One of the major attractions to airsoft is being able to put together a unique loadout that will make you stand apart from others. To deny that is simply foolish. In a world full of AR15s, multicam, and AOR-1, here is your opportunity to do that while also adding to the immersive experience that is MilSim West.
Today, we’ll be going over some of the basics of what to bring when playing on RUSFOR, from the uniforms, weapons, gear, and even a few impressions available to you.
Your Russian airsoft loadout should start here. One of the major advantages to RUSFOR is an exception from a rule within the TACSOP. If players wish to attend an event in a differing camo pattern, they must arrive with a squad of nine in matching impressions.
This rule, however, is only for NATO players.
There’s a multitude of reasons behind this, but the biggest two were due to fairly simple reasons. Depending on your reference photo, you could find various camouflage patterns and uniform cuts of armed forces members from the same unit.
Secondly, Russian uniforms are not as widely available as their NATO counterparts. So what does this mean for you? You have a plethora of uniforms to choose from and no worry of having to match with others.
Should you still try and coordinate with your friends to match? Yes, but at least the pressure isn’t too high.
And remember, absolutely no Multicam for your uniforms.
Now which uniforms to pick? I’m no expert on Russian uniforms and I’m sure there are people out there who can tell you the fine details and minutia of each one, but I personally break the uniforms into 3 categories, Sniper Suits, Gorkas, and Combat Uniforms.
These are some of the most comfortable uniforms you can find. They’re loose-fitting, light, and often reversible. The closest you can get to playing milsim in pajamas.
Sniper suits will offer you the most freedom of movement. Also, an incredible feature is an addition of a hood (take notes Crye) from breaking up your silhouette to giving some must-needed shade.
You’ll often see these in conjunction with “Leafy” suits, premade ghillie suits. These are some of my personal favorite choices.
These are your mountain uniforms. Made of heavier and more durable material, these uniforms are meant to be used in the more difficult environment and temperatures of the mountains. Gorkas are also loose-fitting as they are meant to be worn over warming layers.
Depending on where you’re playing, the Gorka could be sufficient enough to keep you warm. Gorkas also feature a hood which is a plus in my book.
Think Crye-style uniforms. There are a few options out there for RUSFOR, a few I’m not a personal fan of as it appears Russian Armed Forces are playing catch up to Western companies.
With that being said though, there are reference photos of Cryes, UF Pros, and Arc’teryx being used. I personally prefer UF Pros for urban environments.
Okay, let’s take a dive at some of the great options available to you for RUSFOR and their arsenal. Weapons fall under the same categories as NATO:
- Light machineguns
- Medium machineguns
- Designated marksman’s rifles
1.5 joules or 366 FPS with .25 bbs – No MED (Minimum Engagement Distance)
Here you’ll have your classic AKs, usually the 74 with the 5.45 round verses the 7.62 of the 47. AKs have three lengths:
- 74Ms for full length
- 105s for mid
- 74Us for compacts
AKs are generally seen as lacking customization. Lucky for us there has been a significant increase in hardware to counter this. Companies such as Zenitco have taken the one size fits all AK style and added modularity to better suit the user.
Railed dust covers, handguards, side rail mounts, the options are extensive and make for a fun project for your AK.
I’d recommend looking into LCTs as they are built great and fit most accessories on the market.
Below is an example of an LCT AEG.
1.5 joules or 366 FPS with .25 bbs – No MED
Light Machineguns or LMGs are pretty limited to the RPK series. Essentially a long barreled AK with drum mag.
With that being said though, the recent RPK-16 by LCT has been raved as a great gun for airsoft and a favored AEG for RUSFOR players. Being an LMG gunner will get you 1500 bbs verses the 500 for riflemen.
2.09 Joules or 425 FPS with .25 bbs – 50 Foot MED
Your MMGs will be PKM or PKP machine guns. These are large and heavy weapon systems, but will benefit from the 3,000 bbs issued to you at check-in.
Zenitco also has a variety of accessories that will lend more modularity to the user. With your PKM’s I’d suggest purchasing the Bullgear Hop Up to ensure your rounds are getting as much distance as you can.
Designated Marksman’s Rifle
2.8 Joules or 490 FPS with .25 bbs – 100 Foot MED.
The DMR will be your SVDs, SV-98 bolt action rifle, and even the VAL series weapon systems. DMRs must be locked on Semi only and will also receive the 500 bbs issued same as riflemen, but are able to shoot at a much higher joule.
Let’s now discuss equipment, here I believe you’ll find a mixed bag, some positive some negative.
One thing to keep in mind is that as stated above, Russia appears to be going the way of the West when it comes to equipment. When you look at reference photos of modern-day FSB and Spetsnaz units, if it weren’t for the Russian flags, Cyrillic patches, and AKs, you’d be hard-pressed to find other differences.
A keen eye will even detect a lot of gear from companies like Haley Strategic Partners or Crye Precision or even reproductions of these. RUSFOR is allowed to wear equipment in the Multicam pattern despite the rule against the uniform.
We’ll discuss chest rigs, plate carriers, and helmets below, you can find a lot of these products on Grey-Shop Ru.
If you’ve read some of my previous articles you may know my preference for chest rigs over plate carriers for MilSim West. Lucky for RUSFOR, Russians make some comfortable and simplistic harnesses that are hard to beat.
The classic is the Smersh, made up of a belt, harness, and butt pack, it’s the bare essentials and it’s perfect. Pouches depend on your weapon system and aren’t so fancy, but simplicity is a wonderful quality on its own. You’ll stay maneuverable, lightweight, and you’ll be able to carry just about everything you need on you.
That butt pack is the perfect place for warming layers, water, snacks, and any miscellaneous equipment you may need.
My next recommendation and personal choice would be a Mk2 Chest Rig from Tasmanian Tiger, more NATO in style, the Mk2 was adopted by many in Russia’s special forces organization.
The Mk2 even has a back panel that can be purchased, that along with a stowable bib can turn the Mk2 into a plate carrier if wanted. Luckily Tasmanian Tiger is a relatively common gear company that is easy to find from most distributors.
In my humble opinion, the plate carrier is where RUSFOR lacks and you’ll start to see more updated options that mimic NATO issues or American manufacturers.
One piece of body armor that is distinctly Russian is the Defender series of plate carriers, but I’ll be honest here, I think it’s a terrible choice. The Defenders are big and bulky and offer no real advantage to other carriers other than looking Russian.
If that’s your jam, go for it. I’d argue the same thing about the 6B45 that’s the current issue for Russian Body Armor.
One of the better options if you can find them is the Gladiator series of plate carriers. Ultimately though, this may take some time to research what exactly you want.
I’d argue the same about Russian helmets as I did about plate carriers, current, and previous issued helmets were rather lacking and the better options are Ops-Core look-alikes such as the LShZ 1+ (really rolls off the tongue,) which are becoming more and more prevalent.
As someone that dislikes wearing helmets but admits their usefulness, I’d lean more into the Ops-Core options as they’ll look the part and you can find multiple accessories to help you with your needs.
With RUSFOR there are a few impressions out there to follow with groups to join in with. As stated before, RUSFOR doesn’t need to follow the 9-man unit rule like NATO which makes doing your impression a bit easier. Some of the more common ones you’ll see are:
- Russian VDV
- Spetsgruppa Alfa
- SOBR Terek
The Russian Airborne, these are classic “green bean” kits that are fairly numerous at any given event. Most of the equipment is available for purchase on Grey Shop – Motherland Supply and straightforward on what to get.
The Tier 1 operations group of the Russian Armed forces, here you’ll find AKs in every sort of arrangement, up-to-date plate carriers and helmets, as well as combat uniforms such as Crye Precision or even Arcteryx.
A unit-specific to Chechnya, the Terek kit stands out the most in the use of UF Pro uniforms in their Brown Grey pattern, which is really just Ranger Green. You’ll also find more customized AKs, plate carriers, and helmets.
RusFor a bit more free flowing but usually on the defensive
Attending as RUSFOR at MilSim West used to mean being prepared to be outnumbered and outgunned by NATO simply due to the sparsity of Russian equipment and knowledge of it. Now Russian gear is more readily available and nowadays the scales have evened out and you’ll find more balanced fighting.
Sometimes you’ll even find that RUSFOR outnumbers those of NATO depending on the venue.
With this basic understanding of, you’ll have everything you need to play on RUSFOR.
RUSFOR at MilSim West offers you a unique experience in having more freedom in the kit and loadout and often more freedom of operations as scenarios usually begin with RUSFOR in the defense.
I genuinely recommend everyone that attends MSW to put together a RUSFOR kit (don’t forget your overnight camping gear) and experience a game at least once. Those that listen usually begin to attend more as RUSFOR at the following events.