Welcome to “The Database” – a rapidly growing repository for essential Airsoft information!
Whether you’re looking for technical tips, buying advice, tactical advantages in a skirmish, and all manner of top tips that are going to give you the edge on the field, you’ll find them all here as this resource expands.
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What is Airsoft?
Airsoft is a product of the far East and is now available in the Western world. It has spawned a sport, a growing following, and an industry that spans several continents.
Airsoft guns are full size 1:1 scale replicas of real world firearms. They shoot small plastic balls, 6mm in diameter with approximately 1 Joule of energy. This energy level is very low when compared to most other shooting genres and is a safe energy for use with both paper and human targets (i.e. you can be hit by a BB fired from one of these guns and barely notice it, but it can usually still put a small hole in a paper target).
These replicas are commonly made entirely from plastic with only a few metal parts inside to increase the reliability and durability of moving parts. Construction quality varies wildly from model to model, as does the use of materials. For example, a Marui made MP5 replica has a well made, but creaky plastic body, where as the ICS MP5 has more detailed full-metal body parts installed and is a far more rigid overall structure. This makes the ICS a better and stronger replica, although it does cost slightly more.
Airsoft guns can be powered by electricity (from a battery pack inside the gun), by spring (the user manually compresses the spring before each shot) or using an expanding gas (refrigerant gas is commonly used from a reservoir either inside or outside the gun).
It is important to note that Airsoft replicas CANNOT in any way be converted to fire live ammunition!
The only thing airsoft replicas have in common with real firearms is their external size and shape. Inside, these models have totally different workings to the internal mechanism of a firearm, and the materials used for construction could not possibly withstand the explosive forces of a bullet that real weapons are designed to take.
Below are diagrams of the shooting mechanism for an Airsoft AEG, and a real firearm. As you can see, the two bear no similarity and any attempted conversion from airsoft replica to real weapon, would result in throwing away every airsoft part.
Collectors enjoy airsoft because of the excellent level of realism in the replica models. Airsoft also represents the only available legal way that the general public can enjoy owning and using these small objects of desire.
Military fans enjoy airsoft because the replicas look identical to the guns used by Armed Forces.
Law Enforcement groups around the world now use airsoft replicas to improve their training scenarios. Airsoft provides them with a reliable weapon that is safe to use for training, while providing a level of realism not found using any other training device. The comparatively low cost of using Airsoft for training purposes also helps to ensure that the officers have as much training time as they need, without financial restraints kicking in.