A Look At Loadouts - Bolt Action Sniper
It seemed strange to me that I would do my first in depth look at loadouts I use for airsoft on a loadout that isn't my primary one. My AEG sniper loadout is my secondary loadout, after all; I mainly use it for when I feel I need the additional ROF that semi-auto gives me. Therefore, I feel I should look at this loadout next as with the completion of my ghillie suit, this is 100% complete! As I said in my AEG sniper post, the BDUs I tend to use are olive drab, as I like the PMC or contractor look which means no camo patterns, but I am also partial to DPM, MARPAT and US Woodland.
As you can see, this is a very lightweight loadout. I don't carry much at all which allows me to move quickly and, perhaps more importantly, doesn't tire me quickly like a heavier loadout. Some airsofters will bluster and carry around way too much gear, saying "I can go all day. This doesn't slow me down at all" but it all adds up. You can be the fittest person, but carrying around more gear is going to tire you out faster than carrying a lighter load. That's just how human biology works.
First, I'll talk about the rifle!
There's a reason I have posted a picture of two rifles here; I have two VSRs and will use them in different situations. The top one with the scope and sling attached is my primary weapon system, as this is the one that I have installed the Wolverine Bolt in and is my higher performing rifle. The lower is spring powered, though still just as heavily upgraded and is my back up. If I have issues with my CO2 powered VSR, I can always fall back to using my spring powered one. I carry 4 magazines (one in the gun and three spares in the utility pouch on my belt kit) and can attach a suppressor if I need to, but the CO2 powered one is generally quiet enough without it, so having it be a little shorter is useful. I also carry two CO2 bulbs, one in the gun and one in the utility pouch on my belt kit, as this is usually more than enough for at least half of the game day. In terms of price, they both cost around the same amount, coming in at around the £800 mark.
Next, the other major piece of gear: The ghillie suit
I love this suit. For 6 hours of work and £52 I have a suit that is lightweight, breathable and perfectly suited for what it needs to do, as it has elasticated loops allowing me to stuff it full of natural vegetation. I do use the hood instead of a boonie that has been ghillied up, but to combat the hood either slipping off or not turning when I turn my head, I combine this with a simple, OD cap that I wear under the hood. This has the added benefit of the cap keeping both the sun and stray ghillie strands out of my face. The mesh base allows it to breath and the fact that it doesn't cover the front is great, as it doesn't need to and it frees up area for more heat to escape.
As a sidearm, I have swapped from the TM 1911 to the TM P226
I did this as I really like the P226 as a pistol; it's the kind of sidearm I would want in a real steel scenario. Also, the 1911 magazines are a lot smaller and have absolutely tiny gas reservoirs. Why not a mk23, I hear you ask? Well, the answer to that is quite simple... Every ghillie sniper and their mothers uses a mk23 as a sidearm. Yes, I understand it's super stealthy and it's a fantastic pistol to the extent that I even have one myself, all upgraded and ready for prom, but I want to be at least a little bit different. Furthermore, because of the upgrades in my mk23, it will over-hop anything lighter than .4s, and it's kind of a dick move to use .4s in a gun specifically used for shooting at targets within my 30m minimum engagement distance. The P226 does the job of sidearm fantastically. With it, I carry five magazines total: one in the pistol and four in the mag pouches on the belt kit. This only cost me around £211, which between the pistol's performance and abundance of magazines was definitely worth it.
Speaking of belt kits...
The only load bearing equipment I use is my belt kit, as this carries everything I need. Mounted on it I have 4 pistol mag pouches, to carry my sidearm magazines, a medium horizontal utility pouch, to carry my spare VSR magazines as well as the extra CO2 bulb, a canteen holder with canteen and a universal retention holster to carry my sidearm. This is all I need to carry and keeps my front nice and clear, allowing me to go prone and crawl along the ground in relative comfort; doing so in a plate carrier is awful and doing it with a chest rig is uncomfortable. Pretty much everything is Warrior Assult Systems, apart from the canteen holder which is Viper, so it did not come cheap. All in, I think this cost me around £200+, but if my Warrior Assault Systems chest rig is anything to go by, this will last me for literally over a decade. Hell, the pistol mag pouches already have as I bought them way back when I bought the chest rig and they're still going strong.
And... as a bonus item... I mentioned it earlier and it's not used all the time... But...
Yes, that is a mk23 and yes, that is a shoulder holster. This is primarily for another loadout, but just in case I need the full stealth small gun, I can take this into the field. It can hit up to 70m with sniper weight ammo, able to hop anything between .4s and .48s if I need it to. I don't use it often in this loadout, as I like how lightweight it is and the P226 already fills the role of sidearm, but on occasion I'll break this out instead. It has all the upgrades you'd think: maple leaf crazy jet barrel, MR hop rubber, Hadron H-plate and 3 screw TDC cover.
All in all, this loadout weighs barely anything and every part of it is high performance. As long as I play it correctly, I find myself being incredibly effective on the field. I love running this and with my local airsoft site re-opening this coming weekend, I'm going to be getting a lot of use out of this in the coming weeks. It requires a slower style of play, as movement is incredibly easy to see and this is a loadout designed with stealth in mind, but being a bit unfit due to not doing airsoft or martial arts for the past three months makes this truly advantageous. While others will be running around in heavy kits, I'll be lightweight and should be able to go at as close to peak performance all day long.