Setting Expectations with Airsoft Guns and Reality
I'm not the be all and end all when it comes to airsoft stuff...but I've been around for a bit and fiddled with a few things over the years.
As happens every year, there's been a number of threads from new guys with some variation of the following:
1. Is this gun any good? Which gun should I get?
2. Which is the best gun?
3. I bought this/that and it's broken!
4. I paid a lot of money and this thing sucks!
Here's some thoughts that might help sort through the mess of getting into airsoft.
1. Set your expectations properly
- airsoft is expensive. Prices are way down from what they used to be...but it's still expensive by the time you get the gun, supplies, gear, etc...
- airsoft is really not a good value. You're paying quite a bit of money for what are essentially toys. If you're ok with putting a lot of money into something that's not going to hold it's value...then that's ok. It's a man's hobby...kiss that money goodbye and don't look back.
- airsoft guns are expensive toys...made up of relatively fragile parts (especially stock out of the box guns)...working under high loads at high speeds. The plastics are fragile...the metals are soft/weak...especially stock guns.
- anything/everything to do with airsoft can break...and will wear out eventually. See the above point.
2. What's a "good" gun?
- airsoft guns can be made more reliable and more wear resistant by tuning, upgrading parts (with quality parts...not all "upgrades" are upgrades) and knowing what you're doing. To end up with a "good" gun...you're going to be putting more money and time into an already expensive toy.
- stock airsoft guns are typically not very accurate...nor are they 100% reliable. Accuracy comes from good parts and careful tuning. If you want target shooting accuracy...even a highly upgraded airsoft gun is going to be hard pressed to deliver that.
- internal parts are easy to come by...and if you know what you're doing, easy to setup. They're not cheap.
- Externals are more expensive. So when getting any airsoft gun, focus on getting the best externals you can get...address any shortcomings with the internals after the fact.
- what you get with a "good" stock gun...are better stock/base parts and build. It's still stock out of the box and none of them will be as good as a nicely tuned, upgraded gun. The only difference is in how much and what you might want to upgrade to improve the stock gun.
- every year there will be some guns that stand out as decent ones to start with. Their externals, internals, etc...out of the box seem to be a decent balance and relative value. Same between different models...i.e. this brand of MP5 is a better value than that MP5. But they're still stock....they just seem to be a bit better stock than the other stuff...none of them are 100% reliable/bulletproof/free of problems.
3. The "perfect" "best" gun
- there's no such thing. Airsoft is 50% about having a "gun" that you'd otherwise never get...and 50% about doing things that you'd never otherwise do. It's really not about "the gun".
- at the end of the day...all guns are the same. They all shoot about as far, hit about as hard, are about as accurate as everything else out there. Chasing the best, most accurate, most reliable setup is an exercise in frustration, empty bank accounts and it's only temporary (as it will eventually break/fail/wear out).
4. What do I have to do to make a stock gun better/best?
- Firstly...you've got to use it. Use it as it is until it fails or until you're dying for better. You'll get to know how it operates, what makes them tick, what they can/cannot do. You've got to game it, and game it hard. You're going to run into the same hard knocks that everyone else has...dead batteries, jams, hopup settings, etc...and you'll figure it out like everyone else has.
- Research. Research, research, research. Then dive in and try whatever upgrades you want/feel you need. Learn from your mistakes. Research, try, test, analyze, repeat. (or find someone who will do it for you)
So at the end of the day, what's it all mean?
- get whatever style you've really got a hard on for
- buy the best stock build you can afford
- set your expectations properly and arm yourself with the knowledge of what to do when things don't work
...and buy a gas rifle because they're fun...and a PTW because they're awesome...and a SAW/LMG because it's fun laying down loads of fire...and a SMG for CQB...and a pistol because they're fun...and some grenades because they're great for clearing rooms...and a "good guy"/"bad guy" gun alternative to what you have so you can play on the otherside to mix things up and stay in the spirit of things...and bring a backup to every game
Just my $0.02
Last edited by m102404; July 25th, 2012 at 12:17..