After having now gone to TAC14 and learning a great deal more about the different weapons and gear, I feel its time to post a little more info on what I’ve learned about becoming an Airsoft enthusiast. “Enthusiast” being the most polite term for those captured by the obsession of Airsoft. This is a money pit of joy and frustration, never seeming to have “enough” of anything!
I have spoken to MANY people at the convention, many retailers and several people on the ASC forums, and have come to the conclusion that I will never have a “complete load out”, nor will I ever have “enough” guns, mags, and accessories. Much to the great joy of retailers…
It seems that the most common, least expensive and best all round upgradable gun would be the M4 from King Arms. There is still debate with GBBR and different manufacturers of course. I’m simply saying this is what I’ve come to learn is a good place to begin. The gun is highly upgradable and super easy to find accessories for. It isn’t the lowest grade of cheap, and is decidedly not the $1500 top of the line model either. It’s affordable and upgradeable, a good starter gun.
Pistols are frustrating beyond words! There are so many types and all close in price while some slightly better than others, there are also the different options to choose from, GBB being the most popular. There is a huge debate between propane and CO2. There isn’t a world of difference between them, but there are differences. So far I have only managed to narrow the choices down to the M9, M1911 and the M229.
As for getting all decked out with a full load out vest and so on is something of a luxury. Same with BDU’s, they aren’t strictly needed. They do make you “tacticool” though… I would recommend two things as completely NOT negotiable. You need good eye protection. And you need to use decent BB’s to prevent jamming as much as possible.
I’m not going to debate full mask over goggles and face guard. Some places require full face protection; other places allow just goggles or even glasses. So before the guns and pistols, but decent eye protection, and spend a little extra. The prices vary widely with each flavor of mask and goggles. You could go all out and get a sleek full face mask or goggles and mouth protection, or anything between. Just don’t skimp out, this is the one place you really can’t go cheap and hope for the best.
As for the BB’s, I have spoken to many people who have been into the obsessive sport for years, and they all say one thing in common, DON’T USE CHEAP BB’s! By saying “cheap” I don’t mean price, I mean quality. There are good BB Companies that offer quality at very reasonable prices. I have heard good things about several BB companies, so the choice is up to you for what you want to run through your gun. I personally prefer to buy Canadian and buy quality at a reasonable price. I’m sure there are a million variables that will make your gun get jammed with BB’s regardless of what brand or quality grade, I just prefer to have as few issues as possible by purchasing good quality without going bankrupt.
When I learn a bit more of the sport and play a few more games, I will be talking about ‘style’ of play and how to figure out where you might fit in this vast sport. Although I think its pretty safe to say that those who are the “spray and pray” types looking for a “speed ball” type game will not be welcomed by very many for very long. You should also note this is real life play, not “COD”! Just because you think you’re a ‘hero’ with a PS3 or Xbox, it doesn’t mean jack in the real world! There are no controllers, when you shoot a teammate; he likely won’t be too close to you again when he does respawn. Courtesy and respect go a long way with airsofters. I have talked with enough of them to know that a “couch hero” isn’t going to make many friends until he begins to listen to the people who have actually been out on fields and actually played some games.
Knowledge weighs nothing, carry as much as you can!