Since the 1970s people have been having great fun shooting each other in teams with replica guns that use soft bullets (click here for the history). However, although the terms often get used interchangeably do not confuse airsoft guns and bullets with BB guns. Both propel the projectile by using air, but one uses a low-power smoothbore gun that shoots bullets generally made of plastic or resin, while the other shoots metal projectiles with a velocity that can actually kill, if not do serious damage.
Games using airsoft guns and pellets are open to a huge amount of variation and situation, played inside or outside, in straight combat-based games (similar to a paintball match) through to detailed historical re-enactments. Although the guns used will often closely resemble the real guns, which makes them particularly popular for use in historical re-enactment situations, they are tested before play to ensure that they have a limited firing velocity and that the projectiles used is fit for the purpose and location. Airsoft equipment is designed so that people can enjoy the sport in the safest way possible. Although the occasional welt may occur, injuries related to the actual weapon are rare – of course this doesn’t include people falling out of trees while camping in wait for a target.
What Equipment Do You Need?
A gun, bullets, gas, safety glasses. That’s pretty much it to get yourself going. However, there is a great range of equipment within those four items and if you talk to the experts at a company like Airsoft Specialists you learn an amazing amount of information as to what equipment best suits the environment you will be in.
If you are starting out, you will likely find yourself completely overwhelmed with the share number and type of airsoft guns on the market. Generally, most people are looking at a military or hunting style replica; something that looks like an M4 or AK47. However, there are also pistols, sniper rifles, shotguns, and a range of more specialist guns designed for historical re-enactment.
Things that will make a different to what you chose will include who you are playing, and what games you are playing. Are you playing inside at a specialist location or are you and a few mates running through the local forest?
One thing to think about is how long you will be playing for, and what level of ammunition you will require. If you’re playing a game that requires accuracy and stalking skills, then maybe you don’t need a G&G Combat Machine 16 Raider with its 450 round magazine capacity. However, if you are going to be running through the forest for several hours, battery life and weight should also be things to think about.
Military combat uniforms generally include safety goggles, and there’s a reason for that – your eyes are pretty important to be able to shoot a target, you don’t want to lose your vision because of a stray projectile while you’re out having fun with mates. However, if you thought the range of guns on the market was extensive and confusing, the range of safety googles is even more so, and like selecting your airsoft gun, choosing appropriate safety gear will also depend largely on what you are going to be doing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airsoft#Safety
Often people will move from paintball to airsoft, and back again. For this type of play look for a goggle that can be worn for both – they do exist, but not ALL paintball and airsoft goggles are interchangeable, so do your research.
If you normally wear reading glasses you will need to take these into consideration when you purchase – you will want a pair of goggles that will fit over your normal vision wear, not all do.
Whether you are going to be primarily inside or outside will also have a baring on what type of goggle, if you are outside you might like to look to something with an antireflective coating or sun shielding, if you are inside you might consider something that isn’t going to fog up if you breathe too heavily.
Goggles can come in a range of styles from slimline and sleek to full facemasks, so it is up to you to chose what appeals to you the most.
As with all airsoft gear, look at the reviews and buy from a reputable supplier.