Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!
blacklab

Airsoft vs. "Real"

Recommended Posts

Can someone please explain to me the difference between airsoft gear and the brand name stuff. The reason I'm asking is because I feel like I'm getting ripped off. I have two good examples, I bought a STI mount for a C-more from Allchin @ $69.00. A few day latter I was surfing the web and came across a airsoft site that had STI mounts for $20.00, so I bought that one too. When they came in the mail I took them and laid them side by side. They are identical. Both claim to be made of 6061 aluminum, both measure the same and both weigh 1.4oz. The second example is, I bought a set of mag pouches from Black Scorpion @ $26.00 ea. And again I found the same mag pouches on a airsoft site for $9.50 ea. So I bought them too, and again they are identical, the only difference is the airsoft one's don't have the Black Scorpion sticker on them. So am I wrong in thinking different companies buy from the same supplier and put there names on it , and you pay more for the "big name" brands? Does anyone use airsoft stuff? Does it hold up? Is it different from "real" gear?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello: The only difference may be the actual materials they are made of. The other thing may be some are made off/off shore. I have seen some of the airsoft stuff and it actually looks pretty good but I have not used it. Thanks, Eric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I should add, I'm not bashing any company. I'm just trying to understand what I'm spending my money on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The popular thought is that since airsoft accessories do not have the recoil and abuse of the real items, they can be made of inferior materials.

But to date, I do not know of anyone that has tested this out.

Sounds like you might be our first guinea pig. Go for it.

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a pic. of the two mounts. Can you tell which is real and which is airsoft?

Flatlandshooter, I'm going to try the airsoft mount this week. I'll let you know how I make out. I think I would make a good guinea pig. I majored in crash dummy in collage. :D

post-60558-0-99027000-1440987201_thumb.j

Edited by blacklab

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Without doing an item by item comparison, this is going to be an extremely difficult question to answer. The superficial answers would seem to come down to:

1. Airsoft is usually considered to be a toy as compared to real guns

2. Toy gear doesn't have to be a ruggedly made as real gear

3. Real gear can command a higher price than toy gear

There are obvious flaws with these theories.

1. Airsoft gear, while often considered a toy, can be well designed and made

2. In a non-combat situation most people aren't likely to mistreat their gear anywhere near the way toys are treated

3. People are often willing to spend a lot on toys

It's probably a combination of all of these factors.. While they may be well made, material quality and manufacturing tolerances can often be a good deal lower for Airsoft. Parts that attach don't have to deal with the level of shock and vibration. And the way the two things are used and what is demanded of them are often very different.

There is a possibility that you can purchase a perfectly usable piece of gear and have it work. You probably can't tell without trying.

Edited by Graham Smith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Graham Smith, I understand that airsort is supposed to be lesser quality. But in this case both mounts are listed as made from 6061 aluminum. 6061 aluminum is 6061 aluminum. There is no different grades. But there is a big difference in price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CONGRATULATIONS - You found the oddest "secret" in the business.

Magpul for example has an airsoft line and a "real gun" line. Made on the same machines, same polymer, in fact the exact same item. Airsoft is less money.

I cant tell you the number of real guns running airsoft bought parts.

Why this is - dont know. What I do know is that it is that way.........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Graham Smith, I understand that airsort is supposed to be lesser quality. But in this case both mounts are listed as made from 6061 aluminum. 6061 aluminum is 6061 aluminum. There is no different grades. But there is a big difference in price.

There can be big differences in manufacturing quality and tolerances. Do holes line up, is the fit tight or loose, are edges smooth or ragged, are bends uniform, etc, etc.

You frequently won't know unless you buy something if it's any good or not, and price isn't always a guide. "You pay your money and you take your chance."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another factor is John took the time and effort to design and test his mount, that costs money. The airsoft company copied his design, by buying one of his mounts, that cost $69. John supports the shooting sports through his designs, donations to prize tables, and sponsorship, that costs money. The airsoft company just rips off John who is a genuinely nice guy. That costs John money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ming the Merciless.....I hear what you are saying. I know R&D cost money, and designing a good product takes a lot of time. I shouldn't have named any names of where I bought the stuff at. My point is, there are companies selling the same mounts for $120.00. Don't get me wrong, everyone is entitled to a profit, but that seems a little out in left field. Even with better material and tighter tolerances than airsoft I can't see how they can justify that kind of money. It doesn't seem to be just with the mounts, it seems to be that way with other stuff too. Like as Bluto pointed out with magpul. Sorry if it sounds like I'm venting, but I am. It's hard to spend money on something when you feel like your being ripped off. By the way, I do own my own business and know the cost involved with operating on a day to day basis. $120.00 for a small piece of machined aluminum just ain't right. Well...........I feel better now that I got that off my chest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use airsoft "CR speed" pouches, got all 3 for under 60 bucks shipped from China.

Do they hold my mags? Yes.

Are they adjustable for angle and retention? Yes.

Do they move on my belt? No.

Are they significantly cheaper? Yes.

I know at least one guy on here has used the race holsters that they sell on eBay for cheap with both his Limited and open guns I believe, with great success. But you would have to ask him for more information. For me, yes I would buy them again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ming the Merciless.....I hear what you are saying. I know R&D cost money, and designing a good product takes a lot of time. I shouldn't have named any names of where I bought the stuff at. My point is, there are companies selling the same mounts for $120.00. Don't get me wrong, everyone is entitled to a profit, but that seems a little out in left field. Even with better material and tighter tolerances than airsoft I can't see how they can justify that kind of money. It doesn't seem to be just with the mounts, it seems to be that way with other stuff too. Like as Bluto pointed out with magpul. Sorry if it sounds like I'm venting, but I am. It's hard to spend money on something when you feel like your being ripped off. By the way, I do own my own business and know the cost involved with operating on a day to day basis. $120.00 for a small piece of machined aluminum just ain't right. Well...........I feel better now that I got that off my chest.

Very self serving answer.

How would you feel if somebody ripped off your designs, had them made cheaply overseas and sold at 1/3 of your cost, and then had people post on forums how you were ripping them off because your made in the US (at US labor & material rates) cost too much? Next time you see some of that overpriced original design stuff on the prize table, just leave it there because you can buy ripoff stuff cheaper!

Oh yeah, and wait until someone sends you the clones for warranty work and then blasts you all over the internet because you refuse to honor your warranty.

Edited by Ming the Merciless

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I and a few others have used Airsoft marked AR rails or light holders. I've never broken a light holder, however I can tell you the aluminum rail does dent, probably easier than a more expensive rail. The barrel nut works fine, the rail mounted up equally as fine, put it in to a sturdy wall and you will see some marks. Now, I can't tell you what would have happened if my troy rail went in to the same wall. I specifically bought the airsoft version rail to see if it could hold up. Right now, it seems fine. Would I take that part for deployment, probably not. But for 3 gun or carbine class work here, sure why the hell not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I and a few others have used Airsoft marked AR rails or light holders. I've never broken a light holder, however I can tell you the aluminum rail does dent, probably easier than a more expensive rail. The barrel nut works fine, the rail mounted up equally as fine, put it in to a sturdy wall and you will see some marks. Now, I can't tell you what would have happened if my troy rail went in to the same wall. I specifically bought the airsoft version rail to see if it could hold up. Right now, it seems fine. Would I take that part for deployment, probably not. But for 3 gun or carbine class work here, sure why the hell not.

Here's why the hell not! That attitude in enough people will eventually put the people and companies who originate the designs that are being ripped off by overseas companies who don't obey or have patent, trademark and copyright laws out of business. Then where will the new designs and high quality parts come from? Those mounts, rails, hand guards are NOT made from the same quality of materials as the original parts nor are they made to the same dimensional tolerances. The aluminum is generally not the same grade, it may weigh the same, but it is much softer (cheaper to make & cheaper to machine), the anodize (if it's not paint instead of anodize) isn't as thick, hard, or durable.

Bottom line is, support the companies that innovate, produce high quality parts, participate and support the shooting community. The knock off companies could care less about you, and our sport. Even if airsoft went away, most of them would or are currently producing knock offs of everything from dinnerware to auto parts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ming the Merciless, I agree with you 100% about buying American made, and I try to support American made products, I drive a Ford. How ever some of the blame has to come back on the American companies. Example: airsoft mount- $20.00. Mount from American company "A"- $69.00. Same mount from American company "B"- $120.00. Same mount from 2 different companies with a $50.00 difference. That big of a price difference because of company "B"'s name. Your not buying the product, your buying the name. The name doesn't make it work any better, so why pay more. They are just pricing them self's out of reach for a lot of people, so those people are buying the cheaper products, my self included. I'm not trying to offend anyone, just trying to figure out how to get the most out of my money for a product that will hold up. I would love to buy all top brand name gear, but the prices will not allow me to do so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same mount from 2 different companies with a $50.00 difference.

If that were true, then you would have a good point, but it's not the exact same mount. They may look alike and serve the same purpose but they are not made by the same people in the same way in the same place - or at least they probably aren't. That does not make one better than the other, by the way.

Can the cheaper part do the same job just as well, I don't know - and that's my point. You can't know if the cheaper part is going to do the job until you try it out and see. It might very well work and if it does then kudos for finding a bargain. But you can't assume a substitute part will work unless you (or someone) tries it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ming the Merciless, I agree with you 100% about buying American made, and I try to support American made products, I drive a Ford. How ever some of the blame has to come back on the American companies. Example: airsoft mount- $20.00. Mount from American company "A"- $69.00. Same mount from American company "B"- $120.00. Same mount from 2 different companies with a $50.00 difference. That big of a price difference because of company "B"'s name. Your not buying the product, your buying the name. The name doesn't make it work any better, so why pay more. They are just pricing them self's out of reach for a lot of people, so those people are buying the cheaper products, my self included. I'm not trying to offend anyone, just trying to figure out how to get the most out of my money for a product that will hold up. I would love to buy all top brand name gear, but the prices will not allow me to do so.

Several years ago, I had a guy at the garage where I worked chew me out for driving a "foreign" pick up truck. I explained that my truck was made in Tenessee and popped the hood on his Ford to reveal that it was made in ... Canada! I asked him "who is foreign?"

On the original post, I bought one of the cheapie "C-MOREs" and put it on a 1911 .22 trainer a few years ago. Works fine. I even took the 8 min. module off it and switched it in my C-MORE on my race gun because it was brighter! Ain't capitolism grand?

But, as Graham said, there are also the parts that don't fit, don't work, don't hold up, etc. I don't think I would trust one very far on a match gun...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen Magpul post a few years ago on another forum that they license some of their parts to an airsoft company to be made overseas. I'm sure they don't disclose their polymer formula, just allow that company to use the design. So while the parts might look the same, the actual materials used and testing done on the parts is not the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use airsoft "CR speed" pouches, got all 3 for under 60 bucks shipped from China.

Do they hold my mags? Yes.

Are they adjustable for angle and retention? Yes.

Do they move on my belt? No.

Are they significantly cheaper? Yes.

I know at least one guy on here has used the race holsters that they sell on eBay for cheap with both his Limited and open guns I believe, with great success. But you would have to ask him for more information. For me, yes I would buy them again.

A friend of mine has a set that he didn't even know was airsoft until he ordered a legit CR Speed 4th pouch. He still runs the airsoft pouches with no issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ming the Merciless, I agree with you 100% about buying American made, and I try to support American made products, I drive a Ford. How ever some of the blame has to come back on the American companies. Example: airsoft mount- $20.00. Mount from American company "A"- $69.00. Same mount from American company "B"- $120.00. Same mount from 2 different companies with a $50.00 difference. That big of a price difference because of company "B"'s name. Your not buying the product, your buying the name. The name doesn't make it work any better, so why pay more. They are just pricing them self's out of reach for a lot of people, so those people are buying the cheaper products, my self included. I'm not trying to offend anyone, just trying to figure out how to get the most out of my money for a product that will hold up. I would love to buy all top brand name gear, but the prices will not allow me to do so.

Several years ago, I had a guy at the garage where I worked chew me out for driving a "foreign" pick up truck. I explained that my truck was made in Tenessee and popped the hood on his Ford to reveal that it was made in ... Canada! I asked him "who is foreign?"

On the original post, I bought one of the cheapie "C-MOREs" and put it on a 1911 .22 trainer a few years ago. Works fine. I even took the 8 min. module off it and switched it in my C-MORE on my race gun because it was brighter! Ain't capitolism grand?

But, as Graham said, there are also the parts that don't fit, don't work, don't hold up, etc. I don't think I would trust one very far on a match gun...

Capitalism is grand, patent infringement and counterfeiting is grand theft. I've seen the C-more knock offs, they even have the C-more name molded into the body. The box has an imitation C-more label, however the warranty card was a Trijicon????

Several years ago, MSD ignition systems was almost put out of business by the flood of counterfeit AL6 ignition boxes being sold online for 1/3 to 1/2 the price of the real boxes. Leupold Scopes has also been victim of a flood of counterfeit Mark 4 and Prismatic scopes. MSD still has a questionable reputation because of the counterfeits and the way they handled the problem. Leupold didn't suffer nearly as bad because of the smaller volume of fakes and they handled the problem much better and quicker.

Every time a counterfeit/clone/knock off is purchased you encourage the practice (which is NOT capitalism) and damage the legitimate companies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gram Smith, Unfortunately they are the same mount made of the same material. Sometime when you have some spare time, go to your local gun shop and look at the AR-15 selection. Pay close attention to the casting marks on the uppers. See how many different companies have the keyhole casting mark and see how much the price differs from one company to the next. The uppers are made by one manufacturer and sold to different gun companies. They are all made at the same time with forged 6061 aluminum, with the same hard coating, made to the same tolerances. But there is a difference of $100.00 from the "big name companies" to the "generic companies". Same goes for a lot of other products.

Ming the Merciless, I'm not saying counterfeiting is a good thing or that people should support it. Just trying to figure out why some "big name" companies sell the same product for more money than there lesser name competitors and miss lead people into thinking that it's there product. I don't have money flying out of my pockets. Just trying to get the most bang for my buck.

Edited by blacklab

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I and a few others have used Airsoft marked AR rails or light holders. I've never broken a light holder, however I can tell you the aluminum rail does dent, probably easier than a more expensive rail. The barrel nut works fine, the rail mounted up equally as fine, put it in to a sturdy wall and you will see some marks. Now, I can't tell you what would have happened if my troy rail went in to the same wall. I specifically bought the airsoft version rail to see if it could hold up. Right now, it seems fine. Would I take that part for deployment, probably not. But for 3 gun or carbine class work here, sure why the hell not.

Here's why the hell not! That attitude in enough people will eventually put the people and companies who originate the designs that are being ripped off by overseas companies who don't obey or have patent, trademark and copyright laws out of business. Then where will the new designs and high quality parts come from? Those mounts, rails, hand guards are NOT made from the same quality of materials as the original parts nor are they made to the same dimensional tolerances. The aluminum is generally not the same grade, it may weigh the same, but it is much softer (cheaper to make & cheaper to machine), the anodize (if it's not paint instead of anodize) isn't as thick, hard, or durable.

Bottom line is, support the companies that innovate, produce high quality parts, participate and support the shooting community. The knock off companies could care less about you, and our sport. Even if airsoft went away, most of them would or are currently producing knock offs of everything from dinnerware to auto parts.

Sorry that I bought 1 airsoft rail out of all the numerous custom guns I've got to see how it would hold up. Except the rail I bought doesn't have a legit AR version as the one I bought is a mixture of 2 rails on the market for ARs. If that rail actually existed I would have bought it instead. If a knock off version of your product puts you out of business, then you had a larger problem to deal with than a Chinese factory.

Go on Amazon and look up cheap AR rails. There are a ton of them, they mostly have crap reviews because they are cheaply produced and there is a reason it is priced at $75. You will always have someone making a cheaper version of a product, will it hold up as well, probably not. But who can say until you actually put them through the test.

Before anyone starts blasting making cheaper products of something, take a look at what optic you are running. How many companies make a cheaper version of a Aimpoint T-1 with an included LaRue mount? I can name quite a few big name companies that all do it. But nobody complains about that and spends the money.

Remember, not everyone needs or wants a $3500 AR platform.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a few thoughts on this (just because this is very much related to my career):

*It could be cast vs plate (same material, significant difference in strength, especially when combined with low QC over casting or alloying process)

*All 6061 or whatever other alloys are not all the same - they can vary wildly in quality depending on QC, cleanliness of melting pots, control of melting temperature, etc.

*The description could be wrong or inadvertently copied (Airsoft part saying it's 6061 aluminum when it's actually not)

*It could be a licensed name used on a lesser quality part

*It probably doesn't have the same warranty (including different limits on a limited lifetime warranty)

*It could be exactly the same thing with a different price tag. I personally don't think that's the case but I could certainly be wrong.

I bet if someone emailed one of the companies they would give an explanation. If not, maybe you're on to something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I had ridiculous amounts of money I'd go buy a licensed KAC rail and compare it. But I don't and Id rather spend it on ammo. I am a believer that it is a cheaper metal used to cut the price down. Since I don't do anything airsoft related I wanted to see how much abuse a rail could actually take.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...