Going to a Milsim West Event as Militia? Here’s What to Bring for Your Airsoft Militia Loadout

“Militia’s simplicity brings a whole new level of fun that’s rather unexpected but refreshing.”

Alright, we’ve touched on what to bring as the two main factions of MilSim West with NATO and RusFor. Time to address the Militia side.

As Militia you will be paired on the same side as RusFor. The intent of the Militia faction acts as an aid in increasing the numbers of RusFor players and balancing the two warring factions as previously Russian equipment and gear were harder to come by.

Militia also acts as an entry point for those new to MilSim West or milsim in general as the kit and uniform requirements are significantly broader than the others.

We’ll take a look at what you’ll need for Militia with their uniforms, weapons, gear, and any particular impressions.

Header for milsim west militia loadout guide

Uniforms

First, let’s go over the uniforms. With the Militia, you won’t get a uniform look within the faction, instead, you’ll see a disorganized gathering of individuals, kind of like an actual Militia. We’ll take a look at the MSW 9 man rule, acceptable patterns, and what’s not acceptable.

airsoft militia loadout for milsim west
Credit: Chris Bast – A simple but effective Militia loadout

The 9 man rule states that if there are at least 9 people in a squad, they can seek approval for a unique impression to wear to the event.

With Militia, that rule is not applied, so if you only have four friends coming to the event but want to match, go for it as long as it doesn’t include anything in the no-go list stated later. 

What uniform pattern is allowed?

The MilSim West TacSop limits Militia’s uniform requirements as being:

  • Woodland
  • Green
  • Russian camouflage

What’s not mentioned by the TacSop but has been previously accepted is the use of civilian clothing such as:

  • Jeans
  • T-shirts
  • Civilian jackets

Already we can see how loose the rules can be here. With the Militia, you won’t get a uniform look within the faction, instead, you’ll see a disorganized gathering of individuals, kind of like an actual Militia.

I’d highly recommend just getting a set of woodland BDUs from a local surplus store and calling it a day. 

Related: Woodland BDU Pants & Woodland BDU Shirts are available on Amazon.com

What uniform pattern is not allowed?

Anything NATO, period. You are not allowed to wear:

  • Multicam
  • MARPAT
  • DCU
  • Plain Grey (NATO has many warming layers in gray)
  • And other camouflage patterns unique to NATO

If in doubt, contact a Cadre member.

milsim west airsoft faction militia
Credit: Milsim West / Secondary Pictures – Militia Player on the Field with Woodland Pants & Civilian Jacket

Weapons

For weapons, Militia follow a similar rule to uniforms. Militia weapons follow the same Rifleman, LMG, DMR, and MMG rules that the other factions have. However, attachments are highly discouraged.

From M16s, FALs, G3s, and bare bones AKs, I’d highly encourage you to take this opportunity to use those old school guns that don’t quite have a place in today’s modern range of rails, optics, and cool guy devices that aren’t super necessary for airsoft.

Related: For more information on those specific limitations – see our Rusfor guide.

AR15 style AEG’s will be prevalent. However, they are highly discouraged.

I have personally had the most fun using an LCT AKMS with two magazines taped together for quick reloads. The simple and basic has a charm of its own and I often find myself wanting to use other weapon platforms instead of the high-speed M4s or zenitco’d AKs.

E&L Airsoft New Essential Version AK-74N Airsoft AEG Rifle

This no-nonsense AK is a perfect fit for a militia player.
airsoft militia loadout for milsim west with lmg
Credit: Milsim West / Secondary Pictures – Militia player with an M249 SAW, note the Eastern European helmet and USGI pistol belt

Below are the limits for each role.

  • Rifleman: 1.5 joules or 366 FPS with .25 bbs – No Minimum Engagement Distance
  • LMG: 1.5 joules or 366 FPS with .25 bbs – No Minimum Engagement Distance
  • MMG: 2.09 Joules or 425 FPS with .25 bbs – 50 Foot Minimum Engagement Distance
  • DMR: .8 Joules or 490 FPS with .25 bbs – 100 Foot Minimum Engagement Distance

Gear

When it comes to gear Militia once again has a lot of wiggle room. Let’s break down the gear for your airsoft militia loadout into the following:

  • Chest Rigs
  • Plate Carriers
  • Helmets
  • Gear that is not allowed for Militia

Chest Rigs

The chest rig is the bread and butter of the Militia. Where NATO and RusFor tend to make this piece of equipment a secondary consideration to plate carriers, Militia should always make this their priority.

Simple but effective and perfect for airsoft, the chest rig will carry what you need, be lighter so as to not sap your energy through the marathon that is a MilSim West event, and allow you freedom of movement.

Options are limitless but I’d highly suggest simply going to a military surplus store and getting what you need for cheap.

I’m personally a huge fan of just using an old Chicom chest rig and claymore bag to carry everything I’ll need for a fighting load. I’d also suggest the old US Military issued LBV 88 from the late eighties and nineties. 

milsim airsoft loadout for militia players
Credit: Author – Another simple but effective loadout with an RPK light machinegun

Plate Carriers

Here’s a faction where I don’t suggest players bring a plate carrier. Admittedly that’s a biased opinion, but if you wanted to bring a plate carrier for Militia here is what I’d consider.

First, what is the environment you’ll be playing in? What advantages will you gain as a Militia player with a plate carrier? Usually, the answers are, an urban AO where engagements will be close and extra padding doesn’t hurt against a stream of high-speed bbs where there are minimal MEDs.

So in those cases, I’d look into a simple slick plate carrier that you can simply toss your chest rig over and call it a day. That way you still have the same chest rig to use for other events.

I’m biased, but I don’t really recommend any sort of plate carrier for Militia players. 

Helmets

A helmet I’ll always recommend people bring for their own safety and protection. I’ve seen both scenarios, but admittedly I also only sometimes follow this advice. With Militia, the rule for helmets is: if it’s a half shell, Ops Core like, the helmet can only be worn for night vision use only or when riding in a vehicle. If the helmet is of Eastern European make and look, you can wear whenever or however. I personally have an Ops Core helmet that I wear for the sole purpose of using my night vision with, once the sun comes out though the helmet goes away. 

NATO Gear is Not Allowed

Militia’s biggest limitation is unfortunately rather vague in that in the TacSop it says no NATO style gear. This has become a point of argument sometimes but there’s a very simple way to avoid this.

Night vision, comms, and ear pro are exceptions and as always, a high recommendation to help improve your event.

Look at what you’ve picked out, if it looks like something Seal Team Six might wear, you need to start asking the event cadre some questions.

We highly encouraged you take a picture of your loadout and send it to the Cadre before the event, so you can get their approval.

milsim west what to bring as a militia player
Credit: Milsim West / Secondary Pictures – A militia loadout, though acceptable is highly discouraged by the community and the staff
Related: Don’t forget to ensure you have gear for overnight camping in cold weather.

Impressions

Milsim West will not accept middle eastern clothing such as man dresses or pakols. MSW’s narrative takes place in eastern Europe, trying to do an impression of the Mujahideen won’t fly.

Impressions here can be a little more difficult to consider but with some creativity it is possible. Consider inspirations from TV or film or older military kits from previous conflicts.

With Militia your limitations are our own imagination, (and the TacSop but as we already covered it’s pretty loose.) 

a uniform set up that is not allowed at Milsim West
Credit: Airsoft Obsessed – Author at a different event host, this type of loadout would be unacceptable for MSW

In Closing

Militia once again has the most freedom but this also has formed a topic of contingent within the Milsim West community.

Most envision the militia faction to be a group of ill-equipped locals using the simplest gear and weaponry. Others view militia as an opportunity to use load-outs and kit that they couldn’t normally piece together within the restrictions of NATO or RusFor.

Often these two mentalities will clash at events and you’ll see a mixed bag of those who put together civilian and surplus clothing with a simple chest rig standby side by side with someone who has bought Crye cut uniforms, a highspeed plate carrier, helmet, and M4 that only Delta has used.

I have personally bounced back and forth with whether this is right or wrong and ultimately I’ve come to this conclusion:

It is now 2022, popular culture and mass media have embraced the warfighting look of the half shell helmet and plate carrier alongside a highly customized weapon system. The market of military gear is at anyone’s fingertips with the advent of social media. Amazon is able to get you whatever you want in two days.

A look at modern-day protests around the world will show people in varying degrees of kit, from the high speed to the high drag. If players want to arrive looking like an undercover Tier One unit, fine, as long as they’re not wearing Multicam and adhering to the TacSop.

Do I think it’s a bit silly? Yes.

Will they ruin my own fun or break the game? No.

Do I think you’ll have more fun in the simple woodland BDU, chest rig, and bare bone weapon? Yes.

Do I think everyone should give the militia faction a try? Absolutely. 

militia faction loadout for airsoft players at milsim west
Credit: Milsim West / Secondary Pictures – Militia medic coming to the aid of a downed RusFor rifleman
Related: More interested in the NATO Faction? Click Here to Learn What to Expect as a NATO Player
Christopher Bast

Christopher Bast

Chris is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Cadre of MilSim West, and author. Airsofting since 2010 and working as Cadre for MSW since 2014, Chris has traveled throughout the nation and spent over 1000 hours in milsim events.

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