What is Airsoft
Airsoft is a sport in which participants shoot round non-metallic pellets launched via replica firearms.
Gameplay varies in style and composition but often range from short-term skirmishes, organized scenarios, military simulations, historical reenactments, to competition target shooting events. Combat situations on the battlefield often involve the use of common military tactics to achieve objectives set in each game. Participants typically emulate the tactical equipment and accessories used by modern military and police organizations. Two similar alternatives to this sport are paintball and Reballing, a paintless paintball with firm foam pellets.
Airsoft was created and marketed in Hong Kong, China and Japan in the late 1970s, due to civilian ownership of firearms being banned. Airsoft was used to closely emulate real guns. Since the mid 1980s, airsoft guns have been adapted with a purely recreational application in mind, and the hobby is enjoyed by all ages. Most airsoft guns are produced in China and Taiwan, while some are also produced in Japan, South Korea, the United States, and Canada.
Ballistics and velocity:
Kinetic energy is the energy that is in the pellet while it moves, and it is transferred to its target upon impact. One joule of energy will be transferred by a 0.20 g BB traveling at 100 metres per second (330 ft/s).A typical set of limits on guns might be 350 F.P.S. for CQB (Close Quarters Battle), 600 F.P.S. for outdoors, and 175 m/s (570 ft/s) for bolt action sniper rifles, all measured with a 0.25 g BB. The speed of the BB depends on the weight of the BB and amount of kinetic energy the gun can transfer to the BB. Certain places play "no velocity limit" games. In California a common limit for CQB is 350 ft/s (110 m/s). On most fields in America the limit for AEG (Automatic Electric Gun) guns is usually in the 400 ft/s (120 m/s) range. For snipers the range can be anywhere from 400 to 600 ft/s (180 m/s). Guns have these high velocities tend to have a longer range and better accuracy, also supplemented by the fact that many will also upgrade accuracy related parts, but fire rate is compromised unless a smaller spring is added (preferably 110 m/s). Furthermore, the lower velocity means that the BB will glide more, which is a good thing for indoor skirmishes, but outside the wind usually catches hold of it and spirals it out of its course.
In Ireland and Italy, the energy limit for Airsoft guns is one joule (100 m/s with a 0.20 g, 6 mm BB) regardless of the type of game play.Some UK sites allow semi-automatic-only weapons up to 400 ft/s (120 m/s) and bolt action rifles up to 500 ft/s (150 m/s). Northern Ireland has a maximum velocity of 328 ft/s (100 m/s) with 0.2 gram BB without regard to the type of weapon. 1J is the about same energy as a tennis ball being dropped from a meter and a half.
Most Airsoft guns are capable of shooting from 50 m/s (160 ft/s) to 125 m/s (410 ft/s), although it is also possible to purchase upgraded internals for some Airsoft guns that will enable the gun to shoot in excess of 550 FPS.
Players in the 'safe zone' between games.
The minimum safe level of gear required to participate in most games includes a pair of ANSI Z87.1 (impact-rated) goggles to protect participants' eyes. If shot from at least ten feet away by a gun with typical muzzle velocity, there will be minimal damage to other body parts. Traditional prescription glasses and sunglasses, or goggles not designed specifically for use with airsoft or paintball guns, may break or shatter upon being struck causing damage to the eye. The largest review of airsoft eye injuries found no case of loss of vision from an airsoft eye injury. The same review found that only one of the 59 cases was wearing anything over their eye, and that was one patient who was wearing just sunglasses as eye protection.
Full-face masks (similar to, and often including paintball masks) cover the rest of the face, protecting vulnerable parts such as teeth. Some airsoft masks are made with mesh screens, although there is debate that fragments from lower quality or bio-degradable BBs may pass through the mesh and enter the eye. However, there have been no recorded incidents of such an occurrence. Masks with mesh screens are often preferred by players who wear prescription eyeglasses as they increase ventilation and reduce the amount of condensation on the lenses, while the lenses provide additional protection against possible fragments that might penetrate the mesh.
While masks offer superior protection, they can interfere with the use of scopes, and in cheaper masks, condensation inside the goggles can reduce visibility. During very hot days the masks can also cause the player to overheat more quickly due to the lack of air circulation. Some players have mounted small battery-powered fans (designed for computer circuit boards) on the masks to improve ventilation and reduce or avoid condensation.