Overview

Gear Descriptions:
Gear to avoid

[page 1- overview] [page 2- equipment] [page 3- gear to avoid]

Why create this section?

A picture is worth a thousand words: beware teh pistol snipera ridiculously goofy looking pistol witha  bipod, scope and a silencer duct taped on  
 This section is intended to save you money by helping you avoid dubious quality items or at least inform you of the possible drawbacks of each. Unfortunately I have stepped into most of these traps and have witnessed some players step into others. The outcome is the same - useless gear accumulates under the bed, until you decide to strip it for parts and create something as epic as... teh pistol sniper(Uses parts from an air spring rifle and an LPEG)! The sad thing is that this is what you are buying when you are getting an  LPEG - a low FPS gun with a variety of useless accessories.

Backyard airsoft "tourist traps"!

There are a lot of things that you can buy yourself or receive as a gift which do not qualify as good airsoft equipment. Below is a non- exhaustive list of such things that you need to avoid at this level of play. The primary issue with these items is low quality and non existent resale value.   Chances are these items will collect dust in some closet after a couple games.
*All FPS are listed with 0.2 gram BBs.
Spring rifles

What it is: A full size or a scaled down replica of a real fiream (ex: M16, AK47) with a spring driven piston that propels BBs down the barrel. Similar to a scaled up spring pistol. These rifles may come "loaded" with accessories - scopes, vertical foregrips, lazers, flashlights, etc.
Why it is not worth the money: In the age of AEGs, playing with a spring rifle is laughable. The accessories are really low grade and are barely functional. The bolt is heavy to pull (especially if it says 400 FPS with 0.2s), and is twice as hard to pull while prone. These rifles have hopup and low to average accuracy. Spare magazines are hard to find, especially if you get the gun on ebay. I had one of these as my 3rd airsoft gun.
Notes: These guns always inflate their FPS by listing FPS with 0.12 gram BBs, the gun is weighted down with silvery metal blocks
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Save 30-40$ + shipping and get an AEP instead
 Low Power Electric Guns or LPEGs
What it is: A full sized plastic replica of a real firearm. Similar in principle to an AEG - a motor rotates some gears to pull back a spring which pushes a piston. These are capable of semi and fully automatic fire. These may come with accessories: scopes, lazers, flashlights, slings, etc.These guns are sometimes advertised as AEGs. Price range is 30-50$
Why it is not worth the money:
These guns are extremely cheap and mass produced. The gearbox and gears are made of plastic and a cheap 7.2 V motor and battery(~500mah) are used. The fragility of these components prevents heavier springs from being put in, which severely limits the guns FPS (about 200-220 with 0.2s). The accessories are cheap imitations and very low grade. There’s absolutely no opportunity for upgrading or swapping parts with AEGs. Spare magazines are expensive and are not compatible with regular AEGs. If you own one of these, dont open it, as you wont be able to put it back together due to all the small springs around the trigger.
Notes: These often inflate their FPS by listing numbers measured with 0.12g BBs. The guns are also weighted down with silvery metal blocks.
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Save yourself 20-40$+ shipping, get an AEP instead, you get the same magazine size and power in a smaller package.
Airsoft Sniper rifles
What it is:
A bolt operated spring rifle. Full size and weight (about 12 pounds). These may cost 80-120$ are are usually of the UTG L96 or variants, somes with scope, scope rail, side rails and a bipod. 1-2 magazines, each hold ~25 BBs.

Why it is not worth the money: These guns offer medium accuracy and the bolt is affordably easy to pull while standing or kneeling. Harder when shooting prone. Do not make this gun your first airsoft purchase or you will not enjoy the sport very much. The low rate of fire combined with medium accuracy makes you a sitting duck. The gun is also too "hot" for CQB and will crack glass, leave dimples on cars, etc. Minimum engagement distance with such weapons is usually 100 feet at which the gun is not very accurate.
Notes: The gun is bulky and heavy. FPS is ~450 with 0.2g BBs out of the box.
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Save 100$ and get an AEG.
Spring gun spare magazines – these cost around 5$. Chances are your spring gun will break fairly quickly (~600 shots).
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Use a speedloader to reload on the fly instead.
Cheap highcaps (10$) for AEGs
What it is: a plastic imitation of a higher grade high capacity magazine
Why it is not worth the money: These are made of all plastic and have quite a character. They misfeed BBs most of  the time and require constant rewinding. No amount of silicone spray will make these behave.
Notes: usually come with cheaper AEGs
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Save yourself 10$ and get a 20$ exact copy of Tokyo Marui high cap magazines.
Electric Blowback pistols (EBB)
What it is: a pistol with a slide blowback action, driven by an electric motorl
Why it is not worth the money: These come in all shapes and colors and usually cost around 20$. They use different mechanism than an AEP and have plastic gearboxes. The slide blowback action is very unsatisfying due to low power. The gun FPS (>200) is limited by the brittleness of the components.
Notes: always list FPS with 0.12s
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Save yourself 20$ and get an AEP instead. 
Single barrel shotguns,
What it is: “tactical shotguns” – these look like shotguns and are usually within the 20$ price range. The vast majority use magazines to feed BBs and are pretty much a spring pistol in shotgun form. They have one inner barrel and do not use shells (shoot 1 BB at a time).
Why it is not worth the money: Similar to spring rifles, except with lower power. They have no resale value as the market is oversaturated. Get a multi shot version with 3 internal barrels.
Notes: May come with a variety of tactical accessories of low quality.
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Save yourself 20$ and get a 50$ shotgun with shells (multi-shot)
Used paintball masks
What it is:
A mask used for paintball games, usually has slightly scrated lenses, as paintball involves less camouflage and sneaking and you dont have to see very far.
Why it may not be worth the money: If you are buying this through ebay or similar venue and have no opportunity to examine the mask, at least ask these questions: Are there visible scratches on the inside of the lenses? Are there issues with fogging?
(These often have scratches on inner lenses which fog very easily during airsoft games). Buy these only if they are in excellent condition. Remember, foggy lenses will ruin your airsoft day. Buy one only if you can verify the brand and you are getting a good deal.
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Save 10$+shipping on a used mask and get a brand new for 20$ at wallmart.
Full head covering paintball masks
What it is:
A paintball mask that covers the top and, sometimes, the back of your head. Similar to a motorcycle helmet.
Why it is not worth the money: – These are not suited for airsoft  because they are too hot for CQB play and fog easily. Most players don’t care about hits outside the face area, and taking off your mask to clean it in the middle of a game is dangerous.
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Save 25$ and get a full face mask instead.
Mesh Goggles
What it is: A face mask that uses thin metal mesh instead of a plastic screen for protection. These masks dont fog and offer decent visibility in close quarters, similar to looking out through a mosquito screen.
Why it is not worth the money: These are often prohibited at most airsoft fields and are dangerous in CQB. Low grade, biodegradeable and glow in the dark BBs may shatter against the mesh and get to your eyes. This could be a myth, but you dont want to find out.
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Get a Paintball mask for CQB instead. 
Low grade BBs in bulk (0.12gram)
What it is: Similar to brightly colored pellets that you get with the cheapest airsoft guns. 6mm BBs weighing 0.12 grams.
Why it is not worth the money: The issue with these is that you cannot inspect the quality before buying. And the quality is more often than not horrendous with deformed, seamed and oversized BBs abundant. These BBs may jam your guns easily. Chances are, your springer, LPEG or EBB will die before you fire 1000 rounds. Why buy 5000 rounds of 0.12s if your gun wont last that long? Shooting these from your better guns results in frequent jams.
Notes: black,brown and olive BBs are invisible in flight (in the woodland setting). dark blue or dark green are barely visible by the shooter.
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Get a bag of 5000 mid grade BBs instead, you may use them in other guns.
Any ebay airsoft item with overpriced shipping.
What it is: an ebay item with 50% or more of the item's cost coming from "Shipping". For example a 25$ spring rifle with 20$ shipping.
Why it is not worth it: Even if your airsoft vendor offers "30 day money back" kind of guarantee, the shipping costs are not refunded. This means that you will not want to deal with shipping the item back for a tiny refund.
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Look for a free shipping and ensure you can return the item if you really want to.
Air rifles/pistols
What it is
 these are sporting and small game hunting weapons, sometimes sold at Walmarts. These shoot .177cal or .22 cal metal pellets (also called BBs) at around 20 joules -  10 times as hard as the most hardcore airsoft sniper rifles. The guns often feature  "break over the knee" cocking action or may work on Co2 cartridges.
Why these are absolutely prohibited:   These are not airsoft guns and are designed for hunting and sport shooting, not playing, especially not in close quarters.  These weapons will penetrate most airsoft safety gear. You cannot play airsoft with air (hard air) rifles
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Dont go looking for airsoft guns to Walmart, they carry the cheapest springers (transparent plastic) and air guns/rifles. 
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