Originally Posted by sammynac99
One thing to note between airsoft and paintball would be cost, realism and overall fun while playing.
Cost is a slight win for airsoft, anyone can go get a springer or a cheap JG or G and G AEG from between 100-200$, most players pack that will actually work well for paintball( no 39$ walmart pumpers) your going to need to get a tippmann, that will run you 150 bucks and a hopper and a tank and a mask. it will all come out to a reasonably equal amount of cost. Airsoft kind of wins in this category as BB's are Far cheaper then paintballs.
Realism: Airsoft wins. No hopper, no huge tanks, just magazines and hidden batteries, if you want realism you get yourself a GBBR and that s*** is realistic, 30 round magazines, open bolt blowbacks.
Overall Fun while playing: I think airsoft takes this one, if i get hit in airsoft "oww, i am out" compared to paintball, you get shot in the lower park of your facemask you are going to be having a paint snack, also, you then have to spend 25 minutes to clean your gear in the staging area. Also some low quality paints damage clothing, another thing to would be geting overshot, in air soft i have rarely been light up while walking out, whereas with paintball there are so many 12 year olds they'll shoot their own teammates so they can tell their buddies in the staging area they rock and got "Mad kills".
Average age for airsoft i would say would be 20-21 compared to paintball where the average age is about 15-16 in my experience.
The cost thing is basically relevant to what airsoft type you play. I'd say airsoft is much more expensive. Granted there are a few expensive paintball guns, and of course the ammunition is definitely more expensive. However, running Systema/fight club guns with real steel accessories like optics, stock, etc; not to mention magazine cost, especially if your running a PTW or GBBR. Then of course there is all of the real steel special forces type gear if you want to make the most of your effectiveness. I've seen games with humvees, scud trucks, helicopters, etc. there is also thermal, night vision, back up weapons. You can play with a $200 springer, but if you want that thing to compete with the best guns, it's got to be a $600 - $1000 springer with $800 in upgrades. Bare minimum they can both be pretty inexpensive to play, but airsoft definitely takes the cake on high cost possibilities.
As far as realism goes, your spot on. I've seen some pretty impressive gun concepts for paintball though; but compared to airsoft guns they are not even close. Range and accuracy in airsoft is much higher/better, and the equipment is just better all around. You could of course wear expensive gear in paintball, but I wouldn't want my crap being covered in paint.
Fun is all personal preference. I've played paint ball a bunch, but other than the odd scrim I couldn't get into it. Airsoft I tried once with crappy gear and guns, against good gear and guns "at the time", and immediately loved it. There is no comparison in my mind. Although the two sports share some base similarities, I feel it's like hockey versus ringette.