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Old July 30th, 2011, 12:00   #1
Brunkex
 
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Starting Gun/Equipment.

Hello,

I'm new to the forums and looking to get in to airsofting. I've been reading a lot about the different guns, and it's obvious that I should start with an AEG. The not so obvious thing about it is which AEG to go with. I am utterly confused about which one to go for. Now, it's been stated that there is no "best" AEG, and I understand that. What I'm looking for is a decently priced gun ($550 and lower price range) with great reliability out of the box. It doesn't have to be awesomely powerful with an insane rate of fire. My main concerns are for it's reliability and durability. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

Thank you!
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Old July 30th, 2011, 12:19   #2
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Well, options are really endless. It always comes down to what real world gun you prefer most. But if you want something durable and reliable. I'd put down a vote for a full metal AK type (Think realsword!)

A v3 gearbox, solid body design... Pretty much all what you're after.
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Old July 30th, 2011, 12:29   #3
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$550 will put you in the mid to high category for arms for durability/reliability. If you can swing $650, you're definitely in the high category. My choices would be RealSword for AKs, VFC for SCARs and G&P for M4s.

And if you haven't done so already, get Age Verified. Great deals in the AV'ed sections.
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Old July 30th, 2011, 12:29   #4
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Well You have a great starting budget, and unlike many other people who stumble their way onto these humble forums, you actually did some research first it seems.

First thing many will tell you is that you need to get age verified. Becuase unless you do, no one on these forums will tell you where to buy. If you are not 18 yet, well then you have a lot of time to do more research and find out exactly what you want.

You are asking about your first gun, what kind are you looking for? An smg or a rifle? CQb or outdoors? Bullpup or standard.

In your price range there are tons of great options out the for you CA and ARES g36s fit in there, and they are beautifully built, durable, and pretty reliable. G&G has most of their stuff (other than the L85 or the FN2000) in that price range. You are actually coming into it with a much larger budget than most people do.

If you get age verified you have even more options in the classifieds, and usually, you can get some extras in with whatever you buy, be it batteries, chargers, optics, spare magazines, different grips, stocks , rail covers etc. You can find on any given day for sale in there a billion (an exaggeration.. but not my much) m4/m16 variants, g36, SCAR, p90s, AK's, mp5, you get the idea.

Personally, if you are going brand new, id say the ARES g36, its got proper Hk trades on it, its fairly lightweight, comfortable to shoulder, you dont have to worry about body kits or a ton of aftermarket parts, the iron sights are decent, the body is not some cheap garbage plastic. It has the quick swap spring, and even after taxes and shipping, you would have a little bit left over to put into spare mags, optics, or even a couple minor internal upgrades from your local gundoc. All fitting into that 550$ budget of yours.
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Old July 30th, 2011, 12:33   #5
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$550 is a good starting point for a gun, especially if you're willing to buy used from a reputable seller.

Strelok recommended AK's.. I don't personally like them but they're solid guns. I would recommend other V3 gearbox AEGs, mainly the G36. It's easy to strip down and work on and the CA version with the nylon body is very durable (I bought mine years ago and it still works, body is still in great condition). 330 FPS stock and about 12.5 RPS fire rate on an 8.4v, higher on a 9.6v. Only think I hate about them are the magazines. KWA also makes a really nice G36c that will fit a large battery and has one of the best stock mechboxes in its price range, I just find the ABS body a little weak.

A G3 is another cool gun that isn't overly common. Uses a V2 mechbox but with a metal body they're tanks.

Another I might suggest is the P90. Lots of cool in a small package. It's a small gun though and doesn't work well for everyone and the mags are huge, but the V6 mechbox is shit simple to work on and get out of the gun. Generally P90s are very reliable.

You can always go with the classic M4/M16 metal body and a reinforced V2 mechbox. Not a huge fan personally because everyone and their mother, dog, girlfriend, and crazy roommate has one, but it's a versatile platform.

Basically find a type of gun you like then we can point you in the direction of an airsoft equivalent that suits your needs.

EDIT:

Haha, awesome. This thread should be stickied and used as an illustration to n00bs about the kind of answers they get when they actually take the time to ask a good question!
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Old July 30th, 2011, 12:36   #6
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$550ish is around the price range of a type 56-1. Think reliable V3 mechbox all steel construction, steel side folding stock polymer furniture.

The only person I know that doesn't like his Type 56-2 complains about the weight and the folding stock button sometimes getting stuck. Other than that it's accurate and has descent range.

If the Type 56-2 is out of your price range you can always go for SRC's aluminum body AKs or the Newer CYMA/Echo one Steel AKM. If you are an AR fanboy can't go wrong with a full metal Kings arm M4 they seem to be pretty popular. Again choosing your gun will depend on what you prefer.

Don't forget to factor in the cost of spare magazines, Batteries, BB loader, sling, a means of carrying magazines, Protective gear goggles, mouth protection, bbs, etc.

Well that's my 2 cents happy hunting!
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Old July 30th, 2011, 12:57   #7
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Thank you for all the responses, I really appreciate it. I am definitely going to get age verified as soon as I can. I need to contact the guy in Kingston or Smiths Falls, as they're the only decently close verifiers in my area.

AK's I find are one of my least favorite rifles, as the room to add accessories is slim. From what I've seen, you can only really add a scope which makes it look like a monstrosity(In my opinion). I agree that the M4/M16 are widely over used guns. That said, I believe the RIS allows for maximum customizations. I was thinking about the G36 because it has room for some accessories, as well as being able to use it as an assault rifle, and partially an smg due to the folding stock. Are the CA models, and ARES models practically the same? Or is one better than the other?
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Old July 30th, 2011, 13:05   #8
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Originally Posted by Brunkex View Post
I was thinking about the G36 because it has room for some accessories, as well as being able to use it as an assault rifle, and partially an smg due to the folding stock. Are the CA models, and ARES models practically the same? Or is one better than the other?
The ARES model is probably the better of the two, and that is reflected in the cost. Frankly the CA and ARES models are the only two I'd consider. All other G36 bodies are made from ABS -ARES and CA make theirs from nylon. Not only is it textured better, it's a lot stronger and doesn't shine like ABS does.

You have 3 models with the '36. The standard full size one, the 'K' which is a little shorter with a shorter stock, and the 'C' which is the shortest. I have a full size one and a 'C'. I like the long gun but in CQC or close woodland it's a bit of a bitch to maneuver. The 'C' is small and compact and fun to run around with.

One thing to consider about the CA G36 (full size one, not sure about the ARES version).. the barrel length is 495mm, not 509mm like a standard M16, and the diameter if the flash hider is narrower than the outer diameter of the barrel, which means it has to be machined out ever so slightly to fit a new T/N barrel in (Classic Army makes a T/N for the G36, but the barrel is complete crap).

Another thing about the G36 is that I have yet to encounter 2 different manufacturers that make them to the same tolerances. So fitting different parts on them is always a bit of an exercise. Overall though I love it and the G36 is still the favorite of all my guns.
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Last edited by kalnaren; July 30th, 2011 at 13:07..
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Old July 30th, 2011, 13:12   #9
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The CA and the ARES are both great, a lot of people are going with the ARES these days because of the quick swap spring feature, so you can quickly go from indoor fps to outdoor limits without needing to completely open up the mechbox

and you dont need a spare in the eventuality that your gun is too hot to use at a given game

side note: couldnt agree with you more, lol I HATE aks and all their variants
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Old July 30th, 2011, 15:22   #10
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Right now in the age verified retailer section you can get a brand new full metal King Arms M4 for $350. King Arms has in my opinion the best quality externals, as well as very good internals. While this gun is the standard M4A1 without any rails, you could easily add one and still have money left over for a full set of magazines and a battery and charger.

As everyone else has said get age verified as soon as possible, all these deals are not going anywhere.

But please, don't forget about the importance of eye protection. NEVER skimp on good eye protection, while not as sexy as guns they are all the more important.
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Old July 30th, 2011, 18:11   #11
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The ARES G36 has a great hop up unit. It can easily hit targets at 150 feet stock.
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Old July 30th, 2011, 18:15   #12
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But please, don't forget about the importance of eye protection. NEVER skimp on good eye protection, while not as sexy as guns they are all the more important.
Exactly, fogging is a nightmare, you cant see, you cant shoot !!
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Old July 31st, 2011, 07:15   #13
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$550 is a pretty good budget for a gun, but keep in mind you need a few other things to play, so if $550 is all you can spare then you may have to settle for a slightly less high-quality gun to save for those extras. At the absolute minimum you need good eye protection, good footwear and some ammo. I'd personally also add a good battery charger to the list as well.

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.

You've got your head in the right place when your primary concern is reliability and durability first and foremost. It's always a good idea to 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 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 $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 slightly 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 strong. 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 one of the few brands 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 truly, all you really need to start is the gun, a bag or two of ammo, good eye protection (which will run you between $30 and $50) and decent footwear (combat boots are the best but $40 hiking boots from walmart will do in a pinch). 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.

If you're planing on using your 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.

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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Old July 31st, 2011, 12:20   #14
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Thank you all once again for the responses. Kuro_Neko... That is one massive reply, Lol.

I figure that for the gun, my price range is in the $550 mark. I've got a Vest(Which should do for now. I think it has room for 5 Mags, as well as a couple other pouches and is Molle Compatible on the back. I'm planning to get a LBV later on as I find them more comfortable than the Tac-Vest.)and I've got some Woodland Camo which can be upgraded to something better at a later point. I've also got a pair of Combats I use to go Hiking in. Would it be suggested to wear a balaclava or a steel mesh half-mask, paired with the ballistic goggles to soften BB's to the face? A good charger is probably going to be something I buy right away. Which charger is suggested? An Auto-Cut-off?

Well, I've got my eyes on the ARES G36C, Or the CA M15A4. How is SRC generally viewed? I've seen their products everywhere, but nobody really mentions them all that much? From the little I have read on them, their Gen 3's seem to be decent contenders in the Airsoft market using Nylon Fiber instead of ABS, and Metal and wood on their AK's, etc. I ask because I was also eying the SRC G36KV with the battery in the folding stock. I really like the look of it. I would say that for my starting budget, to spend all at one time would be at around $750-$800 for the basic essentials as well as the gun.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 13:23   #15
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Thank you all once again for the responses. Kuro_Neko... That is one massive reply, Lol.
You should feel very special, he spend hours writting that piece just for you... LOL
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