Are you looking for an outdoor hobby that comes with great exercise and will get your heart pumping?
Have you ever tried paintball or laser tag and loved it? Or wished you could experience what it’s like to be part of a combat team in war?
Then Airsoft is just right for you. Here’s all you need to know about an airsoft hobby.
What is Airsoft all about?
Airsoft is a team combat sport where you play against another team and sometimes more than one group.
It simulates an actual battlefield, and you can play it indoors or outdoors. It’s a game that requires both physical and mental skills.
Players need to run, jump, hide to outwit opponents, and develop strategies to take them out.
The game’s primary goal is to take out the other team players by shooting them and having your team members back as you play the game.
But if you get hit, you need to own up; Airsoft is a game of honor and integrity.
Everything about Airsoft makes you feel like you are a soldier at war, defeating the enemy, winning, and defending your territory.
The gear is very realistic, and so is the area that you play in.
You can pretend to be your favorite character from a war movie. Or try out military tactics that you think would work in a real-life setting – a way to feel like a hero.
Is Airsoft the same as Paintball?
These are really two different games. Airsoft replicates a real-life war environment, guns, bullets, and all.
The guns used for Airsoft are not the same as those used in Paintball; these are actual firearm replicas.
Plus, the ammo for Airsoft looks like the real thing, except they are small light plastic pellets that fire at high speed.
You are probably wondering if this sport is for you, especially with the negative publicity that war and guns have received lately.
This game is not about promoting violence or condoning war and evil acts upon people.
It promotes honorable combat. Here are some of the benefits of taking up an Airsoft hobby.
This realistic war game gets you out of the house and makes you more pleasant because you have to play and coordinate with other people to win the game.
It’s an excellent sport for discipline and developing strategic thinking. What’s more, it allows you to build strong friendships through teamwork.
Those who play Airsoft as a hobby say it’s a great stress reliever and confidence builder.
It allows you to feel more like a hero and gives you a welcome escape from reality. More importantly, it’s a fun game.
Airsoft quenches the thirst for those who want to own and use firearms. It allows you to enjoy using a gun without breaking the law or going over the top.
You can participate in a battle scenario without causing any harm to anyone.
What Are the Rules of Airsoft?
All games and sports have rules; otherwise, it would be chaos. Airsoft is no different.
The first necessary and golden rule is honesty.
You have to own up when you get shot (in airsoft, it means you’re dead and can’t play anymore).
So, you will need to leave the game until you are called or tagged back in.
No matter which part of the body gets hit, your leg, hand, or shoulder, even if it may not be fatal in real life, rules of the game say you are dead.
The second rule is that you need to shout to let everyone know that you are out when you take a hit.
You will get the chance to get back into the game a little later, so you go to the starting point (respawn point in airsoft speak).
Respawn is where players wait until the time comes where they get tagged back into the game.
So, if you are a beginner and get shot right at the beginning of the game, don’t worry; you will get your chance to rejoin.
Another rule depends on the scenario of the game you’re playing at the time. The rule says you remain where you are when you get shot.
You have to play dead until the medic brings you back to life. And then you can resume the game.
Airsoft has lots of exciting twists like this to make the game fun for everyone.
To rejoin the game (respawn), your team members need to gain points as they play and take out the opponents.
In other gameplay scenarios, the medics allocate lives to each player.
The game organizers determine most rules of the game. They will switch them around every so often, so it’s more fun and unpredictable.
The practices may differ, but the honesty rule sticks no matter where you are in the world.
Why all the fuss about honesty? Well, unlike paintball, the bullets don’t leave any markings when it hits you.
So, you have to own up to the hit yourself. What’s more, the game is all about developing honor, so it ruins the game’s spirit if you cheat.
The main equipment you will need to play with is the gun. You will find all different ranges of firearm replicas on the airsoft battlefields. The firearms available are:
They all have different purposes and for different scenarios. Some are good for close range and indoors, while others are for outdoors and long-distance shooting.
To get started, you need to find a gun that works for you.
The guns come in four different mechanisms. As much as they look like real guns, they don’t necessarily work like real guns.
Here are the four main mechanisms:
- Spring powered
- Electric powered
- High-pressure air
The Spring-powered replica gun
The spring-powered gun is the most basic of all the gun replica types. It’s a simple make with a spring inside used to propel the bullets from the weapon.
You have to pull the piston backward against the spring applying pressure; once you do this, you then load the gun.
When you press the trigger, it releases the spring and at a very high speed, and there goes the bullet towards your target.
These are only single shotguns, which means you have to load them every time you want to use them.
Most of these spring mechanisms are in pistols, shotguns, and sniper rifles.
They are also lighter to carry around, which makes them perfect for the newbie.
The gun is not as effective as the others and won’t help much over long ranges.
But it’s the cheaper alternative, so it’ll go easy on your pocket.
If you want to be a sniper, then the spring sniper rifle is a good start. It’s lightweight, doesn’t cost much, and works with different weather conditions.
Even though it may take a bit more airsoft experience to get the best out of it, it’s not a bad replica gun.
Gas Powered Replica or GBBs
These guns use compressed gas to fire the ammo. They work a notch higher than the spring guns because there is no need to pull anything or reload after every shot. It works almost like a regular gun.
The gas is sometimes a mix of propane and silicone oil (Green gas), or the more popular option, Carbon Dioxide gas.
The gas-powered guns work better in hot weather because the gas tends to be at a low temperature.
As the temperature lowers, you get less and less firepower each time. So, you can’t really use these if you live in a cold area.
The way the gas works comes with a blowback that makes it sound and feels like a real gun.
This is one of the exciting things about gas powered airsoft guns.
They work well with pistols and rifles and are fun to use because they are semi-automatic and automatic firearm replicas.
However, as much as they give you a good experience, they can be costly. The gas is not cheap either.
What’s more, most will start leaking in the magazine after a while, and you have to clean it all the time.
Electric Airsoft Guns or Automatic Electric Gun (AEGs)
This airsoft gun is one of the most popular. It comes with a spring, but instead of doing all the work, it has an electric motor.
It reloads and pretty much becomes an automatic and semi-automatic weapon – all you have to do is pull the trigger.
The electric guns are famous not only for their firepower but also because they have many pros.
They are easy to maintain, more durable; even with the low battery, they will still fire well.
On top of that, unlike the gas type, the weather doesn’t affect them, so more fun for you even in winter.
It’s by far the more popular of the gun mechanisms. It works great even for beginners.
High-Pressure Air Airsoft Guns (HPAs)
The high-pressure air guns are relatively new to the airsoft market. The mechanism uses high pressurized air that travels through a hose from pressure tanks.
You can use the tank to increase or decrease your firepower.
The best part about these guns is that you can control your bullets’ speed without changing your weapon.
The high-pressure gun is more durable and works well in cold weather, unlike the gas-powered rifle, which means you can play all year round. It also doesn’t need lots of maintenance.
On the other hand, you have to lug the tank around as you play. Moreover, you’ll have to buy the tank and the firearm separately.
So, unless you know how to assemble guns or are willing to pay someone else to do it, you can hold off on this one.
Because of these cons, it’s not something for a beginner.
It works better when you have more knowledge of airsoft guns, how to play, and the amount of firepower you need.
Also, they are super expensive, so you have to be ready for the investment.
How to Choose the Right Airsoft Gun
Now that you know the types of guns available, it’s time to pick the right one for you. But how do you know which one to buy?
Well, any new purchase is always daunting. However, there are a couple of factors you need to consider. Here are some of them.
Your physical abilities
Airsoft guns come in different sizes and weights. If you have a small body, then maybe a big, heavy gun is not for you.
It will make the game uncomfortable when you need to move quickly or fire the weapon.
The smaller weapons can work better and give you the best experience in the game.
The playing area
The place where you play also determines which gun you should buy. Open field play means you need a weapon that can shoot far, so a long barrel electric gun will work better.
In close-quarter battles and indoors, you need short barrel firearms.
Your playing style
Players come with different playing styles; some like to attack their opponents head-on, which requires short to mid-range firearms.
Others prefer to cover their teammates as they charge and need longer range guns.
The solo players usually go hunting on their own, so the sniper rifles work best for them.
To get a feel of your playing style, it may be best to play with different rental guns for a while.
Your budget will play a major role in what type of guns you can get. Some firearms will cost you a couple of 100s, while others are in the four-figure range.
So, you need to set your budget and decide how much you can spend on guns. Keep in mind that you also need to buy ammo and gear too.
Look out for cheaper options or second-hand Airsoft guns, at least until you’ve decided to commit.
What Else Do You Need to Play Airsoft?
They are just like regular magazines, except instead of holding real bullets, the magazines have BBs (Airsoft rubber bullets).
They can hold between 60-150BBs. Electric magazines take the most BBs, between 200-600 BBs.
You need to get a magazine that’s compatible with the gun you’re buying- one that goes with the mechanism and fits well.
These are for the electric guns. Your batteries’ size determines how long your gun will last when used and the firepower you will get when you pull the trigger.
The ammunition for airsoft guns is called skirmish quality ammo, also known as BBs. You need to buy from reputable shops; otherwise, they will cause problems for your firearms.
They come in different weights and sizes dependent on the type of gun you are using.
These make a great addition to your artillery. You can use grenades to smoke up a room to clear it. Or you can use the smoke as cover when you want to cross a wide-open area.
Grenades also work to give that flash and bang effect to distract your opponent. How’s that for a realistic experience?
Eye and Face cover
You will need to protect your face and your eyes; otherwise, you can get severe injuries on your face and eyes.
The mask should have goggles and a steel mesh, which prevents the bullets from penetrating.
It’s not advisable to use masks other than the ones designed for airsoft and shooting ranges.
Also, your teeth require protection, so it’s best to get a full-face mask.
When it comes to your face protection, don’t spare a cost; get a good quality mask. You don’t want to lose your eye in combat.
Boots are the best for combat simulations. The best shoes should have a steady grip for going up and down the terrains, shoes that will protect your ankles, keep you warm and your feet dry.
You can wear comfortable clothes like dark sweats and hoodies so you can blend in.
But if you want to go for the full regalia, then buy a full army uniform. It will help make you feel like you are playing the part.
Your team can wear a matching uniform, but it is not a prerequisite.
Does Airsoft Hurt?
That’s a fair question, given you’re in the line of fire. Well, the answer is, it can hurt, but no, it won’t because you’ll have all the right gear before you go into the battlefield, right?
Like any other sport, injuries are possible and expected, and you need to prepare for that.
Use combat vests, wear the right boots, and protect your face.
There’s no denying it’s a rough game (it’s a war after all).
But with the proper precautions and following the safety rules, you’ll do just fine.
So, this is Airsoft for you; it is a very intriguing and exhilarating hobby.
It may sound complicated, but it’s a great way to test your fitness levels, psychological tactics, and your resolve.
Moreover, you’ll meet new people and have new experiences. It’s so enjoyable; you’ll never look back.