Holy fuck dude, you've been out of the game for a while huh? Don't forget the eyepro.
ALSO IT'S A BLASTER!! (say that for safety in public at least. Blaster in the streets, and gun in sheets)
There are terms to define categories. Superstock or SAMBO is mostly stock blasters with certain mods, usually full length darts but generally under 150 FPS. NIC/homemades/DIY class (<-Fucking hate that term) are homemades, and those consist of building (mostly) everything, even the darts (stefans).
Alright, so there's a lot of stuff you missed. TaoBao and other china parts are major playors in the superstock class.
You can source (from China through TaoBao, Aliexpress, Ebay and more)
-tactical parts (aesthetic conversions, scopes, replacement handguard)
-cheap darts (in many varieties that differ by brand that determine good it is)
-upgrade parts (replacement bolt sled, plunger head flywheel motors)
-magazines (nerf style and banana)
-Conversion kits (makes blaster pump action/bolt action, mega blasters can have removable elite dart barrels)
3D printing is a major factor too now, lots of people print accesories, (holsters, sights, grips, aesthetic pieces, even some internal parts)
However I highly don't reccomend 3D printing parts put under stress if you play actively since they commonly break. If you can make that part, or if it's ciritical piece (such as a plunger head or gear) you especially shouldn't print that piece)
Flywheels and shitspamming has dominated the hobby, in superstock (modified stock class) They are 2 spinning wheels going forward, and they spin fast. A pusher mech pushs the dart to go through the wheels, pushing it at the speed. This gives semi auto and full auto with a loud annoying motor spins, and combined with cheap china darts that can be 3 cents (USD) each, shitspamming is promoted. Superstock games usually have some flywheels, and the same concept is applied.
Homemades if you're interested, have evolved so fast. I believe they standardized dart length to 1/2 in diameter and 1.25-1.5 in length. There are lots of entirely built at home blasters, common designs being a Snap or a rainbow design, which is still evolving. A lot of blasters are pump action and have adapted the hopper concept, which is similar to a paintballs hopper but with a lot less dart. Put these 2 things together and it also creates rapid fire and sometimes shitspamming. (Shitspamming isn't as promoted since you don't want to lose the darts when you spent 3-5 minutes making each of them) There is also air power, such as the 4B (BuzzBeeBigBlast) and similar variants to get higher power and FPS but sacrificing ROF.
A brief history of NIC, is that Homemades and superstock were combined, but split off when some people wanted more stock stuff, and the arms race in homemades brought people from converting things like the Lanyard shotgun and Kenner crossbow to more powerful blasters, than replacing plunger tubes leading to the plus bow. Snap and rainbow design had been made to be a pull back (simplest of mechanisms), and than soon after Pumpsnaps and Rainbow pumps were made. Than people wanted to compact them because they're really long, and people started making them bulpup designs (Drevs bulpup, Xellahs work, ESLT and now PCSRT) which is where we are now. ( I am missing a lot, this is brief so please feel free to add on)
Sometings also missed, we went from speedloader barrels adn breeches, to turrets, to RSCBs and now hoppers
Modding potential. For superstock, a Buzzbee sentinel is where you start, it's cheap, you can brass it and it's a very cheap blaster (15 USD) I DO NOT RECCOMEND SINGLED ANYTHING, because people shitspam. A springer and a flywheel to understand how everything works would be good to learn how stuff works.
Springs can be sourced on ebay, taobao, McMasterCarr, orange modworks if you have to, Home depot, Lowes, Ace, any local hardware store really.
I would like to see more homemades, but eh it's ok if you're not doing it. I don't know where you're located so I don't know what groups are near you, there's a lot of FB groups and stuff which may have a local group, but you can try using the warlist on the home page to find stuff local.
Edited by Snoop Doggy doge, 26 February 2016 - 10:39 AM.