Hey all! As a foreword before we get into it: This blog topic is not meant to scare you away from airsoft gun ownership or the sport or to guard some big secret. But as a totally new owner of an airsoft gun, I wanted to hit you with some real talk that will make your ownership experience less troublesome. My goal is to help you understand the equipment and the sport better in these blogs and help you get more fun and enjoyment out of it.
AEGs might look like the real thing, but inside, they are hardly alike - they are complex machines modeled to look like real guns used in a sport where we do wargames and have fun. Do not take it apart out of curiosity thinking it will go back together like the real thing. We get more repair requests from guns that have nothing or very little wrong with them that were only made worse by someone who took apart their guns and couldn't get it back together again.
Do not let other people take apart of mess with your equipment. We all have the friend that says they know what they are doing... but do they? If they get your airsoft gun apart in a million pieces and are stumped, who is left out to dry here?
AEGs and gas guns should be looked at as equipment - they have a finite lifespan of all components and will have to be maintained if you wish to use it indefinitely. On the flip side, when something is used to the point where it's worn out, examine if purchasing new or repairing is a better route for you.
For the price, you are getting a lot of equipment for the money - but that doesn't mean ownership will be flawless. The crux of the matter is, firing a BB is a stressful action on a piece of equipment that is made to a cost of anywhere from $50-500 no matter how you cut it. It's not like a Playstation or Xbox where you buy the thing and it's pretty much expected to be flawless. I would like to say in all honesty that everything is made with perfection in mind but airsoft as a whole isn't there yet. Even real firearms have rocky releases here and there between brands. So don't stress too hard or take it poorly if you run into a hiccup. Reach out to who you need to (be it the retailer you got it from or even the manufacturer) and let them help you.
Often times, going with what's popular or trusted for a starting airsoft gun is the safest bet. The unusual platforms or lesser known or trusted brands could present unique troubles or frustrations down the road.
When you're spending more for a pro line airsoft gun vs. a beginner gun, you're not getting double the performance. What you might get is a nicer looking and more durable body, some nice features, and an improved gearbox. But the improved gearbox does not make the airsoft gun bullet proof nor does it last twice as long. What you are getting in that extra cost is probably a smoother functioning and more accurate airsoft gun on top of the other aesthetics that I mentioned.
Better gear does not make you better at the game. It can help you unlock your potential though if you are acclimated to how things work already. If you're new, just focus on having fun and then worry about the equipment later.
Based on price, many people might be looking at an airsoft pistol as their first airsoft gun. If your intention is to get out to an airsoft field and play with other people, this might actually be a bad place to start. Though the pistol in it of itself is not the problem, using it as a primary in an environment where most people will have rifles would make you severely outgunned. For collecting or casual backyard plinking, then it doesn't matter. The people who run pistols as a primary will tell you it takes a lot of research, upgraded parts, and self-taught technical skills to keep something like that running.
Airsoft gas guns have shorter lifespans than rifles for frequent use. If you are looking to play then you would be better served with an AEG for durability and frequency of use.
Used airsoft guns are a terrible idea for newbies. They will probably give you problems you are not prepared to diagnose or cost more in tech work to get serviceable. If you are a DIY-er or technically savvy, you can do some real bargain shopping here.
Trading airsoft guns with people you don't know is very risky. You hear about people getting ripped off all the time. It's better to sell your used gear outright and get money, and then buy what you want than to risk it. If you do encounter a trade that you can't resist, take every precaution not to get scammed out of your hard earned gear or money.
Use your new airsoft gun for a while to catch any issues and get used to the performance before you start upgrading. If it should have a flaw within the warranty period, you still can get it resolved if you haven't modified the gun or tampered with it in any way.