is airsoft for me?

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by FireDragon76, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 New Member

    130
    0
    Hi. I'm 40 years old and I live about 5 miles from downtown Orlando. It is not exactly suburban, but not exactly urban. I live in an apartment with my wife and I have high-functioning adult autism (I've undergone a lot of rehabilitation), we both have disabilities (she's legally blind), and neither of us can legally drive. We walk or ride the bus everywhere, or occasionally, catch a ride or a taxi.

    I own 3 airsoft guns and I got into it because I miss lightgun games that I used to play (Time Crisis). I have spring pistols and one refurbished shotguns, and I can shoot them down our hallway into a closed door backstop, shooting over soda cans. The shotgun is annoyingly powerful, only the little Colt 25 has the right amount of spring tension for the hallway (I think it's 165 fps or so). Still, I enjoy the great accuracy of the shotgun and I really want to shoot something like an airsoft shotgun or a rifle on a big open field at targets (or players perhaps).

    For safety gear I just wear ANSI work goggles when target shooting. I've had them for yeas and I use them when doing hobby projects also. I have a pair for my wife also, but I have her usually stay clear of the hallway when I am playing. She has shot an airsoft a few times but in a way that would be dangerous with a real firearm (she doesn't use a conventional stance to see the target).

    I had my wife shoot me in the butt from the distance of the hallway and it does sting quite a bit, like a rubber band gun on steroids. I can't imagine getting hit in the temple, groin, or hand with an airsoft gun without some kind of protection like a helmet or gloves. Even the ~300 fps spring pistol shoots hard enough I'd be worried it could cause a minor concussion or damage the delicate joints of the hand at close distances (less than 8-12 feet). So, that would seem to make airsoft more $$$ and difficult to play as a group activity, because we don't own a car to carry gear. And I'd be worried about the paranoia that wearing or carrying "military" looking gear could cause in this day and age. I'm also sort-of a loner, I'd be worried other people would find me odd if I played in team based games, but maybe that's just my unwarranted fear. My brother used to play paintball and owns an airsoft gun, but he hasn't played in years (probably too out of shape to really enjoy it).
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
  2. theonlyBuster

    theonlyBuster Active Member Lifetime Supporter

    14,150
    14
    S. Florida
    Let me be the first to tell you, if you find fun in shooting friends and being shot, you'll be find. In fact one of the well known players at Wayne's World (right near you in Orlando) was disabled. He was autistic and was bound to a wheelchair. Now truth be told, he'd often leave the field with marks ALL over his body, but he enjoyed it and to watch this guy get repeatedly shot and still have a smile on his face was something like none other.

    Now I definitely get the gun paranoia, but would ti be safe to assume you'd carpool to the field? If so, a simple gun bag/box is all you'd need. If you're REALLY paranoid, I've seen some players add reflective tape on their gun bags with writing that clearly stated "AIRSOFT" and "REPLICA". That being said, if you take the proper precautions with your airsoft gear and guns, you'll be pretty safe. A majority of problems you'll hear are kids walking down streets with a pistol on their side or gun slung over their back rather than in a bad or similar.

    But getting back on point, if you handle these airsoft replicas as real guns, you'll fair quite well. Shoot take me for example, a black guy who lived in the "hood" for about 2 years when I stated to get into the sport. I got pulled over by police AT LEAST 10 times when I had airsoft gear in my car. Because it was properly stored and just in the backseat hidden under a towel the officers gave me very few problems. But again, it all comes back to proper gun safety, etiquette, and respect.

    If you're willing to deal with a bit of pain, you'll likely enjoy the sport.

    The one suggest I will make is to start off renting a gun from local fields until you figure out if this sport is right for you. It just makes sense to spend $30 on a rental than $150 on a gun only to find out a month later airsoft isn't for you. And ultimately I'm sure someone in the community wouldn't mind giving you a ride to and from the local field(s).

    -mobile device-
     

  3. Unsilenced

    Unsilenced Member

    103
    0
    San Diego
    Not having a car is difficult for airsoft unless you live very close to a field. Finding a carpool would be ideal, but if you're renting guns at the place like Buster suggested, taking a bus or bike wouldn't be a problem at all. If you did have to use public transportation, I'd say use nondescript bags with the guns disassembled/folded inside, while taking the utmost care to comply with any and all airsoft gun marking laws in your area, and possibly beyond (I.E put markings that are not required just to make sure it's absolutely clear) Putting them inside Evike's bright blue "airsoft sacks" inside a larger dufflebag might also help prevent issues. Personally, I carry my gun with the stock off inside a blue evike sack inside a small green sports bag, along with all my gear. I also have a longer gun bag with bright orange tape around it with the word "AIRSOFT" on one side and my name and address on the other, but I'd avoid that on public transport because it's better just to not let on that you're carrying anything at all by avoiding gun bags and gun bag shaped items.

    For the social thing, I wouldn't worry about it. I showed up to my first (and second) games without knowing or going with anyone. There's a huge range of ages, physical ability, and organization of teams/groups.

    As for pain, it's really up to how much you're willing to bundle yourself up/weigh yourself down. Painful hits can happen, but most of the time they won't if you wear thick/heavy fabrics (especially for jacket and pants) and a good shemagh/scarf to protect your neck and/or back of the head. Gloves with rubber finger pads and a mesh mouth guard are also musts in my book, but other players do without them. You'll also want eye protection that's full seal, unlike most safety goggles, which if you're really concerned about painful hits could work in the form of a full paintball mask. Just keep in mind if you decide to wrap yourself in layers that you might not feel shots, and need to be extra vigilant in order to play honorably and call your hits.
     
  4. Skipjack647

    Skipjack647 Member

    519
    0
    Nashville
    I say go for it man. If you can go, and willing to take and give hits, then nothing should keep you. If you can do it and you want to go do it then. Better for you to be out doing something you want than being unsure at home. And even if you dont like it, you can always just leave a game and go home. If it frightens you or anything, get a ref or someone to get a ref for you and get out of the game. There was an autistic child at my field once and he was shot very close many times and he was too scared to get a ref so I got one for him. He was terrified. After a few weeks he came back and played hard. As if it was a test from God himself, he was sprayed again up close and I was behind him when it happened. He yelped and laid down, but he got back up and kept playing. He went for a while after that.
     
  5. misterT

    misterT Member

    399
    13
    South Bend
    Welcome to the forum Fire Dragon and I like Time Crisis also, and I am 55 years old! I played paintball for many years before getting into airsoft. You undoubtedly will run into a few A holes they are every where BUT by and large most of the people you will meet are good people. Just have fun and the good people will find you, it can be a good opportunity to come out a little more. If you don't feel like talking much don't worry there is so much excitement between games getting ready to go out again no one will really notice. Just relax and have fun with it! Kudos to you for working so hard to overcome that you are an inspiration to us all.
     
  6. Lefse

    Lefse Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    6,228
    1,840
    You should definitely give it a try, you'll love the adrenaline rush it can give you. It's also a good way to socialize and of course it doesn't hurt to get some exercise, believe me, this burns calories. I find the socializing as enjoyable as the game itself actually. I also enjoy upgrading and tinkering with airsoft guns, it can be quite therapeutic.

    Transporting an airsoft gun on the bus shouldn't be too much hassle, many good ideas in the posts above. You wouldn't even notice a guy bringing a regular suitcase or sports bag on to a bus, right? It's a good idea to clearly mark the gun inside the bag, just in case, better safe than sorry.

    People's attitude towards new players and "loners" varies from field to field, but I'm sure people are friendly at most fields. Personally I don't look down at people with less and/or cheaper gear and guns. There will of course be assholes and elitists at all fields, but I ignore people like that, they aren't worth mine or your attention. I guarantee that you'll find at least one person that you'll get along with.
     
  7. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 New Member

    130
    0
    I wear glasses. What kind of face protection setup would you recommend? I wear mid 90's style unisex glasses (oval-ish metal frames), medium sized.

    I tried on a paintball mask yesterday and the fit around my glasses was just too hard to get on and off without messing up my glasses. Maybe goggles and a lower face mask would work better?

    I grew up with cap guns and rubber band guns. I even had a battery powered water pistol that looked identical to an uzi (I don't even think it had a red tip), so that probably dates me quite a bit. I've also shot real guns in real life (I currently don't own any though).
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
  8. Lefse

    Lefse Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    6,228
    1,840
    I wear glasses myself, they fit well inside my JT Spectra Flex 8 mask, my glasses may be slightly smaller than yours though.
     
  9. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 New Member

    130
    0
    Our first attempt to visit an airsoft field was disasterous. There were so many people there that all the rental equipment was booked up. I didn't bring my own gun, too much of a hassle. I also have inadequate safety equipment- I just use basic gun shooting range protection.

    Also, the clientele of the people there just wasn't what I was used to. I live in a predominantly hispanic and black neighborhood. 95% of the people there were white and under 30- most looked very young. Lots of people looked like they spent serious money on airsoft, and most were wearing stuff that looked like American BDU's and equipment. Not a very casual atmosphere at all.
     
  10. CoolCat

    CoolCat Member

    499
    19
    Springfield
    I'm sorry to hear that FireDragon. When I went to a real field for the first time, I felt like I didn't belong, because I had no gear like everyone else had. But, despite how I felt about myself, they were accepting of me, and now when I go to the field, I feel less shy (even though I don't look the part). Don't give up on the sport. Don't let anyone else make you feel sad. You just worry about you and don't worry about what anyone else thinks or says. You just be the the best player that you can be, and everything will work out in the end!
    Good luck and stay strong!
    You can do it!
     
  11. Skipjack647

    Skipjack647 Member

    519
    0
    Nashville
    As hard as it is, dont worry about what people are wearing and acting like. There are people with all real gear and act like they know everything but literally fail when the game starts. Wear what you can and sport it. dont brag about anything, just be friendly and nice. Even if your not a great player youll be liked.
     
  12. FlyFishingRI

    FlyFishingRI New Member

    39
    0
    I am a former carpenter and iron worker now fly fishing guide and although I am an out going people person, I definitely feel like I am going to be the outsider. All of my previous experience has been woods play, never at a legitimate field and that is going to change very soon.

    The internet can be a very cool place and a very useful tool for networking. What I would suggest is try to find a local team or just someone that plays local and ask if they mind if you meet up with them. I am sure most would be happy to show you the ropes.

    The airsoft community is full of some really cool people, but like anywhere I am sure you will bump in to some jerks and some people with huge egos. You can't let that get to you, just shoot them in the next round, it will make you feel great.
     
  13. Lefse

    Lefse Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    6,228
    1,840
    I was in your situation once, came to my first game at the local field with a cheap CYMA AK and cheap basic BDU's. I didn't know anyone and was a bit intimidated. This feeling disappeared quickly when I had a bazillion BB's flying over my head and my team mates were shouting orders and stuff. Gradually I got to know people and now I go to the field not just to play, but to socialize.

    Now I'm among the "veterans" with expensive custom built AEG's and tons of gear. I don't think I'd be intimidating to you though, because I don't judge the guy that shows up with a cheap ACM AEG with just a hicap and play in jeans and a hoodie. "You're here to get outside and have some fun and meet people, good for you.:)" that's what I think when I see a typical newcomer, and I'm sure I'm not the only "veteran" that thinks this way.

    I suggest that you try and find a guy like this on the field, the "veteran" that compliments your kill when you shoot him in the face. Or just simply try and talk to your "neighbor" in the safe zone. Don't worry about having "inferior" guns and gear, time and time again I've been taken out by a kid with a bone stock JG M4.
     
  14. misterT

    misterT Member

    399
    13
    South Bend
    Don't let the jerks intimidate you, the guys strutting around like Rambo are just posers! Try again, get there early so you can get a rental gun and ignore the posers. If they WERE really THAT GOOD they would not have to strut around like they do! Slip in quietly and pelt-em GOOD soon you will find some friends and not feel like an outsider. The posers act they way they do because THEY don't feel accepted. They are trying to prove themselves by acting like jerks. You will be just fine don't worry about it.
     
  15. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 New Member

    130
    0
    I went to try again and play today. It was mixed. I like the basic idea of playing, and I did have some fun, but... I fussed around with the face protection all day. I bought a lower guard that never worked well with my safety glasses and regular vision glasses and the full face guard that I was rented with the M-16 did not work well at all with it, it was impossible to aim with the M-16 held against my shoulder as I couldn't get my cheek close enough to the stock. Otherwise, the full-face mask worked out better, although there wasn't quite as much room around my glasses nosepieces as I wanted.

    I only got one bruise or welt- on my arm, despite being hit several times. It's surprisingly large and scary looking, despite the fact I was wearing a shirt and a hoodie most of the day. I can't imagine what it would look like if it hit my head. Maybe nothing? It hit a part of my arm that is prone to bruising. I don't even remember feeling much.

    One thing about the play that was unexpected is how hyped up you are, especially as a new player. Lots of adrenalin. Everything seems very chaotic, and you are trying just to not get hit. Later in the games I was worried more about walking back to the respawn point than the pain of the pellets.

    One of my boots fell apart halfway through the day, the sole just detached completely and I ended up hobbling back and calling my parents for a pickup. My red dot scope on my shotgun also had died, the batteries ran out of juice. The parents came and took us out to eat and I bought a new pair of hiking boots. I came back later and played a few games but by that point I was really tired and we went home. I took a nap but I'm still fairly sore and achy after the intense exercise- it especially was a workout on my lower body. Even though I can walk up to ten or twenty miles a week, the explosive power needed to dodge pellets and cover behind obstacles was unexpected. So I'm going to take a few days off from Airsoft and rest, otherwise I'll never build those muscles.

    I need better clothing. My clothing was light colored blue jeans with a camo hoodie and a shemagh. The hoodie was great but the bluejeans made me a bullet magnet. Stealth was a huge part of the game, as half the time we were in the woods and most of the guys had good digital camo on. There wasn't much to see. You could hear things before you saw them. If you've even seen one of those old movies about Vietnam, that's what the Florida woods look like, really dense. The M-16 wasn't that great of a gun style- too slow to aim, and hard to get an armored cheek near the stock. I think an electric pistol, micro-uzi or Mac-10 would work just as well in terms of range (the rental M-16 clocked at 320 fps).

    My Mossberg M3000 only clocked at 210 fps. The spring must be old. With a spring it might be better but I felt outgunned in the games I used it in. Nevertheless, I didn't feel people were too annoyed by my presence on the team, despite the fact that half the time I was playing very cautiously. I could see airsoft being seriously unbalanced in favor of those who spend more on gear, much like real warfare often is. I don't want to say its not fun to just be playing, but that could just be beginners enthusiasm and eventually I might get tired of being shot by guys with hot gas powered rigs. Honestly I think low powered guns are just more fun to play against, especially in the woods.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  16. Unsilenced

    Unsilenced Member

    103
    0
    San Diego
    Unfortunately, woodlands play does kind of weight things more in the favor of better gear, imo. I play at a semi-auto only CQB field where just about anything goes, and there's not as big at as big an incentive to shell out accuracy or rate of fire. In woodlands though range is a much bigger factor, and range/accuracy is probably what people spend the most trying to get more of when it comes to airsoft rifles.

    That said, it's a diminishing returns curve, so a little money will take you a long way at first in terms of improvement over the rental gun/spring shotgun. I was a little... exotic with my starting guns, and wouldn't recommend any of them for woodlands, but there's tons on this forum about good beginner AEG's. I'd definitely look for something you're gonna be able to put optics and such on, even though they're by no means necessary to start.

    Camo will also help, but much like getting a starter AEG a little can get you a long way to start out. A thrift store will easily have some items that are olive drab or forest camo patterned. It won't make you invisible, but it'll be a huge improvement over bright blue. Also consider what color your headgear is if you think about purchasing a mask of your own.

    If you were using one of those mesh mouth pieces (which it sounds like you tried?), it can be good to cut them into shape to fit the bottom of your goggles. If you're really concerned about your noggin', a helmet, goggles and custom fitted mesh mask can provide pretty much seamless cover from the front, while a shemagh can cover your neck and back of head. A good jacket and padded gloves are also good to have. No hit I've taken to somewhere I had covered in wool has ever hurt, though of course your field might have different weight/FPS restrictions.

    I can definitely relate to feeling out of shape after a game. Shots sting for a second or two, but muscles can ache for days. Squats will probably help.
     
  17. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 New Member

    130
    0
    I actually expected more indoor play, where I figured it wouldn't be that important. So I was surprised how much camouflage mattered- I figured it was just a fashion statement but it does seem to effect gameplay a lot.

    I'm actually partly color blind. I forgot the medical term for it, but I don't see a distinction as well between red and green. Some scientists theorize the trait persists perhaps because it made some individuals better hunters and less confused by camouflage.

    Playing on sunday seemed to be OK, it wasn't intimidating because there was a smaller, more casual crowd. I also wasn't bothered too much playing with kids- their dads were there and took care of them and they were well behaved and seemed to be some of the safest players, even if they tended to hang back. The few older teens were the ones that worried me about safety, one blew a small hole in a guy's hydration pack by having his finger on the trigger while we walked to a game. The kids, on the other hand, were usually with their dads and their dads seemed to have some firearms experience.

    The range (Combat City) does have good safety rules, such as requiring magazines to come out of the guns after a game, and not allowing dry firing or magazines in guns at the staging areas. I still kept my safety glasses on all day, it just seems like the smart thing to do.

    It does seem that airsoft could be a huge money pit- that's something I need to avoid as I live on a relatively fixed income. I need to find a way for it to be fun without costing too much.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  18. Lefse

    Lefse Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    6,228
    1,840
    If you're not afraid of a technical challenge you could buy a "boneyard" gun and fix it up, you could have a working AEG for 50 bucks.
     
  19. Unsilenced

    Unsilenced Member

    103
    0
    San Diego
    Couldn't that require parts, though? Sounds like a risk if you don't already have a supply of spares and/or an extensive tool set.


    EVIKE does offer the "Open Box" deal, which are items that have been returned, but have passed inspection and been test fired. They might not be pretty, and you don't really know what you're getting, but you've got 14 days to make sure it's not a lemon when you get it, which you generally don't get with a boneyard item.


    http://www.evike.com/products/58485/
    http://www.evike.com/products/52206/

    The downside I see here is not knowing what you're gonna get, and thus having no idea what kind of batteries, magazine, etc you'll need. A smart charger is something you should definitely get no matter what, but other than that, you need to wait for it, which means 1) an additional cost you can't predict and 2) that you might use up a lot of that 14 days before confirming the gun's reliability.


    There's always used guns too. Usually not as marked down as those open box items, but often they come with the previous owner's upgrades and accessories. As with all used goods shopping, patience, timing and research is vital there.
     
  20. misterT

    misterT Member

    399
    13
    South Bend
    if you are on a tight budget I would suggest your local 'Good Will' store or "Salvation Army" to look for used camos. I have seen them at these places especially during hunting season for cheap; We are talking $15-$20 for the jacket and pants. If you have an Ebay account you can find some real bargains on used airsoft guns. Some of them need a little work other ones work fine. the seller just got a new one for Christmas or birthday and does not want the old one. or they quit playing and are just selling it all off. The least expensive one I got was an ICS HK MP5 ( one of the better ones) in like new condition for $70, With two magazines, battery, and smart charger!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016