What is Airsoft and How Did it Originate?

Airsoft is an exciting team sport that allows participants to participate in a simulated live fire combat using small plastic (harmless) projectiles and replicas of real rifles, pistols and firearms called “airsoft” weapons.

Airsoft events and the wide variety of airsoft guns available are highly popular with today’s non-lethal gunslingers, hobbyists, military and police personnel and even children of all ages. Airsoft weapons allow thrill seekers of all types to engage in the oldest human social activity without any of the death or injury that make real battles and challenges of tactical skill a social problem.

Why is Airsoft so Popular?

There is an unmistakable sense of pride and defiance against evil-doers that comes from owning and learning to properly use a weapon. Today’s weapons of choice are guns and even a replica like airsoft, carries with it a feeling of power over those who would stand against you, even in a friendly airsoft match.

This is partially what makes owning and practicing with airsoft attractive to so many different types of people. It is not a stretch of the imagination that learning the skills, precision and fast reaction times needed for mastering real guns, are introduced through the use of airsoft.

But, others are attracted to the airsoft market for the beauty and ingenuity –– as well as cost-effective prices and non-lethal action–– of airsoft guns. For example, some people object to keeping deadly firearms in their home; statistics show that an innocent person is more likely to be the victim of a home firearm accident than a possible intruder. In this case, a gun aficionado may settle for a completely realistic looking and feeling replica of their favorite firearm that carries none of the finality of a real gun.

History of Airsoft and Combat Training

Since humans first began arming themselves with tools of war, it has been common practice to use a non-lethal replica of this weapon to sharpen techniques for the day lethal force is necessary to save life or protect wealth.

History shows that civilizations as far back as Mesopotamia and ancient China would require children and young men to arm themselves with non-lethal implements of combat and battle each other for exercise and military preparations.

Airsoft culture is but an extension of this timeless tradition of friendly non-lethal violence and training. A competitive airsoft match will provide a fairly realistic representation of the dynamics and tactics required to survive and dominate in an actual live fire scenario.

The very first airsoft rifles were invented in Japan at the end of World War II. The Japanese Empire had recently surrendered to the US and restrictions were in place that did not allow this ancient military civilization to arm the public with lethal weapons. So a suitable alternative was soon invented to replace guns. The first airsoft rifles were crude and only capable of projecting small metal balls with enough force to kill a small bird or maybe a large squirrel

But, the idea was simply too popular to be ignored. Soon major corporations and the brightest innovators from Japan and Korea were busy improving the design and making it available to everyone. With the invention of the BB pellet, airsoft guns were suddenly safe for everyone to use and the popularity of airsoft has exploded ever since.