Airsoft is a sport that originated in Japan because of the strict gun control in that country, but has now become hugely popular in many countries of the world. It is quite similar to paintball, but far less messy, and usually consists of two teams shooting pellets at each other with Airsoft guns or rifles. If you are interested in getting into this intriguing sport, your first step must be to have a look at the different types of gun, to decide what is the right one for you.
An Airsoft gun is an exact replica of an actual firearm, but fires pellets, or BBs, which are usually made of plastic, though they also come in a biodegradable material. The guns come in different types, so the type you choose will depend on what you want to use the gun for. They are not only used for playing Airsoft games, but can be used in shooting competitions, target practice, or just recreational shooting, and are also used for police and military training.
Airsoft guns come in three basic varieties: electric powered, gas powered and spring loaded. The spring-loaded ones are less popular with some users, because, unlike the gas and electric ones, they do not have an automatic or semi-automatic action — the spring needs to be re-cocked after every firing. On the other hand, many people do like them, because they provide an authentic experience of firing a real gun. If you just want to use the gun for target practice, or get into entry-level games, this type will be quite adequate for you.
Electric-powered guns are the most powerful and can do the most damage. They are fitted with a rechargeable battery, which powers the motor that works the shooting mechanism, and come in both semi-automatic and automatic models, enabling you to fire continuously without having to pull the trigger. These are the type you need for serious competitions or advanced Airsoft games.
The gas-powered guns are especially popular because of their realistic firing experience and their higher BB velocity. They are powered by a gas magazine that holds the bb’s like real guns, and come in two types, blowback and non-blowback. The non-blowback type has fewer moving parts and is considered safer, though less exciting, while a blowback gun operates on compressed gas which causes recoil when fired, just like a real gun. Its firing speed is also similar to a real gun, so using these can be a challenging and exciting experience.
An Airsoft gun cannot cause serious harm, but must be treated with respect — it is not a toy. Being hit by a pellet at speed can cause quite nasty injuries, so it is essential to use eye and teeth-protection, such as goggles, and cover your head, neck and hands. Remember that it is a criminal offense to use the gun to threaten anyone, even as a joke.
When you are deciding what to buy, you will find that there are Airsoft guns for sale in a whole range of models, so that if you wish, you can recreate all sorts of environments, both modern and historical. You can find replicas of sniper rifles such as Kalashnikovs, used in recent or modern global conflicts, or of guns used in long-ago battles like the Wild West. Remember you have to be over 18 to buy any of these guns in most states and 21 in some.
Airsoft games are one of the most rapidly growing recreational sports, both in this country and in many other countries round the world. You have all the excitement of taking part in a real shoot-out, without any of the dangers or recriminations. The points to remember are to treat the gun with respect, take all the necessary safety precautions, and remember to observe all the legal restrictions, and then there will be nothing to spoil your unlimited fun and enjoyment.