View Full Version : airsoft vs paintball

March 3, 2006, 03:03 AM
Whicht is best for tactics and training?

March 3, 2006, 03:47 AM
It depends on the type of training and the tactics you're looking to develop. If you were looking to train for Close quarters work (I.E., room clearing, VBSS, etc) then I would say airsoft. If you were trying to train on patrolling, raids, ambushes, and other more "traditional" wartime scenario, I would say stick with paintball.

The reason I make this distinct is because although paintball can be used for close quarters work, it's far more messy and inaccurate then airsoft. When you're doing room clearing and VBSS the extra accuracy can be a bonus since you're most likely going to face a hostage scenario and it's good to know how to shoot the bad guy without hitting the hostage. Paintball is too sloppy to drill this affectively in my opinion.

If you're working outside then you probably don't care about the mess left by splattering paint everywhere. Also, the accuracy and precision of an airsoft weapon doesn't matter quite as much because when dealing with raids, patrols, etc, the focus is more on individual and unit tactics and less on shot placement. Just my $.02. If you post more specific info about the type of training and tactics you want to learn, I'll be able to give you a better opinion.


March 3, 2006, 08:52 AM
What...no vote for laser tag??? Never "played" either, but I own an airsoft pistol and will probably be getting some sort of long gun soon. They are great training tools for kids, much safer than the old BB guns I was taught to shoot with.

March 3, 2006, 11:42 AM
I've played both extensively with friends. Airsoft just doesn't get my heart pumping quite as much as paintball simply because the damn plastic bb's tend not to hurt that much. Granted, paintballs aren't like a massive shock to the system, but I can usuallly feel it for a while after everyone goes home, and it can friggin hurt sometimes.

That said, it depends on what skills you're trying to develop. If it's decision making in stressful situations, then paintball gets the nod. If it's learning your weapons controls in a stressful situation, than airsoft with a weapon set up the same as yours. If it's learning how to use your gear, than also, airsoft since you would be able to use the same mag carriers etc. If it's close quarters training, I'd also say airsoft, as you will become more familiar with your weapon that way. But I have to say I DO like paintball out in the woods better, as even if it's not accurate, you can hurl paint farther than a plastic bb. I also like ambushes better with paintball, as when you get hit LOTS of times, it sinks the lesson in deeper than with LOTS of airsoft bb's.

But for decision making when the adrenaline starts going, I'd say paintball. Nothing has ever gotten me going so much as hauling ass through the woods with paintballs busting all around me trying to link up with the main body of my team (I went flanking with one other person, the other team ambushed us). And when you get hit, chances are you KNOW it. I've volunteered to get pelted by multiple people with airsoft guns, back turned, to show new people that it doesn't hurt THAT much, but I would NEVER do that with paintball...

March 3, 2006, 04:16 PM
I agree with SBrocker8 that airsoft if a great training tool. You can actually use something similar to what you use in real life and practise loading/unloading. I know there are groups in Hong Kong where they have airsoft IPSC. But speak of the rush and things that get your heart pumping, paintball gives you more of a rush. It gives you more pressure so to speak.

March 3, 2006, 05:13 PM
how can you use an air soft gun for cqb training? i thought that the purpose of training is to hone the instincts and capabilities of one's self. if you are not using the correct tool for the job how does the job get done, shooting from different positions and under stress with a bb gun does not seem like training to me.

March 3, 2006, 05:18 PM
i just want to clerify something, if you ar training to kill someone, use live fire, if you are training for some kind of paintball torney i guess that would be ok. i would have to agree that softair would be good for cqb and paintball would be good for patrol work outside.

281 Quad Cam
March 3, 2006, 05:29 PM
I voted airsoft....

The reason is that you have a wide selection of pistols which will fit and function in your carry/duty holster. From there you can practice drawing in a variety of scenarios. Retention is especially useful I would imagine. You get to practice point shooting - without the danger of shooting yourself or anything else. Ofcourse some precautions should be taken not to lose an eye.

Combat training? I doubt it. I had an airsoft AEG long gun and played with a group of young adults who were cool and all, and did strive for some amount of reality. But the fact of the matter is.... It is not reality.

Training in tactics and strategy would be about equal if the guns did not fire anything at all. That is, learning and practicing the maneuvers and methods used to achieve likely combat objectives. Airsoft guns "can" add one notch of realism over that - but they don't offer much. Running drills in which airsoft guns are used is one thing.

But without actual knowledgable personell who are qualified and intending to teach you - its just a big role playing video game.

March 3, 2006, 06:29 PM
Although expensive, you can get paintball guns that look like AR's and MP5's also. Since the really accurate range for paintball without lobbing is around 20-25 yds, these guns work great for urban rifle training. Even though hoppers usually hold up to 2-300 rounds, we limited the guns to 30 and two reloads, to make it more realistic. Also playing with 12gram co2 adapters instead of 12oz tanks makes reloads/running dry more common. You tend to make more accurate shots, instead of spraying. Actually, some of the handguns available now are pretty realistic, too. I use a ten-shot semi pistol with quick loader, a shoulder stock and a barrel extension, and in this type of scenario I can hold my own against most of the palyers.

March 3, 2006, 06:31 PM
i never played airsoft, i don't see why you would. how do you know when you get shot? or when you've shot somebody? when your paintballing you know darn well when you've been shot or have shot somebody else.

March 3, 2006, 09:55 PM
Forget airsoft and paintball. As far as realistic training goes, Simunition FX gets it done. A conversion kit goes on a real firearm so you can actually use your own equipment. If you get hit with an FX round, you'll know it. I've only shot the 9mm but they are also made it in .38 and 5.56mm. We've used converted Beretta M9's, Glock 22's, H&K MP5SD's, and M4's....also seen a 12 gauge converted to use the .38 round (I know...kinda lame). Good stuff all the way around.

I'm out.

March 4, 2006, 01:37 AM
how do you know when you get shot?
Unless you are playing at the North pole and are all wrapped up, you will know when you have been hit by an airsoft. They can hurt quite a bit at close range. Eye protection is very highly recommended.

TexiCali Slim
March 4, 2006, 02:22 AM
This reminded me of a pretty funny story, I was at my old job @ a mechanic shop. My buddy just got a new paintball gun and was putting it all together, I walked up and we were talking about it and I asked him how bad it hurt? He said he didn't know and had never been shot..... So one thing led to another and I told him he could shoot me if I could shoot him. So we lined up about 15 yards away from eachother and I was Butts UP against the dumpster, he shot that damned thing and it felt like my Dad had spanked my butt 100 times in the same spot, So naturally I was jumping up and down and running in circles....... AH HA Redemption time! The table had turned, so there he was Butts UP against the dumpster and we were the same distance apart. I lined up my shot for his Butt and could NOT stop giggleing at the thought of how bad this was going to hurt him, well I tried to power through and line it up and while I pulled the trigger I laughed and dropped the barrel a bit. It hit him in that tender spot behind your knee cap. I don't remember his exact reaction because I was stuck to the floor in hysterics, but it left a nasty bruise.
So we compared welts and walked around with paint on my butt and the back of his knee like true professionals. Well hell at least I was on the clock when all this happend.:D

Moral of the story is, I can see why paintballs would be better training because my adrenaline would be through the roof thinking of that pain again.

March 4, 2006, 03:02 AM
TexiCali Slim, that was one of the most funniest things that I have ever read on TFL.
I played paintball a few times, but I dont remember it hurting that much when I was hit.
Well.... It did hurt when I was hit on my hand/fingers and my foot.
Maybe, the other hits did not hurt because I was wearing 2 or 3 layers of clothing in fear of the pain. :o

If you think that airsoft hits do not hurt, you should try the no-shirt rule. :D

I would have included laser tag, but without fear/pain of hits, I do not think that it would be enough to get your adrenaline pumping, which is necessary in order to be realistic IMO.
Someone should connect stun guns to laser tag systems so that hits do hurt. :D

March 4, 2006, 10:05 AM
Similar to what smince said above, there are real action paintball markers out there and I can't imagine an airsoft bb hurting more than a paintball. Pain of being hit or at least being "marked" so you know you were hit gets my vote.


281 Quad Cam
March 4, 2006, 11:12 AM
Airsoft generally doesn't hurt alot - but it is unpleasant enough getting hit. Especially in the less training oriented games.

It's important to note there is a big difference between 6mm BB's. The toy ones use 8-10 gram BB's. While the more serious varieties use 25 gram BB's. So there is a difference in hurt between the little kid toys and big kid toys.

There is also a large stretch in the power of the guns. From 100-200 FPS for toys, 300 being about normal for game use, and some -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-s modify their guns up to 500+ FPS. There is a big difference between the hits and you start to loathe the jerk-offs who do that. Luckily retribution comes in the form of their gun always breaking.

Sniper bolt action gas or spring guns can be quite powerful, and accurate, as much as 600 FPS at the muzzle, and hit a mansized target at 75 yards. I hate when those jerk-offs shoot people much closer than that, ouch.

See.... I've never been hit by one airsoft round. An automatic spray of the suckers usually rains down creating a hornets nest of a feeling.

I was hit in the face wearing only goggles early on in my experience... From about 10 yards I startled an enemy who turned and sprayed me. Several pegged me in the face, one hit a tooth, and most luckily bounced off my goggles. I wore a full paintball mask every single game after that believe you-me.

I've seen atleast 1 BB inside of someones face, entering their cheek, needing to be popped back out like a pimple, after it was rolled back to where the entrance hole was!!!!

March 4, 2006, 11:15 AM
Check out:


There are others. Here is my toy:

March 4, 2006, 11:23 AM
I have played them both and have an opinion on both
Airsoft is way cheaper... no co2 and costly paintballs...
If youre just messing around and having fun running through the yard and shooting the piss outa friends go with airsoft, cheap and if you hit windows you dont get the shattering you do with paintballs.