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Weapons & Combat

Preface

If you are entirely new to airsoft as a hobby, start with "Part 1" below and read on. If you are an old hand and you know your way around airsoft weapons, then you can scroll down to "Part 2", and carry on from there. Remember if you have any questions, please email the School, and we'll do our level best to help you.

Part 1: Airsoft Weapons: An Introduction

Lieutenant Colonel James T. Law, as played by Chris Booley, in one of our trenches

A full face paintball mask

Above: A JT Flex-8 thermal goggle in a cammo finish. Some people prefer to get their protection in the form of a combination of separate goggle, face-plate, and sometimes a hard shell radio headset.

The FN SCAR-L above, and the SCAR-H below

The 5.56x45mm SCAR Light (top) and the more powerful 7.62x51mm SCAR Heavy (bottom). Each shown with their standard 30 and 20 round magazines respectively.

Safety & Honour First

In CONTACT, combat is conducted with airsoft guns, the increasingly popular alternative to paintball type weapons. These airsoftguns are ultra low powered air weapons discharging 6mm plastic BB's at one twelth of the power of a paintball gun, so at worst, the impact is like a harsh flick of the finger. Any bruises tend to be no worse than any other outdoor sport, that is often not discovered until you are in the shower! However, like paintball, a measure of protective kit is essential. Because we allow the shots to be taken blind (unaimed) at any target location, including the face and head, and as many of our games are run at night and in mixed terrain, we insist on full face, head, ear and hand protection, so you have no exposed skin. Your kit takes the bulk of the impact not you, thus we can run things more realistically.

The full kit, apart from being safer, is itself more realistic, and fits the games background, which implies that there is a biological threat off-world. Your mask stands in for a respirator (gas mask), and your gloves and clothes for a protective Nuclear Biological Chemical (NBC) warfare suit.

Also as the BB's contain no paint, meaning that there is no mess to worry about, it does require complete honesty on the part of all players to acknowledge their hits, and as we are a non-comercial organisation and do not have marshalls or referees in the field, then your personal honour is crutial. Cheats are swiftly shown the door, and not allowed to let it hit them on the way out - no refunds.

M60E4 belt fed 7.62x51mm GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun)

The principle models of these airsoft guns are driven mainly by electric motors, and because of their extremely low power, they are legally permitted to be fully automatic, typically shooting at about 600-1,200 rounds per minute, with a maximum effective range of around 40-70 metres, depending upon the model.


Glock 18c Pistol in 9mm Parabellum with a 17 round magazine.

H&K Mk 23 SOCOM pistol
In .45ACP with its 12 round magazine.

A Colt Python Six Shot Revolver
.357 Magnum.

IMI Desert Eagle
In .50AE with its 7 round magazine.
Top: A well spaced assault, with Chris Booley in the lead.

Above: Myself Dean Wayland, serving as a SAW gunner, with my number two Susan Furlong (?) moving up. "SAW" means a Squad Automatic Weapon, a 10kg, 1,200 rounds per minute bitch of a gun, with 1,000 rounds of ammunition on board (that is the most you could carry in your kit in the real world - hence the limit)*.

NB: Both images courtasey of Stephen Clarke in his role as war photographer, CON- 77 OPERATION GREAT YARMOUTH September 26th & 27th 2009.


Above: 12 Gauge SPAS Shotgun with its 7 round tubular magazine

You can also get pistols, revolvers, shotguns and grenade launchers, which tend to be driven by the use of an internal gas reservoir. Alternatively, spring powered bolt action sniping rifles like the replica of the AI AW338, pictured at left, is also an option.

Left: The Accuracy International Arctic Warfare bolt action long range sniping rifle in .338 Lapua, with its 5 round magazine.

To add to the realism, these guns are perfect plastic or wood and metal replicas of genuine firearms, with replaceable magazines, varrying in capacity from as little as 5 rounds, up to as much as 1,000* rounds. The average for the typical weapon is between 20 and 30 rounds per magazine. This makes it just like the real thing, meaning you have to master the art of fire control, weapons handling and magazine management.

* No real weapon in existance that could be carried by the infantry, can hold 1,000 rounds of ammunition. The reason why its allowed here is because the machine guns that get this allowance, would in real life be fed by a succession of belted ammunition (100~200 rounds). The trouble is the airsoft models use a complex feed system, which makes quick reloads impossible. So the compromise is that the weapon is permitted to carry all the users real world ammunition capacity "on board" their weapon. If they desire spare, it has to be carried in ammunition cans with realistic volumes of ammunition in them. The standard on-board maximum load of belted ammunition has been set at the equivalent of 19 kilograms or about 41 pounds (a British Army standard). Thus a SAW gunner (5.56x45mm Squad Automatic Weapon) gets, 1,000 rounds, and a GPMG operator (7.62x51mm General Purpose Machine Gun) gets 500 rounds. Go to the BLAC website for more information.

FN P90 Personal Defence Weapon
In 5.7x28mm with its long 50 round magazine installed on top
H&K MP7A1 Personal Defence Weapon
In 4.6x30mm, with a 40 round magazine in the grip.

The guns can be fitted with optical sights, including night vision devices, torches, bipods and other accessories, including the afore mentioned grenade launchers, like the one below:


A 5.56mm SCAR-L with a single shot 40mm EGLM, Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module, attached. It can fire a giant shot shell discharging 204 BBs at once or the new pyrotechnic grenades.

Part 2: Weapon Power Limits etc.

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Weapon Power For New Players

Obviously, for reasons of safety there are performance limits for all airsoft weapons. For your first games, you will either be loaned a suitable weapon, or if you already own one, then as long as it complies with the national standard, which is a maximum permissible velocity with 0.2 gram ammunition of 350 feet per second, that is 106.68 metres per second, or 1.138 Joules of energy, then you will be allowed to use it. Please note that we do not allow new players to use sniping rifles, unless they meet the above limit, or until we have got to know and trust them, before letting them loose with more potent kit.

As mentioned elsewhere we use real capacity magazines or mid-cap ones short loaded to replicate them. However if as a new player you only own a hi-cap magazine, you will be allowed to use it with a reduced load, depending upon type. Many regular airsofters own mid-cap magazines, these are perfectly fine, as they can be easily short loaded to comply with our rules. BTW we have the tools to make this process extremely easy.

Weapon Power Once You're Hooked

Now if you get hooked, then you will be asked to, if necessary, to adjust the power of the weapons you bring to play CONTACT. You may have noticed that in the various captions associated with different weapons, we have given their real-world calibre. This is because we are using real capacity magazines, or ones short loaded to match the real thing, rather than the huge buckets of ammo normally carried in an airsoft type magazine. To compensate players with large calibre weapons, which usually have correspondingly smaller magazines, we use a system called BLAC that allows them to use a higher velocity, in proportion to the weapons real-world power. BLAC stands for Barrel Length And Calibre, so in addition, weapons with longer barrels, also gain extra velocity. So if you go in to the field armed with a short, underpowered calibre weapon, then you will get shorter range, but more ammunition. On the other hand if you pack a cannon, then you will gain range at the expense of the quantity of ammunition carried. Apart from actual individual magazine capacities, we do not place a limit on how many of them you can carry, that is just down to how fit you are. This makes play infinitely more realistic, and way more fun. And we will gladly help you to understand how all this works, and how to choose the right kit and accessories.

Night Fighting

Above: The H&K MP5SD6. A 9mm Parabellum SMG (Sub Machine Gun) illustrated with a 30 round curved magazine.

As we specialise in night fighting we insist on the use of so-called "tracer units", and the optional use of "tracer amunition" on all electric weapons. These suppressor (silencer) look-alike devices radically enhance the combat experience. These clever electronics packages are either screwed on to or internally mounted, to the end of the barrels of our weapons. It uses a strobe light to provide muzzle flash and illuminate specially coated BB's, which then glow bright green or orange as they fly through the air at speeds of about 100 metres per second, very dramatic indeed! As a back-up, or if you don't yet own one of these excellent pieces of kit, you can use a weapon mounted torch, which you activate when you shoot. This all stops night games becoming bogged down and dull, due to no one being able to tell where the enemy fire is coming from, and being unable to help their "buddies" in the killing zone. Now, real planning and skill has to be deployed to execute a night ambush, as firing gives away your position. You have to be prepared to fend off an enemy counter attack from a flank, or alternatively carry one out yourself.

Pyrotechnics

Sadly, this image of a M18 violet smoke grenade is from Wiki. When and if, we ever get a decent shot of one of our own being used, it will be put up here, instead. But to be honest the difference is minor in practise.

We use low powered pyrotechnic munitions such as "fragmentation" or "stun" grenades, and command fired Claymore type mines to make things interesting, plus smoke grenades for signaling and concealment. These grenades and mines are standard commercially available airsoft/paintball pyrotechnics, which meet our stringent safety requirements, see our Rules and Regulations pages, via the links below. If you bring your own, you MUST clear their use with the organisers before deploying them in the field.

Above: Mounted under the barrel of an M4 carbine is the TAG Innovations ML36 grenade launcher, based upon the MWT ML40. This airsoft replica shoots pyrotechnic grenades by CO2 gas to a range of 190 metres. Currently you can get explosive rounds, powder marker grenades, smoke and solid shot. For more information go to the website of the UK distributor  Airsoft World.  NB: there is also a gas shell that enables standard 40mm launchers to shoot this ammunition out to between 90m and 130m, see  HERE

Left to Right: Two examples of 3rd Gen hand grenades, the TAG-67 fragmentation grenade, and the TLSFX M14 smoke grenade. Both of which operate exactly like the real thing, pull the pin, release the spoon, aka the fly-off lever, and some seconds later boom! Lastly is the S-Thunder Claymore directional mine with a radio controlled detonator. This is not actually a pyrotechnic device, instead it uses spring power to throw BB's out in an arc to wreak its havoc upon its unsuspecting victims.

Knife & Unarmed Combat

Above: The excellent M9 Bayonet Santaprene rubber trainer, from Cold Steel&trade. This can not only be used for mock knife fighting, but also mounted upon weapons with the appropriate bayonet lug for prisoner control. Bayonet charges are not allowed, due to the potential risk of injury to players. However the chilling command Fix bayonets may well be heard.

And finally, because we are a school of swordsmanship, we also have a simplified knife fighting system, based on the School's sword fighting techniques. Using the Cold Steel™ range of Santoprene rubber training knives, it is an immense amount of fun. These are inexpensive (circa 12.00) faithful copies of actual knives made by Cold Steel™ that are "safe" for mock combat. They also serve to 'cut' bound prisoners free, and to despatch sentries in stealthy surprise attacks. But sadly they will never cut a piece of string. For more information about the knives themselves see our article  HERE.  And you can buy your own Cold Steel knife  HERE.

Note that ONLY those players who have successfully passed the very short and "free" class, are permitted to fight with these knives.

We also use a very simple unarmed combat system designed for those rare occaisions when you need to settle things without a gun or a knife. Training is again free, and included as part of the knife fighting course. And yes you can mix unarmed combat with knife fighting techniques. But remember it is also a bad idea to take only your fist or your knife to a gun fight.


BLANK

UKARA

LINK TO UKARA WEB SITE As of September 30th 2007 The Fight School is a registered airsoft site with the United Kingdom Airsoft Retailer's Association, which means that our members are able to comply with the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 (VCRA), which came in to effect on October 1st 2007.

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Mil-Sim & LRP WHX Weapons & Combat The Bunker The Plot Event Format Costs Gearing Up RGHQ-51 Military Ref. Page Who's Who BLAC Forums Articles
Home About Contact Us Diary QRD Rules WFS SHŌGUN CONTACT! Links