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The Commander

New guy, new loadout

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Hey, folks! New player here -- have played before, but only a couple of times overseas and never with my own gear.

 

Looking into getting on it seriously now. I did a lot of research and cross-referencing to narrow down my choices, but since a year of research wouldn't be close to some of you veterans and your knowledge, I would really appreciate some input and opinions 🙂

 

For reference, I'll probably be doing Bunker 51 in London three times partly due to location and mainly due to the Hire scheme that lets you buy RIFs now and take them home when the UKARA reg goes through.

 

1. Primary

 

Budget: None, really. As much as it needs to be

Platform: M4A1

 

After reading a lot of reviews/opinions, watching a bunch of YouTube videos, and visiting Wolf Armouries in North London to handle some guns in person, I am heavily inclined towards a Tokyo Marui M4A1. I hear TM is the best brand overall, so that seems like a good starting point.

 

I know the AEG is the recommended for newcomers, but I think I rather go with a GBB. I know the entry costs are higher and you need to refill it with gas, but if I'm spending £500 on a gun, a bit more won't make that much of a difference.

 

I care more about weapon feeling and handling than competitiveness, so the fact GBBs tend to fieldstrip like and mimic the operation of real guns is more interesting to me than 300-600 BBs mags.

 

I also like the idea of having to maintain the weapon -- I used to work on my own car back in America unless it was something that require a proper mechanic, so the idea of taking care of the GBB really interests me.

 

Right now, I'm torn between this AEGhttps://wolfarmouries.co.uk/tokyo-marui-m4a1-sopmod-carbine-next-gen-aeg.html

 

And this GBB: https://wolfarmouries.co.uk/tokyo-marui-m4a1-mws-gbb-rifle.html

 

Opinions on the choices, price, better M4s, alternative brands, or anything else are very much welcome.

 

2. Sidearm

 

I heard GBB is the way to go with pistols. In terms of models, I'm:

 

  1. Really interested in the 1911 / Colt XSE / M45A1 series
  2. Kinda interested in the M9 and the Heckler & Koch USP Compact
  3. Possibly interested in the FiveseveN, but less so because I like metal instead of polymer

 

I haven't done half as much research on pistols as I have on M4s, so I would appreciate suggestions of brands so I can narrow down my search 😁 I also would like the choice to fit a suppressor if I want to, but dunno if most high-end pistols have that or if that's a feature I must specifically look out for.

 

3. Mask and Vests

 

I understand lower face masks are recommended in addition to the obligatory eye protection, so you don't get shot in the mouth and lose a tooth. However, I'm not a fan of the general opaque, claustrophobic paintball masks I see a lot of people use, so I wonder if there's any suggestions of workable alternatives.

 

Would a thick scarf around your face work? Maybe a oxygen/gas mask Division-style work?

 

Regarding vests, can I use just normal tactical vests with pouches without any other protection? I hear talks of plate carriers, but that feels like overkill.

 

 

----

 

That's all! I understand it's a lot of questions, so I appreciate any feedback, suggestions, or insights anyone's willing to offer. Thanks! 🙂

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If you buy either of those TM M4s you'll be just dandy, you're clearly an intelligent adult with an income so while normally GBB isn't recommended as a first buy I see no reason you wouldn't be just fine.  Buy a TM M45 as a sidarm and you'll be set all around, just be sure to put a few quid in to half decent sling/holster for both the aforementioned.  You've already handled different options so there's not too much advice to give frankly.  You've done your research and found what you like so don't let anyone dissuade you at this point.

 

Buy from a quality, reputable brand of eye pro.  Mesh lower face masks are pretty standard these days for understandable reasons, these ones are protective, pretty comfy and let the moisture from your breath out.  Try whatever you like the look of though, long as it stops a bb.

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Hi!

 

As said both great choices, having the budget definitely helps!

 

The MWS is a joy to shoot for sure, if you like realism and gong through the motions (mag empty more often/bolt catch/recoil/noise) you'll appreciate it a lot.

It also boasts exceptional range and accuracy out the box.

Upgrades are simple and most are cheap.

 

The AEG is cheaper to run, not having to buy gas etc, plus you have a lighter loadout and more firepower. Again the Recoil series have bolt lock on empty and are very good out of the box, but not MWS good.

The upgrade path is more difficult and costly but these can be exceptional rifles fully pimped.

 

Certainly won't go wrong with the 1911 / HiCapa / M45 range.

Great performance and spares / upgrade support.

 

HK45 is a great pistol, not very metal but great, and comes with a silencer, and most importantly is designed to take a silencer.

Must say silenced GBB pistols are really just an aesthetic thing ;)

 

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You seem pretty sorted on guns so I'll focus on gear.  Though to start with, suppressors on pistols, they look cool but ultimately pointless unless you're running a tracer or a longer inner barrel.  They also make holstering a pain unless you can be faffed with removing the suppressor as and when/hunting down one of the few holsters designed for suppressors i.e. T.REX Arms RagnarokSD. 

 

I use the mask TheFull9 linked to.  There's a reason it's very popular.  I also use a pair of Heroshark's mesh goggles.  Some people are very anti mesh for understandable risk reasons (especially Americans it seems.  You might as well tell them you eat babies if they find out you use mesh).  Regardless, I've been into airsoft for over 15 years and never seen a serious incident.  An experience many others would mirror I expect.  I mainly use mesh as I can fog up anything "unfoggable". Personally, I wouldn't bother with anything like a gas mask.  You don't want anything more than the minimal protection blocking your breathing.

 

I might add, get a decent holster for your sidearm.  Avoid anything fabric as they won't have much protection for the mag catch.  It's not fun losing a £20/£30/£50 GBB mag due to a shitty holster.  Personally, I run Safarilands.  I have some older 6004s with the SLS hood retention but the newer ALS is superior.  And you don't want it knocking around your knees.  You want it belt mounted or mid ride with a UBL adapter and a single leg strap.  QLS attachment is handy too for quick removal.  And I echo getting a good sling.  I like padded two points slings.  Something adjustable like a Ferro Concepts Slingster.  I'd avoid single point slings unless you like heavy objects swinging into your nuts.  Then there's sling hardware.  Your best options are QD swivels or HK style snap hooks.  QD points will most likely come with aftermarket rails and stocks you will inevitably upgrade to as stock M4 sling points are far from ideal. 

 

As for vests, sure you don't need a plate carrier for protection but A, they look cool and B, they're good for weight distribution.  Especially if you go down the the GBBR path.  6+ GBBR mags distributed about your person is a considerable amount of mass.  You want that on something rigid ideally.  A plate carrier is ideal for this.  They don't need expensive, heavy RS plates.  Foam inserts do the job.  Some people like RS plates or weighted training plates which do add to realism and might be fine for use a couple of days a month depending on the state of your back.  But ultimately, it's unnecessary weight.  PCs do feel 'right" with them in though.  Up to you.  Or you could run a chest rig like a Haley Strategic D3CRM Micro.  This is particularly good as it has different inserts for different caliber mags should you want to run a sub gun or something in 7.62mm.  Then again, some people run everything on their belt but that's not for everyone.  Especially if you're using low cap mags requiring needing a full combat loadout and not depending on a couple of hicaps.

 

Mag pouches, I like Esstac Kywis as they allow for re-indexing and provide very good retention.  Lots of options for this, but I think Kywis are the best.

 

Clothing, you don't need anything special but I would say knee pads are definitely needed.  For this reason, I like the Crye trousers with integrated knee pads so you don't need to worry about them falling down.  A few companies make replicas of these of varying quality so you don't need to shell out Crye money.  The most recent Emersons are decent for the money.

 

Get some gloves.  Lots of options here.  Some people like padding.  Something like Mechanix M-Pacts.  Mechanix Fastfits are good.  You don't want anything too thick and bulky as you need dexterity for weapon manipulation.  Lots of options really.  Mechanix do some, Pig FDT, Magpul etc.

 

Belts.  Again, lots of options.  Regular leather, battle, MOLLE.  Probably best to look through a few belt kit pic threads and see what you fancy.  Personally, I think something along the lines of a MOLLE Ronin Tactics belt is the best of both worlds of having MOLLE and something that fits in trouser loops.  Keeps everything pretty secure too.

 

All that stuff is pretty much RS but 9 times of of 10 there is a Chinese knock off of it from Emerson/TMC which in general are decent but best to try and find some reviews.  Though, if you're going with mesh, stick to Heroshark mesh.

 

Finally, footwear.  No doubt you've seen the countless recommendations of something decent with ankle support.  This is especially recommended if playing woodland with random holes and stuff you could twist your ankle in.  Some people just use trainers which might be OK indoors but I would still use boots.  They don't have to be any super special military boots.  Civilian hiking style boots are sufficient.  Just make to try them on in shop somewhere rather than buying blind online.

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Thank you all for the advice 😁 (and the kind words)

 

A couple more follow-up questions:

 

On 25/08/2019 at 06:53, Davegolf said:

Hi!

(...)

Certainly won't go wrong with the 1911 / HiCapa / M45 range.

(...)
Must say silenced GBB pistols are really just an aesthetic thing ;)

 

 

Hi! 😋

 

What about rifles? I saw tracer units take the form of silencers, but are there real silencer for GBB rifles or they're also cosmetic?

 

In terms of pistols, I'm considering this one, but I heard paint and things can chip easily. Do you happen to have any idea if that kind of finish will fade/get damaged easily over time?

 

On 25/08/2019 at 12:26, hitmanNo2 said:

QD points will most likely come with aftermarket rails and stocks you will inevitably upgrade to as stock M4 sling points are far from ideal. 


Veeery comprehensive answer, Hitman -- I thank you for that, and will use it when choosing my clothing.
peaking of stock upgrades, I've been thinking about attachments. Grips and stocks are straightforward enough, I guess -- find something that feels comfortable to you -- but what about lasers and sights?

 

I hear airsoft is not accurate enough to use lasers with -- is that true even after zeroing your sights? Should I get a torch?

 

What about scopes? Are ACOGs useful, or should I stick with a red dot/reflex sight? (I always liked that combined sight that is a red dot in front and a moving scope in the back, but not sure how common those are)

 

Thanks for the insightful advice, guys!

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At longer ranges silencers do help muffle the crack of a gas gun into a duller thud, has certainly helped me rack up a few extra hits before getting cottoned on too!

 

If holstered a lot it will wear pretty quick in the grand scheme of things being coated plastic.

 

If you can I'd say get a HiCapa and mod it over time to look more like a 1911 if you want to.

The HiCapa boast much larger gas capacity and ammo capacity.

 

Most places don't allow the use of lasers just so you know, however there are plenty of decent clone PEQ15s, Dbals etc.

 

If you want magnified optics then 3-4x is plenty enough for an assualt gun, you only need mag really if playing big open games, it can be very useful for semi auto shots at longer ranges / spotting sneaky mofos.

There are some good clones of ACOGs and Elcans, but you can buy some nice real steel short dot scopes from the likes of Nikko Stirling and Vortex.

You will need higher quality optics if running a gas gun due to the vibes. (mounts come loose / sight loses zero etc)

 

Same goes for red dots really.

I would avoid the clone flip-to-side 3x red dot magnifiers.

 

Strobes are great for CQB.

 

How good is your eyesight?

 

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15 minutes ago, Davegolf said:

How good is your eyesight?

 

20/20, and I can navigate in the dark without stubbing my toe 😋

 

15 minutes ago, Davegolf said:

If holstered a lot it will wear pretty quick in the grand scheme of things being coated plastic.

 

If you can I'd say get a HiCapa and mod it over time to look more like a 1911 if you want to.

The HiCapa boast much larger gas capacity and ammo capacity.

 

I thought that one was metal 😮 I want a full metal handgun, either an 1911 or an M9.

What's a HiCapa? Thought that meant the big magazines.

 

15 minutes ago, Davegolf said:

Most places don't allow the use of lasers just so you know, however there are plenty of decent clone PEQ15s, Dbals etc.

 

So can I get a real laser+torch/strobe combo and just not turn it on if not allowed?

 

Sights-wise, I read Vortex has a lifetime guarantee, which sounds great if the sights get shot during a game 😋 Why would you avoid the flip-to-side one?

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If you have 20/20 vision then your a lucky sod! You'll be amazed what you can do with just iron sights, I know everyone loves a pimped out gun but personally guys get max respect for owning games with irons!

 

I personally haven't ever even owned a 1911 or an M9 despite owning many Pistols, mostly TMs.

Are you looking for the pistol to be a 'Primary' use gun performance wise or more of a fun closer range luxury?

 

Google TM HiCapa, basically high capacity 1911.

Have you ever seen a Kimber converted HiCapa? OMG gorgeous!

 

Im sure others will be able to recommend other 1911 or M9s but performance wise starting with a TM and modifying it aesthetically is the best if not expensive route.

 

You can get wood grips, externals etc for a HiCapa

 

Yeh can just turn them (lasers) off no biggy.

 

Only avoid clone flip to sides, crap quality generally, eye relief, lining up etc

 

https://www.pandora-arms.net/hi-capa5-1-4-3-smooth-brown

 

Start out with a HiCapa, GunSmithBro parts are reallyyyyyy nice fit and finish.

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At last ! A noob we don’t need to get the spoons out of the draw for ! 😱

joking aside well done mate you’ve done what we’d like all new guys to do , lots and lots of research , decide on a few different ones you like THEN ask for our opinions on what gun to get , not just “what gun should I buy ?” As most do . Me personally I can’t comment on the MWS as I’ve never had one my self but I can say every player I’ve ever spoken too who does have one hasn’t had a single bad word against it and some of those if they’ve said it’s good then that’s gospel as far as I’m concerned . 

Recoil M4A1 ? That I can comment on ! I currently own 7 recoils (3 M4’s,2 G36’s,1 HK416D and 1 AK74su) and I’ve had around 11 different ones in total over the yrs .

first thing I’d say is don’t buy in to the hype about upgrading them , they don’t need it and anyone who says they do is talking bollox . Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t (me personally I really don’t see the need) but don’t believe anyone who says you need too , you may want too but that’s it .

If your getting the socom then I’d definitely say ditch the tamiya connector for a deans and if it’s the sopmod or some other model with the propriety in stock battery then ditch them as well (some players use an adapter to run ‘normal’ batteries I prefer to get rid of all the battery gubbins and solder straight to the stock tube wires)  so you can run LiPo or LiFe batteries in it , much more efficient and it should help to solve the known problem of the gearbox locking up on semi if your running it on the stock batteries .

My personal take on it is even though TM sell thousands around the world there guns are designed and built for the Japanese market exclusively where they have rigid FPS laws so there guns run to very exacting tolerances aimed at that and once you mess with these your always going to have problems with it no matter who’s done the work . 

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9 hours ago, Druid799 said:

At last ! A noob we don’t need to get the spoons out of the draw for ! 😱

joking aside well done mate you’ve done what we’d like all new guys to do , lots and lots of research , decide on a few different ones you like

 

 

Indeed!

 

9 hours ago, Druid799 said:

 

Recoil M4A1 ? That I can comment on ! I currently own 7 recoils (3 M4’s,2 G36’s,1 HK416D and 1 AK74su) and I’ve had around 11 different ones in total over the yrs .

first thing I’d say is don’t buy in to the hype about upgrading them , they don’t need it and anyone who says they do is talking bollox .

 

 

But youve never upgraded one 😕

 

Dont get me wrong they are without doubt the best OOTB AEG available.

 

However you cannot deny the increased accuracy, range and longevity of Rhop'ing one.

 

Nor the installation of a BTC Spectre or Gate Titan which gives a beautiful trigger response and completely eliminates the lock up on semi problem these trip up on sometimes.

 

9 hours ago, Druid799 said:

Japanese market exclusively where they have rigid FPS laws so there guns run to very exacting tolerances aimed at that and once you mess with these your always going to have problems with it no matter who’s done the work . 

 

The FPS can happily be boosted to 328 to meet UK fields with a simple spring swap with no detriment to any of the workings.

 

Yes once you go above that you need to do a lot more to retain reliability inline with increased FPS

 

There are many heavily upgraded Recoils out there running faultlessly with 10s of thousands of rounds under them.

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4 hours ago, Davegolf said:

But youve never upgraded one 😕

 

AHH did I say that ? 🤔No I didn’t😉 , been there done that . Bought my first recoil in ‘O8 and over the yrs I’ve owned ones that were upgraded by friends I know and trust , by retailers who ‘should’ know what there doing even had one for a while upgraded by a tech with demi God status . Yes they all shot further and faster BUT everyone developed little niggles or outright problems over time which is why I now always say from personal experience (and anecdotal evidence from friends) I really do believe you either do a total gut and rebuild (which to me makes it no longer a tm recoil) OR just leave well alone .👍

PS the one I bought in ‘08 ? Still got it , still works (bar the mag lock) AND it’s still stock inside .

who da thunk ! 😁

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Fair do's but you didn't say all of that either 😉

 

Everything can fail, there's always lemons, my friends and myself have all had Stock guns from many makers fail over the years. And to that end there is a higher risk of a modified gun failing, overwhelmingly because of poor workmanship/skill/experience.

 

However that is not to deny someone the fruits of an upgraded gun, I think between all of my airsoft bunch we only have one stock gun combined, and seldom have a problem, if we do 9/10 it's a just a dry piston seal on a GBB pistol 😁

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Sorry never entered my head too ! 🤦‍♂️

 

Totally accept lemons and failures from all manufacturers , was only talking about Tokyo Marui as that’s the 2 guns the OP listed . Think it’s safe to say you have to admit if your going to list stock gun failures or problems as a result of manufacturing then TM will be right down the bottom ? 

 

Not at all if someone wants to upgrade there gun then crack on but it annoys me when you get a new player being told “you must upgrade it immediately or you’ll be totally outgunned by everyone !” and they take this as the truth , on more that one occasion I’ve seen players post pics up of there first new recoil AND a big pile of upgrade parts because some nobhead wanna be ‘operator’ told him this and the poor sap believed them ? 👍

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Yes TM has a great track record for sure - def down the bottom of the list.

 

I also wasn't saying it needs to be upgraded, just the differences between the 2 platforms in cost and difficulty vs results.

 

Everyone loves an upgrade regardless, and everyone wants to be unique, there are 'operators' and saps, there are also proven improvements not 'upgrades' for upgrades sake. 👍

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On 24/08/2019 at 22:24, The Commander said:

Hey, folks! New player here -- have played before, but only a couple of times overseas and never with my own gear.

 

Looking into getting on it seriously now. I did a lot of research and cross-referencing to narrow down my choices, but since a year of research wouldn't be close to some of you veterans and your knowledge, I would really appreciate some input and opinions 🙂

 

For reference, I'll probably be doing Bunker 51 in London three times partly due to location and mainly due to the Hire scheme that lets you buy RIFs now and take them home when the UKARA reg goes through.

 

1. Primary

 

Budget: None, really. As much as it needs to be

Platform: M4A1

 

After reading a lot of reviews/opinions, watching a bunch of YouTube videos, and visiting Wolf Armouries in North London to handle some guns in person, I am heavily inclined towards a Tokyo Marui M4A1. I hear TM is the best brand overall, so that seems like a good starting point.

 

I know the AEG is the recommended for newcomers, but I think I rather go with a GBB. I know the entry costs are higher and you need to refill it with gas, but if I'm spending £500 on a gun, a bit more won't make that much of a difference.

 

I care more about weapon feeling and handling than competitiveness, so the fact GBBs tend to fieldstrip like and mimic the operation of real guns is more interesting to me than 300-600 BBs mags.

 

I also like the idea of having to maintain the weapon -- I used to work on my own car back in America unless it was something that require a proper mechanic, so the idea of taking care of the GBB really interests me.

 

Right now, I'm torn between this AEGhttps://wolfarmouries.co.uk/tokyo-marui-m4a1-sopmod-carbine-next-gen-aeg.html

 

And this GBB: https://wolfarmouries.co.uk/tokyo-marui-m4a1-mws-gbb-rifle.html

 

Opinions on the choices, price, better M4s, alternative brands, or anything else are very much welcome.

 

2. Sidearm

 

I heard GBB is the way to go with pistols. In terms of models, I'm:

 

  1. Really interested in the 1911 / Colt XSE / M45A1 series
  2. Kinda interested in the M9 and the Heckler & Koch USP Compact
  3. Possibly interested in the FiveseveN, but less so because I like metal instead of polymer

 

I haven't done half as much research on pistols as I have on M4s, so I would appreciate suggestions of brands so I can narrow down my search 😁 I also would like the choice to fit a suppressor if I want to, but dunno if most high-end pistols have that or if that's a feature I must specifically look out for.

 

3. Mask and Vests

 

I understand lower face masks are recommended in addition to the obligatory eye protection, so you don't get shot in the mouth and lose a tooth. However, I'm not a fan of the general opaque, claustrophobic paintball masks I see a lot of people use, so I wonder if there's any suggestions of workable alternatives.

 

Would a thick scarf around your face work? Maybe a oxygen/gas mask Division-style work?

 

Regarding vests, can I use just normal tactical vests with pouches without any other protection? I hear talks of plate carriers, but that feels like overkill.

 

 

----

 

That's all! I understand it's a lot of questions, so I appreciate any feedback, suggestions, or insights anyone's willing to offer. Thanks! 🙂

 

All I’d add to this thread from reading your post is that I would highly recommend a GBBR over a next gen recoil - a lot of what you say you enjoy is why I got back into airsoft after a few years out (GBBRs weren’t really a thing when I played before) and I can’t tell you how pleased I am with my TM MWS. Yes it has awesome range and accuracy out the box and even better with cheap easy upgrades as @Davegolfsaid, but for me what I truly love about it is the kick, the sound and the faint whiff of the grease and lube when I fire it after a proper clean up. It’s an incredibly visceral experience compared to any aeg including next gen recoils.

 

The strip down and clean up is fun too and it’s nice to know if something goes wrong, I can have a crack at fixing it without having to worry about soldered joints and gear shims and stuff.

 

If you do go down the MWS route feel free to give me a message - I’ve compiled 70 pages worth of the TM MWS Thread on here into a handy 4 page google doc covering I think pretty much everything about owning, upgrading and operating one and am happy to share of course.

 

Good luck whichever route you go.

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Love that last paragraph! That's an organised man!!

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21 hours ago, Davegolf said:

Yes TM has a great track record for sure - def down the bottom of the list.

 

I also wasn't saying it needs to be upgraded, just the differences between the 2 platforms in cost and difficulty vs results.

 

Everyone loves an upgrade regardless, and everyone wants to be unique, there are 'operators' and saps, there are also proven improvements not 'upgrades' for upgrades sake. 👍

Yup agree with basically everything you’ve said bud , me personally I’ve turned away from the upgrading or improving side of things when it comes to Airsoft . I used to be in to it hook line and sinker but these days as long as a gun has good enough range I try and keep them stock so it pushes my personal skill to its limit , I could increase the rate of fire/trigger response/range of a sniper if I wanted but now I like to keep them as near I can to a real one , not very fast responding/accurate/average range and heavy as hell trigger pull ! 😂😂 

Hence I always tell new players just buy your gun run it for a very good few mths , just enjoy getting started THEN think about fettling it .👍

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Amen to the man above 👆, if it ain't broke don't fix it, truth is half the players who try to "upgrade" guns screw it up at the first couple of attempts or get no perceived improvement.

just get out & play, most reasonable brands will spit out tens of thousands (& more) of bb's without issues, why mess with that kind of reliability for the sake of a few fps.

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