Airsoft is a sport where two or more players engage in mock combat using authentic military-style tactics and weapons. The military simulation sport, quite similar to paintball, employs the use of high-powered, full-scale replicas of military weapons that fire 6mm BBs made of hard plastic. The guns used are categorized into three groups: Spring-powered, gas-powered, and automatic electric airsoft guns.
Spring-powered BB guns have to be hand-cocked after every shot and shoot at a much lower velocity than AEG or gas-powered ones. Gas-powered BB guns, on the other hand, are powered by different gases, including propane, CO2, or green gas. Automatic electric BB guns are similar to spring-powered guns, with the only difference being that they have a battery and motor that powers the gun’s spring mechanism. Automatic Electric BB guns are the best since they are easier to use and more reliable than the other two.
Depending on the make and type, BB guns run at a range of between 350-500 fps or higher. All BB guns are required by the law to have an orange tip muzzle requirement so that they can be distinguished from real, live ammunition weapons. The BBs fired by these guns are made of hard plastic and are available in different weights and colors as well as in different styles, including Tracer or Biodegradable Styles.
The Basics of Airsoft
While a lot of people do not like comparing airsoft with paintball, it is the closest thing there is to compare with. The sport is very similar to paintball, considering that it consists of two or more people grouping to form a team and shooting small projectiles (BBs) at another team for sport and fun. Just like paintball, airsoft takes place at an insured, controlled, and dedicated field.
The only difference between the two lies in the fact that airsoft is more focused on military simulations. While paintball guns generally do not look like the ‘real’ thing, airsoft guns are Realistic Imitation Firearms modeled after real firearms and are, in most cases, almost indistinguishable.
Furthermore, airsoft players are, in most cases, more dedicated to adorning realistic military gear, such as helmets and vests, for that authentic look.
Just like paintball or first-person shooting games, there are different ‘games’ airsoft players can play, including last man standing, team deathmatch, capture the flag, etc. We will not be looking into these for now. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that there are many ways that this sport can be played to keep things interesting.
Safety While Playing
If you are thinking of playing airsoft, the first thing you need to know about it is that safety is paramount. If it is not safe, then it is not airsoft.
Most airsoft players compare getting hit by an airsoft BB with being hit by a rubber band. This feeling can be lessened by the amount of clothing and protection you wear. It is worth noting that before stepping onto the field and start battling, players are required to wear high-impact rated eye protection and other forms of protective clothing. Fortunately, most airsoft venues have protective gear for hire.
It is worth noting that airsoft guns are all limited in their power. Guns capable of shooting multiple shots on one pull of the trigger are limited to about 1.140 joules of energy. Guns that fire a single shot per pull of the trigger are limited 1.680 joules. Those that require you to cock the gun before you can shoot are limited to 2.3 joules of energy.
Airsoft is based on honesty. Unlike paintball, when a player is shot, there is no paint mark to prove it, so it is down to players to call themselves out anytime they are hit. A player who is not willing to play by the rules isn’t welcome. This breeds an incredibly honest and friendly game that’s rarely ruined by cheats.