Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Gear up! How Many Mags Will I Need for my Airsoft Gun?

One of the more enjoyable aspects of the sport of airsoft is accessorizing your gun, and whether that is with a tactical fore-grip, flash-light, laser or red dot scope, the possibilities are as varied as the personalities of those who enjoy airsoft. Of all of the accessories available, however, none are more important than the component which actually feeds your airsoft gun: the magazine. Whether it be a CO2 or gas clip for your airsoft side-arm or a low to high-cap AEG magazine (or the impressive ‘drum’ magazine - which can hold literally thousands of airsoft BBs) for your electric air gun, those entering into the sport of airsoft often pose the question, “How many mags should I purchase?”

The varying answers revolve around not only the airsoft gun in question, but more importantly the style of airsoft activity one looks to engage in. For this article, we’ll break that down into three categories: target-shooting, CQC (Close Quarters Combat) and MILSIM (Military Simulation) games.

For target-shooting, generally a couple of airsoft mags will suffice. Airsoft marksmen are generally rather economic with their trigger-finger, as the goal is to improve one’s accuracy, as opposed to waging an airsoft pellet ‘shock and awe’ campaign on a target. Marksmanship is the name of the game here, and as such it allows the player more time in not only leisurely sighting, but also in leisurely reloading, their airsoft gun. Because of this, most airsoft gun owners who use their weapon solely for target shooting are content with only two or three airsoft magazines.

CQC however is a different world entirely. As the game itself consists of a series of airsoft operators engaging in mock combat in a confined environment with ‘light’ weaponry, one must make sure that a steady supply of airsoft ammunition is consistently on-deck for disbursement, and that means more magazines, as they are the veritable delivery system of airsoft BBs for hungry AEGs (the guns generally favored for CQC operations). The last thing an airsoft player wants to happen is to come up empty at the time of threat assessment/target acquisition, which is why players often choose hi-cap (high-capacity) magazines for use in Close Quarters Combat. Most often holding three-hundred rounds and up, three to four high-cap magazines are usually enough to allow the airsoft enthusiast an hour or so of CQC play prior to requiring a reload, so most players are content with a handful of airsoft high-cap mags. Given the nature of play, however, and the fact that system redundancy is imperative to ‘life-expectancy’ in the field of CQC, some players carry twice that. It renders them more effective from an equipment standpoint, and honestly, a tactical vest overflowing with high-cap mags just looks… cool.

Airsoft MILSIM (Military Simulation) is without a doubt the most demanding sub-play of the sport, not only physically, but in this case, as it applies to the sheer amount of magazines needed in order to effectively participate. In an effort to as-closely-as-possible mimic actual ‘real world’ combat, airsoft MILSIM operators approach these games of MOUT (urban warfare) with an acute focus on detail, which means shying away from the use of high-cap magazines. Given that the standard magazines of airsoft guns’ real-world military counterparts generally hold roughly thirty rounds of ammunition, airsoft low-cap magazines emulate this, with most holding only fifty or so airsoft BBs. This means reloading, and more often, simply because the use of low-cap mags allows for the operator a more believable military simulation. Given such, it’s not uncommon to witness airsoft players toss aside with abandon their spent low-cap mags, in an effort to reload in heat of MILSIM operations. It’s also not uncommon for airsoft retailers to sell low-cap magazines in packages of five to ten, given MILSIM players’ voracious appetite for sheer quantity.

About the Author: Mike Zhang is the President and COO of Airsoft Megastore, the fastest growing of all airsoft stores in the nation. Airsoft Megastore offers deep discounts on sale items for players interested in cheap AEG airsoft guns and looking to find airsoft sniper rifles cheap.

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