Here I am going to show what I use on a typical days airsofting. I’m more of a functional kind of player and only really have stuff on my kit that I intend to use. I don’t bother with kit and equipment for the look of it. If it works, I’ll use it.
To start with, on my head I just wear either a Templar Assault Systems tactical baseball cap or just the woolly hat you can see to the right. These both suit my needs perfectly. Woolly hat for winter use or on night games and my tac cap for during the day in the summer. For eye protection I use bog standard mesh goggles which are available from Just Cause Airsoft for £11.99. Over my face I use a neck sock, primarily to prevent bb’s from entering my mouth. It still hurts like hell being shot in the face with it and it still leaves a large welt, but it keeps your mouth covered. So why don’t I use a full mesh mask. Well, to be honest I just don’t find mesh masks very comfortable and they kind of ruin the game for me on a personal level. I tend to spend more time trying to re-adjust them then I do just enjoying myself so I decided not bother. Most of the time, during day games, I won’t wear the neck sock either but that is a personal choice and not something that I would recommend. Yes it does hurt, a lot, when you are hit in the face and yes a lot of people have lost teeth. I know and understand these risks and decided they are acceptable for myself to keep myself enjoying the game and comfortable.
Jacket and Trousers
The jacket I’m wearing is a standard Infantry issue, Desert DPM (Disruptive Patterned Material) wind-proof smock. It’s lightweight and very comfortable. You may be wondering why I’m wearing a desert one when I’m based in the UK. Well, I have both a desert and woodland one but I tend to play more urban games than I do woodland and I just find my desert one more comfortable. It feels slightly more light-weight and just works better for me. My Trousers are just plain and simple civilian walking trousers. They’re not any particular make or brand and I think they cost about £15. They serve me well and are very comfortable. I also wear British issue (woodland and desert) trousers, as well as Bear Grylls Craghoppers, again, all chosen for comfort. You can pick up a British issue smock for around £20 on-line. The gloves I have chosen are the Viper Special Ops glove in tan. They are very comfortable and offer me adequate dexterity with them.
The tactical vest that I have opted for is the Warrior Assault Systems R.I.C.A.S and again I have done so out of comfort. It’s size suits me perfectly and is a good balance, for me, between comfort and versatility. I have an admin panel on the top centre and across the belly of the vest I have 5 open top mag pouches for my M4. On my left hip I have a 12 shell shotgun pouch for when I’m running a shotgun and on my right front hip I have a utility pouch which I normally use to hold my Pyrotechnics or spent shotgun shells. I carry a carabiner, a multi tool, a lighter (for lighting pyrotechnics) and a shemagh/scrim scarf. For communications I use a Baofeng two way radio and a covert throat microphone and cover earpiece. This is something that I will shortly be changing as the earpiece that I use is one of my spares from my work within the security industry and is designed to be worn under a suit rather than on simulated military style operations and as such is a little fragile. I shall be upgrading to a Nexus PTT and throat mic although I may go for the Z-Tactical replicas. Which ever way I decide to go a review will be along shortly after!
In airsoft it is imperative that adequate footwear is worn. I recommend a high ankle combat or walking boot of some sort. This is because you will be running and moving quickly across uneven terrain and without the right footwear on you are bound to damage your ankle. Personally I wear either Lowa Combat GTX’s or Hi-Tec Magnum desert boots (British issue ones).The Lowa’s are quite an expensive boot at around £160 a pair while you can pick up a pair of Magnums for about £30. There’s an important thing to note with boots here. Boot’s are a very personal piece of kit. What one person may find amazing, another person may feel like they’re the worst boot designed in the world and have constant problems with. The key with boots is trial and error, if you get a pair that doesn’t feel right, then change them. Unfortunately for guys in Airsoft this can become quite expensive. I’m lucky in that I’ve had 10 or so years in the military to try different boots out, in airsoft you just can’t replicate that so what can you do. Well, not much unfortunately, but remember this. An expensive boot doesn’t always make a good boot. During two of my operational deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan I opted for the cheaper Hi-Tec boots over all others for the simple fact that they fit me well, and for me are very comfortable. Most of my colleagues on the other hand did not agree and opted for more expensive equivalents.
This is my main weapon. It is an M4 AEG (Automatic Electric Gun) made by ICS. It has a crane stock fitted, a standard forward pistol grip and is equipped with a PEQ-16 laser aiming and torch device made by Element. The reason I opted for the PEQ-16 over the more commonly available PEQ-15 was because the PEQ-16 has a slightly better better torch. The paint job is my own and is made using brown and tan coloured Krylon paint (take a look at my How To Spray Paint Your Airsoft Gun tutorial) and a scrim scarf for the square textured effect. At the base of the upper receiver I have a Magpul ASAP (Ambidextrous Sling Attachment Point) as I like to be able to switch to my left side when needed. For weapon slings on this I have 2 options. The first is a modified AT-84 (84mm Anti Tank Missile) sling that is threaded through my MOLLE loops on my vest. This sling is constantly in place and is useful for urban/CQB type games. The 2nd sling option I have is a Spec-Ops 3 point sling that I can attach. This sling is more useful as I can sling my weapon to my back, but I only really use this sling for woodland games. It’s chronograph’d at a consistent 340 fps and is pretty accurate out to about 40 m/130 ft. Beyond that I need to start aiming high and off depending on the wind. It’s a great little gun and has served me very well. The magazines I use for this are Classic Army metal mid cap (120 round) magazines.
This is my backup/secondary weapon. It is a tri-shot (fires 3 bb’s at a time) Double Eagle M4 pump action shotgun. It takes a 30 round shell and which with it’s 3 round shot per trigger pull gives you 10 shots per shell. It fires at just over 300fps and is a great little short range weapon. I’ve found through testing that once you get to about 30 metres away with this the 3 bb’s per shot spread out too far and it becomes difficult to hit a target consistently without aiming off. The sling attached is the standard British issue rifle sling for the L85A2 Assault Rifle.