A little background…
When I was a child I had an unfortunate incident which resulted in one of my front teeth being smashed. I lost about 2/3 of the tooth and had to have the tooth rebuilt. There’s only a few things I can remember from around then and one of them was the pain it caused with the nerve open to the air, ergh it makes me shudder just thinking about it.
A few months later, I actually ended up breaking it again (whilst eating) and I had to have another dentist trip to rebuild the tooth. This time with the warning that if this didn’t hold I’d have to have a pin drilled into my tooth for the new fixture to hold on to.
That was about 21 years ago.
I’ve not broke my tooth since.
Now, one thing I cannot fathom is why airsoft players don’t wear some form of lower face protection. Accidents happen, and teeth getting chipped or shot out in airsoft happens all too often. I would have to go through the pain I remember having as a child if I could prevent it.
When I first started playing I wore those full-face masks with a plastic lower and mesh eye protection. It made shouldering guns awkward and your mask got pushed around a lot, or you couldn’t quite look through sights properly. Awkward yes, but bearable if it meant keeping my teeth. Paintball style mask were the worst though, way too bulky I thought.
As time went by I think my mates and I all tried different forms of face protection. Shemagh’s, balaclavas, gum shields, neoprene masks. You name it, we no doubt tried it.
I personally ended up settling with a cyclists neoprene respirator mask. Mainly as it was a thin profile neoprene, but on the front it had 2 plastic caps which held a filter on the inside (was designed for riding around cars and filtering out the pollution).
I found this perfect for me and using my sniper rifle due to the ability to shoulder my rifle without hindrance. The soft neoprene on the side snugged my face and took the majority of the energy from BB’s hitting it. The plastic caps on the front also prevented my teeth taking any shots.
Fast forward to now…
Fast forward to now, and you see the majority of players wear these lower face mesh masks as it gives them the choice to wear a wide range of eye protection options.
The only problem is that they’re still quite bulky.
I recently bought a couple for use now I’ve got back into airsoft and the first thing I noticed was how like the old style full face masks we had they were too bulky on the side when shouldering your rifle.
I also found because of the length of the mask if I looked down the bottom of the mask would dig into my chest, pushing my eye protection up. This make looking down at my plate carrier increasing annoying.
The logical step is to trim the mask and make it more streamlined. Which is exactly what I did.
Shouldering my guns is now way more comfortable and I can easily get behind the sights and looking down doesn’t cause the mask to push my eye protection up. The mask still does its core job which is to protect my teeth.
To do this job you will need:
The job itself is quite simple. Simply put the mask on and mark out with a marker pen the bottom of your chin and draw across and up around the side of your cheek.
I’m left handed and shoulder my rifle on my left-hand side of my face so I was cutting the left side of my mask. If you’re right handed you’d want to do the right-hand side.
Once marked out, I used a Dremel to cut the mask along the line.
Once cut, I put the mask on and shouldered my rifle to see how it felt, and in my case, I had to cut a bit more over my original outline.
Once all the cutting is finished the exposed metal is sharp and you will want to cover this. I took an old strap from a pouch and used the hot glue gun to cover the exposed metal.