The War Store, Inc

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Welcome to The War Store, the largest Airsoft store in Upstate NY!

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We do NOT sell paintball products, and we do NOT fill CO2 tanks. We are exclusively an airsoft store.

If you are a paintball player, consider making the switch to airsoft. I played paintball for about 22 years (starting all the way back in the early 80's, when it was just Splatmaster pistols and Sheridan PGP's); once I tried airsoft, I hung up my paintball equipment for good and have never looked back.

If your only exposure to airsoft has been the crappy plastic guns typically sold at sporting goods stores, department stores and the flea market, you're in for a real treat if you check out our professional-grade, high-quality airsoft guns. An absolute night and day difference between the two. To be perfectly honest, those of us who play "real" airsoft would like nothing more than to make all that plastic junk completely disappear from the market. All they do is corrupt everyone's idea of what airsoft guns really perform like, since they are so cheap, readily available, and terribly under-performing.

Broad generalizations of Airsoft vs. Paintball

CategoryPaintballAirsoft
     
Solid, entry-level gun; magazine or hopper; CO2 tank or battery Tippmann A5 Flatline; Cyclone-feed 200-round hopper; 20 Oz. CO2 tank;Total cost= $350 G&G GR16 A3 Carbine with one 450-round magazine=$260
8.4V 3800mah battery & charger=$68
Total cost=$328
# of shots off one charge 20 oz. CO2 tank: 800-1000 shots 8.4V 3800mah battery: 6000-8000 shots
Cost to recharge propellant: $3-$6 refill cost for CO2 tank A few pennies of electricity
Fire modes: Semi-auto Semi-auto and full-auto
Cost of 4000 rounds of ammo: .68 caliber paintballs= approx. $110; double that cost, on average, when buying paint at a field 0.2g premium seamless BB's: $12
Cost per shot: 2.5¢ for store-bought; 5¢ for field paint 0.003¢
Weight of 4000 rounds of ammo: 28.22 lbs. 1.76 lbs.
Typical effective range: 75-100 feet 150-200 feet; 250+ feet on upgraded guns
Temperature effects: Paintballs are very vulnerable to high heat, high humidity, rain and low temperatures. It is generally not possible to play paintball in the winter months. Airsoft BB's are completely invulnerable to all temperature extremes. Playing airsoft in the rain or in wintertime is perfectly acceptable. Some battery life is lost as the temperature gets colder. Sub-zero temperatures does bring some risk of damage to mechboxes inside airsoft guns.
Realism: Very low; While Tippmann guns do have a certain "real gun" look to them, most paintball guns bear no resemblance to any real weapon in existence. Additionally, the flashy electric colors and chrome plating, common to most paintball guns, make it all but impossible to remain stealthy in the woods. Very high; perfect replicas of virtually any real gun that exists; accurate weight and modeling of rails and mounts allow real weapon accessories to be used on airsoft guns.
Years in existence: 25-30 years 25 years worldwide; last 8 years or so in the US
Popularity: High; certainly it took paintball 20+ years to move from an underground sport to mainstream popularity, but it did so by shedding it's military/"woodsball" roots and moving towards flashy, arena-type "speedball". Those players who enjoyed playing paintball as a form of simulated warfare, are outstanding candidates for the realism that airsoft provides. Medium, but growing very quickly; extremely appealing to the "mil-sim" crowd, hunters, gun enthusiasts and ex-paintball players who want to enjoy longer-ranged, more-accurate guns whose ammo costs are trivial compared to paintball.

Long-term costs to play: Airsoft vs. Paintball

Okay... let's do a long-term comparison of the costs to play both airsoft and paintball.

Our demonstration player:We're going to create a fictional player that plays both sports. Our imaginary player (we'll call him "Harry") lives in the Northeast US and will play from March through October of the year. He has good equipment for both sports; not low-end, but not top-of-the-line either. Solid, brand-name gear, firmly in the middle of the price spectrum. He does know enough to use premium ammo in his guns, and will be diligent about maintenance on his weaponry.

Playing habits:Harry is an active player who plays every weekend throughout the season. He attends a skirmish or scrimmage three times a month, and one tournament or operation per month. Harry is a front-line player, who positions himself in the thick of the action, and as a good teammate, lays down good cover fire for his fellow players. On average, Harry will fire 4000 shots during a day-long skirmish, and 10000 shots during a weekend-long tournament.

Equipment purchases:Harry needs to get geared up first before starting to play. He's going to buy his paintball equipment from Tippmann, and his airsoft equipment from The War Store. Harry is going to stick with solid, "bread-and-butter" guns; proven performers in a mid-priced, affordable range.

We will not consider shipping charges or sales tax during this discussion.

He goes to Tippmann's website and looks for a Tippmann A-5 Flatline package that includes the gun, hopper and 20 oz. air tank. The Tippmann A-5 Basic Package #002 has those components, and costs $360. He will also shoot top-quality paint and chooses PMI Marballizer paintballs priced at $55 for one case of 2000 shots to use throughout the season.

Harry stops into The War Store for his airsoft needs. He chooses a G&G GR16 A3 Carbine (M4 with a full stock) for $260. It comes with one 450-round magazine. He purchases an 8.4V 3800mah rechargeable battery for $38 and a smart fast charger for $30. Harry will shoot top-quality BB's and chooses G&G premium seamless polished ammo priced at $16 for one bag of 5000 rounds to use through out the season.

Both sports will require eye/face protection and uniforms, but the costs for those items for either sport are about the same.

Maintenance:Paintball guns require a fair amount of maintenance and cleaning. Harry will spend about one hour after each game cleaning and lubing his paintball gun. Airsoft guns require far less maintenance. Roughly 10 minutes of cleaning and lubing after each game, and a once-per-year inspection of the internals of the gearbox which takes about two hours.

Harry will play a total of 32 games in each sport throughout the season.

CO2 vs. battery costs:I called several places in my area and filling a 20 oz. CO2 tank averaged $4. Shots per tank vary depending on firing habits and outside temperature, but for our purposes we'll figure a high estimate of 1000 shots per full 20 oz. tank.

A rechargeable 8.4V 3800mah NiMH battery requires 3.8 amps of electricity to charge. 3.8 amps times 120V (standard wall outlet power) equals 456 Watts of power. Residential electricity rates in New York State are the third highest in the nation. Electricity costs about 14 cents per kilowatt hour. The cost to charge our airsoft battery each time will be 6.38 cents. Shots per charge will vary with firing habits, but for our purposes we'll figure a high estimate of 7500 shots per fully charged battery.

Total ammo usage:22000 shots per month times 8 months equals 176,000 total rounds. That's (88) 2000 count cases of paintballs at $55 each, or (35.2) 5000 count bags of BB's at $16 each.

(Remember, this is assuming that you could play paintball at a field that allows you to bring your own paint; unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Field paint typically costs 1.5 to 2 times what store-bought paintballs do.)

CO2 fills vs. battery recharges: 176,000 rounds will require Harry's CO2 tank to be refilled 176 times at $4 each. Harry's airsoft battery will need to be recharged 23.46 times at 6.38 cents each.


At this point, I think we have enough information to tabulate the annual costs of both airsoft and paintball. Let's make a chart and see how much it cost Harry to purchase his gear, and play each sport for eight months.

CategoryPaintballAirsoft
Startup gun package $360 $328
Cost of ammo $4840 $563.20
CO2 fills / battery charge costs $704 $1.49
     
Total financial cost for each sport for an eight-month period shooting the same number of rounds: $5904 $892.69
     
Time spent on maintenance 32 hours 7.33 hours

Summary:

Paintballs cost 8.59 times more than airsoft BB's.

CO2 propellant is 472.48 times more expensive than the electricity needed to charge an airsoft battery.

Overall, paintball financially costs 6.61 times more than airsoft to play.

Paintball requires 4.36 times more labor than airsoft in equipment maintenance.

 

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Please Airsoft responsibly! Have fun and be safe!