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Chillyrabbit
Oct 24, 2012

The only sword wielding rabbit on the internet




Ultra Carp

chitoryu12 posted:


The advantages for expensive reflex sights are typically things like battery life and clarity.

Oh yeah my G&P doesn't really have a dot, it has a red blur of different intensities in the center of it.

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Chillyrabbit
Oct 24, 2012

The only sword wielding rabbit on the internet




Ultra Carp

Following the principles of Here is the first revision of the first OP post.

Everything is still a work in progress, but hopefully its more useful than the current one. I can post the other 2 posts but I think working on one at a time is better and I'm not making a new thread until we have an OP which is an improvement over the current one.



Post One - General info, guns and gear
Post Two - Technical information
Post Three - Retailers and purchasing advice

==========================
==========================



quote:

Glossary

BB Ball Bullet
Airsoft BBs are 6-8mm plastic spheres. Due to confusion the community wants to differentiate them from airgun ammo by suggesting that the name stand for Ball Bullet.

AEG Automatic Electric Gun
This is the most popular type of airsoft gun for skirmishing use. It is powered by a battery and operates through a series of gears and a spring-powered piston.

GBB Gas Blow-Back
The gas blow back mechanism powers many airsoft pistols. The BB is launched from the gun using an expanding gas stored in a reservoir, while the same gas reloads the gun ready for the next shot.

HOP-UP (HOP)
A device installed in most airsoft guns to increase range. The HOP unit is present in most airsoft replicas. A small piece of rubber is pushed inside the back end of the barrel through a hole in the top. When the gun is fired, the rubber grips the top surface of the BB, putting back-spin on it. As the BB leaves the barrel, the spin creates an imbalance in the aerodynamics of the projectile. This imbalance initiates "The Magnus Effect", causing the BB to stay in the air longer and travel a noticeably farther distance. In real terms, this device can more than double the effective range of a gun, even though the projectile is actually moving more slowly through the air.


Joule
A Joule is simply a measurement of energy in all its forms (kinetic, magnetic, inertial, etc...). With relation to Airsoft, it is used as a measure of the kinetic energy of BBs as they leave the muzzle. This muzzle velocity and the weight of the travelling BB give us the means to calculate the energy of the BB in Joules.

FPS Feet Per Second (a measure of velocity)
The speed of BBs during flight is often measured in feet per second. This speed is measured to obtain the energy output of the gun before most skirmishes.

Lo-Cap / Low-Cap Low Capacity
These magazines typically hold between ~ 100 shots in a vertical stacked, spring loaded magazine. There is no winding involved and these magazines tend to feed more reliably, but they hold less ammunition per mag than other types.

Mid-Cap Medium Capacity (usually refers to airsoft magazines)
Mid-Cap magazines usually work the same way as Lo-Cap magazines (vertical stacked BBs, no winding mechanism, but hold roughly double the ammunition of a Lo-Cap mag. The track that the BBs follow inside the mag is longer and contains a longer spring to push the BBs in to the AEG.

Hi-Cap / High-Cap High Capacity (usually refers to airsoft magazines)
An ingenious mechanism powers hi-cap magazines. This mechanism allows a magazine that normally holds 50 shots to hold several hundred. These either use a battery powered mechanism, a wheel, or a string that needs to be pulled or wound in order to keep upward feeding pressure on the BBs.

WTF?

Airsoft is a hobby that started in the Far East due to restrictive gun laws on real firearms. Airsoft guns are realistic, 1:1 scale versions of (mostly) real world guns that fire 6mm or 8mm plastic bbs. Most people use airsoft for skirmishing, collecting, target shooting, or for prancing around pretending to be a real soldier.

Where can I play airsoft?

Airsoft sites are similar to paintball sites and can be run anywhere from every day to once a year for big events.

Generally sites are walk-on without booking required but if you wish to rent equipment you typically must book in advance. Renting a gun costs lot less than the full purchase price and sites generally provide older (cheaper) reliable Tokyo Marui guns, or G&G combat machines.
Some sites will have a group of regular players and almost everyone will bring their own equipment. People will not care what you skirmish with, the more hard core will tend to own fairly expensive guns and equipment but with more Chinese manufacturers there is much more variety than before.

Most players are there for a good time and don't take defeats very seriously. A good attitude will get you far more respect than the cost of your gear.

You can use private land but it has to be secluded and with the permission of the landowner or you may have to explain yourself to the police.

Types of skirmish

Standard - No restrictions on what you can use or how much ammo you can carry.
Milsim - Limited magazine, ammunition allowance and special rules.
Themed - Equipment suitable for a certain period required, WW2, Vietnam etc.

Airsoft VS Paintball

There are many similarities between airsoft and paintball, The key differences:

1. There is no visible way to confirm a hit on a player - Trust is placed on players to call out that they have been hit (Backed up by admins or marshals watching the game).
2. Paintballs have more power behind them than a BB but are less dangerous due to the large size. If a paintball breaks against you the transfer of energy is a lot more painful than a BB but high power (400-500fps) BBs have penetrating properties on unprotected skin and can cause bleeding.
3. Airsoft guns outrange paintball guns (Generally)
4. Airsoft guns can usually take more external accessories - Scopes, flashlights, rail systems etc... are all commonly used on airsoft guns (Some high end paintball guns are blurring this difference).
5. Paintball has higher running costs due to the high price of paintballs.
6. Airsoft guns are a lot more realistic looking than paintball guns (With some exceptions) and use magazines rather than a hopper.
7. Airsoft guns have a higher ammo capacity, an AK hicap can carry 600 rounds, M16 hicap 300 and the player can easily carry several thousand rounds on them.

Is airsoft legal?

Varies between country to country! See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_issues_in_airsoft
You should check the laws carefully as some countries will legally treat a normal power airsoft gun like a real firearm.

UK

To buy or import into the UK you either have to buy VCRA compliant two-tone guns or have a membership at a reputable site. A UKARA membership by attending a UKARA supporting site is the most straightforward way to do this.

quote:

The VCRA (Violent Crime Reduction Act) came into effect as of the 1st October 2007, thus meaning that RIF (Realistic Imitation Firearms) can only be purchased by registered members of an airsoft skirmish site (accessories and ammunition are not covered by the VCRA). Only those people over the age of 18 can purchase Replica Imitation Firearms. IF (Imitation Firearms), however, are still legal and may be purchased by anyone 18 or over and used by any age, regardless of membership status. These usually take the form of "Two-Tone" guns - normal Airsoft guns, that have around 50% of the gun painted or manufactured in bright colours in order to mark them out clearly as Imitation Firearms and not Realistic Imitation Firearms.

US

American federal laws require minimum 6 mm (approx. 1/4") orange tips to be present on all "toy guns" (including airsoft replicas) transported within and imported into the United States. Some states (such as California) have enacted state legislation that does impose criminal penalties for the removal of any required markings.

Canada

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_issues_in_airsoft#Canada

quote:

Under the Canadian Firearms Program, Airsoft guns resembling with near precision an existing make and model of an arm, other than an antique arm, are considered replica arms and therefore are prohibited devices. Coloured, black, Full Metal, miniaturized versions, or models resembling antique arms may be allowed with muzzle velocity between 366-500Fps; therefore being designated as an uncontrolled arm as of 2011 before this one could only purchase black and clear Airsoft Guns. Generally, antique arms are those manufactured before 1898.[8] Air guns with a maximum muzzle velocity of 152.4 m/s (500 f/s) and/or a maximum muzzle energy of 5.7 joules or 4.2 foot-pounds are exempt from licensing, registration, and other requirements; and from penalties for possessing an arm without a valid license or registration certificate. The Criminal Code of Canada requires that reasonable precautions be taken to use, carry, handle, store, transport and ship these devices in a safe and secure manner. Airsoft guns that exceed either of the maximum velocity or muzzle energy are considered arms.[9]
An Airsoft gun is treated just as if it was a real arm when used to commit or attempt a crime.

In Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, the minimum age to purchase Airsoft is 18. Children under age will be able to use arms. Children under 18 must be supervised by someone over 18.

Replica
3. Air guns that are replica firearms

These are air guns not powerful enough to cause serious injury or death, but designed to resemble a real firearm with near precision. Replica firearms, except for replicas of antique firearms, are classified as prohibited devices.

In particular, some air guns commonly known as air soft guns may fall into this category. These are devices that have a low muzzle velocity and muzzle energy, and that usually discharge projectiles made out of a substance such as plastic or wax rather than metal. An airsoft gun, firing a .20g 6mm plastic pellet with a muzzle velocity below 111.6 m/s (366 fps), and resembling with near precision an existing make and model of a firearm, other than an antique firearm, is a replica firearm and therefore a prohibited device.

Power limits



Every site has their own rules on power limits, and testing either measures FPS with .20g or muzzle energy with heavier weight bbs

These are some generalizations for fields/outdoors
(FPS limits with 0.2g bb)
UK - 328
US - 400 AEGs, 10 ft engagement, 450 for support (drum/box magazine light machine guns), 50 ft engagement, and 500 for sniper rifles (semi-auto/bolt action rifles) 100 ft engagement.
Germany - 240 (Full auto) 241+ (Semiauto/bolt action)
Japan 328 or ~1J
Hong Kong 460 or ~2J
Canada 400

Close quarters combat/indoor
~350 FPS on .2g

Stock guns produce anything between 250-350, the majority being below 320.

Skirmish sites may have a much lower FPS limit than legally required.
If importing a gun keep in mind that customs may wish to know the power at which your gun fires.

Common sense

Transport guns unloaded.

Transporting an airsoft gun in public is a criminal offense in most countries unless done for an acceptable purpose. Actually displaying the gun can be a firearms offense. You don't need a two hundred dollar Pelican case, get a cheap rifle bag. The box the gun came in isn't a great one to use as they usually have large pictures of guns on them.

Does it hurt?

Only really if you get on bare skin or take hits to clothing at very close range. If you wear long sleeves, gloves and a facemask/helmet you can charge around as much as you want.

Is airsoft safe?

Do not trust safeties, these are toys after all. To make a gun safe remove the magazine and any rounds that might be in the chamber AND feed tube, for an AEG or other unusual guns this may require dry firing a few times. A barrel bag may be a requirement and is a good investment.
Eye protection is an important part of airsoft. A BB to the eye is very likely to blind you and they ricochet very well off hard surfaces. All skirmish sites require eye protection; a lot also require full face protection, which is a good idea as being shot in the face is particularly painful
Beware that BBs can fragment on direct hits on hard objects.





Skirmishing is combat at a professionally run location, the equivalent of a paintball field. If you know paintball then airsoft skirmishing is very similar to woodsball (unless it's an indoor site).

Renting

Almost every skirmish site rents guns and equipment. Overall this should still be cheaper than paintball due to the much lower cost of ammunition. The guns available are mostly unglamarous old Tokyo Marui weapons, FAMAS, G3, M16, AK or G&G combat machines. These will get the job done even though you might lack a bit of range. Choose what ergonomically suits you best.

Safezone

The safezone is a walled area with tables, lockers and other facilities. The most important thing about the safezone is it's an area where weapons should never be loaded as eye protection is not required to be worn. When you enter the safezone you must remove magazines, clear the weapon (fire several shots on electrics) and put it on safe, you may be required to put on a barrel bag. You also need to put on eye protection when leaving the safezone for the skirmish area, not after. Safezones normally have a connected firing range where weapons can be tested.

Close Quarters/Indoor skirmishes

Everything changes in Close Quarters/Indoor, Full face protection is required, camouflage is almost pointless, average contact range is reduced to 5-20M and rate of fire becomes more important than the power behind the shot. Short, pointable guns like SMGs, or pistols are far better suited to this than long guns. The maximum FPS allowed can be much lower than woodland site.





Automatic Electric Guns

Electric-powered airsoft guns typically use a rechargeable battery to drive an electric motor, which cycles an internal cylinder/spring assembly in order to launch pellets. Automatic and semi-automatic operation is possible which gives these guns the popular name "automatic electric guns" or AEGs. These are the most commonly used skirmishing gun.

The good
* Loads of different types of guns.
* Tons of accessories, varies slightly depending on the model.
* Practical. AEGs are jack of all trade workhorses.

The bad
* Trigger delay due to gears in nearly all guns.
* Difficult and fiddly to work with internals.
* Has both electrical and mechanical parts, complicating potential failures.
* Battery life can be major concern with smaller guns.



Springer


The most common and most basic form of airsoft gun, uses a spring that must be cocked by the user to power the shot. Cheap and very much single-action only. After every shot you have to pull the slide or cocking handle to load a new round. Springers are very reliable and need little maintenance, however cheap springers quality, power and realism are usually lacking. Springers can make good backup weapons.
Newcomers to the sport may think that all springers are pistols but sniper rifles and shotguns are also common.

The good
* Tend to be very reliable.
* Can be extremely quiet.
* Usually have simple internals.
* No batteries or gas needed.

The bad
* Rate of fire is always low due to the mechanism.
* Generally overpriced despite being less complex than AEGs.
* Range and accuracy not really better than an upgraded AEG.
* Few upgrades available except for sniper rifles.



Gas Blow Back

Gas blow backs use gas to power firing of the BB and cycling the slide. GBBs are mostly pistols with some SMGs and rifles. GBBs have the most realism of all airsoft guns with noise and recoil. GBBs obviously require gas to power their operation and are demanding for maintenance due to complex internal mechanisms. Stripping a GBB is not recommended for newcomers to airsoft as they contain a lot of small parts. Full auto GBBs are available and are awesome(ly impractical).

There has been a surge in the number of GBB rifles but they are still fairly impractical to use outside of Milsim.

The good
* Very realistic shooting action.
* Normally higher quality replicas.
* Fast trigger response.

The bad
* Low capacity magazines (Generally 30 rounds max)
* Poor performance in cold weather.
* Expensive magazines.
* Magazines have to be refilled with both BBs and gas.
* Magazine seals fail over time and need protective maintenance.

Non Blow Back
NBB
Non Blow Back guns are very similar to GBBs but do not have moving slides. This gives an improvement in reliability and decreases gas usage. They fire quite well and have better accuracy. Their cheaper price makes them a good secondary weapon for the airsofter on a budget.

The good
* Reliable.
* Efficient.

The bad
* Low capacity magazines.
* Poor performance in cold weather.
* Expensive magazines.
* Magazines have to be refilled with both BBs and gas.
* Magazine seals fail over time and need protective maintenance.



Automatic Electric Pistols

Automatic Electric Pistols, abbreviated AEPs, were first introduced by Tokyo Marui in 2005 with their Glock 18C (followed later by a Beretta 93R model). They were the first handguns to incorporate an electric powered system that is capable of fully-automatic operation. In cold weather AEPs are considered better sidearms than gas powered pistols as they suffer no decrease in power.

Almost everything about the AEP is the same as an AEG, just smaller.

The good
* Around 2/3 the performance of a regular AEG.
* High capacity magazines.

The bad
* Not quite as much range as AEGs.
* No real upgrades, few accessories.
* Very low battery life, a few hundred shots at most.

Electric Blow Back
2 definitions

AEP's retarded older brother. EBBs have little power, there is almost no recoil and the batteries run out quickly. An EBB may be used as backup but almost anything is an upgrade.

Or

An AEG with a weight that is thrown backwards inside the gun to simulate recoil, BOLT and Tokyo Marui Recoil shock are versions of these airsoft guns


Revolvers

Revolvers get a special mention, they are typically non-skirmishable as they use CO2 and fire in excess of 450 FPS with .2g BBs, and only have 5-8 shots before reloading. Do not use unless you like challenges.

The good
* Loads of unique models

The bad
* uses CO2 so modifications are necessary to bring down to field limits
*only has 5-8 shots and shells must be loaded manually


Launchers

Launchers work like shotguns in airsoft, instead of firing a shell out of the gun the shell itself contains many small barrels and gas and releases dozens or hundreds of BBs. Intimidating but not very practical.



Classic

More of a classification of weapon design than actual age (as Escort still produces guns) classic guns are gas powered rifles that use an external gas supply. These are speciality items and you shouldn't buy one unless you know what you are doing!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classic_airsoft
http://www.classicairsoft.org/forum/index.php




Daytona/DGs
DGs have more realism via recoil. DGs are a fully mechanical system, so no worries if you take it for a swim in a creek. However, given that they do have some heavier moving parts you're going to have to be prepared for some parts to break and needing replaced. They do produce an awesome feel, they feel like what a GBBR would like to be when they grow up in regards to recoil. FPS is adjustable via pressure, but you will not have as wide of an adjustable range of velocity. ROF is only adjustable by different recoil weights.

The good
*More realistic
*fully mechanical

The bad
*uses an external feed tank
*expensive
PolarStar/P*
P* uses compressed air that has its fire cycle performed by solenoids and a poppet valve which are controlled by an electronic board (the FCU). P* does not have a blowback system. The electronic control allows you to perform a lot more adjustment to your firing cycle. The use of different nozzles allows a greater range of velocity. P* runs off HPA.

The good
* Increased ROF
*Able to adjust FPS without changing springs

The bad
* uses an external feed tank
*bad reputation from people circumventing field limts








BBs

Most BBs sold by proper airsoft stores are good choices, do not use bbs from an unknown source as they can have poor quality and they can shatter inside your airsoft gun and require you to disassemble it to fix.

The different weight of BBs can give different performance. For outdoors/field use, use the heaviest bb you can shoot as it is less affected by the wind and it can hold more energy and consequently have more range.
0.25g is the minimum weight that should be used outdoors.

Bio BBs
More and more fields are requiring the use of bio BBs, these BBs bio degrade over time so they are more ecofriendly. Weight is a common problem for all bio BBs as the materials in them cannot be made as heavy as regular plastic BBs and still bio degrade.

Good bio brands (personally used or recommended by others)
bbbastard
green devil
madbull



Gas

Always do some research on what gasses your gun is safe to use with. It used to be that HFC134a was always the recommended gas but quality has improved making green gas generally safe to use.

HFC134a - The most common gas. Safe for all GBB guns.
American Eagle Winter - More powerful than HFC134a. Roughly 10fps weaker than HFC22.
HFC22 AKA Green Gas - Propane with added silicone. A powerful gas, however it will put extra strain on internals and decrease life and reliability of gun. You can use regular propane if you buy a bottle adaptor and some silicon oil.
ET-1000 - Similar to green gas, Taiwanese gas.
CO2 AKA Red Gas Normally used in 8g capsules loaded into the magazine, some guns have a fill tank inside them.


Magazines

Lo-cap
Low capacity magazine. Feeds BBs via a spring making it reliable and silent but slow and cumbersome to refill by hand, unless you buy a speedloader. Holds ~70 bbs

Mid-cap
A locap with extended capacity can be less reliable, than a locap, holds 100 150 bbs

Hi-cap
High capacity magazine. Feeds BBs by a clockwork gear mechanism and requires the mechanism to be wound up to function. More likely to jam and BBs inside rattle with movement, very easy to refill.



Batteries

http://airsoftcanada.com/showthread.php?t=156571

Thunder Cactus posted:


Battery information, a noob's guide
________________________________________
It's come to light that there is just too much to explain every time somebody asks "what battery should I get for x gun?", so here's a whole thread to explain the crap out of the subject!

Gone are the days when airsoft guns either used mini, stick or large battery packs, now there's a different pack for just about every gun out there and half a dozen chemistries. Knowing what shape of battery your gun uses is entirely your responsibility, google is a great place to find that out! As for what chemistry to use, that's at your discretion.

So of the many chemistries I'm only going to cover the most popular two; NiMH and LiPo
And we'll start with some common terms:

Voltage - voltage is determined by how many cells there are in a pack, and determines the top speed of your motor

Capacity or Mah (MilliAmp-hours) - like the physical volume of gas in your tank, this is the amount of energy stored in the battery. A 15C battery that has 1200mah will have the same rate of fire as a 15C 4000mah battery.

Amperage - this is torque, it's what you need to get your motor to move stronger springs and get up to full speed under load

C rating - typically used to state the maximum amperage that can be drawn from a battery. On a LiPo, you multiply the C rating with the Mah/1000 (or the Ah, Amp-hours) to find it's constant safe draw; a 1600mah 20C battery would be able to supply (1.6Ahx20C) 32 amps continuously. On a LiPo, higher C ratings reduce internal resistance on the battery, raising your ROF by a very small amount.

cell size (for NiMH) - typically 2/3A, 4/5A and sub-C, when one talks about mini and large batteries they mean 2/3A and sub-C packs. 4/5A packs are less common, but usually used for crane stock batteries. 2/3A will be 1200-1600mah, 4/5A from 1700-2200mah, and Sub-C typically 3000-5000mah.

Arcing - Basically, an arc is lightning between two contact points. In airsoft we commonly refer to 'trigger arcing': lightning jumps across the trigger contacts before they actually make contact, causing pitting and carbon buildup. Higher voltage causes more damaging arcing.

MOSFET - A small electronic device used primarily to prevent trigger arcing and melting. Has the added benefit of increasing ROF. Some computerized mosfets are available (SW-COMP) which allows neat features like burst, semi only, motor speed control, and active braking. Some of them are "LiPo compatible" which means they have some kind of built in low voltage sensing for LiPos, meaning you don't NEED a low voltage alarm in addition to the mosfet.

Amp draw - the amperage that your motor requires to maintain it's full speed. Say you're running a 9v battery, and your motor tops out at 27000rpm (it may only need 1.5A to maintain that outside the gun), once you plug it into your gun we'll say it requires 8A to operate at full speed. The motor will only ever require 8A, you can use a battery that supplies 300A, the motor will only ever draw 8A. If your battery only supplies 5A, then the motor will just run at a reduced speed.


NiMH
Nickel metal hydride
The standardized battery for airsoft.
Unlike it's predecessor, NiCd (nickel cadium), it doesn't have a memory effect, so you don't need to worry about discharging the packs, and it's safe to charge them when they're half-full or whatever.
Packs typically come in 8.4v and 9.6v, although larger packs are available it's uncommon to see them used.
Cell size has a great effect on your ROF. An 8.4v large battery has a similar rate of fire to a 9.6v mini battery. This is because a mini NiMH pack never supplies all the amperage your motor needs, and a physically larger cell supplies more amperage.

Advantages
-You can run them until your gun slows right down and stops working without hurting the battery
-packs that commonly fit in airsoft guns are typically available at, or can be built by, any local battery store
-There are less expensive smart chargers available for these than for LiPo

Disadvantages
-The smaller packs don't supply all the amperage your motor needs, resulting in less performance over a LiPo of the same size
-Their capacity is greatly reduced in the cold. A battery that lasts 1600 rounds in summer may only last 500 rounds in winter
-More expensive than LiPo
-Because the smaller packs supply less amperage, one would increase motor speed by increasing voltage, which would in turn cause arcing on your trigger contacts and reduce the life the motor
-If you've used them a few times, you'll notice the ROF starts out high, then it settles after a few mags, and it will drop off slowly once it gets really low until it stops cycling
-If using a 9.6v large battery, it's highly recommended you install a mosfet to prevent the trigger from arcing or melting

Misconceptions
-If bare wires touch inside your gun (shorting the battery), NiMH batteries catch on fire just as quickly as LiPos
-More capacity doesn't increase your ROF, but a physically larger battery will.


LiPo
Lithium polymer
This is what most people are switching to, just about all the veterans run them.
There's more to know about these, so it's a pain to learn, but they really are better batteries.
So firstly, at 3.7v/cell we get a big voltage gap in the packs, you can get 7.4v or 11.1v LiPos for airsoft. Any stock airsoft gun will safely run off a 7.4v LiPo, and this is REALLY what manufacturers mean when they say "LiPo safe", but you'll understand why that's still a lie by the end of this.
You can't charge them on the same charger as NiMH, this will cause them to burst into flames.

-C rating
Now when you shop for a lipo, they all come with that mysterious C rating in the description, that's important.
As it says above, your C rating x the capacity of the battery equals the continuous draw. So a 4900mah 40C battery has (4.9Ahx40C) 196A that it can safely, continuously supply. And this is the key factor to LiPo batteries, they always supply all the amperage your motor needs to run at full torque, and therefore full speed under load.
So you'll hear us say a 9.6v mini battery has comparable ROF to a 7.4v LiPo. The main reason for that is the 9.6v mini never reaches it's full speed under load, but the 7.4 does. And what's more is the 7.4 has enough amperage to easily move high speed gears, whereas a 9.6v mini would struggle.

-2S, 3S, what?
S stands for 'Series connection' and P standard for parallel, but I haven't seen any parallel LiPo's for airsoft yet.
So 2S 15C 1100mah, that's a 7.4v battery because there are two cells wired in Series
3S is 11.1v

-over current draw
LiPo's cannot operate under the amp draw requirements like NiMH batteries can, it will damage the cells, they will swell, and if you ignore the warning signs, they may eventually flame up. Make sure the battery you choose can supply at least 15A for stock guns, and at least 20A for upgraded guns.

-Balancing
Unfortunately these packs are more sensitive to how much voltage is in each cell. The limit is 3.0 to 4.2v in each cell. If a cell goes over 4.2v it may swell or flame up, and if a cell goes under 3.0v it becomes damaged and may swell or flame up once charging. Because drain is not constant on all 3 cells (usually due to different wire lengths), you always charge LiPo's on a balance charger. And that's what that extra little plug is for on the pack.

Advantages
-Much higher energy density than NiMH. For the same volume as a 9.6v 1500mah NiMh pack, you could have a 7.4v 20C 2400mah pack with comparable ROF
-Much less effected by cold temperatures, the capacity loss in winter is only around 10-15%
-Supplies 100% amperage to the motor, meaning you're able to get more torque from the motor, and run high speed gear ratios off little stick batteries
-inexpensive. Usually around half the cost of NiMH batteries due to ease of production.
-They come in just about any size you can imagine, but limited to being rectangular
-Much flatter voltage curve as the battery drains. The ROF stays pretty constant until the voltage drop, which is usually like a cliff. It's really noticeable around 3.3v/cell which is about halfway off that voltage drop cliff.

Disadvantages
-They require more knowledge of operation
-They require a smart/balance charger
-If using an 11.1v LiPo, you need some kind of mosfet to prevent trigger arcing
-If using a high amp draw/full auto setup on a 7.4v LiPo, you may need a mosfet to prevent your trigger block from melting due to heat buildup
-You can't run a LiPo until you gun stops cycling, this will cause damage to the battery. You typically need some kind of low voltage alarm to signal when it's time to change batteries, unless you're using a really high capacity battery like a 4900mah. In which case, good luck trying to drain that thing completely in one game lol

Misconceptions
-They do not explode. I don't care what you've seen on youtube. They don't explode. However, they do vent.
-Unless you short the battery, over-current draw severely, or puncture the battery, they will only flame up during charging, which is why it's recommended to use a lipo charging bag.
-Unlike NiMH batteries, LiPo's will typically give you a lot of warning before smoking or flaming up. They will either swell (it's noticeable) or it will be hot to the touch.
-The C rating by itself means absolutely nothing. And I'd be amazed if you could even measure the difference in performance between a 20C and 25C pack.
-C rating does not significantly affect ROF. A 20C battery will sound just as fast as a 40C battery. However much larger C ratings lower internal resistance on the battery increasing ROF by small amounts.
-You can run any stock AEG off a 7.4v 90C 6000mah battery. The battery still only supplies a maximum of 8.4v, and the motor still only draws 4-12A.
-Despite all these fire and damage warning, they've actually got a REALLY safe track record. Personally I've seen more people light NiMH batteries on fire than LiPo's, and I've yet to find a defective LiPo, whereas I've seen no less than a dozen defective NiMH batteries.
-When the charger tops it's voltage out at 4.20v/cell, the battery is only 70% full. The cells can't go over 4.20v, so the charger can't put more than that into them. The last 30% of the charge is done at 4.20v, the charger will let you know when it's done.

Some safety stuff
-Always balance charge a LiPo pack. There is absolutely no reason not to, and it increases charging safety significantly.
-Never charge a LiPo you suspect of being damaged, that's where most fires start.
-Don't try to resurrect a LiPo that's gone under 3.0v/cell, just discharge it and throw it out.
-Don't mount LiPo's (even the armored ones) outside your gun in stock pouches or whatever, getting hit by a BB may cause trauma to the pack.

Warning signs
-Smoke or fire, this is a sign that you LiPo is on fire. You should probably take it outside/out of your gun and bury it or something.
-Swelling, this shows internal damage. Some LiPo's can take some abuse and be used even after swelling, but this is dangerous.
-LiPo is hot to the touch. Usually due to over-current draw. During use or charging a LiPo should never be hot. If it is, you should dispose of that pack and find out why your gun is damaging your LiPo.
-Low voltage. If you go under the magic 3.0v/cell on any cell, that cell may be damaged, and it may not be a good idea to charge it back up to full capacity.
-Over voltage. If a cell shows something over 4.20v, chances are the pack's already swelled, might not be a good idea to keep it in your pants.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lurkingknight
Safe disposal for LiPos
If you're throwing your pack out, safely discharge it with a low draw device such as an unloaded motor and then a light bulb.. when the cells read 0 volts, strip the head off, twist the bare wires together and you can safely toss it in your household garbage.. but ONLY if it's 0 volts. Not completely draining it can result in spark when you short the wires and lead to a fire. If you're completely unsure if it's safe to run a device off the pack, skip to the next step.

To be absolutely sure, you can leave the pack in a salt water solution for a couple days (or weeks if you are leaving charge in it) and then toss it in the household garbage.
I've verified this disposal method with several R/C hobby shops, it's the safest and easiest way to dispose of it. If you are still unsure, take it to a battery recycler.



Frequently you can, and in some cases should, get real gear instead of replica. If you are buying replica it should cost at least 50% less than the real version.



BDU

You can pick up dirt cheap BDUs suitable for woodland use from army surplus stores. Otherwise go for whatever you like, mostly people wear what they think is fashionable. You dont really need BDUs unless you are playing milsim or themed games, they are usually clothes to just get dirty in.

Replica or real?
Replicas are of average quality, they tend to fade quite quickly and have no resistance to night vision. If you are ever going to play night games watch out what powder you use as a lot contain UV brightening agents that make you light up in night vision.



Boots

Hiking, mountain or real tactical boots all work, boots are usually used for ankle support. Runners can also work; comfortable footwear is the most important.

Replica or real?
The advice with boots has always been not to cut corners, be prepared to spend some money. Real hiking boots are less expensive than the ones designed for tactical use and totally capable.



Eye Protection

There are three levels of protection, glasses, goggles and full face masks. All give the same eye protection but goggles and masks also give more face protection, very important in CQB. Some sites will require full face masks but most will allow glasses or goggles at your own risk. The largest problem with not having full face is the risk of taking a shot to the tooth, which can break or chip them so you might want a gumshield or separate face protection.

Fogging of your lenses can be a big problem so either get goggles with fans, or use an anti-fogging solution.

Need glasses? You can get Wiley prescription ballistic sunglasses:
http://www.opticsplanet.net/wileyx-rx-sunglasses.html

Replica or real?
Proper Wiley and Oakley ballistic sunglasses/goggles cost about twice as much as the no name ones. You should buy real ones with proven quality control and not some no-name Chinese replica brand with unknown variable quality.

Popular brands with proven quality in the airsoft world:
ESS
Revision
Bolle

Buying replicas without research? Use at your own risk

Mesh
Some masks come with a screen of mesh instead of solid lenses. This can stop BBs but won't stop anything smaller. They have an advantage of being lighter and not fogging up but there has been questioning if a chipped piece from a ricochet may make it through. The chance of this happening is microscopic but it has been claimed, not with any eye injury so far.



Face protection

Mesh masks are the most common separate face protection, as they allow you to breathe and dont hold moisture.
Full paintball masks offer full head face protection but are bulkier.
Shemaghs and balaclavas cover the face and dont prevent serious damage.





Gloves

With all the wooden structures, and rough terrain it's nice to avoid splinters or the pain of being shot in a finger. Proper tactical gloves are great and won't get in the way.

Replica or real?
Buy gloves that fit comfortably, work gloves work but are bulky, tactical gloves tend to be thinner.



Load carrying equipment

The current popular piece of gear are Plate Carriers, these are slightly bulkier versions of the old style of assault vests with compartments to hold ballistic plates. With no need for heavy ballistic plates these make great items for carrying all your gear. The MOLLE system currently used allows a great amount of flexibility in your choice of carried pouches.

There are also chest rigs (just a bit of gear around your chest that only carries magazines) or battle belts (a belt you wear that you attach pouches to) for speedier, lighter setups.

Replica or real?
Most real vests cost a poo poo load and go a long way beyond what you actually need. There are quite a few decent replica vests but check reviews, this is a generalized tier List [current as of 2014] http://www.reddit.com/r/airsoft/comments/2vl3ny/gear_manufacturers_and_ratings/

Cheap replica vests tend to be pretty bad and fall apart after use being made of cheap material



Optics

Optics in the world of airsoft dont matter, most engagement ranges are short relatively speaking to real steel shooting so you dont need lots magnification as bbs range will fall very short of any serious magnification.

replica or real
Replicas tend to be of mixed quality, they look the same on the outside but the internals dont tend to be able to stand up to abuse so they might not keep zeros or have low quality glass.

If you really want an optic for buy a real steel one for usability as they are built to keep zeros, hold up to the recoil of GBB or Daytona guns, have high quality glass, and proven reliability. Otherwise buy replicas for looking cool.

Optic protection

Now that you bought your 100 dollar optic, you should take steps to protect it and prevent a 5 cent bb from shattering your brand new 100 $ optic.

There are 3 ways to protect optics


Killflashes these fit over the optic and act like a mesh guard preventing bbs from striking it

Optic shield these come on mounts and usually fit on rail systems in front of the optic preventing head on shots, angled shots have a possibility of bypassing the shield and striking the optic obliquely

Lexan optic involves you custom fitting a clear piece of Lexan or polycarbonate material right in front of your optic like a kill flash but the difference being that its clear.

Chillyrabbit
Oct 24, 2012

The only sword wielding rabbit on the internet




Ultra Carp

Post Two - Technical information

http://airsoftcanada.com/showthread.php?t=166583

How an airsoft gun really works - the physics

Thundercactus posted:

So I'll break this down into components, and explain the importances and misconceptions of each part.

Muzzle energy is like saying fps, but more accurate. Instead of comparing one fps to another, I'll just state muzzle energy in joules since it's more comprehensible.
1.48j is 400fps on a .20
1.6j is 420fps on a .20
2.04j is 470fps on a .20

"Joule creep" is explained under barrels, and is the reason we should NOT chrono with .20g BBs


Starting with the 'mechbox'!
Your mechbox, polarstar fusion engine, whatever a daytonagun has, GBBR valves and whatnot, supplies a burst of compressed air to shoot the BB.
No matter what type of platform you are using, they all do the same thing with varying amounts of pressure, volume, and expansion rate, generally to achieve the same muzzle energy.

The main importance of a mechbox, is that is seals as perfectly as possible.
So the maximum amount of compressed air available is sent down the barrel, and also because leaks cause turbulent air flow and can affect accuracy.

Few things to note
1) It doesn't matter what's in your mechbox. If it's a stock crossman piece of crap mechbox and it compresses perfectly, it'll shoot as well as a $600 mechbox.
2) Once your mechbox is compressing perfectly, all other upgrade parts are in their simply to increase rate of fire or durability.
3) No matter what a polarstar user tells you, their gun does not apply any different physics to a BB. They use the same method of compressed air to shoot a BB, they simply have more control over the air volume and air pressure. If they had more pressure, or better compression behind a BB, it would result in higher fps.
4) Exception to the above rule, polarstars always win on longer barrels. The limitation of an AEG is it's set cylinder air volume and inability to maintain a constant pressure behind the BB on a long barrel. *but in order to maintain the same pressure behind a BB in a long barrel as you would in a short barrel, the muzzle energy would be MUCH higher.
5) Due to ported cylinders, the piston accelerates faster before starting compression, resulting in higher initial pressure. Ported cylinders and short barrels are more effective than unported cylinders and long barrels on an AEG because the higher pressures center the BB in the barrel faster and more effectively.



The hop chamber & hop rubber
The most critical part in getting range, is getting accuracy. And the most critical part in giving you accuracy, is the hop rubber. It's also the least expensive performance upgrade!
At ranges of 200+ft, the slightest little defects in the hop rubber will be apparent.

The hopup works by imparting backspin on a BB as it gets shot past the hop rubber. This backspin induces what's called the magnus effect.
The magnus effect is
Magnus_effect
The slower a projectile is moving, the more effect the lift will have. This is why when you slightly overhop a BB, there is a hump late in the flight path instead of it leaving the barrel at an upward angle.

For tuning, if your BB flies straight, then ends it's path by flaying off in a random direction, you need to use heavier ammo. Technically you do want it to fall short. At the end of a straight path of every BB, the forward velocity will become so slow that the magnus effect will take over completely, and depending how much the backspin has degraded, the BB is now very likely wobbling due to changing air conditions applying friction at differing amounts on the BB, and so combing the wobble and magnus effect that increases as forward velocity decreases: it'll veer off in a random direction. You want to balance between gravity and the magnus effect; Ideally, your BB should fly as far as possible, but succumb to the force of gravity before the BB flays out randomly. Using a BB that's too heavy will simply shorten your range.

The best hop rubbers we've seen are the V or W cuts, which apply pressure to two points on the BB instead of one point at the top. This aids in applying backspin in the correct direction.
Rhops and flat hops provide a longer, flat contact patch for the BB instead of a single round nub or fins. The longer contact area applies less pressure over a longer area to provide the same amount of backspin. The major advantage being less pressure, explained next;



The BB
Heavier ammo is always better.
A very common misconception is that heavy ammo travels slower. Although initially true, comparing a .20 at 420fps against a .30 at 340fps, after about 100ft or so, the .30 will actually be traveling FASTER than the .20
Heavy projectiles lose their inertia less quickly than lighter projectiles. This is also the main reason why you shoot targets 2km away with big heavy rounds instead of 5.56
Of course having a heavy round also helps fight windage and deflection due to foliage.
Because heavier objects lose their inertia less quickly, a heavy round also loses it's backspin less quickly, which means more consistent range and accuracy.
So running the heaviest ammo possible is always best for range and accuracy.
When you get to a BB that's TOO heavy, you'll notice it falls short. For example you change from .25s to .30s in a stock gun and lose 60ft of range.
This is because the hop rubber can't impart enough backspin on the BB to lift it to the same range.
My classic example is a 300fps stock GBB pistol versus a 320fps stock marui aeg. You put .30s in both and the pistol will get better range every time.
Now there's two reasons for it; first and most likely, the rubber just can't apply enough pressure to get the friction to impart the proper backspin without jamming the gun. The second, is that your gun just can't supply enough air PRESSURE to push the BB past the rubber, due to air leaks, running an unported cylinder, etc. So you lose too much muzzle energy just trying to get the BB past the hop rubber.
Upgraded hop rubbers can help greatly, but flat hops and Rhop is best. Due to imparting less pressure over a longer area, you can shoot a heavy BB with less air pressure. Making it possible to using heavier ammo than you would normally be able to, which means more accuracy!
FPS does factor in here, as heavier rounds lose their inertia less quickly, it's more beneficial to have higher fps on heavy rounds since they will travel further. BUT there are plateau's to the performance of each weight.
For example the difference between 1.6j and 2.04j (50fps) using .30g BBs was negligible. However using .36g BBs at 2.04j netted better range than at 1.6j.
So match your muzzle energy to your BB, run the heaviest BB you can without losing range, run light ammo only in CQB.


The Barrel!!
Okay so LOTS of misconception on what a barrel does, how it does it, what kind of barrel to use, and how much effect a barrel REALLY has on the BB.

So this is the theoretical explanation of how a barrel works;
Compressed air shoots the BB down the barrel, and the BB is centered in the middle of the barrel as it's moving by a ring cushion of compressed air between it and the barrel wall, meanwhile the decompressing air behind the BB is propelling it forward. Some air bleed past the BB and barrel wall as the BB travels down the barrel, which is more noticeable in widebore barrels.

In practice, the BB bounces quite a bit inside due to the hop rubber starting the BB off on the wall of the barrel and the magnus effect messes with the air current around the BB, but it ultimately becomes centered in the middle of the barrel.

One thing that's critical to understand, is that once a BB has become stabilized (centered) in a barrel, it can only ever become DE-stabilized from that point. So for example if a BB stabilizes itself after 7" of barrel, and you have a 20" barrel, you run the risk of actually LOSING accuracy!


Barrel length
As I said above, there's an optimal point where a BB is stabilized. Air pressure, volume, laminar flow, BB weight and hop rubber all have an affect on that. Safe to say it's different with every gun, but it's proven over a variety of platforms to be in the 3-12" (75-300mm) range. The longer your barrel, the less air pressure is behind the BB for a longer period of time, the more time it may take to stabilize.
GBBR's seem to have higher initial pressure, making the BB stabilize in a very short distance. WE PDW's and kriss vectors and gas MP7s tend to get very impressive range and accuracy despite their short barrels. Pistols as well can be very accurate when paired with .30s
AEG's tend to be in the 280-380 range, because they're compressing their own air from an open nozzle (instead of the air fully compressing, THEN being released). As stated in the mechbox section, having a ported cylinder allows the piston to accelerate before starting compression, resulting in higher initial pressure, allowing it to perform more like a GBB.
With PTW's (which are internally the same as AEG's), we've noted better accuracy with 9" and 12" (220-300) barrels as opposed to 14.5" and 20"
It should be noted that AEG's can produce air pressures up to 200PSI on ported cylinders.

If you have two 1.48j guns, one with a 20" barrel and one with a 9" barrel, the setup on the 9" barrel pushes that BB out with a lot higher pressure, and therefore stabilizes that BB in the center of the barrel much faster. Whereas the 20" barrel has lower pressure to center the BB, it runs a greater risk of bouncing around. So with higher FPS guns you can get away with running a longer barrel since you'll maintain higher pressures to center the BB, but ultimately shorter barrels are better overall. They also reduce the risk of inaccuracy due to fouling; the crap that builds up in the barrel.


Joule creep
Part to do with length. Joule creep is when you chrono at 1.34j with a .20g BB, then magically chrono at 1.52j with a .28g
Back when everything was AEGs, joule creep was pretty much non existent. It IS possible on AEG's, but rare.
It's specifically GBBRs and polarstars that are most commonly susceptible to it.
It's caused by two things:
1) Having very high pressure behind the BB. A .20g is very easy to get moving, it gets pushed out no problem, the air finishes depressurizing freely once the BB has left the barrel. But a .28g is heavier, takes more effort to get moving, more pressure builds up behind it, and ultimately it ends up accelerating faster than the .20. This effect is most common in short barreled GBBs such as pistols.
2) Having too much air volume being pushed down a long barrel. Instead of a short burst of 120PSI gradually decompressing and losing pressure as the BB goes down the barrel, the extra air volume maintains that same pressure all the way down the barrel, resulting in higher fps, for the same reason as the first method. This is the more common joule creep apparent in most GBBRs and HPA setups.

This is why chronoing on a .20g BB is highly inaccurate.
The two easiest ways to circumvent this problem are
a) Chrono on the ammo weight the player will be using and hope they don't lie about the weight.
b) Chrono everyone on heavier ammo, like a .30g BB. Although still not perfectly accurate since people typically use .25 to .36g ammo, it gives you a much better idea of what their gun is actually shooting in terms of muzzle energy. Now although joule creep can work backwards (A gun can potentially have higher muzzle energy on a .20 as opposed to a .30), higher muzzle energy is much less dangerous on lighter ammo than heavier ammo because it loses it's inertia more quickly.


Barrel bore
Let me start off by saying, the tanio koba twist barrel is a wide bore. If the rifles in it really did impart sideways rotation on a BB that already has backspin on it, the gun would only ever shoot in a very wide sloped cone pattern. The magnus effect works in every direction, but we only want it to be directly vertical.
The reason they can only be used at 330fps is because at higher fps, the BB is traveling so fast through the barrel that the air in the grooves simply can't keep up to it, they need to travel about 20% faster to maintain the same speed as the BB. So when there's no pressure in those grooves, it gets filled by the ring cushion of compressed air around the BB. No cushion around the BB means no stabilizing. So just use a smooth widebore, rifling doesn't work, and doesn't offer any advantage over a smooth bore.
There's lots of conjecture on this subject, but what I've found from actual field testing is that it really doesn't matter until the barrel starts to foul.
AEG's don't have the volume to use 6.23 barrels, so they'd lose performance there.
The idea with the wide bore is that a larger air cushion will somehow improve performance. Although it hasn't shown to HURT performance as long as you have the volume and pressure to use them, it's more susceptible to problems with turbulent air flow. But in the end should be less affected by barrel fouling.
The idea with tightbores, is to increase air pressure around the BB (forcing air from a large volume to a small volume increases it's pressure) and making it stabilize faster. We didn't get that memo, so lots of people tend to run 500mm 6.01 barrels in their sniper rifles lol
Let me make it perfectly clear, the super tight barrels are for SHORT barrels, like pistols. They lose less air around the BB, making compressive forces higher and more efficient use of the air as well. HOWEVER, they're far more prone to fouling and losing accuracy quickly.
Between the 6.23 and 6.03 in the few polarstars I've seen, I couldn't notice any real difference in accuracy or range, just gas consumption.
With AEG's, a good quality stock 6.08 can potentially be just as good as a prometheus 6.03.
With ptw's, I haven't noticed any difference between my 6.10 orga and 6.04 stock barrel on the same hop roller.
Basically just go tighter as you get shorter, try not to run anything smaller than a 6.03, AEG's shouldn't use the 6.23s, and make sure you have enough air volume if you use a 6.13 in a longer barrel.
As for fouling, If you shoot more, get a widebore. If you shoot less, tightbore.


Barrel QUALITY
This makes ALL the difference in barrels. ALL OF IT.
I've seen my 420mm 6.03 vsr barrel shoot as well as a 6.10 363mm, a 6.23 509mm, and a 6.01 460. Basically as long as you have a quality bore and the right force behind the BB, all barrels will perform the same until they start fouling.
As far as I'm concerned, the highest quality barrels out there (for ptw and AEG) are the prometheus 6.03, PDI 6.05, orga 6.13, stock systema ptw 6.04 and orga 6.10 for ptw. They have the best bore quality, and pick whatever bore you need and length you want.
A madbull barrel is an improvement over a stock barrel, but don't kid yourself, it's aluminum, it scratches, it's not as good and not nearly as durable as the aforementioned barrels. The price is attractive, but one scratch is all it takes for you to lose your money.
Brass is good, stainless is better, stay away from aluminum.

*There's been a lot of hating on brass as a barrel material. The reason for this is because people refer to STOCK barrels as BRASS barrels. However the defects of the stock barrels are MANUFACTURING defects and have nothing to do with the actual material. Brass is just fine as a barrel material.


Long barrels, short barrels, wide or tight bore, all have the potential to shoot exactly the same before fouling.
My kriss vector with it's teeny 6.05x5" barrel gets the same range and close to the same accuracy as my 6.04x9" and 6.10x16" ptws
Experience with my 6.03 VSR barrel was that fouling can start to affect accuracy after as few as 130 rounds, so clean your drat barrels after every game. Use windex. or alcohol. Acetone is best but don't let it touch your hop rubber!
I don't know how or why this started but it doesn't make the least bit of sense; people have said to clean your barrel with silicone oil.
The BB never touches the barrel wall, it does not need lubricant, lubricant will only help accumulate dust and foul the barrel faster.
Use windex, remove all the grease and residue from the barrel, you want it to be a clean, polished metal surface, free of any contaminants.

And lastly, there are very few physics principle that transfer over from real steel, so please stop comparing the two. Rifled rounds DO NOT WORK in airsoft.
Airsoft principles are solely based on stabilizing a projectile at very LOW speeds.
Real steel principles are solely based on stabilizing a round at very HIGH speeds. Nobody cares what a bullet does when it's no longer going fast enough to kill something. But we ONLY care about what a projectile does when it's not going fast enough to kill something.

Basic AEG maintenance !FOR BEGINNERS!
http://airsoftcanada.com/showthread.php?t=156778

Thunder Cactus posted:


In case you don't want to watch the video

So from the top
You did your research, you read ACTUAL technical reviews on the gun you were looking at (not video descriptions of what comes with the gun), you purchased it, and it JUST got to your door 5 minutes ago!
So now what??

Well firstly, don't panic when the gun fails to turn over or only gets 10 shots out with the battery that came with it. Batteries are never shipped fully charged for safety reasons.


Lesson #1; Buy a good battery and charger
The battery in your AEG is like the fuel tank in your car, except it also determines what type of fuel is in there. Most cheap chargers and just about all wall chargers, will likely take 8-12 hours to charge your battery and typically not nearly to capacity. Just as well, most guns don't come with good batteries to begin with (A Chinese company wants to save money, imagine that...)
Most of us vets will recommend the iMax B6AC (because it plugs right into the wall) or iMax B6 (requires a power supply but you have the option of hooking it up to a car battery at games). They're very good quality, inexpensive smart chargers that charge NiCd, NiMH and LiPo batteries, for when you inevitably make the switch to LiPo.
Please use google to determine what shape and size of battery your gun requires.
Remember your battery contains your gun fuel, and a bad charger means a less reliable gas tank. And no gas, means no game.

So you've got a good charger, you know the gun will last a day of playing. What about ammo?


Lesson #2; be wary of bad munitions
Just like you wouldn't feed your $200+ dog crap in a bag, you shouldn't feed your $200+ gun crap ammo!
Some guns will run just fine on lower quality ammo, I myself used low quality "flying colors" in a number of AEGs, including some with tightbores with no issues. But be warned right now, lower quality ammo will result (at best) in lower range and accuracy. At worst, it will cause your gun or mags to jam or misfeed.
.12s are notably the worst quality and most useless round. Do not buy these.
As well I should note silica and metal BBs are banned at most fields.
Most common BBs are styrene (white plastic) and Bio (eco-friendly), maybe someone will make a thread about which BBs are good and which are bad some day O_O
One of the most common questions we hear is "How do I make my gun more accurate and get better range?" well step 1 is to use high quality ammo! (Step 2 is to upgrade the hop rubber!)

Maybe you think you know better than I do and you chose to ignore lesson #2;

Lesson #3; what to do if your gun jams
Everyone will have this happen to them at some point in their airsoft career. The single most important thing to do when you have a jam is STOP PULLING THE drat TRIGGER.
It may be difficult at first for you to distinguish the sound of your gun firing a BB vs it blank firing, but what's unmistakable is the choking sound it makes when it's jammed, it's very unique and you'll notice it right away.
A very common breakdown for beginners is a self inflicted one; their gun jams, and they think continuing to pull the trigger will somehow dislodge the BB. Continuing to shoot will most likely result in you stripping the piston. Shooting in full auto will guarantee stripping your piston.
Stop shooting. Get a cleaning/unjamming rod, and use that beveled edge to clear the jam, or ask a vet for assistance, we're always glad to help!
This touches back on why you should buy good ammo, the most common cause of jams is poor ammo. You may think saving $5 on a bag of ammo is beneficial, but if it's really bad ammo and it breaks your gun, well I charge $30 to change a piston plus parts. So you're out about $45 and now you need to buy another bag of ammo.


Lesson #4; In case of misfeeding
Another hot topic for beginners; "My gun misfeeds, what should I do?"
In short, see lesson #2.
Otherwise, you may have purchased bad mags that don't work well with your gun, or it may be an operator fault like your hop is set too high, or it's all the way off. Which brings us to;


Lesson #5; Maintenance and lubrication!
So as you may have already noticed, there are a LOT of moving parts in your mechbox, and maybe some on your gun too!
Surely there's some kind of 12pt lubrication chart or schedule that needs to be followed!
Well actually there is, but it's only one point
GENERIC AEG LUBRICATION SCHEDULE
#1 - do not lubricate anything

There is literally nothing outside the mechbox on the entirety of the gun, mags and all, that requires any lubrication (by you)

Being technical, there may be some bits that need greasing, like complex trigger mechanisms or slide plates, or charging handle components, but for the most part you don't need to be lubricating anything on your gun. Yes the mechbox does require occasional lubrication and it's best to replace the factory garbage, but probably best that you (as a beginner) not be poking around in the mechbox right away.

The hop chamber and barrel assembly
Needs to be cleaned/swabbed regularly. Preferably after every game with a tightbore barrel, really depends how much ammo you use. Don't be one of those people that neglect to clean their barrel and come to me with tall tales of compression problems and I end up charging them $20 to spend 2 minutes cleaning their barrel.
To give you a baseline, my high accuracy bolt action rifle would have a noticeable 5% loss in accuracy after just 100 rounds or so. Wider bore barrels will be less affected by fouling. Some people go a year without cleaning but I highly recommend against that.
Grease from your cylinder will also, naturally, spit out into your barrel over time, another good reason to clean it after every game.
Clean the barrel by turning your hopup OFF, then using your cleaning rod with a swab dampened with WINDEX, swab the barrel once. Repeat with a new swab until it comes out clean, then use a dry swab and a twisting action to dry it out.
DO NOT LUBE THE BARREL. The BB is not intended to ride or touch any surface of the barrel. Air pressure keeps it centered in the barrel and ideally prevents it from touches the walls. Lubrication is tantamount to fouling, which will reduce laminar airflow and accuracy.
Silicone will leave a semi-greasy film on the inside of your barrel which will trap dust and dirt from the BB's.
Also, the hop up system works entirely on friction, lubrication reduces friction and neutralizes the hopup.

Should I lube the mags?
In short, no. Never. There are some cases in which people claim this has helped alleviate jams, that's most likely because it helped loosen the dirt that was jamming it up.
Lube gets on the BBs and into the barrel and hop rubber. Loaded up with the crap it's accumulated from the mag, it accelerates barrel fouling.
The spring and follower are actually smaller than the BB channel so they shouldn't be getting caught up on anything. And the BB, being a spheroid, only ever has 2 contact points with the channel and one with the follower, and always in the same spot. So as soon as you empty the mag, there's likely no lube left at those contact points anyway.
You may sometime have to CLEAN a mag, but there's plenty of cases of people having used mags for 3-7 years without ever having to clean or lube them. I myself had 16 king arms 68rnd mags that lasted 5 years with me, never having had any issues, before I sold them, still no issues with the new owner.
The most common problems with mags;
-see lesson #2
-they might not be fully compatible with you gun (IE: KA mags work better than G&P or CA mags in a G&P gun)
-It may just be a poor quality mag, the follower may be getting caught up on dirt or flash (plastic bits left over from casting), most people seemed to have had feeding issues with the magpul PTS green label line of mags
-Just to note, systema PTW mags need to be taken apart and cleaned once a season because they are well known to accumulate dirt and start jamming up.


Mechbox maintenance!
For a beginner.... well there's one golden rule about mechboxes; don't fix what aint broke. Although under ideal conditions a mechbox (even in perfect working order) should be regreased at the beginning of every season, some mechboxes last 2+ years without being serviced without problems.
It's really up to you if you want to wait until you have an issue or have it maintained regularly. Honestly I just wait till my guns develop problems.
As for going in there yourself, well, some people just plain suck at anything mechanical. Up to you if you feel confident enough to do it yourself. I recommend taking it to a gundoc to learn how to do it, but it's easy to make a small mistake that prevents the gun from working.
Airsoft motors don't really require any sort of preventative maintenance.... They typically get replaced before the brushes ever wear out. But it's usually more cost effective to just buy a high quality motor than get a stock one rebuilt (when changing brushes it's highly recommended you also true the commutator).


Body maintenance!
Loose stocks, flimsy handguards, chipping paint and all that. Honestly there's a ridiculous amount of different models to cover, so I'll just say ask your local players. As for chipped paint, gun wear makes it look like you actually play airsoft lol


Lesson #6 - Breakdowns happen
Fact of life, poo poo breaks down.
Whether it be your own fault or someone else, chances are pretty good that at some point your gun is going to break down.
Also up to you if you want to fix it yourself or get someone experienced to do it. At the very least they can recommend what parts you should buy.


So to summarize;
-Buy a good battery and charger
-Buy good or high quality ammo
-Buy mags that work with your gun
-Don't keep shooting when you have a jam
-Clean the barrel
-Don't lube anything that doesn't need to be lubed
-All guns break down eventually
-Google is your friend
-And don't be afraid to ask local players for help!
__________________



Upgrading your gun.

vermon posted:

What performance exactly are you looking to improve? Higher FPS, better accuracy, faster trigger response, increased rate of fire? Depending on what you're looking for will depend on what you should upgrade and what type of parts you will want.

Next and probably more important is the fact that upgraded guns more times than none require a lot more maintenance than stock. Are you prepared and skilled enough to get into the gearbox to diagnose and fix problems yourself when they arise? If not, maybe certain upgrades are not ideal as it would be very costly to have to bring your gun to a tech over and over again.

There are so many people out there who know nothing about gearboxes, pistons or gear ratios but they want something that shoots 200 yards, has instantaneous trigger response, and shoots 45 rounds per second while also never having an issue for eternity. They pour money into upgrades and pay for a tech to install everything. Then it eventually fails because all guns fail eventually, and upgraded guns probably on a more frequent basis. A piston strips, gear breaks, motor burns out, tappet plate needs replacement, you name it it happens. That person is now furious at their gun because they shelled out a fortune and it isn't functioning flawlessly until the end of time . Know what you're getting into with an upgraded gun and be prepared for breakdowns because things wearing out is inevitable. Cars don't run a million miles. Parts have a lifespan and when you drive them harder, they wear out sooner.

This is where doing your own tech work comes in. While doing tech work can save you a fortune, it can also cost you money in the early stages. If you don't know what you're doing, you could put something back together incorrectly, shim the gears incorrectly, order the wrong parts or parts of poor quality and that all costs money. Maybe you keep stripping pistons but don't realize that the cause of the problem isn't just pistons. You might learn the hard way a few times but Youtube is ridiculously helpful and there are so many videos and forums out there to learn from. Techs at airsoft stores are like mechanics, there are good ones and bad ones and its hard to distinguish the two unless you have experience with them. Word of mouth and recommendations are your best friend in this area. There really isn't a certification or tech school for airsoft so its really just experience and trust when you hand your gun over to someone.

When I started doing my own work I will be the first to admit I had no idea what I was doing. I watched a ton of youtube videos and read through countless forums. I converted to lipo myself and burned through a few pistons and piston heads before realizing what was causing the problem. I've probably spent more hours inside a gearbox than I would like to admit but it gave me experience and now I know my gun inside and out and how to fix and diagnose everything from wiring to shimming.

Alright so you still want to upgrade your gun ... now figure out what you want.

There is a lot of crossover and there are a few things you should probably do regardless of what you want to improve.

Essential tweaks - Shimming. Start by settting your motor height on the grip so that the edge of the pinion gear and the edge of the bevel gear are aligned and start shimming from that point. Switch all wiring over to low resistance wiring and switch to deans because no matter what battery you use, lower resistance means better efficiency and faster trigger response. Work on your airseal. A poor airseal is wasted power and created inconsistent shots.

Upgrades
- Trigger response? Switch to lipo batteries, switch to deans connectors, install a mosfet, run a torque motor like an SHS, Lonex or JG Blue. These are fairly reliable setups as your ROF speed might only be 20-25 rps they should run well without issue for a while.

- FPS? Create a stronger air seal with a good piston head, o-rings, cylinder head, nozzle and hopup, this will improve shot to shot consistency. Run a stronger spring. Strong enough and you might need a more powerful motor and battery.

- ROF? Run a high speed motor or change your gears to 16:1 or 13:1. Switch to 11.1 lipo with deans conversion, low resistance wiring, and mosfet. Probably run a lower power spring as well.

- Accuracy? Similar to FPS, ensure you have a good air seal first. Consistent power enables consistent accuracy. Run higher quality and heavier weight ammo. Also run the same ammo all the time if possible. Consistency is key so the same ammo means you are less likely to encounter differences in quality. Heavier ammo is affected less by wind and outranges lower weight ammo at further distances. .20 bbs are faster at the muzzle but slow down the further they go. .3s are slower at the muzzle but keep their speed much further out and don't blow around while also penetrating foliage easier. Hop up quality and type makes a huge difference. Hop up affects accuracy probably more than anything else. It needs to be properly seated and the shape is sort of debateable. I really like Rhop when its installed correctly and have seen it be remarkably accurate at crazy distances. I've also seen traditional hop up dialed in so well that it was equivalent to Rhop. Lonex makes one of the best performing buckings available as long as you don't get the hard version.

There are three factors in upgrades. Performance, reliability and cost. You usually can get two but unlikely to get all three.

Increased performance + Reliability = high cost

Low cost + increased performance = low reliability

Low cost + increased reliability = low performance


Sorry for the novel, but I feel that a lot of people think upgrades are a one and done kind of deal.

I would also suggest the Lonex drop in box. They are not cheap (170-200) but you cant find a better gearbox and internals that work so well together. The airseal is so tight that you can't compress the piston when you cover the nozzle. Thats perfect. It came shimmed nearly perfect from the factory. The piston is better than nearly every stock piston on the market. The spring (depending on what box you get) is powerful so you might have to swap it out depending on your local rules. Gears are standard 18:1 ratio but are very clean. Overall the gearbox and internals is best defined by its quality control and craftsmanship. The wiring is already low resistance but it does have tiyama connectors which I switch out for deans. The finish is incredible, parts fit incredibly well together and things stay in place when you pull the box apart. Its not cheap but neither is building up a complete gearbox from scratch.

Mosfets are simple if all you need is something to run a lipo. If you want to spend a fortune on one you definitely can but unless you want burst (which I personally don't find necessary) then you can get away with spending $30-45 on a basic extreme fire mosfet.



This list is out of date. Updated information would be appreciated!

-HIGH END-

* Tokyo Marui
Used to be the most important airsoft manufacturer due to inventing the AEG. Marui guns are still considered fairly reliable but they have fallen behind on quality and pricing.
Guns of note: MP5 range, M16 range, G36.

* Western Arms
Considered to make the best GBB guns available, helped by their Magna Blowback System that allows the gun to be fired at any angle.
Guns of note: Beretta range, SVI range.

* KSC
Makes some of the best full auto GBB guns available.
Guns of note: Beretta 93R, Steyr TMP, Glock range.

* Maruzen
Makes GBB guns, some full auto SMGs, sniper rifles and gas shotguns.
Guns of note: APS-2, M11 Ingram.

* Marushin
Makes shotguns and various gas guns.
Guns of note: WW2 rifles.

* Classic Army
Used to have a big problem with reliability but improved tons with their Armalites.
Guns of note: M15A4 range, MP5 range.

* Tanaka
Oddball company that makes unusual weapons.
Guns of note: K98.

* TOP
Make AEG support weapons, light and heavy machine guns. Expensive but a prized possesion.

* ICS
Comparable to CA, smaller range. Don't seem to be making anything new.

* G&G
Used to make just parts, now also make some AEGs. Quality is quite high but reliability varies a lot.

* G&P
Sells a billion types of M4.

* STAR
Pretty good, makes the less popular types of guns like the L85 and FAL.

* VFC
Makes a handful of seriously k-rad guns

* Systema
Well known maker of custom gun parts, particularly gearboxes and springs. Has some crazily expensive AEGs.


-BUDGET-

* WELL
The maker of the first low-cost AEG, WELL guns are generally the poorest quality ACMs. Almost all of their guns use 6.2mm bushings and shoot well below what other guns of similar cost shoot. They use plastic

bodies, and generally aren't as good as other choices.



*CYMA
CYMA produces some of the best (if not THE best) cheap AEGs. Featuring externals and performance comparable to Tokyo Mauri and great reliability, their products are greatly anticipated and well thought of.

Their first guns, the CM027 and CM028, changed the way people think about low-cost AEGs.

*Jing-Gong
Although the release of their first ACM was shaky to say the least, JG has improved their product line tremendously to produce some of the best quality ACMs on the market, along with CYMA. Featuring amazing

externals and internals, sometimes better quality than even Tokyo Marui, at great prices, and shooting harder than some of the highest quality AEGs on the market, JG is up there with CYMA as one of the highest-quality producers of low-cost AEGs.

*KJW/KJ works
Mostly known for their pistols, they are full metal and usually shipped with CO2 magazines, GBB magazines are also available for purchase.

*D-Boys
Originally Boyi, D-Boys ares affordable and fairly high quality.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Well, there's a few things I can comment on.

NBB

It should be mentioned that non-blowbacks often suffer from a poor trigger. Due to their nature (lacking a bolt or slide to cock the weapon), they're almost all double-action only and thus have a long and hard trigger pull. The exception would be bolt-action or pump-action gas weapons like sniper rifles or the TM 870, but the vast majority of non-blowback weapons out there are inexpensive pistols.

Revolvers

There's actually tons of non-CO2 revolvers; the CO2 guns are mostly made by WinGun. Revolvers by HFC, TM, Marushin, and other companies are often green gas or HFC-134a. The downside is that the Marushin duster gas revolvers tend to be very low in power and have a fixed or no hop-up, and are better replicas than they are shooters.

Launchers

Launchers can also fire solid projectiles. TAG rounds that explode or spray paint get a lot of fame, but it's pretty common in milsim and scenario games to see Nerf rockets and other solid shot to simulate actual anti-tank rockets.

Gas

I'd actually argue that green gas/propane is the most common gas for most people reading this. CO2 and duster are mostly for European countries that have banned green gas, with duster gas also being popular for Japanese guns like TMs and CO2 for inexpensive guns (often sold at department and sporting good stores).

chitoryu12 fucked around with this message at 01:13 on Apr 30, 2015

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



I also have a few suggestions on manufacturers.

WE

Very popular budget gas blowback pistols and more expensive gas blowback rifles. The rifles are generally well regarded, but the pistols' quality control varies between "Competitive with a $150 pistol" and "Literally disintegrates after a year or less". Probably the #1 GBB pistol seen out on the field outside of KJW and TM.

Umarex

Holds a license for Heckler & Koch, so they mostly make HK products with official trademarks. This means there's some guns that are more expensive than they should be, but they also make low end non-blowback CO2 pistols with real trademarks (their USP is sold at pretty much every Walmart and sporting goods store). They also make a line of .177 BB guns, and some of their products exist in both airsoft and BB versions.

LCT

Started out making steel and wood/nylon conversion kits for Tokyo Marui AKs, then started making complete guns and eventually created their own unique AEG line. Makes AKs with actual steel bodies and wood or quality nylon polymer furniture. Very high end, typically $380 or more per gun.

E&L

A pretty new maker, starting out with a line of steel and wood or nylon furniture AKs similar to LCT. E&L and LCT fans tend to argue over which $400+ AK is better, but the casual observer can distinguish them by E&L having much shinier finishes and shooting relatively hot for most fields.

Real Sword

Most known for their Type 56 AK, as well as their Type 97 and Dragunov. Their guns start at $400+, but they actually modified the gearbox and motor of their AK to make all of the externals perfectly to spec with a real Type 56. This means that they can accept real steel furniture and accessories very easily with little to no modification. The Type 56 isn't for everyone (you get a choice between 300 or lower FPS or above 400 FPS depending on what model you buy), but it's one of the most realistic airsoft guns in the world and easily the most realistic AK.

Drythe
Aug 26, 2012


 


Daytona require mechanical knowledge also as you need to sand the body down to fit the kit in places, a dremel is almost necessary.

A donor body of specific brand is needed and is different for each kind of gun.

They also need almost 10k bbs through them before they will function with any kind of consistency.

Before break in is complete it will chop bbs, they will fly everywhere, you will have little hop, and FPS will go all over. Also you will likely shoot out your hop up and need to replace it.

Once broken in they don't really break any more unless you just don't take care of it.

You also need one of two specific lubes. One is getsome which Tony sells on his sight the other is the Dupont which can be acquired off amazon. Getsome is slightly better. I can link to the Dupont when I'm not on a phone.

The recommended BBs change every week I swear, but Tony currently uses laserdot BBs. Don't use cheap BBs though because they will shatter easily and rip your hop up out or cause a jam that gets into your air shaft. All bad things.

Drythe fucked around with this message at 12:33 on Apr 30, 2015

Drythe
Aug 26, 2012


 


Also holy hell are they expensive and no one will trade theirs for a polar star even though I see 5 posts for that a day.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Confirmed that real steel grips will NOT fit a KSC Makarov without modification. Both have panels on the inside of the grips to hold them tight and probably for reinforcement, but the airsoft grips have two thin ribs and the real Bakelite grips have larger and thicker panels. The airsoft grips are also very cheap and flexible, so they can be bent to fit around the pistol grip easily. The good news is that real grips should only require dremeling the inside panels to narrow them out, though this will be quite time consuming and generate a lot of plastic dust. The grips will also add a little noticeable weight to the gun.

jizzy sillage
Aug 13, 2006



As a manufacturer modern Marui is King again. Maybe not in pricing compared to the other brands, but their quality control is immaculate, the performance is always excellent, and many of their modern offerings are full metal where they're supposed to be. They also make the best EBB rifles available with their Next Gen line, and their High Cycle series is great for getting a Dual Sector Gear gat from factory.

If you want a sure thing when shopping for an AEG, buy Marui.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



You might also want to add KWA as a subset to info on KSC, as they're basically the same manufacturer. Their pistols are regarded as good to excellent at the cost of being on a proprietary system and occasionally having quality control problems, especially with their new products. They also make well regarded gas blowback rifles and excellent high end AEGs.

On the subject of quality control, there's the KSC Makarov problems I've mentioned. A Red Alliance guy also tried out the KWA AK-74M and the internals literally exploded on him after I think a month or two.

Scruff McGruff
Feb 13, 2007

Jesus, kid, you're almost a detective. All you need now is a gun, a gut, and three ex-wives.

It might be worth mentioning in the OP under G&G that the Combat Machines are great starter guns, they tend to be the go-to recommendation in the thread.

And, yeah, TM is back on top again. Also NEVER OPEN A TM GEARBOX, if you do you break the ancient magic spells that make them work so well.

ArmyGroup303
Apr 10, 2004

If this were real life, I would have piloted this helicopter with you still in it.

Suggestions for the OP list (I actually have a tip guide written up from a few years ago).

On Eye Protection:
Buy the best and most comfortable full-seal ANSI-rated plastic lens goggle you can find and always wear it during play. If you can spend more than $200 on an AEG, you have the money to buy the right eye protection for you. Good eyesight is infinitely more important and expensive than Airsoft.

For those that have eyeglasses, I know it sucks. Before I went with contacts, I used goggles over my eyeglasses. Buying anti-fog liquid is mandatory for anyone with prescription glasses. Your goggles might be anti-fog, but your glasses will not be. Anti-fog liquid and/or Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo are your friends. There are paintball masks and tactical goggles out there that can go over your prescription glasses.

On Mouth/Face Protection:
Those cheap $15 wire mesh lower facemasks are awesome. I can get a decent cheekweld with them, but some of you may not. You can also buy a paintball mask to keep it simple. Seriously though, get some form of lower face protection - your teeth and cheeks will thank you.

On AEGs and Most Rifles/Shotguns:
Get a sling. Make one from a belt or take one from a old messenger bag if you have to, but get a sling. Don't be cheap and use a shoelace or a strand of paracord though.

Two-points are great, one-points are cool, convertible one/two points are also cool. Not many people use three-points nowadays for a reason; you'll figure it out why if you get one. Legitimately heavy weapons like SAWs and LMGs really do need a sling. And when you buy a sling, pay attention to sling mounting options and check if you need to buy quick-detach mounts or buckles, or other type of attachment points for your long arm.

On Pistols and Holsters:
A proper useable pistol setup (pistol with magazine, holster, and belt) will probably cost about $150 to $200, so beginners should be aware and budget accordingly.

A rifle needs a sling, and a pistol needs a holster.

A holster is the one piece of non-safety related gear that shouldn't be skimped on. Buy holsters meant for real firearms, and they can be had brand-new for as low as $35. A flimsy $10 Airsoft fabric holster will eventually unsecure itself and drop a +$140 pistol or accidentally engage the magazine release, making you lose a $30 magazine as you run from cover to cover. Put another way: Any money you saved buying that cheap universal holster from the Airsoft shop disappears with a lost magazine or pistol.

Still want to get the cheap holster and use a retention lanyard? It'll help, but have fun dragging your pistol. How about not putting a magazine in the pistol, then speed-loading it when you need it? You'll forget to load the magazine when you are getting shot at and need the pistol now. How about putting some elastic or tape on the bottom of the pistol to secure the magazine? Have fun trying to eject an empty or malfunctioning magazine and doing it fast.

Holsters made by real-steel companies are competitive in price to the Airsoft knock-offs. A brand-new Blackhawk Sportster SERPA Holster can be bought MSRP for $35. On the high-end of the price spectrum, I use a Safariland 6004 on a midride UBL with padding for my P226. The Safariland costs about 70 percent of what the pistol costs, but I've had ZERO problems with drawing, holstering and pistol/magazine retention, and Ive had the holster for more than six years. (Note: I really don't care if 133tSpecOpsForcesOperators don't use the SERPA because it gets locked up with sand or because of NEGLIGENT DISCHARGE. We're shooting BBs for fun; this option is cost-effective and works well enough.)

Youll have the most success finding the holster you need by going to the manufactures themselves, real firearm retailers and law enforcement and military gear shops. Such places include Opticsplanet.com, Optactical.com, Botach Tactical, LA Police Gear, SKD Tactical, and Copquest.

I recommending using a hard plastic holster primarily because they are less likely to shift around and accidentally activate the magazine release. The magazine releases of almost all GBB airsoft pistols are far less secure than the real-steel versions.

A warning for thigh/drop leg holsters users: they are a pain in the rear end when you are crawling around or if you run for longer periods of time (more than 75 yards). Hard plastic drop legs will scoop up dirt and mud when low crawling.

If you have problems fitting your pistol into a kydex holster, consider this YouTube video here: Tactical Gear Tip - How to Fix A Tight Kydex Holster by Reality Survival.

On Radios and Headsets
You have three options: Don't use one, go cheap (Midland, Motorola or Baofeng), or buy actual headsets and comms. Be prepare to spend $money and some decent homework (What is a downlead, and why does the FCC matter to me?) if you go with the actual headsets (Airsoft headsets generally suck and break sooner rather than later). It takes a bit of gameplay training to use them well, and they're not as awesome as they could be.

Two radio protips: 1) Press the talk button, count to one, THEN start talking. 2) Learn how to turn off the VOX feature on your radio/headset, because I swear to all that is holy if I hear that quacking duck or find out that hot mic came from your radio, I will shove it down your ear canal and make you push it out your rear end.

On Tokyo Marui
What everyone said: dollar for dollar, they are the best performers. Generally leave them unmodified, especially the gas blowback pistols, and go have fun shooting people with BBs.

Protip: Get Tokyo Marui's BB loaders, either the pistol magazine sized one or the AR-shaped one. I'll even provide the links to two places that have them: Airsoft Atlanta and Evike.

On Gun Bags
Get one and stop bringing your AEG around in the box it came in. It'll last longer and in some cases, it's more legal (and generally safer).

ArmyGroup303 fucked around with this message at 06:40 on Apr 30, 2015

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



For holsters, soft nylon holsters do have one advantage: universal fit. Typically multiple guns of similar size and shape can fit a holster, keeping you from spending $35-50 extra on each new gun. The Bianchi UM84 or M12 is a common NATO holster and in use with the US military for their Beretta 92, and a ton of old holsters got dumped on the surplus market with a lot of old Desert Storm poo poo and you can get them for $12 to $25 used if you know where to look. Mine can fit a Beretta 92, M1911, SIG P226 (a little tightly), USP, or Smith & Wesson M&P.

The way these holsters work is that there's a rubber bumper that the trigger guard stops at and a stiff rubber rib along the top of the gun that keeps the nylon from being pushed outward. If the gun is pulled butt-first out, the barrel will be unable to push the soft nylon because of the stiff rib and the trigger guard can't be rotated down past the rubber bumper, keeping the gun from falling out. The downside to this is that short-barreled guns like the Makarov can't be kept in it, as their barrel is short enough to not bump into the holster and the gun can fall out if the holster is pointing the grip down (like if you're squatting or sitting).

OssiansFolly
Aug 3, 2012

Suffering at the factory of sadness every year.

Are you going to get in to more specifics? I personally swear by my Dye i4. As a fat man even on warm days indoors that thing isn't fogging up. And on gloves...Mechanix. I see people spending way too much on "airsoft" gloves when Mechanix work as good or better in MOST situations.

Drythe
Aug 26, 2012


 


ESS Turbo Fans or bust

jizzy sillage
Aug 13, 2006



Drythe posted:

ESS Turbo Fans or bust

Deviant
Sep 26, 2003

i've forgotten all of your names.


Drythe posted:

ESS Turbo Fans or bust
IMPORTANT TURBOFAN NOTE from their #1 fan, Deviant

I have discovered a potential wiring issue in both pairs of turbofans i've had. in the front, where the wire meets the fan itself, the shrink tubing ends and you can see a tiiiiiiiiiny red and tiiiiiiiny black wire.

BE CAREFUL PUTTING YOUR LENS IN OR THIS CAN GET CRIMPED/PINCHED/BROKEN.

I personally pulled mine out, back, and glued it into place a little bit better.

I also had to cut and re-splice a wire near the battery pack which wasn't too tough, but was a pain.

Check your wiring if you find that they aren't fanning as well/loud/powerfully as they used to, particularly if you play outdoors and switch lenses a lot.

Also note if anyone knows where to get the out of production two pane thermal turbofan lenses YOU loving TELL ME.

OssiansFolly
Aug 3, 2012

Suffering at the factory of sadness every year.

Drythe posted:

ESS Turbo Fans or bust

Why would I need a fan? My mask is clear as a summer sky.

Deviant
Sep 26, 2003

i've forgotten all of your names.


OssiansFolly posted:

Why would I need a fan? My mask is clear as a summer sky.

Must be nice for your mask to not fog up like a shower mirror on the sun.

Drythe
Aug 26, 2012


 


Masks suck and you play indoors.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



You can get surplus ESS goggles for like, $25 to $35 on eBay. Just make sure to get ones with a rubber seal around the eyes rather than foam and rip out the foam anti-dust filter along the edge, and the ventilation will almost 100% prevent fogging even in Florida.

Their biggest flaw is their large size making them a little difficult to fit to a lower face mask.

Deviant
Sep 26, 2003

i've forgotten all of your names.


chitoryu12 posted:

You can get surplus ESS goggles for like, $25 to $35 on eBay. Just make sure to get ones with a rubber seal around the eyes rather than foam and rip out the foam anti-dust filter along the edge, and the ventilation will almost 100% prevent fogging even in Florida.

Their biggest flaw is their large size making them a little difficult to fit to a lower face mask.

Those are chinese knockoffs and do not work as well, I do not recommend them.

Verman
Jul 4, 2005
Third time is a charm right?


I don't think he's referring to turbofans. Regular ESS goggles which were supplied to a lot of US troops are now flooding the surplus market for pretty cheap.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Verman posted:

I don't think he's referring to turbofans. Regular ESS goggles which were supplied to a lot of US troops are now flooding the surplus market for pretty cheap.

Yeah, I don't use any goggles with electric components at all. My current pair are literally just old surplus. Same with my M12 holster.

Chillyrabbit
Oct 24, 2012

The only sword wielding rabbit on the internet




Ultra Carp

ArmyGroup303 posted:

Suggestions for the OP list (I actually have a tip guide written up from a few years ago).

On Eye Protection:
Buy the best and most comfortable full-seal ANSI-rated plastic lens goggle you can find and always wear it during play. If you can spend more than $200 on an AEG, you have the money to buy the right eye protection for you. Good eyesight is infinitely more important and expensive than Airsoft.

For those that have eyeglasses, I know it sucks. Before I went with contacts, I used goggles over my eyeglasses. Buying anti-fog liquid is mandatory for anyone with prescription glasses. Your goggles might be anti-fog, but your glasses will not be. Anti-fog liquid and/or Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo are your friends. There are paintball masks and tactical goggles out there that can go over your prescription glasses.

On Mouth/Face Protection:
Those cheap $15 wire mesh lower facemasks are awesome. I can get a decent cheekweld with them, but some of you may not. You can also buy a paintball mask to keep it simple. Seriously though, get some form of lower face protection - your teeth and cheeks will thank you.


I recently read a short write up on the ANSI specifications Z87.1+ specifically this which seems to conclude that ANSI Z87.1+ is not being tested for more than a 1.06J impact using a steel ball. And it recommended that people start using goggles or glasses rated to the MIL specifications.

Should we still recommend ANSI rated glasses and goggles?

Verman posted:

I don't think he's referring to turbofans. Regular ESS goggles which were supplied to a lot of US troops are now flooding the surplus market for pretty cheap.

It depends on if it is actually surplus I think, surplus is cheap but you have to make sure its genuine as that price point is competitive with the chinese clones.

Drythe
Aug 26, 2012


 


Chillyrabbit posted:

I recently read a short write up on the ANSI specifications Z87.1+ specifically this which seems to conclude that ANSI Z87.1+ is not being tested for more than a 1.06J impact using a steel ball. And it recommended that people start using goggles or glasses rated to the MIL specifications.

Should we still recommend ANSI rated glasses and goggles?

ESS are MIL-PRF-32432 rated, another reason to get them.

Deviant
Sep 26, 2003

i've forgotten all of your names.


Verman posted:

I don't think he's referring to turbofans. Regular ESS goggles which were supplied to a lot of US troops are now flooding the surplus market for pretty cheap.

Nevermind then. I do recommend real fan goggles though, but I play in humid Florida.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Chillyrabbit posted:

I recently read a short write up on the ANSI specifications Z87.1+ specifically this which seems to conclude that ANSI Z87.1+ is not being tested for more than a 1.06J impact using a steel ball. And it recommended that people start using goggles or glasses rated to the MIL specifications.

Should we still recommend ANSI rated glasses and goggles?


It depends on if it is actually surplus I think, surplus is cheap but you have to make sure its genuine as that price point is competitive with the chinese clones.

I did some searching and the joules that would break an ANSI rated lens would be a sniper rifle firing a good deal over 500 FPS with a 0.20. So against all but the most assholish snipers who point blank shoot you in the eye with the most powerful rifle you can find, you're likely safe.

Chillyrabbit
Oct 24, 2012

The only sword wielding rabbit on the internet




Ultra Carp

chitoryu12 posted:

I did some searching and the joules that would break an ANSI rated lens would be a sniper rifle firing a good deal over 500 FPS with a 0.20. So against all but the most assholish snipers who point blank shoot you in the eye with the most powerful rifle you can find, you're likely safe.

Well it says that the requirements changed from 2003 to 2010 and now on further rereading, that glasses are only tested to withstand 1.06 J of force, goggles and face shields can withstand at least 3 J.

So don't use ANSI rated glasses, at least get MIL Spec rated glasses. I will throw in a write up about Eye protection standards and explain the differences.

Scruff McGruff
Feb 13, 2007

Jesus, kid, you're almost a detective. All you need now is a gun, a gut, and three ex-wives.

With all the mil-surp Revision and ESS goggles hitting the market it's super easy/inexpensive to find mil-rated goggles. I got my revisions off ebay for $12 and they work great (like pretty much all big goggles, remove the foam over the vents unless you are playing in a legit desert or something).

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Though you should really use fully sealed goggles rather than glasses, as they're more guaranteed to stay secure with a strap and there's an absolute zero chance of a BB squeezing under the lens at an oblique angle. May not look as operator, though.

Arquinsiel
Jun 1, 2006

"There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first."

God Bless Margaret Thatcher
God Bless England
RIP My Iron Lady


Chillyrabbit posted:

I recently read a short write up on the ANSI specifications Z87.1+ specifically this which seems to conclude that ANSI Z87.1+ is not being tested for more than a 1.06J impact using a steel ball. And it recommended that people start using goggles or glasses rated to the MIL specifications.

Should we still recommend ANSI rated glasses and goggles?
Wouldn't a steel ball have totally different moment of force characteristics to a plastic ball? My gut says it's a world of difference in terms of mass/area ratios and compressibility of the ball.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Arquinsiel posted:

Wouldn't a steel ball have totally different moment of force characteristics to a plastic ball? My gut says it's a world of difference in terms of mass/area ratios and compressibility of the ball.

I believe you're correct. A steel ball of the same kinetic energy would be a different size and mass and would also be far harder than plastic. The plastic also has much higher chance to fragment with such a powerful impact, whereas a steel ball flying hard enough to shatter goggles likely wouldn't even be dented a little.

OssiansFolly
Aug 3, 2012

Suffering at the factory of sadness every year.

Drythe posted:

Masks suck and you play indoors.

I've done a few games outdoors. Still haven't experienced fog. CHEAP masks fog on me but my Dye hasn't ever fogged.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



In my experience, a big cause of fogging is foam. Standard ESS and similar goggles have a foam dust filter around the outer edge covering the ventilation holes, and many paintball masks have foam padding around the bridge of the nose and eyes. The result is poor ventilation that traps air and some of your breath within the goggles or lens area of a mask. Ripping the dust filter out of ESS goggles uncovers the ventilation holes, which massively improves air circulation and prevents fogging.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


This is *the best* anti-fogging solution I've ever used.

It's cheap as poo poo and I've still got my first bottle from 2 years ago. For reference, I use both Bolle Tracker glasses, and a pair of Bolle X800s. Zero fogging problems since switching to Op Drops.

DrAlexanderTobacco fucked around with this message at 19:39 on Apr 30, 2015

mellowjournalism
Jul 31, 2004

helllooo

I would put this in the OP, Airsoft Trajectory Project is an old but classic math-out of the performance of 6mm airsoft bb's in terms of air drag and crosswind and crazy poo poo like that. It was proof that heavier bb's performed better.

ESS Turbofans or bust

Chillyrabbit
Oct 24, 2012

The only sword wielding rabbit on the internet




Ultra Carp

Arquinsiel posted:

Wouldn't a steel ball have totally different moment of force characteristics to a plastic ball? My gut says it's a world of difference in terms of mass/area ratios and compressibility of the ball.

Yeah the compressibility and the way it transfers energy would differ from plastic BB to steel ball. But the ANSI glasses test is a 6.4 mm steel ball hitting glasses at a 46.5 m/s, the steel ball was guessimated to have an average mass of about 1.046 g using known properties of "average" steel. The Kinetic energy that glasses have to resist is about 1.06 J at impact, plastic BB's will have different force characteristics, especially after flying through the air, but it would be germane to note that glasses resist only 1.06 J of energy so it may be not ideal for outdoor play where people can sling BB's at each other with up to 2 J of force.

In the rewrite of the eye protection I'll outline the 3 rating systems, ANSI Z87.1+, MIL-PRF31013, and MIL-DTL-43511D, and what they specifically resist. Personally I would recommend full seal, MIL spec rated but leave it up to user discretion.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


STANAG 2920 is a good one to look out for as well - That test features a steel .22 calibre cylinder fired at 270m/s.

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Arquinsiel
Jun 1, 2006

"There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first."

God Bless Margaret Thatcher
God Bless England
RIP My Iron Lady


Chillyrabbit posted:

it would be germane to note that glasses resist only 1.06 J of energy so it may be not ideal for outdoor play where people can sling BB's at each other with up to 2 J of force.
Fair point.

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