So you’re looking to buy your first airsoft gun?
Once you’ve checked out how to be eligible for an RIF, you’re probably going to want to know what to look out for when perusing the plethora of weapons available on the market.
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This guide will give you some important information on what to look out for before parting ways with your hard earned cash and help you in choosing a weapon which is best suited to your needs.
Establish a budget
First and foremost is the cost.
Setting a clear budget is important as it will allow you to shortlist the guns which you are able to purchase. You’ll also want to section off a portion of this money for products such as ammunition, gas and (if necessary) attachments for your weapon.
Airsoft weapons are available for all budgets and, whilst you don’t necessarily need to invest huge amounts of money in your first weapon, it is advisable to allocate at least a moderate amount of cash, as cheaper models often come with inferior build quality and reliability.
A higher initial spend could ultimately save you more money in the long run as very cheap models can be constructed from low quality plastics and are far more likely to break than more premium options.
Which firing style?
There are three main categories which airsoft guns fall into: Automatic Electric Guns (AEGs), spring and Gas Blowback Guns (GBBs).
The majority of players choose between either AEGs or GBBs, however, we recommend sticking with GBBs as they are far easier to maintain than their electric equivalent and, due to advances in airsoft gas, the previous benefits of AEGs are far less meaningful in the present day.
GBBs are much easier to clean than AEGs because there are fewer components within the weapon itself and the wide range of gases on the market let players keep playing during both hot and cold seasons with the same effectiveness.
What role are you going to play?
Whilst airsoft is an incredibly flexible and customisable sport, there are certain guns which are much better suited certain positions within your team.
For instance, soldiers firing from long distances will be much more effective when armed with a sniper rifle or DMR than they would be with, say, a pistol or SMG.
Understanding the role and playstyles you’ll be employing during your time on the battlefield will help you make an informed decision on your weapon purchases and this will inevitably improve your deadliness once the skirmish begins.
Depending on your role and playstyle, you may decide to purchase one or more attachments for your new weapon. Why? Well these can help improve the performance of your weapon, extend your effective range and generally make it easier to land shots on the enemy.
Attachments don’t need to be a priority when initially purchasing your weapon as they can always be added later down the line; however, it is worth being mindful that some accessories may not be compatible with all guns, with many requiring a rail system to be mounted on.
Many players utilise two weapons during airsoft skirmishes in order to achieve a more versatile playstyle. Whilst this isn’t a necessity, it may be worth considering as it can help you to be more successful during the course of battle.
A great example of a role which regularly employs a secondary weapon is the sniper.
These soldiers are based predominantly towards the back of the game area but often pack a pistol or SMG as well their primary rifle in case they are ambushed or decide to move further towards the frontline where their sniper rifle will not be as effective.
If you’ve opted for a GBB weapon, you’ll need to figure out which gas is right for you and there are a number of aspects to think about.
Firstly, if you live in a country with noticeably colder weather, it is worth buying a more powerful gas in order to keep obtaining accurate shots with flat trajectories and the reverse is true for areas with hotter climates.
For players with cheaper, mostly plastic weapons, using overly powerful gases may cause damage to the gun so you will need to compensate for its construction by using more moderate gas to avoid breakages.
Whilst this may not be a functional choice, having a gun you appreciate the look and feel of is really quite important.
If there’s a particular model you like the aesthetic of, or if you’ve fired a friend’s weapon and felt comfortable using it, this could be a great indicator this is the weapon for you.
With so many different weapons on the market, airsoft players really are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a gun, so make sure to have a thorough look through the many online shops to find the best deals available.
Purchasing your first airsoft gun can be a substantial investment so it is crucial to take your time and make the right decision to get the most out of both the weapon itself and the games you will be using your equipment in.