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Kalmar
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Posted: 3/4/2010 1:51:18 PM
[Last Edit: 3/10/2010 10:34:50 PM by Kalmar]
This thread is intended to be an informative resource discussing the practical use of airsoft as related to actual firearms training. Although its recreational background will be touched upon, this thread IS NOT about playing dress up commando or ridiculing those who do. If you care to do that, please make your own thread and DO NOT trash this one. Now with that said let's start with the basics:

What is Airsoft?

Airsoft is a recreational military-simulation game similar to Paintball in that two or more opposing teams compete against one another to complete a certain objective or eliminate the opposing team. There are many distinctions between the two, the most notable being that Airsoft guns shoot small plastic bb's rather than larger paintballs to hit the target. Beyond that, the differences become largely subjective and are the source of much debate between the players of each. For that reason we will only focus on the specifics of Airsoft right now.

How do you play Airsoft?

Again, this is no different than Paintball or any other game of tag for that matter. Games can be made to reflect real world scenarios or can be made just for fun. More often than not, you are eliminated from the game once hit by the opposing teams fire. One might question how players know when they've been hit, or know when they've hit someone else without the use of paint to mark the target. The answer to this is simple: You call your own hits, and expect others to do the same. Airsoft is a game of honor and personal integrity is a must if you expect to be playing for very long. Believe me, you know when you've been hit... and when you don't call yourself out, you can expect a long string of bb's headed your way until you do. Cheaters are quickly outcast from the Airsoft community, if you feel the need to 'wipe' as they call it, I suggest you go play paintball.

If you do still feel like playing Airsoft for a hobby, the best way to get started is to Google 'Airsoft' and your local area. This will turn up playing fields, teams and local forums in your area - these are the best people to talk to for just getting into it and they will more than likely be willing to offer much further advice and guidance on joining the sport.


Now with that out of the way, let's get down to business and discuss how Airsoft can be used as an effective training tool in bettering your real world tactics and firearms proficiency. We can do that in three ways:

Force on Force - Tactics/Small unit training
Target Practice - Indoor/Close range shooting drills
Weapon Handling - Reloading/Malfunction clearing drills

MAKE NO MISTAKE. Airsoft is in no way a substitute for putting lead down range. It is only something by which you may compliment your live fire training. ARE WE CLEAR? Ok then, let's discuss these three ideas and then learn what you need to perform them. Later we we will go over information to help you devise your own training methods.

Force on Force Training

Simunitions are cool. They are also dangerous and extremely cost prohibitive. Whenever you take lethal weapons and convert them to fire less-lethal ammunition the potential for mishap is always present. Because of this, special training is needed. Simunitions are only available to MIL/LE, certified FX Instructors and Safety Officers are required to be present. Not to mention proper insurance, the cost of weapon conversions, safety equipment, and the price of ammo itself. Sim rounds cost an average 57-cents a shot, and are available only in crates of 1,000 rounds. 6mm plastic bb's on the other hand cost about $5 for a bag of 2,000 rounds.

You can see how Airsoft might provide a more practical tool for small unit training where cost, location or safety is the issue. It's important to keep in mind that Airsoft does in fact have several inherent limitations when used in this effect. Airsoft bb's are light and often effected by strong winds. Therefore it's best used with indoor training environments. Airsoft bb's typically travel anywhere from 400-600 fps depending on make and model of the gun. This can be tooled up when used by departments or units not concerned with liability issues. This will also effect the maximum range which is usually 50 to 75+ yards.



The benefits however often displace the imperfections when using Airsoft for this type of training. Airsoft guns are both cheap and safe. There is no danger whatsoever of an Airsoft gun chambering a live round of ammunition. Yet still Airsoft guns are almost 100% identical in feel and operation to the real thing. In fact, the Army has already begun integration of Airsoft training for future deployments (see photo.) They are an excellent choice for practicing force on force engagements where other means would be so impractical. Of course not everyone works for a Police department or the US Military so this information is of little application to you. That's where the next step comes in. Keep reading to find out more about...

Target Practice

Yes, simple target practice. Do I need to say more? Ammunition is expensive, and you can't do mag dumps in your living room. But the need to train is a constant. So why not practice on the cheap, in the comfort of your own home? If you carry concealed, and want to work on your draw or snap shot - you can easily obtain an inexpensive and accurate replica of your personal sidearm whether that be a Glock or Kimber - you will find them all being produced overseas and readily available to you. Most of these are what is known as "Gas Blow Back". As in the slide blows back like it would on the real thing. These are not electrically operated like most rifle replicas but work on compressed gas stored along with the bb's in the magazine. Manual of Arms is the exact same as your "real steel" firearm. I will get into both of these topics later, for now lets concentrate on your training.

It's easy to set up some targets around the house and practice whatever drills you find necessary. Shooting airsoft pistols inside the house poses no risk to walls or furniture as long as you take reasonable caution when firing them indoors. i.e. Don't set up a target in front of your plasma screen and don't go around shooting with others inside the house when they are not wearing proper eye protection.



Under 10 yards the difference in velocity will be hardly noticeable. Once again Airsoft provides a cheap and safe way to practice on your own time and at your own leisure however you see fit. Besides, who wouldn't like to plink in their garage? The greatest advantage of this training is to become very familiar with your weapon, which brings us to the last and most important point...

Weapon Handling

The key to being proficient with your firearm is being proficient with your firearm. In other words, PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. The more you handle and become familiar with your weapon - both in terms of feel and operation - the more comfortable you will be when the time comes to actually use it.

We already talked about using gas operated airsoft pistols to practice skills on those, did you know the same is true for your AR-15? You are probably used to seeing the cheap see through M4's at Walmart or the low cost imported AEG's that sound like an electric vibrator. Both of which can be used for this type training but are no where near optimal. Today we have something that few outside the Airsoft community have ever heard about. Only now is word getting round since they've been in the news with the ATF and all (believe me I've got to say a thing or two about that later). I'm talking about Gas-In-Mag M4 series Gas Blowback Rifles, or GBB's for short.



These rifles both look and operate very closely to the real thing. For that reason they've come under legal scrutiny which I will address later. What you need to know right now is that these guns are quite literally the perfect training tool for when you're not at the range.

The manual of arms is IDENTICAL to that of a real AR. That even includes MALFUNCTION CLEARING you can perform as well. So in the same way you practiced pistol drills at home you can now do the same for your rifle too! Of course these aren't the only Airsoft guns out there, so lets dig a little deeper shall we....


What are different kinds of Airsoft rifles?

There are three main types of Airsoft rifles: AEG, GBB, and Classic.

Classic's are what started the hobby. Stemming from Japan in the early 90's, these guns look realistic - but operate in a manor much similar to paintball guns of the time. Classic's feed from a box magazine but used compressed CO2 or air tanks connected externally via a hose. It wasn't long before something else came along and took over the market and playing fields...

The most common of which now are AEG's or "Automatic Electric Gun". These come in the two forms - mid to high end import guns bought online, and lower end cheap toys you find at Walmart (Also called LPEG's or "Low Power Electric Guns"). Both of these electric guns use a mechanical gear boxes housed inside the receiver along with an electric motor mounted inside the pistol grip.



These are often very complicated to maintain or upgrade without extensive knowledge or experience in their operation. However they are cheap to buy, and cheap to run. Most Airsoft players ranging from the very first beginners to the oldest veteran players use AEG's because they are reliable and well established.

BUT THIS DOES NOT MAKE THEM SUITABLE FOR TRAINING

Airsoft AEG's in most cases are not dimensionally accurate to the gun they are replicating. You will find most AR type AEG's are wider than a real one and the magazines are thicker too. You will have difficulty with standard mag pouches and equipment, not to mention AEG's are incapable of fitting real buttstocks, grips, handguards, rails and other accessories. That is because the batteries must be stored there which often leads to a significant balance issue on the weapon.

Did I mention bb's spit out at you every time you change magazines? Or have you noticed the significant lag time between the trigger pull and the time the gun shoots?

Overall, AEG's make great skirmish guns if you're an Airsoft player... but horrible training guns if that is what you're looking for. Thankfully there is an answer:

GAS BLOW BACK RIFLES

Praise Jesus. These airsoft guns are amazing... both in terms of design and operation, they are incredibly accurate and very useful when it comes to practical training.



"Gas Blow Back" again refers to the power source and method of operation. Gas and bb's are stored in the magazine which has a valve on the back, and gas port on the top.



Normally the hammer inside your AR would strike the firing pin, detonate the round and start the cycle of operation to chamber the next bullet. There is no firing pin inside the GBB M4. Instead there is a valve knocker located inside the lower receiver just in front of the hammer.

When the trigger is pulled releasing the hammer, it strikes this knocker which then depresses the valve on the back of the magazine. Whatever gas you are using (Green gas, aka Propane or Duster gas aka hf134a) will then be vented through the port on the top of the magazine. This port is mated to another gas port located on the underside of the bolt.



Inside the bolt the gas will be sent in two directions; First, the gas is sent forward through the bolt nozzle into the chamber where the bb sits inside the barrel. This gas will then propel the bb through the barrel and out the gun. Next (or at the same time depending whether it's a negative or positive pressure system), gas will be sent towards the rear of the bolt into an expansion chamber insdie the bolt carrier. This expansion sends the bolt carrier back creating the momentum move the bolt back as well.. both are pushed forward again by the buffer spring, thus chambering a new round and readying the process again.

It's important to note that the gas from the mag is being vented the whole time the hammer is down. Only being stopped when the bolt carrier pushes the hammer down. That is why you sometimes see gas being vented out the ejection port when the bolt is reciprocating. (There are fixes for this and not all guns are like that.)

Well, that's the entire system in a nutshell. It's quite difficult to explain without having you pull the trigger yourself. Western Arms, the company who first developed this system is said to have spent over 1Million USD on R&D in order to most accurately replicate the cycling of a real Colt M4. Although I'm not sure what they spent all that money on, they basically copied the entire gun but changed only the gas system to make it shoot plastic bb's instead!


What are the different brands of GBB rifles?

First you must understand the two different types of GBB M4's: WA type and WE type.

WA, short for Western Arms, was the first GBB M4 developed and released in Japan back around 2007. Since then, there have been many other manufacturers jumping on the GBB bandwagon. Virtually all of whom have copied the WA either directly or indirectly in some way. The Airsoft industry is notorious for it's 'clones' of real firearm accessories, however the same is true of Airsoft guns themselves. There are many companies producing clones of the original WA M4, all cheaper, some even better than the original. However, for all practical purposes they are considered "WA type's". 99% of their parts are interchangeable while upgrades and accessories for one will fit the rest.

WE, short for WETTI TECH, is the second type of GBB M4. Designed after the WA, but implementing a modified Escort type gas system similar to that in use by many Classic Airsoft guns. Some consider this system to be more reliable, although much less realistic. There is one surefire easy way to tell what kind of GBB you are looking at: If it's a WE, it always has a big ass ugly brass tube fake "bullet" running down the chamber.



From a training stand point, this is extremely obnoxious.

WA type guns feature an open chamber and realistic bolt... Double stacked mags that are loaded via feed ramps into the barrel. The WE uses a single stack mag that pops bb's into this brass tube one after the other.

With the WA, you can reload - chamber check, and clear if necessary. Not possible on the WE. In fact, for all practical purposes, the WE indicates loaded ALL THE TIME. Again, not very practical if training is your goal.

I must say, WE's are relatively cheap.. and there are lots of them. They even offer a SCAR, KAC PDW and soon an M14 in GBB. They achieve this however by utilizing the same brass tube, and the same trigger pack and the same simple operating system on all these guns. It's essentially swapping out the body for the same motor in each rifle.

WA on the other hand was specifically designed to replicate the AR platform. For that reason, I believe they are best suited to actually training for the AR. It also so happens that WA, being the first to market, also has the broadest user base and most aftermarket support of any GBB. That means CHEAP guns and CHEAP parts.

So lets go over the different WA types and the differences between them:

WESTERN ARMS - The first to introduce the GBB M4 and the standard for which all others are compared to. This gun was initially marketed only towards Japan. This meant the gun sold with a plastic receiver that was 2mm shorter than the real thing. Internal parts were rust proof zinc alloy also known as Pot metal! However this was rarely an issue, the gun was designed around Japanese 1Joule energy limits. The magazines while high quality, were only capable of holding the lower pressure Duster gas (hf134a).

This made the gun perfectly suited for its intended market. Unfortunately when people began using the gun stateside, along with higher pressure Green gas (propane), the magazines started to leak and accelerated parts wear began to occur. Being an expensive gun to import, around $600 at the time, they earned a bad reputation for all the problems occurring. Of course, if people followed directions and stuck only to Duster gas there wouldn't have been any.

Nevertheless you will always hear bad things when asking about the original WA here in America. It is actually one of the highest quality GBB rifles if used appropriately but the cost is also priced accordingly. You can find them for sale used or buy new for around $450-500 dollars. Though I would also not recommend this for your first purchase.

INOKATSU - Inokatsu was the first manufacturer to 'copy' the WA design. They are known for their very high quality and very expensive machine gun replicas and ads filled with scantily clad women. Their take on the WA ended up being the most accurate replica to date. - Or at least that's what people will tell you. Truth is the Inokatsu receivers are actually 2mm longer than the real thing. While their fire control parts are the same, the Inokatsu bolt introduced some changes to enhance reliability. Being that the receiver is 4mm longer than the original WA, it is important to note that Inokatsu bolt carriers will not work with WA receivers - However an adapter can be obtained to fit WA bolt carriers into Inokatsu receivers.

Inokatsu is the most expensive of the WA types, although much like real AR's, you pay for what you get. If you want a top quality training gun and have $900 burning a hole in your pocket, this is the gun for you.

PRIME - Prime is not actually a GBB manufacturer but rather makes parts for them. One such part is the Prime Upper and Lower Receiver set for the WA type GBB series. These receivers are 1:1 scale and identical to the real thing. Several people in fact have mated a real AR-15 upper receiver to the Prime Airsoft lower. The barrel nut of the Prime upper is also threaded to accept real RIS systems and hand guards. Being that this receiver set is 2mm longer than the WA, and 2mm shorter than the Inokatsu.. it requires it's own length bolt carrier as well. WA BCG's can use an adapter while Ino's can not.

The Prime receiver set is top quality airsoft product. Fully CNC'd billet aluminum you will pay about $500 for the set alone.

G&P - The PERFECT gas blow back gun for beginners and experts alike. High quality, reliable and infinitely customizable. The G&P "WOC" guns come ready to go right out of the box, no upgrades needed and will last a very very long long time. The only troubling bit about the the "Western Arms Original Custom's" is there are just so damn many of them! Seriously, if you can think of an AR variant rifle.. whether that be a Block 1 SOPMOD, or Stag 2L, or Knights SR-15, or a Patriot Pistol.. there's a WOC version of it. These complete rifles cost an average $500, but when it comes to Airsoft - especially GBB's - that's $500 well spent.

AGM - AGM was the first official clone of the WA. Full metal receiver, WA spec parts with reinforced magazines capable of holding high pressure Green gas. These retailed at $125 and were an absolute steal! For 1/5 the price of the original WA you got all the same and more. While they did have some of the same issues, there was nothing that couldn't be easily fixed or replaced as parts wore out (I'll discuss this later as well.)

JING GONG - JG, a clone of a clone, produced an even cheaper $80 WA type GBB rifle.

Both AGM and JG were raided by Chinese officials. Supply of these guns were cut off but they are now beginning to find their way into the market from various sources again.

OTHER CLONES - There are many other clones of the WA system popping up all the time for cheaper and cheaper prices. Keep in mind you are often paying a reduced price for cheap labor, non-existent quality control and questionable business practices. If that doesn't bother you, there shouldn't be any problem finding an endless supply of these online.

BUILD YOUR OWN! - Yes, build your own! GBB rifles have come a long way since first being introduced a couple years ago. The market is now flooded with them. Upgrade parts, accessories, you name it, all available for CHEAP online at various retailers.

Building your own GBB is much like building your own AR, it's the cheapest and most effective route if you know what you want and know what you're doing. However for a novice or someone just getting into it, I would suggest first buying one of the cheaper models to build and base your gun off of.


Why is the magazine so important?

The magazine is the heart of the Gas Blow Back rifle's operation. It's also the gas tank that feeds the beast. Both bb's (ammunition) and gas (propellant) are stored in the magazine.

Unlike your typical stamped steel USGI mag with a simple spring and follower, GBB rifle magazines contain both this - and high pressure storage vessels to hold the gas along with fill and release valves necessary to cycle the weapon. This makes them both heavy and delicate. It's important to find a good quality magazine that feeds well, and holds pressure without leaking.

On average GBB magazines weigh about 1 pound each, making them very close to a real fully loaded 30 round mag. They are also the same size and dimensions. Depending on whether this mag is steel, aluminum or pot metal, it may weigh more or less.

There are also different designs of magazines: The original WA type and its clones, as well as different aftermarket versions too.

Western Arms Standard - The first GBB rifle magazine for the first GBB rifle. The original WA magazine was only intended to hold Duster gas. Propane will hold, but leak over time.. and eventually blow out your o-rings. Expensive, but very high quality - $120 each. (2 year old pries, probably much less now)

Western Arms Delta - Same as original but sold with the Delta series WA guns. This magazine lacks the bolt lock feature on the last round. Duster gas only. ~ $80 each.

Western Arms Super HD - Latest Western Arms version. Very high quality, and capable of holding Green gas. (Not sure on price.)

One thing I must say about the WA produced magazines: Their quality is out standing. These are some of the most consistent feeding mags out there - gas feeding that is. You will get the most steady velocities using these magazines.

AGM - Clone of the WA original type magazine. Made of pot metal and noticeably heavier. Capable of holding Green gas though sometimes inconsistent. ~ $50

Other Clones - There are many other clones out there now that I am not familiar with. Some are pretty cheap, I suggest doing your research before buying, you never know what you might get.

GHK - Some of the best aftermarket mags yet. These feature an alternate design that is lighter, stronger, and more consistent. It is also capable of being modified to fit real Pmag shells, although this does require some extensive work. ~ $50

Pro Win - Considered vapor ware from the start, these have finally come out to much praise. CNC'd from aluminum these are supposed to be both affordable and AWESOME.

If you wind up buying some of the cheaper clone magazines, the most important thing for you to do BEFORE USING THEM is take them apart and thoroughly lube each of the valves and o-rings with silicone oil. This will help prevent any leaks from occurring and also make sure you got everything you were supposed to.

Magazines from GHK and Pro Win can be abused more so than others. I wouldn't drop a WA type on the concrete - or your foot - and most certainly not the hard wood floors. Just be aware of what your doing and take reasonable care of these magazines and they will do the same for you.


Where can I buy these GBB rifles?

When buying Airsoft products from overseas it's always best to use known big name distributors - It's even better when you can buy guns and parts domestically. Avoid smaller outlets when possible, and ALWAYS do your research before you buy.. both on the product AND the seller. With that said, you can't go wrong with any of the following:

http://redwolfairsoft.com/
http://www.tokyo-model.com.hk/

Local retailers include:

http://evike.com/
http://airsoftextreme.com/
http://airsoftgi.com/
http://www.kapowwe.com/


That's it for now, I'm sure we will be going over much more as this thread progresses. If you have any questions or need clarification on any subject don't hesitate to ask!
DasRonin
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Posted: 3/4/2010 2:14:32 PM
I will toss out the first question:

With the broad selection of replica M4s... how does one confidently select a rugged & reliable model?

recommendations... specific models?
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Madcap72
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Posted: 3/4/2010 2:56:14 PM
When I was in the Marines my buddies and I bought airsoft pistols as a joke just to blast each other. Our Gunny was on duty and caught us, next thing we knew we were in flacks and kevlars stacking on doors taking down rooms of the kids drinking under age. Next thing you know EVERYONE in the platoon had them, and we routinely trained in our off time. It was fun, which made it easier to learn, and I contribute some of that to my success in not gaining extra holes in Iraq.

That's why if properly instructed, and monitored and corrected while training with air soft, it's an invaluable tool. When everyone gets on the "Hate the airsofters" threads I just chuckle, because a lot of that handling transfers over to REAL weapons, and with force on force training another skill transfers over, fast twitch reactions to pulling the trigger when the sights are on target. Think about that for a moment.
Kalmar
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Posted: 3/4/2010 3:01:43 PM
[Last Edit: 3/4/2010 8:24:23 PM by Kalmar]

Pvt_Becker
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Posted: 3/4/2010 3:12:24 PM
Originally Posted By DasRonin:
I will toss out the first question:

With the broad selection of replica M4s... how does one confidently select a rugged & reliable model?

recommendations... specific models?


Kalmar
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Posted: 3/4/2010 3:29:04 PM

Originally Posted By Pvt_Becker:
Originally Posted By DasRonin:
I will toss out the first question:

With the broad selection of replica M4s... how does one confidently select a rugged & reliable model?

recommendations... specific models?



Getting to that, hang on...

Echo2
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Posted: 3/4/2010 3:43:21 PM
I personally think they are a fine training aid.

I use them rather extensively in my CCW classes.....drawing from concealment is difficult for a novice.....I prefer they drop an airsoft.

The weight on some of the better models are very close to the real thing. We do some drills with them to simulate various situations.

However....I have aquired 2 of the RAM Glock variants to use for more advanced training. They use a 43 cal rubber ball.....and are blow-back models.

I have some AS's that are painted up with different colors to show "parts"....and some painted to demo sight pictures.

If you have the novice students become familar with the controls and sight pic while acctually pulling the trigger.....this is an invaluable skillset to have before you goto a hot situation on the range....it is also a confidence builder...when they can hit a "q" target at 5 yrds.
Kalmar
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Posted: 3/4/2010 4:35:29 PM
[Last Edit: 3/4/2010 8:27:07 PM by Kalmar]

7mm-08
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Posted: 3/4/2010 5:07:40 PM
Cool, thanks for the write up.

Being CHEAP & CLUELESS when it came to airsoft my son & my self bought the Aftermath AEG AK & AR variants. Okay for us dicking about w/ the other neighbor hood kids shooting Wally World & Dick's airsoft crap. So far I haven't broken it beyond shooting but the plastic lower cracked when trying to load a magazine when a BB was stuck in the magwell. AS for spec, its no where close. I'll mount my M3 light to the rail & it rattles about. The quad-rail fore grip needs a zip tie to hold the upper & lower together..

After reading through this & checking out the local indoor arena the GBB seem to be the way to go. The other day I noticed 3 local cops taking on about a dozen kids in the indoor arena. It was kinda cool to see the cops w/ sound tactics-shoot & move, transitions from long gun to side arm while taking down the 13 &16yo airsoft studs.

7mm
Kalmar
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Posted: 3/4/2010 5:29:46 PM
[Last Edit: 3/4/2010 8:29:31 PM by Kalmar]

Kalmar
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Posted: 3/4/2010 5:55:23 PM
Next up: Legality issues and ATF Special Agent Fucktard.

Then only to combine all these posts into one super thread at the top
Kalmar
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Posted: 3/4/2010 8:30:54 PM
[Last Edit: 3/4/2010 8:51:00 PM by Kalmar]
What are the legal issues regarding GBB's and the ATF?

There are no legal issues concerning these Airsoft guns, just a bunch of bureaucratic bullshit and ATF agents without a clue. You might have heard the news lately about the Custom's seizure of 30 "Machineguns" in a Tacoma port last week. Truth is they are actually WE M4 GBB airsoft guns. This topic has been beaten to death lately so I'm not going into much detail here. The important thing to realize is that while GBB airsoft guns may LOOK real they most certainly ARE NOT REAL. The following pics compare a real Colt M4 to various airsoft GBB replicas. Note the differences in each, but also the similarities as well.








If you're observant you'd see that the WE is the LEAST REALISTIC of the GBB's compared to the WA and Inokatsu versions. Did you notice the hammer is too small and in the complete wrong location to strike a firing pin - Yet these are the ones being investigated? Yeah that makes a lot of sense...
BattletweeteR
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Posted: 3/4/2010 9:05:40 PM
is there an airsoft group in the houston area that i could observe one weekend ? i have been kicking aorund the idea of getting into airsoft or paint ball.
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Kalmar
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Posted: 3/4/2010 9:07:41 PM

Originally Posted By BattletweeteR:
is there an airsoft group in the houston area that i could observe one weekend ? i have been kicking aorund the idea of getting into airsoft or paint ball.

Talk to these guys: http://houstonairsoft.com/ Biggest airsoft community in the state. You can go watch them play, but they are gonna throw some gear and a gun at you and expect you to hold the line too.

great308
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Posted: 3/7/2010 10:50:47 PM
Airsoft is the biggest part of training for me. I got into airsoft as a kid for fun but have recently (last 2 years) started using it for training cause of ammo prices. I also am about 45mins from my local shooting area which I am blessed with cause on weekdays there is no one there and I can run whatever shoot drills I need. Besides that though I noticed that practicing the Magpul and other shooting drills with airsoft transferred over to real shooting really nicely. My airsoft practice made my live fire practice faster and better. My brother and I run airsoft games every other week and most use it for fun that come by my brother and I use it for training drills while playing.

I am running a Systema PTW which gives me the cheapness of running a battery, having power, and having to hit the bolt release on mag changes. Mags are also real size and weight of loaded 30 round mags.

I am looking into a GBB rifle but am waiting for the Magpul Masada AEG to come out and there is talk of them releasing a GBB drop in kit for it a little bit after they release it. The info on it from shotshow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-soAklTKqDg&feature=fvw

Things to keep in mind about airsoft though is that there are ways to play that keep you alive in a game but will probably get you dead in real life so just remember that when going to any local put on airsoft games.
Sinister
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Posted: 3/8/2010 4:28:09 PM
[Last Edit: 3/8/2010 4:29:34 PM by Sinister]
My college freshman nephew (my brother's eldest son) showed me his airsoft M4 and I was amazed at the weight, balance, and feel. It even has an Aimpoint-type red-dot.

I set up a multiple-target course on one of our club flat ranges and handed him my mid-length carbine and several loaded magazines.

He already knew the 4-Rules for gun Handling (taught by his dad a career police SWAT and sniper officer). I was VERY impressed with his safe gun handling, trigger finger awareness, and ability to shoot well with transitions. Mag changes were new to him, but that wasn't as important as watching him safely drive the gun and his manipulation, target engagements, and transitions.

I am now a believer. His habit transfers gave me confidence that he handles carbines better than about 99% of the general population.
Callahan
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Posted: 3/8/2010 8:16:16 PM
Interesting...
BCM the cure for the common Colt
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AustinWolv
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Posted: 3/9/2010 2:09:23 AM
[Last Edit: 3/9/2010 3:16:44 AM by AustinWolv]
G&G - The PERFECT gas blow back gun for beginners and experts alike. High quality, reliable and infinitely customizable. The G&G "WOC


Correction: G&P makes GBBr (gas blowback rifles), specifically the WOC series as you stated. However, G&G is still doing AEGs, some with simulated bolt cycling for cosmetic appearance but not useful for practice like the GBBr's out there.

Nice write-up otherwise; very organized and concise, yet informative.
m4a1lover
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Posted: 3/9/2010 3:58:50 AM
Corection:G&G and G&P are differant G&P makes the WOC not G&G
Puppy
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Posted: 3/9/2010 9:39:38 AM
Interesting topic, I am an airsofter, I enjoy the hell out of it & this old guy gets a lot of badly needed exercise trying to keep up with all of the young guys running around the various fields, woods & warehouses that we play at, especially while playing 8+ hour games with 70+ other people with 2 feet of snow on the ground or even worse slogging around all day in ankle deep mud, heck I'm getting tired just thinking about it.

Anyway I think some of the skill sets do transfer from airsoft to real steel counterparts, as the OP already mentioned the force on force as well as CQB, small unit tactics, radio etiquette, manual of arms, shouldering & quickly acquiring sight picture on your target all transfer rather nicely, as well as the constant magazine changes, etc.

However I think that some bad habits can also be developed, I think the biggest of the bad habits that can potentially develop is that what is considered "cover" in airsoft & what is actually "cover" with real steel are two very different things, which of course could be a deadly mistake in a real shooting encounter, another bad habit that I think can potentially develop is muzzle discipline or lack thereof with airsoft weaponry.

But I think that as long as you keep those things in mind while participating in airsoft events you can minimize the likely-hood of developing those bad habits.

Oh btw the airsoft rifle that I use is an AEG, a KWA SR5 to be exact, they are simply more reliable than GGB's especially in cold weather & KWA's about as close to a PTW (Professional Training Weapon) as you can get without shelling out over a grand for a real PTW.

great308
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Posted: 3/9/2010 3:04:04 PM
Originally Posted By Puppy:
Interesting topic, I am an airsofter, I enjoy the hell out of it & this old guy gets a lot of badly needed exercise trying to keep up with all of the young guys running around the various fields, woods & warehouses that we play at, especially while playing 8+ hour games with 70+ other people with 2 feet of snow on the ground or even worse slogging around all day in ankle deep mud, heck I'm getting tired just thinking about it.

Anyway I think some of the skill sets do transfer from airsoft to real steel counterparts, as the OP already mentioned the force on force as well as CQB, small unit tactics, radio etiquette, manual of arms, shouldering & quickly acquiring sight picture on your target all transfer rather nicely, as well as the constant magazine changes, etc.

However I think that some bad habits can also be developed, I think the biggest of the bad habits that can potentially develop is that what is considered "cover" in airsoft & what is actually "cover" with real steel are two very different things, which of course could be a deadly mistake in a real shooting encounter, another bad habit that I think can potentially develop is muzzle discipline or lack thereof with airsoft weaponry.

But I think that as long as you keep those things in mind while participating in airsoft events you can minimize the likely-hood of developing those bad habits.

Oh btw the airsoft rifle that I use is an AEG, a KWA SR5 to be exact, they are simply more reliable than GGB's especially in cold weather & KWA's about as close to a PTW (Professional Training Weapon) as you can get without shelling out over a grand for a real PTW.



I agree with this post completely. There is also a ability to dodge airsoft rounds from far away if its a more stock gun which knowing and exploiting this can cause training scars if you really get into airsoft.

I agree with the KWA line of M4's. My buddy had one and it was pretty darn close in reliability (I would say even more reliable cause you can use it in rain without fear of frying electronics) and surpassed my PTW in accuracy.
Kalmar
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Posted: 3/9/2010 4:20:48 PM

Originally Posted By AustinWolv:
Correction: G&P makes GBBr (gas blowback rifles), specifically the WOC series as you stated. However, G&G is still doing AEGs, some with simulated bolt cycling for cosmetic appearance but not useful for practice like the GBBr's out there.

You're right! Thanks for catching that, will edit the correct information.

Originally Posted By great308:
I am running a Systema PTW which gives me the cheapness of running a battery, having power, and having to hit the bolt release on mag changes. Mags are also real size and weight of loaded 30 round mags.

I am looking into a GBB rifle but am waiting for the Magpul Masada AEG to come out and there is talk of them releasing a GBB drop in kit for it a little bit after they release it. The info on it from shotshow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-soAklTKqDg&feature=fvw

Things to keep in mind about airsoft though is that there are ways to play that keep you alive in a game but will probably get you dead in real life so just remember that when going to any local put on airsoft games.

Personally I feel Systema PTW's are great... if you're a skirmisher. I mean that they are are extremely reliable, and offer several distinct advantages over normal AEG's for training purposes (trigger response, bolt catch, real dimensions & accessories, etc.) However I do feel the cost/benefit weighs significantly in favor of Gas Blowbacks in terms of the needs of most users here. If you're a regular airsoft player with some cash to spend and a preference for realism - Or a LE department looking for consistent and reliable training aids - I don't think you can go wrong with a PTW.... But for the average Joe looking to train on the AR-15 as cheaply and accurately as possible, the GBBr's have twice to offer for half the price.

I also agree with everyone so far on developing certain training scars when it comes to airsoft. Again keep in mind the majority of this guide has been geared towards those who will most likely never step foot on an airsoft field. You need not worry so much about tactics over technique when you're just practicing transitions in the back yard. For those that do partake in force on force training using airsoft, it is vital to recognize it's limitations... and not to become complacent in those or oblivious to their implications.
AustinWolv
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Posted: 3/9/2010 5:21:21 PM
Personally I feel Systema PTW's are great... if you're a skirmisher.

Agreed.
Another option for someone wanting to go the AEG PTW route that is cheaper is the Celsius platform, which is a copy of the Systema PTW. Uses compatible components with the Systema.

But for the average Joe looking to train on the AR-15 as cheaply and accurately as possible, the GBBr's have twice to offer for half the price.
Agreed again. GBBrs have more to offer, for the reasons outlined in your guide above. In terms of reloads, bolt catch and manipulation, the feedback of sending the bolt home, the recoil (albeit not meeting one's real rifle) feedback and putting sights on target, the GBBr is going to be more advantageous than the PTW. One of the problems with PTW or any AEG is the ability to just keep the rifle right on target like a laser with no compensation for recoil and muzzle rise.

I'm no shooting expert, just commenting to help differentiate on why a GBBr is going to be more useful for the individual shooter than an AEG for practice. Skirmishing is a different story, but not exclusive either. As with anything, there are pros and cons.


great308
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Posted: 3/10/2010 4:02:42 PM
[Last Edit: 3/10/2010 4:07:41 PM by great308]
Totally agree with both you guys

I tired skimming through to see if Propane was mentioned and it was but did you state anything about the propane adapters you need to run it and that you have to put a small dab of silicone oil in each spurt to keep rubber parts lubed? I know Propane boosted my GBB training cause it was just so darn expensive to get green gas and propane is just a couple bucks for twice as much. A side note I did notice that Ozark trail and some other off brands did not do so well with some of my GBB's. Some of them have unlisted additives that I found out that don't do some good things for the guns over a long term period. I find the Coleman to be the best power and no side effects from additives.

AustinWolv
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Posted: 3/10/2010 5:07:09 PM
Ah, great catch. A propane adapter is crucial to staying low-cost. Pure silicone oil from the local R/C hobby store (look for 10W-20W R/C car shock oil) is all that needs to be added in, but I keep it to a couple drops every 6-8 mag fills. YMMV, but I don't like the oil getting too abundant internally and especially finding its' way onto the hop rubber.
skywarp989
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Posted: 3/10/2010 7:15:47 PM
So what's the best GBB Glock (19/23) copy out there? I think this would be great for practicing drawing and shooting from concealment, and it could be done in my apartment when I can't get to the range as often as I'd like.
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