It’s pretty much a known fact that not everyone can afford or are legal to carry firearms with them, but there is one way for weapon enthusiasts to try out different types of guns without actually harming other people. This method is possible through airsoft, a recreational activity that involves the use of fake guns that are made of metal and plastic. Airsoft players would usually have guns that resemble actual firearms, but instead of being able to fire real metal bullets, their airsoft guns fire plastic pellet bullets that do little to no damage to the person being shot at.
Throughout the 90s up to the present, airsoft has become one of the most popular games around the world, as it gives thousands of people a chance to fire weapons and act like real soldiers without harming anyone. However, because of its popularity, there have been numerous laws and regulations that limit how many people can play the said activity. Despite the regulations, airsoft remains popular among weapon enthusiasts. To know more about the game and the weapons used for it, here are some details regarding airsoft guns.
Types of Airsoft Guns
There are various types of airsoft guns that you can purchase in hobby stores and online shops, and the power, accuracy, and bullet speed of the airsoft gun would depend on which type it actually is. Here are descriptions for each type of airsoft gun.
Gas-Powered Airsoft Gun
Gas-powered airsoft guns utilize pneumatic potential energy that is stored in compressed gas, which is then found inside the internal canister of the guns. There are two types of gun-powered airsoft guns, with the first being the gas blowback while the other is the high-pressure air system.
The gas blowback gun has an internal canister in the form of a fake gun magazine that releases some prefilled bottle gas when the gun’s trigger is pulled. When the gas is released, it would fire the pellet out of the gun and produce recoil, similar to how real firearms work. The most advanced gas blowback airsoft guns are capable of semi-automatic and automatic operation.
Airsoft guns with high-pressure air (HPA) systems would use high-pressure air that is externally applied and travel through a hose that connects the air tank to the gun. Because you would need to carry an air tank with you to use this type of gas-powered gun, it would often be too heavy and uncomfortable to use while running or moving around the battlefield. However, HPA guns are much more powerful than their gas blowback counterparts because there is much more air and gas that pushes pellets out of the firearm.
Spring-Powered Airsoft Gun
Spring-powered airsoft guns use elastic potential energy that is stored in a compressed coil spring, which then activates the piston air pump that releases the pressurized air from the spring to the pellet. Because the coil spring takes time to go back to its original shape, the spring-powered airsoft gun is only a single-shot weapon. Although these are not as powerful as gas-powered guns, spring-powered guns can still be strong since you can use stiffer springs that release a stronger pressurized air.
Battery-Powered Airsoft Gun
Battery-powered airsoft guns have a spring-loaded piston pump setup that is activated through several gears, which are then moved by rechargeable battery packs, hence the name of this type of airsoft gun. Battery-powered airsoft guns are very popular today because of their relatively affordable price, although they are not as powerful as gas-powered and spring-powered guns. Most battery-powered airsoft guns are capable of having semi-automatic and automatic operations.
Origins of Airsoft
Airsoft was developed in Japan during the early 1970s, particularly when a photographer named Ichiro Nagata started designing model guns that could shoot real projectiles but could not kill anyone. After designing a prototype for the first airsoft gun, he then applied a trademark for “soft air gun,” which means that it is a type of gun that shoots soft bullets using air. However, some believed that the “soft air” name was derived from the compressed Freon-silicone oil mixture (Green Gas) that serves as a propellant gas to launch the projectiles out of the weapon. The first airsoft guns (gas-powered) were first used as airsoft guns for self defense.
The concept of using airsoft guns for recreation was popularized by Tokyo Marui, a Japanese company that made toy cars since 1965 but has moved its focus to make airsoft guns in 1992. Tokyo Marui is primarily known for creating and producing automatic electric guns (AEG), a type of airsoft guns that use rechargeable batteries for power. Because of the popularity of AEGs, many weapon enthusiasts in Japan created a game where they can use the guns to their full potential. These enthusiasts called the activity the “survival game,” which eventually became the inspiration for casual wargames organized around the world. These “survival games” are often played in open fields, although there are some games played in barracks or close quarters.
Airsoft guns are still quite popular today despite the many regulations put into them by many government agencies. Despite having negative connotations, there are still benefits in owning airsoft guns, including their use for self-defense. Moreover, there are even some military units and law enforcement agencies that use airsoft guns for training purposes. So, it could be said that the popularity of airsoft guns won’t fade out anytime soon.