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> Recommendations for 9 year-old, Newbie seeks advice
mackenzie999
post Jan 28 2011, 05:07 PM
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Hey everyone...

I know there are a lot of posts on this already, but I assume with new product that recommendations become dated. Here are the details of my particular situation:

My 9 year old son is desperate for an airsoft gun; we were originally opposed to this at his age but all his friends have them, and he ends up just playing the hostage (who get shot but cannot shoot back), so we have come around on this. Plus we made him earn it via good grades which he achieved, so we're holding up our end.

1. Price: entry level, I'd like to keep it at $50 or less, willing to stretch a little for a few accessories maybe
2. Play Style: mixed bunch of 9-13 year old madmen running around killing each other
3. Area: back yards, fields
4. Style: looks are important to him so it should look cool, but that is not top priority; I know my budget is relatively low so looks are probably first to go. I almost decide on the UTG M87SA but it sounds like it really hurts; he can have a hard time controlling his impulses so I'd like something that he's not going to do too much damage with. Not wimpy either, but I don't want the other kids afraid to play with him, or something that might start fights. I'm not sure about pistol or rifle, am open to suggestions for either.

I've read that shortyusa is a good retailer, is this true or just ad hype?

My apologies if I've violated any forum guidelines, and thanks for any & all advice!
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Automobilie
post Jan 28 2011, 05:46 PM
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Just a warning, but backyard airsoft is VERY frowned upon by this community. Represents the sport to the public in a bad light as the population, regardless of being the land of the free, become frightened at the site of children playing 'shoot 'em up' regardless of the fact children used to play cowboys and indians years ago. It gives the impression that the sport is completely void of maturity and safety which means politicians have a reason to try and ban it.
Your son is 9 years old and has self control issues? The basis of the sport is honor and respect/self control and giving someone who lacks both of these qualities a toy BB gun is a bad idea. Players who disregard safety rules are dangerous. If another player removes their safety glasses for whatever reason and you have a perfect shot you DO NOT SHOOT. You WILL put their eye out, they WIll sue you, and you WILL hate yourself for many years. An impulsive 9 year old playing with other young kids who usually disregard safety as something their parents tell them to do only when they're around WILL only lead to serious injury. Wait a few year or watch over your kids and MAKE SURE they are ALL wearing eye protection and that the rest of the neighbors know what's going on.

This is also a which gun thread, which is against the rules since there are hundreds of factors in deciding on a gun and having everyone ask "Which gun is teh best?" will do little more than clog up the servers. The information here is not that out dated unless the thread is four years old.

I don't quite mean to be mean, but this is a very serious issue for our hobby and you've essentially asked to do something noone here is going to approve of and for good reason.


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Frosted
post Jan 28 2011, 06:03 PM
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Not sure if you have any preference on the type of gun, but I have found this to be a decent pistol for the price.

Pros: Decent fps, realistic weight, a lot cheaper than high end gas pistols, efficient use of co2
Cons: bbs tend to curve down after around 80 feet; no hopup adjustment that I have found, but most guns under $50 probably don't have this feature; limited space in the magazine - only holds around 15 bbs per clip
Recommendations: Purchase a second magazine so your son can take the empty one out and slide an already loaded on into the gun instead of having to stop and reload mid game. You will also need 12g Co2 cartridges to power the gun.

In total these items should add up to $74.99 - $40 for the gun, $18 for 40 co2 cartridges, and $17 for the spare magazine
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Sir. SAW
post Jan 28 2011, 06:19 PM
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As automobilie said, backyard's frowned upon. You're most likely going to get flamed quite a bit. And shortyusa isn't that great, but they'll do for a beginner.


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mackenzie999
post Jan 28 2011, 06:25 PM
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Thanks for the information. I do take my child's safety very seriously, and the neighborhood kids do all wear eye protection. We will definitely be overseeing how he handles this, and if we feel he is being too impulsive and/or not responsible we will take it away, and he knows this. As posted we were originally opposed to him having a gun, but it essentially comes down to a social issue with three possible scenarios: either he gets the gun and is taught to play safely with his friends; he does not get the gun and plays with them anyway where he gets shot and cannot shoot back; or he does not play with his friends (there are long stretches where this is all they do). There is really only one good option here.

As far as the image of airsoft goes, well, that is not something I feel particularly responsible for. As long as my boy and his friends play safely and responsibly, I don't really care if others judge what he is doing. Sorry, I know that is probably not a popular thing to say here, but I am not going to curtail my son's playtime over this issue.

I do apologize for soliciting buying advice though, I had no idea this community was so large and vocal that the volume of people responding to posts like mine would bring down the servers (although as an outsider, might I suggest it sounds as though the servers may be inadequate? My gut feeling is that the real issue is that this is a tedious subject for the experienced aficionado, so maybe there is simply a separate forum for this, easily ignored by those who aren't interested?)

All that being said, I do genuinely appreciate your input, so thank you for responding to my post.



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mackenzie999
post Jan 28 2011, 06:31 PM
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QUOTE (Frosted @ Jan 28 2011, 06:03 PM) *
Not sure if you have any preference on the type of gun, but I have found this to be a decent pistol for the price.


Thanks for the suggestion! In my online digging I've read that spring-powered guns were best for beginners, although the reason for that was never really explained. Any thoughts?
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Wasi11
post Jan 28 2011, 06:40 PM
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I would say that your son shouldn't play but if it its a "necessity" I would try to find a field to play at so they could enforce safety. Going to have to flame you on this one. This has but a single outcome and its not good. a-famerican.gif
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mackenzie999
post Jan 28 2011, 06:53 PM
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QUOTE (Wasi11 @ Jan 28 2011, 06:40 PM) *
I would say that your son shouldn't play but if it its a "necessity" I would try to find a field to play at so they could enforce safety. Going to have to flame you on this one. This has but a single outcome and its not good. a-famerican.gif


Flame on, I can take it (and fully expect it). I'm trying to learn as much as I can about this stuff, and if the price is some barbs & insults hurled my way, well, that's ok with me. I agree it'd be best if he didn't get into this, but we recently moved and one of the main reasons was that there were no kids in our old neighborhood. The new 'hood is full of great kids, but guess what they all love to do?

edit: I don't feel barbed or insulted by your reply, but I know how forums get, members are generally pretty passionate and as a newbie I'm sure to cluelessly trample all sorts of button issues.

This post has been edited by mackenzie999: Jan 28 2011, 06:56 PM
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mackenzie999
post Jan 28 2011, 07:28 PM
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Ok, so maybe this problem has just resolved itself: apparently you have to be 18 to purchase an airsoft gun. I had assumed there was no age limit based on all the young kids around here who have them. I also assume purchase restriction extends to usage (meaning it's not ok for me to buy one and let him use it, just like I couldn't legally provide him with alcohol or tobacco).

Am I wrong about the law? My boy is nine, but he is a very sharp responsible nine. He can be a little impulsive, but with the proper motivation I think he can overcome this. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I would like to find some solution that keeps him happy but is also the right and responsible thing to do, like maybe getting an airsoft myself and only sharing it with him for supervised target shooting or something along those lines. Doesn't solve the problem of him being an easy target when playing unarmed with his new friends though, which really upsets him. Not sure how to handle that, which is why I'm here. I really don't mean to antagonize anyone here with my comments and/or attitude, I'm just a dad trying to indulge his son in a responsible way.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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jIMMY37
post Jan 28 2011, 07:54 PM
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I see it as a responsibility factor on the brink of retardation. I could buy a pellet gun when I was sixteen, but couldn't buy the ammo for it until I was seventeen. Stupid, no?

But for a kid who is being watched by adults, I see no reason not to let him have one. What do his friends have? Springer pistols or shotguns? Do they have sporting goods store low powered AEG's? Do they have gas powered pistols? This all factors in if you are wanting to get your child started at a nice level. No reason to hand him a springer and send him off to war against a bunch of kids with aegs.

Being a Co2 lover, I will say stay away from a nbb for a group of kids. Co2 in nbb form packs a wollop and can easily change it from a game of owwies to a game of "dad, Missus Johnson is here with the cops".

Depending on what his friends have, a springer shotgun may be a good starting point, since it's a convenient gun to use. No awkward cocking like a spring pistol or spring rifle. You could also look into a "secondhand" gun, "refurbs", or just some good ole fashioned deals. 50$ is low for a REAL start, but he's 9 and has a way to go before he gets to play with big boy toys. My first airsoft "rifle" was a remington tac44 pump shotty that I really liked. Heck, I still like it, it's just not as impressive. It's a rebrand, so you should be able to find it cheaper under the original name.


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QUOTE (Zemanova @ Nov 7 2011, 01:36 AM) *
don't get this one. itll go in and get lost
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DM Hackle
post Jan 28 2011, 08:03 PM
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First off I would like to say that, as a member of the moderation staff on these forums I would be within my bounds to close this thread right now because it talks about backyard airsoft and is also a "which gun" thread. Backyard airsoft is not only a danger to the sport for the people who play it for real (IE at regulated fields), the discussion of it is not permitted here.
However, I will not close this thread for the time being because I feel education is a "higher road" than simply locking any educated discussion.
As automobilie stated, backyard airsoft is the reason for much of the negative press that airsoft as a whole receives. Politically, little kids running around with "guns" does not look good. Additionally, these guns are often mistaken for real guns and are considered as such in many areas. Also, many areas have laws against the brandishing of replica firearms in public due to other people and the police being unable to tell the difference between an airsoft replica and the real deal. Due to all the hype about gun violence, many people ignore simple common sense in regards to these replicas.
For the above reasons, most of the members here absolutely despise the ideas presented in this thread (young kids running around with airsoft guns in areas visible to other people).

That being said, I have no objections to a 9 year old playing airsoft (yes it is legal) so long as he understands that these guns need to be treated with respect and caution which, unfortunately, the vast majority of younger children do not understand. The consequences of failing to understand that an airsoft gun is NOT a "toy" can have serious physical (eye put out, etc.) and legal consequences. As for me, I only play at regulated fields with other mature players, however I understand that I am not 9 years old and have more freedom than your son to do so.

I will not be recommending a gun because I feel that doing so would not only hurt the sport, but also these forums.
Finally, make sure he wears Full seal (no gaps for bbs to get in) goggles or masks while playing.

If it seemed like I was being harsh, I did not mean to be mean. I am happy you are taking the time to fully research this wonderful sport for your son.

This post has been edited by DM Hackle: Jan 28 2011, 08:14 PM


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mackenzie999
post Jan 28 2011, 08:25 PM
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QUOTE (DM Hackle @ Jan 28 2011, 08:03 PM) *
If it seemed like I was being harsh, I did not mean to be mean. I am happy you are taking the time to fully research this wonderful sport for your son.


Doesn't seem harsh at all, I respect that your sport has some serious PR issues that you are trying to manage. If the circumstances were different I would not allow the backyard action, but the whole point of this is that he wants to fit in and have fun with his new neighborhood buddies who already play that way. I don't see that particular genie going back in the bottle.

And thank you very much for allowing this thread, I genuinely appreciate it.
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Penguin_Mojito
post Jan 28 2011, 08:34 PM
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If your son wants a social enviroment that is related to airsoft, a field is the best place to send him, fields are very social arenas and a great place for him to make friends. As much as you think backyard airsoft is harmless, it attracts alot of attention from police, and ive been told by a police officer (When I played backyard) That its not their job to be responsible for us, and I agree, no matter how much you make sure their safe they are still shooting each other with bb guns, and what impression does this make on your neighborhood.. If I where you id choose from either bringing him into a more mainstream airsoft route, or don't let him play at all.

This post has been edited by airsoftking95: Jan 28 2011, 08:36 PM


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BrotherNick
post Jan 28 2011, 08:46 PM
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I beleive, like everyone has touched upon, safety is one of the upmost concerns. Am I saying he shouldnt play? No, the ability to play solider is great. Hell, thats why I do it, and I joined the NY National guard Training Cadre for younger people who have the same idea.

However, as I have unfortunatly seen, a very few times, some bobby and his friends will go into the streets and the cops will come. The cops will mistaken the fake one for the real one and ultimatly, seriously wound or kill the young kid. Its a hard fact and it has happened before. But as long as an adult like yourself is there, I say go for it. Heck, I'd say jump in. Buy one for yourself and go with 'em.

Am I saying its bad? No. But it should be supervised. Keep safe and have fun.

Cheers!
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mackenzie999
post Jan 29 2011, 12:38 AM
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QUOTE (BrotherNick @ Jan 28 2011, 08:46 PM) *
I beleive, like everyone has touched upon, safety is one of the upmost concerns.


Something I should have mentioned is we live on a suburban dead end street that opens out to a creek and fields. Very little traffic or activity beyond the people who live right here, and everyone knows everyone. I would never even consider this if it were an active throughway.
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Automobilie
post Jan 29 2011, 02:29 AM
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I guess I got the wrong impression that you'd just let your kid 'have at it'. It makes sense to teach them young, I guess we all have to start somewhere, and if we want our kids to be like us then we need to raise them like we were raised.
If I were you I'd find him a clear bodied gun in the event a bystandard sees him running around with it in public. Gun I don't really know anything about this site, but a clear gun with a metal gearbox will last better and be a sort of 'insurance' in case someone calls in police. An officer should be able to determine a lower threat level and be less likely to shoot him. it can also be upgraded later and the internals will have replaceable parts if something breaks.


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Age
post Jan 29 2011, 04:47 AM
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If your son has self control issues, you shouldn't teach him with a gun. I know we all need to start somewhere, I understand you are trying to learn, but learning self control with something that shoots a projectile is a bad idea. Supervision in a case like this won't help much... if someones eye gets shot out due to negligence, or a stray BB wonders off and hits a pedestrian, what is supervision going to do to prevent that? Once something like that happens, it's done, nothing you can or could do.

It would be a good idea to go down to a legit arena/field, and play there. Not only is it safer, but it's much more enjoyable, so it's a double win.


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EWOFairsoft
post Jan 29 2011, 10:45 AM
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I do not condone backyard airsoft. However, if it must happen, make it safe.

Make sure all nieghbors are informed on airsoft and know what is going on. Make sure they understand that it is simply a replica and it will do them no damage.

Make sure NOBODY at any time goes into the front yard or onto the street. Then, they are begging to have the police called.

Most importantly, eye protection must be on at ALL TIMES durring gameplay. Period. When there are bb's flying, someone's bound to get hit. Due to your son's age, I would recommend a full face mask. That way, nobody gets shot in the face and gets upset.

To some of the recommendations on here:

Public arena: From what I know, most arenas have an age limit. Plus, with such low engagement distances, I don't think it would be safe for a 9 year old. Plus, he would be greatly outclassed against AEGs.

Gas NBB: If it's CO2, what if the screw gets tightened enough to puncture the CO2 but he can't get it up? Gas leaks, freezes his hand.

Public field: Most of the same reasons as the arena, but minus the engagement distance.

Supervision not working: Supervision may be able to prevent it, but definantly it may not always work.

Remember, we are talking about a 9 year old here, he probably can't go to a public field. Also, you mention that your neighborhood ends in a creek and fields? Find out who owns it, ask if they can play there. They would remain out of sight for the most part, and they'd have a much better time.

Just my $.02


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post Jan 29 2011, 04:29 PM
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QUOTE (mackenzie999 @ Jan 28 2011, 04:07 PM) *
Hey everyone...

I know there are a lot of posts on this already, but I assume with new product that recommendations become dated. Here are the details of my particular situation:

My 9 year old son is desperate for an airsoft gun; we were originally opposed to this at his age but all his friends have them, and he ends up just playing the hostage (who get shot but cannot shoot back), so we have come around on this. Plus we made him earn it via good grades which he achieved, so we're holding up our end.

1. Price: entry level, I'd like to keep it at $50 or less, willing to stretch a little for a few accessories maybe
2. Play Style: mixed bunch of 9-13 year old madmen running around killing each other
3. Area: back yards, fields
4. Style: looks are important to him so it should look cool, but that is not top priority; I know my budget is relatively low so looks are probably first to go. I almost decide on the UTG M87SA but it sounds like it really hurts; he can have a hard time controlling his impulses so I'd like something that he's not going to do too much damage with. Not wimpy either, but I don't want the other kids afraid to play with him, or something that might start fights. I'm not sure about pistol or rifle, am open to suggestions for either.

I've read that shortyusa is a good retailer, is this true or just ad hype?

My apologies if I've violated any forum guidelines, and thanks for any & all advice!


nah, don't worry about it. I got my first gun when I was around 7-8. I didn't know it didn't hurt (AT ALL) until I was 12. I treated it as if it would kill me (I found out it couldn't shoot my eye out point blank) so it's fine. The one you've got there hurts but it's fine. Use proper eye gear for the current gun (I have it) and buy him a target so he doesn't get trigger happy. I was at walmart today and found a crosman sticky target. Perfectly fine. I currently have the tippman but it doesn't matter much, he'll be using it for a while anyways.

So to sum it up, get him the gun, I got the same one at age 7 and I never shot it at anyone irresponsibly. (but then again, I'm a lot more responsible then my friends when it comes to this stuff)


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EWOFairsoft
post Jan 29 2011, 06:10 PM
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The fact that you know it can't shoot your eye out makes me worried... I don't know why it just does.


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Jerichow
post Jan 30 2011, 05:11 AM
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I'm with others who won't recommend a gun specifically but that's mostly because I haven't used a lower powered gun in ages so I have no idea which ones are good or not. My best recommendation to be totally honest is one that, as others have said, has a clear plastic body; that is your main priority is making sure cops, should they ever come, can make out that this is not a real gun right away. Nobody wants to mix airsoft bullets with real bullets, that battle always ends up bad.

Another thing I would consider is just go to either your local :censored2:'s sporting goods, or Walmart, or if you have one like up here, Sports Authority. Amongst the three, they all carry various guns of shapes, sizes, and firing modes ranging from little backup pistols to clear SMGs with real V2 and V3 gearboxes, and as far up as full out CA Sportslines that are kings of what you will find in a normal non-airsoft retail store(but definitely not online). Their prices as well, will vary based on what you get.

And as with others who have said it, get yourself one too! Best adult supervision ever ---> We have a mom and dad who run around the fields we play at who work in a little 3-person squad with their son around your kid's age. If the kid ever throws a temper tantrum or starts to get overly aggressive, the parent is right there to put the ki-bosh on that right away, while being immersed in what their kid is doing, which is always good for the little one.

And since you sound like a fully mature person, I'd imagine you can more than easily hold your own with a springer AR or AK versus a lower powered AEG wielded by a young'un. They're very cheap, but some can be really good for what they're worth - I just looked at Evike and they have a few in the range of $25-$35 that will fire pretty low fps so you don't hurt anyone, but still fire hard enough to reach out a ways. I know a G36 you can get by DE, you can get the gun and 2 Mags for $49, but you'll need to pay shipping which takes it over $50, but fifty dollars is a tight budget for most any kind of airsoft endeavor.

It's up to you though, I have made my recommendations and I hope it helps, but again, if you do this I'd recommend so strongly, words won't justify, that you do this along side your kid for a while; if he's got his temperment issues like you say, I can't recommend it enough. I only say that because I have a cousin the same way getting into actual AEG warfare this year. He's coming with me to some fields and you can bet your @#$ he's never getting out of arm's reach during his first few months of gaming because Airsoft + short temper + gun that fires projectiles = disaster for everyone. I have seen it happen...


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Version 6 is my favorite, version 3's trigger assembly is a punch to the nuts.

QUOTE (BigEd @ Nov 6 2011, 06:53 AM) *
I am 40 now... I enjoy airsoft artillery support. One shot = Seven kills.
My version of CQB is leveling the entire building.
///ed///
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mackenzie999
post Jan 30 2011, 01:22 PM
Post #22


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This is solid advice, from you and everyone else. I really want to thank you all for helping me learn about this, I understand (now) that what I am asking is a bit out of your comfort zone but you have all been very helpful anyway. I really expected some of you guys to come after me, especially once I realized I was raising some button issues, but you have been nothing but friendly and helpful, and I have learned some very useful things. My boy's safety is #1, but his happiness is a close second and I really appreciate all the help with being able to manage both.

You are a great bunch of guys, I'm glad I found this board.
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Wert
post Jan 30 2011, 03:03 PM
Post #23


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I am really going to need to close this thread now, none of this is allowed on ASF. The backyard airsoft discussion as well as the which gun questions. I wouldn't ever recommend this in any other circumstance because I disapprove of backyard airsoft but if you must have him "fit in" buy something cheap and see where it leads. In the price range given you really cannot buy anything of good quality, but if that's fine as I assume the rest of the kids are also playing with the same quality stuff.

When your kid gets a little bit older and, if he still enjoys the sport, bring him to a couple of fields. You guys could even get into airsoft together, it's great father son bonding material.

For now, this will need to be closed though.

-Wert


--------------------
-Made by me
QUOTE (Kavurcen @ Jun 6 2010, 05:46 PM) *
Keep it PG-13, Wert is watching.

-Wert
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DM Hackle
post Jan 30 2011, 07:19 PM
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I would just like to add that at this point I agree with WERT as well.
The discussion served its purpose and should be closed.


--------------------

Just so everyone is clear, polymer is just a fancy name for plastic.
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