Paintball vs. Airsoft
Ever wondered why these two sports are so different? Here is the answer.
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Both paintball and airsoft are adrenaline packed sports that we enjoy for recreational or law enforcement and military training. Although speedball, a mainstream commercial sub-sport of paintball, is arguably the most popular form of paintball in the USA and Europe, I would not like to cover this section today. This article is purely about the CQB and military simulation side to paintball and airsoft.
Let’s start with Paintball (woodsball):
Many competitive leagues exist in this genre. Milsim, one of these leagues, is a great way to regularly enjoy this great sport. I have found the teamwork and camaraderie meaningful during my experiences with A-grade teams belonging to the milsim league. Following is the positive attributes I discovered while playing woodsball professionally for a while relating to the rules and equipment.
Paintball equipment, mainly paintball markers are relatively cheap to start out with. The problem is one has to spend A LOT on barrels, e-triggers, internals, sights, hoppers etc. This can get as you would imagine quite a costly process over a few months or even years. Ammunition has a wide price range and choices to choose from, from really hard shells and ultra thick fills to brittle breakages and near perfect seams around the edges. The best is to see what is best for you. The other equipment like camo’s, tac-vests and masks are at personal discretion in terms of taste and affordability.
Now for Airsoft:
Something I liked very much about airsoft is that the guns are realistic to real firearms in terms of weight and size. Most main weapons are quite advanced to begin with and do not need much upgrading. Ammunition is cheap and does not vary much in accuracy compared to paintball. Airsoft is more of a gentleman’s game, having to be truthful about shots that hit. Rumours are there that a powder filled pellet is in development. Tracer rounds are used in night games and are illuminated by a special silencer or magazine attachment. Personal attire is at own discretion as in paintball and is very similar.
Paintball requires a hopper and air source which can be cumbersome. The air or CO2 tank needs to be constantly filled during the day depending on capacity. Paintballs are overpriced compared to airsoft pellets. The Airsoft gun is generally more accurate over range and has a tighter grouping over a longer distance. Starting up costs for Airsoft can be a bit pricey depending on your selection, but it will pay off in the long with cheaper ammunition and not having to do expensive fills on CO2 and air tanks. I personally prefer airsoft over paintball, although owning both airsoft and paintball guns and having played both sports seriously. Realism and the fact that you don’t have to wear a mask, only ballistics shades have won me over. I am passionate about both sports and would highly recommend to them anyone who shares this interest.