What is Airsoft?
Airsoft is a military simulation game played with electric (AEG, AEP, LPEG, MPEG), gas (GBB, GNB, Co2), bolts and spring-powered replica firearms. Generally these guns are copies of the real models used in the army such as M14, M4 MP7, AK-47, FAMAS….
Unlike Paintball markers (e.g. : Tippmann), Airsoft guns shoot 6mm round pellets called BBs which don’t leave any traces of paint (don’t forget to use biodegradable BBs). By consequence Airsoft is based on fair-play and more focused on the game experience rather than competition.
Airsoft replicas usually fires at a rate of 300 to 900 rounds per minute and can hit targets up to 150 feet which make combat situations realistic. Different type of replicas can be used by players : pistols, shotguns, sniper rifles, automatic rifles, semi-automatic rifles, grenade launchers and even anti tank weapons, Airsoft hand grenades and land mines. “Custom replicas” are replicas which have been upgraded by modifying internal parts (to increase the strenght, the precision, the fire rate…) or external parts such as a scope, a red dot, a silencer, a torch or a grenade launcher for example.
Prices for a cheap AEG replica start at 150-250 dollars. Under this price don’t expect more than a toy can offer. With 300 dollars you can get a reliable and powerful replica. Then it will depend on your budget : indeed you can find very expensive (and impressive) guns for 1000 or 2000 dollars.
Airsoft games can be played in large open spaces (in the woods, fields, in urban areas…), or in close combat battlefields (called “CQB“) where buildings, hangars, tunnels, bunkers are part of the game area. This type of game usually takes place in abandoned cities or in Airsoft venues.
Airsoft is not dangerous but a mouth guard to protect your teeth and eye protections such as goggles or even full protection marks are required to play safely. Any additional military equipments such as helmets, knee pads or elbow pads can help you avoid any injury when running, crouching and crawling in the woods.
People often ask if Airsoft BBs hurt when getting hit. A distance of 10 meters is asked to participants to avoid any painful shot. Also strenght of replicas are usually limited to 350 fps for automatic weapons and 500 fps for snipers.
Rules and types of games vary a lot from a team to another. Some will prefer short skirmishes using classic Airsoft scenarios like Deathmatch, Attack & Defend, Capture the flag, Domination, King of the hill, Defuse the bomb, Search & Destroy, Convoy & Escort, Rescue the hostage, Manhunt or Last player standing. Teams more focused on simulation and game experience will use scenarios with roleplay elements, classes of characters (officer, medic, scouts, sniper, engineer…), team kills, plots, betrayals and twists using geopolitical backgrounds, hypothetical wars, future wars (3rd World War, post-apocalyptic stories..) or even original games based on mafia or zombie horror movies.
“Milsim” (military simulation) Airsoft players and teams are playing Airsoft with a great sense of perfectionism. They use the same exact gears, equipments, hierarchy and tactics as real soldiers. If Milsim teams reenact historical battles like WWII, Vietnam or modern wars, the young generation often comes to Airsoft influenced by first person shooter video games such as Battlefield and Call of Duty.
Photo Ghost Recon Team