UTG Blister Airsoft Speedloader Review

Airsoft speedloaders reduce reloading time by pushing multiple BBs into the magazine with a single press of a button.

Operating the UTG Blister speedloader is pretty simple: First you fill the speedloader up with BBs. You then place the small cylinder shaped piece, located at the bottom of the speedloader, into where you’d normally insert the BBs into your airsoft rifle magazine. From there, you press a circular button, located near the top of the speedloader, which releases the long plastic piece that you can see coming out of the top of the loader in the picture above. Finally, you simply push the long arm piece downwards, and it will push BBs into the magazine.

The Blister speedloader holds about 115 BBs and ejects 4 BBs with every push of the arm. It actually does reduce reloading time quite substantially, oppose to manually reloading one BB at a time by hand.

It’s made entirely of plastic, but can withstand drops on soft surfaces.

The Blister speedloader comes with pistol magazine adapter. It’s just a small plastic piece that snaps onto the end of the speedloader and helps the speedloader stay flush against bulky spring pistol magazines while you pump BBs into it.

In a wrap, the UTG Blister speedloader is a vital piece of equipment for the 3-$5 it costs, especially if you play actual airsoft skirmishes. It cuts down loading time and keeps you in the game.

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Tapco Intrafuse T6 Rubber Butt-Pad Review

The Tapco T6 Butt-Pad attaches to the butt of most M4s with adjustable stocks, compatible with both airsoft rifles and real ones.

The T6 Butt-Pad pops right onto most M4 style rifles with adjustable/collapsible stocks without any glue, tape, or any other bonding agent. It also pops right back off very easily if you pull on it, but it’s still snug enough that it won’t fall off in the middle of shooting. To give you an example of what type of stock works best, the T6 fits perfectly onto my personal JG M4 2010 Upgraded Version as well as the Crosman Stinger R34 airsoft rifles.

The T6 definitely helps the butt of your gun to stay up on your shoulder, especially if you’re wearing a backpack or a vest where there’s a strap right where the stock rests. It also takes off some of the impact that your shoulder gets from recoil on real guns.

The T6 also adds a full inch the the length of your gun, which can be both good and bad. If you have longer arms, you might benefit from the extra length. But if you already have your stock at a perfect length, the extension might make your rifle feel awkward. Although, truthfully, an extra inch doesn’t make that big of a difference on my personal airsoft rifles, and, besides, the T6 only fits onto adjustable stocks like I’ve mentioned, so you should be able to just adjust your stock an inch inward if you really don’t like the extra length.

It’s also extremely durable. It’s made fully of rubber, and can hold up to just about any climate or terrain you can throw at it.

In a wrap, the Tapco T6 Butt-Pad is a durable and cheap attachment for any M4. It works with both airsoft and real firearms and keeps your rifle up on your shoulder. The only down-side is the extra length, which isn’t even that big of a deal.

BattleAxe M4/M16 Dual Magazine Airsoft Connector Review

The BattleAxe Dual Magazine Connector is designed to fit almost any M4 or M16 airsoft magazine, making reloading times faster and helping to conserve space.

Each of the BattleAxe Connectors (each pack comes with two of them, as you can see in the picture above) is made up of 4 pieces: a large plastic buckle in the front, a smaller plastic piece in the back, a long screw that connects the two plastic pieces and also runs in between the two magazines, and finally the olive-drab strip of fabric that holds the magazines in place.

The whole connector is cheaply made, but in particular the olive-drab straps are very thin and the ends fray very easily. Right out of the package all four of the ends weren’t properly tied, and were starting to fray. A simple solution here is to, as soon as you get the connector, take a couple pieces of duct-tape and sandwich about 1 inch of the end of the strap between it. This will help keep it from fraying and make it a little more durable.

How the connector works is each of the magazines go in between the screw that runs down the middle and the olive-drab strap on either side. You then pull the strap tight and tighten the screw in the back to give it added stability. However, some M4 and M16 magazines might be too wide to fit in between the plastic piece in the front and the plastic piece in the back. In most cases you can just loosen the screw until the two plastic pieces are far enough away from each other for the magazine to fit in between. But, in other cases, you might need to purchase a longer screw.

The last issue worth noting is that the magazines do start to slide up/down after extended use, but this is something you just have to live with because all magazine connectors are going to have the same problem, more or less.

Through all the down-sides, the BattleAxe magazine connector isn’t all bad. The reloading time is just about the same with AEGs because you still have to wind up the magazine, you can’t just pop it in and start shooting. But, it works very well for spring guns that magazines you don’t have to wind up. And it’s also great for saving space, keeping the extra magazine on the gun itself instead of having to keep it on you body.

Although, BattleAxe says that their magazine connector is just as good as any metal magazine connector, which I can’t say is true because you don’t have fraying/durability problems with the metal connectors as much as you do with this fabric and plastic one.

In closing, the BattleAxe M4/M16 Dual Magazine Airsoft Connector isn’t all bad. It certainly has some quality issues, but it’s cheaper and lighter than the metal connectors. And as long as you don’t expect too much, the BattleAxe magazine connector might be all you need.

Also note that it does not come with the two magazines. Unless whoever you’re buying from specifically says otherwise, all you get are the two connectors; you need your own two magazines to use in partnership with the connectors.

Crosman Nirto Lubricating Airsoft Oil Review

Crosman Nitro Lubricating Oil spays directly down the barrel of a airsoft gun and acts like WD40: helping decrease friction on the BB and increase velocity.

The saying “A little bit goes a long way,” is definitely applies when using Crosman Nitro Lubricant. If you spray too much then it can clog your gun and dramatically decrease BB velocity. And it’s also near impossible to remove once it’s inside the barrel, so just try to use a little bit at a time.

I personally accidentally sprayed too much into my Stinger P9, which before could hit targets from over 40 feet away with extreme accuracy, but will now only fire BBs 15 feet before they drop to the ground. I’ve tried multiple times to clean the barrel out with a cleaning rod to no effect. Like I said before, just use a little bit at a time (any more than a 2 second burst is too much).

Crosman says that for the first 100 shots after you’ve applied the Nitro Lube your gun will have decreased power and accuracy, but, in my experience, it usually takes a good 200 to 300 shots to fully regain the original power and accuracy. It’s not a huge deal, but immediately after you’ve used the Nitro Lube and cleaned out the extra residue, you should go out and stand about five feet away from your target and just unload the 200-300 shots to get your gun back to normal. This way, if the next day you want to go shoot, you can just start shooting like normal instead of having to shoot 300 breaking-in rounds.

Even after the first 200-300 shots, when you’ve regained the accuracy and power, there’s not much of a difference in velocity. In fact, if you test fired your gun before using the Nitro Lube, then test fired after you used the Nirto Lube (and fired the first 200-300 breaking-in shots), you really wouldn’t even be able to tell a difference. However, it does decrease jamming and help protect the barrel and prolong the guns overall life expectancy.

In a wrap, Crosman Nirto Lubricant won’t do much to increase velocity, but it can help protect your gun and prevent jamming. If you have a gun that’s already running well, then you might not want to risk accidentally spraying in too much lube and clogging your gun. But, for the $5 it costs, Crosman Nitro Lube can be a good investment to protect your gun in the long run or fix it if it’s prone to jamming; just don’t use too much!

20 Tips and Pointers to Greatly Improve Your Airsoft Skills

These are 20 tips and pointers to greatly improve your airsoft game. As long as you keep these tips in mind, you will see much improved accuracy, focus, and overall performance in your airsoft. But, read these tips with a grain of salt, for example, numbers 12 and 13; having a bunch of different guns gives you versatility to use different style guns in different situations. But the point 12 and 13 are making is that if you are thinking about spending a bunch of money on a bunch of different guns, maybe you should think about buying one really good gun or upgrades for a gun you already have, instead.

  1. Always use your sights. You should almost never fire from the hip, even with fully-automatic guns.
  2. Practice how you would be in a game. Wear all the equipment, clothing, and use the exact guns that you would be using in a actual airsoft match while you practice.
  3. Use the correct BB weight for each individual gun. When you first get a gun, you should test which BB weight works best for that gun (test with the three major BB weights: .12 gram, .20 gram, and .25 gram). Look for accuracy and how far the BB will go before it lands.
  4. Keep a good grip on your gun while you’re shooting. Keep the stock (if you have a stock) firmly pressed against your shoulder and your weak hand holding the gun, while your strong hand pulls the trigger.
  5. With spring pistols, keep the gun in your strong hand and cock the slide with your weak hand. (Some people do it the opposite way because it’s easier to cock with your strong hand, but it decreases accuracy)
  6. Take your time and aim. Don’t panic and start firing if you see a opponent in a airsoft match, take you time to line up your sights and make a accurate shot.
  7. Once you fire, don’t wait around to see if you hit your target. After the BB leaves the barrel, there’s nothing more you can do. Immediately re-arm (get another BB chambered) your weapon before bothering to see if you’ve hit. If you missed, fire again. If you hit, move on.
  8. Wear the appropriate clothing. If you’re hot/cold/uncomfortable you’ll start hurrying shots and sacrificing accuracy.
  9. Calm yourself before a airsoft match. If you go in angry, nervous, etc. you will make mistakes. Get in the mind set of a robot: you need to remember all of what you’ve learned while practicing and what you’ve read in this post and complete your mission.
  10. Practice makes perfect. I know I’ve mentioned practicing before, but it’s vital that you do so. The more BBs you put down range the better you’ll get.
  11. Push yourself. If you push yourself to hit a 12-inch target at 50 feet away, think about how easy it’ll be to hit a player from 20 feet. Try to find your maximum range and then practice from even farther away.
  12. Upgrade the airsoft guns you have instead of buying more of them. Investing in optics, extra magazines, and accessories will greatly improve your performance with that gun. Besides, you can only shoot one gun at a time anyway.
  13. Invest in a good quality gun. This adds to number 12, if you invest in a more expensive, better gun, it’ll pay off. AEG’s (Automatic Electronic Gun), for example, are good to invest in. They’re usually fully-automatic and one will serve you better than the two cheaper spring guns that you could have bought for the same amount of money.
  14. When retreating, don’t attempt to fire back. You should only retreat when it’s your last option and you’ve already tried everything to hold back opposing players. That said, you shouldn’t turn around to fire back if you’re already retreating. If you couldn’t hold off opposing players staying still, you’re not going to do anything randomly firing backwards as you are trying to run away. The chances of actually hitting someone is slim and trying will only slow you down and give the other team time to catch up to you.
  15. Be tactical. For example, if you’re planning to come around a corner (this especially applies for CQB game-play), take out your secondary, which is smaller and lighter than your primary, and breech the corner with that. This will allow you to bring your gun up and aim much faster than you would using your primary. As soon as you’ve cleared the corner, though, start using your primary again.
  16. Use all the tools at your disposal. If you have a airsoft grenade, don’t be afraid to use it. The same goes for if you have a flashlight, secondary, speed re-loader, or any other tool you may have. Make it as easy for yourself as you can.
  17. If cover is available use it. Unlike video games, though, visual cover might not be the greatest choice. The mandatory orange tip on the mussel of every airsoft gun pretty much makes it imposable to try to hide. If you’re laying down in visual cover and are spotted you are in some deep trouble. On the other hand, using physical cover is a good strategy. You can pop in and out of physical cover, making quick shots when you come out and then immediately going back in, gives the opposing players very little chance to hit you.
  18. When there’s a break in the action, you should immediately reload. When you do reload, make sure you’re completely maxed out. Depending on how safe you are, take time to get a BB in the chamber as well as completely reloading your magazine. Make sure to keep an eye out for enemy players and at least a couple bullets loaded into one of your weapons, while you reload the other one; you’re most vulnerable when you’re reloading.
  19. We’ve already mentioned practice multiple times before, but it’s important to maximizing your practice time. Apart from “pushing yourself”, drills are the best way to go. Practice everything: reloading, shooting while moving, shooting while lying down, coming in and out of cover, etc.. Do a drill multiple times. It will get boring and frustrating after a while but you just need to take a little break, reestablish yourself, and keep on going. Succession is key.
  20. The last tip is one of the most important and the most obvious. Take care of your guns and they will take care of you. Keep them in a safe place where they won’t be broken, lube and clean them as necessary, and (as mentioned before) give them the right ammunition.

Stinger P9T Airsoft Gun Review

The Stinger P9T is a updated version of Crosman’s legendary Stinger P9. Updates include a updated safety, a larger profile, and a larger 15 round magazine.

One of the bigger updates was to the magazine. The Stinger P9T can hold 15 rounds, oppose to the Stinger P9’s 12. But a huge downside it that it no longer has a reservoir. This is a big deal if you plan to use it in airsoft fights. Also, the magazine’s bigger than the old one, so you can’t even use old P9 magazines.

The safety is located very close to the back of the gun so that it’s hard to reach. You have to pretty much hold the gun with your weak hand and then flip the safety forwards or backwards with your strong hand to effectively work it. I don’t know why Crosman decided to do that; probably so that kids with small hands can operate it better. It’s also reversed, meaning that forward is safety and back is fire. This is a design flaw because when you shove it into a holster, sometimes the holster catches it and it switches it to fire.

The old Stinger P9 was known for it’s smooth slide and easy trigger pull, but the Stinger P9T just isn’t the same. When you pull the slide back to cock it it feels like you’re grinding metal on metal. Also, the slide only pulls back about a inch, making it feel like you didn’t cock it all the way. The trigger pull is not for the weak, either. You have to really squeeze it to make it fire. This heavy trigger pull really slows you down when you’re trying to put some plastic down range.

One thing that didn’t change is the stunning accuracy. With .25 gram BBs you can hit a 12 inch gel target from well over 40 feet away. If the Stinger P9 and the Stinger P9T went head-to-head, I’d actually have to say that the Stinger P9T is a little bit more accurate.

Another good thing about the Stinger P9T is that it has a lot more metal than the old Stinger P9. The trigger is metal, along with several internal pieces that are visible with the clear plastic colored models.

With most of the Stinger P9T’s you get a holster included. But the holster is terrible. The old holsters that came with the Stinger P9’s had a Velcro strap on the back so that you could easily take it on and off. It also had a snap thing that you could take the strap that secures your gun into the holster off with, and you could also undo a clip and get the strap off that way. These new holsters just have a loop on the back to put your belt through, meaning you have to undo your whole belt to get it on and off. Also the only thing that keeps the gun securing strap in place is a narrow strip of Velcro.

The last thing that you’ll notice about the Stinger P9T is it’s weight. It is really heavy; unloaded it weighs close to 1-1/2 pounds! This is good and bad. On the one hand it feels very realistic and solid, but on the other it might start to wear on you after a hour or two of shooting.

Through all the down sides, the Stinger P9T can be a good side arm. In my mind, it doesn’t quite stack up to the Stinger P9, although the accuracy is actually a little better. If you make sure to use .25 gram BBs, buy a better holster, and possibly buy some extra magazines, it could make a pretty good spring pistol.

Specs:
Feet Per Second: 275
Accuracy: Great
Power: Spring (you must pull back the slide before each shot)
Caliber: 6mm
Recommended BB Weight: .25 grams
Magazine Capacity: 15 BBs
Manufacture: Crosman

Video Review:

Beretta 90two Airsoft Gun Review

The 90two airsoft pistol by Beretta is a look-a-like of the Beretta M9. It boasts 260FPS and a 15-round magazine, which is great, whether you’re target shooting or using it in airsoft battles.

The Beretta 90two is almost entirely plastic, with the exceptions of the barrel and a few internal pieces. Although, it feels pretty solid and can withstand a couple drops.

The workings are okay for the most part. The slide is a little sticky, though. And what I mean by that is that when you cock it, it doesn’t make a satisfying click like most airsoft pistols do when you cock it back. So you don’t know if you got a BB in the chamber or not. Also, the magazine release is slow. When you hit the button to release the magazine, you have to shake the gun up and down to get it to fall out. The hammer is also hit or miss. When you pull the hammer back manually, you have to pull the trigger 2-5 times to get it to snap back into place; it just makes the whole gun feel kind of unresponsive. Although, when you pull the whole slide back and that pushes the hammer down, when you fire it usually snaps into place the first time. The safety is even hard to switch; it’s so hard to switch, you may even need to use a butter knife to switch it between safe and fire a couple times to get it loosened up.

The really big issue with the Beretta 90two is the magazine. It’s holds 15 rounds which is great, but it’s prone to breaking. It’s extremely poorly designed. The bottom of the magazine sometimes slides forward when you slam the magazine into the gun, or in the heat of battle it sometimes slides forward too. The problem with this is that the bottom is the only thing holding the little spring that pushes the BBs up into the chamber in place. When the bottom slides out of place the magazine spring flies out, along with your BBs. The simple solution to this is to glue/tape the bottom of the magazine to the actual magazine so it won’t slide forward.

Also, if you’re planning to carry the 90two in a holster, just know that it’s pretty hard to draw. The problem is that the front sight gets caught on the holster, so you have to pinch the holster with one hand and pull the gun out with your other to efficiently draw it. This isn’t a huge issue, just don’t be expecting to whip it out and start shooting.

Some of the good things about the Beretta 90two is it’s accuracy and the price. The 90two features upgraded white dot sights, which helps tremendously for aiming. The relativity high FPS (for a spring pistol) of 260, combined with the upgraded sights makes for very accurate shooting at 20-40ft with .20 gram. .12 gram BBs fly farther, but are way less accurate, so I’d stick to .20 gram. And for only $15-$20 that the 90two goes for, it’s a pretty good gun.

To wrap things up, the Beretta 90two isn’t too bad a gun for $15 or $20; just remember that you get what you pay for. The 90two would do pretty well to someone that’s looking to target shoot, but may not match up to some of the other airsoft pistols in a skirmish. In the end, it’s a good sidearm for a novice to mid-level airsoft player on a tight budget; just know how to deal with some of the problems that come with a cheap airsoft gun.

Specs:
Feet Per Second: 260
Accuracy: Accurate at 20-40ft
Power: Spring (you must cock it back before each shot)
Caliber: 6mm
Recommended BB Weight: .20 grams
Magazine Capacity: 15 BBs
Manufacture: Beretta

Stinger P311 Airsoft Gun Review

The Stinger P311 airsoft gun is a look-alike of the famous Colt 1911; from the block iron sights, to the simple look of the gun. At only $10-$20 (depending on where you buy it), this pistol also packs a punch.

One of the cool features of the Stinger P311 is the hammer. Most airsoft guns don’t have hammers, but lately Crosman (the maker of this gun) has been incorporating them into their pistols, adding to the realism. When you pull the slide back the hammer gets cocked back also, just like a real gun. You can manually pull back the hammer, too, and it’ll just snap back in place when you pull the trigger; although it won’t fire if you do that, since you have to pull the slide back to get it loaded. So, really, the whole point of the hammer is just decoration.

This pistol also packs a punch, for what it’s worth. It shoots 325 FPS, which is just about as high as it goes with spring pistols (without modifying it, that is).

A problem, though, with the Stinger P311 is the hop-up is nonadjustable, which means you’re stuck with however tight it was wound in the factory. Basically, at ranges over 30 feet, the Stinger P311 tends to shoot straight for about 20 feet, then take a dramatic turn either go left/right/up/down. You can’t really count this as a “con”, though, because almost every pistol is going to have the same problem, more or less. A solution to this problem is to shoot .20 gram BBs; they’re heavier than the regular .12 gram, so they tend to curve less. In really bad cases of curving BBs, you could even use .25 gram.

Another flaw is that it’s big, which would be a problem if you wanted to stick it in your pocket or something. But, this is another non issue, because you can get a holster for under $10. Besides, in the world of spring pistols, in order to have high FPS, it has to be a big gun.

For it’s price, the Stinger P311 has very nice workings. The slide pulls back quickly and cleanly, which results in shorter time between shots. The magazine also ejects out very quickly. With some airsoft pistols you have to push the magazine release while shaking the gun to get the magazine to fall out. The Stinger P311’s magazine springs out, which also makes for quick reload times. The flaws in the magazine are that is has no reserve, which means you might want to buy extra clips, due to not being able to refill from the magazine itself. Also, if you can’t do tactical reloads, because (if you take out the magazine while it still has BBs left in it) a couple BBs will fall out, all over the ground.

And, another part to think about is the safety. It’s located on the left side, just above the grip. It’s shaped like a triangle, and it pivots on one of the points. You flip it up and down to turn on and off the safety. Because of its weird design, not many people are used to it, so it doesn’t feel natural to turn off/on the safety. Some people like the design, and some people hate it, it’s up to your personal preference.

To conclude, the Stinger P311 is a great sidearm for both target shooting and airsoft matches. It boasts a high FPS, but is best used at ranges under 30-40 feet. Also, think about buying a holster and some heavier ammo along with this gun. Factoring in the price, performance, and overall utility of the Stinger P311, it’s one of my favorite spring pistols to use.

Specs:
Feet Per Second: 325
Accuracy: Very accurate at 10-30 feet
Power: Spring (you must cock it back before each shot)
Caliber: 6mm
Recommended BB Weight: .20 grams
Magazine Capacity: 12 BBs
Manufacture: Crosman

Video Review:

Crash-Course in Airsoft (The Basics of Airsoft)

Airsoft is as close to real combat you can get, without putting your life in peril. Airsoft is usually a team sport, and people of all ages everywhere are getting in on the action. The whole point is: take out the enemy and don’t get shot doing it. The rules are different everywhere, and depending on how many people are playing, the rules can vary from all out war, to if you get hit you must sit out for the rest of the round until a team has won, to capture the flag, to just friendly backyard skirmishes. There’s almost infinite ways to play, and there’s not a right or a wrong way.

The most important and most basic thing you need for airsofting is a airsoft gun. Basically how a airsoft gun works is, in some fashion, a spring is compressed along with a little pocket of air, which propels a BB (BBs are small plastic spheres that airsoft guns shoot. They usually have a diameter of 6mm, so they’re pretty small).  There’s several different types of guns, here’s a little list of the three different types:

AEG (Automatic Electric Gun)
– This is battery powered. You must charge a 7-12 (sometimes greater) volt battery and hook it up to the gun to give it power. As far as batteries go, there’s two measurements that come into play: Volts – volts measure how powerful the battery is, the more volts, the faster a gun will shoot, and also the higher rate of fire and velocity there will be (even a small upgrade in battery can dramatically improve a gun). The only down side is that if you have to strong of a battery, it might overwhelm the gun and break it. The second measurement is mAh – this is how much power a battery can store. For example, a 1200 mAh battery can last a (let’s say) 10 hour battle; a 1800 mAh battery can last a 14 hour battle. That’s just some basic examples of different battery terminology.

The upside of an AEG is that it is usually fully automatic, which means with a single pull of the trigger multiple BB’s can be fired. AEG’s are the most popular type of airsoft gun for fights because of this. Out shooting the enemy is the biggest advantage you can have in any kind of gun fight. AEG’s usually have relatively good FPS (feet per second; I’ll talk about FPS later) which is also a benefit.

Spring/Bolt Action – Spring/Bolt Action powered means you must cock something back before each shot. On pistols you usually cock the slide back, rifles usually have a charging handle on the top or on the side, and revolvers you must cock the hammer back. Either way, what it does is compress a spring and capture air that will then help propel the BB. This type of gun is the most common type because of its simplicity, cheapness, and because it will fire under extreme heat/coldness where the batteries inside AEG’s or the CO2 inside Gas Powered guns might fail in extreme weather. You can even get spring guns wet and muddy and they still will fire (although, you should clean and dry them if they get wet because the springs will rust). But, as stated before, spring powered guns require you cock back the slide/cocking mechanism which make them slow to shoot, so they just can’t compete with AEG’s and Gas Powered guns.

Bolt action is the same thing as spring powered; basically you compress a spring to shoot the BB, it’s just in a different form. With bolt action, you take a handle and rack it back then forward again to compress the spring and get a BB in the chamber, exactly as you would with real guns (except with real bullets, also). But bolt action can compress stronger springs which results in higher FPS. This is why bolt action is almost exclusively used on sniper rifles. If you’re confused, the main difference is that with bolt action you pull a big bolt back, and with spring action you simply rack a charging handle. But, bolt can produce higher FPS than spring.

CO2/Green Gas – This type of gun requires a CO2/Green Gas power outlet to work. All you have to do is screw in your power outlet and you’re ready to shoot. With CO2 and Green Gas powered guns the emphasis is on power.

An example of CO2 power outlets

Since CO2/Green Gas is doing the work instead of springs (AEG’s and Spring/Bolt Action require springs to work), the BB can be shot at much higher velocities (C02 and Green Gas still use springs, they’re just not so vital). And like AEG’s, you don’t have to cock back each time which means you can fire as fast as you can pull the trigger. Usually Co2/Green Gas are only semi-automatic which means with every pull of the trigger one shot is fired, but there are a handful of fully-automatic Co2/Green Gas out there. Fully-automatic means with one pull of the trigger, multiple BBs can be fired.

*

Now for some terms you hear a lot in airsoft:

The difference between full-automatic and semi-automatic – if you didn’t understand fully/semi-automatic guns from the descriptions I gave above, I’ll explain it further. Semi-automatic means that every time you pull the trigger, one bullet/BB will shoot out. Fully-automatic means that if you pull the trigger, multiple bullets/BBs can be fired. As long as you hold down the trigger with fully-automatic, a steady stream of BBs will be shooting out. To give you a idea of which type of gun usually does what (this is just a general overlook, there can be exceptions):

AEG’s – usually have both fully and semi-automatic features
Spring/Bolt Action – neither; you must manually pull some sort of charging lever back before each shot
Co2/Green Gas – Usually semi-automatic only. Although, there are a couple of fully-automatic models out there

Now, for those who are completely new to airsoft or any type of gun, what the “safety” feature is. Every gun has safety, every single type and model; it is both unsafe and illegal to have a firearm without a working safety. A safety locks the trigger into place, so that a gun won’t go off by bumping into things. When a working safety is on, it is impossible to discharge the gun. It’s just that simple. Every airsofter (and firearm owner, for that matter) must always have their gun on safety when not in use.

ROF (Rate of Fire) is how many BB’s a gun, usually a AEG, will fire per minuet. Pretty simple. So if a gun had a ROF of 800, that means, that it will fire 800 BBs in one minuet.

There’s also a couple different types of “Blow-back” airsoft guns. Blow-back just means that when you fire the gun, the slide will blow back, just like a real gun. Blow-back airsoft guns can be Co2 or Electric (AEG). The benefits to a blow-back gun is that it looks realistic, and it chambers a BB each shot, so that it shoots as fast as you can pull the trigger, unless it’s fully-automatic, which would basically make it a blow-back AEG. GBB (Gas Blow-Back) is basically a Co2 powered blow-back airsoft gun. EGG (Electric Blow-Back) is a Electric powered blow-back (although electric powered blow-backs are pretty rare, and usually have horrible FPS and accuracy. So, chances are that you’ll never really hear the term “EGG”). The down side of a blow-back airsoft gun, while it’s semi or fully-automatic, it costs much more money than a Co2 or AEG, plus Co2’s and AEG’s already are semi/fully-auto. And, since the slide comes back, it drains batteries and Co2 cartridges much faster than normal. So really, blow-backs just look cool.

Another term you might hear in airsoft is “CQB”. All that stands for is “Close Quarter Battle”. Basically, all that means if a gun is good for CQB, is that it’s good for close-up fighting (usually 20 feet or under). Another way you might hear CQB is a type of game mode. It’s the same thing, any shooting taking place when your target is 20 feet or closer; most of the time CQB is indoors, just because indoors are usually smaller spaces, but it can also be outdoors. Lower FPS guns are best for Close Quarter Battle, because higher FPS guns hurt to much at short range.

FPS (Feet Per Second) is a measurement used to describe how fast the BB will be traveling as it leaves the barrel. For example, if a airsoft gun has a label “375 FPS” it means when the BB exits the barrel of the gun, it will be traveling 375 feet per second. This can be calculated to better understand it to 256 Miles Per Hour. So, 375 FPS = 256 MPH. This may seem fast, but keep in mind this is barrel velocity. As soon as the BB leaves the barrel it starts slowing down. It will lose at least 25% of its speed by the time the BB actually gets to your target. Also, manufactures try to look better by trying to get the highest FPS out of their gun; so what they do is take a .12 gram BB and calculate how fast a .12 gram BB (we’ll get to what the ‘grams’ matter in a moment) is traveling right as it leaves the barrel. The bottom line is, when you’re looking at a gun’s FPS, take at least 75 off of it right away. The manufacturer’s FPS is always higher than the real thing. The effect of FPS in the field is, the higher the FPS, the faster the BB will go, the more accurate it will be, and the longer it will travel.

Now for what “grams” mean. A gram is a measurement of weight. Obviously a .12 gram BB will be lighter than a .20 gram; a .20 gram will be lighter than a .25 gram, etc. The weight of standard airsoft BB’s are from .12-.45 gram weight. The heavier the weight, the more accurate. That’s why most players use .20 and up for almost every gun. The drawback of a heavier BB is that it will dramatically decrease the FPS. Usually the general rule of thumb is, the higher the FPS, the higher gram BB you should use. 200 FPS and under is best with .12 gram; 200-400 = .20 gram; etc. Also, guns with their hop-up wound to lose should use a higher gram BB (Hop-Up, I’ll explain next). Or if the gun is fully-automatic then you should use almost strictly .20 gram because anything less/more could jam. So, you should weigh out the accuracy to power ratio to find the best weight BB for your gun.

And now for hop-up. Almost every gun has it now. Hop-Up puts a back spin on your BB, making it more accurate, and a whole lot better distance. At close range, hop-up can be annoying because the BB will tend to go upwards and be less accurate. But at long ranges, hop-up is vital, adding distance and accuracy. The “tighter” a hop-up is wound, the less backspin will be put on the BB. The “looser” the hop-up is wound the more backspin will be put on a BB. Looser = more hop-up, and the the BB will tend to float up after 50 feet. Tighter = less hop-up, and the BB will sink after about 50 feet. (When a BB will either float or sink [50 feet, 60 feet, 70 feet, etc.] depends on the velocity of your gun) If you’re target is 30 feet away you probably want less hop-up, and if your target is 70 feet away you want more hop-up. It all depends on the situation. All-and-all, hop-up is good.

A alternative to hop-up is BAXS. BAXS is relatively new to airsofters, and has gotten a so-so reception because of airsofters’ loyalty and comfort level with hop-up. BAXS is in no way bad, though. With hop-up there’s two points of contact on the BB while it’s in the chamber, the top and bottom. With BAXS there’s three points of contact, two on the top and one on the bottom. Basically, BAXS gives you more control over the BB, so instead of floating up or down after 50/60/70 feet, the BB will continue going straight. BAXS is mostly on cheaper guns because they tend to have less FPS and it would be inaccurate to have hop-up. Although, it’s not totally uncommon to have BAXS on higher end airsoft guns.

Well, that’s the end of the “crash-course” on airsoft. Congratulations on reading the whole thing. If you have any further questions regarding airsoft, email me at (sirbuffalosushi@gmail.com) or leave a comment.

(This is a posted copy of Airsofter United’s page, “Crash Course“)

Airsoft Sniping 101 (Tips to Make You a Better Sniper)

Airsoft sniping is one of the hardest roles to master. When you think of it, you think to get in a comfy place and start taking people out. It’s much more than that. It’s as much of a mental mindset as the actual physical part. Get yourself in a mindset of a sniper; light-weight, precision, hidden, shadowy, mobile, something the other team fears. As you read through this post on sniping, think of all these things and how they apply to you, and taking those things into perception, how you’re going follow the next Airsoft Sniping 101 steps (and how it applies to you; factor in your climate, your weapons’ capabilities, and your budget) to being the greatest airsoft sniper ever.

The first thing you need to find is a place to snipe from. If possible, it’s always better to be elevated. Not like in a tree; the perfect setting would be on a hill or something like it. Another thing to seek in a sniping spot is brush and cover. Not so much cover that it looks like a obvious sniping place either, pick a nice dense spot that doesn’t look any different than everything else around it. A good ghillie suit never hurts, either. Also try to have your backside safe and the only possible way for your enemies to get to you is come straight at your face, you don’t want enemies to be coming from all sides, because if they do, you’re as good as dead.

Make sure wherever you pick there’s always a escape  route. The biggest threat for a sniper is a full out rush attack. Have a safe escape route set in your mind, so you can take flight if they rush you.

Once you’ve found a perfect place to lay down and shoot from, you should start thinking about your physical and mental state. You want to be as calm as possible, while staying alert. Try to slow down your breathing by repeating a calm word in your head over and over very slowly. Also never take your eye of your scope. You should be locked and loaded and ready to shoot at any sing of an enemy.

Some snipers (in the real battlefield) take antidepressants before shooting, to slow down their heartbeat. I don’t recommend doing that at all, but that’s just something that real-life snipers do. A safer way to slow down your heartbeat is to steady your breathing. Don’t completely hold your breath (that will only make you rush the shot), take long deep breaths (like at the doctors office), and when you’re ready to shoot, take the shot while you’re releasing air.

When you do finally get a hostile player in your sights, a lot of new snipers get exited and start firing. Usually they miss. So, take your time and wait for the opportunity to present its self. Wait until your target’s stopped and maybe listening then aim for center mass and take your shot. As soon as you’ve pulled the trigger reload your gun, don’t even worry about your target. The second you’re locked and loaded again, check your target, if you missed and the target runs don’t follow-up, you’ll only give your position away. Airsoft guns are relatively inaccurate, anyway, so the chance of getting a follow-up shot on a running target is close to none. In the case of a miss, though, immediately change your position.

Don’t let misses let you down, though. Whatever you do, you don’t want to get frustrated and start flinging inaccurate shots. Just stick to the basics, slow heartbeat, patience, and confidence in your shots.

Another necessary part of up keeping the role of a sniper is to invest in your equipment. Think about what you need. Don’t blow your whole budget on a gun, factor in the cost of high-quality ammo, gun lubrication tools, speed reloading equipment, maybe a ghillie suit, and other supplies you’ll need on the battlefield. The point is, just don’t expect this to be a cheap hobby, make sure you don’t get in so deep that you have to resort to buying low quality .12 gram ammo to save money. In my many years of airsoft,  the one most important thing is to keep your gun happy; lube it as needed, spray it, and keep it running smoothly.

So, you might wanna know then how do I spend my money? Well, first off buy a nice gun, I highly recommend a Bolt Action sniper rifle, due to its power, accuracy, and quick reloading times. If you’re just starting out, anything over $150 is too much. Opt for a smaller $80-$130 gun. Look for good FPS, range, and a quality scope in a gun. But, if you know you’ll be playing in a small environment (like a backyard) you can even just buy a cheap spring M14 replica, you don’t need tons of power just for a backyard skirmish.

The gear essential to a sniper includes a nice backpack, a sidearm (such as a simple $20 spring pistol. I personally love the Stinger P9 from Crosman), and make sure to have camouflage clothing. Just make sure everything you choose is light-weight and versatile, because you don’t want to be weighed down if you have to run.

Take every advantage you can. Like mapping. If it’s possible,  go to the field you’re going to play at and make a easy to read map of the place for yourself, it’ll come in handy when you want to change spots and don’t know where to go. And make sure to scout travel ways that enemies could possibly come though so you can pick them off.

And, if you can, try to get a list of the other teams players. Pretend you’re stocking them, learn each of their interests, what kind of weapons they have, if they have a history of being scared easily in the field, so when you go to play, you can know if you should take time to let this player come out in the open to shoot, or to shoot as soon as he pokes his nose out. Stuff like that will pay off when it comes down to it.

The saying “practice makes perfect” is absolutely true, also. Practice pin-point sniping whenever you can. And push yourself and your guns in practice.  If the sniping range on your rifle is 300 feet, practice from 350 feet. If you push yourself to the limit and accept nothing but perfection from yourself, and get angry when you can’t nail a quarter from 300 feet; that’s  what makes a great sniper. If you insist on hitting a quarter from 300 feet in practice, imagine how easy it would be to hit a person from 200 feet in a airsoft match! Also, practice your steady breathing on every single shot. Basically, the closer to a real match that you can get, the better; practice the exact same things that you would be doing in a fight.

Also use drills in practice. Drills that focus on one skill at a time; for example, if you wanted to work on your biceps in a work out, you’d lift some weights. Same thing with airsoft; if you want a clean escape in a airsoft match, practice a silent, quick flee over and over again. Here’s some examples of drills:

Escape: As stated above, practice making a quick and quiet escape encase you had to flee in a match. Make a route that you will take, almost like a fire drill.

Accuracy: As I’ve said, if you push yourself to imposable standards, then it’ll be like shooting fish-in-a-barrel when you actually line up a shot with a enemy. Seriously give it your all to shoot a 8-inch target from 100 feet. Then, once you can hit the target each and every time, move the target in 50 foot intervals further and further away.

Reloading Time: Practice reloading as fast as you can. Don’t even bother with aiming, just jam the magazine in, cock the gun, shoot, and repeat. AS FAST AS YOU CAN!

Speed: In the case of being rushed, you want to hold your ground for as long as possible. Set up multiple targets all around you at various ranges (50, 20, 60, 25, 70, 40 feet, etc.). Then as fast as you can, go from target to target making sure each one gets hit, until the field is empty. There are a few ways you can do this; Some people prefer to clear the field left to right/right to left, and others shoot the closest first. Going from left to right, like a book, is the fastest way, but going for the closest will probably save you from getting shot a couple times.

In any of these drills redundancy is key. Do them over and over again until you’re board with them, and then do them a additional 10 times.

So seriously take these tips to heart and don’t stray far from it. Even read this post several times to drive it in your head. I hope this post helps you to become a legend, and happy hunting.