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
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
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
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
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
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:
- G&G – Combat Machine CM16 Raider - £132.95
- ASG – 0.20G Blaster 6mm BB Bundle - £12.48
- ASG Armalite M4 Low-Cap Magazine 85Rd x10 Multipack - £34.99
- Big Dragon – 20mm RIS / RAS Foregrip Short - £6.69
- Viper Tactical – Special Ops Chest Rig - £19.99
- VP Racing - 9.6v 1600mAh Ni-Mh Crane Stock Battery - £13.95
- ASG - Intelligent Auto-stop charger NiMh - £9.99
- NUPROL - Pro Mesh Goggles Eye Protection - £9.99
- NUPROL - Lower Face Mesh Mask - £8.99
Making the grand total:
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!