gas weapon: Gun, ammo (from .20 to .43 grams, all 6mm), gas (if applicable), spare magazines/shells, something to carry those spare mags, mask, clothes (camo or long sleeves if possible), and a place to play. PLEASE, don't run around the neighborhood weilding your rifle, or shotgun.
Now if you want a AEG you will need the following: Gun, ammo (.20 gram to .43 all 6mm), battery, charger, discharger (yes you NEED one, the gun can not completely drain the battery), spare magazines (you will go through magazines quickly, this is not needed for guns that come with hi-caps), mask, gun oil (keep it around to oil frequently), and a place to play. Don't go around with your assault rifle replica...
Hope this helped.
· What are skirmishes like?
Lets start off by stating the obvious... It will hurt to get hit by the pellets. Not bad, and sometimes not at all, it all depends on where it hits you, and what you're wearing. For example, if you get hit wearing a baggy sweatshirt, it won't hurt, but you will be able to feel getting hit. I'm going to go ahead and divde this up into three sections, spring weapons, gas weapons, and AEGs. I understand that there is a lot of overlap out there, but I trust you have the brain capability to figure it out yourself after reading this.
Spring Guns
The battles won't be anything like the movies... In most cases the battles will be pretty close quarters (due to lack of range), and will last awhile due to lack of accuracy. You can have hour long battles, where people just shoot hoping to get lucky. You also will have the problem, that if someone decides to make a run for it out in the open, there is a large chance you will not be able to hit them since you're rate of fire will be very slow, considering you have to cock the gun before every shot. It is kind of hard to pin someone down, but not impossible. You just have to have a good aim at the guy, with nothing in your way, and at a reasonably close distance. This may not sound very fun, but it's a blast. I loved playing with spring weapons! Long battles, very cheap, and they can get pretty intense. People usually underestimate how fast people can cock and shoot a spring gun.
Gas Weapons
Gas weapons are kind of hard to explain to you, since you can be using either a gas assault rifle, or a gas pistol. One thing about gas guns is they all have pretty good rate of fires, especially the full automatic guns. Gas battles all have fair range, and will hurt more then springers. Of course the changing of magazines is factored in a lot more, since there is no such thing as a gas gun hi-cap, and they shoot through them very quickly. This adds a interesting variable into the battle. Gun wise, this is probably the most realistic battle, with the sounds, the gas coming out of the barrels, and all the moving parts on the blow backs. That can be half the fun. Over time though this is pretty expensive and complicated with gas, ammo, and magazines to pay for.
Automatic Electric Guns
The majority of skirmishes out there occur with AEG's or automatic electric guns. They have a great rate of fire, from 600 rounds per minute (rpm's) to 1200 rpm's. You can really do some pinning down with those. There is also plenty of room for sniping, and surgically shooting with any AEG weapon. In these battles no one is ever safe, in a battle the guns sound almost silent from a fair distance, and since they are accurate and fast someone could completely waste you at any moment. AEG battles are fool of close calls, BB's bouncing everywhere, whissling by your head, and tons of close calls. They are very exciting, and with the right group are very much like real military operations in terms of looks.
This could be you...
Airsoft and Paintball
Since Airsoft and Paintball are very similar to one another, a lot of paintballers and airsofters have to make the decision between one or the other. Some like to do both, but thats not exactly a financially sound decision so I will help guide everyone out there to the correct decision. I purposefully say paintball and airsoft so it is not a war here, and rather a comparison.
Advantages of Paintball
Perhaps paintballs biggest advantage is that it is a larger sport, and easier to get into. You can go anywhere, even to walmart and get a paintball gun and paintballs. This makes it easier since you don't have to always buy online. However a lot of people do buy online due to convenience, price, and they can find their speciffic wants quickly. There are also more places around where you can play paintball, and get large groups together to play. This makes it more convenient for everyone since paintballers and places to play are scattered everywhere, you don't have to go far to find people or a place to play.
Paintball also has speciffic rules, which allow for easier competition play. The rules are that the paintball must burst on you and form a mark of a certain size so there is no confusions with this. They also play on set fields so that one team does not have an advantage over the other in tournament play. For the same reasons this makes paintball easier for leisurly play in terms of rules. If you don't see the mark, than they aren't hit, and when you get hit and the mark is made, your out. Plain and simple. So this shows the other advantage of the paintball... it makes marks on where it hits, so you know (in most cases) when the paintball hit your opponent.
Disadvantages of Paintball
The first disadvantage in a lot of airsofters opinions is the guns. Paintball guns do not look like real guns and have parts sticking off of it making it difficult to use as a real gun as well. This makes it difficult for any kind of military simulation since they don't look real, you can't operate them realistically, and there is no accessories, or things such as magazines that make it more realistic.
The price of paintball is another big disadvantage. Paintball is much more expensive than airsoft with the paintballs costing as much as 10 times more than airsoft pellets. (these are average prices of both top of the line BB's, and top of the line paintballs compared) Using paintballs constantly really builds up the price tag. Also the power source eats up even more of your money. Whether it be nitrogen or Co2, it is not reusable in anyway, and that would build up over awhile in price. The guns in comparison to airsoft are also very expensive... When comparing speed, and accuracy it is much cheaper to get a airsoft gun to shoot dead on accurate at a high fps and ROF than it is a paintball gun. This is in part due to the paintballs as ammo; they are larger, so there for requireing more force to get going fast, and harder to get accurate.
Advantages of Airsoft
Now airsoft first off is way cheaper than paintball. The highest quality BBs are sold between $12-15 for 3500-3750 BBs. Which is much cheaper than the highest quality paintballs. Airsoft guns are also cheaper when you compare the x amount of money, put in for x amount of performance for both airsoft and paintball.
Airsoft also is much more easier to use in Military Simulation since they look real and take realistic accessories. In airsoft you can get a airsoft gun which is used by world militaries, and get tactical gear similar to military operatives around the world to hold your magazines, or whatever else you need to complete your operation. Also in airsoft you can use your gun like in real steel (real guns) with similar gear (much higher in the cool factor).
Accessories are also made for airsoft weapons which also appear on real guns. Such accessories are M203 grenade launchers, flash lights, lasers, scopes, silencers, etc. Also accessories compatable with real guns, are compatable with airsoft guns. Some examptles are mounts, RIS unites, scopes, red dot sights, and parts. Magazines for airsoft are designed almost exactly like their real steel counterparts, and magazine changes just adds to the fun, the realism, and the 'cool' factor.
I would like to go into more detail concerning airsoft MilSim or Military simulation. It is much easier in airsoft since the guns are designed almost exactly like their real counterparts, which they are replicating, and the gear is also realistic and sometimes genuine! It is much easier to fit a role in airsoft since they have sniper rifles, assault rifles, sub machine guns, machine pistols, pistols, etc. which can make you a sniper, recon, or any other role you may choose. In airsoft there usually is some kind of military related objective. It is not simply kill the other team, but maybe take and hold a certain objective point, escort someone to an objective point, find a certain item, rescue a hostage, etc. Sometimes there will be big operation games, where there is a series of airsoft games in an overall large operation.
Yet another advantage of airsoft is the BB's. They make no mess and cause not trouble inside the guns. They won't burst on you, and usually never jam unless you get a bad BB, or are reusing BBs. Airsoft BB's allow you to play where ever you want without breaking anything, and leaving little trace of your playing. If you upgrade your gun, it is possible to break things, but for your average airsoft gun, they won't break much at combat ranges.
Feel free to vist the Video Archive we have here, and the Picture Archive to see more details on how airsoft is played.
Disadvantages of Airsoft
First off it is a growing sport, but is not present everywhere. So you have to find a organization in your area who you can play with, or get your friends into it and slowy make your own group to play with. You would be surprised, even if you have never heard of this sport, I would bet there are airsoft organizations in your state. Searching the web, and forums is a good way to find such organizations or teams.
The next disadvantage (which is only a disadvantage to some) is that the sport is based on the honor system. If you get hit you are expected to call you are hit. This usually is not a problem since cheaters are quickly kicked out of organizations, and getting hit is obvious.1.) you feel it, and it sometimes hurts2.) the guy shooting you sees the BB's hitting you, and will tell you that you are hit 3.) the BB's make distinctive sounds when hitting you.
So there is little to no problems with people calling hits at public airsoft events, most people have no problems with the rules, and everyone has a great time. If you want more information from those who play airsoft, just go to our Forums and ask the airsofters for yourself.
And also as a side note, cheating in paintball happens very often, it is in no way cheat proof. People tend to wipe the paint off of them quickly before anyone sees. Also since a lot of paintballers wear bright clothing similar to the color of the paintballs, it makes it easy for no one to notice the paint, if the paintball is the same color. In my personal experience, I know of more cheating in paintball than I have seen in airsoft.
Do they hurt? As much as paintballs?
Yes of course they can hurt, but no in most cases they will not hurt as much as paintballs. I personally think they are different kinds of pain as well. Airsoft guns shoot the small 6mm pellets, so if they hit baggy clothing, or layers of clothing, it most likely will not hurt at all. But you will feel it, and it will make a loud noise usualy. If you aren't wearing too many layers, it hits a spot where your clothes are tight to your body (such as the a$$, knees, thighs, back, etc. all depending on their position), or if it hits bare skin, they can hurt pretty bad. This is mainly AEGs, GBB's, and sniper rifles. Since snipers can have velocities up to 550 fps, they can cause quite a sting. And since AEGs can be upgraded quite high with full auto capabilities, they too cause quite a sting. For the most part though, Gas guns, spring guns, and stock AEGs will not hurt that bad, or won't hurt at all.
Paintballs will hurt almost everytime you are hit, since they have a much greater mass... so they have a bigger impact on loose and thick clothing, and still deliver a sting through those conditions. Also since they are larger, and heavier, they have more force upon impact, causing more pain.
Some newbies are scared of being hit by airsoft guns, and they really shouldn't be. Yes sometimes they will hurt, but most times they won't hurt more than a small pinch, or won't hurt at all. Full auto can be intimidating, but of course once you start playing, it won't be a big deal to you, and it will be so much fun you won't even feel the pain.

I hope that helps a little. there's a lot more about just specific information about airsoft. It's the weekend, I have nothing better to do.


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