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Smart and not so smart upgrades (repost, long).

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Upgrades & Modifications

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Old December 16th, 2002, 15:21   #1
Greylocks
 
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Smart and not so smart upgrades (repost, long).

This follows from folks saying I'm too negative. Really long post...

What follows applies to (almost) any AEG out there. There are so many brands that I wont bother mentioning any; just find parts that have proper specs, any of the Retailers will have them in stock.

Smart; start by asking for HELP, specially the first time you will take that gun apart. Also do your research because many upgrades require other important changes that are not always obvious.

So, what is smart? Smart are changes that will improve the function of the gun without causing damage to other parts, or people.

Example; Marui really should sell their guns with metal bushings pre-installed. It's one of the first parts you must add with any spring upgrade. Now other companies have guns with metal bushings from the factory.

Smart spring choice; you want a power level that only requires changing the bushings. If it starts to chew up your gears or your piston, the costs escalate. (Edit: the quality of some springs has changed since I wrote this, so pick a spring that will give you between 320 and 360FPS at the most, from whatever brand is recommended at the moment). A spring that gives that FPS will work well, and will be safe for the gun and everyone.

Other smart suggestions; the best battery to match the upgrade. Most guns are designed for 8.4 volts, so to avoid electrical problems stick with that. But the MAH rating is often not enough. Do your best to save cash for batteries. A pair makes sense. Dont scrimp on the cost of the Charger. Badly charged/discharged batteries are useless and costly. Investing in a top of the line charger pays for itself within a year.

Good ammo; dont buy crap. Enough said.

Basic maintenance; buy the right tools, oils, a good protective case or bag. Look for something discrete if possible.

Not so smart upgrades (or stuff that can certainly wait);

Scopes of all kinds. Airsoft guns rarely have the range to make those worthwhile. They also dont tend to have the accuracy for which a scope becomes truly useful. Red-dot sights are a reasonable choice, but they can also wait.

Cosmetics; a pretty gun wont do much for you, really. That can wait. Some changes in that area can cause more damage than it's worth. Most airsoft parts are plastic or alloys that dont do well with some paints or chemicals. What happens next is that you suddenly find that getting spare parts is a real pain in the behind.

Barrel changes; fairly easy to do if the barrel remains the same lenght as the original. Is it really necessary? That's debatable. Many players have excellent results with stock barrels, some swear by the tightbore. My criteria here is simple. Is the expense worth the gain? So far for all the guns I owned, the answer is no.

If you change to a longer barrel, do your homework once more. Airsoft guns, when you step away from the looks, are nothing more than an electrical/mechanical contraption that must follow the laws of physics.

The longer the barrel, the more pressure is needed. Mechanically, this becomes a good puzzle to match several parts. Expensive too.

Accuracy; this is a tough one. Airsoft are creatively modified smoothbore, and the ballistics are more akin to a musket or shotgun than a rifle. The most you can expect is about 150 to 200 feet. The solutions for airsoft are tighter bores and the backspin from the hopup system. If you adjust the hopup properly, even a stock gun or one with mild upgrades will make you a really happy player.

Speed; not enough is not good, too much is bad. That also includes motor speed. High rates of fire are fun, but really they are not that important. The stock motor is just fine. You also diminish the wear and tear. Above 400fps you get some strange problems that have a lot to do with basic physics. A light and round projectile just cant stay stable if pushed too fast. Fact of life. Safety has been discussed to death, and many places have limits anyway. There's a good reason why intermediate powered springs are strongly suggested.

Other accessories; metal bodies, silencers, bipods, lights, lasers. Metal bodies are not necessary at all. Nice to have later, but not needed. Silencers look cool, change a bit of the sound, but that's about it. Many folks use them to hide longer barrels.
Bipods rattle too much, add weight, and are not used that often. All I've seen them used for was to display the gun on a table.
Lights; look cool, may be useful if you do a lot of gaming in CQB, indoors or at night, but that's about it. They (the good ones) are expensive and not really useful.
Lasers; useless in daylight, point back to you at dark, banned in many places due to the potential eye damage. Yes, police and military use them, but when the risk is to get shot for real, then a laser hardly matters.

Accessories to buy; spare ammo, spare magazines, spare parts, spare batteries, good tools, cleaning supplies.

As a last word, please, for your sake, swallow your pride and ask for help. I know a lot of folks who will help you for free, no charge, because it's fun.
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Old December 18th, 2002, 01:21   #2
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This Post is straight up and honest. I feel this should be locked and put in the Information for Users Section. :blahblahblah:
thankyou Greylocks
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Old December 18th, 2002, 02:29   #3
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I found this Info good for me to know as a Noobe
Thx man

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Old December 18th, 2002, 09:15   #4
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Welcome. I hate wasting money or adding things to my guns that will mean, all of a sudden, several hundred dollars of costs.

What is most important is a gun that works well. A super upgraded toy that will break is not good, specially in the middle of nowhere during a big game.

I had to relearn everything about airsoft after over 2 decades of advanced firearms experience. What I wrote is a small summary of the important points.

Always go for functionality. A stock gun that works 100% of the time is much better than an upgraded gun that jams
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Old December 18th, 2002, 17:59   #5
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Grumpy Old Man's Sensible Guide to Upgrades:

I'm going to archive this in Info in a little while, thanks Greylocks.

My 2 cents is that people should avoid any substantial upgrades, or only upgrade when they firmly understand (not THINK they understand..) what they're doing in their guns.
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Old December 18th, 2002, 18:30   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greylocks
I hate wasting money or adding things to my guns that will mean, all of a sudden, several hundred dollars of costs.
I fall into account for that qoute I buy just about anything I can for my guns although I'm young, so I guess I don't have to worry about paying bills or any of that yet....

EDIT: Really good info thanks

~Geoff
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Old December 20th, 2002, 07:37   #7
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I'd add, besides starting by asking for help; start by playing first, for a year or so.

When you actually NEED an upgrade, trust me, you'll know what it is. Even the plastic bushings will be fine in a stock gun for that first year.

Different people like different things, and different guns have different needs. A metal body fixes a lot of things on a G3. Maintaining your Colts to prevent barrel wobble is unique to Colts. A lot of people like/use all sorts of optics. SMGs/CQB guns don't get upgraded the same way as long range rifles. Etc.

Again, you'll know what the gun's shortcomings (or strengths which you want to enhance) after you've played a few times. Quite a few times; there's no upgrade to fix crappy players, so make sure the problem actually does stem from the gun (accuracy comes to mind for this one).
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Old December 21st, 2002, 11:56   #8
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I'll add something to the Not So Smart list; upgrading springers.

Apart from sniper guns like the APS, M40 or others of the same quality, upgrading a springer is pretty close to the most useless, money-wasting, idea I can think of in Airsoft.

The end results are usually the cost of a new AEG, and the performance is still sub-par.
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Old January 22nd, 2003, 01:24   #9
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Greylocks, EXCELLENT POST my friend (if I can call you that).

As a newb, I understood and agree with what you stated - because, although unknowledable in this field (AirSoft)... it is mere logical conclusions!

Cheers to you buddy!!!

Thanks for the tips and most of all, your honesty!

Cya,
KaOz.
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Old March 4th, 2003, 12:36   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greylocks
If you adjust the hopup properly, even a stock gun or one with mild upgrades will make you a really happy player.
hey I as many other players can vouch for that... my stock M4 was the best gun I have owned.. it had really good range/accuracy once hop up was properly adjusted. very helpful psot Greylocks
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Old May 15th, 2003, 14:42   #11
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Interesting new note. Recently I discovered with the help of a good Chrony that my AK47 with metal bushings and a M120 was shooting over 440/450fps. Spring and bushings were the only changes.

Since the filed rules where I play called for much saner power, I changed the spring to a PDI150. I was still over 400, averaging 420fps.

Now I've almost gone full circle; stock spring, stock piston, stock everything except the metal bushings. It shoots at 300-310 and still has a great range and accuracy.

Moral of this story? If I had just spend the $20 for bushings in the first place, my gun would have served me much better and been much safer for all (also a LOT cheaper for me).

What other good came of this? A lot of people I know are completely changing their view of upgrades and going for better parts like bushings, pistons, gear sets, and springs below the PDI150.

The results are quite educational.
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Old October 3rd, 2003, 19:53   #12
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Very informative, although I do have a comment: A scope, while of limited use for actual targeting, could be useful for recon, zooming in on a suspected target. Basically a monocular already attached to the gun.
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Old January 24th, 2004, 02:16   #13
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I'm a member of the not so smart. I put in a 190% spring once and though I had upgraded systema gears, they were not high torque so I tore 3 teeth off of it. Man did that hurt the wallet. This was when airsoft was just starting. Thank goodness for limits, it saves the poket book as well as people!
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Old June 21st, 2004, 00:09   #14
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and watch out for the PDI130s I got one...and it was really a 170 or 190, I was getting like 420fps with stock gears and motor and everythign except the bushings, not friendly. I was using it for a little while, too, until I got it chrono'd at Deadlands.

So, in conclusion, the PDI130s tend to be mislabled. :banghead:
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Old September 3rd, 2004, 14:41   #15
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I'd just like to add something about lasers, banning them at games is sctrictly on paranoia. To damage an eye with the lasers we use would take minutes on end just stareing at it. On the rare ocasion that one hits the eye in action, it would do no damage at all. They're not strong enough to instantly blind/damage your eye with one glimpse.
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