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Paintball or Airsoft - Gateway to Guns?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Zombie_Flesh, Nov 18, 2010.


Which is likely to be a gateway to shooting Guns? Select up to 3 choices.

Poll closed Dec 8, 2010.
  1. Airsoft

    54 vote(s)
  2. Archery

    23 vote(s)
  3. Paintball

    27 vote(s)
  4. None of these

    25 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Zombie_Flesh

    Zombie_Flesh New Member

    Apr 28, 2009
    Larkspur, CO
    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...
  2. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

    Oct 6, 2009
    absolutely it is.....people have fun with the "toy" guns....its not long before they want to try the real thing.
  3. pitsmile

    pitsmile New Member

    Nov 16, 2010
    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.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    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.

    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.

  5. merlinfire

    merlinfire Active Member

    Feb 2, 2010
    airsoft to real guns was my progression.

    then I sold all my airsoft guns to buy more real guns
  6. Sky

    Sky Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    Anything that can get them outdoors, thinking, running, and away from an electronic device has got to lead to bigger an better things.
  7. jogar80

    jogar80 Active Member

    Aug 31, 2009
    Brownsville, Tx
    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.
  8. TraditionalCatholic

    TraditionalCatholic New Member

    Jul 9, 2010
    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
  9. gdcpony

    gdcpony Active Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Sherrodsville, OH
    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).
  10. XxWINxX94

    XxWINxX94 Active Member

    Jul 3, 2009
    C(r)ook County, Illinois
    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.
  11. mustang_steve

    mustang_steve Participating Member

    Jul 14, 2009
    Tampa Bay area, Florida
    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.
  12. Babarsac

    Babarsac Active Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    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
  13. redbullitt

    redbullitt Active Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    Morgantown WV
    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!
  14. Hatterasguy

    Hatterasguy Participating Member

    Jan 4, 2010
    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.
  15. ny32182

    ny32182 Mentor

    Oct 17, 2003
    Clemson, SC
    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.
  16. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

    Oct 6, 2009
    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......
  17. Sediment

    Sediment Member

    Jan 8, 2010
    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.
  18. Dorian

    Dorian Active Member

    Jun 7, 2003
    I went from real guns to airsoft... Does this mean that I'm digressing? :p
  19. A.H. Fox

    A.H. Fox New Member

    Nov 13, 2010


    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:
  20. mcdonl

    mcdonl Senior Member

    Nov 24, 2008
    Southern Maine
    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.

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