How To Pick Your First Airsoft Gun
You want to get into airsoft, but you don't have any gear.
Every single airsofter was in this position when they first started. We've all had to go through the process of picking and choosing our first airsoft gun. How did we all do it? How did the airsofters who have walked the path before us get it right (and in some cases very wrong) so they could start playing?
Picking the right gun for you comes down to answering a couple of key questions.
- What's your budget?
- What do you need for where you want to play?
- What makes you feel awesome?
Once you answer these three questions, you'll have an idea for what is going to be the best starter gun for you.
This is a question you will absolutely have to answer for yourself.
Every player has a different amount of money they want to commit to a new hobby. Some veteran hobbyists will understand the concept of buy once cry once, and won't fret about dropping a couple extra zeros on their order, while some more timid potential airsofters will want to save money in case they don't enjoy the game.
The important takeaway here is that neither point of view is wrong. There is no perfect starter gun for all players and that means there is no perfect starter budget. Make sure you think about how much money total you want to spend, and what you'll need for safety gear like goggles and a mask, as well as any other extras you may want or need for your first time out.
Plan for things like extra magazines, batteries and/or green gas, and a way to carry all of that with you on the field. What remains from your total comfortable number to spend is what you should put into your gun. Try not to go too crazy on gear, it's better to invest in a quality blaster and get gear later, it will save you money long term.
This next question comes down primarily to where you want to play.
Start by locating the field you'll be playing at to start. Check with their rules and memorize them. This is a good start to being a good player, but will also help with picking the right gun. If your field only allows 350 FPS guns or less, this needs to be a factor for the gun you are picking. If your field is outdoor, consider some higher FPS options to punch through brush and soft cover.
This will tie back to budgeting as well. For indoor play, you will not need as many extra pieces of equipment, but outdoor play generally incurs longer game time, and this is a factor you need to consider when deciding how many batteries and magazines to buy. Two batteries is a good start, and 3 hicap magazines or 7-9 midcap magazines is a good start. Cover about 900-1000 rounds before you need to re-fill your magazines and you're in a good place for outdoor games.
Take a look at videos and analyze what other players at your local field are using. Is it a lot of short barrels and high rate of fire guns? Is it long barrels and single fire gameplay? This will help influence what is best for your local spot. Every field is different. Every environment is unique. Consider these when you are making your choice.
Again, this is another esoteric question to get you thinking. This isn't about just picking a "good" gun from a list and hopping on the field. This is about teaching you how to make the right choices for your gear so you can be a more informed and better equipped airsofter.
What defines "awesome" can come in a few categories. These categories include things like looks and aesthetics, ergonomics, feature sets and ability to customize the gun.
Answering this question is about encompassing all of those "extra" factors that hang out on the "fun" and not "functional" side of the spectrum when we talk about airsoft guns. This is where you make little caveats for things like metal bodies, included MOSFET systems, specific styles of handguard or anything else you want to make a point to include.
Why do we include these factors?
Because picking the gun that's best for you means picking one that makes you happy every time you head out to the field. Your first gun should be about enjoying the game and getting the most out of your experience. There's plenty of time after you're hooked to talk about buying guns strictly for performance or strictly to finish that weird SF impression you want to do.
Ok, we get it.
You clicked on this article hoping we'd just make it easy on you, and give you a list of guns to check out, pick your favorite and buy. That wasn't really the point, but sometimes it helps to have a jumping off point.
Here's a few of our picks for top beginner airsoft guns in a few different price points:
For entry level priced guns, we have two great options:
- Lancer Tactical Gen 2 polymer body rifles
For intermediate priced guns, try these:
- Lancer Tactical Hybrid Gen 2 rifles
For those of you that want to go whole hog:
- Elite Force Mk18 and Avalon rifles
Each of these rifle options is a great one for a versatile rifle that can be adapted quickly to any FPS requirement you need. Each one of these rifles features a quick change spring, and can easily meet just about any indoor or outdoor need as it pertains to length and style. Start by checking these out, and analyzing what you like and don't like, to find the rifle that is perfect for you.
When you're ready to buy, check out our friends over at Airsoft GI, with their best-in-the-business selection of entry level rifles, and top tier options for saving money on your purchases. If none of the guns we've mentioned fit what you need, Airsoft GI will have the gun you are looking for.