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Jubigala

How do I safely get involved in Air Soft Skirmishing in the UK?

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Hi folks.

 

I'm looking to start air soft skirmishing in the near future in Surrey, UK (Elmbridge/Runnymede/Dorking area). I have a few questions which I think I know the answer to, but would like to clarify from other more experienced skirmishers, as some points seem a little unclear to me.

 

As I understand, a RiF is a firearm that has to be sold by a registered UKARA retailer, meaning to purchase it you have to be an accredited air soft skirmisher and UKARA 'accredited', and to do that you must be 18+ and have at least 3 games completed in a minimum of 3 months playtime and a maximum of 12 months at an UKARA registered skirmish site and have completed the forms to recognise this. This is called 'the defence'. You can then modify the firearm to clearly set out air soft modification standards and rules.

 

An IF is a 'two-tone' firearm in designated colours which requires you to be 18+. You cannot adapt the firearm, or modify it's appearance, but you do not require 'the defence' to buy, own and use one during air soft skirmishing. So essentially, I can buy one and start skirmish.

 

Do I have the facts right?

 

I am a little confused because today, I saw some two tone air soft pistols for sale in a Christmas gift shop in Woking, Surrey and wondered how legit they are in terms of them selling to me (I am significantly older than 18+) and how it works with one in my possession and taking it to an air soft site, and using it.

 

So essentially, my question is.. can I buy/own a firearm, what can I do with it on purchase (modify the colour etc), and what spec would it have to be to be legal, and of course, good quality?

 

In terms of what's acceptable to use in a game, 400-520 fps (520 for a sniper rifle and 400+ for everything else) is the accepted and general playing spec.

 

I have tried to do my research somewhat about air soft, as I understand skirmishing must be a fun activity, but it is also deadly serious in regards to the rules, ownership and etiquette and basically not being a douchebag about it.

 

Any advice would be great, especially good UKARA affiliated sites to try out in Surrey, UK.

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I am a little confused because today, I saw some two tone air soft pistols for sale in a Christmas gift shop in Woking, Surrey and wondered how legit they are in terms of them selling to me (I am significantly older than 18+) and how it works with one in my possession and taking it to an air soft site, and using it.

 

So essentially, my question is.. can I buy/own a firearm, what can I do with it on purchase (modify the colour etc), and what spec would it have to be to be legal, and of course, good quality?

 

In terms of what's acceptable to use in a game, 400-520 fps (520 for a sniper rifle and 400+ for everything else) is the accepted and general playing spec.

 

I have tried to do my research somewhat about air soft, as I understand skirmishing must be a fun activity, but it is also deadly serious in regards to the rules, ownership and etiquette and basically not being a douchebag about it.

 

Any advice would be great, especially good UKARA affiliated sites to try out in Surrey, UK.

 

If you're over 18 you can buy a two-tone (over 51% coloured) gun fine.

 

UKARA is the main defence for airsofters, however there are other ways of proving a defence. UKARA would be the easiest way for you though.

 

Since i assume you don't have UKARA yet, you can buy a two-tone, but cannot change the coloured parts. You can add fancy parts like silencers, dot sights etc all you like, just keep to the 51% coloured.

 

UKARA is only used for purchasing RIFS. Anyone can own an airsoft gun, two-tone or not. So you're fine to take it to game sites etc as long as you keep it out of view when transporting etc.

350fps for anything capable of automatic tops. Sites vary for guns locked to single shot (350-420 usually) so check with local sites. Snipers are usually 500fps max.

 

You pretty much got the jist of the rules in your post. Nice to see someone doing a little research :)

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Yeah, you pretty much got it all correct. As Tariq has said, internals depends on site rules as to max power etc and externals are within the 51% colouring rules.

I believe changing the colouring is classed as Manufacturing a RIF (illegal), however, you will see many people who simply bolt silencers, sights etc on without making sure its still within 51%, usually it will not be a problem if you don't wave it around in public. Its mainly to identify to the police that its not a real weapon so common sense is involved if you don't want to spray paint your silencer/add ons.

 

For skirmishes many players use Camo wrap or ghillie wrap to disguise the bright colours which is legal provided you only put it on at the site and take it off before leaving the site.

 

You can hire guns very similar to paintball to get your UKARA defence before getting a gun (advisable), just go to a UKARA approved site, sign up for a game and play away until you get your 3. The site should then organise the defence (add you to the online database/sort it so the retailer can) if you ask them.

Hiring also gives you a good chance to say 100% if you like it or not before shelling out money on a gun and full equipment.

 

 

Also this should help you with most beginner questions if you don't mind reading lots! If there are any other questions don't hesitate to ask :)

http://www.airsoft-forums.co.uk/index.php/topic/12854-new-player-guides-info/

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Very informative, thanks.

 

So essentially, the only times you actually need UKARA registration is to buy a RiF from a UKARA affiliated retailer (as in the won't sell you one otherwise), or in the event you was to get pulled up with it by police. So, as I understand, the only difference between a RiF and an IF, is the 51% colouring legislation.

 

I have been looking at firearms online. I'm not sure what would be the best type to buy for ease of use and reliability. What would be the lowest FPS you would need for air soft skirmish? I'm looking at some nice priced electrics, but am just wondering whether it's worth spending a bit more for a higher FPS, or perhaps should start out with something around the fairly modest, around 250 FPS.

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At this stage I would not buy any gun but rent one for the day at the site. The rental fees are usually around £15-£25 and includes face protection, gun, some ammo and a camo overall.

 

This also gives you time to chat with other players, see what guns they use and get to hold them and maybe even fire them (airsofters tend to be very friendly).

 

The chances are that as soon as you have got your defence, you will want to go for the RIF - two-tones tend to be used by junior memebrs who do not have a family member with a defence.

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"So essentially, the only times you actually need UKARA registration is to buy a RiF from a UKARA affiliated retailer (as in the won't sell you one otherwise), or in the event you was to get pulled up with it by police. So, as I understand, the only difference between a RiF and an IF, is the 51% colouring legislation."

 

Yes, officially it isn't the law to have UKARA for an RIF but its the most recognised Airsoft defence and the best/simplest way of doing it.

If the police stop you in theory all you have to be able to do is prove your a skirmisher (something a call to your site should sort out quickly) but yeah probably a good 98% of retailers use UKARA because it is the easiest way for them not to sell you a gun illegally (its the retailers responsibility).

Customs for example is a nightmare without UKARA and will usually take a lot of e-mails or phone calls to get sorted.

 

 

"I have been looking at firearms online. I'm not sure what would be the best type to buy for ease of use and reliability. What would be the lowest FPS you would need for air soft skirmish? I'm looking at some nice priced electrics, but am just wondering whether it's worth spending a bit more for a higher FPS, or perhaps should start out with something around the fairly modest, around 250 FPS."

 

My advice with guns is hire first, but if your set on getting one before then your definitely better off saving the bit extra and getting a good one. Most rifles tend to be close to the site top limit as in most cases a higher fps gives you a better range. If your doing CQB in building skirmish you may get away with a lower fps, the site rules tend to be a bit lower than outdoor ones too.

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Thanks for the comments. Good forum here. Seems full of people who enjoy it and have a bit of sense.

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"So essentially, the only times you actually need UKARA registration is to buy a RiF from a UKARA affiliated retailer (as in the won't sell you one otherwise), or in the event you was to get pulled up with it by police. So, as I understand, the only difference between a RiF and an IF, is the 51% colouring legislation."

 

Yes, officially it isn't the law to have UKARA for an RIF but its the most recognised Airsoft defence and the best/simplest way of doing it.

If the police stop you in theory all you have to be able to do is prove your a skirmisher (something a call to your site should sort out quickly) but yeah probably a good 98% of retailers use UKARA because it is the easiest way for them not to sell you a gun illegally (its the retailers responsibility).

Customs for example is a nightmare without UKARA and will usually take a lot of e-mails or phone calls to get sorted.

 

 

"I have been looking at firearms online. I'm not sure what would be the best type to buy for ease of use and reliability. What would be the lowest FPS you would need for air soft skirmish? I'm looking at some nice priced electrics, but am just wondering whether it's worth spending a bit more for a higher FPS, or perhaps should start out with something around the fairly modest, around 250 FPS."

 

My advice with guns is hire first, but if your set on getting one before then your definitely better off saving the bit extra and getting a good one. Most rifles tend to be close to the site top limit as in most cases a higher fps gives you a better range. If your doing CQB in building skirmish you may get away with a lower fps, the site rules tend to be a bit lower than outdoor ones too.

 

Sorry but you are wrong.

 

You do not require any kind of defense to OWN an RIF. The offence is selling or making one.

 

The defense is provided by the buyer to the seller.

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Jubi, what site do you intend to buy from?

 

I do not advise renting first (althou, I am in minority about this) as its going to end up fairly expensive, just make sure when you buy 1 that its not molded two-tone, rather its sprayed (can be sanded down and if necessarily, painted, once you have your UKARA), plus they are usually quite beat up and will not represent what you get if you're buying.

 

as for FPS, no it's not worth getting anything with 250 fps. go for 330-350 fps so that you can use it everywhere. Chinese guns often have to high fps and needs to be downgraded.

I'd go for this, from all I heard G&G is excellent guns but still wont break your bank.. maybe ask (they are very friendly and helpful when you phone them!) if they can avoid painting the body so that it will be easier for you once you get your UKARA.

http://www.proairsof...t_machine_.html

 

Also, it is not a firearm. I'd advise not to use that term as it can get quite confusing as some people on here own firearms and like to discuss them. That and the public image of airsoft. If you ever get questioned by a copper (never happened me anyway, and I'm in London), you're probably better of calling it an "airsoft toy".

 

 

P.S.

oh and never use cheap bbs or the ones that comes with the airsoft, as the will damage your barrel. the ones sold at your local site will be perfect.

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Sorry but you are wrong.

 

You do not require any kind of defense to OWN an RIF. The offence is selling or making one.

 

The defense is provided by the buyer to the seller.

 

Yeah true, legally you don't but if the police stop you or ask why you have a realistic m14 in the boot of your car you do need a good answer for them, an answer they will probably check up on that its legit.

Also in my experience (non Airsoft matter) the police don't tend to like it when you tell them what the law is and I imagine it will be the same for telling them its legal to own one :P

Much easier and faster just to say "I do airsoft (like paintball but better) and here is my registration to the UKARA and this is my local site's phone number :)

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Yeah true, legally you don't but if the police stop you or ask why you have a realistic m14 in the boot of your car you do need a good answer for them, an answer they will probably check up on that its legit.

Also in my experience (non Airsoft matter) the police don't tend to like it when you tell them what the law is and I imagine it will be the same for telling them its legal to own one :P

Much easier and faster just to say "I do airsoft (like paintball but better) and here is my registration to the UKARA and this is my local site's phone number :)

 

There's a difference between OWNING an RIF, and BEING IN POSSESSION IN A PUBLIC PLACE.

 

It is not illegal to own one, but in some cases you might be committing an offence by having the item with you in a public place (and yes, your car counts as a "public place" without a good reason.

 

Of course, a good reason might be "I'm taking it to show my mate" and this is perfectly legitimate (it wouldn't be with a licenced firearm though).

 

Unless you are doing something silly with the gun, such as wandering around with it uncovered in public, or flashing it at people, they would be very hard pushed to prove any offence.

 

Of course, it's not a good idea to carry any type of gun, airsoft or otherwise, unless you need to. Having one in the boot of the car when you're not actually planning on using it is just asking for trouble. How gutted would you be if someone smashed a window and made off with your pride and joy. That doesn't, however, make it illegal.

 

ALL of my guns, from airsoft right through to full bore hunting rifles, are locked up and secure whenever they're not in use. I consider this a basic, and sensible, security precaution as they are quite expensive and easily portable. I'm not saying you need a full on gun safe for your airsoft weapons (that's what I use, because I have spare space) but a locked cupboard or even a wooden box provide that extra bit of security and peace of mind.

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Thanks for the updates, guys. The only issue with renting is perhaps not being able to use a gun that I'd like to buy. I was thinking along the lines of a AUG, and at some point a sniper rifle. Seeing as I can't buy without UKARA from the site I looked at (and plenty of others, and would not do so), I don't have any options to buy other than a two-tone, which is a waste of funds. I'm sure MP5's and G36's are common rentals, and a lot of real world units use them so they would be good to try out.

 

What kind of guns do newcomers normally go for? AK's, M14's and various H&K's?

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Usually a g36c or m4a1 and sometimes Ak's and mp5's. Definitely try as many as you can first to get a feel for them, no good buying then later wishing you had something else.

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good thing to do is go to your local shop and talk to them.

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Its been said before but to OWN a RIF you don't need UKARA, I've spoken to a few guys now who's parents, family members are UKARA or in the armed forces who bought them a RIF.

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I'm not sure if I could get hold of one anyway as most sites I've looked on require you to have UKARA, for their own issues. Atm, I've seen a few guns I like on Military 1st. Seem a good price for what you get FPS wise, and build quality (metal and wood I presume).

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Post links up mates :) We'll let you know whether it's worth the money

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There is a G36. Gearbox and gears are metal, but I would assume rest is plastic. There is a mostly metal version too. http://www.military1st.co.uk/airsoft-guns-electric-rifles/15910-asg-slv36-black.html

 

Here is the Steyr AUG, fully metal. http://www.military1st.co.uk/airsoft-guns-electric-rifles/15909-asg-steyr-aug-a2.html

 

Not bad prices IMO.

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There is a G36. Gearbox and gears are metal, but I would assume rest is plastic. There is a mostly metal version too. http://www.military1...lv36-black.html

 

Here is the Steyr AUG, fully metal. http://www.military1...eyr-aug-a2.html

 

Not bad prices IMO.

 

Go SRC for g36 from all I heard! Was a strong competitor when I choose my aeg. as for the AUG, althou the concept it amazing.. like I always say about aug, make you you tried one first., the trigger sucks imo.

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