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Old 11-20-2008, 02:32 PM
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What gun should I get?

At one time, this was a much easier question to answer. When there were only one or two major manufacturers of AEGs, and they all performed about the same, the question was simply answered with "The one that appeals to YOU".

However, these days with an influx of AEGs (Automatic Electric Guns) and LPEGs (Low-priced electric guns), this question becomes a bit more complicated.

There are three major factors that you should consider when purchasing your first gun.
  1. Defect rate/quality control
  2. Durability
  3. Performance

Each of these are important. And each items requires specific consideration.

Defect rate/quality control
It doesn't matter how well the gun performs, if it doesn't work out of the box or shortly after you start using it. Certain companies certainly have demonstrated better track records than others when it comes to QC. However, keep in mind that this is ever changing. Just because a company had a good track record of QC 5 years ago, it doesn't mean they still have that same track record today. The reverse also is true. Additionally, some companies manufacture their AEGs in different factories. So one model may have a decent QC history, while a different model from the same company does not.

Durability
Again, it doesn't really matter how well a gun performs, if it is going to catastrophically fail on you in 6 months because the gun was manufactured using inferior parts. The old rule "You get what you pay for" certainly applies to airsoft. While a $100 gun might have superior performance than a $300 gun, it might only last you half the time, and the $300 gun might give you a better platform for future upgrades. Don't just look at price + performance when evaluating which gun you should buy. For those who are just looking to get into airsoft to see if it is for them, an LPEG might be a good option for you, but keep in mind that if you stay in airsoft, it might end up costing you more money and grief in the long run.

Performance
This is the aspect that most new players focus on. Many new players feel the faster their gun shoots, the better player they will be. This is a common misconception. There are many factors that contribute to a guns performance other than the FPS. The hopup and inner barrel are just as important. A poorly designed hopup, or a low quality barrel, can completely negate the benefits of a high FPS. Many Tokyo Marui AEGs, shooting a stock 300 FPS, has better accuracy and range than some LPEGs shooting at 380 FPS. When starting off in airsoft, you may be better served with an AEG with a lower FPS, a well designed hopup and an adequate inner barrel. If you are new to airsoft, you will be unaccustomed to judging engagement distances, and a lower FPS will be less likely to injure someone. Lower FPS also causes less "wear and tear" on your internal parts, allowing your weapon to last longer.

Making the decision

First, narrow down your choices by TYPE of gun by what appeals to you. Both in looks and ergonomics. Smaller players might find a long gun (such as an M16) uncomfortable to use. If you are not sure, try visiting a local airsoft game or airsoft store. Ask to hold different styles of guns. Consider the balance and weight of the gun, how easy is it for you to aim? See Texx's post below for more details in this area of consideration.

Once you have decided on a type of AEG, now decide on which brand and model. All three of the factors to consider typically can be answered by research. Check this forum, google, youtube, and other larger airsoft sites for reviews. If it is a newer gun, you might not find a lot of information. After thoroughly searching, you can post a thread asking for experiences with the gun. If you get no response, you might have to decide to be the guinea pig. If this is the case, and you decide to purchase the weapon, be sure to write your own review so others in the future will have information to make an educated purchase.

When all is said and done, the original answer still applies for the most part. Get the gun that appeals to YOU.

Last edited by Locutus; 11-20-2008 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:24 PM
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What gun should I get? Ergonomics vs. Style

When choosing your airsoft gun, it is often necessary to consider your own physical requirement for fit vs. your ideas of taste and style.

Ergonomics

This refers to the physical characteristics of the gun as it applies to the fit and comfort of your body. Not everyone's body is equal or uniform. A gun may fit your arm, hand, or shoulder differently then your buddy.

Weight, balance, and bulk are factors that effect your ability to shoulder, carry, aim, and otherwise use your weapon.

There are numerous items to address Ergonomics issues - grips, stocks, and multiple configurations by using rail systems or special grips will allow you to fire your weapon from a comfortable stance.

Additional factors such as stock length and simple shooting techniques can aid a shooter in correctly aiming and firing his chosen rifle. Stock length can effect trigger pull which may cause undesired reaction time, eventual wear on your trigger, or simply prevent you from being able to effectively use your weapon.

It is important to find the weapon that will allow you to comfortably hold, aim, and fire. Too bulky or heavy may cause you to fatigue quickly carrying your weapon. Too small a weapon may make it difficult for you to properly carry or aim your weapon. Too light a weapon may bring with it issues of overall durability that make it more fragile in the field.

Style

Style refers to the role with which you wish to play in airsoft. Certain military and law enforcement groups will use specific weapons and gear. Emulating such a group will often require specific requirements of a weapon.

Case in point, if a Special Forces team is know to carry an M4 with an AIMPOINT and a 1911 with a specific brand of tactical light, replicating and emulating that operator would require you to obtain those specific items. Think of the real life "operator," his gear and weapon as being your prototype or inspiration. To replicate that person's style, you will have to obtain similar items.

Style ultimately refers to your personal opinion and preference. It often is based on a player's perception of a "role" or "persona" of a specific individual or group. That style allows a player to better take on that "role" to fulfil the role playing and fantasy aspects of airsoft.

Conclusion

When choosing your weapon, you must consider your specific style and couple that with the ergonomic concerns that will allow you to carry that chosen weapon. Disregarding these issues can be the difference between actually playing the game and just dressing up.
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Last edited by Texx; 11-20-2008 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 03-28-2010, 01:31 AM
natewalker natewalker is offline
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Nate here

I'm new in this field. Thanks for this thread I learn a lot. As a freelance writers this is my way of loosen up. I really wanted this.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:23 PM
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I'd reccomend something powerful, something atleast 250 FPS or up, with a high rate of fire.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:33 PM
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What Gun to Get

No matter what, if it's your first gun get an M4/M16 of some kind. No matter where you are and no matter how much you spend for it, you will always be able to get spare mags, mag pouches, batteries, and replacement parts really easy and fairly cheap. Every Tech you will ever talk to usually knows how to work on an M4. Right now they are the most popular airsoft gun and often the best value for the money in the long run. M4's are here to stay, get with the program. Now if you just want to rebel, either get a gun that is compatible with M4 parts, an AK, or a good MP5. Those all are somewhat easier to find parts for (exept for the mp5 which it can sometimes seem impossible to find upgrades for) Just my opinion AO.
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