Airsoft Basics – Gear Setup Part One | Assault
May 24, 2017
It’s that time again, as we grab our tactical MRE Sporks and dig into another edition of Airsoft Basics! Today’s topic is Gear Setup, and how you can configure a vest (and which vest to pick) for any given task on the airsoft field! Whether you’re looking for a tactical assault set up, a slim lightweight sniper’s loadout or an “everything but the kitchen sink” rig we’ll get you covered on some of the basic set ups you may be interested in.
Before we begin, it’s important to note that we’re basing this advice on personal experience playing airsoft. This is by no means to be construed as a be-all-end-all way to set up your gear. As with most things in the hobby of airsoft, Personal experience makes a big difference in how you’ll set up your gear versus someone else. Additionally, while it’s not the advice given in this article, sometimes people will make concessions for the sake of looking good or because it’s accurate to an impression-based kit they are trying to set up. All of these are perfectly valid, and it’s going to be up to you to decide how you want to do it.
Click past the jump to see our advice for functional loadouts ——
If being a hard charging door kicker is what you’re after, We’re here to help! There are a few different ways to go about this, and we’ll cover a couple of them below, and even cover how to choose a vest or chest rig that fits your needs.
Step 1: Picking a Vest
This is the most important step in choosing how to set up your gear, as this step will dictate how you set up the rest of your kit. Much like choosing a gun, there are a few questions you will need to answer first.
– How Much Stuff am I carrying?
– How Fast Do I need to access this stuff?
As an assaulter, your primary job is to push objectives, clear rooms, and be the tip of the spear allowing your other teammates to more effectively support. You are the gas in your team’s tank allowing everything to get done. This means the primary currency of your role is Ammunition. Assuming you have already selected your gun, you’ll need to take stock of how many magazines you have, or plan to buy, and then how many of those you can realistically carry. If your gun requires a larger sized magazine (think M4 instead of MP5) you’ll want to take that into account as well. Our recommendation is usually 7-10 magazines, but this can vary based on the needs of your scenario. Remember, Mission dictates setup.
If you are carrying a lot of kit, or even if it’s just a lot of magazines, we usually recommend using a plate carrier setup, such as the Condor Vanquish, the Condor MOPC, or even the Shellback Banshee. This will allow you to store additional supplies such as extra ammo, gas, or even a small tool selection to keep your guns running in the field. This does mean that some of this stuff is not easy to access, as it will be mounted behind or to your side.
If all you need is Magazines, and want to save some weight, Chest rigs are a fantastic choice as well, and you can make pretty good use of the Condor Barrage, the Blue Force Gear SplitMinus and Even a simple set up like the Gryffon Golem Chest Rig. These are fantastic choices for summer months or areas that are perpetually warm, as they tend to breathe easier. The trade-off is that this can also mean you are limited on storage and need to be a bit pickier about what you keep on your person during the game, but for a quick round of CQB, it’s the perfect setup.
Step 2: Picking your pouches
This part is pretty simple, Gather up all of your items you want to carry on your vest, and make a list. Once you have that list, start listing out the pouches you need to carry all of your stuff! It can be helpful to look up a couple of different configurations while you do this. While picking pouches, keep in mind things like ease of access and storage capacity. For example, when picking magazine pouches for your M4 style gun, you may want a double stack pouch that can hold two magazines with a flap to keep them in their pouch, but you may only want an elastic-style pouch that holds a single magazine for faster access. You may even want a combination. We usually advise having at least one general purpose type pouch as well for carrying miscellaneous items like car keys or your wallet and phone.
Step 3: Placing your pouches
Here is where being mindful of your role on the field is the most important! As an assaulter, your priority is going to be access to your magazines. Like we mentioned earlier, your currency is ammo, and you need to deliver it to your opponents! To this end, we recommend placing your magazines front and center on your vest. Most vests will accommodate at least 3 magazines wide (if you measure with M4 magazines). Keep in mind your play style on judging how deep you want to go on your front, though. If you are an aggressive player who likes to go prone to avoid fire, we’d caution against more than a single layer of depth, but if you prefer to stay upright, then you could go at least two deep with no issues. If you elected to attach a pack or hydration carrier to your vest, this will obviously be placed on your back, however additional options exist. Dave, our Texas store manager, prefers to set up his vest with a GP pouch and a small hydration bladder to stay even more light weight, so that he can avoid the issues that come with having a larger backpack, like being a bigger target. The cardinal rule of thumb to keep in mind when placing your pouches is to make sure that you can access everything you need in a shootout quickly and on your own without assistance whenever possible. This includes items like magazines, grenades, and your sidearm if you have one.
Step 4: Augmenting your vest with additional gear
This step is largely optional, as you can definitely get by with just a vest or a chest rig for carrying your gear and not be at a disadvantage. However, if you want to try and spread the weight of all of that gear around, you can look at additional options like a battle belt (some popular options come from Condor and High Speed Gear) or thigh rigs like a holster for your side arm or even magazine pouches for your pistol! A lot of this is more personal preference than anything though, and it’s ultimately going to be a decision you have to make for yourself.
Step 5: Get out and Play!
You’ll never know what works for you until you try it. The tips above are purely based on the personal experiences of GI staff members, and aren’t going to work for every single person. What they will do however, is give you a good place to start from if you’re not sure where to go or what to buy. Once you have the basic framework, hit up your local field and start slinging some bb’s! If you run into an issue with your gear while you’re playing, make a mental note of it and after the game, take a second to try and find a solution around it. Did it take too long to draw your sidearm? Maybe you need to adjust the position or style of your holster. Did your magazine get stuck on the flap of your pouch? Maybe you need to reconsider the style of pouch you are using for your magazines. It’s ok if things don’t work right away the way you need them to. Setting up your gear is absolutely a trial by error type of thing, and you can’t know what works until you try it out for yourself!
Want to see an example of how we set up gear? Check out Dave’s breakdown on how he sets up his plate carrier for the assault role below!
Check out this awesome game type where you can make use of your new gear knowledge!
Game Type Ideas: Fox in the Chicken Coop