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Thread: What is AirSoft?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    29th May 2004
    Athens, Greece, Earth
    Posts liked by others
    Blog Entries

    What is AirSoft?

    As I said in the announcement of the new section of our Forums Site, the term "Airsoft" refers to to a class of replica air powered guns that originated from Japan (although the origins go back to the US in the 70s). The power levels are way below those of traditional airguns, but the guns are 1:1 scale copies of original pistols.

    What this means is, that when a shooter holds one of these pistols in his hand, the pistol feels exactly like the original thing. Have a look at the pictures below:

    or at this one:

    Reminds you of something? (No, do not say the word!).

    How about this one?

    And this?

    It even has the ugly Wilson Combat slide release.

    Now all these pistols have the exact dimensions of the real thing, they have the exact weight of the real thing. Their safeties operate in the same exact way we have learn, with our real guns. Yes, they have removable magazines, just like the real ones. And yes Tom, their slide recoils with every shot, just like the real thing!

    The only differences are that:

    a) these pistols do not fire real ammo (nor can they be converted to fire real ammo). Instead, what you put inside their magazines are 6mm plastic BBs. Yes, small round balls. Oh, you also put some gas, the gas that makes these gizmos work (more on gases later). Their projectiles can reach speeds in excess of 300 fps, which is enough to puncture Coke cans, let alone paper targets.
    b) they are not made of steel, but either of polymer materials (ABS) or aluminum, or a combination of both.

    At this moment, there are several manufacturers out there, who make these pistols. As one would expect, Japan has a few, Taiwan has some more, and I believe even China has one. Their prices vary from less than 100$ to more than 2,000$. What? A toy costing 2,000$? Well, yes, you see these things can be customized just like our favorite 1911s can. How about this?

    These expensive toys are used in something called AirsoftIPSC, ladies and gentlemen, which is more or less what IPSC is, only the shooters do not fire real ammo, but BBs. And yes, the competition is really intense, and it has the benefit that matches can be organized within a basketball court, so the rain does not have to bother you, while you enjoy your shooting.

    The most interesting of these pistols, hover the 200$-250$ mark, price-wise, but these are the top, the best of the best, from the straight-out-of-the-box pistols.

    Now, here, we have to tell you also, that AirSoft is not restricted to pistols only. Have a look at this:

    And this:

    And this one:

    These rifles are battery-powered and they are fully-automatic. And no, you do not have to pay the hefty price of a Class III FFL license for them. So AirSoft is not exactly a pistols thing, it goes into rifles, sniper guns, shotguns, machine guns, you name it.

    Here are some questions, I am sure you will ask:

    How did Airsoft started?

    Airsoft was invented in Japan and describes pistols and rifles that look, feel, and operate exactly like real firearms. Their shape, form, and trademarks are true to form, and almost all airsoft models are actually replicas of real world weapons. Civilian gun ownership in Japan is illegal and airsoft naturally found a large market of gun enthusiasts that wanted to own and collect their favorite weapons but were not ready to break the law for their hobby! As such, authenticity and realism is a top priority for airsoft guns and most manufacturers have licensed agreements with the real gun manufacturers to copy the real gun styles and use their trademarks. In fact, in many cases you can install real gun accessories onto airsoft guns due to their similar dimensions and design. At close range, it is extremely difficult to discern an airsoft gun from real guns. That is why some countries, such as the United States, requires all imported airsoft guns to possess orange painted barrel tips. In fact, airsoft guns are so authentic that many police and military training programs across the world use airsoft products for training purposes.

    Are Airsoft guns dangerous?

    Airsoft products are not designed to deliver serious harm, and are powered by various methods to propel a 6mm plastic BB at distances of 50 to 200 feet at between 200fps to 600fps. Most airsoft guns are designed to shoot plastic BBs weighing 0.2g to 0.25g. Some of the entry level guns, such as the mini guns and electric blowback guns are happier shooting 0.15g BBs, and modified weapons are capable of shooting over 0.3g.

    Airsoft guns can be modified to deliver serious power, though not life-threatening. Highly modified and powered-up airsoft guns can break skin and cause bleeding, but will never penetrate flesh or lodge itself under the skin. That is why airsoft is perfect for recreational skirmishing since they are non-deadly - unlike the metal BB guns manufactured by companies like RWS (Europe), Daisy (USA), and Crossman (USA).

    Are Airsoft guns legal?

    Yes! Airsoft guns are legal in most countries without the need for a license, including the United States (except in a few States), England, France, Norway, Sweden, Argentina, Russia, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, and many other places. Some countries such as the United States requires that all imported airsoft guns have painted orange barrel tips. Other countries like England and France require nothing at all and airsoft guns can be imported in their original state.

    Note that on some airsoft guns, there is no flash hider, or it is not removable. In those instances, the manufacturer or reseller will paint the tip of the barrel orange. Removing the orange paint is possible with paint thinner but again, we do not encourage it for legal reasons.

    (the above information is kindly provided by Red Wolf AirSoft)

    Back to the 1911 content though.

    When I first read about these toys, I got the idea of investigating the possibility of using them, as a training and practicing alternative, to our standard practicing, which involves driving to the other end of the town, fire a couple of hundrend rounds and drive back home again. Could these pistols be used as an alternative training device, which would allow us to practice, from the convenience of our home?

    This idea was discussed with my co-admin, Hawkmoon, who agreed that it was something we should investigate. As a result, M1911.ORG started a campain to procure some of these pistols, and to evaluate them as best as possible, in order to answer the above question. You will read the results of this evaluation within a month, in this space. For the time being, both me and Hawkmoon, will try to educate you on what Airsoft guns is all about.

    Please do not hesitate to ask questions, we are here to help you, as we always have.
    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
    Likes (1) :
    1911_Fanatic (6th September 2015)

    Last edited by John; 5th August 2005 at 23:57.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    22nd February 2006
    Posts liked by others
    As a starter in airsoft, I have read much about the sport but have yet to participate in a game.(like paintball, they are called skirmishes.) Whenever I go to a shop that sells airsoft products, they usually have an M1911 replica in stock. The maker of the Best M1911 replicas is a japanese company called Western Arms. if you look at Redwolf Aisoft's website and look for Western Arms pistols, you'll see that they even have a faithful replica of the L.A.P.D. Kimber SWAT Custom II in all its glory, minus the flashlight, which is sold separately. However, these are the most top-notch gas pistols you will ever find, and thus, they are the most expensive. I have fired a Western Arms pistol myself, and the Recoil nicely keeps you on your toes. I am currently saving up for a more affordable Gas Pistol, a SigSauer P229 made by HFC of Taiwan. The Taiwanese make the best entry-level pistols you will find, and they are normally very durable. I have yet to see one break. also, the great thing about airsoft guns is that the Japanese comapnies tend to copy the gun down to the exact detail, including trademarks. However, therein lies a problem. Most airsoft companies don't have licensing agreements with the manufacturers (unlike Western Arms and CyberGun, which imports Trademarked versions of Guns that come from comapnies without licensing rights.). Thus, when the gun arrives at a store, the trademarks are usually field away. However, order from RedWolf Airsoft, and they apply removable putty to the trademarks. Once it reaches your home, you can remove it and do as you like. Also, RedWolf Airsoft ships their AEG's with the original Black Flash hider. That means you can go into the wooded area/arena where you and your pals play away from the eyes of police and panicky Neighbors with the orange tip, switch the black Flash Hider on while you play, and then leave with the orange tip back on.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    10th March 2007
    Eastbay, Bay Area, California
    Posts liked by others
    The AirSoft guns look very real. I wish that we could purchase them in California, unfortunately our states is one of the ones that prohibits them. Funny that you can purchase the real thing after a long ten day waiting period but can't purchase the fake version.
    Likes (1) :
    1911_Fanatic (6th September 2015)

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