Dave’s back with another episode of our series on how to paint your airsoft gun! This time, we cover how to lay down color using an airbrush, though many of these techniques apply to spray cans as well. Just remember to spray in thin even coats and follow the directions on the can if you are using spray paint for the best results! Watch the video to see how this comes together, and don’t forget to stay tuned for our third part on artificially adding wear and “battle damage” to your gun!
What’s up airsofters? Dave from our Texas store has the pro level tips on how to get your gun ready for painting so you can become one with the bush! This will allow you to get the drop on your enemies through the power of superior camouflage! Check out the video below for the full look, and stay tuned for follow up videos covering the actual painting process (this time with an airbrush) and how to artificially wear down your gun for that ultimate “warzone and back” paintjob!
On the airsoft market, there is a ton of AEGs out there. Too many to choose from, but what’s even good nowadays? Will it perform well, or will it suck? Well, you’re in luck, because if you’re looking for your first AEG, and have a budget of $200 or below, and you’re not quite sure what to get, check this list out! I’ve compiled a small list of five guns in no particular order that are great guns for under $200!
Lancer Tactical MMC OEM’ed by Lonex
The Lancer Tactical MMC is probably one of my favorite budget guns. Price at around $185, these guns feature a full polymer body that is extremely robust, probably the most robust polymer material of this entire list. The gun features full Lonex internals, a company that is known for making high end aftermarket airsoft parts. It comes with a rotary style hop up that’s easy to dial in, which gives way to some solid range and accuracy, and a lonex flash magazine, arguably one of the best magazines on the market!
The APEX Fast Attacks are unique in that it has several different variations available on the market, from full polymer to full metal, there is a style to keep anyone happy! Both versions of the gun are extremely solid, boasting Classic Army’s standard 25K motor that allows it to get some pretty snappy trigger response on semi auto! Range and accuracy are very good on this line, and, just like the lonex, comes with an easy to adjust rotary style hop up. The gun will come with just a high capacity magazine, and can cost anywhere between $110 to $197, which is an awesome value!
The G&G Combat Machines are rifles that have been around for quite some time, and thus, have gained quite the reputation for being one of the best starter guns on the market. They’re just really solid, and they’re great workhorses. However, they really haven’t changed too much in the last couple years, keeping some critical design flaws (weaker than average gearbox shell) that has paved the way for alternate, better brands to come out on the market. Nonetheless, the G&G R8-L is one of my favorite guns under the $200 dollar mark. The biggest reason being is that it has a ton of rail estate, and it even comes with a very well made red dot optic in lieu of iron sights, making it an awesome choice for players already set on getting an optic. Range is quite good, with the G&Gs having some great hop up units out of the box! At $190, these guns are definitely worth looking into.
The Classic Army Skirmish line was what I always considered as the “G&G Killer” for starter guns. They were very robust, had well made internals with 9mm bearings and a rotary style hop up with a 6.03mm tight bore brass barrel. Best of all, they came with MOSFETs wired to deans, and even came with an adaptor for those who weren’t quite ready to make the switch, Recent, however, they have updated the specifications on these guns, making them each have the ECS unit from Classic Army, the same Electronic Control System used in the Scarabs and Nemesis high end rifles, giving it amazing trigger response and functionality. This allows it to have features like “semi-lock” or “three round burst. They’ve also added flat triggers, a better grip with a quick motor swap feature, and a flash hider that accepts the Fast Attack Suppressor! These rifles cost $190 with a battery and charger, making these excellent starter guns!
ICS guns have always had a special place in my heart, and their sportline series is no stranger to me. The Sportline M4A1 is actually quite a unique and special M4, given that the biggest reason why people love ICS is due to their split gearbox design, which allows the user to easily changed out lower or upper parts of the gearbox without disassembling the entire thing. Stock performance of the gun is also great, with the gun having fairly solid trigger response and rate of fire out of the box. A really neat feature of the ICS guns is the ability to release the tension of the spring when it’s locked or if it’s in a mid cycle, allowing the user to maintain their spring tension and keep their fps intact! Overall, extremely solid guns for anywhere between $158-$200!
What’s up guys, it’s Carl, and today I’m going to bore you into sleep by methodically explaining the virtues, fulfillment, and pulse pounding adrenaline that comes from… pretending to be a bush for 3 hours while you wait for an enemy patrol to walk into the kill zone.
BUCKLE UP. Today we’re talking ambushes.
Standard issue Carl disclaimer – this is all stuff I’ve learned in-game through years of being a BB dork and there are a million different ways to set this kinda stuff up, so don’t screech at me or whatever. Additionally, this is probably going to be aimed specifically at field type longer milsim games where you can afford to lie in wait and still feel like you’re getting your money’s worth. That being said, let’s jump into my top 3 tips on how to execute an effective airsoft ambush.
1) Selecting your kill zone. A smart squad is going to analyze the terrain features and select an area that ideally maximizes the available amount of cover, concealment and firing lanes to your target, and minimizes those same three things for the poor goobers caught in your trap. It’s a bit hard to illustrate this one without literally being able to walk through a field and show you what to look for, but sit down and let ol’ uncle carl spin ye a tale of BB glory from days past.
One of the most effective ambushes I’ve taken part in was at a very early MSW game in north eastern Washington in the mountains surrounding a small town called Leavenworth. For this particular event, our forces were staggeringly outnumbered, which necessitated our need to utilize tactics that would allow small squad sized elements to punch upwards at much larger forces without sustaining much loss. Obviously, getting into an open slug-fight wasn’t exactly what we wanted.
Enter the ambush – to level the playing field, we intentionally chose a dirt intersection with a route that fed directly out of the NATO patrol base. The road itself wasn’t very wide and had steep slopes and thick woods to either side of it, thereby limiting the amount of enemy players we’d conceivably had to deal with at once as they maneuvered down the road in a column. Steep slopes with loose dirt covered in taller grass and foliage rose from either side of this trail, creating both effective concealment from the enemy patrol, and a vertical advantage for us to fire down into that chokepoint intersection we designated as the kill zone itself.
In our case, the slope that the main ambush was launched from, combined with the leafy suits and local foliage to break up our shape, concealed our positions while giving use excellent eyes on the target as they approached our kill zone. The steep slope also made an enemy counterattack fairly unlikely, as breaking an ambush by fighting up hill is generally going to be very difficult.
The main idea here is that with a few simple conscious choices about where we were going to fight, we created a situation where the enemy’s superior numbers didn’t mean a whole lot, and a 6 or 7 man element killed the majority of a 40 man platoon before we ran away. However, none of this much matters much if you’ve got your squad arrayed in a nonsensical order, and that brings us to our next point – the physical makeup of your ambushing forces.
2) Once you’ve identified a piece of terrain as being favorable to your dudes to fight on, you then need to think about how you’re going to initiate contact, and from where.
Unfortunately we still have a ways to go when it comes to airsoft versions of antipersonnel mines, but one of the most brutal real military ambush tactics I can think of involves using machine gun and rifle fire to force the enemy into pre-selected very obvious cover, and once you’ve done that, you’d then detonate claymores placed in the trees and angled downwards into said cover to probably pretty devastating results. We can however, use that same type of manipulation of enemy forces for airsoft ambushes.
As ambushes are generally going to be kinda complex maneuvers that take coordination to pull off, you want to give your squad as many advantages in the first few seconds of the fight as possible. This particular ambush was actually initiated from a separate position across the road you can see in these photos, by a squadmate with a blankfire gun. As you can imagine, blank guns are really loud, so the idea here was that once the enemy players were allowed into this intersection, the blank gun would open up and draw their attention, forcing them into cover on the downslope of our hill.
All according to plan. Once the blank gun went off, they reacted exactly as we predicted they would, making them easy to kill and overrun by the 5 of us lying in wait.
There are a ton of different ways to set up your ambush, so i’m hesitant to talk about different types of specific formations because every squad and every piece of terrain is inherently going to be different, but perhaps more importantly than your plan itself is going to be your ability to rapidly adapt once the plan is executed.
3) Point number 3 – We’ve probably all heard the addage about no plan surviving first contact with the enemy, and that’s especially true here, but what can make or break a successful ambush is going to be your ability to pair what you expect to happen with what actually happens. If you’re a squad leader that’s ostensibly planning this nefarious trap, you need to be prepared to accept that it might not go exactly how you envision it – and that’s okay as long as you’re running multiple scenarios in the back of your head that’ll help you navigate those possibilities.
For example – we didn’t expect that the enemy in the ambush scenario above would attempt that flanking maneuver i mentioned, but we did still have two guns out in the woods on our hard right flank just in case they tried to get cute. In the event they were able to counter our ambush straight up the middle, our plan was to execute a series of bounds along that ridgeline and ultimately reset further down the road, and bait them into another ambush later.
Obviously they would have been more on-edge after that first hit, but there’s not a whole lot more demoralizing in airsoft than being caught off guard multiple times in a row. Even if you’re only nailing one or two guys at a time and then running away, it’s likely going to slow that column’s progress down to a crawl, which is insanely useful if you find yourself needing to execute a delaying action of some kind. There are tons of different ways to react to evolving situations, and again, a successful ambush can be an awesome psychological tool on the field, but it’s not worth much if you over-commit and get your team killed. Know when to press the attack, know when to call it off and get the hell out of dodge, and have a few pre-designated reaction plans that you’re squad is aware of beforehand, and you’ll be that much more likely to succeed.
What’s up guys, it’s Carl, and if you’re one of the dudes who just really loves carrying a big ol dumb heavy gun that functionally performs about the same as the buzzsaw MP5 with a drum magazine that 12 year old over there just killed you with, boy have I got the video for you!
In all seriousness, today we’re going to be talking about support weapons and their use in milsim oriented games. Personally, I find the light and medium machine gun classes are very interesting, as somewhat distinctly from most other types of airsoft guns, support weapons only really shine with specific rule sets that make them viable – otherwise, what’s the point in carrying one?
That being said, the airsoft machine gunner is another one of those areas where I see some room for improvement in how the vast majority of folks are playing the support role, and much like Al Bundy talking about his highschool football glory days, I’ve got some tips on how I think you can play the role better.
Are you guys even old enough to get a Married with Children reference? What is my life?
1) Y’all probably don’t want to hear this, but guess what? As a machine gunner, your primary function in games isn’t killing the enemy player. I know that probably doesn’t sound like much fun considering you’re likely carrying the biggest, most cumbersome piece of equipment on the field, but that’s the reality of it. An effective machine gunner knows that your number one responsibility is overwhelming firepower and suppression.
Now, more often than not, I generally feel like real world military tactics are very hit or miss in their application to airsoft, but I’ve been on a bit of a Hardcore History WW1 podcast binge of late and there are lots of anecdotes about squads encountering each other unexpectedly in flanking maneuvers away from the trenches, and how the first squad to get their MG up and running was generally going to be victorious – and I feel like this is as relevant to the support gunner’s role in airsoft as it’s proved to be for the past 100 years of actual infantry doctrine.
In the first few seconds of a BB fight, hitting the enemy with an absolute ton of plastic and making them think twice about getting squirrelly or aggressive with you is 9/10 going to determine the outcome of that fight.
And again – we’re talking specifically about milsim games here where the riflemen are limited in their ammo and magazine capacity, so the existence of a gun that ideally is carrying a couple thousand rounds in a boxmag is going to matter immensely. You don’t need to be accurate per se – I mean obviously kill the opposing players if they’re out in the open and you have the opportunity, but your main job here is going to be forcing the enemy into cover, keeping them there, and allowing your riflemen to move in and route them while they’re pinned.
2) This brings me to my second point – the actual mechanics of your support gun and its implementation on the field. How many times have you seen a dude carrying a SAW or M60 or some other heavy gun have to bail in the middle of the game because his gun went down? Probably most of us, and proper gearbox preparation is going to be absolutely crucial to your ability to both do your job as a machine gunner and also stay in the fight. A gun that shoots super dope for a few hours and then grenades itself isn’t doing anyone any favors, and a lot of milsim events are now really opening up the FPS limits on MMGs (something that in real life would shoot a large caliber round like a .308 or 7.62×54) to make them more formidable and actually worth carrying.
When tuned properly, these guns can be downright scary to square off against, but the flip side is that if you’re pushing a high ROF build at 500FPS, you can and maybe should expect that your gun might go down at some point. Make sure your machine gun is reliable before you head out into the field, bring tools to leave back at camp or somewhere accessible, and hell, even having a backup mechbox that you can swap into the gun is honestly advisable. These are machines, and you’re likely going to be pushing them into the red for some of these longer games, but being prepared for that eventuality is going to keep your squad in fighting shape.
3) And here’s a clumsy but necessary segue into point 3 – fighting shape. The vast majority of support weapons honestly suck to carry, especially for longer events or games where you’re doing a lot of rucking, but another part of preparedness that doesn’t get touched on a whole lot is *gasp* physical fitness!
Now, this isn’t meant to discourage anyone or put anyone down, but if you’re thinking about going out to a game with a gun that you can’t actually shoulder or move quickly with for long periods of time, you start to go from being a squad asset, to a squad liability. Best case scenario, you’re maybe holding up the squad a bit and aren’t able to find effective positions to lay down that dominant suppressive fire from as quickly as you should be – but worst case scenario, you fall out of the squad and physically can’t continue or injure yourself and need to be pulled out. Don’t be that guy!
Yes, at the end of the day its airsoft and everyone is likely going to be moving at their own pace and rhythm, but I’m consistently surprised by the amount of players that refer to this hobby as a ‘sport’, but put no time into conditioning for it like you might for baseball, basketball, etc. You don’t need to be Arnold in Predator or some PT super stud, but make sure you can hump your weapon effectively, maybe start doing some casual jogging pretty consistently, and I guarantee you it will make you a better airsoft machine gunner.