Whether you are a casual airsoft fan with rudimentary supplies, or you spend your downtime at work scanning instructables.com to learn how to make the best modifications to your G&G Combat Machine CM16 and increase your hopup, you are likely making one or more of these mistakes. We reviewed the airsoft world and identified six terrible mistakes that unnecessarily cost you money, damage your performance, or - worst of all - put you and your squad at risk of injury.
We list each mistake, and we let you know whether it will affect finances, performance, and/or safety. Then we tell you what to look for as you prepare to take the field.
Review each of these terrible airsoft habits to make sure you avoid them and achieve peak performance.
We understand that your budget is tight, but scrimping on BBs means scrimping on performance. The most affordable BBs at Walmart and elsewhere are often lightweights - literally. Weighing in at as little as .12g each, rather than a more standard .20g or .23g, they are not built for distance or for accuracy. Budget BBs will please your wallet, but not as much as they will please your enemies, who will watch them spin off wildly in different directions instead of hitting the target.
Sadly, the weight problem also applies to many of the biodegradable BB options available. So while you are thinking about the future of the planet, you also need to weigh the future of your airsoft win streak.
Take your BBs out of your mags after battle. Leaving them in place reduces the effectiveness of your spring, and increases the chance of a misfire off the range.
You know that healthy battery is the difference between a long day sniping at targets on the field vs sitting in the PX dropping quarters in the Ms. Pac Man machine. So why are you still using the standard wall charger that came with your gun?
"I have options?" You ask.
Oh, yes. We live in the golden age of batteries, and as the battery chemistry has improved, technology has worked to become a partner in long battery life. Modern smart chargers interact with the battery and check for optimal charging, then they turn off. Most wall chargers are built to do one thing only - steadily feed current to the battery.
Why does that matter? Charging then overcharging a battery causes heating which contributes to a less efficient battery performance. Over time, the overcharging cycle shortens the cycle of the battery, so it won’t be as efficient or last as long as it did on day 1.
Disconnect your battery after battle. It reduces drip into your gun, increasing the life of your battery, and further reducing the chance of a dangerous misfire.
If you’ve gone to the field in subpar eye gear, hopefully the management has already corrected this one for you - the best fields will require the right protective gear.
Your eyesight is no place to scrimp, and yet some weekend warriors roll out in their wrap-around mirrored softball specs. Why? Even the shatterproof versions of these are made for ... a softball. They actually depend on your skull to help blunt the force of impact and protect your eye.
A BB is travelling more than twice as fast as the hardest hit softball, and hits a much more concentrated spot. Don’t take any chances with losing an eye, your depth perception. Buy full-face goggles.
They’re a bit costly, but magnetized tactical de-foggers allow you to defog your goggles during battle without ever taking them off your face, ensuring that you are protected the whole time you are on the field.
I know that it is tempting. The new tech has just arrived, and you are days away from being back at the airsoft field. You want to gear up, call a buddy, and take to the backyard for a little extra-curricular tactical work - unloaded, of course. Safety first ... well, safety somewhere in consideration.
Or maybe your plan is to leave your heavy bag in the car and just carry your gun to the front door of the field.
The problem? No one else knows what you’re doing. With your airsoft life-like replica rifle and your camo, you look like the guy that Homeland Security has been warning us about since 9/11. One or more of your neighbors are not going to ask questions before they call in the officials.
Let’s do everyone a favor and just avoid that conversation with the SWAT team. And let’s go ahead and represent airsoft maturely among the general public, please.
You know the guy - he emerges from the field after each game of capture the flag with the flag, or he always emerges unscathed from the every-man-for-himself round. Mud covers his exposed skin, from one angle he looks like an oak tree, and you can’t remember the last time you heard his voice.
During battle, he grabs you from behind in the field, holding a - crap is that real? - tactical blade against your throat and whispers, "surrender, or die?" and he starts counting down, from two.
If you don’t know the guy, there’s a chance it’s you. But he ruins the game by not playing to agreed-upon rules of the field. Talk with your buddies and the field manager about minimum engagement distance, silent kill and surrender rules, (dear lord, a knife?!?), dead man talking, and taunting rules.
Most sites go for maximum reality within bounds of safe play. It’s no fun for anyone if you light up your buddy’s work friend from behind and leave him welted and hating the sport.
We understand the urge to try to do it, but it is simply not possible to split the difference between civilian and tactical airsoft dress. You are one, or you are the other.
You can’t go from the airsoft field to the food court in the same outfit without mockery from one or the other. If your appearance matters so much to you, pack a separate bag, deodorant, and a full change of clothes.
Wear dark clothes to complement your camouflage. Breathable cotton underneath and at the joints. Flexible, comfortable clothing, tight enough that it doesn’t flop, loose enough that it offers a full range of motion.
Leave your favorite concert tee at home with that light blue sweatshirt your mom got you. It looks great, but unless you plan on attacking from the sky, it is a liability.
Avoid these terrible airsoft mistakes so you can save money, be safe, and take the field your next time out.