Saturday, October 30, 2004
These replicas are commonly made entirely from plastic with only a few metal parts inside to increase the reliability and durability of moving parts. Construction quality varies wildly from model to model, as does the use of materials. For example, a Marui made MP5 replica has a well made, but creaky plastic body, where as the ICS MP5 has more detailed full-metal body parts installed and is a far more rigid overall structure. This makes the ICS a better and stronger replica, although it does cost slightly more.
Airsoft guns can be powered by electricity (from a battery pack inside the gun), by spring (the user manually compresses the spring before each shot) or using an expanding gas (refrigerant gas is commonly used from a reservoir either inside or outside the gun).
It is important to note that Airsoft replicas CANNOT in any way be converted to fire live ammunition! The only thing airsoft replicas have in common with real firearms is their external size and shape. Inside, these models have totally different workings to the internal mechanism of a firearm, and the materials used for construction could not possibly withstand the explosive forces of a bullet that real weapons are designed to take.
Below are diagrams of the shooting mechanism for an Airsoft AEG, and a real firearm. As you can see, the two bear no similarity and any attempted conversion from airsoft replica to real weapon, would result in throwing away every airsoft part.
Collectors enjoy airsoft because of the excellent level of realism in the replica models. Airsoft also represents the only available legal way that the general public can enjoy owning and using these small objects of desire.
Military fans enjoy airsoft because the replicas look identical to the guns used by Armed Forces.
Law Enforcement groups around the world now use airsoft replicas to improve their training scenarios. Airsoft provides them with a reliable weapon that is safe to use for training, while providing a level of realism not found using any other training device. The comparatively low cost of using Airsoft for training purposes also helps to ensure that the officers have as much training time as they need, without financial restraints kicking in.
Airsoft - the gameA new sport is rising throughout the UK, the US and Europe. Commonly known as 'Airsoft Skirmishing' or 'Airsoft Wargaming' and similar in essence to paintball, two or more teams are pitched against each other in a game of skill, speed, accuracy and tactics. Originally designed to simulate a war zone with far more realism than can be achieved with paintball, these games are played on privately owned and insured sites dotted around the country. Normal Airsoft replicas are used and strict safety limits are imposed in order to make sure that everyone has fun and no one gets injured.
A days play will usually cost you about £15 to £20 (about $25 to $40). This normally includes all games during the day and hire of eye & face protection. Some sites will even provide lunch. Airsoft Skirmishing is generally far cheaper than paintball. For example, 100 paintball shots will usually cost around £6 (approx US$10). 100 Airsoft shots costs about 15 pence (about 25c in the US). Put simply paintball ammunition is about 40 times more expensive than airsoft ammunition.
Airsoft games can have many scenarios that are unworkable in paintball, but there are some old favourites that bridge the gap. "Capture the flag", "hostage rescue" and "last man standing" are popular paintball games that have been adapted for airsoft, but as airsoft has more flexibility, games such as "Pistol duel", "Close Quarters Combat" and true 'Re-Gen' simulations (games where getting hit means that you are only considered 'out' for a few seconds before rejoining the action) become possible.
To play airsoft, you must be wearing the correct protective clothing. As with many other sports (fencing, motor-sport, horse racing, cricket, etc...) you're only safe if you are properly dressed. After all, you wouldn't expect to see Michael Schumacher getting in to his formula 1 racing car wearing his favourite t-shirt and no helmet! An Airsoft BB hit on bare skin will leave a small mark on the surface of the skin that will look and feel like a bee-sting. The more powerful the airsoft gun, the more it will hurt if you get hit, but with site energy limits in the UK being largely 1 Joule, there is no possibility of a BB causing a penetrative injury. With this in mind, airsofters wear eye & face protection, sturdy boots and tough clothing. For extra protection gloves and a scarf can be worn to give cover for your hands, neck and ears.
1. Models: Airsoft replicas are non-lethal "look-a-like" models of real life firearms. These toys project inert round plastic balls (referred to as BBs) at safe speeds. Airsoft models typically have muzzle energies of 0.2-0.8 Joule and are non-lethal. Airsoft models use 6mm BBs as consumables, however 8mm BBs are available but less popular.
2. Game/sport: Airsoft is also commonly used to describe a team based wargame/battle simulation game played using the models described in (1). The game is played in a series of game scenarios run in a similar style to those in paintball with opposing teams competing against each other. A player is considered "hit" and therefore out of play when a BB touches them when projected from an opponents Airsoft model. The winning team is normally either the one with players still in play, or the one which achieves the scenario's goal first.
1 Joule? Under United Kingdom (UK) law Airsoft models are non-lethal, anything that is considered lethal (i.e. over 1 Joule) is under UK law not "Airsoft". A replica or model from an Airsoft manufacturer over 1 Joule would be considered a lethal barrelled weapon from which a shot could be discharged, and therefore a Firearm - most likely to be classified as an Airgun.
Two classifications of model are available from the mainstream Japanese manufacturers, one is marked ASGK, the other JASG. Unmodified ASGK models should all be below 1 Joule in muzzle energy and should therefore be suitable for gaming use at any site in the UK. JASG models are more than likely over 1 Joule in energy and in the UK suitable for target use only - other countries may have different rules. Whilst this is not a definitive rule, it can be helpful in some circumstances.
Whilst low powered Airweapons may be legal to own, under certain restrictions, anything over 1 Joule in muzzle energy is unsuitable for use in a gaming environment in the UK.
Please remember that international laws differ from UK law.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
· What are the main ways of playing?
I would say there are three kinds of ways of playing:
CQB stands for close quarters battle, others prefer to call it CQC for close quarters combat. This is a very exciting, quick, and effective way of playing airsoft. Since CQB is usually played in relatively small areas, and indoors, you get to the heat of the battle very quickly. It is necessary to be carrying a smaller gun in CQB, so you can manuever in the small areas, and you have to be able to move your gun where necessary very quickly. The most popular guns for CQB are the MP5's.
The MP5a4 AEG
If you're the kind of guy who enjoys SWAT type simulations, and/or special forces making raids, etc. CQB is for you. There is a lot you can do with CQB, all kinds of realistic scenarios such as disarm the bomb, rescue the hostages, etc. The only difficulty is it is hard to find CQB arenas to play in, with out paying a signifficant amount of money to build, or acquire one. But you would be surprise how many lucky people are out there.
Probably the most common airsoft arena is the outdoors, and the woods. Very simple and efficient, it requires no money in most cases, and no work to get it set up, you just go out there and your set. The woodland provides only natural cover, which makes it fun, and adds a lot of strategy, since it is quite difficult to manuever close to the enemy with out being seen, or heard. The woods is also a favorite destination by snipers everywhere. It is where the ghille suits work, and where they can have the natural cover they are looking for. Snipers may also get a good distance away from the enemy, while keeping the ability to hit them.
Woodlands takes a lot more time for actual firing to start, but there is a lot more natural feel, and when the battles do get started, they are a blast. It is a lot better to hear pellets ripping through leaves and brush, then bouncing off a wall. You also can get dressed up in camoflouge, and get your face painted, etc. The woods allow for a lot more creativity, and realism if your going from a military standpoint. Not saying there isn't CQB in real wars, but when it is played in airsoft it more simulates SWAT teams then the army. But there is good special forces simulation in CQB. In the woods its you using your surroundings, and trying to out smart the enemy, all natural, and in some cases dozens of acres to spare.
Close Quarters, and woodland
I know it is kind of cheesy that the third way is the first two combined but what are you going to do. Prime examples of this are a CQB building surrounded by woods, or just open ground. A town, or village, with signifficant space in between buildings, or surrounded by open space. Or there is scattered bunkers in the woods, or open ground. The possibilities are infinite, but those are the most likely.
This is a example, you can see empty space at the end of the tunnel, and there is another building in the background.
· What kind of Scenarios are there?
Scenarios is what Airsoft is all about. You don't just get two teams together and shoot until everyone's dead (at least not most of the time) you make things a little more fun, complicated, and realistic by using a realistic scenario. Whether it be rescue the hostage, defuse the bomb, find the downed pilot, etc. they have scenarios, some more complicated than others. Here we will just give you some ideas for scenarios and it will be updated over time.
· Scenario: Assissination / Body Guard
Assissination / Body Guards
Team A: Has their team start on one end of the field, and wait there. They choose a speciffic guy, give him no weapons, or arm him lightly. He must stick out from the rest of the group in some way, and the other team must be told before hand who it's going to be.
They must transport this person from one end of the field to another, with out him getting killed. Everyone can get killed but him, but he has to make it to the pre-determined point.
Optional: If you have some kind of road/path on the playing field that goes pretty far, you can make a rule so that Team A can only stay on the determined path. This makes it so the other team has an idea of where they'll be which is quite common in real life situations. If someone was trying to be assassinated like in this scenario, the opposing force usually knows where the guy will be.
You also could make it so they have a couple different paths to choose from, to make it more difficult for the opposing force.
Team B: must set up somewhere between Team A's starting point, and objective point (place where specified person needs to get to). They will hide, camp, ambush, and do what ever they like when the enemy comes, they just need to take down the one guy. Everyone else they kill does not matter to the scenario, they can't win unless the one guy gets hit.
Both Teams: If you get hit by a BB from either team you are out and must get out of the battles way, and may in no way interfere with the game. You are out until the scenario is over. You may in no way act like you are dead, or alive if it is not true.
· Is there organized airsoft?
Yes. Airsoft can be just as organized, as any sport, depending on where you live. In places where airsoft is popular, you are likely to find many fields, and organizations where airsofters will get together and play, with numbers ranging from 10-200 people participating. More than likely there are places in your area where you can go, and play with a bunch of people, for a field fee, and they will divide up into teams, and play scenarios.
Most organizations for playing can be found online, and others can be found through talking to other people that play airsoft in your area. So that is probably the best way to find out about such games. So airsoft is very organized in most cases and areas. If you don't have any knowledge of airsoft in your area, then simply search for players in your area, and organize them yourself! With such a great sport, it shouldn't be too hard to convince people to play.
· Where should I not play?
The sport of airsoft is very sensitive, and is in danger due to people doing stupid things with these realistic looking gun replicas. That is why you must be very careful where you play this sport, and where you use/take these guns.
First off, NEVER aim or weild these guns at someone who doesn't know what they are (of course never aim at someone without a mask too). They don't know it is a fake gun, and they may react in a dangerous way to you, or others if they think the gun is real. Also never ever take the gun into public. You can get yourself killed by a police officer, you can get arrested, and you can get the sport of airsoft banned. No matter how cheap your airsoft gun is, or how unrealistic it is to you, someone not knowing much about guns, and from a distance may assume it real. Especially at these times in the world, with people worrying about terrorist, walking around with a realistic looking gun, is a VERY bad idea.
Okay, now your wondering where would be a safe place to play? Well first off, the best place is on a playing field, designed for airsoft or paintball, and you usually have to pay a small fee to get on the field. These are the safest, since everyone there knows what you are doing, you have full permission, and no one gets any surprises. Now a lot of people in the airsoft world like to play on private property since it is more convenient, cheaper, and maybe thats all they can play on. You have to be positive that you own the property or you have full permission of the owner to use it and they know you are there. If there is land by you where you assume no one is, don't just use it. This could cause several problems, such as if someone happens to be back there, it could be a place for hunters or something, etc. and this can lead to all sorts of legal problems, as well as life threatening situations. If you have a small yard that is surrounded by other houses, or with in plain view of a public road, you should not play there. Neighbors, people walking by, and people driving by may see you, causing obvious problems.
A few rules of thumb are that you have full permission to play at this place, anyone who can possibly see you knows you and exactly what you are doing, no one is with in range of being shot by the pellets, you have complete ownership of the land, or have full permission by who owns it.
You may think that I'm taking this too far, and jumping too far, but your wrong. These things have happened, and they can happen to you quite easily, and quickly. Plus, it is not worth risking yourself, others, and the sport of airsoft just for one place to play. There is always somewhere to play.
Monday, October 25, 2004
· What do you mean accessories?
Some newer members to airsoft don't really understand, or realize what is meant by accessories. Well most higher quality guns will have aftermarket parts for the external part of the gun, that help improve the gun's performance, looks, etc. There are all kinds of accessories for guns, going from as simple as extra magazines, to grenade launchers to mount to your rifle, or carbine.
The most common accessory is probably the want to improve aiming abilities. You can purchase lasers, flashlights, scopes, red dots, etc. to mount where appropriate on your gun. These can allow for close range quick aiming, long range magnification, and everywhere in between.
A lot of people like to add on parts to make their gun look better. Someone may get a silencer for looks alone, or to hide an extended barrel. To get more range on smaller barreled guns, you can purchase an after market barrel, and use a silencer to hide the section of the barrel, sticking out of the end of the gun. Silencers can silence the gun, but the difference is not all that much, and it can't make them "silent". Airsofters may get new flashhiders, handguards, stocks, grips etc. to give the gun a better feel, or just make it look better.
There are tons of accessories for every kind of gun. Whether it be a pistol, assault rifle, carbine, machine pistol, sniper rifle, or support weapon... there are accessories for all of them...
· What is a grenade launcher?
This is a common question for newbies, since the grenade launchers not only look so cool, but idea of an actual grenade launcher is pretty awesome in airsoft... But it does not launch anykind of grenade, but rather shoots out multiple BB's. There are a few different kinds... There are the gas powered ones that shoot more BB's, and then the spring powered ones made by Marui that act as a shotgun mounted underneath of your gun. They shoot three BB's per shot, and take Marui shot gun shells.
The main type is the M203 for the colt series, and there are others like the mosquito molds launcher, that will mount on any weaver rail, that you may have. The mosquito molds launcher will shoot the gas operated shells mentioned above. The gas M203's are made by Sun Project. These gas operated launchers take shells that can shoot up to 165 rounds, and shoot all the BB's at once. Pretty awesome, but it also is quite expensive. You can buy extra shells, as well as different size shells to shoot the massive amount of BB's.
Grenade launchers aren't the most popular thing around... They usually just serve as a gun mounted side arm, or something that can be useful on rare occasions. They are quite big, bulky and expensive, for the most part. The exception to that is the Mosquito Molds mini launcher which is smaller, but still expensive.
· How to mount things?
The most common method of mounting accessories on AEGs is the weaver rails. They are about 20mm across, and will commonly go by the simple name of weaver rails, or weaver type. Anything that mounts on weavers, usually can some how be put onto an airsoft gun. Almost every single airsoft gun, has weaver rails, and mounts that you can purchase and attach to your gun, very easily. some guns such as the M4 RIS, SR-16, MP5 RAS, SG 552, G36c, Ak spetsnaz, M4a1, and others already come with weaver rails to mount accessories. For guns that don't come with rails, it usually is only another $20 maximum to buy a mount to put on your gun. Some guns however don't have rail options available, but they are rail.
With these mounts all you need is rings, and you can mount a red dot or scope. You just need rings for the weaver base, and they need to be able to tighten around the scope or red dot, and secure it so it won't move. The size of the rings depend on the size of the scope, and they have to be able to slide onto the weaver mounts. With the right mounts it is quite easy to mount lasers, lights, battery boxs, vertical grips, grenade launchers, and more as long as you get the right mounts. Most airsoft stores will stock these type of products, especially the larger retailers, so these won't be too hard to find at airsoft stores, even if you have never heard of any of this.
To find retailers go to the Airsoft Core Links section.
Some guns have other methods of mounting things. With guns like the MP5's you can mount things to special handguards, like flashlights. Some lasers and flashlights mount to the end of the gun, and outer barrels. Pistols usually have accessories that will mount to the trigger guard, and allow for lasers.
These are the basic ways of mounting... there are others, but these are the mainstream ways.
Saturday, October 23, 2004
Anyway, i'll figure out what I need to do to have this more organized. too bad I can't create pages like on geocities or something like that.
Spring guns are guns that are operated by a spring, which is manually cocked by the person operating the gun. The think you pull back, would be the same thing that releases the dust cover on the real version of the gun. For example, the M16's are charged by the "T" charging handle, in the middle, on the top. On pistols, you pull back the top slide. If you aren't familiar with the termanology above then just make sure you understand that you pull back a lever, release it, then fire, then repeat the process for each shot.
Some may ask why all the work and the time? Well its very economically sound, you do not need any extra power source, such as a battery, gas, or CO2. It is also easy for manufacturers to develop, making it cheaper for you to buy. Another thing making them cheap is you use a lot less ammo since it takes awhile to shoot. With the cheaper spring guns, they use .12 gram BB's which are also cheaper.
There are however very nice, and expensive spring guns, that demonstrate excellent, range, and accuracy. Examples are Tokyo Marui spring guns, as well as some spring sniper rifles. So when someone says spring gun, don't assume they are refering to a "cheap" gun. For the most part though spring guns, are of less quality then the more expensive guns.
Why are they called spring guns? Well when you pull back you are cocking a spring. Pulling the trigger, releases the spring into a chamber, which pushes air out a little hole. At the end of that little hole is the BB, and the BB is forced out the barrel. This is a very basic spring gun construction.
· How do they operate?
Well if you read above you already know. I'll detail fully below:
1. You cock the gun using the charging lever, handle, or slide. This cocks the spring inside the gun back.
2. Pull the trigger. This releases that spring.
3. The spring goes into a chamber, and forces the air in the chamber out a small hole.
4. At the end of the hole is the BB, and it is forced down the barrel.
5. You must repeat this process for every shot.
If you want to know how the magazines work, its rather simple. There is a think single file line on the end of the magazines, there is a spring inside. You pull down the spring, and pour BB's in side. Release the spring, and the spring will provide the pressure to push the BB's up into the gun. There are exceptions, but they are all pretty simple...
· How much fun are they to play with?
This does depend on a couple of factors, but overall, yes. You will have a great time having springer battles, they are simple, cheap, and long. The exceptions to this are people who have spring guns that is not a sniper rifle, and are facing AEGs. That will not be fun, you will have minimal success and a lot of welts. If you are used to rapid fire, in either airsoft or paintball, you may be a bit disappointed, but you can still have a good time.
I remember the good old springer days, you just load up your magazines, put them in the gun, and you go out in the woods, and have battles that could last for hours. Partly because you can't really pin someone down, and because they aren't the most accurate of guns. Battles are still a blast... The only problem is if where you play is spread out, you can not shoot too far, so its no fun to play at long distances. My favorite time to play was night, it opened up the hiding places to an extreme, and made everything more exciting.
If this will be your first military simulation game, and you are playing against other spring guns, you will have a blast. They will be fun, and they will be exciting.
· Can you upgrade them?
In short, the answer is no, you can not use any traditional upgrades on a springer. When saying springer I mean the cheaper side spring operated airsoft guns. This does not include sniper rifles, since they can be upgraded quite a bit to improve their performances for sniping.
There are however, unconventional methods of upgrading guns, but you are not likely to find any guides, or parts speciffically for your gun. The only upgrades that you could do, would be upgrades that you yourself make yourself on the gun, or something that you find from another member in a message board system, such as Airsoft Core's Forums. Overall, these unconventional upgrading jobs usually end up in disaster, if you don't know what you are doing. But if you feel confident that you can handle the spring guns internals, then it is quite possible that you could make modifications to the gun in order to imrpove performance. But your looking at a hard job, with very little technical support out there from others in the airsoft community.
If you plan to attempt in upgrading your weapon, then good luck! Your going to need it! =)
What hell... first it rains and we can't play anymore and then i'm so bored i wanted to make more posts and i forgot my password. it's bee a long day.
since, I have nothing else to do, I'm just going to make more posts about airsoft!
Friday, October 22, 2004
Well, here's information on the expensive stuff, AEG's!!!! I love them. I want one so bad.
What are AEGs?
AEG stands for Automatic Electric Guns. These are fully automatic, and semi automatic airsoft guns, which can shoot between 260 and 500 fps depending on upgrades. They are the most popular airsoft guns. There are a lot of reasons behind them being the most popular, I'll list them below:- Run on rechargable batteries, cheaper and easier. - Easy and not complicated to operate.- Last a long time if you make the right buy. - Most realistic; all popular real assault rifles, submachine guns, etc. have airsoft replicas.- Can easily be upgraded and modified; you can make the gun shoot faster, farther, and last longer by upgrading the internals. You also can add accessories like scopes, lasers, red dots, flash lights, etc. - among other reasons...
If you plan on playing with a local airsoft community, and in real games, most likely you will need an AEG. Other things that would be accepted are some gas guns, and sniper rifles.
Most AEG's have the selector switch, that allows you to switch your gun from fully automatic, to semi, and also to the safety mode. Some Marui guns do offer a 3 round burst, and I'm pretty sure it is only the SG's.
· How do they perform?
The first thing a newbie will say when seeing the gun, and the price tag is, "why is it so much?" or "Is it worth the money?". This helps answer these questions in part but I will not go into detail, there are sections in this guide designated for those questions.
When I first switched from spring weapons to AEG's I thought through the same questions. My biggest concern was durability... The durability on Tokyo Marui stock AEG's is amazing. It is very rare for them to have malfunctions, and the guns never become completely broken or "worthless". If a gun ever broke, you could have it repaired, and you would be able to replace every single part on it, with minimal problems. If you did not want to go throught the trouble, you could sell your gun in parts, and get a lot of your money back. But I would say that it probably will never happen to you if you do the following:- Oil your gun, every 5,000 to 10,000 shots. - Take care of your gun, don't be rought on it (things can come loose and un done). - Never go into the internals unless necessary.
Marui's will last a LONG time... Classic Army, and Airsoft Elite MP5's are pretty decent too, but nothing can compare to a Marui. If you don't plan on upgrading, and you get a Marui, chances are you'll have it at least a few years.
Now enough on their durability, how will they shoot? I'm going to describe stock firing, and you can imagine how it will be if you upgrade it. Stock firing is pretty decent, with high quality BB's the guns can be adjusted to be almost dead on accurate everytime, from 50- 75 feet (depending on barrel size, the longer the better). You can have skirmishes in decent whether from a maximum of 125 feet, which is a pretty good distance. In woods you won't have to worry about range, since over 125 feet is impossible to skirmish in with all the obstacles (assuming the woods is your everyday woods, and kind of dense).
Stock guns are fine with their rate of fire (ROF) it will most likely amaze you at first, but later you will get used to it, and enjoy it. They shoot probably about 10 a second, if not more on full auto. It may not seem like its that many, but if you ever count the amount of BB's that come out, and how long it took, it will make sense.
You always have to remember that the performance is infinite, you can put another $100-200 into a gun, and make it shoot farther, more accurately, greater ROF, and still keep a strong durability. If you are accustomed to spring weapons, you will be greatly impressed (at least I was). Your best spring rifle, does not compare to AEG's. AEG's shoot much farther, faster, and more accurately, not to mention with full-auto capabilities.
· How do they operate?
This is a very simple to answer question. I'm not going to say the movement for movement from motor, to gears, to BB, but I'm just going to say how you will get your AEG to fire.
First you have to plug in your battery. Of course it has to be the right size, and each gun has a designated place for the batteries to go. The guns with solid stocks like the M16's, G3a3, and MP5a4 will take large batteries in their stocks. There will be a way to open the stock, and put in the battery, and securely lock it back into place. Guns with out solid stocks like the M4a1, XM-177, MP5a5, and SG-550 will have smaller batteries in the front hanguard. Again you will be able to open the handguard, put the battery in and securely close the handguard.
Now that the battery is properly installed, you will have to load a magazine. Standard magazines will load from the loading tool (included with the gun). You pour bb's down the tube, and push them into the magazine with a long rod. You also may use a electric feeder, that you hook up, and it pushes the BB's down for you. Hi-cap magazines will load by you pour BB's into the magazine (open a hatch, and pour them in any way you like) then you wind the magazine from the bottom. This usually takes awhile. Once you hear the Ker-plunk from the magazine, your done.
Next insert the magazine into its proper place. If you don't know where the proper place is, don't tell anyone because they will only laugh and point (myself included). Do the smart thing, and figure it out on your own. If you can't figure it out please leave this site now. The only exception to this is the P-90 since where the magazine goes in on that thing is kind of confusing. But every other gun, refer to the process above.
Now that the battery is in, and the magazine is in you can fire the gun! Switch the selector switch from safe to semi-automatic (or full if your'e daring) and begin to fire. Now if the BB's go straight and sail well through the air, then your good to go. If they go up, or go down, then you have to adjust the hop-up. Hop-up is where you put a bump in the top of the inner barrel, to put back spin on the bb's to give them more distance.
The hop up is a knob that you rotate to make the BB go up or down. You can figure this one out on your own. The way to access your hop up is usually through the dust cover. You pull back the cocking lever, which releases the dust cover, and the place where the shells would come out on a real gun, is where your hop-up knob will be located.
· What all do you need to get started?
You need the following: - Gun- Appropriately sized battery. - High quality ammo (Tokyo Marui, Excel, Airsoft Elite) - Charger - Discharger (yes, you need one, the gun will not completely drain your battery, and if it is not completely discharged before being charged, it will lower its life)- Oil (not needed right away, but would not hurt)
Thats it, please keep in mind this is only to use the AEG and not to skirmish with it. You would obviously need a mask, spare mags, proper clothes, etc. if you wanted to skirmish.
· Are they worth the price?
If you go into the forums, and ask this question, you will get all yes, from everyone. Me however, I am going to provide a few no answers.
If you have a local airsoft community that is willing to accept you into their community, then absolutely. You will have people to play with, places to play, and you will have a blast. If you buy a AEG, you'll really have the "cool" factor. Running through the woods, under heavy fire, dressed as your favorite military guy, as you return fire... Doesn't get any better. You will have scenarios being played on a regular basis, and you can go when convenient.
If you do not know of a community, then look for one, you may be surprised. I'm sure you could find someone local who wants to play, and you may even be able to get friends, or family involved, and develop your own community. If you plan on starting your own community, you may want to start your friends off with springers, and they can work their way up to AEG's, you may be more successful this way. Anyway, if you can get you and 5 others to play, its worth it so buy one.
If there is no community, and you either don't have friends, or don't want to bother making one, then there is not too much of a point. A good Gas blow back will suit you better if you want to plink around. Also if you're in a place where airsoft is illegal, or in a urban area, then again I don't see the point. You would never get to play, and its not worth $300 to shoot here and there at targets, and site under your bed. If you want to hang it up as a display thats your choice. They look nice and real, and if thats worth the money to you, thats fine by me.
Now that I have dealt with situations, I'll talk about the acutal guns. If you buy a Tokyo Marui, and don't do anything stupid with it, then you will be satisfied, and it will be worth the money. This is also true with Classic Army and Airsoft Elite version 3 MP5's, for the most part. They just have a larger chance of you getting a bad egg, but you do get a pre-upgraded gun, that is full-metal for a fair price. But since you're a newbie I would say play it safe and go Marui. But the others are not bad choices. Any AEG company thats not those three is not any good, they are basically scammers, and are crap, no exceptions. Such companies are Y&P, and Academy.
Durability is discussed in detail in the how they perform section above, but basically they will last a few years with minimal problems. If you run into any problems they can be repaired pretty easily, and your gun can never really be worthless if you buy from one of the three above companies, especially Tokyo Marui.
· What about the companies?
Here are the top three companies and their descriptions:
Tokyo Marui, out of Japan, their website can be reached here: http://www.tokyo-marui.co.jp/. They are the most trusted, and reliable company with the largest selection of AEGs. They sell very durable, and realistic guns, and are constantly coming out with new models. They however make very little effort to meet the United States demand, they mainly focus on Japan (understandably). This cause a slightly higher price since the people selling the guns wholesale to US retailers, are Japanese retailers such as Wargame Club. So here is what happens. Marui sells to local retailers, for profit, and those retailers sell to the US for profit. So two people get profit rather then one. If Marui sold straight to the US, prices could probably be lowered $20. So not too big of a deal there. They are the best company though either way. Or you can visit AirSplat.com, they have many of the high end AEG's that are manufactured in Asia.
Classic Army is another Japanese company, and their site can be found at http://www.classicarmy.com/. They make a complete MP5 series, and released a armalite (Colt) series in the summer of 2002. The MP5's are considered to be good if they are a version 3, and the version 1 Colt series was problematic, and a new version is set to be released soon. All their guns come upgraded, and with full metal bodies. They also all come with Hi-capacity magazines. A company that I believe will soon be just as reliable as any.
Airsoft Elite or ICS is the third of the top three companies and their site can be found at http://www.airsoftelite.com/. Not because of quality, but because they have the lowest amount of products. They do however sell high quality BB's, something that Classic Army does not do. Airsoft Elite as of now only has MP5's, and they are regarded as good, as long as they are version 3's. They too all come with metal bodies and upgrades, and hi-cap magazines. They are set to release a M4a1 at the end of the summer of 2003, with a unique two piece gearbox. Something I look forward to seeing, and I hope the company expands.
· How do you load it? Which Magazine? What kinds of magazines are there?
Automatic Electric Airsoft guns will be loading with removable magazines, similar to the magazines used with the guns in real life. Currently there are three general types of magazines for airsoft guns; standard magazines, Hi-capacity magazines, and electric/motorized magazines.
Standard magazines come with all Tokyo Marui guns, and usually hald between 40 and 70 BB's. However G&P recently released their own standard magazine series, that is being called the mid-cap, since it holds more BBs (100 BBs in MP5's, 130 rounds in M16's, and 150 rounds in AK's). The G&P magazines are a popular choice since they are high quality, hold twice as many BB's as other standards, and are the same price if not cheaper. So far G&P magazines have proven themselves, and you can see some reviews for them in the Reviews Section here at Airsoft Core. Another fantastic advantage to standard magazines is that they are easy to load, and are silent in combat. The BB's are lined single file, so there fore, they can not move around and make noise like in hi-capacity magazines.
Magazines are loading usually by the loading rod. You pour BB's down a hollow tube, and connect the tube to the top of the magazine. Then you take a rod and jam the BB's down into the gun. You also have the electric loader, that you used to electronically push the BB's into the magazine. The newest option to load standard magazines is the new loader that comes with the SG-552. You fill it up, and repeatedly hit the top button, to repeatedly jam BB's in.
Here is the loading rod that comes with the SG 552, recently developed by Tokyo Marui. You push down the thing on the right, and it pushes BBs into the magazine.
Hi-cap mags will hold many more BB's than standards. They will hold anywhere between 200, and 600, and most guns will shoot a good amount of them right out of the magazine. These magazines are powered my a winding mechanism. There is a wheel at the bottom of the magazines, and you wind them by spinning them, and you'll know that it is full when you hear the "kur-plunk" sound from the magazine.
Here is a good example of a winding wheel on the magazine. This is on the Airsoft Elite 300 round M16 hi-cap magazine.
A few things to keep in mind with hi-caps is that they won't shoot all the BB's. They will leave some in there, since the mechanism is just not strong enough to shoot them all. Also when you wind some of the larger hi-caps, it may take a second full wind, to shoot the BB's out of the gun. So in some cases with the large hi-caps, you should wind when ever you get a chance in skirmishes. But you'll know if it is necessary once you use your gun for awhile. Another tip is that if you are winding, and no BB's are coming up, then you have to tap the back of the magazine to unjam the mechanism. This won't happen much, but its good to know when it does happen. Also try not to leave magazines wound, since it will wear them out faster.
Some may be wondering.... "Why would anyone buy standards when you have these for only $10 more??" The answer is that the standard magazines are more realistic in performance, and they are quiet. Some groups want people to use only standards to increase how many times you have to reload, and to make things more realistic with reloads. Using standard magazines, also makes you a more conservative shooter, if that is what you want.
These magazines are the most rare, since they are quite expensive, and very unrealistic (most of the time in looks as well as operation). They are basically large hi-capacity magazines, but are powered my motors, instead of manually wound by hand. These are also hard to find, and not all guns have this option.
· Which charger/discharger?
A common question of someone new to airsoft is what kind of charger to get. They are usually stuck between putting out the cash to get a nice fast charger, or just putting out the money to get the standard wall trickle charger. They both have their advantages, and it comes down to personal preference, and your situation.
First off, wall chargers cost $10 roughly, and a nice charger is usually at least $40+ in most cases more. So the price is a big difference. However, a lot of nice chargers will have dischargers built into them, which is quite convenient, and saves you money from having to buy a discharger. The fast chargers will vary in how fast they charge, you would need to ask about speciffic chargers to find out exactly how fast. Most will have dials to adjust the speed of the charge, so if you have the time to wait, you can make it go slow, and if you need it charged asap, that can be done also. Some nice chargers also come equipped with an auto-cut function, so that your battery will not be overcharged. This is a great feature to have (especially if you're forgetful) since a lot of people will wall chargers or any charger, will forget about it, and leave their battery to be ruined or just overcharged. Overcharging on a side note is bad for the battery, but doesn't always kill it. It usually just lowers its overall life. These chargers come with tons of features, so just look for charger with the features that you want.
The slow chargers aren't too bad of an option. They are cheap, only $10 and are a common choice for a lot of airsofters. Slow chargers are measured in mAh, the same mAh (milliamp hours) as your battery is measured in. The mAh on the charger tells how many it can charge per hour. Therefore, you take the mAh of your battery, and divide it by the mAh of your charger and you know how long it takes to charge.
For example: 200 mAh wall charger, 1500 mAh battery.
1500 / 200 = 7.5 hours
Simple enough? The trickle charger is very healthy for your battery, more so than the quick charger, since slowly charging your battery, is better than charging it quickly. However, the wall charger is not as healthy if you forget to unplug your battery after the amount of time for it to charge. =)
Overall, the quick charger obviously has more options, and features and such, but it is considerably more money than the wall charger. If you need your batteries charged quickly in order to get into late notice games, or get back into games, then put out the money for a fast charger. If you have exra batteries, plenty of notice for all your games, or just don't want to spend that much money. The wall charger is for you.
As for dischargers, there are many options out there on the market. The Tokyo Marui discharger is obviously a popular one, since it is made for airsoft, and sold at most airsoft shops, but anything that drains the battery works. Some people just hook them up to light bulbs, and when the bulb goes out, they know their battery is · Do I really need a discharger?
Yes, you need a discharger if you plan to use AEGs. The only possible exception is if you use NiMH batteries, since they can be recharged with out being discharged... Even with them it would be a good idea to discharger them just to make sure you get a full charge, or for storage of any sort.
Most batteries are NiCads, and so you will need a discharger, since they can not be recharged, until they are completely discharged. It is bad for the batteries to be charged, unless the battery is completely discharged, and it will damage the battery, causing it to have a shorter life span. You can not charge a battery, shoot it a few times, and then charge it back up again. You also should not plan on running your battery dry with your gun either. For one it is bad for your gun, and two your gun can't completely discharge the battery... The battery will still have power, even when it can't power the gun. So you definately need a discharger. I also want to make clear that you should NEVER discharge your battery by dry firing. Dry firing is VERY bad for your gun, it makes all the internal parts slam harder, since there is no BB for resistance. This causes things to break.
Oh, and I can't forget to give credit to the publisher, airsoftcore.com or else it's plagerism. :-(
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.
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 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.
Well, just in case you guys don't konw what airsoft is here's all the info:
Definition: The hobby of collecting realistic, non-lethal, shooting replicas of actual firearms either for display or for the purposes of skirmishing in friendly competition.
History: The sport of Airsoft started in Japan during the early 1980s. It was illegal to own firearms in Japan but there was a significant interest in them, so a company started producing spring-powered replicas of firearms that fired 6mm, plastic BBs. During the latter part of the 1980s the sport migrated to neighboring countries such as Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines. Airsoft started appearing in North America and Europe during the middle of the 1990's.
The Guns: This is essentially what attracts players into the sport. Airsoft guns are 1:1 scale replicas of actual firearms that fire 6mm, round, plastic pellets commonly called as "BB's" which are propelled out of the guns by compressed air. In most cases, Airsoft guns mimic the looks and functionality of it's real-steel counterpart. By that, meaning Airsoft guns look, feel, weigh, and functions similar to the actual firearm. Often, the only way you can tell apart a "real steel" firearm and an airsoft gun is the blazing orange tip and when you pull that trigger .
There are 3 major types of Airsoft guns: Spring-Powered, Gas-Powered, and Automatic Electric Guns (AEG's).
Spring: First, spring-powered Airsoft gun, the perfect entry level choice. Spring-cocking guns are true to their name in that you cock the spring first, and then fire. Cock spring, fire, cock, fire, cock, fire, etc. These guns are usually magazine fed and semi-automatic, but they must be hand-cocked after every shot. This system is very cost-effective, and the guns are surprisingly sturdy. Every Airsofter, in his lifetime, has owned at least one spring-powered gun, either a pistol or a rifle. Due to it's relatively cheap price-range, this is usually the gun of choice for the person just starting to play airsoft. A spring-powered handgun can be purchased for as little as $20.
Gas: Another popular type of an Airsoft gun is the gas-powered. While there are several types of gas-powered airsoft guns, the most popular are the Gas-Blowback guns (GBBs). The GBB allows a realistic, semi-automatic firing of the gun by employing either an on-board, or magazine-stored gas storage system. Basically, the same compressed air that propels the BB out of the bore is harnessed to cycle the slide back (hence: blowback). This creates the realistic "recoil" by cycling the slide/upper receiver back-and-forth while firing the gun. To see an example of this, click G17 and USP. This system gives the hand-held gun the capability to empty a magazine as fast as you can pull the trigger, and just as easily reload the gun by inserting a fresh magazine. Needless to say, this feature holds tremendous appeal for the "simulationist".
Electric: Lastly are the Automatic Electric Gun. The creation of the AEG is partly responsible for Airsoft's "boom" during the late 1990s. Basically, an AEG is powered by an on-board battery (similar to hobby R/C Cars), which operates a motor that turns gears inside the gun to compress and release a piston, which in turn creates the blast of air needed to propel the 6mm BB through the barrel of the gun. This system allows the gun to efficiently generate the power needed to support the fully-automatic features of most AEGs and the result is a realistic Rate-Of-Fire (ROF) of anywhere from 600 - 900 Rounds-Per-Minute (RPM), once again mimicking the capabilities of real steel firearms. This is the airsoft gun of choice for most skirmish veterans.
The Appeal: Airsoft gives people the ability to own a shooting version of their dream gun. Due to the law and the cost, people cannot always own their dream gun, and Airsoft provides you with a realistic replica, and on top of that allows you to be able to shoot that replica (albeit: non-lethal).
Often, people would watch movies and TV and say, "Wow, that gun is awesome, I'd like to get me one of those". Actually, what you may be seeing in those movies and TV shows, ARE, in fact, Airsoft guns. Due to their relatively cheap price tags and precise realism, movie studios often employ Airsoft guns for it's production work. They simply digitally alter the images to incorporate the muzzle flash, sound and effects to mimic the real firearms.
Generally speaking, most of the more popular real-steel firearms has an Airsoft gun counterpart. The Heckler & Koch MP5 series, to include MP5A4, MP5 SD5, MP5 PDW. The venerable H&K G3 Battle Rifle series. Colt M16s. Steyr AUGs. SIG 550s. FAMAS. AK-47s. Machine Guns like the M60. Sub-machine guns such as the IMI Uzis and Ingrams. Pistols such as the famed Berettas, Colts, SIGs, and Glocks. Shotguns such as the Benelli M2 and Remington 870. Sniping rifles such as the PSG-1, M40A1, Blaser 93R. Even the "Hollywood" guns like the RoboCop auto-pistol and the M134 Vulcan (6-barrel gatling gun) made famous by the Predator and Terminator movies. The list of Airsoft guns is quite sizeable, and growing with each passing month.
The ability to own and play with these "dream guns" are in and of itself appealing enough to enthusiasts. The added advantage of being able to take these guns out to a local playing field and "shooting" your best friends with it in friendly competition is a hands down selling point.
Another appeal with Airsoft is the ability to "role-play" with them. There are countless clubs, teams and organizations devoted to the sport of "waging war" with airsoft guns. Known throughout the world as Skirmishing. In essence, role-playing allows people to fulfill their fantasies, which (due to physical disabilities or circumstances) they never got the chance to. These people may be bankers, insurance brokers, secretaries, students, computer programmers by profession, but for 1 day a week they can be Green Berets, Assassins, SWAT members, Navy SEALs, whatever. Their mind is the only limit. This role-playing ability is enhanced by the fact that Airsoft guns are extremely realistic. After all, it's rather difficult to play the part of a Navy SEAL when you're holding a neon, orange-yellow-colored, Super-Soaker squirt gun.
For more information about Airsoft try: www.AirsoftSplat.com, www.AirsoftbbGunAuthority.com, or www.AirSplot.com
That's copied from airsplat.com. They teach us in school that we can't copy stuff unless we state where it's from. So anyway, that's a good general explanation. But there is much more. I'll keep posting everyday to give you all the info.