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Advice on first weapon

  • 14-07-2012 11:49pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 3,432 Kashkai


    My two nephews are big into airsoft and I've had some practice firing their guns, a M4 carbine and a G36. The latter gun feels a lot more solid and lifelike compared to the M4 and the M4 has broken down several times. I'd like to get an airsoft gun myself mainly for target shooting in my back garden ( I'm in the countryside with open fields all round so no danger of a stray pellet hitting anyone).

    What would you recommend as a good first gun? The G36 or is there something better? My nephews bought their guns in MIA in Blanchardstown. Are they any good with back up service, competitive pricing etc? What are good makes? What to look out for? Etc etc. I had thought I'd just get a pistol but my nephews reckon I'd be happier with an assault rifle style of gun.

    I'm 43 so I don't know if I'd end up skirmishing (too old and slow:o) but you never know.

    Thanks


Comments

  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 2,589 Mod ✭✭✭✭ KonFusion


    Hi Dave.

    Congrats on your first step into the world of airsoft.

    Firstly I wouldn't refer to an airsoft device as a 'weapon'. A weapon usually implies something which has a purpose of inflicting damage or harm. An airsoft gun is not a weapon.

    There are many different brands of G36 and M4. JG G36, KWA G36, G&G M4, Classic Army M4 etc.

    Some brands/makes of airsoft gun are considered better or worse than others.

    Two airsoft guns usually regarded as good starters are the JG G36C (JG standing for Jing Gong- The brand name) or a G&G Raider.

    Try searching the 'Airsoft Questions' sub-forum. You'll find questions similar to yours have been asked a great many times.

    I've never bought an AEG (a three-letter acronym for automatic electric gun), from MIA, however I can reccommend Hobby Airsoft.

    Good luck with your search.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,432 Kashkai


    Thanks for that. No offence intended describing them as guns. Just a noob showing how little he knows:o

    My main priority in buying an air soft rifle would be reliability. I'd rather spend some extra money than buy a cheaper version which would cause me grief. Spare parts back up is also a must. I've learned that from my main hobby, ie radio controlled planes where you can buy cheaper models but if you crash, you can't get spare parts and you end up binning the whole plane.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,048 OzCam


    Never too old, never too slow.

    Older is wiser (usually).

    Slow is not necessarily a problem either, just ask Tank. He's a bit slow around corners, but you seriously don't want to be standing in front of him when he lets rip with whatever howitzers he has mounted this week.

    Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,040 ✭✭✭ Southern Dandy


    Hey Dave, Yeah generally the more expensive means better quality but some of the cheaper brands can perform better than there expensive counter parts. Every body here more than likely varies on opinion about what is the best brand for instance mine is KWA another might hate that brand and like G&P it is what it is.

    But if you want quality and reliability then only one brand has a consistently good rep and is more a less loved by all and that's Tokyo Marui. They can be expensive but its worth it if what you want is reliability.

    Now if all you want to do is plinking then consider a bolt action rifle with a scope, if you want to skirmish then a AEG (auto electric gun) is your best option. Then if you want some more realism Gas blowback rifles are the way to go, closest thing to reel steel you will get with regards recoil and field stripping. Great fun they are but are generally more expensive and require more maintenance which is actually quite cool.

    Id imagine a lot hobbies will transfer to airsoft with regards how you approach them i.e researching brands, models, upgrades etc, research the brand you have picked and don't hesitate to post on airsoft questions if you have any queries. I always use Airsofteire as my primary dealer and can't recommend them enough so have a nosey on the website as they have a nice selection for you to drool over.

    Welcome to the sport dude and prepare you bank balance for heavy hits every now and again but it's worth every penny.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,372 War Machine 539


    I have to second Konfusion on the JG G36c. They are workhorses. Most sites use them as they're rental AEG because they just do not break. They are the most reliable AEG out there and a great place to start.

    On a side note you are not too old. Not all skirmishes require vigorous sprinting. You can set the pace.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,765 ✭✭✭ Stercus Accidit


    Pick out a gun you like the look of and chances are there is a manufacturer who makes a decent version of it.

    My friend has a JG g36c with a broken cocking handle and jammed selector, so they aren't invincible. They are tough, but so are many brands.

    If you like m4's, there are dozens of manufacturers, including Jing Gong who do them, just pick a gun you like from a film or game, and ask what is a good model of it here and get that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,160 Inari


    Generally speaking, a gun is a gun. Yes some are better than others, but better than what? Better at what? It is rare to have a gun that is better than everything else at everything, and competitively priced. Hell, it's rare if not unheard of full stop, let alone factoring in price.

    Airsoft is a game based solely on looks - if we didn't care about the replication side of things, our gear would resemble something closer to a paintball marker...but we do care, a lot. Therefore just browse guns you like the look of, and try your best to get out to a site or shop - some guns look great, but are horrifically uncomfortable for you. For example, I absolutely adore the classic look of the Thompson M1A1...but it is just plain not a comfortable gun. The stock is too long, and the ergonomics are pure cack...but that's to be expected from a gun of its age. You only realise these things when you pick them up and fondle for a while. At a site or shop you can pick up different guns (though if you're at a site, ask first - Airsofters' are more than happy to show off their gear...just don't grab. It's happened me very often, and whereas you wouldn't have minded if they'd have asked, the presumption is not welcome).

    Once you're sorted on replica type, then you can worry about budget and brand. Some brands are better than others, and some brands are only good at certain models. Everyone has their favourites, so bear that in mind. It is also worth noting that most people's view on reliability is based solely on one gun, and rough experiences with others in its class. As a result try not to take what one person says as gospel; get as many opinions as you can, and make sure they're genuine opinions i.e. arisen from direct experience, not hearsay.

    Now, what I tend to recommend to people as far as guns go when starting out is to go for a run of the mill M4 or AK - generally speaking the person standing on your left and right will have mags for your gun, so if you run out, they're likely to be able to give you one. Secondly spare parts are infinitely more common, than say an ARES TAR-21 TAVOR. Thirdly, especially in the case of M4's, there is a rake of customisation options...think Barbie + Lego rolled into one, and that's how much options there are. That said, don't be led easily - if you don't like M4's, then don't buy one. But I would strongly recommend sticking with guns that you can get mags etc easily for.

    PS: Don't be afraid to ask questions about specific guns etc - generally everyone here is pretty helpful :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 31,497 ✭✭✭✭ Gatling


    If your looking at the G36 most popular here is the C variant short and easy to handle ,
    Brands wise for the G36 jing gong bullet proof reliable excellent bang for buck and plenty of affordable upgrades ,
    Next I'd reccommend the SRC G36 you will pay a bit more for what you get upgraded internals and excellent external quality polymer also a lot more heft than the JG which use's abs plastic ,
    Then i either look at classic army(avoid sportline) or the kwa brands depending on your budget for the G36 I've gone through all of the above practically destroyed all them at one stage or another too , nothing is 100% reliable in airsoft even Mauri broke 2 of them .
    M4 wise bit of a Honda civic affordable ,cheap enough to upgrade with loads of bolt on's and no 2 look the same tons of brands to choose from ,

    Your choice will come down to personal reference to a certain look and budget really

    Langley , Virginia



  • Registered Users Posts: 634 OddysAirsoft


    I wouldn't touch the Jing Gong version with a barge poll - they are utter crap - just ask Bren in Fingal! The old model of 3 years ago was a true work horse but somewhere in the airsoft ether, the new version is just pure garbage with brittle abs and crap internals! We did a review of it and called it as we saw it!

    Steer clear m8!

    There are other versions of the g36c that have come out that are way better - we have reviewed a few and as said they are infinitely better.


    Agree with everything that Inari says. Be careful who you listen too. Only listen to people who have direct experience with certain guns because one thing I have learnt about Airsoft on here - there are too many experts with grandiose opinions of guns/brands/retailers who have never played with/shot or even held the gun they are 'opinionating' about!


  • Registered Users Posts: 31,497 ✭✭✭✭ Gatling


    Ah the joys of asking for opinions on a community forum no aeg is perfect or brand , with the exception of one brand really

    Langley , Virginia



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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,099 Tommyboy71


    Be careful who you listen too. Only listen to people who have direct experience with certain guns because one thing I have learnt about Airsoft on here - there are too many experts with grandiose opinions of guns/brands/retailers who have never played with/shot or even held the gun they are 'opinionating' about!

    If he is new to the sport, how is he going to know who to trust?
    ____________________________________________________________

    Best advice, go to a site. See whats there. If you see a nice gun, ask if you can see it and most people will be happy to let you have a go.

    Don't just go on one piece of advice, instead see if there is a consensus. Is a certain brand/make preferred? Why is this? Do your research.

    The gun that everyone raves about might not suit you. The G36 is a good gun. It does not (going by mine)have a retractable stock. This could be an issue depending on you physically. It just might not "fit" you. It might be too long unfolded or too short folded. Its that simple.

    Similarly the AK family might suit you. It might feel comfortable to shoulder. I wouldn't be a big fan but I want one.

    Have a go of a good few guns before you buy. Thats the best advice I can give you..

    Good luck and welcome to the sport.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭✭ jules909


    I'm debating between the VFC SCAR MK17 Heavy Gen. III for €420 and Ares TAR-21 for €400, I hear the TAR wouldn't be the best for customising and after picking up both today I think I'm leaning towards the SCAR, both are fully ambidextrous which is what I'm after as a lefty.
    So does anyone have any opinions on either of these AEGs?
    Also the reason I'm planning on paying extra for one of these is because I was thinking of getting the A&K Masada for €330 but heard the internals weren't great and would need upgrades, I'd rather a one that fires great out of the box, not ready to get into dissasembling gearboxes just yet!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,820 ✭✭✭ Evade


    If you're going for a SCAR you might want to consider the light instead of the heavy. SCAR-H uses unique magazines whereas the SCAR-L uses extremely common STANAG magazines. The same magazines are used on M4, M16, TAR-21, L85 etc so they're easier to get and cheaper than the SCAR-H magazines.

    EDIT: I've had a VFC SCAR-L for a few years and haven't had any issues with it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭✭ jules909


    Evade wrote: »
    If you're going for a SCAR you might want to consider the light instead of the heavy. SCAR-H uses unique magazines whereas the SCAR-L uses extremely common STANAG magazines. The same magazines are used on M4, M16, TAR-21, L85 etc so they're easier to get and cheaper than the SCAR-H magazines.

    EDIT: I've had a VFC SCAR-L for a few years and haven't had any issues with it.

    Thanks for the reply, I had only found this info out earlier today!!

    I am now planning on getting the mk16, the smaller barrel means 300FPS compared to 315FPS with the SCAR-H, does this really matter?
    Also Evade, have you done any mods to the internals and if so what?
    Finally (for now!), what type battery do you use?
    Thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 634 OddysAirsoft


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OddysAirsoft
    Be careful who you listen too. Only listen to people who have direct experience with certain guns because one thing I have learnt about Airsoft on here - there are too many experts with grandiose opinions of guns/brands/retailers who have never played with/shot or even held the gun they are 'opinionating' about!

    If he is new to the sport, how is he going to know who to trust?

    It may make life a little harder/confusing but it's still sound advise!


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,078 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Steve


    I'm an old and unfit excuse for a human in Airsoft terms so, unless you're really into the outdoor running around in muck for hours experience then maybe try an indoor site.
    You can rent RIF's at a lot, if not most, sites or just turn up and see what people are using, feel the weight of them etc have some banter face to face - believe me, Airsofters are much nicer in real life than on the internet :D:D

    (no offence lads!) ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,820 ✭✭✭ Evade


    jules909 wrote: »
    I am now planning on getting the mk16, the smaller barrel means 300FPS compared to 315FPS with the SCAR-H, does this really matter?
    Not a bit.
    jules909 wrote: »
    Also Evade, have you done any mods to the internals and if so what?
    No modifications but as with all AEGs parts will eventually get worn and have to be replaced.
    jules909 wrote: »
    Finally (for now!), what type battery do you use?
    Thanks
    I use 9.6v NiMH because that's what I have. With 9.6v batteries I can only shorten the stock to the second last position but that doesn't bother me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭✭ jules909


    Evade wrote: »
    jules909 wrote: »
    I am now planning on getting the mk16, the smaller barrel means 300FPS compared to 315FPS with the SCAR-H, does this really matter?
    Not a bit.
    jules909 wrote: »
    Also Evade, have you done any mods to the internals and if so what?
    No modifications but as with all AEGs parts will eventually get worn and have to be replaced.
    jules909 wrote: »
    Finally (for now!), what type battery do you use?
    Thanks
    I use 9.6v NiMH because that's what I have. With 9.6v batteries I can only shorten the stock to the second last position but that doesn't bother me.

    Thanks a million Evade!


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,225 ✭✭✭✭ Blazer


    jules909 wrote: »
    I'm debating between the VFC SCAR MK17 Heavy Gen. III for €420 and Ares TAR-21 for €400, I hear the TAR wouldn't be the best for customising and after picking up both today I think I'm leaning towards the SCAR, both are fully ambidextrous which is what I'm after as a lefty.
    So does anyone have any opinions on either of these AEGs?

    If you're a lefty try a M4...specifically the G&P M4's.
    I'm a lefty also and found that the M4 platform is the most leftie friendly out there :D
    I highly rate G&P M4's....have bought 4 of them and each of them were fantastic with no issues whatsoever.
    Presently I have the carbine version with a tightbore madbull barrel and guarder clear and the range and accuracy is fantastic.
    More importantly ..it's extremely comfortable to use.

    This is the one I currently use but have put rails on it as well.

    http://www.airsofteire.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=1023&category_id=14&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=26

    Also thread review on it
    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=74222505


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,048 OzCam


    jules909 wrote: »
    I am now planning on getting the mk16, the smaller barrel means 300FPS compared to 315FPS with the SCAR-H, does this really matter?

    No, not in practice. You always need to leave yourself a bit of "headroom"anyway, in case of an inaccurate chrono. 100m/s (328fps) is a hard limit. Any properly run site will send you home if you go over and arguing with their chrono is futile.

    More to the point, the performance difference will not be noticeable. Using a good hop-up, decent BBs and keeping the barrel clean are far more important.

    Get something that suits you and your body (eg, I don't find many AR rifles comfortable), make it reliable and don't worry about trying to get every last tiny fraction out of it. It's a waste of time & money in Irish conditions.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭✭ jules909


    I have my sights on the SCAR Blazer and it's fully ambidextrous.

    Thanks for the info Ozcam.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,904 MagicIRL


    I myself started with a DBOYS SCAR-L from Eirsoft - It served me well until I moved onto VFC and TM. Now, The DBOYS was a grand AEG. It shot about 14/15 BBs/sec and had decent range. Nothing spectacular but it only cost 180e.

    My buddy started off with a G&G Raider, and for 280e, it is one hell of an AEG! The range, speed and build of the AEG is fantastic and it just screams excellence.

    If I was to start all over again, I would buy G&G to start. They're great bases on their own, and a great platform for upgrading if/when you decide to! And G&G make a lovely SCAR!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,432 Kashkai


    Ok, I've now visited two stores and checked out what they had on offer and tbh, I'm more confused now than when I started:(

    I told the guys in the stores in Dublin that I wanted a reliable assault rifle type for target shooting in my back garden. One of them recommended a Sportline M4 which my nephew has and he said its a piece of you know what. It's broken several times despite him looking after it. The other place was recommending a handgun despite me telling them I wanted an AEG in the assault rifle style. So I left those stores empty handed.

    I never thought it would be this difficult to pick my first airsoft weapon. I'm not that choosy, just want something that won't be constantly breaking down.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,160 Inari


    I know I go against the grain when I say this, but the CA Sportsline M4 is not a bad gun. It is not top of the range, but nor does it cost "top of the range" money - it is a cheap budget gun, that has mediocre internals. They do not perform the best, but that said I do not see any of them back for repair...at all, literally. I see more G&G Raiders back than I do CA Sportsline M4's, and the G&G Raider is most peoples favourite gun to recommend.

    Whenever people ask me what gun they should buy, I ask a barrage of questions ranging from budget, to requirements of the gun, to ergonomics, aesthetics etc. Basically I pick peoples brains until I have an understanding of what they're after, and what is going to be best suited to their needs. So here is a whole heap of questions for you :)
    - What guns do you like the look of? G36, M4, AK, Sig, Tavor, FAMAS, SCAR etc etc
    - Are you looking to skirmish, or just to shoot a few targets?
    - Are you more interested in the collecting side of things, or pure performance?

    From the answers to the questions above, you'll have a better idea of what you're looking for - if you answer them on thread people can help point you in the right direction. Though I still cannot stress the importance of handling the rifles enough - I find M4's exceptionally comfortable to use...but I cannot stand the operation of AK's...and these are things you only see while holding them.

    After you have settled on a style of rifle, then you apply budget. Some gear looks absolutely beautiful, feels great, and performs...but costs more than you are willing to spend. As a result, budget is important...remember to factor it in, though after deciding on a type of rifle. Never be afraid to save up a little longer - sure you have to wait, but on some guns there just is not another option!

    PS: Oddy's sentiments are correct. Please remember that all opinions are to be taken with 1x part salt :) It means it takes longer to form your own opinion, but it will be more accurate than many of the grossly (or even mildly) misinformed out there!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,432 Kashkai


    Inari wrote: »
    I know I go against the grain when I say this, but the CA Sportsline M4 is not a bad gun. It is not top of the range, but nor does it cost "top of the range" money - it is a cheap budget gun, that has mediocre internals. They do not perform the best, but that said I do not see any of them back for repair...at all, literally. I see more G&G Raiders back than I do CA Sportsline M4's, and the G&G Raider is most peoples favourite gun to recommend.

    Whenever people ask me what gun they should buy, I ask a barrage of questions ranging from budget, to requirements of the gun, to ergonomics, aesthetics etc. Basically I pick peoples brains until I have an understanding of what they're after, and what is going to be best suited to their needs. So here is a whole heap of questions for you :)
    - What guns do you like the look of? G36, M4, AK, Sig, Tavor, FAMAS, SCAR etc etc
    - Are you looking to skirmish, or just to shoot a few targets?
    - Are you more interested in the collecting side of things, or pure performance?

    From the answers to the questions above, you'll have a better idea of what you're looking for - if you answer them on thread people can help point you in the right direction. Though I still cannot stress the importance of handling the rifles enough - I find M4's exceptionally comfortable to use...but I cannot stand the operation of AK's...and these are things you only see while holding them.

    After you have settled on a style of rifle, then you apply budget. Some gear looks absolutely beautiful, feels great, and performs...but costs more than you are willing to spend. As a result, budget is important...remember to factor it in, though after deciding on a type of rifle. Never be afraid to save up a little longer - sure you have to wait, but on some guns there just is not another option!

    PS: Oddy's sentiments are correct. Please remember that all opinions are to be taken with 1x part salt :) It means it takes longer to form your own opinion, but it will be more accurate than many of the grossly (or even mildly) misinformed out there!

    Thanks a lot for that.

    To answer your questions:

    I like the M4 style of rifle. It was the fact that my nephew's Sportline broke twice inside of a month that put me off that model.

    It will be used for target shooting. My back garden is 50 metres long and so I have the space to practice those long range shots.

    I want this AEG to use and not be a a shelf queen which is why performance and reliability would be top of my list.

    While I won't have hundreds to spend, especially for a first AEG, I would be prepared to spend up to €200 - €300 for a decent AEG.

    I'm in my 40's and so I'm big enough to handle heavier AEG's.

    Based on this, could you narrow down my choices please as I'm off work tomorrow and so could go looking again with a more definite idea of what I want.

    Thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,160 Inari


    If you like M4's, then that's the type of gun to go for. There's no point in entertaining anything else, except guns that look slightly similar e.g. SCAR, MASADA etc.

    Everyone and their dog makes and uses an M4 - there are literally hundreds to choose from. I can't really narrow your choice, but I can provide you with more information to help with your decision, if that's any good to you?

    Manufacturers:
    - G&G
    - CA
    - VFC
    - G&P
    - CYMA
    - JG
    - WE
    - Systema
    - Celsius
    - King Arms
    - GFC (generally upgraded JG)
    - AGM
    - TM
    - A&K
    - ARES
    - ICS
    - DBoys
    etc.

    Most of the brands are clones of the original Tokyo Marui system, and as a result use what is called a standard V2 (version 2) gearbox. There are exceptions to this such as ICS (modified V2; split gearbox design), Systema (completely different design), ARES (modified quick spring change design), Celsius (clone of systema).

    Now what you're looking for is good quality externals, as the externals can be the most costly to replace - it is cheaper to get a gun running smoothly than it is to get top class externals. VFC, King Arms and G&P tend to be regarded as the top dogs as far as M4's go, with the exception of Systema (Real Sword own the 'best of the best' tag for pretty much everything else). The Chinese brands (e.g. CYMA, JG, AGM, A&K etc) have pretty good bodies, but they're not the creme of the crop, but they are an excellent base gun!

    Internals what you're looking for is decent bushings (preferably not nylon ones), good strong gears (don't worry too much about ratios etc), decent wiring, a nice and durable piston, good quality motor (neodymium magnet motors are superior to the more traditional ferrite magnet motors), good quality barrel and hop up (generally these are replaced with tight bore barrel and softer hop up rubber anyway), and run off of a good quality battery.

    The Sportsline guns come with a very cheap quality battery and charger, and 90% of all problems come from running the gun off of the stock battery. It causes the gearbox to lock up, and it just doesn't provide the motor with enough juice. That said, their internals are not top drawer by any stretch. If you've got a budget of €200 - 300, then you really need to be considering the higher end stuff...especially if you're after greater reliability.

    There are tonnes of M4's out there, and what you're looking for is one that looks the most like you want, and then finding the brand that has the best internals and externals. Personally I recommend the sickness that consumes most of us - browsing the Asian websites. It will give you an idea of what kind of look you're after i.e. do you want Rail kits or standard handguards, what kind of stock you want, whether you're after front or rear wired etc.

    Feel free to post up brand questions - people will be more than happy to help steer you in the right direction :)


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