Airsoft here i come

Soo with ammo prices where they are... where i train people are turning to more force on force with air-soft. I went to a group CQB course a few weeks ago and bunch of the guys pulled out air soft Glocks with mags that looked like Glock mags and had M4's. They were using propane cans to recharge them. OK, I know very little about airsoft. If i was to buy air-soft i would want them to mirror what i have now, can anyone recommend good brands or things to look out for? I DO KNOW that the class guns had issues actually shooting bb's. So i would fire and think it was coming out when in fact i was shooting compressed air, it was all under low light and my class provided helmet had apparently been dragged through gravel repeatedly at some point prior to me arriving. Throw in the fact that I was runnign around and breathing into the mask kept it completely fogged up half the time i couldn't see shit most of the time. So can anyone point me to a website that has quality training tools revolving around airsoft? i need protective gear so as not lose an eye, but be crystal clear and i would prefer guns that fit in my holsters.



Regular Member
Add a paragraph break or two please. Hard to follow some of that.

You said you saw propane: true. Not air. So don't say "compressed air." Officially the gas operated guns run off "green gas" but it's basically propane, so get the adapter for a soldering torch style bottle, buy some. It's dry, you need to add silicone, but can mostly do that just by spraying down the gun periodically.

Everyone calls them BBs, I hate it because they are 6 mm. BB is a size to real gun people (.177 caliber), but whatever. Get quality "BBs."

The market changes a lot, so not sure what to suggest to buy now. If no one else pops up I'll ask the more airsofty people. I have several, I just don't buy them regularly. Do NOT go to Walmart, etc. Do not buy off Amazon. Very many absolute crap teen toy versions, pellets, etc.

Yes, good ones work like real guns, fit your holsters, all the controls the same, etc. We use them for FOF, I use them for trigger time, in the basement. Cost per shot is so close to zero as make no difference. Guns are fragile. You may break them, so plan accordingly. Magazines are expensive and fragile and heavy so if you drop one, you will break it. All reloads need to be to retention.

Get sealed goggles (off the APEL list, not just ANSI), and suck it up. There's no magic to keep from fogging. I say goggles and a face shield, etc. because masks are horrible, and restrict vision enough I have seen more injuries from tripping, falling down stairs, etc. than from less protection to the rest of the head. For airsoft. Does not apply to other FOF systems. Wear a hat or helmet also.

(There are mesh goggles, but I am leery of them. There's NO standard for them, so hard to suggest a storebought one that is good, and they are not goggles. Stuff can get in your eyes including pellets that hit the goggles and shatter. Rare but... not awesome).

And... a thousand more things I can't think of now.
Awesome, thanks! Yes, as you can see i am a noob when it comes to air soft. Propane and besides BB's what do you call them?

I was told to go to Evike . com and they have an overwhelming selection. The costs range from $150 to $1300. I could care less about a licensed copy. A standard M4 with a flat top, working controls, and mechanically reliable would be great. I was also given to brands: Tokyo Marui and KWA. Do you have any brand preference?

As for protection, I was wearing a full head mask and, as you said, it was awful. I ran into a chair doing room clearing and went for a tumble because the bottom of the mask obscured my vision. I really want to protect my vision. So i will take your advice and go with goggles and a face shield.


Regular Member
The licensed copies /tend/ to be more accurate than the others, especially for a few brands very protective of their trademarks, like Glock. I have ZERO experience with it, but this is likely a decent gun.

Remember whatever you get, magazine compatibility is per actual gun, not per what it is cloning. Not all M4 mags fit all M4s, etc. MANY of the airsoft guns are clones of another airsoft gun so the mags and some other parts will fit but... far beyond me. On reputable sites like evike, they tend to list that if you know how to read it. This is an AR they have listed, first bullet point:
Screen Shot 2020-09-09 at 09.41.11.png
So, that means if you get Western Arms M4 mags, or clones of those, they will work.

Looking for this moment, remembered there are some of the Gas Blow Back guns that are open bolt. No idea why, presumably some advantage for the gaming style. They don't work like your normal gun, so watch out for that, avoid them.

Get black, or otherwise dark, pellets. Bright ones are easily visible in flight. This will mess up your training value as you'll inadvertently look where the pellet goes. You want to use sights, see if you got a hit.

Toss some blue paint on it. It's not a real gun. Don't confuse yourself or anyone else. Don't take it out in real public though without treating it like a live firearm, as no amount of paint or orange will keep people from freaking out, shooting back. Transport it like a real gun. Get a padded sleeve as it's more fragile, remember.

Lastly, remember how little you paid and how much you get out of them. I had a training glock some time back I kept fussing with when it started breaking, then realized I was starting my third bag of pellets. I had put over 10,000 rounds through it. Gun, mags, and consumables that was under half a cent per round fired, so I dumped it, got a new one. It's okay to not fuss with leaky mags or a broken gun as long as you get your time and money out of it. Budget appropriately, and keep the consumable-training-item mindset, not the it'sā€“a-gun mindset so you aren't sad to buy new guns and magazines when it breaks down.
I used to play a ton when I was younger and was part of a local team, not so much anymore but I still like to keep abreast of stuff. is a great store to work with. As far as quality goes as stated before you do get what you pay for so for most when it comes to gas guns the companies that make licensed copies generally put more into the product.

As far a pistols go the Elite Force, ASG and Umarex are some of the best cost to quality guns Stuff beyond that get in to more of your odd ball and guci stuff.. You can get them in full metal if the gun in real life is of that construction, they are gas blow back so the slide cycles with every shot and you can get them in green gas or Co2. Most players opt for Co2 for ease of maintenance and cost/storage/transport. With the Co2 mags you don't have to worry about dropping them they will take a beating and keep going. The green gas fair well too just check them to make sure your filling port is okay when you are done with practice.

Now rifles KWA is a big one and has been in the game a long time along with Tokyo Marui. They will be the two you will see the most and are of good quality, KWA being made in Taiwan will be cheaper and Tokyo if you did gather by the name being Japanese will be more by about 250.00 a gun. But the TM's are are full metal and are fully licensed. They are green gas only and the mags are generally limited to 35 rounds. The KWA will be metal as well but seem not as hefty to some as the TM, but they do have Co2 mags so that is an option as well. You won't go wrong with either of those but other options are Matrix Arms and PTS. PTS is essentially Magpul but airsoft.

Now for PPE, this first part to this is "it's gonna hurt" just get that through your mind. You will catch a shot in the softest spot on you body at some point no matter what you do. Next eyes you do want shatter proof full seal goggles or wrap around glasses, we would required APEL and ANSI. The full face paintball masks are great for that but they fog and get hot there is no way around that. As an alternative you can get what ever goggles or glassed you like and use them with wire mesh face shields that are made. The breathe and protect well bb's (that is what they are) can shatter on impact at times but very few are hurt because of that. The other option is a neoprene face shield or a balaclava with the latter being good for keeping cuts and welts down but not absorbing much force.

One last thing is chrono your stuff when using it inside, most fields don't allow anything over 350fps to help limit ricochets or bb's shattering as a way to help limit injury. If the first experience some one gets is shattered plastic the the face and bb's bouncing off the wall hitting them in the neck they will be hesitant on doing it again. I hope this wasn't to wordy and helps, these are just the ramblings of a former airsoft player and current nerd though.
Airsoft for Force on Force is SUPPOSED to hurt a little bit...

Before we went full Simunition, we outfitted everyone with Airsoft. We had some Glock knock-offs that had reciprocating slides that took a dump after about 4 or 5 years...being used only 2-3 times a year. We replaced those with HK/Umarex C02 guns that didn't seem to want to run when I drug them out this past year. At what point is it worth it over saving said money and pushing it back toward live ammo/training/sims?

The only thing they did well in FoF was reinforcing angles/movement. Many times we had to reel people back into reality when it became a glorified airsoft/paintball war. This is why in many cases (not all), we outfit goodguys with blanks so they could feel like they return fire, and the skilled op-for would only use the marking rounds to "punish" bad stump-the-chump stuff turning into a fire fight.

But one thing to remember is, seeking cover against pellets or Sims can lead to some bad habits. Got a good example here from an old training where there was some very questionable decisions on cover:

Sorry, boss...that table isn't going to cut it in the real world.


Regular Member
Oh yeah! Concealment==cover is a problem for FOF pellet-throwers even aside from airsoft, and even in the woods. Bushes (too much grass even) will stop airsoft/FX/UTM pellets but of course NO bullets. Also vehicles, tents, etc. etc.

I think aside from honorable participants (and: where pain comes in, why paint doesn't help) you just need to have instructor/admin types all over to tell people when they are dead anyway for hiding behind a table, a bush, when everyone in the vehicle died so all go home, etc. I have heard of this (just before my time) even back in the blanks-only FOF days of police academy; bad guy fires his blank gun at the police noises through the wall, but makes sure an admin sees him, waits for them to determine if all his coworkers are declared dead, or are just suppressed :)

Game airsoft is not training airsoft, and yeah it takes a bit of work.

Also of note while we're here, I write up theory of game stuff especially as it applies to the FOF stuff we do, sometimes. Probably the most basic and on-topic one is here:
May help anyone trying to get into ā€” or get the most out of ā€” ballistic FOF stuff with not a checklist but a mindset thing. If larger than room clearing drills, at least, there's some stuff to think about and plan for to make it sensible training.