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.
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Airsoft: Getting Started

Airsoft is a fun and thrilling sport, beating video games any day with real action and a real risk of getting shot.

If you’re completely new you can get familiar with some airsoft lingo here: www.airsofterunited.wordpress.com/crash-course

The first thing you want to make sure of is that you’re sure you want to get into airsoft. While it’s extremely fun and builds good morals by working on a team, it can also hurt when you get shot and you should be willing to invest good money into it. If you know you don’t want to be shot by a airsoft gun from time to time then you shouldn’t even consider getting into airsoft, just get a BB gun to shoot targets with. Also understand that in order to have good guns, gear, camouflage and other things you need for airsoft that you’ll have to spend a lot of money on it.

If you’re sure you want to get into airsoft then the first thing you need is a gun. For someone just starting airsoft you should look at getting a spring powered gun (again, if you don’t know what “spring powered” means then you should read the crash-course). Spring powered guns are cheap, easy to maintain and super durable. Crosman is an example of really good spring guns. I highly recommend something along the lines of the Crosman Stinger R34 or the Crosman Stinger P9.

Once you find a gun that you like you should buy things for it instead of buying more guns. For example, extra magazines, sights, etc..

Taking care of your guns is a big deal, too. Besides the usual cleaning and lubrication that you should be doing anyway, make sure to keep your guns somewhere safe (in a closet or something). Do not just throw them in the corner with your backpack and dirty cloths. A broken gun won’t do you much good. Also give your gun the right ammunition. The three big BB weights are .12, .20, and .25 gram. Try each weight in your gun to see which preforms the best. Don’t buy cheap .12 gram if your gun doesn’t shoot well with it just to save money!

Beyond your guns you should also work on a collection of camouflage clothing and safety equipment. A pair of safety glasses, a camo long-sleeved shirt, and a backpack should be all you need to start out. As you get more experienced and better at airsoft you may start thinking about airsoft vests, gillie suits, airsoft gloves and other things, but you really don’t need those until you have been playing airsoft for a while.

Usually beginners don’t have enough money to blow on BBs; not with all the guns and gear that their buying in order to get started. That’s why it’s a great idea to buy a Gel-Trap Target. They run you about $8 if you get them from the store in the outdoors/airsoft section. And the idea of the Gel-Trap Target is that when you shoot it, the BB sticks and then drips down into a collecting trey so that you can reuse them. This saves you a fortune on BBs.

Getting into a airsoft club is the best way to jump right into the action. Although, almost always you have to be either over 16 and have a parent drive you to matches or be 18 or older. And usually airsoft clubs are pretty limited unless you live in a area where airsofting is popular. But, chances are that usually beginning airsofters learn of airsoft from a friend, so you should consult them on any known clubs in the area or if they have lots of friends that also airsoft, then you can just have a unofficial fight with a bunch of their friends.

Having actual airsoft matches are the best way to gain experience, but practice also helps. Take your Gel-Trap target out in your backyard and start shooting. As you get more used to your gun, you can start shooting while running and laying down. Practice definitely makes perfect.

A last thing to think about as a beginning airsofter is what role you want to play in the future. For people just starting out I suggested the Stinger R34 (an assault rifle) and the Stinger P9 (a all-purpose pistol) above, but as you progress at airsoft you should start thinking about a specialty role that you could play. Roles include snipers, supportive fire, assault, and things like that. For example, I’m a assault guy so I carry around a M4 rifle and 1911 pistol. Some of the people I know specialize in sniping and they have a gillie suit, binoculars, and a sniper rifle. It’s up to you what you want to be. But, as a beginner, you don’t need to decide right now. Just start with the guns I suggested since they’re all-purpose weapons and go from there.

I hope this post helps you get started airsofting, and good luck!

(This is a posted copy of Airsofter United’s page, “Getting Started“)

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.

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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“)