I only started to play last year. Airsoft ROCKS! But it's only great if you stay safe.
I highly recommend the following as FIRST and LAST purchases. If your like most of us, you'll go through several guns lol
1. Full seal goggles with anti fog wipes. A Must. Period.
2. Face protection. I find a combat wrap ($10) perfectly acceptable. Protects your teeth. that is the key. No chipped teeth. Hurts like a B!72H. Lots of guys get mesh as well. Works for some, not for others. Mesh can have a cool look, but may interfere with siting the same as full face (paintball style) would.
3. Good solid footwear. Highly recommend a combat style boot with excellent support. Your going to be on your feet all day
4. Good gloves, preferably with reinforced knuckle and joint protection. Trust me on this one....
5. Head protection. If you got bushy hair your just going to be a bushy target. Get at the very least a combat style camo cap (hell wally world has em for $10). Combat wraps do a good job here too. Most guys seem to enjoy looking like U.S marines with modern style combat helmets. Whatever you choose, choose something. Last thing you want is a bb from 20 feet going at 400+ fps going into your ear.
6. Full sleeve full pants. Preferably camo style. Desert colors work all right as well. You want to blend in, and you want to have as much skin protected as possible. Bleeders suck. if you get one, man up about it. They happen. If the same guy keeps lighting you up at close range, just kick him in the balls.
7. not needed, but a vest goes a long way in helping you carry everything you need, helps identify you on the feild and offers more protection than just a layer of thin cotton. You can get something decent for $40, if you shop around
8. Last but not least, a solid, entry level gun, that is EASY to modify and upgrade, and will grow with you as your needs, skill level and style change over the course of time.
9. A solid, full metal pistol. I've had more pistol kills than rifle kills at the start of my adventure into this sport. That is starting to shift. But some of these guys are good at getting close fast. dropping the rifle when they get close and shooting with a semi pistol allows more manuverability and it's just plain FUN.
I can't recommend putting safety first highly enough. Quality will last.
What I spent:
camo pants: $30
Batteries: (1 and a spare) $60
I experiemented with various qualities and types before settling on what i listed. Add another $300 in buying crap that was just crap first.
Guns, a whole other story.
I've bought 4 + a pistol. Nothing was under $200 and most were over $400.
Stick with one that is solid, shoots well and is easy to get parts for and maintain. Honestly, there is no advantage of an AK over an M4 over some crazy bull pup. It's purely cosmetic. They are doing the same thing inside. Start electric. Gas is harder to maintain.
Lastly - ENJOY it. IT's not cheap. I don't recommend used as your first gun. If you get screwed, well, your going to get a bad taste in your mouth.
I almost dropped the sport after my 3rd game, as it seemed to be filled with losers and hot heads who thought they were some kinda cool bad ass tough guys cuz they play this. Then I met a mature group and the game really took off for me.
It's not cheap to play. So think 2x before buying anything.
enjoy, have fun, and keep your head down!