Airsoft Guns are a Cheaper Alternative to Paintball.
How much does it cost to start playing paintball? It really depends on what you start out with, but here is a quick estimate if you want to play cheap, but you don't want to sacrifice quality.
Tippmann 98 Custom: $169.99
18 oz CO2: $16.00
2000 Diablo Heat Paintballs: $39.99
JT Sports Elite Raptor Paintball Mask: $19.00
That's if you go cheap. Paintball guns alone can go up into the thousands if you want to get the best of the best. And then you have to buy paint, which can cost $40.00 per box of 2000 paintballs. Not all of us have the money,or even want to spend that much on a sport. However, there are a few alternatives to paintball if you don't feel like spending the money.
The sport of airsoft was created in Japan due to the banning of real firearms in the 1980s. People still were interested in them, and companies started to produce guns that look exactly the same, but they shot little pellets instead. Soon enough, people in other countries got caught up in the sport, and now it has spread all over the world.
Due to most of the airsoft market being overseas, the guns and supplies needed to make them work are very cheap. Even the higher quality ones are much cheaper than equivalent quality paintball guns. They also can be upgraded with hundreds of different types of add-ons, so you can personalize your gun to make it do whatever you want it to do. Few paintball guns have this ability.
Most airsoft companies replicate real-life guns, so if you have a favorite firearm in real life, chances are there is going to be a company that makes it.
Due to the extensiveness of this topic, I am going to just summarize everything you are going to need to know to purchase an airsoft gun. If you want to know about more about airsoft in general, then check out this hub, which explains everything that you need to know.
What to look for in an airsoft gun.
The most important thing is don't go cheap! This may seem counter-intuitive, since you want to save money by playing airsoft. But the truth is that most airsoft guns under 100 dollars are pieces of junk, and they will break in just a few times of play. There are a few reasons that they will do this, but here are the most common.
1) They are made of cheap plastic, and it breaks easily. That's not to say that all plastic is cheap, but most is.
2) The gears that fire the pellet are made of plastic. Gears are only found in electric guns, and if they are made of plastic, they will strip and break.
3) The spring breaks. This can be due to the cheap metal that it is made from.
Airsoft guns will eventually break, but if they are made of cheap materials, then it will be extremely difficult to fix them. It is worth your time and money to buy something that is going to last. Here are a few guidelines to follow.
1) If you are buying an electric gun (AEG), make sure that it has metal gears. This will improve the lifespan of the gun dramatically.
2) Get high-quality pellets with your gun. This may not have to do with buying an airsoft gun, but it still improves the lifetime of the gun by quite a bit.
3) Make sure that the gun maker is reputable. Do the research and it might save you the money instead of buying a gun made with cheap parts.
4) Check out reviews on the gun to make sure that other people aren't have problems with it. There can be manufacturing defects with the gun, and you don't want to find out about them once you buy the gun.
5) Don't be suckered into buying a gun because it has a super high FPS (feet per second). A higher fps can make a gun break quicker. Again, do you research.
What are some good airsoft gun producers?
While there are many terrible producers of airsoft guns, there are also some very reputable companies as well. Here are a few that are good for first time buyers:
Echo 1: This company makes some great starter guns that range from 100 dollars and beyond. They also offer a range of upgrade parts so that you can improve the gun if you want to.
G&G: This Taiwanese company makes some of the best airsoft guns out there, and their cheapest model comes in at 140 dollars.
Classic Army: This company ha many types of guns that come in at 150 dollars and up. Many of their models are full-metal.
Jing-Gong: This may be the only Chinese company that you should buy from. Their guns are much better than anything you are going to buy from Wal-Mart, but they do have quality control issues at times. Still, it is a good choice for any starting player.
CYMA: Despite being a Chinese company, they make some of the best AK's in the airsoft market. If you like the feel/look of an AK-47, then consider purchasing from this company.
KWA: If you have the money, these people make some of the best m4 models out there.
Good high-grade pellets that won't mess up your gun.
These goggles are great for protecting your eyes and don't block any part of your vision.
Besides a gun, your going to need a few more things to play airsoft. If you buy an electric gun, you are going to need a battery for it. And you are going to need pellets, which come in as many varying qualities as the guns. Don't buy any pellets with seams, as this can damage the barrel of your gun. Don't forget to buy goggles as well.
That's pretty much all you need to play airsoft. If you calculate the cost, it ends up being much cheaper than paintball.
G&G M4 Combat Machine: $149.99
5000 TSD .20g airsoft pellets: $8.99
ANSI z87.1 goggles: $5.00
$249.98 V.S. $183.99. You can obviously tell which one is better for your wallet. And because pellets cost half as much as paintballs, it is going to save you money in the long run as well.
Essentially, airsoft is the same as paintball. You can play the same games the same way. Some people think that airsoft is just for military recreation, but this is not true. Just make sure that when you play, that you play with responsible people who won't cheat. Other than that, airsoft is the perfect, (and cheaper) alternative to paintball.
- Airsoft GI
The best retailer out there. They have slightly higher prices, but it makes up for the assurance that you will get what you ordered.
- Evike Airsoft Website
This airsoft retailer sells just about every airsoft product under the sun. They sometimes have problems with shipping and such, but they are still one of the best retailers out there.
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