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Old 08-18-2015, 07:46 PM
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HPA versus AEG: Put them to the test

Most of you are probably too young to remember this but back in the days, extensive tests were made to define which FPS should be adopted in Ohio (generally). The concept was simple; Shoot into ballistic gel with various FPS (but same bb weight) and see where the bb would stop penetrating. It was sample, basic and honestly very casual.

Well, with all the discussions about HPA, rate of fire and things like this, I started to wonder why no one tried to recreate that testing physically instead of just pushing numbers on paper?!!?

I understand that getting professional ballistic gel might not be so easy so I would not go as far as that but what about using the old coke can system?
Put a can at 25ft, 50ft, 75ft, 100ft + and see how a regular AEG compares to an HPA gun?

Why am I asking this? well, we all know that each platform can maintain its energy behind a bb in various ways. Those ways don't matter much to me. what I want to know is what kind of energy will we get at 25, 50, 75 and more feet?! is 1.5J at the tip of barrel will be the same further down? on every platform?!

So here we go, for those who has access to the platforms such as tippman, ptw, AEG and whatever else, is it something you would like to try?
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Old 08-18-2015, 10:05 PM
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Seems like an great idea that could finally put some of this hoopla to rest. And dont discount using ballistic gel its actually more available now than ever before.
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Old 08-19-2015, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blade View Post
well, we all know that each platform can maintain its energy behind a bb in various ways. Those ways don't matter much to me. what I want to know is what kind of energy will we get at 25, 50, 75 and more feet?! is 1.5J at the tip of barrel will be the same further down? on every platform?!
Blade,

Are you suggesting that identical rounds with a measured 1.5 Joules of energy at the muzzle, fired from different guns*, will have different amounts of energy (J), and therefore different feet per second, when measured at 25, 50, and 75 feet?

* Ignoring the externals of an airsoft gun, you are left with barrel length, barrel diameter, hop-up type, and propulsion source (AEG, Green Gas, HPA).

There is a part of me that says this is impossible, that rounds have no memory of the gun it was fired from and therefore they should all have the same "velocity rate-of-decay". But... I have heard time and time again from people who have been on the receiving end of PolarStars say that P*s hit harder than AEGs at a common muzzle velocity and common distance.

Furthermore, I recognize that you can configure your gun to put different amounts of backspin on a round by turning the hop-up completely off or turning it up all the way. This of course creates varying amounts of lift (Magus effect), but does a different amount of backspin (RPM) affect its wind resistance/drag? ...with lower wind resistance a projectile will retain more of its energy (J) and speed (FPS) at your suggested measurement points of 25, 50, and 75 ft.

If you do this, you should treat it like a college lab experiment, complete with a predetermined list of precise steps. That list of steps should be published for public feedback well before the execution of the experiment so valuable feedback can be incorporated into the plan.

In conclusion, I agree that an experiment like this could be both fun and informative. Furthermore, depending upon the results, I admit that it could force a new draft of safety regulations on Ohio fields; safety regulations that are "tuned" to specific gun types if the results show a difference in performance that is well outside the margin of error for the test.
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Old 08-19-2015, 05:21 PM
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That is about right Gecko. I am not too familiar with HPA guns but if I loo at the theory behind their results(i.e. longer range achieved, harder hits, etc), it seems to show that more energy will remain behind the BB than a regular AEG. When we figure out the energy of each platform, we will be in position to wonder why and how to adapt rules or whatever else.
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Old 08-19-2015, 07:42 PM
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From a guy that hasn't played in years: I think that's a fantastic idea Blade. It's probably a good time to revisit the old rules and see if they still hold their water.

I'm not sure Polarstar guns "hit harder" but I keep hearing something about "Joule creep" and I have no idea what it is. Might be worth doing some testing in that area too.

*EDIT* It might sound like a dumbass idea, and who knows, maybe it is, but plain old Jello might be able to function as a testing medium. I doubt traditional ballistic gel would work, however.
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Old 08-19-2015, 08:30 PM
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I'd like to start by saying that I won't say don't do the experiment, because I am also VERY curious to find out if these circumstances do account for varying results in the carried force. My common logic tells me, "Same BB weight with same FPS is going to go the same distance regardless..." However, the rebel inside tells me, "Blade, you just may be on to something EPIC. Let's do it."

Also, I love Loki's idea of using Jell-O as an alternative form of ballistics gel.
My only quarrel with that is that different brands of Jell-O and probably different flavors would have different consistencies in their thickness, so we'd need to use the EXACT same brand and flavor just to be sure, and also have a very good measurement when mixing the Jell-O so as to best have the same consistency for each Ballistic Block.
Plus, I don't think Jell-O would taste good with BBs in it

I also agree with Gecko...
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Gecko
If you do this, you should treat it like a college lab experiment, complete with a predetermined list of precise steps. That list of steps should be published for public feedback well before the execution of the experiment so valuable feedback can be incorporated into the plan.
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Old 08-19-2015, 09:24 PM
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I don't suppose anyone has access to a high-speed camera? Or maybe even one of the new go-pro cameras that do fairly high speed recording? If someone can lend me one, I'll build a test rig with a swinging plate -- By measuring the height of the swing, we can compare between two rounds.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:58 PM
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Clay would be a cheap alternative to the Ballistic gel.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i70Pb Airsoft View Post
Clay would be a cheap alternative to the Ballistic gel.
Clay isn't exactly transparent, so it would kind of defeat the purpose of using a "ballistics gel"
Just my opinion, maybe I'm wrong and it would work.
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Old 08-20-2015, 07:58 AM
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For the record, it's easy enough to explain why HPA guns hit harder at range and shoot better.

For the shoot better it's simple: Anyone willing to drop $400-$500 + the cost of an air rig (Another $260 at least) into their gun will have also dropped a bit into the hop-up and barrel, simple as that. My P* had at one point more money in the front of the gun than the polarstar engine, thanks to some exotic parts I was using.

As for hit harder, this occurs when you chrono with .20g bbs and then load heavier rounds. In an AEG the cylinder volume matches the barrel volume fairly closely, which means that it imparts generally the same amount of energy into the round no matter the weight. The HPA gun, on the other hand, has a vastly higher (effectively infinite) cylinder volume.

A heavier round accelerates down the barrel more slowly, which allows the HPA gun to keep pouring very high pressure air behind it, allowing it to impart more energy while it is in the barrel, long after a lighter round would have left the barrel with a fraction of the energy it could have had. This is the phenomenon known as joule creep.

For the record, it's possible (I've built one) to build an AEG designed to over-volume the barrel by a significant enough degree to cause this same effect, if not as pronounced.

The solution is to chrono by bb weight. It's easy enough to have a chart (I posted one once, and people tried to argue with math) with FPS limits for each bb weight which will result in the same total energy (joules) no matter the energy source. In this way an HPA user will have to lower their air pressure until they hit the same 1.4864 joules (which is the energy of a .20g bb moving 400 fps). At this point we have a totally level playing field.

Of course, heavier rounds hold their energy for longer, but I don't expect there's anything to be done about that -- an AEG firing .30s at 327fps and an HPA firing at 327fps will result in the same accusation of cheating at the other end.
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:04 AM
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Correct prophet but that means if we assumed 400fps with 0.20g was safe for a regular AEG way back then because the remaining energy at various distance was low enough, HPA guns have a much higher energy at that same various distance which might mean such energy is now too high to be considered safe.

So for an example, we could say AEG at 25ft at 1.5J has a remaining 1.2J on target.
An HPA gun at 25ft with 1.5J has a remaining 1.46J on target.

Here is the tricky question; should AEG be able to shoot 1.46J on target or should HPA be dropped to 1.2J on target?!

Or everything stay the same and AEG owners figure out a way to keep more energy longer?!....
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:48 AM
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That's the thing -- It's not about HPA vs AEG at all -- It's about heavier BBs at range. An AEG firing a heavy round at 1.4j has the same exact impact at 100 feet as an HPA firing the same round at 1.4j. If we are chronoing by joules (AEGs -and- HPA), the field would be totally level between the two.

If we're going to have a discussion about MEDs or limiting bb weight, I'm all for it (My family does love to argue; Thanksgiving is my mecca), but let's correctly define the conversation -- This really has nothing to do with HPA systems.

Last edited by RotaryProphet; 08-20-2015 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 08-20-2015, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kishi View Post
Also, I love Loki's idea of using Jell-O as an alternative form of ballistics gel.
My only quarrel with that is that different brands of Jell-O and probably different flavors would have different consistencies in their thickness, so we'd need to use the EXACT same brand and flavor just to be sure, and also have a very good measurement when mixing the Jell-O so as to best have the same consistency for each Ballistic Block.
+1 for Jell-O, provided that you buy it all at the same time so you can get the same "Lot Number".

I've heard that Jell-O will maintain its "solid" nature at room temperature if you bring it up to room temp slowly. However, I believe the "stiffness" (resistance to penetration) of Jell-O will be lower at higher temperatures. Therefore, when testing, you need to use a room (basement) with a uniformly cool temperature and/or make sure your fridge maintains a constant temperature and shoot into the ballistics Jell-O immediately after removing from the fridge. To test this theory, you need non-biodegradable BBs (so they don't soak up moisture from the air), one gun that has a measurably ultra-consistent muzzle velocity (FPS), and a fixed distance from the Jell-O. The only variable in this equation can be the temperature of the Jell-O. Fire into the Jell-O and see if the same round fired from the same gun will penetrate further into the warm Jell-O than the cold Jell-O.

This leads me to my next point: How to measure the energy of a round.
The chronograph should be affixed to the muzzle like a suppressor. This way the flight-path of the round always has the same angle through the chronograph. You'd be surprised how a few degrees of variance can wildly affect the consistency of your measurements.

More to come...
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Old 08-20-2015, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RotaryProphet View Post
As for hit harder, this occurs when you chrono with .20g bbs and then load heavier rounds which are used during the game. A heavier round accelerates down the barrel more slowly, which allows the HPA gun to keep pouring very high pressure air behind it, allowing it to impart more energy while it is in the barrel, long after a lighter round would have left the barrel with a fraction of the energy it could have had. This is the phenomenon known as joule creep.
Paraphrasing Prophet...
The solution is to not provide .20g for each player at time of chrono, but rather chrono with the ammunition the player will be shooting that day. Ask the player what weight they use. Post a chart with the FPS limits for each bb weight. Require the player's gun not shoot faster than the FPS that equates to 1.4864 Joules of energy as measured at the muzzle.

+1 for Prophets game-day chart and process

Something similar to the top (1st) and 3rd rows of this chart... Note that this chart is tuned for 1J, not 1.5J.
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Old 08-20-2015, 05:45 PM
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The only issue with the chart including data on FPS/Weight=Joules is that it doesn't answer our question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blade
So for an example, we could say AEG at 25ft at 1.5J has a remaining 1.2J on target.
An HPA gun at 25ft with 1.5J has a remaining 1.46J on target.
This is what we are trying to answer.

The chart works for muzzle launch, power/weight/joules, but what about when it actually makes that contact 25-50 feet away?
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Old 08-20-2015, 06:39 PM
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I'd like to differ on this; If you put a heavier BB into your regular AEG, you will not achieve the same results than an HPA rifle at this time. That being said, is the HPA rifle benefiting from a different technology/system than a typical AEG? Not the point of the research here. BUT then again, to be fair, prophet, if you can get me an AEG shooting comparably the same thing than a gas rifle, even more better for our tests.



Quote:
Originally Posted by RotaryProphet View Post
That's the thing -- It's not about HPA vs AEG at all -- It's about heavier BBs at range. An AEG firing a heavy round at 1.4j has the same exact impact at 100 feet as an HPA firing the same round at 1.4j. If we are chronoing by joules (AEGs -and- HPA), the field would be totally level between the two.

If we're going to have a discussion about MEDs or limiting bb weight, I'm all for it (My family does love to argue; Thanksgiving is my mecca), but let's correctly define the conversation -- This really has nothing to do with HPA systems.
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Old 08-21-2015, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blade View Post
I'd like to differ on this; If you put a heavier BB into your regular AEG, you will not achieve the same results than an HPA rifle at this time. That being said, is the HPA rifle benefiting from a different technology/system than a typical AEG? Not the point of the research here. BUT then again, to be fair, prophet, if you can get me an AEG shooting comparably the same thing than a gas rifle, even more better for our tests.
An HPA chronoed with .20g bbs and an AEG chrono'd with .20g bbs which are then both loaded with heavier rounds will perform differently. An HPA and AEG both chronoed with the heavier rounds to the same joule limit will perform identically. I feel like this point has been settled, since, you know... science.

For your test, just chrono the AEG with each bb weight and tune the HPA gun to match. You will find that the rounds react identically, since airsoft guns are not magic and cannot influence the round after they've left the barrel.

The real question I feel you're trying to solve is if a .30 or .40g bb chronoing at 327fps or 283fps respectively (1.4864 joules) has more impact energy at say 100 feet than a .20g bb at 400fps. This is a reasonable question that someone with an engineering degree could probably answer -- Back of napkin math says that the lighter round moving faster will experience more drag and will lose energy more quickly than the heavier, slower round.

To expound somewhat:
Drag = Coeffecient of drag * Air Density * Area * Velocity Squared.

Coeffecient of drag is calculable, but for our purposes since both rounds are of the same size and shape, we can consider it a constant. Similarly, air density is calculable given air pressure and humidity, but if we perform back to back tests the difference will be negligible. We can safely ignore both of these.

We can also ignore area, since both rounds are (again) the same size and shape, they have the same frontal area. The only factor which is dissimilar is the velocity, which increases drag exponentially as it increases. Since this is the only different factor, we can generalize some things and come up with one big interesting thing:

The drag on a 400 fps round is double (1.997777 times) that of a 283 fps round; this means the slower round with the same energy will carry that energy much further than the lighter, faster round.

I've gone about as far as I can with my physics knowledge: Someone could go so far as to map speed over distance given muzzle velocity, fps, and drag and calculate the exact energy at various distances -- I don't have the math for it, but it's definitely possible.

If we can accept this all as fact, then the question is: What do we do with it? Statically lower the energy limit for heavier rounds? What's the target distance? The heavier round will always have more energy once it's passed the point of equality and less energy before that point.

The only real solution I can think of is to chrono both AEGs and HPA guns by joules with the same limits so as to level the playing field, but I'm open to suggestions.
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Old 08-21-2015, 12:30 PM
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Further, the Airsoft Trajectory Project (Which is a damned interesting read) makes some suggestions about maximum safe impact velocity by weight, and recommended universal MEDs.

Safe Impact Energy
Recommended Universal MEDs

Their suggestion is to alter the MED by bb weight, using (for 1.2 to 1.5 J of energy) 30 feet MED for .12g to .30g bbs and 40 feet for a .31g to .43g bb.

They have also been so kind as to chart velocity with distance for various weights of bbs. According to their chart, a .20g bb with a muzzle velocity of 400 fps (1.49J) is traveling about 300 fps after 30 feet, 200 fps after 60, and 100 fps after about 110 feet.

A .30g bb fired with the same muzzle energy (1.49J, or 327 fps) is slowed down to 300 fps after 15 feet, 200 fps after 65, and 100 fps after 150 feet.

A .43g bb (They didn't test with .40g) with 1.49J of energy (273 fps at the muzzle) is slowed past 200 fps at 55 feet, and is still going about 125 fps after 150 feet.

I believe this reference should be able to tell you everything you would ever want to know: The question becomes "What do you see as the problem?" and "What do you suggest we do about it?"
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Old 08-22-2015, 09:26 AM
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That is a lot of great information you got there Prophet. Beside the data overflow, everything is very useful

That being said, it is clear that for an EO, it is practically impossible to use/create MED charts or BB charts for the players to use. Most players can't even use the regular MED so imagine making it a multi-layers BB weight/joule chart....

I need to think it through. It would be nice if other EO were getting involved in the discussion too
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Old 08-25-2015, 10:07 PM
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Working with Evil Head at Devil's Playground, we use the most simplified system we can in order to keep everyone safe without having to assume anything. Assuming, for example, players wouldn't try to circumvent the system by being dishonest about the BB weight in their rifle at chrono or assuming everyone knows what the letters "MED" stand for, not mentioning assuming anyone knows how far 25 feet is on the playing field.

Our system is this: 400 fps with 0.20 gram BB's (1.49 Joules if you will) at muzzle. No minimum engagement distance. Semi automatic only inside buildings, around corners, or generally within 10 feet. We vehemently suggest aiming for body/armor or appendages and strictly forbid shooting someone in the face any time you can avoid it, especially inside that 10 feet, in exchange for that much debated "Bang-Bang" instance (only used for absolute Safety, not strategy).

Does it work 100% of the time? No. We get the aberrant close-quarters face shot or the full auto was switched on going into a building every once in a while. But nobody chono's on the field over 400 fps with 0.20's, so even at point blank, nobody can get more than 1.5 joules, and even then, that's a tiny flick off a chest rig or the back of a jacket that many players still don't register as a hit.

So as long as everyone walking onto the field understands the risk of 400 fps (with .2's) at point blank in the back, chest, or leg, nobody gets hurt and nobody gets their feelings hurt. Having taken both, a point blank shot heals faster than a confusing and poorly executed 'bang-bang'.

To your point, the heavier rounds will feel like point blank farther from the muzzle than the lighter rounds, but if 1.49 joules is OK at point blank, it should still be OK at 25 ft, 50 ft, and so on. Face shots excluded. That would still be terrible.
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Old 08-26-2015, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Link View Post
Working with Evil Head at Devil's Playground, we use the most simplified system we can in order to keep everyone safe without having to assume anything. Assuming, for example, players wouldn't try to circumvent the system by being dishonest about the BB weight in their rifle at chrono or assuming everyone knows what the letters "MED" stand for, not mentioning assuming anyone knows how far 25 feet is on the playing field.

Our system is this: 400 fps with 0.20 gram BB's (1.49 Joules if you will) at muzzle. No minimum engagement distance. Semi automatic only inside buildings, around corners, or generally within 10 feet. We vehemently suggest aiming for body/armor or appendages and strictly forbid shooting someone in the face any time you can avoid it, especially inside that 10 feet, in exchange for that much debated "Bang-Bang" instance (only used for absolute Safety, not strategy).

Does it work 100% of the time? No. We get the aberrant close-quarters face shot or the full auto was switched on going into a building every once in a while. But nobody chono's on the field over 400 fps with 0.20's, so even at point blank, nobody can get more than 1.5 joules, and even then, that's a tiny flick off a chest rig or the back of a jacket that many players still don't register as a hit.

So as long as everyone walking onto the field understands the risk of 400 fps (with .2's) at point blank in the back, chest, or leg, nobody gets hurt and nobody gets their feelings hurt. Having taken both, a point blank shot heals faster than a confusing and poorly executed 'bang-bang'.

To your point, the heavier rounds will feel like point blank farther from the muzzle than the lighter rounds, but if 1.49 joules is OK at point blank, it should still be OK at 25 ft, 50 ft, and so on. Face shots excluded. That would still be terrible.
So glad someone brought this up!

This right here is exactly what's going wrong with our fps dilemma in my opinion. When did 400fps with .2s become safe to shoot point blank? Why is this the simplest solution? Just because the polarstar platform and we think that will level the playing field between aeg and hpa?

You mention 400fps with no MED is nothing but a flick of gear. How about 400fps point blank skin/face? (Because we're milsim...we don't wear face protection) When some one is running or storming a building? Those shoots don't always hit gear....I'd say less then half do.

We've gone from 400fps being a 20-25ft MED to having hpa platforms come out and now it's no MED. This makes absolutely no sense to me
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:41 PM
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Link and Abod bring something good. The no MED did not drop because of the HPA platforms, at least not for me. The reason why I dropped the MED for my field is because nobody respect it either voluntarily or because of lack of attention to it. Furthermore, most players are not equipped to play into CQB environment, which is often within the 10-25ft range.

So now, if you ask me if we should re-instate the MED, I would say no for the reason above.
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aBod22 View Post
You mention 400fps with no MED is nothing but a flick of gear. How about 400fps point blank skin/face? (Because we're milsim...we don't wear face protection) When some one is running or storming a building? Those shoots don't always hit gear....I'd say less then half do.
As Blade said, HPA had nothing to do with this. This was our standard before the HPA option existed. His other points about people not following MED's for various reasons are right on.

As I said, we "strictly forbid shooting someone in the face any time you can avoid it, especially inside that 10 feet". This is stressed at every briefing at every game. I can recall 2 specific instances in the past 2 years where somebody was shot in the face inside 10 feet. One resulted in blood, but after each, we had a talk with the players involved and came to an understanding with the proper way to engage a player at point blank: controlled shot below the neck, a "bang-bang" if in FULL control, or a "Parlay" if NOT in full control.

Again, 1.49 J muzzle energy is the same at point blank range no matter the platform or BB weight, so there is no difference at that range. This is the simplicity. I said it does not work 100% of the time, but I would at least say something like "95% of the time, it works 100% of the time" (Variation on Anchorman quote).

If anyone is playing at a field where less than half of the players breaching a doorway can hit your body rather than your face, I might suggest inviting Jonah to host a training operation for that player base. Seriously, everyone loves those.
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:47 AM
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IMO, the rules were never set up to be able to punish people, they were a guideline by which people agreed to operate, kind of like a gentlemen's agreement.

Having no MED does help simplified things from an organizers standpoint. Having a MED that is based on "covered vs bare" skin will never work, because most airsofters:

1. Don't aim
2. Can't aim for **** when they try

It's already well established that velocity =/= range, so at this point we need to question why we're using 400fps as a standard to begin with.

IMO, the old system worked fine. 350fps had no MED, 400fps had 25ft. Damn near everyone that plays carries a pistol, and the vast majority of those shoot around 350. Under the old system, it either required you to tune your rifle to under 350, or carry a handgun, the latter option all but insured that there would be no full auto indoors, as there were not many full-auto handguns at the time. In a way, this system (with stock aegs being under 350fps at that time) sort of leveled the playing field with new players coming in with stock guns, as they would be able to use their rifles indoors, whereas the people with more tuned rifles could not.

Every approach has upsides and downsides, of course.
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Old 08-27-2015, 06:26 PM
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Most guns are coming out of the store at 400fps with 0.20g nowaday. I don't think asking all players to get their FPS/Energy dropped to 350fps is actually realistic. Asking players to not shoot in the face is the obvious but at the same time. the potential for hit face is very real and doable (intentionally or not). Asking players to wear full facemask is probably another option not viable...so yeh, every approaches have their upsides and downsides
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