Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Is Airsoft for you?

What is Airsoft?

Inside an AEG M4.

Airsoft is a tactical competitive sport where generally two teams fight each other in a skirmish (Fighting with no boundaries or reason) or fight over objectives given by the staff. What is an airsoft gun? It's a replica fire arm that shoots plastic 6mm bbs weighing from .12-.46g. These guns are completely safe to use and shoot at each other in a controlled environment with face protection. There are many different types of platforms an airsoft gun can be. There is AEG which uses a gearbox that has spinning gears inside and is powered by a battery (NiMH or LiPO). There's gas which does what it sounds like. It shoots using the power of green, red or c02. Gas guns are more realistic and will run for a higher price. An AEG is not as realistic but can and is the more reliable than gas and as well as more constant with shots. Spring is used mostly in sniper rifles, it uses a bolt like set up that contains a very powerful spring that launches a bb across the field. I would not recommend a sniper being your first gun. And then there's HPA/Polarstar which uses a mix of air and battery power. HPA is the best platform for performance but is the more expensive. Which then brings us to my next question for you.

What's Available?

Oregon Airsoft Arena
Before purchasing or even thinking about playing airsoft you need to know what type of player you are and what's available. Here's a link to fields around the United States. It is very possible that there might not be a few fields listed on that site, so make sure you look up local places on Google. Once you find these fields online see what type of place they are. Are they indoor? Outdoor? That is a very key-role when looking to start buying into airsoft. Indoor fields usually have a 350 FPS (Feet Per Second) rule. Meaning that if your airsoft gun shoots over 350fps you can't use it, because ultimately it would hurt someone because of the close engagements. Outdoor fields generally have a 400fps rule because they are outside, meaning engagements will be at farther distances. It's all for safety. Now that you have seen what's avalible in your area and know the basics of what's what.
Sniperzden, Oregon
 Make sure you read the rules of these places and get an idea of what really is required during an event at that field. If you like to play indoors then try to buy equipment that meets the requirements of an indoor fields. If you want to play outdoor, do the same.

What Do you Buy?

After seeing what's available in your area and knowing what you what type of field you mainly want to play on. It's time to start looking at gear. Keep in mind, Indoor: 350fps, Outdoor: 400fps. 
So when you're looking for a rifle watch the fps and make sure it meets the requirements of the local fields you're interested in. First you'll want to get safety goggles/glasses. Don't go cheap on these. You only have two eyes and it's worth any amount of money to keep them working. I would suggest Valken ZulusThis is a product I personally use and have enjoyed for 6 months. They have yet to fog on me and their low profile is great and comfortable. They are duel pained so you don't need to worry about ventilation or if for some reason the first protector breaks, you have another one protecting your eye. You see a lot of players using them. The next thing you would need is gloves. Now any gloves really do the job, but the best are Mechanixs. They offer the best slip resident and best protection for your hand. Mechanixs are the gloves I use and I've had my single pair for 3 years now and they have yet to rip or show much wear on them. Next you'll want some sort of body protection. I use a plate carrier with dummy plates. That'll run you $100-300. And for a beginner it's not worth it. I would suggest a chest rig, something light weight and very usable and spacious.
 I would suggest the NcStar Tactical AK Chest Rig. I owned this product and used it once. It's okay, but gets the job done in a pinch. The only issue I had was adjusting the straps to my body size. But after some fiddling, you should be fine. Next would be boots. Any hiking books would be fine. I use Magnums since they are leather, water proof and are high top. Haven't had any issues with them. Good overall boot. But if you're going to play indoor, you don't really need boots. Tennis shoes are fine. Camouflage matters a lot in airsoft. It could save you from getting shot. But also expensive. And since I don't know where you live or what environment you live in, I will let you decide what's best for you. And if you're a beginner or don't have a lot of money, don't go expensive. My favorite brands are Tru-Spec and 5.11 Tactical. Those will run you a bit. Stick with Rothco/Matrix, if you're new. And from experience, for shirts order a size up. The worst thing that could happen is that you have to send it back. But if you are planning on playing indoor, anything black works, jeans and sweat shirt works perfectly. A hat/helmet isn't needed but their nice. Any hat is fine but for helmets I would suggest, DragonRed Airsoft. From what I've heard they are great quality for the money. Next would be your airsoft rifle. I would suggest CYMA if you want a good cheap AK or G&G if you want a good cheap M4. They are reliable and extremely cheap. Personally I've used CYMA Aks and I have found them to have great range and accuracy. I've had friends own G&G M4s and they have worked liked tanks. But if you're willing to spend $300-400, then go with Krytac or VFC. Those are some of the top notch brands that are reliable and have outstanding performance. I have a friend who has had a Krytac and he's had it for two years now and it's now just having small issues. I personally use VFC. My rifle (VFC VR16 13") has outstanding range and accuracy. Would highly recommend those brands. But if you would like a high end Ak, then I would suggest E&L. They make their airsoft guns in a real Ak factory in China. Meaning they have real Ak quality parts. And they also have great performance. I own an E&L and it turned out to be a factory defect. And since they are made in China, customer support is impossible. But everyone else says they are great rifles. That should be all you need for an airsoft game, not counting batteries for an AEG or bbs (Use biodegradeables, they are better for the environment) I would first suggest that you go to a field and rent an airsoft gun first before you start buying stuff. Make sure you like the sport before you invest in it. The picture on the right is me at Camp Rilea at OP: First Strike in Warrenton, Oregon apart of the JSOC. Everything together costs about $1,000+. Airsoft isn't cheap, but then most hobbies aren't. Know what you're getting into.

Safety and Common Sense

Airsoft is one of those sports/activities that parents hate. It's extremely safe and fun to play. But like metal music and violent video games, people don't see it as good. Believe it or not, some of the kindness people play airsoft. And I've played for 5 years and have made some friends. The last thing you want to do is make the sport look bad and yourself look bad by doing something stupid. It could cost you the ability at playing on a field or getting arrested. Airsoft guns look like real guns. So treat them like it. 

Magazine out in a safety zone, transported in a gun bag or the original box, away from children, unloaded, when being held, keep away from pointing at people unless you are in a game and orange tip on. You will find people taking off the orange tip because it looks stupid and gives away your position. But what those people did was make sure it was legal in their state before taking it off. If you end up not following those basics, it could cost everyone the enjoyment of the sport or your fun at local fields. Some cities and states have banned airsoft because of its replica firearm nature. Don't ruin it for everyone. But have fun, make friends and be safe!

If you're still interested but don't know where to start, check out these sites!:

And if you're outside the U.S. :

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