Originally Posted by Jamie James
Would you mind elaborating on that?
Are you just referring to having access to the classifieds or are you talking about what is available from retailers too. I met with an age verifier Thursday. I am waiting to get verified before I buy my first rifle as I have seen a few people suggest new players do.
More variety basically. You can find cheapo fixer guns all the way to $3000+ PTW's.
Mostly you're going to find guns within a more reasonable range like $300-600 maybe more depending on what else is included (ie optics, extra mags, extra battery, charger, half a bag of BB's etc.).
There are also some retailers that sell in the ASC classifieds only so you can also buy BNIB guns, and you're not limited to a few brands. Anything you can imagine you can get, all you need is patience and money (especially if what you want is a limited edition run or rare like some Classic airsoft (Escort, Sun Project, Daytona, etc.)).
@OP: Wait till 18 before purchasing any guns. As for gear however, all you need to do is piece it together. You don't need it all at once and you'll pick up stuff over time. To start out I would suggest, good pair of walking boots (hiking boots, OR work boots but heavy steel toes are not comfortable/fun), set of combats (can be found as cheap as $30 for surplus OD tunic + trousers, check out PoCo, Daves, or Gorilla Surplus), and a GOOD FACE MASK (perferably ASTM approved since the PB fields in Van require it for insurance reasons (except for bigfoot since it's a dedicated airsoft field).
Breakdown of costs:
Boots (if you don't have any): $80-120
Mask: $50-100+ (for example these JT Elites
are only $50 at CT however consider something like the Flex8 or just shop around)
Killrag (not required but is probably a good idea): ~$2-4 (just pickup a red bandana from where ever or go to fabricland or w/e and pickup a few square feet of red fabric and make your own)
Gun: $300-500+ if you're poor like me a $400 gun will last you a while and you won't tend to grow out of it whereas a cheaper $300 gun you might get tired of after a season or so and want to start doing heavy upgrades to improve this or that which means downtime and not playing since your gun is down (or renting from someone).
Rest you can pick up as you play. ie. Vest, pistol, holster, radio etc. (I still don't have a radio and picked up a used vest for $70-80 after my first few games).
You also don't even need a gun out on your first time, hell you can just hire your gear.
If I get a chance to get out this summer and I can get my gear from Alberta back to Van you can hire my stuff. All I ask for is either a 12 pack (of GIB, or another microbrew/craft beer) or $25. You don't even have to go through me either, there's plenty of other people with gear for hire.