Introduction: Airsoft Tips and Tricks

This will be an ible that I will update when I come accross more interesting stuff, and as I learn more about airsoft. Its for all the little stuff that doesn't warrent a whole instructable. Its also an attempt (perhaps a vain one) to add something new to the growing number of "airsoft for idiots" guides that all say essentially the same thing.
First tip:
Don't look conspicuous: it draws fire.
Don't draw fire. It irritates the players around you.
Don’t irritate the players around you: It makes you looks conspicuous.

Step 1: Profile: Playing Tight

Profile is how much of you there is for the enemy to shoot at. You want a small profile so that you are less likely to get hit.
Playing tight is staying as close to your cover as possible to minimize profile.
Try to:
Keep your elbows in.
Keep the muzzle of the gun behind the corner so you can snap back behind should the need arise.
Shoot lefty around the left of cover. Shoot righty around the right of cover.
Remember to keep your legs and butt in. Its easy to forget that these are not in cover.
Distinguish between cover and concealment:cover blocks incoming fire, concealment hides you but may not block bbs.
If you remember to do all this you will be less likely to be hit. In the pictures I highlighted what would be available to shoot at. The first one is bad form.

Quick tip: by placing the elbow of your trigger arm (that is, the one whose finger is on the trigger) on your rib cage and placing the stock on the outside of your shoulder, you geometrically guarantee that you have the smallest profile possible, so long as your muzzle is as close to the edge of cover as possible.

EDIT: Having had a few years more time to practice this, and having acquired a better camera, I will ideally be slowly rewriting this over the next few months.

Step 2: Using Bunkers/Cover

Its time this section had a second look. After a few games recently I've noticed some common mistakes that even some experienced arisofters make while in a bunker. 
Simply, here is a list of things to remember while in a bunker:
1) If there are not BBs headed directly for you, you should be looking out of the bunker.
If you huddle in a bunker without keeping constant tabs on whats around you, you lose track of where the enemy is, where nearby bunkers are, and where potential shots are. By keeping your head out of the bunker whenever possible, you will be able to identify and take shots that you never would have known about otherwise, and have superior situational awareness. Plus, if you huddle in your bunker, you are essentially doing the job of an opposing player who would normally be suppressing you.
2) Face forward.
This goes along with the previous point. If you lean your back or side against the bunker, it is more difficult to quickly look out of the bunker or to duck back in. Instead, sit a bit back from the bunker, facing forward. This will allow you to more quickly look or shoot, and to more quickly transition between different angles offered by the bunker.
3) Use all sides:
Any bunker has multiple places from which you can lean out and shoot/look. Usually this is the top and two sides, but more complex bunkers may have a plethora of potential shots that a creative player can use. There is no reason you have to be directly behind and center in a bunker.

Step 3: See Around Corners

Get an old CD. Use it to see around corners.

Step 4: Night Sites

Buy some glow-in-the-dark (phosphorescent ) paint . Paint your sites. Aim at Night. Mostly novel, but whatever.

Step 5: Lighten Your Load

I like to go with minimum gear and weight. When i found out about this I took 50% of my load.
Open up your gun. Look for chunks of metal in the grips, stock, mgazines and other places. take them out. they are just weights. They will not be in most guns with metal gearboxes, or mid-to-high end guns, such as Tokyo Marui clones of high end sniper rifles.

Step 6: Capacitor Banks!

When the spring is compressed, the motor has to do more and more work to continue to pull it. This can cause voltage drops because the battery cannot quite keep up. Adding a bunch of capacitors in parallel to the circuit can help minimize these drops, thus increasing rate of fire. when the battery cannot keep up anymore, the capacitors will discharge and make up for voltage drops. note that you may need a fairly high capacitance ( a few thousand microFarads) to really make any difference.

Step 7: Minimalism

Murphys law: anything that can go wrong will go wrong
O'Toole's Commentary on Murphy's Law: Murphy was an optimist.

  Logicaly, the less stuff you have in the feild, the less could go wrong. The above pictures are extreme examples of over loading or overmodification. Its best to have as little as you can because any thing you have can impede your funtionality.
Sometimes you just gotta ask yourself: Will it really help? Does a laser really do any good? Will this flashlight help enough to offset the increased likelyhood that people will see me? Will a 8x zoom scope give me anything but tunnel vision?
  It remains a fact that the interaction between gun and player is the single most important factor in effectiveness and accuracy.(no matter whats bolted to it) Learning to shoot you gun by feel will probably do more for your accuracy than a spanken new ACOG.
  Also consider if you really need a side arm. If you run and AEG, probably not, but if your one of those hard core sniper guys, play long sceneraios, or are using an experimental and untested gun it might be worth the weight.
  The pictures are pretty extreme (both were actually a joke), but you get the idea.

Step 8: Look to Real Guns

When buying an airsoft gun it is important to remember that an airsoft gun is designed to imitate a certain real gun. The airsoft gun will share many of the same features. Things like and ambidexterous safety, the type of mag release,and type of sights will all probably be shared with the real version, and be universal with airsoft guns of that type. Also look at the proportions of things like the stock, hand guard, and magazine. A large magazine will hold more ammo and a spacious hand guard or stock will potentially house a larger battery.

Step 9: Cheap Mock Silencer

- barrel cover
- a piece of 1in. PVC
- a piece of 1/2in. PVC
- electrical or duct tape
Total cost: 1$-5$
This is a very simple fake silencer that can be used to cover a longer barrel or just for looks. Simply cut a hole big enough for a BB (or a barrel) to pass trough in one of those orange barrel covers that come with many AEGs. Now cut the 1in PVC to the length that you want your silencer to be, and slide it over the barrel cover. If the fit is to loose, wrap it with tape a few times. You can add an inner barrel by cutting a piece of 1/2in PVC that is the length of your silencer minus the lenght of the barrel cover and wrap it in tape until it will stay in the 1 in. PVC. The whole contraprion should fit on the flash hider by friction in the same way the barrel cover did. Paint it as you like.

Step 10: "silencing" an AEG

  I see this come up allot in airsoft forums. Theres nothing you can do to really "silence"  an AEG, but you can make it a good deal quieter.
  Most of the noise of an AEG is caused by the piston slapping the cylinder head and the motor/gearbox whine. A longer barrel and/or a less powerful spring will take care of the piston slap, as will padding the cylinder head (often with 'sorbothane' ) or installing an airbrake on the piston head.
   The gearbox whine can pretty muck only be solved by getting some really precisely machined gears (which are NOT cheap) and a quiet motor, but re-lubeing and re shimming your gears can help some. Also, by running your gears without the spring or piston in for one minute intervals ( that is, one minute running, one minute not running) you can "break in" the gears. This can make the gears run quieter.
   There is a small amount of 'pop' from the air escaping trhe barrel. By making a suppressor, you can turn a 'pop' sound into more of a 'thud'. A suppressor can consist simply of a ported tube with cloth wraped around it taped over the barrel.

Step 11: Accuracy

  Think about your hopop system. What has the biggest potential variance?  The bucking, nub ,barrel, and chamber all remain mostly the same between shot. They are however, interacting with a different BB every time.
   That said the single most effective way to get better accuracy is better BBs. Buy high quality BBs of no lighter than .23g if you want stability and accuracy. For you snipers out there, use .25g BBs at the absolute lightest (.30 and higher are most common among snipers/DMs).
   While it is true that heavier BBs decrease muzzle velocity, the decrease in air friction makes up for that within 50 feet.
   Buy high quality BBs. KSC, Airsoft Elite, BBking, TSD, Bioval, and Goldenball bbs are some popular high quality BB companies. I personally use bioshot .25g bbs (for all my guns, from 340fps to 400 fps) because they are relatively cheap but still very high quality (and biodegradable).

Step 12: Slings for Cheap

Straps from suit cases, laptops, or other things can be used as slings. In some cases, changing the length can allow you to use the same sling as a one point, 2 point, or 1 to 3 adaptive.

Step 13: G36s and Reloading

If you use a G36 variant, you know that all those ridges and knobs on the mags can get caught on pouches or pockets, and make reloading a pain. These ridges and knobs can simply be ground off for better fitment.

Also, the G36 magwell is not beveled like an m4s, which means that the hand motion must be more precise to get the mag in. Use a Dremel or file to bevel your magwell and it will be slightly easier to reload.

Step 14: Poor Mans Sector Chip

Building a budget hi-speed setup? need a sector chip?

Take an old plastic bushing and put it on your sector gear post, then sand the height down to level with the post and elsewhere as necassary. Now glue it down.
Simple as that. Currently rocking the gear shown here in a budget 25 RPS build.

Step 15: Chargers

A peak charger is worth your investment. It will keep your batteries strong and healthy for a long time.

After about a year of heavy use, my elite 9.6v mini pack emfs at over 11 volts because I charged it exclusively with a $30 peak charger.
Of my stock batteries, one was charged with a wall charger, and the other with a peak. The one charged with a wall charger is an 8.4v that now emfs at 8.3 v and is almost unusably weak. The peak charged one is also and 8.4, but it emfs at about 10v.

Step 16: Never Mask Fog Again

So there are these things called Clear Shot dandy wipes ( . I feel like I should at least link to the site if i'm going to tell you how to rip off the design for next to nothing) which is probably the most useful paintball/airsoft invention ever. It allows you to wipe for off the inside of your goggle without removing them. 
They can be made cheaply with two small sections of microfiber, two neodymium magnets, and some glue.
Simply glue a piece of microfiber  to each magnet, and stick one magnet on either side of your lens. you should be able to drag the inner one around via the outer one. Be sure to get the polarity right. Costs about 2 dollars.
Alternatively, small computer fans can be purchased at your local surplus or electronic store. Wire it up to a 9v and point it through your goggle vents, and it will inhibit fog. Also costs around 2 dollars. 

Step 17: Selecting BB Weight.

This is a little trick mentioned by Star_folder over at AIrsoft Forum:

Take your FPS ( with .2s) and...
...divide by 1600. This is the lightest BB you should use.
...divide by 1200. This is the heaviest BB you should use.
...divide by 1400 for a good compromise.

In reality, the maximum BB weight you can use is more a function of your hopup, but this is generally a nice estimate.

Step 18: Tip for Shooting Ambidextrously, and Rapid Target Acquisition Without Sights.

Its actually quite simple. Most people have trouble shooting off-handed simply because it is difficult to aim down a sight with the non-dominant eye. The solution? Don't look down the sight. This is particularly useful for cqb, where profile and mobility are important, but ranges are short.

But how do you aim without using the sights? The trick is to ignore your gun completely. Focus only on your target, and do not pay attention to you weapon.

This works on the concept of the human minds spacial awareness, and its the same concept behind the ability to point at things. Try this: pick an object. Any object. Now point your finger at it. Now point at it with the other hand. Chances are, your pretty close in both cases, and you managed to accomplish that  without the use of an alignment device.

Obviously, this won't work so well out beyond 50 yards or so, but at that distance, especially in airsoft, speed of acquisition, isn't so vital.