March 3, 2014 at 9:48 pm #15329
As requested a bit of a low down on my newer obsession….. Airsoft.
Every kid at somepoint wants to play soldiers, some go on to become real ones, some don’t but the desire to run around with ya mates going pew pew pew or dakka dakka dakka never leaves a boy.
I tried paintball a few times and although it was fun it is more of a party game than playing soldiers, a few mates told me about a sport they were playing called airsoft, I’d heard of it before but thought it was a bit geeky tbh and laughed at peeps in the past when they mentioned it…. that was until I was shown my mates old guns, they were realistic and pretty accurate and felt fun to shoot. They dragged me along to a skirmish and loaned me a gun to use and I had an absolute blast, literally…. smoke grenades, flashbangs and trench warfare…. what wasn’t too like? My mates had not been playing that long at the time and were still working out what kit they wanted to use and what was the best stuff to buy etc.
Almost a year on since I first went to a skirmish with borrowed gear I may have spent close on the national debt funding my new addiction. I have owned 5 pistols, 1 sub machine gun, 5 assault rifles and have another on order.
Am not going to talk about “BB guns” except to say we don’t like folk referring to our airsoft guns as them as they are generally utter crap cheap plastic unreliable inaccurate and under powered.
Airsoft guns are commonly powered by batteries which drive a motor then gearbox to operate a piston, less common (except in pistols) are gas powered guns which you charge the magazine not just with BBs, but also with various types of gas depending on how powerful you want to be shooting. There are also Polarstar guns which have a tank of air in a rucksack linked to the gun with a hose, I’ve not used or seen one with this set up yet though.
There are also different ways the guns can shoot, am not talking about single/semi-automatic/burts/full-auto firing modes (although most have variants of this) but fixed-slide, blow-back and recoil blow-back. The fixed slide just cycles the motor which sends BBs down the gun with no other mechanical pretences towards real steel guns, the blow-back will have a moving bolt (or pretend bolt) which cycles back and forth with each shot adding a bit of mechanical realism, they also add more noise and some recoil… both a disadvantage in airsoft as a sport but make shooting the guns more satisfying. Recoil blow-back in electric guns is achieved by using counter weights and extra springs in the stock to simulate the recoil from firing, in gas guns the recoil is a natural occurrence due to the way they work (very similar to real steel in actual fact and strip down almost exactly the same). Like said before recoil is a disadvantage as is noise but it does make for a more satisfying game.
Games are run in all sorts of places, my local site is a paintball site in woodland but they use bigger play areas due to the extra range and accuracy of the airsoft guns, another site I go to is an old WW2 bunker complex, another is an ex army base. There are sites in old shopping centres, quarries, missile silos, submarine bases, schools and hospitals and you will probably find there is one less than 10 miles from you too.
Some folk will dress only in a certain uniform and only use kit that countries army and branch would use/wear, others wear jeans and a hoodie, I wear a mismatch of all sorts of kit, it is military based but has a mix of my fav t-shirts etc thrown in as well.
Most take it quite seriously due to the amount of money they invest it requires a little dedication, our team uses encrypted radios with throat mics and tries to use tactics to win objectives rather than playing just for ourselves as individuals it is a team thing and really good for bonding/getting to know each other etc in an environment away from the pub.
If any of you are familiar with the Call of Duty games etc then the games played are very similar ranging from a basic team deathmatch to objective based games… capture base, bring parts of missile to 2nd location, get launch codes from 3rd etc. Most games I have played have just had 2 teams, but the last site I went to we ran 3 teams. We even had Rules of Engagement we had to comply with to make the gameplay even harder and more tactical.
These are my current favourite guns I own:
TM Glock 18c – Gas Blowback with full auto
GHK G5 – Gas Blowback with awesome recoil, not quite as good as the 5.56 SA80 I used to shoot in the Royal Navy but around the same as a 9mm, I have also fitted a noise amplifier to mine to add intimidation and giggles
I have just ordered me one of these beasties too:
PTS RM4 ERG CQB – Electric Recoil Blowback
I hate to think about how much I have spent, I am sure I could have paid off Kevin completely had I never touched an airsoft gun. I love the games, the friendships and the cool toys though and wouldn’t change it. I find I have less and less time now to get out on the bike as airsoft takes up my weekends, thankfully I work shifts so will be still able to play bikes during the week!March 3, 2014 at 10:12 pm #67556
this vid is from my local site, on a day I couldn’t make unfortunately. Spot the deliberate mistake….March 4, 2014 at 10:01 pm #67557
Great write up Pete, I have only ever done Lazerquest….I know, it makes paint balling look like a scene from Black Hawk Down!
The kit is pretty realistic too, I can very much see the appealMarch 5, 2014 at 11:18 am #67558imperialdataKeymaster
Yeah, good write up Pete. Have played paintball a few times and it does bring home how easy it is to get shot. Close range definitely hurts as well (although you Airsoft guys would probably disagree!).
Don’t worry about the money if you enjoy it. Other people have plenty of hobbies and interests and spend out on those, myself included. Feel like I might be preaching to the choir a bit here…
Tell me more about the ‘trench warfare’ Airsoft, sounds intriguing.March 5, 2014 at 4:43 pm #67559
One of the fields has a complex of trenches and defences, normally one side sets up in them and the other team has to break out from a church and push the defenders back into a fort and then back from there through woodland to a village then drop a “bomb” into a set place to win. In the summer the trench part is good fun but this time of year it is a very soggy muddy affair which stinks of fox poo lolMarch 6, 2014 at 4:59 pm #67560imperialdataKeymaster
Ahhh, chemical warfare too!March 7, 2014 at 9:53 am #67561March 7, 2014 at 11:20 pm #67562
Are there airsoft gas masks??March 8, 2014 at 9:16 am #67563katanaParticipant
Those airsoft guns look pretty realistic. How do you get away without having to paint them bright orange?March 8, 2014 at 7:20 pm #67564
Hahaha, yep you can Radar
They are Realistic Imitation Firearms (RIFs) Katana, they don’t need to be bright orange because I’m not under 18. It isn’t illegal to own RIFs, just to sell them to people who do not have a defence for owning them. Because I am a regular skirmisher and a member of a club I have a defence to own themMarch 31, 2014 at 9:12 am #67565GixParticipant
Would love this…..
If you get shot do you have to sit out until next game? How long do games last on average and how many do you do per day session?
If my back ever gets right I would love to do this (can you do it on horse back? Lol)April 3, 2014 at 3:04 pm #67566
depends on the game, some games the defenders will have 4 lives and have to fall back to the next defensive position each time they get hit while the attackers have infinite lives but have to go to a waypoint before re-spawning when hit. Other games are one life per round. Others are a combo of unlimited respawn for a set time period then 1 life for the last 5-10min etc.
The games we play are generally around 30min but some have been over 2hrs, another site I have been to runs two rounds, one before lunch and one after with multiple objectives to be achieved or stopped within each half. Their are mil-sim events which will go over a whole weekend (including over night) with limited ammunition (and 30 round magazines).
With the getting shot, sometimes a medic rule is used where the medic has to come and revive you but they could get hit in the process of doing so.
We generally start at 9am and pack up around 4pm although we also run night games straight after the day game for those wanting to mix it up a bit…. in the dark it is crazy much fun, love those games getting all stealthyApril 3, 2014 at 7:51 pm #67567
Does anybody run longer war games over a weekend say with the action focussed on one set piece action?
As for horseback I can just imagine Gix rampaging about!April 5, 2014 at 5:50 pm #67568
aye, that is the weekenders I mentioned. There is an event called Ground Zero (I think) which is a full weekend of funannigans, must give it a try next time it is on if I am freeApril 6, 2014 at 8:46 am #67569
aye, that is the weekenders I mentioned. There is an event called Ground Zero (I think) which is a full weekend of funannigans, must give it a try next time it is on if I am free
Sound fantastic, bit like those huge re-enactment that the Civil War lot do (The Sealed Knot?)
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