Thanks to our newest supporter Airsplat, one of largest airsoft retailers in the United States we are able to help shed some light on the subject of airsoft and why it is so appealing to so many different walks of life.
Definition of Airsoft: The hobby of collecting realistic, non-lethal, shooting replicas of actual firearms either for display or for the purposes of skirmishing in friendly competition. For more airsoft terminology and definitions please visit our Airsoft Definitions Page.
Airsoft History: The sport of Airsoft started in Japan during the early 1980s. It was illegal to own firearms in Japan but there was a significant interest in them, so a company started producing spring-powered replicas of firearms that fired 6mm, plastic BBs. During the latter part of the 1980s the sport migrated to neighboring countries such as Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines. Airsoft started appearing in North America and Europe during the middle of the 1990′s.
Airsoft Replica Safety & Precautions: Airsoft Guns are by nature safe and not-lethal. However, there are many precautions that should be followed. Please refer to our Safety Manual.
Airsoft Replicas: This is essentially what attracts players into the sport. Airsoft guns are 1:1 scale replicas of actual firearms that fire 6mm, round, plastic pellets commonly called as “BB’s” which are propelled out of the guns by compressed air. In most cases, Airsoft guns mimic the looks and functionality of it’s real-steel counterpart. By that, meaning Airsoft guns look, feel, weigh, and functions similar to the actual firearm. Often, the only way you can tell apart a “real steel” firearm and an airsoft gun is the blazing orange tip and when you pull that trigger .
The Appeal: Airsoft gives people the ability to own a shooting version of their dream gun. Due to the law and the cost, people cannot always own their dream gun, and Airsoft provides you with a realistic replica, and on top of that allows you to be able to shoot that replica (albeit: non-lethal).
Often, people would watch movies and TV and say, “Wow, that gun is awesome, I’d like to get me one of those”. Actually, what you may be seeing in those movies and TV shows, ARE, in fact, Airsoft guns. Due to their relatively cheap price tags and precise realism, movie studios often employ Airsoft guns for it’s production work. They simply digitally alter the images to incorporate the muzzle flash, sound and effects to mimic the real firearms.
Generally speaking, most of the more popular real-steel firearms has an Airsoft gun counterpart. The MP5 series, to include MP5A4, MP5 SD5, MP5 PDW. The venerable G3 Battle Rifle series. Colt M16s. Steyr AUGs. SIG 550s. FAMAS. AK-47s. Machine Guns like the M60. Sub-machine guns such as the IMI Uzis and Ingrams. Pistols such as the famed Berettas, Colts, SIGs, and Glocks. Shotguns such as the Benelli M2 and Remington 870. Sniping rifles such as the PSG-1, M40A1, Blaser 93R. Even the “Hollywood” guns like the RoboCop auto-pistol and the M134 Vulcan (6-barrel gatling gun) made famous by the Predator and Terminator movies. The list of Airsoft guns is quite sizeable, and growing with each passing month.
The ability to own and play with these “dream guns” are in and of itself appealing enough to enthusiasts. The added advantage of being able to take these guns out to a local playing field and “shooting” your best friends with it in friendly competition is a hands down selling point.
Another appeal with Airsoft is the ability to “role-play” with them. There are countless clubs, teams and organizations devoted to the sport of “waging war” with airsoft guns. Known throughout the world as Skirmishing. In essence, role-playing allows people to fulfill their fantasies, which (due to physical disabilities or circumstances) they never got the chance to. These people may be bankers, insurance brokers, secretaries, students, computer programmers by profession, but for 1 day a week they can be Green Berets, Assassins, SWAT members, Navy SEALs, whatever. Their mind is the only limit. This role-playing ability is enhanced by the fact that Airsoft guns are extremely realistic. After all, it’s rather difficult to play the part of a Navy SEAL when you’re holding a neon, orange-yellow-colored, Super-Soaker squirt gun.
For more information regarding the types of airsoft replicas, safety, handling and maintenance, you can visit Airsoft University.