Straight up, I'm a pistol person. I love handguns, both real and skirmish. There’s a level of satisfaction I get from shooting a semi auto pistol be it gunpowder or compressed gas powered that I dont get from anything else. The snappy “recoil” from the slide traveling at a baggilion miles per hour, the 2 handed grip aligning my eyes with the front and rear sights of the pistol, pulling the trigger in 14 tenths of second splits- nothing else gives that feeling, especially not an electric powered gel blaster rifle.
But, where do gas powered pistols fit into the milsim players inventory?
Can they be a great asset to the player's game? Or are they a waste of time and carry space for players of the 6-12-24-48 and 72 hour game types.
I'm not talking about short skirmishes here.
Well that’s what we are about to discuss.
Firstly lets list the positives of a gas powered pistols for milsim:
Ideal theorectical backup blaster for if your primary battery dies or blaster breaks.
Small and easy to carry in a holster.
Equivalent or close to power of most electric rifle blasters
Use the same gels
Perfect for tight environments, close quarters, room clearing etc
Looks great and completes the look for most players.
Accessible for the last ditch effort to survive game play capture or 2nd life chance.
Now lets look at the negatives:
Additional weight to carry
Requires magazines not compatible with rifle
Requires additional gas can or CO2 capsules
Range and accuracy not as good as rifle
Magazine capacity up to around 16 gels max (250 odd for a rifle)
Gas capacity 20 shots for GG and 60 shots for CO2 fill
Mostly for close quarters use only
Needs to be shot soon after loading due to gels drying out in the magazine
Expensive item to risk losing the pistol or magazine/s
So should we just run our rifle blasters in the long games, god knows ive spent enough time developing them to be the best they can beso why opt to run something else? Do the positives outweigh the negatives and make pistols worth taking?? This is purley my opinion only, everyone is welcome to their own opinion.
My answer...is… No. The positives don’t outweigh the negatives.
Do I think there is any valid use for pistols in long milsim games? Yes- if the individual wants to have the added personal effect of carrying a pistol. Just because you're carrying it, doesn't mean you have to use it. But should we load ourselves down with something we are not likely to use? Gear requirements for the long games is pretty big, so do we have room and can we justify the extra weight?
Unfortunatley I don't think pistols are very effective in long game play purely due to the gel. As our gels are water based, they dry out when in the open air for a while. When dry on the surface they loose the self lubrication of being wet which massively reduces performance in feeding from the magazine, if the gels dry out they can block up the magazine feed and simply not fire a gel when needed, which is a shitty situation for something your carrying with you maybe as the last resort or as the trusty reliable back up. The player can add some additives to stop the gels drying, or if they do dry they stay slippery, ie baby oil, or washing up liquid can make them slippery but both have their own negative effects also which means the gels just work better when plain and simply wet or damp on the surface.
Personally for me, on the bigger long games the balance of SAWC (size and weight constraint) is the likely answer to whether I take my pistol with me. Do I have room on my kit for the pistol and mags etc? Or is that room better allocated to other gear more likely used for better effect?
To answer that, if i'm wearing just my plate carrier and loaded to the eye balls then no I probably would not allocate room for a holster and other mag pouches plus a can of gas or CO2 capsules.
If I'm wearing my PC and also a gun belt, then yes I may strap on the holster and mag pouches to the belt, at least this way I can remove the belt easily and leave at the FOB or camp and not have any effect on my main PC setup. Using your belt to hold gear can be either just minor addons to your simple belt thats holding your pants up or you could run a full battle belt which adds a heaps of room for more pouches, holster etc.
For best performance out of a gel blaster pistol, it would be ideal to only load the gels into the magazine just prior to contact, this would eliminate or reduce the chances of the gels drying out. This of course can be tricky. Its like not wearing a seat belt when driving, are we likely to survive life if we don't wear the belt all the time under the intention of just applying the seat belt in the event of a crash….no not likely, same deal here, we can't always have 60 seconds up our sleeve to load the mag prior to needing to shoot it.
As I am a pistol tragic and as GBB gel pistols improve by the day and become less gel dependant making them more likely to feed gels no matter what, so in time i'm pretty sure i'll always have a pistol with me for game play, just purely because I have that love for pistols and want them to be part of my game experience. With the recent additions to the aussie pistol line up from WE Tech, the 2011 Hi-Capa range are absolutely outstanding in pretty much every way, the fact they perform outstanding and shoot every hard gel with ease is likely to mean that any gel I am ever going to use is going to fire well, time will tell how they go when the gels have dried off slightly and loose their damp lubing surface.
To summarize… and this probably contradicts most of what i've written above. To answer the original question.
Yes, pistols as side arms or secondary weapon systems have a place in gel ball Milsim for me and absolutley 100% in airsoft over seas. Purely due to the fact that I love the pistol form so much and I want to carry and use the toys I own and enjoy. But I dont think a pistol will ever be viable as a primary blaster for gel ball milsim, purley for the same reason neither will a sniper rifle, the pistol doesn't have the fire effect of an electric rifle through limited gas and magazine capacity with a more cumbersome process of refilling gas and gels to the magazine vs filling electric mags and the very irregular changing of a battery.
Fun fact, I now own 5 gbb pistols. 3 are the early APS CO2 pistols, all 3 perform great, reliable, light and fun, Ive had them for over a year now, all have been used in games extensively, I love the CO2 power plant for the ease of carrying the small capsules as the refill. My CO2 powered 2011 has never been used and is purley a shelf queen, why? Well it's heavier, bigger, less reliable, more finicky and it doesn't perform as well as the APS CO2 pistols, so why would I use it?
My last is the brand new WE Tech 2011 green gas pistol. My first and only green gas pistol. Being WE Tech it shoots night and day better than the others I have, very reliable, powerful, looks and feels great, accurate and...well new. Being green gas, the gas cartage is more cumbersome (big can vs small CO2 capsule) than the others so I would imagine for a big milsim game Iggy, Myself and maybe others will share one gas can between us, theres not much poiunt us all carry a can. As its brand new it hasn't been to a game yet but I 110% promise you..it will be in the holster for the foreseeable future...well a WE Tech 2011will be, which one exactly I don't know because I think I'll be getting another 1..at least.
If your interested in the WE tech 2011s, jump on the Azraels website, you wont regret it. https://www.azraelsarmoury.com/collections/we-tech-hi-capa-2011
Thanks for reading. Marty TSI