Never before have airsoft weapons been as customisable are they are now. From magazines to lighting, batteries to scopes, we’ll explore them all in this article, explain the pros and cons of each and why they can be an essential part of your airsoft loadout. If, when you have read this, your inspired to give your own setup an upgrade, then we’d recommend checking out our extensive range of airsoft guns, there’s something there for everyone!
The ability to customise airsoft weapons is one of the factors that makes the sport so unique and interactive. Tactical equipment and attachments can include rails, stocks, foregrips, bipods and other weapon modification items. Typically, these items modify the already existing shape and feel of the weapon as opposed to adding additional items on such as sights and flashlights. The sheer combination of different accessories and possibilities is what keeps airsoft fresh for current players and also what attracts new players, with everyone’s weapon experience being unique. The equipment doesn’t only modify the weapon aesthetic but also changes how it performs and feels, increasing weight or changing where and how you hold the weapon. All roles can benefit from an upgrade of equipment as there is definitely something for everyone!
Telescopic sights are fairly self-explanatory in that they are essentially small telescopes. Their purpose is to focus and magnify a specific area of the battlefield to assist with spotting enemies and scoping out unknown areas. Typically telescopic scopes are long, tube-like features that attach to the top of the weapon so they are in-line with your line of sight when aiming, and can often be found on long-range weapons such as sniper rifles and other precision shooting weapons. The benefit is increased magnification, however with airsoft often being playing in close quarters this can also be a hindrance. Even the snipers don’t really need more than about 4x magnification & the further you zoom in the harder it is to acquire the target at close range which means they can be a positive disadvantage in CQB. The scopes are also heavier which can mean movement with weapons could be reduced therefore these suit the roles of sniper and DMR very well.
The lighter alternative to telescopic scopes, the holographic and red dot sights are often not magnified and offer a larger field of view. The purpose of these sights is to improve accuracy while retaining aim speed and manoeuvrability on the battlefield. Unlike the telescopic counterparts, holographic sights are built to be used with both eyes open and therefore do not limit your view. Typically, these sights are used in airsoft for the roles of scouts and rifleman. Most airsofters will only ever need a red dot sight, a true holographic sight is a beautiful, rare and very expensive thing with even the cheapest coming in at over 10 times the price of the average airsoft red dot sight.
Torches, headlights and tactical flashlights are all included in this category and can give you an edge in combat. Typically used when playing in darker or indoor arenas, torches and headlights can be a huge benefit (essential in some cases!) and can light up unknown or out of reach areas, be careful though as they can just as easily give away you or your team mate’s position, so be sparing with how and when you use your lighting. Tactical flashlights can be attached to your weapon and can be used for lighting and as a combat tactic, by using the light or strobe to dazzle any close-up enemies for an easy strike or to assist in retreat. These pieces of gear are suited to airsoft roles that have lots of movement such as scout, rifleman and support; snipers may want to avoid lighting as not to give away a position.
For the most part, without magazines, there are no bullets, so we cannot stress enough the importance of getting to grips with your magazines. When you’re not slaying on the battlefield, why not practise loading and reloading (in a safe place) to improve your reload time and get a better feel of your weapon. Magazines can come in all shapes, sizes and capacities, and although you might think bigger is naturally better, it’s not always the case. Having a large magazine will offer increased capacity and less reloads, but it can increase the weight of the weapon and can be timely to reload. Support roles should use larger magazines so they can provide effective suppressive fire whereas scouts and rifleman may opt for a smaller magazine to increase movement speed.
Despite how effective they can be with their real steel cousins, silencers and suppressors are more for decoration and looking cool when it comes to airsoft. They can be used tactically to hide other accessories such as tracers etc. but in reality, there isn’t too much silencing work to be done. The loudest part of an AEG is the gearbox and that far outweighs the sound of the report coming out of the barrel. For snipers and non-blow back pistols, you can use a Silencer/Moderator/Suppressor to a decent effect, the silencer with the Tokyo Marui Mk23 works incredibly well, but because it’s such a quiet pistol anyway it’s already got a great head start!
You’ve flanked the enemy, there is no turning back, you are right behind them and they still haven’t seen you, you pull the trigger and… nothing happens. This is a scenario you never want to be in, your friends won’t let you live it down and the rain of BBs that usually comes your way will hurt more than your pride! Make sure this never happens by stocking up on high quality batteries for your weapons and accessories. We’d recommend you keep your battery in good health by regularly testing their life and capacity and replacing old batteries for new ones when necessary. Experiment with batteries of different capacities as you may discover what you have been missing all along. The main choices at the moment (as there are always new ones popping up) are Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) or Lithium Polymer (LiPo). NiMH has been involved in airsoft for years and is the go-to that you want to start with and needs very little care. LiPo has better discharge rates, can be smaller than NiMH and needs its own specific charger. However, if you don’t treat it right such as running it down too far, bash the cells around or puncture/short the cells, it can pose a fire risk! No batteries should be charged unattended and should preferably be in a fireproof bag. Take care of your batteries and they’ll take care of you!
If, after reading this you’re keen to get your gear and head out to the battlefield, make sure you’re playing the right role in combat by checking out our guide on choosing the right airsoft role.