Airsoft Guns – Using a pistol as a primary weapon, good or bad idea?
A pistols standard field of use is usually as a sidearm, whilst the operator uses a larger weapon like an assault rifle, sniper rifle or sub-machine gun. Within airsoft however, firepower isn’t an aspect you need to consider, so different calibers with different penetrative and ballistic power doesn’t need to be considered. Because of this, the consideration of using a pistol, as primary weapon is a common one, especially in CQB where the tighter corners and smaller areas of engagement can really benefit the use of a one handed weapon, being able to maneuver as much as you can whilst holding a gun. Having such a small unit is a great advantage, keeping your maneuverability as even smaller sub-machine guns like the MP7, MP5 and Kriss Vector can become cumbersome in close proximity engagements.
An aspect that could concern many skirmishers that is airsoft specific is the price point of the set up you need to run a primary weapon, regardless if it’s a pistol. Using a weapon for an extended amount of time requires extra magazines, and in the regard of AEG’s, these can be quite cheap. With GBB pistols, most often spare magazines range from £30-£40. For new skirmishers this can be quite a lot of money to dump on a new platform, especially when the pistol alone can cost the price of 3-4 magazines. I use the example of 3-4 magazines, as this is the average amount you will use in a CQB style game. The average capacity for a gas blow back pistol magazine is around 20-25 rounds. Using my pistol as an example, the capacity is 25 rounds. Below is a chart of the 5 most common GBB magazines and their respective loading capacity.
WE 1911A1 single stack magazine – 15 rounds
WE Hi-Capa double stack magazine – 25 rounds
WE G17/18/19/34/35 double stack magazine – 25 rounds
WE M9 double stack magazine – 25 rounds
WE M&P double stack magazine – 22 rounds
You can see from the information above, particular platforms warrant different ammo capacity, so if you are deciding on a pistol, perhaps you should consider this when deciding, as 3-4 magazines can equal 100 rounds, or 60 depending on your platform.
A big aspect to consider is maintenance of your pistol. I mention GBB pistols as these are the usual format for sidearm due to the realistic function of the loading of the round, and the slide racking back every time a shot is fired. Non-blow back variants of pistols are common but these are rarely used during skirmishes, par a few variants like the Tokyo Marui MK23 SOCOM, which seems to be a popular NBB pistol due to its accuracy and low noise level. NBB and GBB alike both need maintenance, but due to a gas blow back pistols function, they require a lot more attention whilst servicing them, as parts will actually wear out as there are compacting surfaces like the slide rail that will eventually wear down. Moving parts like this need to be cleaned and lubricated regularly to keep proper function of the weapon, again this is something to consider if you are thinking of buying a GBB pistol and using it as a primary.
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