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theghosthost16

Importing RIFs to the UK

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Hiya! I know there's another thread on here, but that didn't really help me at all, so I've decided to ask. I will moving to Scotland for studies, and will go there by ferry from calais (I live in Belgium). Ive been looking to buy an AEG as its my first time, and absolutely do not want to rent anAEG to play with as I've heard very bad things about rentals. 

I know I need to get a UKARA, but I'd rather do so with my own gear than renting. My question is, has anyone done this before/does anyone have any tips? I'm really desperate. I've found this, but is this info reliable? Really just looking to get some gear into the uk

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In the kindest possible way, if you've never airsofted before then your opinions on rental RIFs are entirely misplaced.

 

Rental RIF quality will vary across sites, so let us know which sites you're planning on visiting and we can tell you whether your fears are warranted.

 

But assuming they're not, and the rental RIFs are adequate, I would strongly, strongly recommend just using the rentals for the 3 games it would take to get UKARA sorted.

 

 

With regard to importing - it is far, far simpler to ship the gun to a UKARA-registered member via international post and pick it up once you're here, instead of trying to enter the country with it on your person. Far less red tape!

 

E: I've read the guide you found elsewhere - seems "simple" i.e. a simple process yet a lot of steps - I wouldn't do it myself owing to any possible chance of getting held up at the border.

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I would be playing in Scotand, section 8 is the one I'm looking at right now. 

I just dont want a rental because I dont want to break it, and just have my own rifle so can at my own pace.

Am heavily considering buying second hand, is that a good alternative? 

And could I place red tape on my gun (didn't think of that) so that it qualifies as a two tone?

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2 minutes ago, theghosthost16 said:

And could I place red tape on my gun (didn't think of that) so that it qualifies as a two tone?

 

No, the colour change has to be permanent 

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One way of putting it - a bad time at the border / suspicion of breaking the VCRA is a lot worse then a bad experience with a rental.

 

By all means give it a go and tell us how you get on. But i would advise renting.... you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince!

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If there was an easy way to avoid UKARA, everyone would be doing it rather using UKARA. Just suck it up and rent for a few times, your not going to break the gun unless you are incredibly clumsy.

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My friend at Section 8 had a bad rental gun it broke on him 3 times. Could of been unlucky only been once. 

 

Fife Wargames were renting out some G&G firehawks pretty decent rental guns. 

 

I  rented 3 times at Depot and many of my friends have. They currently have G36Cs. They have 1 with a bad fire selector but rest of them are fine. Occasionally I had to sick it to full auto let off a burst in to the ground then back to semi when it was dry firing.

 

Regarding buying second hand yes it's possible but some people won't sell to you without UKARA and since you've never been airsofting you can't really claim that as a defence either. 

 

Buy two tone or rent is my advice. 

 

Can I ask your budget for airsoft kit? You'd need a gun, battery, charger, eye protection and bbs as a minimum which even if you get the cheapest of the cheap your probably looking at £200~ all in and that wouldn't be very good kit at all. rental costs about 20 quid extra per game day.

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33 minutes ago, theghosthost16 said:

I would be playing in Scotand, section 8 is the one I'm looking at right now. 

I just dont want a rental because I dont want to break it, and just have my own rifle so can at my own pace.

Am heavily considering buying second hand, is that a good alternative? 

And could I place red tape on my gun (didn't think of that) so that it qualifies as a two tone?

 

If you break the gun they won't care :)

 

Unless they saw you specifically trying to break it - but there's a certain level of wear&tear expected with a rental gun. If it fails you in-game, they'll give you another.

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2 minutes ago, DrAlexanderTobacco said:

 

If you break the gun they won't care :)

 

Unless they saw you specifically trying to break it - but there's a certain level of wear&tear expected with a rental gun. If it fails you in-game, they'll give you another.

 

This is true and I can vouch that at S8 the guy who's rental kept not working got it swapped. 

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My budget for the gun alone is 200-268£, and the gear is already covered, I got some second hand gear and bought goggles, just need the rifle.

I just don't want to rent a rifle and have it break in the middle of the game, as I'd get very upset and probably ruin the game for me, and if really bad, turn me away. Shit I know people have played with rental but I just wanna buy a rifle that I have some degree of control over

 

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3 minutes ago, theghosthost16 said:

My budget for the gun alone is 200-268£, and the gear is already covered, I got some second hand gear and bought goggles, just need the rifle.

I just don't want to rent a rifle and have it break in the middle of the game, as I'd get very upset and probably ruin the game for me, and if really bad, turn me away. Shit I know people have played with rental but I just wanna buy a rifle that I have some degree of control over

 

 

Airsoft might not be for you haha - stuff breaks all the time!

 

Seriously though this sort of thing is a rare occassion where everybody is in agreement that renting till you are ukara'd is the best option. What you do with this advice is up to you.

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46 minutes ago, theghosthost16 said:

I just don't want to rent a rifle and have it break in the middle of the game

 

Brand new guns can do this too you realise?

The benefit of a rental gun breaking is that you give it to the site owner, they give you another rental gun and you're off again. Having fun. Being Rambo etc.

 

If your own gun breaks mid-game and you can't fix it yourself, well, that's your day done and dusted.

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38 minutes ago, theghosthost16 said:

My budget for the gun alone is 200-268£, and the gear is already covered, I got some second hand gear and bought goggles, just need the rifle.

I just don't want to rent a rifle and have it break in the middle of the game, as I'd get very upset and probably ruin the game for me, and if really bad, turn me away. Shit I know people have played with rental but I just wanna buy a rifle that I have some degree of control over

 

 

If you don't think you can deal mentally with a rental gun breaking then airsoft isn't for you - put simply! RIFs can break for the silliest of reasons and you'll find yourself in trouble if your first £268 gun breaks during your first skirmish, because no one will want to lend theirs to you. You don't want to use rentals so you will have to go home.

 

Regardless - whichever direction you wish to take, I really hope you'll enjoy the sport and keep playing. If you're dead-set on getting your own AEG, I *strongly* recommend shipping it via international post to a UK airsofter with valid UKARA, instead of transporting it with you on the ferry.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, L3wisD said:

 

Brand new guns can do this too you realise?

 

Sometimes they come like that 😢 

 

I personally wouldn't sell to you theghosthost16 as you say you want to go to airsoft but maybe you just want the real looking toy gun. There's no way for me to know and it's an offence to sell a RIF to someone without a defence. 

 

You say you "just need the rifle" do you consider what that runs on? I mentioned battery, battery charger and bbs already but you have to factor these in they aren't cheap. If you want to run mid caps you need a speedloader minimum and some load bearing equipment probably to carry them. If you really want to play airsoft then rent or buy two tone. I 

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1 hour ago, theghosthost16 said:

I just don't want to rent a rifle and have it break in the middle of the game, as I'd get very upset and probably ruin the game for me, and if really bad, turn me away.

 

You're imagining problems before you've even started playing.  As above, renting is a way to ensure that you don't have a bad day.  The site will have spare guns, you only have to ask.

 

Rent, or if you really can't wait, buy a two-tone gun once you're over here.  Nobody will care whether your gun is two-tone or not.  The BBs certainly won't.

 

The important thing is not to sink much money into the hobby before you've even tried it.

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Answering the question specifically i think your over thinking a problem which "may" not exist.

 

Airsoft gun by the rule are not real guns, they boil down to toys albeit controversial ones, i think customs would be used to RIFs being transported as you wont be the first and certainly wont be the last.

 

I have a friend and colleague who is Polish and was an avid airsoft back there and is considering bringing his stuff over, he does not have UKARA and doesn't want to rent, i tried to explain to him that this is the easiest way but he still refuses.

 

Anyways i will probably get flamed by the UKARA Police for what we thought of as work arounds:

  • Find or know someone with UKARA and send the RIF to their UK address via post and when you arrive collect it from them, this will be expensive as airsoft guns are not what i call light
  • Find or know someone with or without UKARA, send parts of the RIF to them and bring other parts yourself. Thereby each of you only get parts of an incomplete RIF which when combined becomes a working RIF. Teching knowledge may be required.
  • You can chance it
  • Or as you posted above, be completely honest and open about what you are carrying throughout, maybe have a booking to a local airsoft game in the future prior to travelling make every arrangement to secure the RIFs in hard gun cases, I heard the Nuprol ones are pretty good for this.

 

 

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I'm fully aware of what I need (batteries, speedloaders, etc) and fully aware that AEGs break on site. But if the rentals are used everyday, would you agree that the chances are much higher for the rental to break down?. Sure, you can get another rental, and that one might break too, get another one; I get that specific point, and I know you're not supposed to sink in tons of money into it before starting, and I can see why. Yes I know that UK gun controls are tight, more than where I live. I've played paintball, and have always wanted to customize my weapon and play something more mature (paintball is full of kids here, idk about the UK, not saying that airsoft shouldn't be for kids, but I wanna play something more tactical, idk if this makes sense). Naturally I'm a bit tired of renting guns and not been able to customize them, which is a big selling point for me in airsoft. 

I'll probably end up two toning a gun or purchasing a two tone, get my license and paint it blac afterwards. Thank you all for the replies though, really helpful

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Sure, please don't take any of this personally.  We all like owning airsoft guns, we get the attraction.  It's just that you are risking having them seized and destroyed if you try and import them.  That seems like more of a downer than possibly being given a rental gun that's a bit tired.

 

And no, they're not used every day.  They'll be used every couple of weeks, maybe once a week, the same as any other airsoft gun.  Sites also regularly replace all their rental guns, and they do it before they start giving them a lot of problems: they don't want you having a bad day either.

 

Relax, come and try it out, it'll be fine.

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Please note that UKARA is one method of proving to a seller that you are an airsoft skirmisher when buying a RIF, and / or to prove the same when importing.  The UKARA itself is not a legal requirement but it’s the main recognized scheme 

The question does come up about people overseas wanting to import when they move to the UK but don’t already have UKARA registration.  There is the option of contacting the Border Force/Customs to ask .... but nobody has comeback to tell us what happened

 

As you have not played yet then it’s a risk I wouldn’t recommend (If you turn up with RIFs then customs can reject entry which would mean sending them back or giving them up for destruction)

 

You have noted that you have played paintball overseas, and that is mostly kids but don’t know about the UK scene.

The majority UK scene is rental paintball which is kid/teenage party’s and adult groups playing once. 

Next are the regular players with their own gear, playing Walkons or events.  Airsoft local skirmishes are similar to paintball local walkons, and scenario themed paintball events are similar to airsoft themed events

 

 

Where did you get those advice pages from ?(and how old are they?)

 

The line about there being no licence required is correct, and it concentrates on advising how to bring a gun on a ferry etc.  It does not refer to the VCRA requirements on RIFs - if it’s older than 2007 then that would explain that

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@theghosthost16 As all the above have mentioned i would highly recommend renting for your first 3 months to get your UKARA then you can buy all you want. just be aware even if you have a two tone and then paint it, it is also an offence to change the appearance of a IF to make it look like a RIF, not that any site would care but bare it in mind. As the wise @Rogerborghas said, if you have your own RIF and it breaks that's game day over for you if its not a quick fix. if you have a rental and something goes wrong it gets changed out the chances of the replacement rental  breaking is next to nothing.  At the end of the day its only for 3 months so please don't take this the wrong way but just suck it up and deal with it or get a 2 tone. oh and please don't risk importing a rif as said above its likely to be seized and destroyed. 

 

I can say from my own experience when i rented i had no issues what so ever as @Musica said fife war games have some really decent firehawks that i would recommend ( speaking of that @Musica did you get a visit into FWG? I mind you wanted to go. )

 

 

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19 hours ago, Mad Rag said:

@theghosthost16 As all the above have mentioned i would highly recommend renting for your first 3 months to get your UKARA then you can buy all you want. just be aware even if you have a two tone and then paint it, it is also an offence to change the appearance of a IF to make it look like a RIF, not that any site would care but bare it in mind. As the wise @Rogerborghas said, if you have your own RIF and it breaks that's game day over for you if its not a quick fix. if you have a rental and something goes wrong it gets changed out the chances of the replacement rental  breaking is next to nothing.  At the end of the day its only for 3 months so please don't take this the wrong way but just suck it up and deal with it or get a 2 tone. oh and please don't risk importing a rif as said above its likely to be seized and destroyed. 

 

I can say from my own experience when i rented i had no issues what so ever as @Musica said fife war games have some really decent firehawks that i would recommend ( speaking of that @Musica did you get a visit into FWG? I mind you wanted to go. )

 

 

 

Yea I was there on the 30th of June. Was a fun site for it being outdoor more in common with The Depot than S8 that is for sure. I enjoyed the game modes a lot more as well as straight forward easy to follow especally as I was learning the site.

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24 minutes ago, Musica said:

 

Yea I was there on the 30th of June. Was a fun site for it being outdoor more in common with The Depot than S8 that is for sure. I enjoyed the game modes a lot more as well as straight forward easy to follow especally as I was learning the site.

its a really good site and AJ the lead marshal is brilliant. ive not been in a little while but hope to get up there soon 

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