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The £250 Challenge – Dave D

For the second installment of our £250 beginners Airsoft challenge we speak to Dave D, long time Airsofter and avid "real-steel" shooter (a term I know he'll absolutely loathe!) You will see his real world shooting experience show in the package he has put together, as his priorities differ vastly from the previous entry, which was focused on getting as much as we could to play with the budget.

Just what is the £250 Airsoft challenge?

Instead of reeling off the top ten guns for beginners in 2019, we've decided to do something a little different. We talked to all our staff members and gave them a £250 limit to put together a loadout they would be comfortable starting Airsoft with if they were suddenly a new player again. Hopefully, this will give new players ideas on what they can get for their money.

Each staff member has picked what they would use for their beginner loadout, including all the things they need to start playing. Of course, with a £250 limit, there is always room for improvement, but these load-outs give a great solid base to start expanding on at a later date.

As we had hoped, each loadout turned out slightly different, as all of us have different ideas of what we want from our kit; knowledge which we will now try to pass on to yourselves.

Over the next month, we'll release a series of blog posts describing each staff members choices, and why they picked them.


£250 Airsoft Challenge Entry - Dave D

The priority for his loadout is future proofing himself and retaining as much value on items as possible.

CYMA CM.513 M4 RIS Suppressed

Price: £79.99

Dave has chosen the CM.513 because he wanted to leave room in his budget for a higher tier optic – as a “real-steel” shooter he understands the importance of a decent red dot sight and cannot compromise on quality, with good reason! He’s made the choice to go for a cheaper RIF, however when stacked side by side I bet you wouldn’t be able to see a performance difference between this and a replica that costs twice as much. The only sacrifice he is really making here are on ‘extras’ such as an electronic trigger, metal receiver etc. At the end of the day, you pull the trigger and a BB comes out the end of the RIF. Replicas can be upgraded whereas a cheap sight will forever be a cheap sight.

Find out more about the CYMA CM.513 M4 RIS Suppressed >

Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Sight

Price: £145.99

The Crossfire is an entry level Vortex sight; I’m sure Dave would have liked a more expensive one as he understands the benefits of first focal plane reticules etc, however the budget is key here! For his £145, Dave has now got a real-world optic which has been designed to sit on a proper firearm, will hold zero (the dot won’t move around) miles better than a cheap sight, has a LIFETIME WARRANTY meaning he doesn’t have to run a lens protector if he doesn’t want to, and at any point he can change his mind and sell it on easy as cake without losing much money because the warranty goes with the product, not the receipt, making them hold their value. Parallax is another important reason for this optic choice; on a cheaper sight your dot will float around as your head moves, whereas a higher tier optic will be able to correct for this and could end up being the difference between a hit or a miss – a margin of error that is unacceptable for a seasoned shooter.

Find out more about the Vortex Crossfire Red Dot Sight >

Nuprol RZR 0.28g Precision BB x 3300

Price: £11.95

These BBs were an easy choice for Dave as they are his favourite weight along with probably every other member of staff. They’re just a bit heavier than a 0.25g which lets you get a lot of HOP on for increased range, they travel straighter in the air due to the extra weight and they’re reasonably priced to be feasible to run in an automatic Airsoft Gun. Bulk buy options are available on the RZR series, however that would have pushed our budget for today!

Find out more about the Nuprol RZR 0.28g Precision BB x 3300 >

ARES Tune-Up M-100 AEG Spring

Price: £9.99

Because power!!!! The CYMA guns come out of the box generally at the 280FPS mark which is absolutely fine for Airsoft skirmishing, however Dave has never been one to leave something alone. If there’s a gain to be had he will get his way! As the CYMA guns typically have very good air seal out of the box, the only necessary upgrade to boost the power to a point where 0.28g are not slow is a bigger spring, and to run the gun right on the limit. (It’s worth noting here that installing this spring yourself would void your warranty. If you want a similar job completing, please contact our workshop.)

Find out more about the ARES Tune-Up M-100 AEG Spring >


The total shopping list:

So, let's tally together everything in the basket to make sure we're on budget:

Grand total:

£247.92

So this is what Dave D would purchase as a completely new player to the game, with all the knowledge he has now after many many years of Airsoft skirmishing. His priorities are vastly different to the previous blog, and his investments will retain a great amount of value, mainly due to the lifetime warranty on the Vortex optic, and the fact that the AEG has such a low price point to begin with. Neither loadouts are more "correct, we simply have different ideas of what Airsoft are, and this is the important question you need to ask yourself; what is Airsoft to you?

The next blog will be published shortly and will be a look into another member of staff's choices for their Airsoft beginner loadout.

In the meantime: What would your ideal loadout for under £250 be? Let us know in the comments below and you never know, we might just feature your loadout too!


The £250 Challenge – Milky

In this blog, I'm going to be talking about quite an interesting subject. It's something that we get asked quite a lot, especially when people are starting out or making the transition from playing with BB guns and are wanting to start collecting Airsoft replicas: what can we get that will allow people to start playing when they're on a strict budget?

Just what is the £250 Airsoft challenge?

Instead of reeling off the top ten guns for beginners in 2019, we've decided to do something a little different. We talked to all our staff members and gave them a £250 limit to put together a loadout they would be comfortable starting Airsoft with if they were suddenly a new player again. Hopefully, this will give new players ideas on what they can get for their money.

Each staff member has picked what they would use for their beginner loadout, including all the things they need to start playing. Of course, with a £250 limit, there is always room for improvement, but these load-outs give a great solid base to start expanding on at a later date.

As we had hoped, each loadout turned out slightly different, as all of us have different ideas of what we want from our kit; knowledge which we will now try to pass on to yourselves.

Over the next month, we'll release a series of blog posts describing each staff members choices, and why they picked them.


My £250 Airsoft Challenge Entry

My priority for this loadout is value for money – I really despise spending money where I don’t need to, but I will pay the extra if it offers extra tangible value.

G&G - Combat Machine CM16 Raider

Price: £132.95

I picked this replica as it has a long history, a good name behind it and a proven track record of lasting a long time. Pretty much every Airsoft site I’ve been to in the UK uses the G&G Raider as their rental guns for a few simple reasons; they’re amazingly priced for what you get, they last a long time (even in the hands of beginners) and the internal components are far better quality than you would get from something else in the same price bracket. The set comes with the Rifle, a magazine, and unjamming rod, so you'll need to buy a battery separately.

Find out more about the G&G Combat Machine CM16 Raider >

ASG - 0.20G Blaster 6mm BB x3 Bundle

Price: £12.48

An obvious choice! You will ALWAYS need BBS as long as you are an Airsofter, so you might as well save money on them when you buy them. Ideally I would have liked 0.25g rounds or heavier to improve groups and flight path, however, rules are rules and I must stick to a budget!The bundle can be added further down the main page, and you buy three get one half-price!

Find out more about the ASG 0.20g Blaster 6mm BB >

ASG Armalite M4 Low-Cap Magazine 85Rd x10 Multipack

Price: £34.99

I chose this multipack of magazines for a very childish reason… I love reloading! Airsofting is all about dressing the part and getting immersed in the action for me.

These Polymer low-caps for some reason feed better than any other mags I have tried, and they make an amazing ‘CLACK’ noise when you slap them into the Magwell, and as they’re only 85rnds per mag, I get to reload more often than my high-cap using brethren.

Find out more about the ASG Armalite M4 Low-Cap Magazine 85Rd x10 Multipack >

Big Dragon - 20mm RIS / RAS Foregrip Short

Price: £6.69

I must admit that the addition of the grip was burning the last of the budget. However, a well-placed foregrip will reduce the amount of stress on your wrists.It sounds like a weak-sauce right now, but after an eight-hour skirmish you’ll feel the burn and thank yourself for adding that ergonomic grip.

The grip mounts to the rifle on the bottom of the railed handguard as it is compatible with 20mm RIS / RAS rails.

Find out more about the Big Dragon - 20mm RIS / RAS Foregrip Short >

Viper Tactical - Special Ops Chest Rig

Price: £19.99

This rig is cheap and cheerful, gets the job done and gives your body freedom of movement as it is a harness style chest rig.

Ideally, I would pick a big fancy plate carrier because that’s what I think looks cool, but sometimes that's just overkill.

For the purpose of the budget I’ve chosen something that’s going to get the job done and let me carry more mags for tactical mag-flips.

Find out more about the Viper Tactical - Special Ops Chest Rig >

Battery & Charger

Price: £9.99 / £13.95

I went for a NiMH battery as they’re easier to use than LiPO batteries, are way more robust and have slightly less risk associated with them. The price you pay is less performance than a LiPO battery, but I feel the difference is negligible. I chose the ASG Charger purely on price point – you don’t need an amazing charger to get the job done in my opinion.

Find out more about the VP Racing - 9.6v 1600mAh Ni-Mh Crane Stock Battery >
Find out more about the ASG - Intelligent Auto-stop Charger NiMh >

NUPROL Mesh Goggles & Mask Combo

Price: £8.99 / £9.99

This is the face protection combo I actually use in my usual loadout. I’ve found that it is the cheapest way to get a comfortable setup that protects my eyes, teeth and nose, still lets me aim down sights and doesn’t make me feel claustrophobic three hours into a skirmish. Mesh is a bit of a marmite choice I think, as some people love it and others hate it! Make sure you get a pair on your face before buying to see if mesh is for you.

Find out more about the NUPROL - Pro Mesh Goggles Eye Protection >
Find out more about the NUPROL - Lower Face Mesh Mask >


The total shopping list

So, let's tally together everything in the basket to make sure we're on budget:

Making the grand total:

£250.02

Technically, we are over budget by 2p, but I'm sure you'll forgive me!


So there you have it! That's the loadout that I would go for if I were to need a brand new beginner loadout (should my kit suddenly vanish!)

This loadout is perfect for anyone looking to get into playing Airsoft, be it CQB or outdoor gameplay. The gun itself is a great all-rounder, being small enough for tight spaces, with enough range and accuracy for outdoor games. If anyone is seriously stressed about the 2p over you could swap out the 9.6v Ni-Mh for an 8.4v Ni-Mh at a loss of some performance, but for 2p, it's not worth downgrading.

The kit has everything you need, so if you're looking for a brilliant starter package, there is your best bet.

The next blog will be published shortly and will be a look into another member of staff's choices for their Airsoft beginner loadout.

In the meantime: What would your ideal loadout for under £250 be? Let us know in the comments below and you never know, we might just feature your loadout too!


Christmas Buyer’s Guide: Torches & Lasers

Price Range: £9.99 - £149.99

Grab your stocking fillers whilst stock lasts! These are flying out!

The Short Version:

In the run up to Christmas we will be breaking down the main types of accessories and attachments into a (hopefully) easy-to-digest buying guide, to help the clueless gift buyer this festive season. Today we’re talking torches and lasers; how much you need to spend, different attachment options and how to get the right one.

Why do I need one?

  • Light up dark places
  • Disorientate your opponents for an advantage
  • Improve time to target (aim faster)
  • In-game psychological effect
  • Accessories are cool!!!

How do I make sure I’m getting the right thing?

  • Call us and ask
  • Email us and ask
  • Visit our store and ask
  • Ask your gift-ee what replica/rail system they have
  • Check our detailed specifications tab on each product
  • Use the Google machine

Will I need an adaptor?

The Long Version:

Why Should I Buy a Torch or Laser?

Torches and Lasers are a great way to easily add some flair to your Airsoft Gun. They not only look great but will give you distinct advantages when playing, such as making it easier to aim when using a laser, and having a momentary advantage when using a torch as the opponent is dazzled. There is a wide range of choices available with price tags anywhere from £9.49 up to £149.99 – it all depends on what you want from your accessories. As with all Airsoft gear, there will be some that fit your Replica and others that don’t – this blog is here to hopefully help you make an informed decision this year when buying for others.

How Do I Buy the Right One?

To be sure that you are buying the correct Torch or Laser, you will need to know the ‘Rail System’ of the Airsoft Gun it is attaching to. You can easily find this out by either asking the person you are buying for, looking on our website for up-to-date specifications or by contacting us to enquire what will fit. When looking at a product on our website, the ‘Specification’ button will show you all the available information we have about a product, including everything from Rail Types to Thread Specification.

What Do I Do With This Info?

The ‘Rail System’ is the type of attachment points available on an Airsoft Gun. It determines what type of accessories can be fitted, and you will find that there are three main types. Most Rail Systems can be converted with a simple adaptor, so do not worry if your favourite Torch is not immediately compatible with your Rail System.

The three main Rail Systems are listed belong along with pictures to get a rough idea of what they look like. Bear in mind that many types of rail usually feature 20mm RIS along the top as it is a very common attachment method.

20mm RIS/RAS – This is the most common rail system around in both the real world and Airsoft, for the simple fact that it is easy to use and well established as the ‘standard’ in the market – meaning accessories are most likely to be made to fit this rail. It is identified by its ‘Ladder’ style slots, which is what accessories will grab on to for a solid hold.

KeyMod – This is quickly becoming one of the most popular rail systems in Airsoft, and is featuring more and more on new releases. The idea of this rail in the real world is that it saves on weight by having the slots cut from the rail, and has less unused space which would otherwise add unnecessary weight. Adaptors can be purchased to turn this rail back into 20mm RIS compatible should you want to use a RIS torch/laser.

M-LOK – Like the KeyMod rail, this one aims to reduce overall weight with a different attachment design that uses slots cut out from the rail rather than big and bulky rail slots. This attachment method is less common than others, but adaptors are available to convert small pieces of the rail back to 20mm RIS.

Get To The Point!

Typically Torches & Lasers either come as a standalone unit or with an included mount or base to attach it to your Airsoft Gun. When buying from our website it will be clear whether or not a mount is included and what Rail System it is for – it will be featured in the images and mentioned in the Package Includes or Specification section. Simply match the attachment method with the rail (20mm RIS rail will need a 20mm RIS mount) to be sure you’re buying the right thing. If you need any help identifying your gift-ee’s Rail System don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

If your torch does not come included with a mount, then you will need to know the outside diameter of the Torch’s tube and purchase an appropriate mount. Whilst there are plenty of Torch mounts available, we have found that Scope Rings make for an effective Torch mount as they are generally 30mm wide. Undo the screws on the Scope Mount to open it up, place the Torch inside and secure the mount closed again and mount it as you would any other accessory. If you find the torch moves inside the mount you could use tape/tissue paper or quite literally any soft/wrap-able material to close the gap between the Mount and Torch. If you’re looking to get a Torch mounted on your Airsoft Gun for as cheap as humanly possibly then we recommend this type of setup, or simply using tape. If you appreciate function over form then there is no issue in doing this.

Adaptors – Do I Need One?

If you really like the look of a Torch/Laser, but it isn’t designed for your Rail System then have no fear! There are plenty of Rail Adaptors available which will convert small sections of rail, giving you a wider range of connection options. Generally aimed at KeyMod/M-LOK rails, these adaptors slot into your existing rail slots and accessories can be attached to the new rail piece.

 

Whilst all this information may seem daunting, we are here to help and it’s never as complicated as you think! If you’re in doubt, we’d love to help you get the right gift this Christmas, so get in touch!

01484 644 709

sales@patrolbase.co.uk

Unit 5, Dale Street Mills, Dale Street, Milnsbridge, Huddersfield, HD3 4TG


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