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Old 05-28-2009, 03:16 PM
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Lokiís guide to airsoft and understanding itís mysteries

Loki’s guide to airsoft and understanding it’s mysteries
Version .3


Forward: The author of this article has been playing airsoft for just about 5 years, and has owned so many different types of guns he’s lost count. He has also been on various times of teams, ranging from the hardcore “milsim” teams to the more laid-back “paintsoft” teams.


Terminology:

I tend to not use terminology that defines extremes, or terminology that depends on studies to back it up (IE. I don’t use statistics). I use more general terminology which can briefly be explain like this:
Most of: the majority (greater than 50%)
A lot of: not necessarily the majority, but close.
A few of: definitely in the minority
Etc etc etc.


Basic Gear requirements

Yet another fairly commonly asked question is "what is the minimum amount of gear I need to play with". This is another one of those things that can vary greatly from person to person, but just to help you along a bit, I'm going to breakdown the differences of what you NEED to play, what you SHOULD HAVE to play, and what you need to have to be COMFORTABLE playing.

The bare minimum you need to have to attend and/or participate in an airsoft game:
You can participate in games without ever firing a shot. Volunteer to be a roleplayer, show up and just roam the field with a ref, take some pictures, get a feel for the game.

-ANSI Z87.1 rated full-seal goggles
-Something to carry H20 in.

What do I need to actually play in a game?

-Any kind of functional airsoft gun, plus the item from the list above.

What you SHOULD have at a minimum.

-A Gas-powered pistol with spare magazines, plus all of the items from the list above.

What you need to be competitive at an airsoft game.

-A quality AEG, a few spare magazines (the cheap route would be to just get a hicap, or a box of midcaps), and a battery, as well as all of the items from the list above(with the pistol being optional initially, once you get into upgrading your AEG, you might see a need for it later).
-A good set of boots (while it may seem ok initially just to use crappy jungle boots or tennis shoes, you will quickly learn why said footwear isn't as good an idea as you thought).
-Camo, or appropriately-colored clothing. Nothing is more obvious that seeing a checkered shirt floating in the middle of a forest., but if this floats your boat, go for it, you'll just be at a slight disadvantage.
-Some type of gear to carry said spare magazines, and anything else you need to stow.


What am besets gun?

Quite possibly the most common first post and question of any airsofter is “What’s the best X”. The simple answer is that there IS no right or wrong answer. People have widely differing experiences and opinions, and as such, if you ask this question, you will more often than not get 20 different answers.

Why then do people make these posts?

They are simply looking for justification and praise for their choice of gear/gun/tool/etc. Seriously, step back next time you want an opinion on something and ask yourself “which one of these do I want more?”. You’ll probably be surprised that you know which one you want more without even asking, you just want someone to reaffirm your opinion. These kinds of posts are generally ineffective and frustrating, both for the person asking the question (due to the fact that you may find out that your choice isn’t the most popular), and to the person(s) giving the answer (due to the fact that these kinds of posts usually spawn E-pissing matches).

The question you should REALLY be asking is what works best for YOU. Unfortunately for you, this can only be discovered through you personally experiencing things, most of the time in a physical sense, which requires going to games and holding things/asking questions/interacting with things. Nobody can tell you what the best vest for YOU is, you simply have to try different things to figure that out. For some this can be a costly process of buying things, trying them, and deciding you don’t like them. For others it can be as simple as having an idea of what you want to do and finding the equipment capable of fulfilling your needs. I was part of the former crowd.


Terminology and why it is important

The reason specific terminology exists is so that we can better communicate our ideas, and the functions of the items we are discussing. The English language is constantly evolving, new terms being added and removed faster than you can learn what they actually mean. It is both difficult and frustrating to learn terminology simply due to the mass amount of data (and of course, the mass amount of incorrect data) available.

Some will argue that calling a “magazine” a “clip” is ok, while others will seem to get pissed off at the drop of a hat. This is simply due to the fact that communication between these two groups can be difficult due to differing ideologies. The latter crowd getting “angry” because they possibly perceive you to be “lazy” or “uncaring” compared to themselves, while for former crowd believes that the latter Is being “nazi-ish” or is “pissing on everyone’s parade”.


Would you like a custom apple pie?

Quite possibly one of the most overused terms in airsoft is “custom”. The dictionary definition for this term is as follows: (source: dictionary.com)
cus∑tom [kuhs-tuh m]
-adjective
Made specifically for individual customers

This can be and IS a quite deceiving term, both in airsoft and in other hobbies. “Custom” used to mean “built from scratch”, but unfortunately “custom” now is more of a general term defining items that are modified factory-produced items, rather than true “custom” produced items.

Why is this potentially dangerous?

I’ve seen a lot of things that are labeled as “custom” guns that are crappy springers with toilet-paper cardboard tube “silencers”(this example obviously being an extreme, but it gets the point across). If you use the modern definition of the word “custom” rather than the traditional definitions then EVERYONE has a custom gun. I have a factory CA M4 carbine with some modifications on it, so my gun can be considered “custom”. Billy bob has his springer with his cardboard tube suppressor, so his gun is considered “custom” too. Putting whipped cream on an apple pie doesn’t necessarily make it “custom”, because you just took a normal apple pie and added whipped crŤme, but it DOES make it “customized”.


Tactical Gear (abridged)

Alice, Molle or Static, Are all women the same?
Ah, the military’s fetish for giving it’s LBE equipment acronyms of women’s names can make figuring out which is which a task. Here is a simple primer:

Alice gear - All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment. The concept and origins of ALICE gear date back to WW2 and before hand (although it wasn’t called ALICE gear back in those days). ALICE gear is modular, but is primarily belt-mounted. You start with a basic LBE belt (aka ALICE belt, or Load Bearing Equipment belt), and you add pouches that hold the quipment you need for specific missions.You could add suspenders, holsters, ammo pouches, canteens, buttpacks, e-tools, and then you could remove them for missions you did’t need them. The predecessor to this setup was using widely during the Vietnam war, all the way up through the late 90’s, early Iraq war era (which some probably STILL used, albeit in very small quanitities). A good visual example of ALICE gear is in the movie “Blackhawk Down”(all of the Rangers had it, as well as Delta), and the movie “We were soldiers” (all of the Gis in the movie wore it into combat).

Static gear – Static gear has no acronym, the name is simply the definition of what it is. Static gear is basically gear that isn’t modular, which the pouches and provisions permanently attached to the vest. These were used in the Military in the form of the “LBV-88” which was used in the late 80’s through the early Iraq war. Many examples of “Static” vests are still being produced by companies suchs as “Blackhawk Industries”, “Eagle Industries” and others, although their use is on the decline.

Molle gear - MOdular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. Molle gear is one of the newer modular systems on the market today, and is widely used by many of the major armies of the world. It is also a system that has many names (every country has it’s own name for it). The US generally calls it “Molle”, whereas the British call it “Pals”, and Blackhawk Industries calls it a “STRIKE” system. I won’t go into what the other acronyms mean, because that could be a book in and of itself. The Molle equipment “Base” can be a vest, belt, bag, bandoleer, hat, pants, shirt, dropleg platform, etc. Basically anything that you can sew 1” loops of fabric to are fair game, but the “vest” form is the most common.


Is that a just a copy, or is it a copy of a copy of a copy? The applications of power.

This is more in reference to the amount of "experience" that people have, rather than equipment. There are an increasing number of people that believe themselves to be "experts" in everything airsoft related that have very little practical knowledge of the applications of the very things they sell. This kind of "acquired" knowledge is dangerous, due to the fact that you simply don't see the potential for injury that exists, because you've never been in a situation where that kind of power is "applied to you". As with the manufacturing process, the more something is copied, the lower quality it generally gets. This rule stands with airsoft as well. Would you rather learn things from someone who has learned the lessons first hand, or from a guy who learned from a guy who learned from a guy? Something ALWAYS gets lost in translation.

There are people that are trying to push 700-800 FPS guns who've never played against even a 550fps gun, or people that are trying to push off guns that can shoot 25+ rounds/second. So ask yourself this: Would I want to get shot 25+ times before I can call out? No. This isn't a video game, and we aren't out here to hurt one another. Your "targets" are not computer controlled AI, but living, breathing human beings who are out to have fun. There are those out there that would argue with this, saying that "you must be a wuss" if you don't like to play their rediculously overpowered high-speed airsoft guns, but to them I ask you simply this: I have a 12ga shotgun that only shoots around 800FPS, can I bring that to one of your games? Yeah, my real-steel 1911 only has a muzzle velocity of around 900FPS, can I bring that? What about an RS M4 carbine, that only has a ROF of around 18 Rounds/second, what about that, is that cool?

A line clearly has to be drawn at some point, otherwise you risk damaging the sport (through the news media being exposed to injuries, as well as simply running new people off).
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:23 PM
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Very, very, informative guide. However, I feel for some reason like I have read this post in past. Odd.
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