This article is more directed towards the people around the players, to help explain some things that is very hard to impossible for non players to understand. I’m not even sure I can put these feelings into words well enough to describe what it is like to feel the attraction.
Airsoft, most of you who has never tried it or felt the attraction of Airsoft, thinks that it’s just an excuse for us to gather, chat, reminisce and pit our egos against one another. While there is some truth to that, most players come together for the adrenaline rush, to feel alive and just enjoy the game with friends and strangers alike.
For me, I was first exposed to the 80’s version of airsoft, which translates to pump rifles and spring cocked pistols. People weren’t as paranoid then about guns as they are today, so we were free to run around and play pretty much anywhere we want to. And when I grew up I moved onto real firearms because those airsoft guns just doesn’t cut it anymore.
It wasn’t until they came up with GBB Pistols and AEGs did I took a step back and delved into airsoft again in my teen, and even back then we needed a private space to really play and try out new things with these new version of airsoft guns. And the more people played, the bigger places we can use to hold our games; an empty warehouse, a small forest, etc
And when people come into my room, they usually respond in two ways…scared or excited. And so I asked the people who responded in fear, and they mostly admitted that they didn’t know they were toys. And those who do thought that I was training for preparing to join the military or something.
The Airsoft Myths
The existing myths:
- An AEG or even a GBB Rifle (the GBB Rifle myth came later because they’re the newbie in the mix) can be modified to fire real life ammunition
- Airsoft Guns can be used to seriously hurt people (that the BB pellets can actually pierce the skin and flesh)
- That airsoft players are violent and masochistic people who derive pleasure in inflicting pain in themselves and/or others
- Airsoft players are dangerous people because they love their guns so much that they talk about it a lot, take tons of pictures of them, etc.
- Playing airsoft is dangerous because the bullets are traveling very very fast.
Truth is, nothing can be further from the truth, so let’s run them down one by one so that people can understand them better:
- Any airsoft rifle, be they AEGs or GBB Rifles, cannot be modified to fire real life ammunition because the material of the body is simply too weak to withstand the blast of the bullet as the chamber expands from the explosion inside the round and then from driving the force forward to thrust the projectile out of the barrel.
- Any airsoft rifle, even the CO2 based gun (as long as they use BB pellets) can only damage the skin and at mot embed themselves inside the fold of the broken skin, and even then most of these incidents occurred because the weapon discharged by accident or too close to the point of impact. Never in a field, onto a skin covered in gear, and from the recommended safe distance.
- Airsoft players derive pleasure from the age old competition where one person pits their skills and prowess of another to prove who is better, although in this case luck plays a big part as well. Like in boxing, UFC, Basketball, Golf and all other competitive sports in the world…it’s to match your skill against the other person or group. And to make friends, get to know new people, talk, exchange ideas, etc. It’s never been about the pain to ourselves or others, that’s why we have protective gears.
- Like real firearms, players are always reminded by their seniors or their friends who has been airsofting longer, to always respect their guns. Most of the safety precautions that people take when dealing with real firearms are also taken when handling airsoft guns.
- Airsoft games are held with mandatory a minimum safety equipment/gear requirement, so no one gets to join a game unless they’re properly protected. For instance, you can bring a few thousand bucks worth of gears and guns, but you don’t get to play unless you brought a mask or goggles. That way the chance of any permanent damage is minimized.
So in short, for those of you who know someone who just started or is already into airsoft, please read this article and articles like this to know what is really going on behind the game, the gear, and “the scary looking guns”
“Courage and willingness to just go for it, whether it is a conversation or a spontaneous trip or trying new things that are scary – it is a really attractive quality.”
So if you don’t understand something about them, just ask them to their face…99% of the time they would be thrilled to explain your answer to you in great detail. And in the end, try it out and see how it suits you, then you’ll understand why we do what we do.
By Leonardo Liao