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The Beginners Guide to Airsoft

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The Beginners Guide To Airsoft


Before you go off and start buying anything, the best thing to do is to go and play a few games first, that'll let let you know how you want to play and if it is something that you are sure that you want to spend money on- an believe me this is not a cheap sport, so you're better off making sure that it's something you want to commit to.




Now it is first important to understand that getting a specialised rifle, such as a sniper rifle is NOT a good idea as newer players often quickly become bored or annoyed at not having the adaptability of other rifles available. You're much better off starting out with a more basic rifle which you can adapt later on.


This is undoubtedly the part of your kit that you want the most, and it’s important to choose the right one for you as you will be using this lot, you should take time choosing one that right for you


There are many types of guns, as you should already know, but choosing a good gun to start with narrows it down a bit. Ideally you need one where you can easily get spares and upgrades very easily.Readily available magazines are also an important factor to take into account, as you won't want to be caught short.

The best guns that match these criteria are:








And AK47's.




You should NOT get a GBBR (gas blow-back rifle) for your first gun as they require more maintenance and looking after than AEG's (automatic electric guns, they can also be very temperamental unless it's a well set up or high end one. Magazines are also very expensive and the cost of gas can make these expensive to run.


These are guns recommended to new players.

The low end, cheap recommended makes are:


For M4's: classic army sportline, ICS plastic series and g&g- more specifically the combat machine range are very good.


For G36's: SRC or jing gong, however JG ones are becoming harder to find nowadays.


For MP5's: classic army sportline, ICS plastic or the cheaper G&G one, which from reports is a very good gun.


For AK's: Classic army, G&G and Cyma all do different variants of these, the CYMA's in particular are very good for the low price.



These are all good versions of each of the guns that won't hurt the wallet, they won't be up to the same standards as their more expensive counterparts, however they do contain a lot of the same parts (internally at least).


If you have a larger budget, the G&G, ICS AND G&P M4's are well worth looking at.


For mp5's the new ICS mxp5 pro are brilliant, as will be the G&G range.


And Kwa g36's are a solid choice as are Classic army.


Anything for Tokyo Marui will be a good choice, though a lot of their range has plastic externals, as opposed to metal.


When you choose your gun you should also think about where you will be playing

For example, if you play mainly indoors or CQB sites, you will probably benefit from a smaller shorter gun as it will be much easier to maneuver about with.




You need to decide what magazines you want- low, mid or high capacity.


High caps have wheels on the bottom that you have to wind before firing but you get much more rounds in them normally between 300 and 450


Mid caps have no winding, but are loaded from a speed loader and hold from 75 to around 150 rounds.


And lows have no winding, but are loaded from a speed loader and generally hold from around 30-50


A high cap winding wheel



Batteries should also be taken into consideration, do you want a larger one that'll last all-day but need a large place to put it or smaller ones that don't need a full stock or to be seen.

Larger batteries are often put inside full, solid stock whereas the smaller types are normally kept in hand guards, allowing you to use a smaller or retractable stock- this may be beneficial to smaller players.


A standard, mini type battery



Your physical size maybe an issue with choosing a gun too. If you're of a smaller build, an MP5 will probably be better suited to you than a solid stock M4 for example.



I cant stress this enough, getting a sniper rifle for your first gun isn't the most sensible idea, it greatly limits the possibilities of what you can do with your gun and means you can't adapt to different situations as well as others will be able to.

This is bad for new players as sniping is slow and you need a lot of patience, it is also frustrating being able to only use single shot guns. It is common for people to get bored of them after 1 or two games before selling them and then having to pay more to get an AEG instead.


That's enough for rifles for now; let's move on to pistols, and handguns




Ok firstly it is important to note that getting a pistol as a beginner it won’t see much use unless you specifically set out to use it, you will likely be better off spending any money you have for a pistol on either A: a better rifle or B: magazines/batteries/accessories for your primary weapon.


There are many makes of pistols, as well as variants and designs. Again if you are choosing a pistol you should spend time thinking about what type and model you want.They come in man shapes and sizes and so lon as you buy from a reputable brand such as Tokyo Marui or KWA, you can't go far wrong.


A standard M1911, a relatively common side-arm.



Tokyo Marui, are usually a very good choice when it comes to pistols. When it comes to reliability they are second to none, however expect to pay more than you would for other makes to get one. They normally have plastic slides but they are great quality and the plastic slider have a great finish.


KWA's newer range of pistols are full metal and are highly regarded, if you would prefer a full metal one then checking out these is a good place to start.




The BB's you choose to use can affect the performance of your gun, and it is best to try and find the best for you and the are always conflicting arguements over which gives the most range.




0.2g are the lightest that you realistically want to be using and are also the cheapest to buy. However due to being lighter, they wont carry the same momentum as slightly heavier ammo.

It's worth try some .2g's, .23g's and .25g's. that way you can try some of each to see which performs best in your rifle. Heavier weights will also increase the accuracy of your gun.


If you have a higher than normal FPS due to having a semi locked DMR or a sniper rifle you will probably find that an even heavier weight will have a better affect on accuracy- for exaple at 425 fps i would suggest that .30g or .36g BB's would give better performance for your gun.


Another thing with choosing your ammo is the make/brand. Excel, Blaster and Guarder are well known as quality BB manufacturers for decent prices.



I'll keep this very simple and just explain a couple of parts that change the performance.

Range and accuracy are gained by a few key areas in the guns.


Range, is mainly affected by the Hop-Up. This is the device that the BB's are fed through before being fired out. This provides backspin on the round and will increase the range dramatically by doing so.


Accuracy can be gained by adding a new, higher quality barrel. They can be bought with different diameters and lengths to suit different guns. It can also be gained by (as said previously) using heavier ammo.



Glasses, goggles and face protectors.


This is the single most important piece of kit you will own, do not cheap out. They WILL save your eyes one day.


We were all new once, so I understand people not wanting to fork out on expensive face protection as it can be expensive.

Do not be lead down this road, you only get one pair of eyes.


The safety ratings/marking you should have on the eyeware are: ANSI Z87 (US Safety rating) or EN166 (European Rating also known as BS EN 166:2002) This will show that they have been approved and safe for use.

People need to understand that there are some dangers to this sport, as with any other. On a lighter note I recommend


For glasses ESS ice 2.4, or 3.0 both are brilliant and not too expensive. They can be found on ebay for good prices.



Masks, with plastic windows aren't very helpful, they tend to steam up and be a general pain, I suggest using the black bear mesh masks as I have seen them shrug off multiple high powered shots in quick succession and that is what a good masks should be capable of.


here is a link to firesupports black bear selection

Other good products are heroshark’s mesh equipment which are brilliant.


Always wear your eye protection when outside of the safe zone. Your site will make it clear to you when you can take them off.




These are another extremely important item that should not be skimped out on, everyone has different tastes in boots etc, so I can't say the single best make.


What I would do is try waking boots, anything with good ankle support and/or head to your local army surpluses store and check their stuff out.

Magnum, Lowa and Oakley are all good makes, however looking at them in person will probably be best for you.


Tactical vests, rigs and equipment.


If you are new and just starting, the best vest for you I think will be a viper vest, they are cheap at less than £30 but will do the job until you fork out for a higher end product.


I have seen many of the older players using these and I have used one myself.

This is a viper vest you can get for £20-30



Combats/BDU's (battle dress uniform)


Quite simple really, head to your local surplus store and pick up some DPM's (disruptive pattern material)- the older British army style which can be found very cheap, look on ebay too as there will always be some on the cheap there.


If you want a specific type of camo, Google is your friend.


Look on land warrior airsoft too as they have a selection of more uncommon unique camo styles on there for decent prices. These are good for teams to looks unique and as a group as most of these are not bought by most people. Most tend to buy Multicam/DPM etc.


DPM ubacs (under body armour combat shirt)


Another popular camo- multicam





Radios can be a really useful asset to a team but choosing a good one can be hard. I find that the Motorola tlkr series are good and the t5's which i believe are the cheapest at £50 for two. These are good and will be all you need.



Gun Bag/Case

These are quite important if you are going to be moving your gun in public. You don't want to be seen carrying guns in public, as you might have a run in with the police, which no one wants.

They can be found for good prices on various sites. Viper make a few for relatively cheap too.


This is all you really need for your main set of equipment.

However you may want a helmet, or other things, in this case it is more or less up to you as there is probably a certain style you want. Although there are some good looking makes on fire-support.


The VCRA, UKARA and Two-tones.

This section will briefly cover what you need to know about the laws concerning airsoft. If you have further questions, we have a section for them here


So, this will quickly run through what you need to know.

You cannot buy any gun at all unless you are over 18. No exceptions.

If you are over 18, you can buy a Two-tone rifle (IF-imitational firearm), which will be predominantly be painted in a bright colour.

If you are over 18 AND HAVE A VALID DEFENCE you can then, and only then buy a realistic coloured gun (RIF-realistic imitational firearm)


A valid defence is something that proves that you are a regular Airsofter and will allow you to buy an RIF. The easiest and most common way of doing this is by becoming a member at a UKARA registered site and being put on the UKARA database. This system is to defend retailers by showing them who is a regular player.

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I was going to put that but in the emd decided not to, however if you think it ought to be in it I will put it in in tonight's edit.


Thanks for the feed back so far, if anyone notices any more problems please tell me, thanks,

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i quite liked it staright to the point stuff for beginners good work

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Ok thanks fir your input, it should have pictures hopefully tonight so you.can understand easier, wiuld that clear it up? Or should I explain more?

I think.ill make an ideal kit list as a conclusion too it should help.

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You may want to say it is all about PERFORMANCE NOT POWER!!! And Dave, im sure you need alot of gas with your G39c and Hi-capa :P

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ok and about the snipers, best to get the ready upgraded one on Zero one, if not already mentioned, sorry i cant read it all at the moment!

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Ok.... sorry guys, change of plan, its a pain in the Arse to edit, hyperlink and put on pictured from my phone so ill do a big update on the weekend and will update every weekend from then on.

Sorry, and by the way Alex,your website is good when I use stuff ill put in credit and stuff so thanks.

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My first pistol was a KJ Works P226, and aside from the mag leak issue, it has served me well so far. If i were making a guide about pistols, i would try to do a section on every pistol manufacturer, listing pros and cons, maybe running some polls on various models to get an overall feel of what the airsoft community likes. As a beginner guide you want it as unbiased as possible, because different people enjoy different aspects of the gun - including price, material, popularity, status of the manufacturer, upgrade potential, power supply, reliability, ease of concealment etc


The amount of work, and my lack of experience with guns other than TM and KJW has always put me off doing it!


So far its good though! Keep at it.

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This is something I put together roughly 4 years ago for the club forums, it could do with me updating it a little (well quite a bit) with the changes in site the club now has.


It's simply been copied from the location it sits within on the forums there, but may be a little help in what your doing.


A few newer players have asked quite a few questions about Clothing, eye protection, and what goes into your loadbearing kit.


Following on from this thread: *Link removed* I've put together a little helper for players old and new to the game, its very wordy and lacks some of the colourful language usually used by members but hopefully it will hep point you in the right direction.




British DPM or German Flektarn combat uniforms, they’re cheap, readily available and very hard wearing. Many players swear by various types, but a majority of ex forces players wear good old DPM, up at Cerberus Flecktarn and DPM both work very well at skirmish ranges, find something you like and go for it (we generally don’t recommend fashion ‘flage from various shops in the city centre... bright red and yellow combats generally don’t work as well).


“Out of all the DPM kit I always go for the windproof smocks ( referred to as SAS smocks by the wanabe’s ) just remember if you do get a windproof to never use the hood, all ways keep it rolled up, it is only there for show. If you can to stay away from the Soldier 95 pattern trousers, these are cheap but they are very thin and can rip very easily, if you can find them go for the wind proof trousers, these are made to a much higher standard, and because of the weave of the material it will help keep you warm in winter and cool in the summer.” - Directing Staff, Cerberus


Gloves are useful even in summer just to protect your hands from the odd cut and graze from playing, but they’re not essential to the game, the same goes for hats, hats especially will protect you from the sun and keep you warmer in winter, with the added advantage that they will break up the shape of your head and keep your face in shade, enabling you to blend in to the environment better.


Wet Weather / Gore tex outer wear is useful in the field really only when it’s very wet, even though it makes a noise during use you will keep warmer and dryer (also more comfortable) than if you don’t, it’s not essential but it can help.




Either a decent set of glasses / goggles that are compliant with the following markings: ANSI Z87 (US Safety rating) or EN166 (European Rating also known as BS EN 166:2002) Mesh Masks, although not generally rated as safety wear are also popular and 99% of masks bought in the UK are of a standard sufficient for skirmishing, I personally won’t wear one.




Boots, Boots and Boots. a good pair of boots, Through personal experience a few players tend to stay away from Magnum type patrol boots and go for something a little more heavy duty such as Matterhorn boots, One of the Organisers at Cerberus recommends the web-Tex MK2 pro xt boots, which are direct copies of the Lowa mountain boot, but about 50-75% cheaper, but these will take a while to break in. Stay away from Doc Martin boots as well, there’s not enough support in them after some use, even if they’re comfy.


Load bearing Equipment and Webbing:


Assault vests are available but without severe modifications these are really only good for short duration games because of the lack of pouches and because of their design they will stop you from going prone because the pouches are positioned on the front. Modular vests are available allowing you to customise your kit easily but have the same problems as a fixed “Assault” vest.


Another option is the chest rig, these are not ideal for woodland gaming because of the limited amount of kit you can carry, they also have the same problem as the assault vest in that they will not let you go prone because everything is mounted on your chest.


Most Players who have used British PLCE (Personal Load Carrying Equipment) or ALICE (All Purpose Light weight Load Carrying Equipment) will recommend it in a heavily modified situation and a lot of ex forces players use PLCE due to being familiar with the system, and one of the regulars at Cerberus sums it up thus:

“British Army kit is great 'cos it’s designed to be (almost) squaddy proof so it’s more than good enough for airsoft where let’s face it, it doesn't get much stick. The webbing has mags and spare ammo up front, three pouches at the rear (two water bottles and some first aid and other bits & bobs).”


What’s in the Kit:


“What is in the pouches depends on who's wearing them, if it’s an ex military player a brew kit is essential, enough magazines and ammo to start a small war, first aid gear, water, mars bars, spare gun batteries, spare gun, wet weather gear, dry weather gear, a torch, cam cream, mossi (mosquito) spray and a kitchen sink. If it's a wannabe player they'll all be empty except for a half used bag of ammo. “– Directing Staff, Cerberus.


Every one carries equipment differently and in different amounts, ex forces will carry just about everything they need for 24 hours in the field, as its been drilled into them and sometimes a bit more besides, I know one Player / Directing Staff member carries the following:


“In my webbing I carry 12 SA80 mags, 10,000 rounds of spare ammo, x2 58 pattern water bottles, crusader burner and mug, small first aid kit, 2 first field dressing's, a complete 24hr ration pack minus the choc and sweeties which I carry in my smock, Kenwood TK350 UHF radio and spare battery, strapped to the yoke I carry a DPM basha and two sand bags. In my smock I carry a waterproof note book, jack knife, whistle, cam cream, small first aid kit, sweeties from ration pack, mag lite, scrim scarf, N.I. gloves.”


It’s essential to note that aside from magazines and ammunition he carries water, food / snacks and a personal first aid kit, carrying these is a really good idea even though it adds weight, as at some grounds it’s not easy to pop back to the safe zone for a drink or a snack, in the case of a first aid kit it’s for your use, you get a nice graze from the rocks etc. you have something to cover the cut / graze, and stop you getting dirt into it, but you should always notify the First Aider / Directing staff even if you deal with the injury yourself.


Knives are generally frowned on even rubber / foam training knives, except as part of a mulitool / Swiss army knife, yes, you will see trusted and regular players with Bayonets and other knives in there kit, it’s a habit /part of the kit (My personal PLCE feels wrong without one) and will not be used unless it’s to aid in an emergency.


Personal Communications / Radio’s


Most teams and regular players will have access to radio communications, either PMR radios or VHF / UHF systems, based on how they play the game, being able to communicate during a game is handy, even if it’s just to report an incident, Cerberus operates a PMR Emergency channel, usually One Dead, and this is notified at the safety brief. Radio communications are generally a luxury but they can be handy.

Personally I’ve needed a radio recently as an old injury flared up during a game, enabling me to call for assistance from directing staff, ok it’s not anything spectacular but it aids in the administration of the game.


Weapons and magazines / Ammunition


This is a bit of a no brainer, it’s an essential for the game but it’s something to bear in mind when choosing your kit... having a non standard magazine (P90 / MP5 / UMP etc.) magazines will impact on what kit you can source, OK most M4 / L85 Mag pouches (STANAG) will carry differing magazines easily but not in the same quantity or as securely, you’ll need to source another type of pouch specifically for them.


The different types of magazine capacity define the mount of pouches and mags you carry, a typical Hi-cap (250+ bb’s) can last a full session, meaning you need less of them, but they can rattle during use, as the bb’s are loose inside.


Mid Caps carry around 100-140 bb’s per magazine, generally meaning you have to reload rather than wind a magazine on to keep firing but these are generally quieter and allow you to add items such as Magpuls or bungee cord loop to help you reload, yes some of them can be attached to a hi cap, but in general the loop will be in the way.

Most “Standard” cap magazines are really mid caps in essence, usually holding 68-140 bb’s per magazine, and there is an option for tracer magazines, which are generally midcaps.


The final type of magazine is the Real Cap magazine; these magazines only hold 20-30 rounds total capacity, also sprung loaded but can be emptied in a very short space of time during a contact.

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