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You’ll find some of your most intense and challenging airsofting at a CQB game. Having the right gear for this fast paced environment will make your gameplay more enjoyable, and improve your effectiveness on the field. I have compiled a list of the basic gear I bring to a CQB game to help you figure out what you need for your CQB game.
CQB Gear List
1. CQB Legal Weapon- I run a KWA SR7 at CQB fields. It meets the “under 350 FPS” rule that most indoor fields have. Also take a look at the G&G Combat Machine, Elite Force CQC, or the Valken Battle Machine Mod-M, if you want a more budget friendly option.
2. Light Weight Load Bearing System- I use a Lancer Tactical Chest Rig (Model CA-307A). It allows me to adapt to my mission, and the removable Hydration Pack allows me to reduce overall weight to decrease fatigue.
3. BDU (Jacket and Pants)- Having a set of clothing that will protect you from the hazards of CQB fields (nails, debris, and BBs littering the floor) and will wear like iron is a priority when selecting gear for a CQB game. I use a set of military surplus ACU Jacket and Pants, and it is well worth the investment.
4. Knee Pads- I used to be very skeptical about the necessity of knee pads in airsoft. I figured they were a waste of time and money. But, after using them in a game, they have become one piece of my load-out I never leave at home. If you’re looking for an inexpensive option, try the Condor Knee Pads. Once properly adjusted, they are very comfortable and do a great job of keeping your knees protected while pulling off an awesome slide!
5. Magazines and BBs- I carry 7 120-round mid cap magazines (1 in my gun and 6 in my chest harness) during a game. I usually go through 2-3 mags per game at a semi-only field, and 3-4 at a full-auto field. but it’s nice to have extra. I use Lancer Tactical 0.25g BIO BB’s, although most fields will allow you to use non-BIO and 0.20g will work fine in the controlled indoor environments.
6. Batteries- Bring 2-3, fully charged batteries for your primary weapon. I use Tenergy 9.6V NiMH 1600mAh batteries and I rarely go through more than 1 battery a night. But, per Murphy’s Law, one battery will die when I least expect it, or I somehow forgot to charge it, so extras are important.
7. Water and Snacks- Bring a case of bottled water to your CQB game. Although you’re indoors, hydration is still key to staying safe and at the top of your game. Drink water in the staging area between each game. I rarely carry water on the field because there is no time to actually drink it, and it’s not as important to have with me when each game lasts 15 minutes and the staging area is only 50 feet away. A few CLIF Crunch bars are a great way to stay fueled up on the field. If you want to look cool, whip out one on the field, and chow down while you slaughter the enemy team!
8. Red Dot- I have found that a good red dot sight can be worth its weight in gold during CQB battles. You’ll be able to acquire targets faster, have an easier time aiming, and be able to shoot off-hand more effectively. I’m able to see more of the field with an open, reflex style red dot rather than the tube style, which increases my battlefield awareness. You can check out the Sightmark red dot I currently use HERE.
9. Gloves- With the naturally close encounters you’ll have at a CQB game, figuring out a way of keeping your hands from getting shot up is an important mission. I use half finger gloves for extra dexterity while still be protected from a majority of the dreaded shots to the knuckles.
10. Footwear- Find a good, comfortable pair of boots that will protect your ankles and feet from punctures by nails or other debris. I like to wear a pair of 8-inch boots for added protection. Make sure that you break them in before airsofting, and wear a good pair of boot socks to prevent blisters.
Optional CQB Gear:
Sidearm- Although a pistol might be the most iconic CQB weapon, I have found that the need for one, when you have a good CQB primary weapon, is rare or non-existent. I almost never consider switching to a sidearm during a game. My primary weapon has a much larger magazine capacity, and I’m much more familiar with it, so there is no reason to take the time to pull out a side arm. The only time I may use one is if my primary goes down, or I’m in the mood (really tactical reason, right?). If you do carry a side arm, get a good pistol holster, and consider getting a pistol lanyard to prevent it from falling out.
Flashlight- Flashlights can be used to stun your enemies and give you a split-second advantage on the field. You can also use them to search dark rooms and corners while moving up the field. Be aware that improper use (i.e. having the light on all the time or keeping it on longer than you need to) can give you away and actually reduce your effectiveness on the field. Make sure you get a flashlight with at least 150 Lumens or it won’t have enough brightness to do much good beyond showing you the ground on your way back to respawn.
Grenades- Often times, indoor fields will have rules regarding the use of grenades. If the rule set allows you to make kills with them, then you might consider picking up a couple. They are a ton of fun to use. Pull the pin, chuck one into a group of enemies, and then sit back and watch the show!
Here is a printable, CQB packing list-
Make sure you have (as always) a good set of eye pro and some form of face mask. I would also recommend printing and filling out the field’s waiver before you go. This will make check-in much easier and faster when you get there.
As a final tip for selecting gear for your CQB game, ask the field owners or other players who have been to the field you want to visit. Usually they can make the best suggestions regarding what you will need to have with you to play at a specific field.