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Airsofting on a budget! 5 Secrets of Cheap Airsoft

Updated on May 13, 2010

Airsoft is a community sport

Airsoft revolves around a community of players who know each other
Airsoft revolves around a community of players who know each other

Airsoft is expensive, but it doesn't have to be!

Getting retail airsoft equipment can leave you broke. As a college student who took a loan to play airsoft, let me show you what I have learned over the years and the tricks I use to save on airsoft equipment!

There are 4 major secrets that you should know:

  1. Research
  2. Eliminate
  3. Borrow
  4. Batch

Secret 1: Research

When I got into airsoft I knew nothing about the sport. This is why I started by buying a pair of spring pistols! Because this is what I've been playing around with as a kid. Literally, within minutes of that purchase, I discovered that full size spring rifles exist, so I got my first spring rifle. Before that shippment even hit my doorstep, I got an Airsoft Electric Gun! Which turned out to be a low power electric gun. As my purchase #4, a week later, with my budget drained, I have finally purchased my first real AEG that I play with to this day. Everything that I have purchased before that is now recycled and stripped for parts.

Secret #1: Do research -

  • find out the kinds of fields you will be playing at
  • Find a cheap airsoft electric gun for 100$ or an airsoft electric pistol for 50$
  • Look for cheap BDUs online and find a vest that will match this color. Most airsoft games are split between the green and the tan (desert) teams. Get one of these colors to avoid repeated purchases
  • FInd out if someone can upgrade a gun for you and/or get a pre-packaged upgrade kit for your gun (tune up kit). This will save you a fortune on aftermarket upgrades

Would you know the difference?

The gun above costs 40$. The gun Below costs 250$. What's the difference? This is the purpose of airsoft research!
The gun above costs 40$. The gun Below costs 250$. What's the difference? This is the purpose of airsoft research!

Secret #2 - Eliminate

 Buying airsoft gun is fun. Preparing it for the game, packing it in the car, unloading it at the field, putting on the gear , taking off the gear, packing it in the car, unloading it at home and cleaning it is not fun. It once took me 6 hours to prepare for a game that lasted for about 5 hours. This really got me to start thinking about elimination.

  1. Get a primary weapon and a muzzle cap
  2. Get 2 high capacity magazines
  3. Get a vest and BDUs
  4. Get face protection
  5. Get BBs
  6. Get water.

Charge the battery before a game and put everything in the car. It should take you less than 20 minutes to pack and unpack at the field. Think of this as a rapid response or a quick reaction force. Make it into a game. Just don't spend 6 hours caring for the gear that you will rarely use. This brings us to the next point - borrow!

Airsoft excess

This is just the stuff that people play with, not counting extra boxes in cars, and stuff carried in vests!
This is just the stuff that people play with, not counting extra boxes in cars, and stuff carried in vests!

Secret #3 - Borrow

Airsofters are a friendly bunch, and they want you to play with them. Remember, most skirmishes revolve around tight community of players who know each other. Learn to ask and borrow stuff that you may need. On a flipside, offer to share your gear if you have a ton of stuff in your trunk. Instruct people to return stuff to your car, even if you are not present.

For example:

  • Extra magazine if yours is down
  • A pistol for a pistols or CQB game
  • A speedloader to load your midcaps if you have any
  • A spare battery if yours is down
  • Extra BBs if you want to try different weight BBs in your gun
  • Bug repellent
  • Bottled water

In my years of airsofting, I have received, given away, borrowed and lended a whole bunch of things, without an incident. There has been a single time when someone did not return my pistol, but that was returned at the next game. I've never had a gun or a magazine broken by someone else.

Additionally, ask people if they would want to sell you stuff right on the field. Many people have holsters or gear they no longer use, and/or too many magazines. You can buy these right on the field for a fraction of the price without the need to wait or shop online.

A lot of airsoft communities also have a market section where you can buy guns that work from people in your community, with good discounts. People's reputation is at stake, and they will not sell you a broken gun or swindle you out of money.

Would you share?

Airsoft players often have more stuff and can lend you something!
Airsoft players often have more stuff and can lend you something!

Secret #4 - Batch

 When I started playing airsoft, I needed A LOT of things. I practically researched stuff as I went along, resulting in many small purchases in between the games. Because I wanted stuf and I wanted it NOW, I spent extra 10-15$ on small order, sometimes shipping costing me 40% of the order price! Avoid expedited shipping whenever possible, instead, research and plan ahead. Many shops are routinely out of stock for most of their inventory. If you really need something, call the store to ensure they have stuff in stock, as most stores will delay your order if something is missing.

Secret #4- batch your purchases until you need 100$-125$ of stuff. The airsoft competition nowadays is brutal, and most retailers will offer you free shipping for orders of this size.


Bonus secret #5 - learn tactics!

Your best airsoft weapon is you. Spending 3000$ on gear will not make you a better player, and you will still be "dead" with 1 BB from a 5$ springer.

So my bonus secret to you is read about tactics, cover, concealment, observation and unseen movement. Realize what suppression is and when you can and cannot move across the field. Learn to flank the enemy instead of taking them heads on, and you will get them, even with an airsoft electric pistol.

Learn to communicate with your fellow players and you will not need a 400 FPS AEG, because teamwork will compensate for that.

I hope you enjoyed these tips and consistent application of these tips will save you a lot of money on airsoft!

Tactics are the key!

Flank attack
Flank attack

Cost savings poll

Which secret do you like the most?

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