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Intro :)

Hello everyone , this is Cobra from FAST AIRSOFT and this is my first guide on this forum. This topic purpose is to help new airsoft players ( and maybe some more experienced ones ) to get the right side-arm for their loadout.

DISCLAIMER : THE INFORMATIONS THAT ARE MENTIONED IN THIS POST ARE NOT INVENTED BY ME. THIS IS THE SUM UP OF THE THINGS I LEARNED BY MYSELF AND FROM SOME OTHER POSTS ON THIS FORUM , AND THE EXPERIENCE I AND SOME OF MY FRIENDS HAD ON THE AIRSOFT FIELD.

When it comes to choosing a sidearm , almost every player has its own opinion. "Green gas is more reliable" "Glock has full auto" "Colt has the best blowback" "Electric Pistols are the best" etc. You will see that , after some time you will have a personal opinion too about the best sidearm. The reality is that there is no such a thing like "the best sidearm". It always matters what you expect/what you want to do with that specfic sidearm. If you want firepower , you can pick up a Glock 18C. If you want incredible realism by replica's weight and toughness , you should take a Colt 1911. If you want a special weapon , get a custom one. And the list goes on. I know it's pretty hard to figure out , at first , what you want from a sidearm. You can hurry and say that you want firepower , mag capacity , range , realism , built-in Wi Fi and some free soda dispenser. Well , you can't always get what you want. The following guide can help you figure out what sidearm would be optimal for you.

Power Supply

Green Gas

Being one of the most common power supply for blowback replicas , the green gas can be found easily on market and has a modest price. However, consider its low operatibility on low temperatures. If you can shoot 5 mags with a full of gas at 30 degrees Celsius , you will be able to shoot 4 at 20 degrees , 3 or so at 10 degrees Celsius and you should be thankful if you barrely shoot anymore under 10 degrees. That's green gas' lowest point , deppending on the replica's material. Tokyo Marui pistols might work under 10 degrees Celsius , as they are built from ABS that cools down slower than the metal ones. So , a full metal replica will have problems at 10 degrees , while a full ABS pistol might work even at 5 degrees Celsius. It also depends on the mags you use and how well they keep the warm inside the gas , as the green gas is a warm and wet gas. Be advised! Always store your mags fully loaded with green gas , to avoid the deterioration of the valve

CO2

CO2 12g capsules can be found at any decent airsoft supply store , for a price about 1 euro ( at least in Romania ). In front of the green gas , CO2 has some advantages , but also some disadvantages. The main advantage against the green gas is CO2's lowest working point. If a pistol powered by green gas stops working at about 7 degrees Celsius , most CO2 pistols can handle temperatures of about 0 degrees. You can be tempted to say that it's not such a big deal , but trust me , when it comes to the late autumn and early winter , when the termometers hit 2-3 degrees and you will see green gas users struggling with their replicas and you will get not problem with your CO2 powered sidearm , there will be some satisfaction. On the other hand , the CO2 comes in 12g capsules. Most of the time , with a NBB ( Non BlowBack ) replica you will be able to shoot 150 - 175 bbs with a capsule before the CO2 runs out ( temperature : about 15 degrees ). You can say that this is a pretty nice number. But considering that you can't store your gun with the CO2 capsule inside it , as it will destroy the garniture and the valve and you might not shoot 150 bbs per match ( especially if you are a primary weapon based man , that rarely has to use the sidearm ) you will get pissed off to always remove the capsule, waste like 1/2 of it and the use other capsule for the next match , that will probably end used only about 1/2 of its capacity. Be advised! Never store a gun powered by CO2 with the 12g capsule inside , as it will destroy the garnitures and the valve

Electric

AEP ( Automatic electric pistols ) are more and more common in all kind of enviroments because they can be used anytime between hot summer and stone cold winter. There is nothing much to say about them , they are basically simple AEGs with a smaller battery ( ~700 mA ) that most of the time have Semi-Auto and Full-Auto. Most of the AEPs do not have blowback but you can find some pistols with EBB ( electric blowback ). I do not reccomend those AEPs for wet enviroments , where it rains all the time , because of the chances to burn their circuit. Their main pros are the facts that they can be operated no matter what temperature is outside and you can easily find extended mags for them ( 60-70 bbs / the 100 bb ones are just legends )

Range needed

Deppending on what you got for the primary weapon , you should aim for a pistol that completes your MED. For example , if you got a 550fps sniper rifle, on most of the fields you got a MED ( minimum engagement distance ) of 25m. What if you get face to face to an enemy at 15m ? What are you going to do? You will be tempted to say that you run to get to 25m far. But , what if he runs after you ? Or you are in a building ? Or he starts shooting at you ? Those situations show the real need of a sidearm. Picking a sidearm should always complete your range need. Most of the times , if you have a 330 fps CQB rifle , you won't need a pistol. But if you get a MED more than 7m ( replica's speed > 330 fps ) you will feel the need of a sidearm. There are 3 main situations :

You are a rifleman with a replica that is faster than 330 fps , but slower than 410fps and you get a MED of 7m
This case you will need a short range pistol. Before 7m , even an electric one will do its job with the 200fps it gets with the 700 mA battery with proper hop. After 7m , the bb shot from an electric pistol will start planing down the way and the enemy will even be able to dodge.

You are a mid-range sniper with a replica hotter than 410fps but slower than 460fps and you got 15m MED
Here you might need something more than an AEP. At 15m a CO2/GreenGas will be needed , as they are more powerful and should do their job better. I don't say that the AEP ( 200 fps ) won't reach the 15m mark , but to reach 15m , a bb shot from an AEP will need 2 full seconds , and a bb shot from an 360 fps CO2 powered pistol will need just 0.7 seconds. That is a huge difference. For 15m you will probably need a green gas pistol with about 260 fps , so it will make its way to 15m mark in about 1-1.3 seconds.

You are a long range sniper with a sniper hotter than 460 fps but no hotter than 550 fps that enters a building and has to clear it all by himself
This case , the CO2 high power will be needed. The 360 fps ( 1.1 J with .25 grams ) that will get out of a CO2 powered pistol will help you do your job inside the building. But be advised! The CO2 powered pistols are extremely loud. They can be heard even 50m away. So you won't be able to stay stealthy anymore.

Hop up

Even if it's used on close range fight , you might need hop up for your sidearm , as you want it to be as accurate as possible. For that , you need a proper hop up tunning , and some qualitty bbs. Seek for adjustable hop up sidearm , as they will be able to get a better accuracy at 15-20-25m than a fixed hop up replica.

Sound

You want to sneak behind enemies and get some nice knife kills ? Well , you won't be able to do that with a CO2 unsuppressed pistol , as it will wake up the entire neighbourhood when shooting one bb. Yes , you can add a slincer for it , but it will make you replica longer , and bigger isn't always better. The HPA systems are the most silent ones , then the AEP , the gas powered and finally the CO2 are the loudest. Now it also deppends on you replica's seal and the amount of gas/CO2 that escapes behind the bb after shooting it and make that 'bang' noise.

Mag capacity

The main concern about a sidearm is " What if i get in front of an enemy , pull the trigger but there are no bbs in the mag ? ". This case , you are pretty damn dead. You can search for extended capcatiy mags for your pistol, but from what I know , there are not many extended variants for the CO2 & Green Gas pistols, but you can find a extended variant for almost every AEP. To make sure you never run out of ammo in a fight , when you get your sidearm you should also buy 1-2 , even 3 spare mags , just to make sure you don't have to carry a speedloader after yourself. I know the spare mags can be very pricey , but they are a 'must' at some point.

Price

Another fair concer in every player's head ( as long as he hasn't won the lottery :D ) is the price of its sidearm. You have to ask yourself if you are ready to invest 160 bucks into a TM Pistol and then pay another 50 for a spare mag or just go with a 50 $ ABS pistol that has nothing to do with the quality. You are the only one that can answer this question.

Cobra's Recommendations

My first pistol was a Taurus PT92 CO2 NBB replica. 330fps , full ABS, fixed hop up , used .25 grams and it worked pretty well. But , after 15m you have to aim somewhere above the target and it's so damn loud ( being in the same building with me and my pistol feels like hell for your ears :D ). Paid something like 50 bucks for it. If you want something cheap to start with , this is the right pistol for you.
You want some firepower? Cyma Glock 18C (CM.030) is the right gun for you. Semi/Full-Auto mode , available extended mags ( 60 bbs ) , 700 mA battery, nice trigger pull. Feels nice and heavy in my hands.
You want some 1:1 realistic replica ? Full Metal Beretta M9 GBB is a very realistic gun powered by Green Gas , very nice quality and feels very heavy. However , tough trigger pull and it's pretty hard to aim perfectly on an A4 from 20m , because of the blowback.

IN THIS GUIDE I HAVEN'T SPOKE ABOUT THE HPA PISTOLS , AS THEY ARE KINDA LESS ACCESIBLE FOR NEW AIRSOFT PLAYERS AND ARE HARDER TO FIND & PLAY WITH , BECAUSE OF THE TANK THAT NEED TO BE CARRIED WITH THE PLAYER AND THE LIMITED MOBILITY THAT CAN BE ACHIEVED.

Outro

Thanks for reading my first guide on this forum , I hope it helped you and you already got some things in mind for choosing the right sidearm for you. Happy New Year :)

COBRA out.
 

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at 10 degrees Celsius and you should be thankful if you barrely shoot anymore under 10 degrees. That's green gas' lowest point , deppending on the replica's material. Tokyo Marui pistols might work under 10 degrees Celsius , as they are built from ABS that cools down slower than the metal ones.
You're fundamentally wrong about how gas guns works.

There's nothing about "cool down" involved in that. It's just how gasses work, they have less pressure at lower temperatures, so as you go down on temperature more volume is needed to cycle, until the pressure is so low that you're unable to cycle the gun at all.

The reason Marui pistols will still cycle easily at 10ºC on green gas is because the lightweight plastic slide. They are designed to work with lower pressure than standard pistols, and as such they should run on HFC-134A, which is lower pressure than green gas (propane). But they would have problem cycling at 10ºC with 134a, and that's when you should switch to green.
Green gas (propane) at 10ºC has about 78PSI, which is the same as 134a at 24ºC.

In the very same way, when you start having cycling issue with propane, you should switch to propylene (Map Pro). Which has at 10ºC the same pressure as propane at 20ºC.

Every pistol has it's own ideal working pressures; the trick is to keep them fed with the correct gas to achieve those pressures at a given temperature.
Generally speaking, plastic pistols operate between 60 an 100 PSI, while metal pistols require 80 to 120 PSI.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You're fundamentally wrong about how gas guns works.

There's nothing about "cool down" involved in that. It's just how gasses work, they have less pressure at lower temperatures, so as you go down on temperature more volume is needed to cycle, until the pressure is so low that you're unable to cycle the gun at all.

The reason Marui pistols will still cycle easily at 10ºC on green gas is because the lightweight plastic slide. They are designed to work with lower pressure than standard pistols, and as such they should run on HFC-134A, which is lower pressure than green gas (propane). But they would have problem cycling at 10ºC with 134a, and that's when you should switch to green.
Green gas (propane) at 10ºC has about 78PSI, which is the same as 134a at 24ºC.

In the very same way, when you start having cycling issue with propane, you should switch to propylene (Map Pro). Which has at 10ºC the same pressure as propane at 20ºC.

Every pistol has it's own ideal working pressures; the trick is to keep them fed with the correct gas to achieve those pressures at a given temperature.
Generally speaking, plastic pistols operate between 60 an 100 PSI, while metal pistols require 80 to 120 PSI.
You are right , I don't have the best chemistry knowledge , but as far as I understand , as the green gas guns cool down . the pressure gets lower and lower so at some point you can't even shoot. What I said about 10 degrees is nothing scientificaly proven , or something , is some aproximation that I saw on the field. You are right about the pressure that changes deppending on the temperature , but i don't think that an airsoft newbie would understand so easily all the things you explained. What I've said is something more basically and is meant to help a new player to choose his first pistol. Yes , all behind the airsoft is physics , but I think that newbie players don't need so much physics and the precision of the temperatures and pressure. I think what I've said is enough. Thanks for your reply :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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3. ICS BLE-XAE
The owner of the rental field I maintain guns for bought some of those... wouldn't recommend them to anyone.
Their "ambidextrous" mag release holds onto the mag on 2 extremely thin prongs that worn down in no time. And we had no choice but to use some duct tape inside the mag to keep them in pretty much on sheer friction.
Also, a lot of recurring feeding issues (feeds every other shot), stuck nozzles, etc

Mags are great and never leak, it's light (too light for my taste), sights are GREAT, and recoil is snappy. But the durability issues are a killer for me. Also trigger cycles are simply not there... you can't feel where the break and reset points are at all, which is horrendous for accuracy.

Not that bad considering it's ICS second GBB design, but.. it's their second design and it shows.
 

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Gotta start somewhere.

I dont own the ICS, borrowed that one from a friend. Still a fun gun.

Looking at getting a Umarex/Elite Force Glock 17s soon.
 
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