Airsoft gear

Airsoft: Guns and accessories

The origins of the sport

Airsoft appeared in the early 1980s in Japan. At the time, it was called “Soft-Air” because the ammo, made up of tiny plastic beads, was propelled with green gas. The use of Airsoft weapon replicas was then used, primarily for target shooting. Amateurs soon realized that the plastic ammo could hit humans, without causing any injuries. Therefore, this technology became popular for casual war games.

The Airsoft LS company entered the UK market in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The guns were then sold as parts and had to be assembled before a ball could be fired.

All hardware sold was designed as a replica of real weapons. However, since the mid-1980s, Airsoft rifles have been adapted purely for recreational purposes, to be practiced by people of all ages.

Nowadays, Airsoft guns are manufactured all over the world; however, Asia is most definitely the major producer in this industry. It is also, a much-appreciated training tool for law enforcement, in the United States.

What is Airsoft?

It is considered a sport and a popular combat simulation game, in which players are eliminated when they are hit by the plastic ammo, propelled by what we call an Airsoft gun.

Although these weapons may sound fierce, they are harmless when used with the appropriate accessories, safety equipment and common sense. Thus, allowing the players to engage in the game safely, whether it be an individual one-on-one game or a multiple players match.

Before being initiated into this sport, it is important to have a good basic understanding of the types of Airsoft guns available, as well as their differences and how they work.

How Airsoft Guns Work

Airsoft rifles can be categorized into three types, according to their operating principle:

  • AEG (Automatic Electric Gun: Just like spring rifles, Airsoft automatic rifles use springs to generate force. However, they do it without the need to manually arm it because they are supported by a battery.
  • SAG (Spring Airsoft Gun: the most basic type on the market.) As the name suggests, they use a spring to pull mechanical power. This means that the user must arm the gun after each shot is fired, much like a rifle with a lock.
  • GAG (Gas Airsoft Gun: mainly uses propane gaz as a propellant). This is commonly known as “green gas“, although some Airsoft guns use CO2 gas. These guns are either automatic or semi-Automatic and can fire several shots at a time, without manual arming or reloading. Airsoft guns fueled by CO2 gas generally fire at a higher FPS* than those fueled by green gas.

*All Airsoft weapons can propel small BB plastic ammo, six or eight millimetres in diameter out of the barrel, at speeds between 150 to 600 feet per second (fps).

The most recent rifles, especially those designed in Taiwan and China, include metal components internally an externally. A typical Airsoft gun is significantly lighter than a real firearm made of steel, due to the use of aluminum as the main manufacturing product. There are however, some models that include additional internal weight for increased realism. Other modifications are also available. For certain models, it is possible to attach a noise amplifier or a cannon muzzle break that can release smoke for added realism.

Safety Measures

As a safety measure, many manufacturers suggest treating an Airsoft rifle as if it were a real one. This is to avoid unnecessary unraveling with the police, who could confuse the rifle with a real weapon.

In Canada and most countries, laws prohibiting identical replicas of a real weapon are enforced. To counteract this law, manufacturers have added some slight modifications to the airsoft gun. Some good examples are: Painting the tip of the cannon orange or fabricating the gun with a fully transparent carcass so it may be easily identified as a toy. The tip of an Airsoft gun is also different from those used by BB rifles, which shoot metal balls and are not designed to shoot a person even with safety goggles.

To minimize the risk of injury, wearing ballistic goggles on the playing field, is compulsory at all times. Sunglasses and safety goggles as well as eye glasses, are not approved against the impact of the plastic ammo at a high velocity. Therefore, they are not a good option because they could cause an eye injury.

How to choose your equipment?

When it comes time to decide what type of Airsoft gun to buy, there is no quick and easy response. You must consider your choice according to the role and type of game you will be playing. Will it be close combat or at long range? What role will you incarnate? A sniper or someone from the infantry? Then, it will be time to choose what type of technology will suit you best, electric, spring or gas?

For more information, contact one of our specialists! They will be happy to help you make the choice that will suit you best.

Detailed documentary by Discovery channel on the making of Airsoft guns in Taiwan