Magazines and BBs are essential for any airsoft game, no matters what kind of a game you play, so calculating how many BBs and magazines to carry with yourself prior to getting in the match plays a big role.
Airsoft games can last all-day-long, but it eventually depends on your time availability or to the field and other people.
Let’s see what games require what amount of BBs and magazines on average.
Carry 2-8 mid caps, 2 high caps, or a combination of both magazines. On average you will be spending 150 BBs per 15 minutes of an active game. Carrying BBs in a pouch is also helpful, so you can reload in-game or between rounds.
This is however, exaggerated and taken on some imaginary average.
Some players sometimes shoot 500 BBs in a day while the other players may shoot 3000 BBs.
The general rule of thumb is to have one magazine in the gun and bring at least another one with you.
What capacity magazine should you bring?
Players have different expectations of what mags should offer them, so some may prefer realism while others just care about ammo that never runs out.
In my opinion, you could either buy 6-8 mid magazines and supplement it with another high cap mag (preferably 600 rds) just in case or you could simply run 2 high cap mags which should be enough for any type of game.
2 high caps are enough for 6 hours of game if you are resourceful.
Magazines have different properties and are operated in a different way, so mid cap differs a lot from the high cap magazine.
You can check my post on how to choose between mid cap vs high cap mag and see what suits your playstyle the best, but I will also mention what these mags offer in short here.
Mid cap mags
Mid cap magazines are the most popular type of magazines and with the purpose of realism people often choose mid caps over high caps.
Mid caps mags can be found with the size of 100 to 130 rounds which is often enough for airsoft players.
They look great and are easy to maintain and reload and they certainly do not consume much space.
Yet, some players may prefer the high cap for the following reasons.
High cap mags
High caps can be found with the size of 300 to 600 rounds and they suit well players who tend to shoot a lot.
If you are this type of a player who always sprays and shoots at anything that moves, it could mean that you either have poor trigger control and are playing quite wrong if it takes you that many BBs to take down a target or it may mean that your role is an aggressive backup or rush-in fireman who keeps the enemy team under pressure.
If you are just starting out with airsoft, you will soon realize what type of playstyle suits you the best and then you can adapt your gear towards the goal you want to achieve.
If you own a high cap mag, but like the idea of mid cap mags you should probably just purchase a couple of mid caps and keep the high cap in a vest just for the case.
You do not have to fill the high cap magazine fully and this way mimics the mid caps to some extent, but there is no much purpose in this because all other realism benefits still only exist on mid caps.
Speed loaders are a must if you do not want to spend hours on reloading manually.
Speedloaders make life easier for airsoft players and they can be found at a price of $10, you only need one of these and for the value, they bring they are basically free.
This way you do not have to own tons of magazines but rather reload one once its empty.
Bear in mind that it still takes some time to reload a mag even with speed loaders, so if you do not have a cover it will be impossible to replace a secondary, on-hand mag in the middle of combat.
Bring a pouch for BBs
No matters what magazine you bring to the game, a pouch of BBs is always a smart decision.
Sometimes you may shoot more than you expected just because the game went the other way around and you may find yourself emptying the magazines way before the game ends.
Approaching the teammates for help is an option, but it also makes things harder if they are already busy dealing with their objectives.
When you have free BBs in reach, you can reload any type of magazine in the middle of the field if you have found a cover.
Although this greatly depends on the field and objectives, you will often have free time to reconsider tactics once you reach a solid cover, so reloading a magazine should not be a big deal if you are used to doing it quickly.
High caps require winding and it can be annoying, so people rather do this either prior to the match or between rounds in a safe area, but nevertheless, it can be done during combat.
This way you can play with a single magazine and aim for minimalism.
My suggestion is that you find a good leg pouch because they are strategically located at the best position that is always in reach of a hand, so forget backpacks for this purpose.
Carry different BB sizes
If you bring a primary, let’s say sniper gun and another secondary AEG rifle, SMG, pistol, or shotgun you will need to supply each gun with a different BB weight.
You should use 0.40 gram BBs for snipers and other high FPS guns such as some AEGs or GBBs while most secondary guns you’ll choose with demand 0.20-0.25 gram BBs for optimal performance.
If you want to know why this is the case and how to choose the optimal BB weight for your airsoft gun check my post on the best BB weight for airsoft.
For instance, according to this, you might run heavier BBs in magazines on the left side and lighter BBs in magazines on the right side.
Snipers require less ammo, so some heavy BBs mid cap mags will be a great option for your primary gun while you could use a high cap for secondary more ammo demanding gun.
Again, this depends on what you need so feel free to find the optimal choice.
Work on trigger control and aim
For the end, I would like to give you a couple advices that will make you a better airsoft player.
If you are spending 200% more BBs than what the majority of other players spend, it could be that you are not only wasting ammo but also playing ineffectively.
Spraying the target behind the cover is not always the best tactic and you should rather change angles to access the target from a different spot or you should be patient and make the target make mistake.
Shooting a couple of hits every once in a while at the possible opening where the target may appear is smart and pre firing can be extremely beneficial, but still do not overdo it.
What I see to be the case with people who do not use sights is that they often spray a lot of BBs towards the target location just to adjust the aim and improve the accuracy.
This is a common issue when playing without sights on larger distances, so equipping yourself with sight may help you not only become more efficient but help you score the hits at the time.
Timing is precious and if you have to always adjust before you know what you are hitting, the odds are that the perfect moment is long gone.
Final take on mags and BBs
In the end, it is up to your playstyle what matters the most when it comes to magazines and BBs, so find your optimal way to go based on your playstyle.
On your place I would personally focus to improve my skills and aim so that every BB has its purpose.
This can be achieved by practicing and creating personal or team strategies but can also be aided with useful devices such as sights and optics that will in some instances greatly improve your accuracy.
Make sure that the airsoft gun you use shoots precisely where you aim, use proper BB weight and carry a pouch, plate carrier, or some mag holder that is easily accessible by the hand.