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What is Airsoft?


Airsoft is one of the most exciting games/sports/hobbies. That's right, Airsoft has something for everyone.

Federal (Mod), TripleA (Admin), Angel (Mod)

It's a fun tactical game, a technical/modeling hobby as well as an intense martial sport.

One could compare it to Paintball but would be overlooking a number of factors that ultimately make the two activities quite different, specially in the kind of people that participate in each activity.

It all started in Japan. After the end of WWII, civilian gun ownership was prohibited and the law still remains in place as of today. As Japan reached it's peak in economy and technology in the past decades, and the public's urge to own weapons of some sort reached it's climax, toy manufacturers started signing agreements with real gun manufacturers to copy their designs and use their trademarks to make these innovative replicas that shoot miniature plastic balls that would be safe AND legal for the Japanese public to use. Thus, Airsoft came to existance and it's now one of the fastest growing sports/hobbies worldwide.

Airsoft could be very broadly described as a military combat simulation played with airsoft gun replicas that propel minuscule 6mm round plastic pellets called BBs. These rice-sized rounds are pushed by air or special gas powered mechanisms encompassed in the airsoft guns. The guns themselves -unlike paintball markers- bear unique resemblance to their “real steel” counterparts and typically are 1:1 replicas of great detail. They can shoot BBs quite far and with relative accuracy, depending on the type and quality of the gun (about 50 meters in average which is also the average engagement range in real combat).

There are three major types of airsoft replicas:
Automatic Electric Guns. Most commonly known as AEGs, are mostly assault rifles that rely on special batteries to compress air and feature both semi and full-auto capability. AEGs are nowadays considered the standard on airsoft gaming and can be heavily modified/upgraded both infernally and eternally.
Gas Handguns
Gas Operated. These guns (mostly handguns, though submachine guns and sniper rifles are not uncommon) operate with special gas. Certain gas guns have blow-back capability, meaning that the slide blows back and forth at every shot just like the real thing. These are commonly known as GBBs and are a thrill to shoot. Some models kick as hard as an actual .22 pistol! Highly realistic.
Spring Pistols
Spring Operated. These need to be "cocked" every time in order to load and shoot a BB. They tend to be on the lower end of the airsoft guns scale as they are cheaper, more widely known and easier to acquire, even in Greece where one could buy a cheap "springer" on the newsstands. There are however some high grade spring guns out there as well as high end sniper rifles that cock while cycling the bolt. These can be very powerful (up to 150 meters range) and very accurate.

Airsoft games can be small skirmishes of people or teams firing at each other or can become as tactical and large-scale as it gets. The realism factor is immense. Airsoft has been successfully used as an actual training tool in many military and law forces worldwide. There are fields In the UK where Airsoft is taught by former SAS members. Without ever putting aside all the fun and pure joy of gaming, adrenaline pumps in high levels. In woodlands or in Close Quarter Combat/Battle (CQC/CQB) the scenarios and simulated situations are infinite. One can choose from an extremely wide array of weapons and accessories (like scopes, red dot sights, rail interface systems, flash lights, etc.) and assume the role of a reconnaissance commando, special ops infiltrator, support gunman, stealthy sniper or front line strike force.

Gaming is quite safe as BBs can hardly become harmful. A pair of safety glasses or goggles are the only mandatory precaution need taken. People tend to get loads of tactical and military gear like vests, BDUs, helmets, knee and elbow pads, etc., but none of this is really necessary to train or play.

The above is by no means a comprehensive guide to Airsoft. Beginners are strongly encouraged to join our forum to ask the experts and search the web for FAQs and stick to it until they know better. Airsoft can get quite technical, especially during the first steps. The reward is truly worth the ride. Enjoy!

Acknowledgments: A special thanks to Angel for supplying this article.

For a more detailed and extended explanation of Airsoft and its origins, visit Wikipedia at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airsoft


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