A number of people fear firearms or at least don’t like them and they have their reasons. Personally, I fear the downhill of a roller coaster and I don’t like playing with dolls or shell cold shrimp, yet, give me an airsoft gun in a combat field of friends and family and watch the excitement.
We have our likes, fears, pleasures, and woes. Still, there’s something about joining that friendly airsoft gun skirmish using my airsoft guns that I find exhilarating. This airsoft gun activity may be uncomfortable for many; yet can be a fantasy come true or at least good exercise for others.
WHAT IS AIRSOFT?
Airsoft is the label given to the sport and/or hobby of collecting 1:1 replicas of real firearms. Airsoft guns are considered non-lethal because the airsoft gun ammunition consists of soft BBs or pellets; typically larger than the BB’s sold in many local sporting goods stores.
Airsoft guns, whether they are airsoft rifles or pistols, can be manufactured as pure toys [made of mostly toy plastic) and not realistic in appearance or can be manufactured to pass for the real thing; having the weight, mechanisms, touch, etc. of the real firearm [i.e. colt 45, M16, AK47, etc]. The required bright orange tip found on all airsoft guns [required by US law and regulated by local state, county, city ordinances] and the actual airsoft gun propulsion system isolates airsoft guns from real guns.
Real guns fire a deadly propellant via a form of firing pin against an explosive. Airsoft guns fire a non-lethal propellant via a burst of air. The method used to generate that burst of air distinguishes airsoft gun operations [i.e. spring, gas or electric].
WHAT DOES AIRSOFT DO?
Airsoft gun history began in Japan around 1970. Possessing any type of firearm was illegal and punishable by Japan law. Yet, shooting a firearm was a personal urge.
The economic principle of ‘supply and demand’ surfaced in that where a demand exists, a supply will follow. Manufacturers introduced the airsoft guns that addressed the Japan demand for firearm usage, but without the lethal effects that Japanese law addressed. By the early 1990′s that supply reached the United States addressing our variation of demand. We wanted firearm usage, but without the expense and lethal affects that the real gun characterized. The Airsoft Gun industry gave Japan a boost in their economy and even a greater boost when those products reached export levels that included United States.
Since all airsoft guns fire a non-lethal propellant via a burst of air; airsoft players and collectors varied interests relative to the method used to generate that burst of air.
HOW DOES AIRSOFT WORK?
Three styles of airsoft guns have evolved since the early 1970′s and distinctive methods that generate the burst of air. Each airsoft gun style carries positive and negative characteristics. These characteristic will appeal differently to the players who use airsoft guns.
The ‘SPRING’ airsoft guns are often the choice of airsoft guns used by the first time airsoft players. The start- up costs and the ease of operation are a definite advantage for the novice. As the name implies; the player simply cocks the spring before firing the airsoft gun. Whether an airsoft pistol, rifle, or automatic, the player cocks the spring, before firing the gun.
The ‘GAS’ airsoft guns were the next to enter the collections and skirmishes. The cost factors increased some, but so did the firing distance, realism in usage, and simplicity of operations. Built into the airsoft gun or the magazine for that airsoft gun is a gas powered storage system that, when triggered, will propel the BB or pellet from the gun’s barrel , empty a magazine as fast as you can pull the trigger, and (if the airsoft gun is a ‘gas-blowback’) allows for the recoil operation of the gun’s receiver.
The ‘ELECTRIC’ airsoft guns are the current pride and joy of those veteran to airsoft gun skirmishes and collections of dream guns (with the orange tips). What was unique to the radio controlled cars and aircrafts industries expanded to the airsoft gun industry. Built into these electric air soft pistols and rifles are motorized gear systems of air propulsion that utilize a battery powered source of energy. It can be a battery replacement system or a battery rechargeable system. This advanced operation increased the rate of fire (ROP) to a more realistic level of 600 – 900 rounds per minute (RPM). These airsoft guns can impersonate and support the fully automatic features of most AEG brands and truly give greater excitement to the airsoft players.
WHY DOES AIRSOFT WORK?
As a kid, cops and robbers was a big thing in my Chicago neighborhood. It was fun cutting in and out of back yards, jumping fences, dodging cars in the streets and alleys, hiding in the bushes and dirt just to ambush a friend. Kid’s games maybe, but this was a tension breaker from the pressure of chores and homework. I survived childhood, but as an adult, I’d be looked at ‘funny’ if I did this at my age in my neighborhood.
The airsoft gun enthusiast collects his dream guns, his favorite guns of history and his guns of childhood favorites (remember: The Rifleman, Dirty Harry, Wyatt Earp or The Rebel). Not all childhood favorites have made the airsoft gun status, but others have.
The appeal is to own your collection of guns of choice without the lethal element that has been associated with guns. The appeal is to role play historic gun toting heroes or SWAT rescue operations or Navy Seal secret missions or just plain old capture the flag. The appeal is a weekend skirmish in a friendly combat field of friends and family and the barbecue that follows. This is a definite stress reduction method for those devoted to the weekly stressful demands placed on students, legal secretaries, mothers/fathers, personal bankers, sales persons, and more.
The Airsoft gun evolution may have started in the Japan 1970′s but developed as a USA current avenue of thrills. Your search engines can seek out the airsoft gun clubs, the teams, and the organizations that sponsor safe, organized airsoft gun skirmishes in your neighborhoods.
You should play safe (know the laws of your state, county, and city), play fair (respect those you associate with), play hard (enjoy the sport and the exercise), a plan the airsoft combat field operation (impersonate the general or commander and orchestrate that strategic military operation).