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Old July 5th, 2009, 03:29   #1
Wilo
 
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The Typical Airsoft Newbie Question

So, as everyone knows, the airsoft newbies like to ask, "well wut gun shld i gt?"

I know, the questions annoying as balls. But hey, I'd like a little help. But before everyone lets me know about Age Verification, the legality of airsoft, etc, be aware that I've read the rules when I was 16, and again when I joined on this new account.(My old account name was Pliskin.) I'm planning on heading to the LZ field soon to be AV'ed by Ex-Royal.

Now, I need some help choosing a gun. I've heard CA are the best for durable bodies(such as full metal, etc) so I was leaning to them, but I can't remember if the mechbox's were ever good or bad. The guns I like are the M4's, M16's, SIG 552's, and a GBB pistol.(No specific look of pistol really, anything is awesome.)

I know that everyone and their dog have M4's, but I like the fact that you can pretty much add any accessories because of the rail systems. Though, I'm aware of some body issues, like twisting if you use a grip(Read someone's review before about the TM and a full-metal version[maybe it was CA]doing the same.)

So my decisions are based around the body and mechbox durability, of course, and some form of M4 or M16. Also, I want some good range and a good power with decent accuracy, so of course I'll need a gun with an easy-to-upgrade mechbox.

And any recommendations of a good reliable out of the box GBB pistol would be appreciated as well.

Thanks for the help.

Last edited by Wilo; July 5th, 2009 at 03:35..
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Old July 5th, 2009, 03:59   #2
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Depends on if you prefer the M16 or M4 more, based on your size and ect. Nearly every single brand makes a M4 and M16, and you need to have a budget in mind, but I won't divulge in answering any of that, because Kuro-Neko will come in with his copy-n-paste jazz soon.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 04:10   #3
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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.

For $200, the best you could manage is Aftermath 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 even get one of the G&G cansoft (clear receiver) 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, this is where the barrel twist with vert grips that you heard about comes from. You won't find that problem on any full metal guns and not even on lot of plastic guns. The problem comes from TM's weird three piece barrel system that they use for their Armalites.

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.

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.

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 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.

edit: yuhaoyang: lol, am I getting that predictable?
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Old July 5th, 2009, 04:13   #4
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Always are (only joking)
Very helpful stuff that no one can do without though =p
EDIT: And to add to it, for a side-arm, it also depends on style, but for this category, I as a personal recommendation would say the TM hi-capa 5.1 far and beyond anything else your thinking of, because it is the most customizable GBB on the market by a long shot, with any and every style you want (ask Illusion), it performs very well with just minor upgrades (hop-up rubber, new nozzle and inner barrel). And it of course comes with the TM bullet-proof reliability. If you leave it stock, it will still perform admirably. TM have really outdone themselves with the look of the plastic, it looks extremely good, and better than some metal guns I've handled. They usually run for around 300-350. Mine came nearly BNIB for 300.
EDIT EDIT: Just because a pistol is full metal doesn't mean it's good, cheapo pot metal (low grade iron, 100 grade steel, ect ect.) some times turn out worse than good quality plastic.
Holy crap EDIT: BTW: New TM M4/M16s don't have barrel wobble anymore. Since your looking for "decent" accuracy, I would recommend the CA RIS M4, it has great, rock solid externals, and what you can kind of consider as "pre-upgraded" internals... They are much more solid and technically will take a lot more punishment than TM internals, although some people on here have run their TMs with upgraded springs and metal bushings, and have gotten no problems. An M4 RIS will allow for a retractable stock, and a PEQ battery box on the front for large batteries(upsets the balance of the gun, but you can argue it's closer to real steel); and any other trinkets you can think of(don't be an accessories whore). The M4 has a very respectable 363mm inner barrel length, allowing for a decent amount of accuracy. It is also the gun with the most aftermarket parts avalible, despite the V2 mechbox being the weakest out there. Did I mention the very brand new CAs have fully functional bolt catches now?
http://www.classicarmy.com/ (check yourself)
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Old July 5th, 2009, 05:07   #5
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As long as you can afford it and you don't mind the lack of metal then yeah, the TM hicapa is probably the best choice. If you're wondering what it looks like, it's basically a double stack 1911 variant. It is without a doubt the most upgradable pistol there is.

Yes, metal can be cheap and ususally is. And some do turn out worse then plastic (WE's come to mind), but some people are full metal snobs. While the looks can be made resemble metal very well, the feel will never be the same. The heft is usually off as well even with the addition of weights that some abs gbb manufacturers include in their guns. I'm not the most objective of people on this subjust though since I'm one of the aforementioned fmu snobs.

Yeah, the new TM's have fixed their barrel wobble. But considering the state of airsort importing in Canada I figure most of them in country are older ones so I have left that bit in my copy-paste as a warning. I'd highly recommend TM for any other gun because, as you say, you can't beat the reliablity of a stock TM, though the fps is little weak. I'm not a fan of the collapsible stocks, they force you to either use small batteries in the hand guards or a large in a PEQ or battery bag. I've always been a full stock man for anything but a CQB weapon.

I have heard about the new CA's and their functional bolt catch. I'd love to have one, but not enough to replace my highly personalized baby.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 06:34   #6
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Kuro you should just copy and paste that post once a week with a title saying WHAT GUN SHOULD YOU BUY?
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Old July 5th, 2009, 06:42   #7
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Oh god... I don't want to have it memorized man... This guy actually looks like he did some research, I think whoever doesn't and asks "what gun" should just get an infraction...(argueable by OP directly through a PM to a staff member) =p
I was paranoid as hell up-on my first purchase as well, but I researched instead of thread spam. The end result? I ended up with a half broken ICS. But that's okay, I sold it for the same price I bought it. =p

Also, I completely agree on the full stock thing, which is why I have one; but it appears that for shorter people a retractable stock can be a god-send. I tried letting a short friend hold a full stock M16. omg it was ever so awkward. If the OP does want a functional ejection port cover, (more useful than a bolt catch, in a not-at-all-useful way), you can just buy aftermarket =D
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Old July 5th, 2009, 12:12   #8
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Kuro you should just copy and paste that post once a week with a title saying WHAT GUN SHOULD YOU BUY?
I basically do already, there's usually at least one of these threads that I reply to every week. And it's not like any of the newbies would actually read it, few of them do anything resembling research.

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Oh god... I don't want to have it memorized man... This guy actually looks like he did some research, I think whoever doesn't and asks "what gun" should just get an infraction...(argueable by OP directly through a PM to a staff member) =p
Not that much research or he would have found several copies of my copy-n-paste post and not had to ask. As to infraction, anywhere else but the newbie tank and I'd agree, but this is pretty much what the newbie tank was created for.

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I was paranoid as hell up-on my first purchase as well, but I researched instead of thread spam. The end result? I ended up with a half broken ICS. But that's okay, I sold it for the same price I bought it. =p
Same here, at least to the paranoia and research. I didn't put fingers to keys till I had read every faq and sticky at least twice, not to mention googling the hell out of the subject and I always went back at least six months of posts making sure that what I was about to ask hadn't been asked before. My end result was better then yours, I got my baby that I'm still using a year later. The only problem with it was the battery I got with it died after about two months, luckily my paranoia had that covered, I had already bought a spare battery.

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Also, I completely agree on the full stock thing, which is why I have one; but it appears that for shorter people a retractable stock can be a god-send. I tried letting a short friend hold a full stock M16. omg it was ever so awkward. If the OP does want a functional ejection port cover, (more useful than a bolt catch, in a not-at-all-useful way), you can just buy aftermarket =D
Very true. If you're a small guy (or a girl) full stock guns tend to be awkward to maneuver. A functional bolt catch or ejection port cover are nether of them particularly useful. The bolt catch not at all except for looks and the ejection port cover very little, after all the only time you want that open is when you're adjusting your hopup.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 12:55   #9
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I was planning on heading to the LZ to rent and play before I dropped 600 on something I wasn't going to use very often, but so far I like the sound of a full-stock M4. I'm 6'2 and have some long arms, and I'm comfortable holding a long rifle (like a long .22 rifle) so I imagine a full stock wouldn't pose a problem to me, unless they're longer than I think.

But what still worries me is the barrel twist, as someone said newer TM's had been fixed, yea, Canada sucks for importing, so we're in the stone-age compared to Japan or China or wherever TM is ().

So I'd be looking for something with a durable body and need a large battery, and again, a durable mechbox that shoots like 300 fps out of the box, just so even with a "good' aeg I'm not being outclassed at my first game with my new personal toy.

Price range doesn't really matter, I don't have the cash now because I don't have a reason to save yet - throw me some prices if you feel like wasting some of your time with me and give me some ideas of what would be nice out of the box and upgradeable in the future.(Forget about the pistols for now, don't need one yet.)



Also, I'd need a recc. on a good charger and a long lasting battery. (Large or small, depends on wether or not I decide on a fullstock/shorty.)
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Old July 5th, 2009, 13:16   #10
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Don't get ahead of yourself man. Rent first and see if you like it.

Also 400 FPS is the limit at most large outdoor fields (LIMIT not GOAL, LIMIT)

If you want quality be prepared to pay. You won't get too outclassed even if you go with a Kraken (after a few mods). It's like the difference between a Civic with a few racing mods (not a riced up Civic) vs something like an Audi TT. One you'll have to mod/upgrade it a bit the other out of the box you'll be fine save for a few mods to bring it up to "racing quality".

So after all that.... I spent about $450 on my gun alone (body and battery, no mags, no charger). After that I got other stuff and I can say that I'm happy with what I'm fielding. In total it was probably a good $800-900 after everything cleared (that includes things like mags, vest, mask, etc.).
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Old July 5th, 2009, 15:21   #11
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You want something solid then you're going to want to go Classic Army, G&P or possibly a metal bodied ICS. I have a Classic Army myself and I can guarantee it's rock solid, not a twist, not a creak, not a flex at all and I've got a fair bit of stuff tacked on mine. If 300fps is your goal, then you're not going to have any problems. Only TM is lower then that out of the box at about 280-300, every other manufacturer's out of the box speeds are 300 or better. I covered the basic prices in my first post.

As I stated earlier, 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 in my original post 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 very good. 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, I haven't read alot about this manufacturer but 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.

As to full stock or not, considering your size I'd say definitely full stock on everything but your CQB weapon (if/when you get one). You might even want to weigh the M4 carbine length barrel versus the m16 full length barrel. The difference in length isn't huge and in terms of airsoft not much of a consideration in effectiveness until you you get highly upgraded and even then not too much. But just for look and feel, considering your size, it might be something to think about.

Concerning battery and charger. Get a universal NPT smart charger, you can get them from airsoftparts.ca for something like $36 and it's a great charger. For batteries, you can't go wrong with cheapbatterypacks.com, just go to that site, tell it the make and model of your gun and it'll give you a choice of good batteries.

Some gun pron:
Classic Army M15A4 Tactical Carbine (full stock M4):



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Old July 5th, 2009, 16:02   #12
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The one thing I dislike about the M4 and M16 is the handgrip at the front. But I guess with a rail system and a vert grip it'll be different. So tuning up to 400 fps is generally not that great of an idea? I know that the higher FPS you go the more likely it is to strip a gear or ruin a piston or spring or whatever isn't reinforced. So saying that - a stock gun shooting about 300 FPS should really only be tuned up to like 350-380 tops?

Also, I already said I was going to the LZ to rent and play and get age verified. So no worries about that, all these questions are for future reference if I get sucked into the sport - which I know I will.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 16:21   #13
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Yeah, an RIS with a vert grip is very different then the stock handguard.

400 is the absolute upper limit for most fields so as previously said, a limit not a goal. 350-380 is a good target to aim for but 300 will do fine for quite a while unless you're playing in areas with large flat open spaces (ie 100 ft or more), in which case the little extra range you get with the increased fps would come in handy. As to whether it would strip stock internals, that depends on the internals, it's different from gun to gun and manufacturer to manufacturer. Generally anything over 350ish and you should consider upgrading the internals more then just the spring. I'm not really the one to answer questions about that though, I don't know much about internal upgrades beyond being able to recognize a good parts list when I see one. My advice is get the gun first, play with it awhile and if you notice any shortcomings then you can start thinking about upgrades.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 16:46   #14
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So based on all the advice, I'm still stuck between a full length M16 and a fullstock M4, but I guess I'll play the safe-side and IF i stick in the sport, get the M4, due to the overall easyness of the rifle.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 17:15   #15
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Well just my opinion but, unless you get a full length barrel for looks get the M4 length. The differance between the teo for accuracy and range will be negligable. However the shorter barrel will allow greater movement in wooded areas.
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