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Hello everyone. Sidearm questions come up all the time. Hopefully this thread will help you out in determining what you want for a sidearm, and give you ideas.

Schools of Thought

There are a few schools of thought when looking at sidearms. The first being "Buy what you like","Impression/cosplay correct", "What others think you need/What you think you need", and "The Compromise."

Those should be pretty self explanatory but I am going to dig into them a little bit.

Buy what you like:

It says it all, if you want a P226, then you are going to buy a P226 all be damned. This is what most people do first time around without doing a lot of research. It is real hit and miss. Sometimes you get a great pistol, or you get a garbage pistol. This has always come back to bite me every time I buy a pistol I like.

Just be warned, you may find the pistol you like has hidden drawbacks. Like finding replacement parts for example, lacks a hopup, mags are impossible to find....

Impression/cosplay correct:

You buy what is accurate to what you are doing.

Your Desert Storm era loadout should have a M9 pistol, not a Metallic Purple Desert Eagle with neon green grips, and says "Big Balla" down the side.

Sometimes you have very limited options or none at all in some cases.

What others think you need/What you think you need:

"I need pistol with XYZ, pistol derp has deez, is gud?"

"Dude brah, you need da Uba-gat 997, it can call a bb hose from god, has a built in cellphone, selfy cam, streams to boobtube in 40k resolution wirelessly, with a battery life of 1 hour! And it auto-magically scratches your balls for you so you do not get crotch funk on your super dank gloves!"

Yeah... You all know exactly where I am coming from on this one.

To be honest most people do not know what they really need. You will learn what you need with experience. What is right for me, may not be right for you.

These kinds of posts mostly serve as a form of research to see if that is what you want.

The Compromise:

This is what everyone eventually learns. Its a mix of all the above. It may not be exactly what you wanted, but it is not out of the realm of possibilities for your loadout if themed, does what you need from it, without some of the features you would have liked.

Ok now that you all have laughed a lot or are bored to tears, it's time for the meat and potatoes! (and the gravy!)

Plazmaburn's 2 cents.

I have looked for the perfect pistol for a while now, still have not found it yet, but I feel like it is coming into focus. I have used numerous WE-tech pistols, KWA pistols, a KJW, and now a few TM pistols. I will give my input on what I have used later.

One of the biggest questions to ask yourself is, WHAT DO I NEED MY PISTOL TO DO?

This is a simple question, it is very hard to accurately answer. Because it will always change every single time you go out to game.

For the sniper, it boils down to how you play. If you are heavy with the silent kill, then a NBB or spring pistol is going to be your friend. If you find yourself getting rolled up on by squads of dudes trying to make you their special love friend, you may want to consider something with a faster cycle rate or full auto. (you may also want to consider what you are doing wrong (or right depending on your outlook) depending on how often it happens)

Shopping:


When you are shopping for a pistol, you should try to handle as many as you can. Some times this is not an option, but you should try different pistols. I have a KWA m93r and a TM mk23. Both of these have massive hand grips, and feel too big for my hands. While the my new TM g18c feels almost too small for my hands (or at least that is how it initially feels seeing as I am used to the massive grip on the mk23.)

You pistol needs to feel good in your hand.

You also need to look at the pistols reliability and what parts are available for it. As well as how easy they are to maintain and if you can repair them by yourself.

You also need to consider the games you are going to attend. Are you going to a NatOp or are you just weekend warrior-ing? If you even feel a twitch that you may go to a NatOp, then you need to look at the rules for the game.

Most of the rules here in the States are all Semi only, and must be below 350 fps. So having a full auto capable pistol is dumb as you can not use it. (I still rock one anyway :bird:)

Power is also another thing to consider. FPS and MEDs. My m93r shoots 380+ on .25g. So I would not be able to field that as a sidearm. (shot like that ever sense I bought it.)

Also look at holsters and magazines and consider how you are going to carry them.

Weather:

Weather is going to be a major factor in your sidearm choice. If it rains a lot where you are, then an electric is probably not in your favor. Hot all the time? Green Gas will be just fine, CO2 can be used as well just be warned that it may shoot hot in more extreme temperatures. Really cold? Electrics and CO2 will keep you trucking.

Pistol vs SMG:

A sidearm is not strictly a pistol in airsoft. It can also be an SMG if you are willing to carry one. (I have also used shotguns, and other things as well.)

Some people will argue for or against them. I have run one numerous times and it has come in handy.

Pistols are easier to carry, lighter (most of the time), and are normally smaller then SMGs. However the SMGs (generally) have more firepower over pistols.

I have a TM Mk23 SOCOM pistol, a TM G18C, and custom built M4 pistol that I use regularly in conjunction with my 3 VSRs, my Tanaka Kar98, my Echo1 CSR (SVD), and my P* M4.

For stealthy games I run with the SOCOM. It's bulky and kind of a pain in the butt to holster and draw. I have removed the LAM unit from mine in order to holster it. The gun with its (banana!) is quite long, when holstered in the drop leg I have for it (drawn up as high as it will go) the end sticks down to where my knee bends and pokes the ground. Not ideal, but I have yet to come up with a better option.

For faster sniper games then the G18C will reign supreme. (Just got it for Xmas) In the past I would use my KWA M93R.

The pistol M4 is for longer objective games or for Ops. As sometimes you do not have the option to back off from a fight and need something other then a pistol. For example, Operation: Ironclad 1...

Carrying the M4 is a challenge, as it is a bit unruly. One point slings are useless, and velcro just does not do the trick. I have been using an irene sling, or a backpack I have mounted to my back. Some other members use packs similar to these: X3-LoDrag

I have kludged together a "mount" that will work for it and it works quite well at holding the gun in place without any shifting or wobbles. However it does not work as well as I had hoped, concept works though.

Conclusion: Pistols or SMGs work. It all boils down to how much extra BS you want to put up with.

The Need for Full Auto:

When I started playing Airsoft a few years ago, I started with the an AEG, then quickly got a sniper rifle. When I first got into sniping I though I would need something with full auto.

Well... You do not need full auto. It's nice to have, but it is not needed at all. A reliable, decently accurate, semi auto pistol will do just as much as any machine pistol or SMG will do. Full auto just helps, if you are able to use it.

Recommendations:

Lets start of with the bad.
DO NOT BUY:Nothing from WE-tech. Every last one I owned literally exploded within a month of me owning them. I have been hit with 3 WE-tech slides from my own pistols during games and that is enough for me.

The Meh:

Don't let the title fool you. These are decent pistols. But they either have somethings to look out for, or are exactly as the section says Meh.

KWA M93R- This is a hot shooting pistol. The ones I have (3) all shoot around the 380fps (w/.25g) range without any mods or anything. Features a 3 round burst, semi, and full auto. Eats NS2 return springs like candy. Replacing the selector plate requires you to send it back to KWA. It broke my BS meter...

KWA MP9- Solid, beefy. Shoots solid. Mine does not feed well as I have flawed magazines. Eats NS2 springs.

KJW 1911- Bought used. Solidly built, shot fine. Some upgrades available.

The Gravy:

TM Mk23 Socom- Super quiet, and accurate. Trigger pull is bad, but it is also an NBB.

Ares Amoeba CC(x)- These do need some work internally, but all in all they are mean little things to pack with you.

TBD:

I do not have enough trigger time on my g18c to give it a ranking. However you can look around for yourself to figure that out.

That pretty much wraps it up, Thanks for reading. I think I covered most of it, if not post up.
 

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Great writeup, should prevent some questions from being asked in the future :hehe:

When it comes to sidearms, I think you can can classify four types of guns from least firepower to most firepower:
1) NBB pistols
2) Semi auto GBB's
3) Machine pistols
4) SMG's

An NBB pistol is quiet and gas efficient, but has a slow rate of fire and a nasty trigger pull. I don't really use my Mk23 anymore for that reason. The TM Mk23 is the most popular choice for these (and for good reason).

A semi-auto GBB is a step up because it can cycle much faster and essentially fire as quick as you can pull the trigger. This is the most common sidearm most people will use and for good reason. Reasonable firepower (adequate for most scenarios) but more noise and gas consumption than a NBB. Most sidearms will be semi auto GBB's, and there is a ridiculous amount of choice when it comes to these.

A machine pistol is an increasingly popular option (probably has something to do with Novritsch using a G18). It can deliver a serious amount of firepower and is very compact. Mags are empty in no time if you don't use it properly though, and just because you have a full-auto switch you don't have to use it all the time. There aren't many of these guns being made, your options are pretty much limited to a G18 or an M93r.

An SMG is a step even further, with more (sustained) firepower than a machine pistol, but tends to be bulkier and harder to carry. If you have the use for it however, then it pays to carry something with a bit more punch. Small AEG's such as a "baby M4" (amoeba CC(x) like Plazma described) or an MP5k are ideal for this. Any bigger and you're not really carrying an SMG anymore.

There's another category, which is AEPs. Cyma makes a bunch of them which are very popular, and the electric MP7 which you may sometimes see is also an AEP internally. They have reduced fps (typically not over 250), but for anything up to 100' this is still perfectly adequate. The G18 AEP (cyma or TM) is fairly popular, it'll work in any weather and temperature and there are hi-cap mags available. While it doesn't shoot as far as a GBB it's enough to do the job as a sidearm, so it's about in the same category as a machine pistol.

Anyway, long story short (sorry for littering on your thread Plazma :hehe:), I believe that you should choose your sidearm type based on your playstyle. The more aggressively you play, the more powerful your sidearm should be (as a sniper). If you're mostly focussed on stealth and avoid close contact then go with a silent NBB pistol. For the average sniping a GBB semi auto will be good enough. If you play aggressively and occasionally meet people up close, a machine pistol is really worth having (if you're allowed to use it, that is). If you often find yourself behind enemy lines or fighting multiple opponents at once, then I think it is really worth it to have an SMG, it just has more punch which can be really useful in some situations. But if you're always hanging back and playing a supportive role, then an SMG (or machine pistol with big mags) is mostly dead weight and you'd be better served with a normal (or a NBB) pistol :tup:

But that's my opinion :hehe:
 

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Awesome write-up! You touch base on even the simple springer pistols (they're sidearms too, right?!)

I remember being new and wanting a full-auto sidearm. Many Walmart guns came and went until I coughed up the money for a CO2 GBB, and I'm angry with myself for not listening to all the recommendations. Being able to hit people consistently is countless times better than throwing a wall of bb's at them, and even the intimidation factor wears off after a few thousand rounds never get close to hitting them.

But there is something... Empowering about lugging a full auto sidearm. It just feels GOOD :yup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Don't knock the spring pistols. I have slain a fair amount of people with the spring pistol. :tup: (PS: it is hilarious to see people's reactions to being killed by a spring pistol.)

I know the feeling, hence why I asked for a g18c.

Sticky worthy??
 

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Just replinish. Somehow to using a non blowback gas pistol is way better than a blow back one. The none blow back pistol is tend to be more stable. Personally, I'm using a TM m93r with 100rd hi-cap which just like a small smg and I highly recommend that.

来自我的 SM-G925V 上的 Tapatalk
 

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Few additions.

Most important first step - check your field rules for how they treat sidearms. Some chrono, some don't. Some don't allow CO2 due to higher FPS. Some have MEDs. Point is, it's possible to buy a sidearm you can't use.

Consider your field environment and how the rules for your primary will effect when you will need a sidearm. Think about situations where you will need to transition. Buildings, heavy brush, multiple paths with short engagement distances, etc are all field features that may lend to quantity over quiet in sidearm selection.

Grenades, grenade launchers and shotguns are all viable options even if they come with limitations. If you carry one, engineer engagements to their strengths.

Don't forgo a radio and/or smoke in exchange for a sidearm. Relaying information and keeping in the game by not getting in situations that require a sidearm make you a team asset instead of the jerk who hid in the back corner while everyone else got shot at.
 

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I recommend trying out various mounting styles too. You can have the best tool for the job but failure to draw AND holster the pistol in a timely and stealthy manner could prove disastrous. After trying hip, thigh, abdomen, I find the best mount for me is the armpit holster. It allows me to easily draw and holster with minimal body movement in the prone position. Disadvantage is slight difficulty in crawling due to the butt sticking out, although still manageable. My rig is a blackhawk holster and some straps and buckles which I sew on my harness for maximum rigidity.

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I use an APS ACP, the mags kinda suck, but the gun is really, really good. However, it is loud. Really loud, I only use it if I -have- to. I use a matrix hardshell holster. It's surprisingly good, actually. Fast and quiet. I wouldn't recommend the ACP for quiet players, however, I would no question recommend it for the looking to make an impact when using their secondary, or those that tend to run assault.

Edit: I wonder if maybe you could lower the power of this pistol somehow. Maybe you could make it more quiet, lower the FPS at the same time to allow it to be used at fields where FPS is more heavily regulated.


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I too have been through KWA glocks and WE.
The WE was absolutely the worst and I can no way recommend that. It was just so unreliable. I then went on to get the TM mk23 SOCOM and TM Glock 17. Love them. They never fail me and always work and that was the important part to me. In games where the mk23 might be too slow I use the Glock, tho a glock18c automatic would probably be to prefer but for now I manage!
 

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I currently own two KJW 1911 with a few CO2 Mags for Winter/cold days, I've played at -5°C with these and they'd still get out a full mag. Sadly the 1911 Grip isn't really for my hands.

I also have an KWA HK45 and I absolutely love it!
Yes the grip is quite large, but with my hands it just feels like it's molded directly onto my fingers, I do have glove size 10.5 here (not sure what that is in the US).
Accuracy is great, I can hit a man-sized target at 30m without any problems.
Fps wise it chronoed at just around 330fps (with .2g) at the last game, so it's good for all the games I go to.

I've still gotta get my fingers on a TM MK23, that'd be my absolute dream :D
 

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I use a TW based HK glock hybrid, its no different than the we or tm(except tm has weaker springs and the same swiss cheese metals).

It's 5 years old and the control group is oem, I recently did a bunch of accuracy upgrades.

Never had problems other than gas and temperature problems because I chose the wrong gas that day.

Solid 100' on .28 bb, for a b size target.
I would have to go to a 100+mm inner barrel for better accuracy as I feel the ra tech 91mm is very inaccurate for anything beyond 100 feet.
 

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I agree with you newcomer I run with an armpit holster now. I got tired of my hip holster catching things and not being able to draw fast enough. Also my holster has two extra slot for mags (they right now hold extra CO2 and BBs because I only have one mag.) Also I know that the gun is there and hadn't fallen out. My hip holsters sling has gotten ripped off so now the pistol every once in a while will fall out and so when I go to reach for it, its not there and I end up getting hit, then got to retrace my tracks and find the pistol.
 

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Sorry to write this a while after the last post, but, I think it's ok because we're here to discuss sidearms right?!? I've been thinking about the ARES Amoeba CCR, and I've seen them mentioned, which brings up the question: how would you carry them? You can't holster them to my knowledge, and you can't put them in a shotgun scabbard because they're too short. So, how could you comfortably carry them? A three point sling pulled tight around you so it doesn't bounce around? Does anyone know of options?
 

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I am so done with CO2 and green gas, in my last 7 years of airsoft I have had pistol troubles.

I got this as my secondary and it works perfectly well, it is a G&G M4 CRW, shoots at 350 fps on a 0.20, it sits comfortably in a drop leg holster, I also carry two midcap mags for it on the other leg also a drop leg mag pouch.

 

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So would it be better if I would get a new licenced Glock 19. or a KWA Mp9? I plan on being a pretty aggressive sniper so what would You guys run? I'm having a hard time deciding. Sorry im pulling this back up.
 
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