Thursday, May 10, 2012

Letting the hook sink in

Moogz you evile person you!

Well, even though my buddy told me he didn't have a "plan" to draw me into the hobby of Airsoft, I must admit that one week after diving head-first into gun-nut heaven (also firearms opponents' hell) I've looked a lot deeper into the sport and what got a few of my friends totally addicted to it. And I can safely say that as opposed to a couple years ago when I was first introduced to Airsoft, this time around I'm hearing the call. I can think of a few reasons why I didn't get interested at first. At the time I was neck-deep into EVE Online and God knows how much of a time sucker that can be. My boys were younger, and relations with my ex were a lot more strained. My finances were steadily heading for the Downward Spiral. And to top it off I was an emotional mess. Put all that together and it's easy to see that I wasn't ready to try new stuff, even though I had a good feeling about how fun it could be. Playing a first-person shooter in real life sounded fun, but equipping myself didn't. Fast-forward to today and I can feel that this is changing.

Now I will admit right away that there's no way I can dive in really quick for a few reasons: my boys are still young and I have 'em every other weekend, and even though my finances are slowly getting better they're still precarious. Not to mention the drumline practices. But seeing the friends that I get to see less of because they basically got out of gaming (for the record, my buddy Jeremy aka Moogy is a 3D modelling teacher) is a great thing. And on their side they know how serious I could get into this because they've seen my Quake antics, only this will be Real Life instead of pixels and guess what, it's also much needed exercise! But that said I do have A LOT to learn. But everyone is a n00b at one point so I'm taking it in stride.

So what is my "indoctrination" plan? Just like I did at the end of 2007 for EVE Online, the first thing I'll do will be to read/watch/listen to any Airsoft guide, video, podcast and equipment review I can lay my greedy paws on. Maybe I should put Quake aside for a bit and get into something more tactical; my computer is already too old for the newer games like Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3, but the older ones will work just fine. Even though practice makes perfect, I'm sure I can find some guides about basic tactical behavior on a battlefield.

Second, I need to start looking into the basic gear I'll need so this means a trip to the local army surplus. What I think is the basics would be the camo overall, boots, gloves and head/face gear. A tactical vest would be a good idea too. I have to ask around to see what I can go on the cheap side on and where it's better to splurge. A good example, the boots; a set of brand new Terra Military boots is not cheap, but they may be a lot more durable and most importantly comfortable that cheap army surplus combats. But I don't have the budget to go all out right off the bat so I gotta get my pieces here and there (let's not forget all the bike gear I'm shopping for).

And third, the gun of course. I don't want to spend too much on the very first one because I KNOW I will beat it up. But that said I can't go too cheap either because I will want some sort of reliability so I gotta find that sweet spot. Another thing my buddy pointed out to me, you can't do internet shopping only. The gun that looks good may not be the gun that feels good. And in the kind of rifle I want to get the choice is quite staggering. What I want is basically the close-combat short rifles because that's the play style that suits me. So far the gun that calls out to me the most is the Airsoft version of the H&K G36C. This may change after I've tried out a few but it's safe to say that this is the first gun that actually appeals to me (I'm not American and usually don't give two shits about guns). What a find to be a plus is that the company that makes it (Umarex) has it in two flavors: 140$ starter gun and 380$ higher-quality. And from what I've been reading up on both models this is a really good gun to start with. But I will heed Moogy's advice and actually try it and other similar rifles before I take the jump. But I don't know... the G36C is looking mighty sexy :)

Getting the gun is one thing but I have to admit, apart from knowing about 'em from my interest in history and shooting them in videogames, I know Sweet-Fuck-All about guns. Sure I know about pure basics like "finger off the trigger" and "careful where you point that thing", but I can't expect other people to care for MY equipment all the time. This is where my "cheap gun first" mentality comes into play, that way if I decide to get deeper into the rabbit hole I'll know what I'm doing. The main is this: even though Airsoft guns require no licenses or permits to own and to operate, they should still be treated as if they were the real thing with all the respect that this implies. Moogy went even so far as to take a firearms handling course but then again with his company he gets to handle lots of 'em. I have never considered owning a gun before but even if my Airsoft rifle is partly made out of clear plastic and is looked upon as a toy by some people I will handle it with extreme care.

So yeah, the hook is in and I think I can see the boat on the horizon, with Moogy holding his net. I did tell him he was an evil person :))

Real-Life FPS FTW!



Druur Monakh said...

Maybe, before buying a gun and other equipment, you could go to a game or two, loaning equipment from your friend? If Airsofters are anything like the Paintballers I know, he'll have more than one airgun.

As for clothing, if you're playing on dry terrain and are reasonably nimble on your feet, consider trail running shoes instead of boots.

But it is indeed good exercise - you might get addicted :)

Luteros said...

Oh yes, nearly all Airsoft players I know own More guns than they can carry.

IMHO Good Shoes are important, doesn't matter if boots or trail running shoes as long as the protect your ankle from twisting.

Benoit CozmikR5 Gauthier said...

@Druur: yeah that's in the plans. I do want to get some of my clothes/gear first though. See next answers for footwear comment...

@Luteros: knowing my buddies, yeah htye have pretty well stocked armories! As for footwear, yes I must protect my ankles (thank you BMX years). I do want something solid because I know how I'll play and it will involve putting my feet in rough spots.