1. Where to buy your Airsoft gun?
You have 2 major options available to you when buying an Airsoft gun 1.) you can go to a walk-in store or you can go searching online and to find a trustful and decent online store where you can safely buy your (first) Airsoft gun.
Personally I would recommend to go to a Walk-in store and then decide what you want to buy. That is because you can go in there and get that look and feel of a gun. You can just go in there potentially, hanging on the gun, manipulate it a little bit and see if that gun is something you like or don’t like. Is it the way it feels that you like or is it the way to operate or all the extra features…. The only way you can experience that is actually holding the gun for yourself in a walk-in store. If you later on decide to go somewhere else or go online that’s fine. You at least experienced some guns which is an advantage.
How to find a walk-in store?
To find many walk-in stores, Airsoft fields and Airsoft teams, go online to AirsoftC3.com where you can find all this. It’s a very helpful tool for beginners and also advanced players. In the Netherlands for example you have airsoftclubnederland.nl or nabv.nl.
What to go for when going online?
If you don’t have the option of a walk-in store available to you, you can go online where are literally thousands of webstores available to you. The question these days is what makes it a reliable and trustful online store?
How tot trust a webstore?
1. Where is the company established? Is there an address available on the website?
2. How can you reach the company? By phone, email and address?
3. Does the website include pictures of the owners and employees?
4. Is the company connected to certified organisations which guarantee trusty and safety?
5. Do they have reliable references from customers?
6. How do other people judge this company (on fora e.a.)
I always buy my outdoor equipment on Amazon but that doesn’t mean there are many other online stores who you can trust and are reliable. AirsoftGI, Evik.com, Airsoftmegastore or AirsoftAtlanta are examples of trustful sites.
I encourage you to do your own research before buying your gun in a webstore.
2. Which type of Airsoft gun should you buy?
As you maybe know there are three types of Airsoft guns 1.) the AEG, 2.) the GBB and 3.) High Pressure Air (HPA).
We will describe them separately and give some advice on how you should handle the different types of Airsoft guns and what you should do….or not… -;)
2.1 The Automatic Electric Gun
The Automatic Electric Gun (also called A.E.G.) is powered by a battery. How does this gun work? In short the battery will power the motor which is usually housed in the pistolgrip of the gun. After pulling the trigger the motor will spin a series of gears and ultimately a piston. That piston creates air-compression which thrives down the gun picks up a BB and fires it down the end of the barrel.
This guns is the most common type on the Airsoft field and available to you at the market. The main reason for that is that it is the most affordable gun. Furthermore these guns are extremely reliable and easy to upgrade.
2.2 The Gas Blow Back
This guns is for the Airsoft players who want the experience of a real gun. These guns are specifically designed to imitate a real steel fire arm so if you are going for realism and want to go for a copy of a real gun than go for a GBB!
The gas blow is slightly different from an A.E.G. where it comes to the inner parts and how it works. The main difference is that it has a gas reservoir and when you pull the trigger a hammer will drop and causes the release of gas from the magazine that will put the whole cycle in action and fires BB’s simultaneously.
These guns are more expensive than an A.E.G. and are not as reliable as an A.E.G. and that is because the gas mechanism and all the small internal pars. With this gun it all comes down to realism. That’s the way this gun is built. An disadvantage is that this gun is not reliable in cold weather conditions.
2.3 High pressure Air gun
The high pressure Aire guns are the real deal. These are heavy guns and the most expensive Airsoft Guns. They are an option when you really have the money and will spent it but I don’t recommend this one to a Airsoft beginner.
The HPA looks more like an GBB in the way this gun is powered. The high pressure comes from an air tank – mostly carried on your back – from where the air pressure goes to a line from the tank to the gun. The little internal gearbox creates air compression inside the device. When the trigger is it will shoot air through the device through a nozzle , pick up a BB and bring it through the barrel of the gun.
This is not a beginner gun. It is a very expensive gun because of the internal parts, an airtank, a line, a regulator etc..
This gun shoot amazing fast and these guns have kind of an internal computer to regulate velocity etc..
3. What qualities should I look and go for?
When (first) buying a gun you should consider price, attributes, FPS, battery and charger.
Price is always an important issue especially when you start with Airsoft. When buying an Airsoft gun don’t fall for all the extra attributes you get with that gun because you actually don’t know what quality you buy like the battery and charger.
FPS is important because you want to be able to play on most Airsoft fields without any restrictions.
Price is always an important issue. You want a good quality gun for a decent price right? Imagine for example that you bought a $300+ gun and during your first play you find out that really don’t like being a rifle or a support gunner. Or you don’t like to carry an airtank for that HPA gun. Then what? You spent a whole bunch of money on that expensive gun and now you actually don’t like it… while you could spent that money to some attachments or upgrades….
So, what to do about it? What should you do to no get stuck with a gun you don’t like?
A very (too) cheap gun isn’t the solution I think. The odds are that this gun isn’t last for long and perform well. It is also disappointing when you’re not be able to keep up with your team because that gun isn’t performing well and even let you down if needed the most…
If you decide to purchase a gun then decide to buy a nice reliable gun in the range of 100-200 dollar. Read more on price range in this article at paragraph 2.1. Click here to go too that page:
As a beginner I wouldn’t go any lower than 100 dollar or higher than 300 dollar.
That is because you don’t really know what you exactly can expect when playing a role. You maybe did some gameplay but you really don’t know how to play this by yourself. A middle of the road gun can help you decide what type of gameplay you really want to play and what works best for you instead of that is only situated and utilised for a specific scenario.
Another advantage of that is you experience a lot of situations and as you getting more involved you get a better understanding of how you want to perform on the field. You have also spoken to many other Airsofters so now you know a bit what you can expect and what your next gun should be and how you’re going to upgrade it.
You can later on use this gun as your back up gun or as your spare parts gun. You’re not going to make it with a cheap Wallmart gun which will not last long and is useless after a couple of months.
So your first gun is important when it comes to finding your preferred style of play. You can ultimately use it as a back-up gun or spare parts gun…
3.2 Feet Per Second = F.P.S.
We judge a gun on his performance by this important key figure: Feet Per Second. Why? Because most fields have restrictions on the MAX. FPS of a gun. About 90% of the fields allow a gun which shoot below 400 F.P.S.
Did you some upgrades on your gun and shoots it now over 400 F.P.S. ? Your gun may be allowed but could be subjected to some extreme regulations on how to utilise it or in terms of distance to target. Or your gun may not even be allowed at all! So consider F.P.S. and where you are going to play.
When buying a gun you maybe are flattered about the extra accessories like a battery, a charger and other stuff. But be aware of what you getting when buying a gun because do you know what you really get with that gun? Do you have any idea of the quality of the battery and charger you get? The only thing what I would say is; don’t pay attention to the attributes you get with that gun but focus on buying a good gun and then go out and buy your own batter, charger and magazines. This way you will get exactly what you need for your gun.
It’s the same with upgrades. Be sure you read all the descriptions before you purchase any extra accessories or upgrades. You could easily damage your gun and that’s a pitty.
4. Find local sites and groups first
Before buying an Airsoft gun you maybe want to do some research, find local sites our groups and ask them about the best gun. After doing a bit of research you’d best rent a gun for a day and go play. That’s the best way to find out!
Go out and rent a gun for a day so you can see which one seems the best for you and fits the role you want to play! On Airsoftmap.net you will find nice locations to play.
If you don’t have a clue and do not have an idea beforehand on what to expect, than don’t buy a gun straight away but as I said rent one and play for a day and find out by yourself!
By actually playing you can feel what kind of gun you would actually want to use when you really come to play Airsoft. Buying a gun first will change your mind immediately as to what you want after a full day of playing…
5. Parts and accessories
When playing on the Airsoftfield and being in the middle of a fire fight you’re not thinking of a jamming of your gun right?…. Well what if that happens? What is the most common thing to do? Well, you should probably borrow a part from your teammate right?
Well, that’s why we recommend an M4/M16 platform or AK platform as your first Airsoft gun. That is because there are plenty of parts and accessories because these platforms are the most seen in on the Airsoftfield. So you can always ask somebody for a specific part when needed because most M4 en AK platforms by manufacturer parts are interchangeable. That is a huge advantage!
As time progress you gain more and more experience. Maybe you want to upgrade the gun. Well, a M4 platform is known as easy to upgrade. If you have an upgrade in mind check parts availability on local shops and on the internet. Then too you will find out that these platforms are the most common and because of that plenty of parts available!
P.S.: The M4 is a short barrel carbine while the M16 tends to be longer so we prefer M4 as a beginner gun above the M16 types.
How upgradable is your gun? Does that weapon system fit any upgrades? Upgrades and parts goes hand in hand but an upgrade is much more complicated than putting some parts into the gun.
The M4/M16 platform is one THE most upgradable platforms in Airsoft World. A lot of Airsofters recommend to use a M4 Combat Machine. I wrote an Article about this gun: Click here to follow the link to that article
The M4 is also the most popular gun in Airsoft. Not only because the platform but also because of the versatility of parts and accessories so it’s a good way to start out with some kind of M4.
After choosing your gun and went to the Airsoftfield where you did some runs, have a bit of fun, did some shoots, you might get a feeling that some players have significant better weapons than you have. Once you realized, you are ready to go for some upgrades. In important condition to that is that you already did some skirms and know your gun quite well.
An important question to ask: how far will you go on upgrading your gun? It’s better to focus on the performance and accuracy of your gun instead if replace all the internals whereby you need an expert to do it for you. So here we focus on upgrades you can do by yourself and are relatively easy to implement.
We will discuss Red Dot Sights, Foregrip options, camouflage options, Rail options.
6.1 Red Dot Sight
Red Dot Sights are easy to install and they are a nice welcome to your shooting performance and accuracy. I can’t tell you how much easier it is to aim with a Red Dot Sight. You have to experienced it by yourself. It’s like using a magnifying glass so you can imagine how it is involved your accuracy.
The problem with a Red Dot Sight is that it shot out easy. After a day of playing you could easily have lost around 50 dollars so we need a solution for that. Well, there is: A Lensprotector! It’s easy to install in front of your Red Dot Sight and will prevent your RDS.
A kind of an upgrade for your Red Dot Sight is the Riser which you put underneath the Red Dot Sight to gain a better look through the Sight. Having a few Risers at different elevation levels enables you to try different Sights.
The use of a Foregrip can improve your accuracy as well as your overall performance. An Foregrip will help you to hold your gun more comfortably. Especially in CQB situations where you move a lot from left to right etc..
You have several Forgerip options available to you. You can use the lower rail underneath the front of your fore rail. The G&G foregrip is a nice one because it’s light weight, made out of plastic and is durable.
Another Foregrip option is the one with extra options. A folding Foregrip is used as normal bat can also used it by fold it all the way up or down like an angled Foregrip.
You want more options? Well, you can choose a Foregrip with a Flashlight in it! Know that your gun will be heavier after install this one.
Maybe you don’t like a Foregrip at all. Instead of a Foregrip you could use some railcovers.
You can use the basic plastic rail coves or use rubber covers that which gives you a different handgrip experience. Another function of railcovers is to camouflage your gun using the rubber covers with different camouflage patterns.
Don’t go for internal upgrades until you are comfortable with your gun and aiming your targets.
7. Your Role in the field
Before event think of your gun you should have been thought about what your role would be on the Airsoftfield. Do you want to be a regular Rifleman, a Sniper, DMR, Squad Support or…..?
Each role requires different gear because you purpose and circumstances are different. Most Airsoft Rifleman use a standard M4, but a Sniper will use a M16 or Sniper Rifle. As a sniper you would prefer long barrel instead of short barrel.
In a separate article I wrote about the different roles on the Airsoftfield. Follow this link to that article.
8. What guns do you have access to?
There is one simple answer to that: All of them! There are so many different types and styles that most of the beginners and even advanced have a hard time to choose the right gun for them.
One of the main points you should wondering is if that gun take M4 or M16 style magazines. When you are in the middle of a fire fight and you run out of mags you have a big problem. The solution is already there when having a M4 or M16 style because this is a general trend in Airsoft. So when you run out of mags you can always borrow one from one of your teammates.
Another advantage you have with a M4 or M16 is when you go out and buy a future Airsoft gun with the same type of magazines. That way you will save money on a lot of different magazines that you otherwise have to buy.
I would go for a M4 because they are so upgradable and you have a lot more options available to you.
The most popular brands are:
- Elite Force
- Classic Army
- Lancer Tactical
9. CQB or Outdoor?
What is your preference Airsoft area? Indoor or Outdoor? Be informed about what works best indoor or outdoor. Some say “when playing CQB you want something long” and others say keep it short because of the narrow space…
The same with outdoor playing: some would go for a short range like MP5 and others for a Sniper Rifle…
It depends on what you want, your role, your preferred style etc…
You can schoose also something in between like a M16.