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Old May 4th, 2011, 02:38   #1
Hello312
 
Join Date: May 2011
Getting Started

Hey guys, new to this forum and I am interested in playing airsoft and i have a few questions.

As a beginner in airsoft, does everyone look for military simulation tactics or it could be just a easy going game with a bunch of people playing with a common objective but not doing any extreme military tactics (or does this depends on the fields and scenario/situation?).

Also would you recommend buying a brand new airsoft gun or a used one to begin a possible long term commitment to airsoft? I was reading on the sticky and it seems like they recommended TM for a beginner because of its reliability and durability right out of the box.

How about another brand like ICS (The specific ICS model i am looking at is ICS-64 MP5 A5 and it retails for under $300CAD, are there better selections of AEG for that price range in the classified section?) as I was interested in one of their cheaper guns to possible start out with and get the drift in airsofting before i invest in large amount of money.


Also could you use paintball mask or is there a specific goggle/mask designated for airsoft usage? I seen in a forum where a user was using a DYE mask so i figure a paintball mask is acceptable for usage?

-Also I'm 18 if that helps.

Last edited by Hello312; May 4th, 2011 at 02:40..
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Old May 4th, 2011, 02:44   #2
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First off, get Age verified, you're 18. That makes things 100x easier.

For your questions..

Guns --> AV section.
A paint ball mask is totally fine.
Two types of airsoft --> Milsim, and casual

Milsim's are realistic, longer, objective based games with restrictions in terms of kits, guns, ammo, those sort of things.

Casual games are usually short objectives, or just run and gun type elimination games in which any tactics work. Whether you're a hard core milsim, or a once a month, come in jeans type of player, you'll have fun.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 04:10   #3
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1) Depends. A lot of the games are weekly day skirmishes which are like recball kind of play/dynamics (hour long games of CTF, attack/defend, VIP protection, "defuse the bomb", or deathmatch style games.... kind of like CS in real life I guess but not really). Then there are hardcore 48 hour+ milsim games. You'll be able to find what you're looking for because game styles vary a lot.

2) Eh.... it depends. I got lucky, snagged a deal and bought my first gun used. You could go that route but you need to know exactly what you want. and to do that you need to intensively study the FAQ's and what people say about beginner gear. I had the benefit of being underage at the time and reading a lot of FAQ's and random posts so I kind of had an idea of what worked and what didn't.

TM is always a good choice for a beginner gun. If you don't touch the internals then it'll usually work perfectly it's generally agreed that they have one of the highest QC levels OOTB (out of the box).

ICS, it's good on one hand, bad on another. You do have the split gearbox which could be a good thing if you play a lot of indoor and outdoor games you can switch setups easier, on the other hand the disadvantage is that there's like 3 or 4 proprietary parts that you need to get from ICS themselves if they break (for sure the Anti Reversal Latch is proprietary although I've never really heard of that breaking).

At the $300-400 price point you're probably looking at something from CYMA, JG, DBoys, Kalash, G&G. Maybe, just maybe something from CA's proline if you get lucky (never buy from their sportline series, there's much better available at that price point). All the above prices I've mentioned are $300-400 BNIB you can find them cheaper used or even get a package deal with extra mags, "lazur scoope" (red dot sight), and maybe half a bag of BB's thrown in as well (packages vary obviously some players might be looking for something new, others might be getting married and leaving the sport, etc.).

3) PB mask will be accepted anywhere. They follow the ASTM standard which is the standard insurance companies set for eyepro for PB fields and since we play at PB fields sometimes we've adopted PB goggles as standard. Other places (usually private fields or airsoft only fields) might only require sealed ballistics or even allow ballistic glasses. It all depends on the field and field owner. If you get a PB mask that's modular or can remove the goggles part you don't need to use the mask part unless the field requires full protection. If you do remove the mask part and just use the goggles you can get a better cheek weld on your guns but then obviously your face isn't protected so might be a good idea to get something like a shemagh to absorb the energy and "catch" the bb in it's "crumple zone" (that's the reason why speedballers wear super loose/baggy jerseys so the paintballs don't explode when they get hit.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 11:19   #4
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Originally Posted by L473ncy View Post
1) Depends. A lot of the games are weekly day skirmishes which are like recball kind of play/dynamics (hour long games of CTF, attack/defend, VIP protection, "defuse the bomb", or deathmatch style games.... kind of like CS in real life I guess but not really). Then there are hardcore 48 hour+ milsim games. You'll be able to find what you're looking for because game styles vary a lot.

2) Eh.... it depends. I got lucky, snagged a deal and bought my first gun used. You could go that route but you need to know exactly what you want. and to do that you need to intensively study the FAQ's and what people say about beginner gear. I had the benefit of being underage at the time and reading a lot of FAQ's and random posts so I kind of had an idea of what worked and what didn't.

TM is always a good choice for a beginner gun. If you don't touch the internals then it'll usually work perfectly it's generally agreed that they have one of the highest QC levels OOTB (out of the box).

ICS, it's good on one hand, bad on another. You do have the split gearbox which could be a good thing if you play a lot of indoor and outdoor games you can switch setups easier, on the other hand the disadvantage is that there's like 3 or 4 proprietary parts that you need to get from ICS themselves if they break (for sure the Anti Reversal Latch is proprietary although I've never really heard of that breaking).

At the $300-400 price point you're probably looking at something from CYMA, JG, DBoys, Kalash, G&G. Maybe, just maybe something from CA's proline if you get lucky (never buy from their sportline series, there's much better available at that price point). All the above prices I've mentioned are $300-400 BNIB you can find them cheaper used or even get a package deal with extra mags, "lazur scoope" (red dot sight), and maybe half a bag of BB's thrown in as well (packages vary obviously some players might be looking for something new, others might be getting married and leaving the sport, etc.).

3) PB mask will be accepted anywhere. They follow the ASTM standard which is the standard insurance companies set for eyepro for PB fields and since we play at PB fields sometimes we've adopted PB goggles as standard. Other places (usually private fields or airsoft only fields) might only require sealed ballistics or even allow ballistic glasses. It all depends on the field and field owner. If you get a PB mask that's modular or can remove the goggles part you don't need to use the mask part unless the field requires full protection. If you do remove the mask part and just use the goggles you can get a better cheek weld on your guns but then obviously your face isn't protected so might be a good idea to get something like a shemagh to absorb the energy and "catch" the bb in it's "crumple zone" (that's the reason why speedballers wear super loose/baggy jerseys so the paintballs don't explode when they get hit.
Hey, thanks for the in-depth detailed response! I appreciate the effort and time you put into your response. So taking your advice and reading reviews I think I found a good starter AEG, but before i finalize the purchase i figure i would post it here and see if there is any other recommendations (I'm also in the process of trying to get AV'ed, but i rather buy new unless there are better deals in the classifieds).

After reading your post you said ICS sportlines are not the best bang for your buck so i figure i would eliminate the ICS MP5 and go for the ECHO 1 E90 base on a seemingly good positive reaction by people who purchased this AEG (E90). I am planning on getting it from
Code:
http://www.torontoairsoft.com/
when they restock it.

Unless there is another AEG that is better priced/bang for your buck out there that i can purchase from retailers that you could recommend (would also be very helpful), i tried to check for Tokyo Marui and it seems like most of the retailers don't carry them other than 007 airsoft but that is based in Calgary and not in Toronto.

Reason why i am purchasing mainly "cheap" SMG or small sized weapons is because i plan on playing mostly in CQC situation (the place i plan on playing at - TTAC3), so i don't necessary need a high fps since the limit is 350. Another reason is i don't plan on playing Airsoft more than 3 times a month so mods and upgrades are really not necessary for me, i just want a reliable and durable AEG.

Thanks, take care.

Last edited by Hello312; May 5th, 2011 at 11:30..
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Old May 5th, 2011, 11:39   #5
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If you're waiting for a response from AV reps you could also be proactive about it.

Brian M. who runs TTAC3 is an AV rep as is ArmyIssue in Port Credit Mississauga and you can oodle the stuff that Army Issue has while you're there anyways.

As far as the E90 goes. Supposedly it's actually really good for the price as you can obviously tell from the reviews. The only problem that I should point out is that it uses the V6 gearbox rather than the standard V2 or V3. It is reinforced and can survive cold weather better than a V2 can and yes there are some parts that are common but if there's a specific part that's only for the V6 that breaks well... good luck finding a replacement (they *can* be found and are made but aren't as common so most places won't stock them).

If you're planning CQB then you could consider smaller guns like the MP5 (or variant), the AK47 ("Beta Spetz"), or an M4 CQBR. Just know that there are shortened/CQB variants for most guns hell even the G36C could be used for CQB (as opposed to the K or regular models). There's even the M4 "CQB pistol" which basically doesn't have a rear stock (not sure if there's a real life counterpart though and if there is it's probably an Armoured/Mechanized thing since the APC/IFC is pretty tight and cramped). You may have to buy something that's not ideal and then modify it to your liking. Also don't discount renting for your first time. I'm sure if you ask beforehand if you can get a rental at TTAC3 you can be provided one for 20 bucks or something then see what works and what doesn't.

PS: I have no problem helping someone like you out. It's a big change from the kind of noobs (usually underage) that we regularly get. ie. "W0t am b3st sn1per? I gud sn1pe liek 999FPS and eye get 10x lazur scoope 2 get da 1337 h3adsh00ts"
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Old May 5th, 2011, 11:45   #6
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I wrote THIS up a while ago...with a new person just starting out in mind.

It might help you get things figured out.

It speaks to types of games...a bit of gear...what's involved...selecting guns a bit.

TTAC3 is a great place to get started. You can start with a minimum of gear....or go full tilt on gear/weapons. Brian's setup offers a new guy starting out an awesome resource for information, getting sorted out with this or that, guidance from other guys who've been playing for a good while, etc... Take full advantage of what's available there. All you have to do is have enough initiative to walk through the doors with your eyes and ears open and your brain switched on. They world's your oyster from then on.

For TTAC3...you MUST have the following beforehand:
- Ballistic, full seal eye protection. Paintball goggles are fine (i.e. DYE, JT, etc...).
- Good footwear that offers ankle support...and good treads so you won't slip on BBs on the wood flooring there.
* that's it...minimal investment...not complex

You can arrange retal guns for the night from Brian. You'll get everything you need to shoot BBs.

As minimal as it can be....I STRONGLY suggest you have some extra protection on:
- face mask...it'll stop bleeders and busted teeth...a PB mask will do
* it's not mandatory...BUT I cannot more strongly recommend a facemask there.
- gloves...almost any gloves are better than none
- loose clothing...it'll take the sting out of close shots
- clothing appropriate to run around for several hours in a gym...a hoodie sweatshirt might sound like a good idea...but being laid out from heat exhaustion isn't.
- cup for the water cooler

Re. Specific Guns and stuff like that.
I cannot strongly recommend enough that you get your hands on as many different types as possible to see how they "fit" you. Go to TTAC3, rent something and then see what others are using.
* if you want a ultra simple setup that's not a rifle...strongly consider simply running a pistol, with mags and a dump pouch on a belt. You'll be able to fit everything you need in a low-profile knapsack. (Watch for the massive kit bags/cases and crates of sh*t guys bring to games....and you'll immediately see the appeal of a "one-bag" setup )

Last edited by m102404; May 5th, 2011 at 11:52..
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Old May 5th, 2011, 12:03   #7
Hello312
 
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Thanks for the response guys, really helpful advices i am receiving.

@L473ncy: True i checked out some of the smaller versions of the M4 and other rifles with fold able stocks and shortened barrel but it still seem like it consumed a very large amount of footprint. I was planning on gettimg something that consumes really small amount of footprint so i can easily move around in public transportation as i don't want people to get scared seeing someone with such a large rifle bag/case or anything suspicious looking as we all know airsoft is a very fragile sport in Canada.

@m102404: I thought about doing the pistol set up but i was reading a thread on this forum that said pistols are not necessary a good starter weapon for getting into airsoft because of several reasons which is why i eliminated the pistol on my checklist. Nice on the recommendation for boots as a good investment, i didn't think about investing in something like a boot with good grip, thanks!

I will defiantly try to get to TTAC3 and rent a gun and get the feel and jest of things, i just wish the place operated a bit earlier than 8PM.

*Also anyone knows if torontoairsoft restock their items frequently or when they're out of stock your out of luck? I will try to contact the user later today.

Last edited by Hello312; May 5th, 2011 at 12:06..
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Old May 5th, 2011, 12:29   #8
m102404
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Re. Toronto Airsoft...ask them. They're open until 6pm every weekday. There's a phone number on the site...call ahead.

Re. the pistol setup...again, don't rush into buying something. Just give it some consideration. I say that since you seemed to convey that you're going to play at TTAC3 primarily. At that venue I personally do not think that someone armed with "simply" a pistol suffers any kind of disadvantage at all. In fact...when the walls are shifted around and things get very tight, it's not uncommon for people to transition to their pistols and leave their rifles slung.

Providing you can shoot straight . Many people find shooting a rifle/smg easier than a pistol...both for control and accuracy. There's people there to help with that too.

Last edited by m102404; May 5th, 2011 at 12:32..
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Old May 5th, 2011, 12:51   #9
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p90's are fun little units to run, but as i hear it from a few people (including my gundoc who does a lot of p90 work) the bodies on them arent the greatest and he frequently sees chips and chunks taken out of them from cqb

try one of the mp5 variants that are out there, i had a JC that was pretty easy tp upgrade and was really reliable, only thing that ever went wrong on it was a on a cold day when i dropped the bloody thing and one of the body pins shattered
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Old May 5th, 2011, 15:18   #10
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If you're worried about someone calling the cops on you then all you need is a bit of subterfuge. The wise bearded man (Chris Costa) says to put you gun case in something like this:

http://www.apex4me.com/wordpress/wp-...7/09/ybp80.jpg

After all it's not uncommon for a "musician" to be taking public transit to get to/from recital right? It's not like you're lying directly to their face they're just assuming you're a musician.

Protip: Also if you go hard case, stencil in a treble clef, a piano keyboard layout and other kinds of musical motifs onto it. If it's a softbag then make sure it says something like YAMAHA, AKAI, ROLAND, or something like that in big letters. Also if you must travel in BDU's/combats (but it doesn't really matter what you wear to CQB games) make it look "chic" or whatever like just wear combat trousers and have a che shirt on top or something. Basically don't look like a "badass" or a terrorist (if you're "foreign" looking like I am....)
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Old May 6th, 2011, 00:09   #11
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ITT: How to be a New Airsofter.

Welcome to your greatest addiction! Enjoy it and have a blast!
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Old May 6th, 2011, 12:04   #12
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If you could state how much you're willing to spend on the various parts of kit we would be able to advise you better.

Manufacturer is generally more important then the style. Generally all airsoft aeg's work the same so how it looks like outside is up to you. Though the advice in the Airsoft Newbie Buying Guide about styles is good. Generally ak47, m16/m4 or mp5 are good starter gun styles due to the availability of accessories and upgrades.

Sniper rifles are very much *not* recommended for newcomers for a variety of reasons. The foremost among them is price; a good accurate sniper rifle is going to cost you a minimum of a thousand dollars, probably more like fifteen hundred or more. Second, unlike in real steel, an airsoft sniper rifle doesn't have much more range then an upgraded aeg and a considerably slower fire rate. When you can only fire one round every couple of seconds and your opponent can fire sixty is the same time frame, considerable skill is required. Otherwise you'll just get slaughtered every game, which is no fun.

I'll add my weight to the argument of cheap vs quality. Get the highest quality gun you can afford, you'll thank yourself in the long run. Upgrading a low grade gun to match a high grade gun almost always costs considerably more then simply buying the high grade gun in the first place. Not to mention having your gun break down on you in mid game due to cheap parts sucks rocks.

Another thing to consider is resale value. You don't want to spend too much cause you're not sure you'll stick with it? That's actually a good reason *to* get a high grade gun rather then not to. You spend $600 on a Classic Army gun and, provided you've taken decent care of it, you have a very good chance of recouping most if not all of that $600 back. On the other hand, the classifieds are continuously flooded with people trying to offload Aftermath guns with no luck.

Please keep in mind that the prices listed below are rough. I've seen each of the listed at the price given but that was months ago and I don't religiously follow pricing trends. They should be used as a guideline only.

For $200, the best you could manage is Aftermath (CYMA rebrand) stuff. Both the Broxa (full stock MP5) and the Kraken (AK47) are decent bargain basement guns, about $160 or so each. Stay away from Aftermath's Kirenex or Knight (both M4 variants) and the Lycaon (collapsible stock MP5) though, not a good rep.

If you're willing to go up to $300 you could get a JG. Yeah JG's are China clones but they're getting quite respectable nowadays. JG's M4 runs about $290. You could get one of the G&G M4's for about $340. G&G is the cheapest of the midgrade guns. $400-$450 would get you an ICS which is a higher end midgrade gun. $500-$600 would get you a G&P, there's some debate on whether this is the lowest of the higrade guns or if it should rank higher. Either way they make nice guns.

If you can afford it, highgrade guns such as Tokyo Marui or Classic Army are the way to go. They're going to run you $600-$700. Though if the M4/M16 style is what you want then I'd recommend staying away from stock TM's, the barrel wobble and creaking are pretty bad on the stock TM M4/M16's (yes the new TM M4/M16's have fixed this problem, but the bulk of the ones in country are the old ones so best to just avoid them for now).

I did extensive research and settled on the Tactical Carbine version of the Classic Army M15A4 (basically a full stock m4) as my first gun. If an Armalite is what you're looking for then I think it's the best of all possible versions. You have the shortened M4 carbine barrel, which makes you less likely to smack your barrel off something when turning quickly, combined with the full stock which houses a large battery. Small batteries don't have near the run time of a large battery, not to mention that the reinforced slip ring (the ring that keeps the fore-grip on) is really stong. While this is mostly a good thing and a big step up over CA's previous M15 versions, it makes changing small batteries in the field very difficult if not impossible.

CA's M15A4 series in general is a big step up over their previous versions and as far as stock armalites go they're probably the best. All metal where the real steel version is, the plastic parts where the real steal version is plastic are made of high quality enhanced nylon fiber rather then abs for great texture and feel. Classic Army has a deal with Armalite so you get all the proper markings. Plus that deal also goes to show the quality of the manufacture, Armalite wouldn't put their name on a shoddy product.

Internally the gearbox is reinforced metal and all the gears are metal as well. It fires hotter stock then Tokyo Marui's as well, firing at 300-320 fps where your average TM only fires 280-300 fps.

All in all this is a great starter gun if you can afford it. Because it's all metal you don't have to worry nearly as much about breaking it and you won't get any of the wobble or creaking that is infamous in stock TM M4/M16's. Unfortunately affording it is the biggest problem, they're not cheap. For reference I got my CA M15A4 from the classifieds, upgraded with a bunch of Systema internals to fire 390fps, for $600 shipped which was a great price.

As you can probably tell, I'm a big fan of Classic Army. One thing to keep in mind about Classic Army is they now have two lines, a proline and a sportline. Originally they were easy to tell apart because the proline had the metal body and the sportline had a plastic body but recently CA has been releasing their sportlines with metal bodies. The price tag should still allow you to easily tell the difference, the sportline being $300-400ish and the proline never being cheaper then $500, usually more like $600 or more but it's still something to keep in mind. All the pros that I went over above were regarding the proline model. The sportline model has cheaper everything internally and externally.

There's alot of people that will expound the virtues of G&P as well. And I'll admit the externals of G&P are very nice, easily on par with CA, in some cases better. The reason why I don't say G&P over CA though is much the same reason why people weren't big fans of CA up until a few years ago: their quality control for the internals is not the greatest. That means a fair number of lemons. CA got a handle on this a few years ago and they've been making great strides in terms of their rep ever since, but G&P isn't quite there yet. This is simply my personal opinion and there are many people that would likely disagree with me, but it's something to keep in mind. ICS is about a cheap a gun as you can go and still get full metal out of the box. One thing to remember about ICS is they like to go their own way internally, so upgrading them inside will be more difficult then other brands. And needless to say it's not in the same league as CA or G&P. It's what someone on a budget but determined to get full metal would aim for. I should probably give TM some love here as well: Due to Japanese laws TM guns fire alittle cooler then most others and their externals are going to be almost entirely abs plastic. But *nothing* beats TM for internal reliability. You leave a TM stock internally and it will last for literally decades.

One of the perks of going with an M16/M4 variant is that mags are dead easy to come by and dirt cheap. You can get Star brand mags for like $5 a mag or less, plastic yeah but sturdy none the less (Star is also the only brand that makes realcaps too). Metal mags will run you a fair bit more, $15 to $30 a mag. There's no real reason to go with metal over plastic for mags except looks/realism. Though of course if you're going to go hicap then you might as well get metal ones. As to Brands, TM and CA make good mags. I've heard pretty good stuff about MAG brand mags as well. King Arms not so much, especially for M4/M16 mags. Star is always a good affordable fallback too.

Some people say you need to shell out for batteries, mags, camo, chargers and ammo in the begining. Most of that isn't necessary right off the hop. The stock battery will do you for awhile. Most of the guns come with a hicap (high capacity (300-600 rounds)) mag that will also do for awhile. I do agree that a good charger would be a sound initial investment, but not a total requirement, especially if you plan to get a good battery down the road and don't care if the cheap wall charger fries your stock battery. Camo isn't really required in the beginning either, just some dark clothes. Ammo, yeah obviously a requirement but even good ammo (BB Bastard) only costs $10 for two thousand rounds.

So truely, all you really need to start is the gun, a bag or two of ammo and good eye protection (which will run you between $30 and $50). That said, if you can afford it then it all helps. Camo would cost about $100, a chest rig or vest would cost another $100. A good loadout of mags, even the cheap Star mags, are going to cost at least $50. A good charger is at least another $50, with another $50 for a good battery. A sidearm is another thing that people like to have but isn't really necessary. A decent sidearm would cost you between $250 and $350. Probably another $100-150 for a duty belt, a holster, a sling, gloves and a misc pouch or two.

Sidearms aren't really required right away so if you're on a limited budget then hold off on the sidearm for now. If you have the budget for it then what you want in a sidearm depends on two factors (besides cost of course) whether or not full metal is a must and exactly what model you're partial to. Certain manufacturers tend to make certain models better then others. If full metal is a must then the best choice that isn't going to cost you an arm and a leg is probably KJW, especially for the M9 which they do very well. You'll see alot of WE's around, they're cheap and full metal but tend to have problems, especially their 1911 models. KJW has a rep of having mag problems, but I have had two KJW pistols and I haven't had any trouble with my mags. If full metal isn't a must then WA or TM would be very good choices.

As to Pistols as primary/first gun: Using a pistol against AEG's is very doable, but takes alot of skill and experience. I would highly recommend against any newcomer to the sport trying this, as they would likely come away with a negative experience. For the newcomer, a pistol is good for emergency backup and the occasional pistols only battle, but little else.

Think about it: A pistol usually firing a couple of rounds a second at 320ish fps from a six inch barrel, with a 25 round mag and iron sights. Versus a full auto AEG firing 10 to 30 rounds a second at 350-400 fps from a foot and a half barrel, with an 80 round mag, optics and a shoulder stock. Without a lot of skill on the side of the pistol wielder, who do you think will win the majority of the time?

Pistols do indeed rock, I love my KJW 1911 to pieces. But I wouldn't use it in battle against an AEG unless my M4 was bone dry of ammo. And in that instance, I wouldn't have high hopes of winning. If you want to go light-weight in battle, think about a good subgun like a p90 or mp5k-pdw rather then pistols.

But if you have your heart set on using a pistol frequently as a primary or using it for CAPS style target shooting then go with the hicapa. The hicapa is basically a doublestack version of the 1911. If you're interesting in tricking out your pistol then you should definitely go with the hicapa, the bulk of pistol upgrades out there are all for the hicapa. And get a TM hicapa if you do get one, since all the upgrades are for TM. Yeah, other pistols are TM compatible, but that's not quite the same. A TM hicapa will be all abs but it's the most reliable and accurate of the gbbs. Upgrading the higher quality abs guns to full metal is possible but very expensive. It usually easily doubles the cost of the weapon if not more. You're looking at a price tag of $700-$1300.

As you can see from the above (very rough) prices, airsoft is not a cheap sport. It's generally accepted that the absolute minimum you need to get into it is $500, and it's usually more like $1000-$1500 if you go with quality gear. I've seen a few people do it for less then $500, but it takes a fair bit of time, effort and jury-rigging. And of course quality tends to be a problem at that level.

Now for some gun pron:

My Classic Army M15A4 Tactical Carbine without external addons:


My baby, CA M15A4 Tactical Carbine with m203 grenade launcher, red dot sight and taclight:
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