For all those years I was in the Army I was Infantry, the guy with the rifle. And it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, enough said on that. I found the sport of 'paintball' initially just big boys plaing army in the woods, growing into this huge money drain, and the thrill of the hunt with your pump replaced by 'spray and pray' semis and case of paint to kill firepower.
I found 'airsoft' as I looked for a low priced method
to supply era specific weapons to a Vietnam re-enactment group. I have been 'playing' for near 10 years but had a period of inactivity due to issues.
Recently I went back a 'played' a game, and I am hooked again. The AEG airsoft electric gun of an electric motor powered by a battery operating a plunger type valve to propel a 6mm 'BB' at upwards of 400fps from a realilistic lookin magazine fed 'rifle' or pistol was the draw. Effective range of 35-50m are obtainable, and a CEP of 6in at max range is also doable.
I still own a top of the line M-14 manufactured by G&G, capable of firing a 6mm 'BB' weighing .32gr (the standard is .20 to .25g) at 450fps it is considered a Designated Marksman Weapon and played under a very specific set of safety rules for the game. That is my 'sniper' weapon. Along with that is another G&G M-14 firing the standard .25 bb at <400fps for normal carry/play. I recently sold my VN era M16 as well as my VN era M-60 Machinegun that was sold on e-bay to a collector in Alexandria VA to go in a museum VN display.
Now the 'fun' part for me. The GBB (gas blow back) Airsoft weapons. My first game back a 'kid' had a GBB weapon, where 'green gas' a combination of propane and silicon lubricant is charged in the magazine, as well as a 'real cap' of 30-40 bb's. You insert the magazine like the real steel variant, charge the weapon and you get the kick, and sound of a real steel 'gun'. Major scenarios across the country require 'real cap' magazines as the game is a MilSim so to speak.
I traded the VN M-16 and M-60 for a KWA GBB M-4 'Proffesional Training Rifle' used by the military as well as law enforcement for training. This rifle is designed to mimic the real steel varient for 'training' purposes. It too fires a 6mm .25 'bb' at @400fps and is accurate (for the smoothbore musket apprach of the bore design) at 50meters. Firing a from a 40rd gas/magazine it is a memory for me, the 'twang' of the operating spring in the stock tube, the front sight 'bounce'.
I am playing in my first real large scale 'Operation' as they are called the 22nd after not playing in one in over 2 years. @300 participants in various military 'roles' trying to accomplish 'the mission'. I am playing the role of a scout sniper team with my son as my spotter/security. The 'beer bet' is I will 'get' thier 'General' before the OP is over.
I also am running what I call 'Basic Training' to school the new players in the game, and the fieldcraft needed. Essentially getting them out of the MW3, BF3, video game mentality and into the 'real' world of 'the game'.