Airsoft Guns Guide for Beginners: There's so much information to take in if you're going to purchase an airsoft gun. The last thing you want is to make a purchasing decision that you are immediately going to regret. Still, your options are almost countless, and it can be very easy to become lost, confused, unsure, or all of the above when you're actually about to make the purchase.
Despite all that, have no fears- this article will help you through the entire process and give you a leg up on all the other newcomers around you. The business of outdoor competitive hunting sports is big and daunting, so make sure that you're not caught unaware... figuratively and literally. So I put together a beginneres guide to airsoft guns.
COVERING THE BASICS OF Airsoft Guns Guide for Beginners
So, you're interested in getting into the world of Airsoft guns, but you don't know where to begin. The simplest answer is to figure out what type of gun works best for you. Whichever type of airsoft gun you purchase will decide how much you're going to be spending, how easy it will be to fix the gun or replace parts if it ever becomes damaged, how long the airsoft gun will last you in the long run, and how well-built the gun is. Let's get into all the various models that are open to you...
Gas Blowback Rifle
These models are fairly expensive, especially for those who are just starting out in the hobby. We're talking several hundreds of dollars- more than $400 in some instances- for just the base-line model itself. Additionally, you have to take several other expense factors into consideration before committing to a GBBR model. A gas blowback rifle needs gas, and their magazines cost more when compared to other models, as do replacement parts.
Repair bills can also be higher when compared to other types of airsoft guns, but fortunately, the premium model means that those repairs will be fewer and far apart when compared to more affordable models. GBBR guns offer a more realistic experience compared to other types of airsoft guns, so only consider them if you're looking for more of a simulated weapon as opposed to an airsoft gun that is built to help you be competitive and win.
Automatic Electric Gun
If you are completely new to the scene, this model of airsoft gun is most likely going to be more your speed and will help you get you where you're trying to go. These models make up the lion-share of the entire airsoft market, and it's easy to see why. The average AEG is dependable and easy to use.
They're also extremely affordable and simple enough to deconstruct and rebuild. AEG airsoft guns are built to replicate real guns and can be customized from there. Most customizations will increase the price, but seeing as these models tend to be the most affordable airsoft guns, that shouldn't matter too much in the grand scheme of things.
Gas Blowback Pistol
If you're looking for a happy medium between the GBBR and the AEG, the GBBP model airsoft gun might be just what you are looking for. And that goes double if you're looking for something closer to a pistol. What's even better is there are several GBBP models that retail for around $100. This is another model that is great for newcomers to airsoft, and in particular is a good fit for those just looking to take a few shots at cans and targets as opposed to full on into airsoft for the sport of it all. There are several people out there interested in airsoft who don't necessarily want to head into the woods just yet, preferring instead to gain mastery overshooting via practice. This is the airsoft gun for that type of user.
Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle
The BASR is a great airsoft gun for the user who isn't looking for a great on the move weapon, but one that exceeds when the user is stationary. Positioning is important when handling the BASR, as you're not going to get much use out of it if you constantly have to move and reposition yourself. Experience on the field is a must if you're going to use a pro-level weapon like the BASR. Since the gun doesn't have a high rate of fire, and it has limited clip storage, the user has to pick a strategic location, hunker down, and keep patient until the moment is just right. The other main advantage to using a BASR as opposed to other airsoft models is that it is far quieter than most, allowing for a degree of stealth that the others don't offer. The rifle is an investment, however, so be prepared for a weighty fee when it comes to upkeep and replacement parts. Truly, it's a pro-level weapon.
If you have got your heart set on investing in an airsoft rife as opposed to a gun, and you're new to the industry, the best option for you might be an HPA model. The gun relies on a compressed air canister as the force which shoots out the ammo at a solid rate of fire. That being said, caution is advised if this is going to be your first airsoft gun. Most HPA models are expensive and even potentially deadly if placed in the wrong hands. If you've got the patience, discipline, and fortitude, you can get a lot of milage out of a solid HPA gun. Also, they're more reliable than other models since they don't depend on gas or electricity. When the air canister runs out, simply replace it. It's as easy at that.
IMPORTANT FEATURES OF AIRSOFT GUNS
So, you now stand at the next major crossroad: you've decided on the type of airsoft gun you want, now you have to select the specific model. There are tons of features available for you, and sorting through them all can become a bit daunting. What that in mind, here's a breakdown that not only lists them out in detail but also points out what you should be interested in, depending on your needs and interests.
There are two main parts composed entirely of metal in most airsoft guns, and they're vital to the weapons proper functioning. The housing case for the gearbox is known as a receiver. The stock, barrel, and grip are known as the furniture. While there are plastic builds, metal is what's most common. While plastic can make for a lighter gun that's easier to keep a grip on, metal is sturdier and built to last.
There are airsoft guns out there that sometimes use wood for the construction of the grip and buttstock. While wood is high-quality, you'll find it to be far heavier than metal or plastic alternatives.
What we are talking about here is the direction and length allocated for items such as a mock suppressor or flash hider. While seemingly a small detail, this will become more relevant when you're looking to replace parts.
This company manufactures airsoft guns. They often lead the way in terms of cutting-edge airsoft guns. If you can build a gun to be compatible with Tokyo-Marui parts, you'll have a leg up when it comes to upgrades and staying one step ahead of those around you.
This feature is a wiring system that allows certain airsoft builds to better-handle batteries which feature high-currents. Most commonly seen in AEG airsoft guns which have been altered to run on more powerful batteries, MOSFETs help to keep the trigger contacts from burning themselves out.
Motors built for airsoft guns traditionally come built in three different lengths. These would be short, medium, and long. Each is built specifically to cater towards different types of airsoft guns. There are also different kinds of motors. These would be high-torque and high-speed. High-torque motors are a better match looking for shorter response time between pulling the trigger and a pellet exiting the gun, while high-speed motors increase the gun's firing rate. It's all about balance, and what model works best for your airsoft gun.
When it comes to batteries, airsoft guns use one of three brands; Deans, Tamiya, and Small Tamiya. Also, keep in mind there are different battery forms- stick, large, and butterfly. Most users agree that Deans is the best battery model overall, but the other two do have their positive traits.
THE COST OF AIRSOFT AS A HOBBY
As with most hobbies, it can be easy to get bilked out of money when you don't know what you're looking for, or how much it should cost realistically. And that's to say nothing of extra recurring fees, like ammo, magazines, batteries, and eye protection. While prices within the industry are always shifting, the information provided should at least give you a good baseline of what you're looking to spend as a new airsoft enthusiast.
For a basic airsoft pistol, the starting point for investment is around the $50 level. You should be able to grab ahold of a basic pistol with little to no blowback that fires standard-issue BB pellets. But remember, you get what you pay for. If you don't remain vigilant when it comes to upkeep and maintenance, these base model guns will wear out and break fairly quickly. If you're interested in a more advanced model for your first investment, you're looking to spend somewhere more along the lines of $100 to $150 and up. At this level, your gun will be crafted from high-quality metal or plastic, and will most likely feature slide-locking and gas blowback. Keep in mind that if you invest in a gas-powered model, part of your upkeep will be constant lubrication, given that the gun will be composed of several different moving parts.
At the low-end of the spectrum, you are looking at a starting price tag of at least $100 to $150. These starter model rifles typically feature an aluminium body with plastic trappings. While sometimes cheap when compared to more expensive versions, if you take good care of your gun, it can last you a decent amount of time- long enough to get your feet wet before moving up to a superior rifle, at least.
At the mid-range, airsoft rifles can run upwards of $150 to $300, and are generally more durable with better craftsmanship and construction. Now, if you're talking about investing in a high-end airsoft rifle, you're easily going to be spending more than $300 to start with. This will ensure top-notch quality control in terms of design and construction, and they will mostly be built from real steel parts. Be ready to shell out for higher-power batteries and ammo. Also, and this should go without saying, upkeep will be a must.
BUYING AIRSOFT WEAPONS
So, now that you have a better idea of just what you're getting into, it's time to figure out where you're going to make your first major purchase. Within the USA, domestic airsoft retailers are primarily based in California. So, be prepared to wait 3-7 business days for your order to ship out and arrive at your home. Factor in a potentially heavy shipping fee when putting together a budget. On the international stage, the biggest and most well-known companies are located in Hong Kong. With these orders, you're looking at a wait time of up to three or four months in some cases. Plus, don't forget that your airsoft gun will have to clear customs before reaching your doorstep. Now, there are local airsoft retailers on a state-to state, city-to-city level. While you'll find competitive pricing and the convienience may be a welcoming factor, keep in mind that you'll often be dealing with locally-owned businesses that have no legal overhead.
In the end, if you're buying in the US, it's a safe bet to go with shipping from a California retailer. You will be dealing with a trusted outlet, and you won't have to factor in expensive shipping rates. There is a ton of info to be discovered in this industry, but that should be enough to get you started on the road to either recreational or competitive airsoft. Hope you enjoyed reading out Airsoft Guns Guide for Beginners.