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Monday, June 3, 2013

Is happiness a pistol at your side?

Well, here we are again.  It's always such a pleasure.  Here we are today to talk about a rather polarizing subject in foamsports: sidearms.  Whether you carry one or not, sidearms have a long standing significance predating foam sport.  In times long passed the sidearm was a symbol of authority, the provenance of gentlemen and officers.  Predating the firearm they were commonly swords and daggers, but that's a little further back than I intend to go.  In later years it came not only to refer to the pistol or cavalry saber but also to the service pistol of the common soldier, and that sets the stage for today's discussion.

Contrary to what seems to be widely believed, direct combat military personnel with few exceptions are not issued pistols.  In fact current United  States Marine Corps doctrine is that all enlisted, as well as officers below Lt Col, carry M4's rather than being issued service pistols.  It is however common practice for special forces to carry a semi automatic pistol both as a supplement and a back up to their service rifles.  It's also common for non-direct combat personnel or vehicle crews to be issued service pistols as rifles would be a proper pain in the ass to either carry in addition to their other equipment, or too large and awkward to ready within the confines they are expected to work in.  In short, because of their small size and light weight pistols are issued when ever a proper rifle would encumber personnel.

And now we move forward to the world of Red Vs Blue, to compare and contrast with modern military as well as airsoft since the second tries awfully hard to be like the first.

You see, as might come as a surprise after the above schpiel, I do not carry a backup pistol in foam sports.  In the beginning I tried and, lacking any convenient way to carry one at the time even after making my own holsters, gave it up.  At the time my options weren't great.  I could carry either a small slim reverse plunger pistol like the Scout,  A bulky large frame revolver, or a bulky clip fed pistol that accepted the same mags as my rifle (my trusty Stampede if you were wondering).  All of them were single action, meaning i had to abandon the use of my rifle to use the pistol.  I had elected to go with as small a pistol as I figured I could get away with, and I figured that getting away to un-jam my rifle was the priority.  Either of the other options wasn't great either, as the cottage industry of custom Nerf tactical gear wasn't really around yet.  Either the Maverick or the Recon would have taken up valuable space that I needed for the 18 round mags for my Stampede.  And aside one case of me loading a dart into a drum backward, which was solved by swapping mags, I never suffered a single jam.  At no time did I suffer any ill effect from not carrying a pistol.
Urban Taggers

Moving forward to today, a couple years after my previous experience, I find myself reconsidering.  Back then all I had to choose from were Muzzle loading single shots, or really bulky single-actions.  In today's state of the game, we found ourselves with clip fed semi auto flywheel guns like the Rayven and Stryfe, double-action revolvers like the Snapfire-8, or diminutive smart-manifold pistols like the Triad.  Even the Strongarm, successor to the venerable Maverick, has slamfire these days.  Retaliator, while every bit as bulky and single action as its predecessor, reaches useful ranges in our stock ammo battles.  All are a cut above the older generation blasters of yesteryear.  This crop of blasters might just get me to try carrying a backup pistol again.

Or not, who knows?


  1. Sidearms are an option, but some people will use them as their prefered option over a rifle. In your case, I'd say don't get one until you can comfortably draw and fire one handed and not get caught up on your rig.

  2. And i will forever be puzzled by these people



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