May 11, 2014 at 1:58 am #13276
Good Morning/Evening all.
I just wanted to take a moment to share what (potentially) relevant lessons I’ve learned in my 7 years of paintball experience, both indoor and outdoor, sometimes in tournaments, sometimes up close and personal. But before I go on, let me point out some obvious differences between playing paintball and real combat (as I understand it).
A) Paintball is not life and death… people are obviously not going to behave quite the same. Their attacks will not be so reckless in real life (at least for the most part I assume), and there isn’t any real fear. The loud noises and terrifying sights and smells of combat won’t be there… etc etc. You get the picture. That being said, the basic tactics and strategies, as I have been told, are similar. Also, sometimes, new players are very scared to get hit, and act like its a real gunfight… more on that later.
B) Paintballs are not bullets. Paintballs can punch through cardboard, glass, and leaves. That’s about it. Bullets will punch through wood, concrete, etc depending on the round. Cover for paintball is not necessarily cover for real life! Also, paintballs are not all that accurate, and have an absolute maximum range of maybe 90-100 meters. Bullets fly farther, faster, and more accurately.
I hope Selco or others who have been in the real thing will modify these lessons as necessary, but I have a feeling they might apply to combat. So here we go.
1) Don’t get ‘tunnel vision.’ This means that when the shooting starts between groups, do NOT focus your attention on only one enemy/area/hiding place. In my experience, you will tend to do so. You need to take quick looks when you can towards your left and right sides, as well as high and low. Fighting with that guy in the window? Guess what, his buddy just moved over to your left while you weren’t looking. Now he has a clear shot on you, you’re dead. Stay aware of your surroundings and be ready to adapt quickly.
2) If you feel like you’re in a bad spot, it’s probably because you are. You have instincts for a reason. I’ve found that while moving can certainly be risky, STAYING in a BAD spot pretty much guarantees you will die. Better to have 50/50 chance than almost none. Time to move…
3) Before you ever move, assess where you will go before you do! It seems obvious, but when you’re under pressure, sometimes you don’t think. Check to see if the position you are looking at will keep you out of sight, or will someone have a clear shot on you when you go there? Also, what is it made out of? Is it thin wood, or thick concrete? Is there mud you might slip on in between? (Ive slipped and been killed as a result before!) Just investing that half a second or so to calculate these things has saved me multiple times.
4) When you are ready to move, have your buddy or buddies all shoot to cover you. This (hopefully) will force your enemies to duck, which means they won’t be able to shoot at you when you run. If it is just you, shoot like crazy toward your most dangerous enemy (for example, guy who is closest usually has best chance of hitting you). Get in a ready position and then absolutely run as fast as you can. Do NOT slow down as you reach your cover. You want to be at top speed until you are behind cover. The goal is to minimize the amount of time you are vulnerable! If it is a long distance and you have to go for it, don’t run in a straight line. Zig zag a little bit, it makes you a bit harder to hit.
5) The field is a confusing place, I bet combat is even worse. If possible, keep your group in visual communication with one another. That way you can communicate, which I have found is extremely important. If you have radios, even better (although with real guns, you probably won’t be able to hear). So long as you can hear or see one another, it will be very useful.
6) Do not bunch up all in one spot. Try to spread out a bit, like a line that faces your enemy. This will hopefully prevent them from surrounding you, which in my experience is very, very bad. I’ve only survived once after becoming surrounded in 7 years of paintball experience.
7) If the enemy doesn’t see you, but you can shoot him, don’t necessarily fire right away. Take advantage of this and watch what he is doing and how strong the enemy is. React accordingly and set up a lethal ambush (if u must eliminate him) or simply let him pass by, or sneak by him.
8) Move slowly when you are not in a firefight. Watch for movement or areas that look suspicious to you. Example: ‘that patch of tall grass would be a perfect place to launch an ambush from…’
9) Having the best gun is a good thing, but not as good as the person using it. There are a wide range of paintball guns. Some are single shot pump guns. Others are pretty accurate, fully automatic paintball tournament guns that shoot 30 rounds per second. Some even a little faster. I played my first 5 years with a cheap, inaccurate but reliable $100 gun. I sometimes would kill teams of 4, 5, 6 people who each had $700-$1,100 guns… by myself. Practice and experience, along with a reliable gun, are huge. They didn’t lose because they made a poor gun choice. They got whacked because they didn’t have the experience I did, and I made short work of them. Not being cocky, just pointing out the value of TRAINING.
I have a ton more to add, but I would like to get the opinion of experienced members of the forum before I continue. I’ve never been in combat (hope I never am). I believe much of this holds true in real combat, but it’s going to be A LOT harder when your hand is shaking and you’re on an adrenaline rush. So, is any of this worthwhile? If so, I’ll happily add more of my experience. If it’s misleading, please let me know, even delete the post if need be.Thanks for reading,
Thanks,May 11, 2014 at 2:32 am #13284
WhiteKnight, It is like riding a motorcycle when you first ride you are very careful then after a year you start riding faster and that is when it happens, you hit something.
So what I am getting at is that real life war is not paintball, I am not going to go after you like in paintball. In a SHTF I may wait all day for the right shot and you will not even see me. There will be many like me, hunting all day, waiting for the deers to come there way.
You get shot one time and it is over, there is no paint in my shots. I think about this all the time since my son does the paintball too. It is not the real thing.
The real problem is in a SHTF there will be many like me out there so I will not be moving around much. To many hunters out there.
So that is what I think about paintball. So you may think you are good riding that motorcycle but you are only riding a bike.
A paintball rifle doesn’t handle like a rifle or even a hand gun.
Now I think you need to start going to the range and shoot the rifle.May 11, 2014 at 2:37 am #13287
Hm, doesnt sound good. Waddya say, delete the post?May 11, 2014 at 2:43 am #13289
WhiteKnight, No this is why we are here to learn and post questions. I have the same questions asked by my son about paintball.May 11, 2014 at 2:48 am #13290
Good point. I definitely know that people would tend to sit and wait, not maneuver around like crazy. That much I knew. On the topic of the range…
I have been to the range and have been building experience with my firearms, several different types. I’ve been a proud owner for 4 years, but haven’t gotten enough trigger time in, and only just gotten my shtf rifle a month ago.
Thanks for the advice, much appreciated!May 11, 2014 at 8:41 am #13318
Airsoft guns can be used as a training tool i read an article about police departments using airsoft pistols for training. The gun is a 1:1 scalescale replica and for the short disrance accurate enough (around 10 meters). As most shootouts are at very short distances Plus the gas operated pistol cycles as real steel. Ill try and find the link and post it.May 11, 2014 at 8:50 am #13319
Couldnt find the article i was looking for but found lots of other links
(posted from my phone so hope this works on pc/laptop.)May 11, 2014 at 8:54 am #13320May 11, 2014 at 1:26 pm #13371
Hm, doesnt sound good. Waddya say, delete the post?
No, definitely not. Whole point here is about sharing opinions and discussing. And thanks for contributing Whiteknight.
For the folks who had been in real fights, in war for example paintball and airsoft does not have too much similarities with it. After all it is game. Maybe there are some scenarios in airsoft that can bring it to reality little bit closer, I like it much more then paintball, and weapon looks real there anyway.
Simply in real gunfight stakes are much higher, so whole “game” concept is different (you lose game-you die, your opponent lose game-he dies, in front of your eyes probably). It is hard to mimic that.
But yea, some things can be practiced there. Team work for example, call signs, moving, sheltering-hiding etc.May 11, 2014 at 2:27 pm #13376
Yep, i think its more to create ‘muscle memory’.May 11, 2014 at 2:47 pm #13380
It does help in some areas, but it may make you to confident which is why I am always telling my son that this is only a game were you can get shot and not die. That is why I take him to the range to shoot the rifle. When I do he see’s how powerful a rifle is. When my son shoots the .308 or the shotgun he feels the power. The only weapon that he thinks that is close to a paintball gun is the 22lr rifle. Even the handguns are not the same. My son feels how the power of a .380 hand gun is or the 9mm. Lets not even think my son can handle a .45.
He tells me every time we go to the range that it is not the same at all.
I do think there is a point for airsoft for close up practice. The fast reaction to shoot.May 11, 2014 at 3:29 pm #13382
One thing about airsoft and paintball that does help with is decision making under stress. Where the consequences are not the same it does require you to move think and act under stress. Some of the games are very intense. Wouldn’t use the game to battle train but it helps with seeing how you deal with stress.May 11, 2014 at 3:36 pm #13384
I have been in combat. When we were training before deployment we used an electronic vest that said if we were “hit” and then had a card that told us what our injuries were.
This training was a joke!
Paintball training does not carry the weight/reaction of a true weapon and the confusion factor of combat is missing. But it is excellent training. Getting hit with a paintball is an excellent way to learn that tactic you thought was so cool, will NOT work. It is perfect for team training, tactics, learning team communications.
The US Army is going to this training because it is much more realistic without getting a squad killed by “friendly fire”. As long as you appreciate its limitations, and understand that your first introduction to real incoming fire will be heartstopping no matter how much you have trained, it is valuable!
Like everything else you get used to it. I can now sleep through incoming rocket rounds. If you hear it didn’t have your name on it.May 11, 2014 at 3:40 pm #13396
She-Wolf, Great points you made on your post.May 11, 2014 at 7:06 pm #13410
That’s kind of what I was thinking. I know that (as I said in the post) it is after all, only a game, and that people behave differently for obvious reasons. I truly have no delusions that it will feel the same, trust me on that one. The takeaway for me here was that the teamwork I learned and a couple of other skills might be applicable… that’s what I was hoping for.
And trust me I know my G4 paintball gun doesn’t shoot like my 5.56mm mini 14. I am working hard to get better at real shooting with it.
Guys you’ve been a huge help, thank you for the responses!
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