Paintball or Airsoft - Gateway to Guns?


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Zombie_Flesh
November 18, 2010, 11:39 AM
Question is this - Do you think that Paintball or Airsoft or Archery can be a gateway to shooting real guns? I was wondering if NSSF or some such organization should be targeting (sorry pun unavoidable) people involved in these sports to become target/IPSC/IDPA shooters. I think this could be an untapped market.

This of course would be good because more gunnies = better laws and more selection...

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M-Cameron
November 18, 2010, 11:44 AM
absolutely it is.....people have fun with the "toy" guns....its not long before they want to try the real thing.

pitsmile
November 18, 2010, 02:50 PM
I think that Airsoft guns can lead one into shooting, because they are made to be as real as possible. People buy Airsoft guns, because of the thrill they get to legally own a 'like real pistol' (if they don't own guns). Kids, unfortunately, have been shot for toting them. A parent could also justify buying their kid an Airsoft gun because they could more-easily handle it, to mimic what they do or teach them the basics. By that justification a kid will definitely be led into the shooting world. Some people buy them for pest control.

I worked at a paintball field as a referee and manager for a summer, as well as played. I do not think what paintball is meant for will lead others into shooting because it is a game, and full of hardcore, loyal players. Most of the kids I played with had never shot guns before, but play like it's their job; they played on serious teams, as well. From what I saw - shooters have brought in paintball guns that look like the real thing. Take the Rap4 guns for instance - the only groups that carried these on our fields were the militaristic types. Those paintball guns can lead one into shooting, however I believe it is the shooters that brought them to the industry. I might be wrong, but I think they started out as practice guns for military and LE; for training purposes. Gun companies make paintball guns now (Such as SIG http://www.rap4.com/paintball/os/rap226-internal-p-1570.html ) Companies such as Tippmann are also making realistic paintball guns. So, I guess I would have to say that paintball (these days) can lead one into shooting, because of the realism of guns and the tactics/scenarios involved.

As for archery, I have not shot a bow an arrow since I was younger, but I don't think it has much influence in turning out shooters.

rcmodel
November 18, 2010, 03:00 PM
None of the above:
I think the lowly old Daisy BB gun has lead more people into the shooting sports then any other device so far invented.

At least for old codgers my age.

Back in the 40's & 50's it was a natural progression from Hopalong Cassady cap-pistols, to your first real Daisy BB gun, to a .22 when you were old enough to hold one up with the stock under your arm pit, to a 12 ga shotgun when you were old enough to hunt on your own. In my case, 12 or 13.

Today?
Wouldn't surprise me if it was video games.
At least we sure get a lot of young folks asking about fictional gamers armament here.

rc

merlinfire
November 18, 2010, 03:04 PM
airsoft to real guns was my progression.

then I sold all my airsoft guns to buy more real guns

Sky
November 18, 2010, 03:11 PM
Anything that can get them outdoors, thinking, running, and away from an electronic device has got to lead to bigger an better things.

jogar80
November 18, 2010, 04:04 PM
I think if any of those would be the gateway drug, it would have to be airsoft because they look like the real deal.

Personally, I like it as long as it's some type of "gun".... airsoft gun, paintball gun, water gun....machine gun.... it's all good.

TraditionalCatholic
November 18, 2010, 04:08 PM
I started with airsoft guns because at the young age of 16, my parents didn't want me to have real guns. Then, after seeing how well I handled the airsoft guns, they allowed me to get a .22, and in only a few short months, I've acquired a total of four guns. I still like to go and put a few rounds through the airsoft guns once in a while

gdcpony
November 18, 2010, 04:14 PM
Not archery. The only thing archery ever led me to do was want to shoot more arrows. Love that 10x's more than shooting a gun.

Since BB guns weren't an option (my route) I chose airsoft. The non lethal BB gun I guess (never had one).

XxWINxX94
November 18, 2010, 04:57 PM
I would say airsoft more than anything. I've played my share of paintball, and most of the guns don't have sights and are designed for short range spraying, I would say. Archery is way different, IMO, the only concept the same would be the target shooting part.

mustang_steve
November 18, 2010, 07:38 PM
Airsoft, after all it was invented as a way for people to "shoot" in countries where firearms ownership was illegal or near impossible to obtain one (Japan).

You can get airsofts that have the look, weight and balance of the real thing. There's even some models (that require a gas hose going into the gun) that have a realistic recoil and cyclic rate when on full-auto (some of the high end "classic" airsofts, which use very heavy sliding recoil blocks to simulate recoil).

Bad part is they don't learn some of the keys of firearms safety. In part due to airsoft matches being where one opens fire on another person. However, most airsofters know how bad those things hurt...so simply explaining that instead of a 20gr or less 400fps projectile, you have a 115gr 900fps projectile is often enough to make them understand the need to keep that muzzle in check.

Babarsac
November 18, 2010, 07:43 PM
I don't know about you guys but for me it was the History Channel growing up.


...and maybe way to much Axis and Allies

redbullitt
November 18, 2010, 07:52 PM
Have a recoil sensitive girlfriend wife brother etc? I do. Get them on..... guess what? Air rifle or airsoft. Many of these guns now are pretty realistic and shoot well enough to work for training, especially for beginners!

Hatterasguy
November 18, 2010, 09:02 PM
Oh sure they can, I did the paintball thing briefly when I was 13 or so. But by the time I could afford airsoft I said screw the toys and started buying the real thing.

Now airsoft guns do nothing for me, they look cool and some of the good ones even feel like the real ones. But when you pull the trigger it just pisses out little plastic balls, not interesting. My friend has an M14 airsoft gun in an EBR stock that looks and feels cool but I don't really care for it. I'd rather own and shoot the real thing.

My progression went from cap and water guns, to paint ball guns, to the real thing. But really the History Channel and video games sparked my interest in guns, 007 for N64 can take credit for my love for the AK.

ny32182
November 18, 2010, 09:39 PM
Of those I would guess airsoft is the closest since most of the airsoft guns are modeled after firearms.... archery I have no clue, but I doubt it as there is no similarity to a firearm.

Paintball... as someone who played paintball somewhat extensively in high school to include briefly being on a sponsored team, I can promise that there is no similarity drawn between paintball and firearms by real paintball players; if anything, the opposite... paintballers don't like to have their "markers" associated with, or viewed in the same light as firearms as a general rule. I'm sure there are some militia whackjobs out there who are the exception, but they are definitely not representative of mainstream paintball.

When I was a kid and wanted to shoot firearms but couldn't, BB guns were the substitute.

M-Cameron
November 18, 2010, 09:44 PM
Paintball... as someone who played paintball somewhat extensively in high school to include briefly being on a sponsored team, I can promise that there is no similarity drawn between paintball and firearms by real paintball players; if anything, the opposite... paintballers don't like to have their "markers" associated with, or viewed in the same light as firearms as a general rule. I'm sure there are some militia whackjobs out there who are the exception, but they are definitely not representative of mainstream paintball.



that depends...there is the entire Mil-Sim and Scenario crowd.......damn near all the "markers" at scenario games are gun-looking..

....heck....even a large part of woodsball players have gun-looking markers......

Sediment
November 19, 2010, 06:15 AM
None of the above:
I think the lowly old Daisy BB gun has lead more people into the shooting sports then any other device so far invented.

At least for old codgers my age.



Hell I'm 29 and agree with this 100%.

I never had an airsoft gun, and still think they're stupid but that's my opinion. Unless treated as real it's still just a toy that looks and feels just like the real thing. Would hate to be the parent of a kid that wants an Airsoft GLOCK cause Dad has a real one.

Shot a bow and arrow a few times, it's fun for marksmanship competetion but hardly lent to my firearms ownership.

Only got to play paintball once. That's a pretty fun and intense team game whether you play for fun or trophies. Didn't pique my interest in firearms either.

For my money a Daisy BB gun is the best and only starting off point for responsible gun ownership and marksmanship.

Dorian
November 19, 2010, 07:55 AM
I went from real guns to airsoft... Does this mean that I'm digressing? :p

A.H. Fox
November 19, 2010, 12:20 PM
Careful...

SECTION 210.285: DISCHARGING AIR GUN, ETC.

Any person within the limits of this City who shall discharge any BB gun which expels a projectile by means of a spring, air or any other means, paintball gun or air gun or shall shoot any pebble, bullet, slug, arrow or other hard substance by means of a sling, crossbow, rubber band or bow or any other means shall be deemed guilty of an ordinance violation.

Wentzville, Missouri. Check your local municipal codes. :what:

mcdonl
November 19, 2010, 12:31 PM
None of the above here too. I say that time spent shooting with family or friends is what does it. Kids pick up and soon drop many toys and activities along the way. Playing with toy guns does not come along with the heritage that real guns do and it is not something that is typicaly shared with your elders.

parsimonious_instead
November 19, 2010, 04:23 PM
Into the world of firearms.
My father bought a Marksman 1010 airpistol (spring-air 1911 lookalike),
and a Crosman .22 pump-up pellet pistol.
I was five years old and from shooting those items, learned the basics of safety and marksmanship.
After that, I developed an interest in firearms that continued on paper with gun magazines, the old C.B. Colby books, and other tomes with firearm information.
Never shot an actual firearm until the age of 22, just a single-shot boltie with CB Caps, then nothing until I fired a bunch of pistols and a Thompson at a Las Vegas rental range three years later.
Didn't start acquiring firearms until the age of 36, but I like what I have and enjoy shooting them.

I think an interest in paintball, airsoft and the Call of Duty games are mass-appeal ways that the next generation of shooters can grow to appreciate and participate in this hobby.

The Undertaker
November 19, 2010, 04:33 PM
Airsoft to the real deal for me.

My parents are fine with guns, but they won't go out of their way to get one. I started with airsoft guns in various configurations. Then when I turned 18, I bought a Mossberg. Now, I'm 21 and I'm enjoying my brand-new H&K USP45.

I still have several airsoft guns (rifles and a pistol) as well as "loadouts." For example, I own an Eagle universal chest rig and an HSGI Wasatch. The kind of airsoft I still engage in on a limited basis are of the mil-sim variety - 18+ people getting together, splitting into two teams, and play out various scenarios. There are a lot of ex MIL/LE people and very few ignorant kids. I tend to regard airsoft as a training tool more than anything else. How else can you experience live-fire training with real OPFOR?

But then again, I will never substitute airsoft for good old range sessions. My airsoft arsenal tend to mirror my real one. For example, the airsoft AR I bought is almost a line-for-line copy of the real STAG-15 that I own.

Shadow 7D
November 19, 2010, 05:59 PM
Kinda, but this also leads to a huge issue

THOSE PEOPLE WHO DON"T RESPECT GUNS
and never bother to learn the 4 goldens, as they have 'played' with airsoft, paintball etc.

rogertc1
November 19, 2010, 07:11 PM
Like saying computer games make you an expert. Toys don't make a gun handler.

Rusty Shackleford
November 19, 2010, 08:56 PM
I think the lowly old Daisy BB gun has lead more people into the shooting sports then any other device so far invented.

At least for old codgers my age.

Back in the 40's & 50's it was a natural progression from Hopalong Cassady cap-pistols, to your first real Daisy BB gun, to a .22 when you were old enough to hold one up with the stock under your arm pit, to a 12 ga shotgun when you were old enough to hunt on your own. In my case, 12 or 13.


I think this applies to a lot of the younger guys too. In pre-school, I had cap guns. By age 8 or so I got my very own Daisy BB gun. Things just progressed from there.

Of course around age ten or so, I got into paintball separately. It was fairly new back then and my mom(who is somewhat anti-gun) seemed to not associate paintball guns with real guns.

The reason paintball players are so adamant about dissociating themselves from real firearms is because they are afraid of legislation, just like we are. They think that they will be less likely to be the target of our Congressmen if they keep a large gap of separation between what they do, and what we do. Rather than team up with our cause, they perceive it as safer just to isolate themselves from us altogether.

I don't think they truly understand how crazy some of the law makers really are when it comes to just about anything that they don't like, be it Happy Meals, paintball, or "the shoulder thing that goes up." If they don't like it, they want to ban it.

ny32182
November 19, 2010, 09:56 PM
Paintballers don't want to be associated with firearms because they are playing a sport that involves gelatin balls, which have nothing to do with anything related to firearms. The only thing similar between a mainstream paintgun and a firearm is that both launch some kind of projectile. That is where it ends... there is no handling similarity between a paintgun and a firearm. A paintgun has more in common with a computerized garden hose than it does a firearm. A paintgun is not trying to be a "real gun". It is a paintgun made to play paintball games.

A decent BB/pellet gun is a different story. You can introduce the fundamentals of firearms marksmanship at close range with one of those (in terms of handling/ballistics/sights/trigger), as well as whatever firearm safety rules you fancy as well... this is why a pellet gun would make a MUCH better intro to "firearms lite" than anything else out there.

M-Cameron
November 19, 2010, 10:07 PM
A paintgun has more in common with a computerized garden hose than it does a firearm. A paintgun is not trying to be a "real gun". It is a paintgun made to play paintball games.

Paintball gun:
https://battlefieldpb.com/shop/images/uploads/Packages/CustomKits/a5_ak47wood_0.jpg



"real gun":
http://www.deactivated-guns.co.uk/images/uploads/AK47_new_spec/ak47.jpg


...you were saying....?

ny32182
November 19, 2010, 10:13 PM
I was saying... mainstream paintguns. Not a few fringe ones built wierd to try to look like firearms. You aren't going to find some AK-looking "paintgun" amalgamation at a real competetive paintball tournament.

M-Cameron
November 19, 2010, 10:23 PM
you do realize the "mil-sim" paintball guns are about half of the paintball market...

..everyone from tippmann, BT, SmartParts,spyder, tiberious, bob long, Macdev,even angel...are all making mil-sim markers.

I was saying... mainstream paintguns. Not a few fringe ones built wierd to try to look like firearms. You aren't going to find some AK-looking "paintgun" amalgamation at a real competetive paintball tournament.

and apparently youve never heard of the SPPL, UWL, and WTL

Manco
November 19, 2010, 10:23 PM
Out of the choices listed, Airsoft would be the most prominent, I would think, although like some others I got into Airsoft after I got into firearms. For me the main focus was always about firearms, and the cap guns I played with and the Daisy BB gun I used for target practice as a child were always about working up to shooting real firearms, potentially for use in self-defense. It's only after I finally got into firearms that I got into Airsoft, expressly as a training tool. While shooting firearms is a lot more fun for me, I've found that Airsoft definitely has its uses, and is pretty fun just as toys for adults, too (well, serious "toys" that can injure and should be treated with respect, much like BB guns).

As for video games, maybe they are a gateway to firearms for some people, but I have trouble viewing them that way myself. They're more of a way to live out fantasies, while my interest in firearms has always been about practical uses first and sporting purposes second. Of course, if a video game can be realistic and immersive enough for actual combat training, then that could bridge the gap I've described.

I just remembered that I used to have a little toy pump-action shotgun that used a spring to shoot a small rubber ball (approximately Airsoft pellet-sized) at modest velocity. It didn't really hurt, but I can see how such a toy would be considered too dangerous for children these days without eye protection, and Nerf guns seem to have filled that niche. This was not long before Airsoft (ironically with its hard plastic pellets) made its way to the States, but I was into BBs guns by then.

Bad part is they don't learn some of the keys of firearms safety. In part due to airsoft matches being where one opens fire on another person. However, most airsofters know how bad those things hurt...so simply explaining that instead of a 20gr or less 400fps projectile, you have a 115gr 900fps projectile is often enough to make them understand the need to keep that muzzle in check.

Airsoft pellets typically weigh about 3-4 grains (0.20-0.25 grams), actually--getting hit by 20 grain projectiles at 400 fps would be most unpleasant, I'd imagine.

ny32182
November 19, 2010, 10:31 PM
If half the paintball market is... "mil-sim"... then a hell of a lot has changed since I stopped playing ten years ago. If anyone ever showed up with that thing above, we would have laughed. Hard.

I notice you also left off the tank and hopper, which aren't going to do much for the "mil-sim" look when actually loaded up. :scrutiny:

M-Cameron
November 19, 2010, 10:39 PM
If half the paintball market is... "mil-sim"... then a hell of a lot has changed since I stopped playing ten years ago. If anyone ever showed up with that thing above, we would have laughed. Hard.

I notice you also left off the tank and hopper, which aren't going to do much for the "mil-sim" look when actually loaded up.

actually yes...a LOT has changed in the past 10 years..

....go to any non-specialized paintball paintball field and youll see the majority of the players have these "real gun" looking contraptions.

and im sorry about leaving the tank and hopper off the pic.....i actually called up the people who took the picture and had them upload the pic with out them before i posted it....

ny32182
November 19, 2010, 10:46 PM
Wow. Apparently I was doing myself a favor quitting when I did.

As far as I'm concerned, there isn't any difference between that, and someone showing up at a gun range with a firearm dressed up like a paintgun... I'm going to laugh at that too.

M-Cameron
November 19, 2010, 10:48 PM
Wow. Apparently I was doing myself a favor quitting when I did.

As far as I'm concerned, there isn't any difference between that, and someone showing up at a gun range with a firearm dressed up like a paintgun... I'm going to laugh at that too.

while its your legal right to laugh if you want to.......dont be surprised if people think less of you for it.

ny32182
November 19, 2010, 10:50 PM
If I ever see a guy at the range with a 10/22 that has an air tank and paint hopper hanging off it, I'll be able to live with his opinion of me, whatever it is. :)

Samari Jack
November 19, 2010, 11:15 PM
I was kind of like "rcmodler" except in the 60's instead of 40's & 50's. Went from a double tie down rig cap guns to BB guns. I know I wore out two Red Ryders and a pump BB gun. I even tumbled a pigeon out of the top of my grandfathers barn with one of the Red Ryders. Hit the critter in the neck. I had a recurve bow when I was 13 or 14. My parents took it away from me one Sunday when we were sitting out in the yard. I was showing off and shot it straight up in the air. The whole family, aunts uncles just sat there till it went out of sight and collectively took off for the porch or something with a roof. I lost BB gun privileges for a while after shooting the glass balls off of the lightning rods on our roof. After that I learned the importance of colateral damage and was careful of what was behind what I shot and what I shot. There is something about glass and BB guns that mysteriously draws them together. They just seem made for each other. I've had the same problem with my son and his BB gun. Life does have pay backs.

As far as paintball and airsoft, I think they have their place. My son had both. I would go out with my son when he was about 12 and we would shoot about everything real gun in my arsenal over a period of months. This helped to ingrain the difference between play guns and real guns. I want to take the mystery out of real guns and figured the best way was to show him the basics. I even bought me a paintball gun. It's great when somebody lets their stray dogs out and they poop in our garden or flower beds. A couple three shot bursts usually does the trick. Good for breaking up hornets nests too.

uspJ
November 19, 2010, 11:26 PM
I would say all three can have an influence to get people into guns.

Airsoft

They look like real guns, many function as real guns so well that they are used as training toold for FOF. People may use these for role playing scenario type games and find they like how a certain model points and or feels in their hand. If they ever decide to own a real gun they would probably at least look into the same models that they used when playing airsoft.

Paintball

This is what got me started before airsoft came out. No the guns don't look like real guns or function like real guns but it was as close as you could get for a while when wanting to simulate wargames.

Archery

I know alot of people who got started out learning archery and enjoyed it, they then moved on to other marksmanship oriented activities like shooting rifles and pistols at targets and skeet shooting. Also alot of hunters have been brought up on both the bow and the rifle.

dnlgao
November 20, 2010, 09:56 AM
Neither influenced me.

14 years of traditional and contemporary Chinese Wushu (some in china, some here) resulted in probably the largest thing that led me into shooting. discipline. I felt like that was the key for me. Never attack first, but always be aware of your surroudings and be prepared to act. Thats what was taught to me in Wushu, and thats what was taught to me in gun training.

Also, in china, self defense equals being able to disarm a pocket knife out of some wanna be 16 year old thug.

In the united states, it means being able to either run, evade, distract, disarm, or shoot at crackhead with a 12 guage.

Little different scenario. If i had to pick one thing, however, that i think would influence kids into guns, would be exactly what has been said before. Call of Duty. And thats sad.

parsimonious_instead
November 21, 2010, 10:01 AM
@ M-Cameron:

At least the paintball marker doesn't have a "shoulder thingie that goes up." :)

awgrizzly
November 21, 2010, 02:38 PM
Depends I suppose upon what is meant by gateway. As an avenue toward becoming involved with shooting guns, I suppose airsoft, paintball and archery can all serve that purpose (especially in an urban setting where real guns are taboo). But if it means a causal factor in a person developing an interest in shooting guns, I don't think airsoft and paintball serve that purpose.

I think airsoft and paintball are more about competition and bringing mayhem down upon another person (a devilish delight of sorts). With guns (and archery) that's seldom the point, unless a person is a total barbarian sociopath.

An interest in guns is probably more apt to develop from the challenge of target shooting, hunting or defense (this partly includes archery and BB guns). Another factor is of course the charisma of guns via the media, and this is probably also a driving factor in airsoft and paintball.

I would say that a proclivity toward guns is a prerequisite for airsoft and paintball, but not so much the other way around. But I'm just guessing here, because for me guns have always been a natural part of life.

pitsmile
December 4, 2010, 02:01 PM
I was saying... mainstream paintguns. Not a few fringe ones built wierd to try to look like firearms. You aren't going to find some AK-looking "paintgun" amalgamation at a real competetive paintball tournament.
Read my response on the first page and look at the link. I worked at a paintball field for a while and about half the guns are made to look real - pretty much all woodsball guns.

pitsmile
December 4, 2010, 02:04 PM
If half the paintball market is... "mil-sim"... then a hell of a lot has changed since I stopped playing ten years ago. If anyone ever showed up with that thing above, we would have laughed. Hard.

I notice you also left off the tank and hopper, which aren't going to do much for the "mil-sim" look when actually loaded up. :scrutiny:
Check Out the Rap4 paintball markers. Everything is such low profile - and some of them are made with CO2 tanks and paintball clips so nothing is showing - in 10 years a lot has changed.

therewolf
December 4, 2010, 02:12 PM
IMO, all these things,Paintball, BBs, Archery, and Airsoft, are a GREAT way to

indoctrinate our younger generation in safe firearm handling.

All the safety principles are the same, and as the equipment becomes more

lethal, the safety training from the beginning gear remains.

A man at a gun store once handed me a pistol without checking to be sure it was unloaded. I was a little shocked, honestly. Perhaps if he had an Airsoft, or
or BB gun with safety training as a child, he would have learned proper gun safety habits by now.

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