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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.
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  1. Zombie_Flesh

    Zombie_Flesh 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Member

    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 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 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 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.
  21. parsimonious_instead

    parsimonious_instead Member

    Apr 1, 2010
    BB/Pellet Guns were my entrepot...

    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.
  22. The Undertaker

    The Undertaker Member

    May 10, 2009
    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.
  23. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Frozen North
    Kinda, but this also leads to a huge issue

    and never bother to learn the 4 goldens, as they have 'played' with airsoft, paintball etc.
  24. rogertc1

    rogertc1 member

    Apr 3, 2008
    Like saying computer games make you an expert. Toys don't make a gun handler.
  25. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Member

    Feb 14, 2010
    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.
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