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.:General Airsoft
  What is Airsoft?
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-What is Airsoft?-

   Airsoft is a sport/game/hobby that is similar to paintball in many ways, but shouldn’t really be compared to paintball. In both sports you use weapons that fire projectiles and have a set of rules governing play and what sort of protection you use. However, the sorts of guns you are using in airsoft are very different. In airsoft we use replica weapons that fire 6mm plastic “bbs”. There are 4 different types of airsoft guns, springers, gas, EBB’s, AEG’s. Some basic descriptions of each can be found below. In all airsoft games you must wear eye protection, the most common being full face masks, which a picture can be found in the arsenal section. Many players also wear hats as well, as they provide extra protection to the face and ears and also help with camouflage. On that note, camouflage is very popular in airsoft, in fact most players own full suits of camouflage and some even paint their guns in camouflage patterns. Safety is taken very seriously by airsofters as these can cause damage if used irresponsibly; so one common rule in airsoft games is to have a no fire zone, and to have guns safed, unloaded, and hidden from view when carrying them to and from the field. Although these are toy guns, to the uninitiated, airsoft weapons look just like the real thing at first glance so it is very important to keep them hidden when the public could see them. Airsoft is a very exiting hobby/sport and when played properly can be safe and a lot of fun.
   Springers are low cost, yet very fun guns that use springs to fire. These guns are cheap, effective, and easy to maintain. However, they do require cocking of the spring between each shot, which limits your ROF. Although springers are cheap, they have excellent range and power for their cost, and usually achieve a FPS rating of 200-300 depending on how good the gun is. In the case of sniper rifles the FPS can go as high as 400 when modded properly. It should be noted that although they make springer sniper rifles, many of them have to highly modded to be effective. Our team only uses springers.
   Gas guns use compressed gasses, such as CO2 or green gas, to fire the bb much like paintball uses compressed CO2 to fire paintballs. There are two groups of gas guns, GBB’s (Gas Blow Back) and NBB’s (Non Blow Back), GBB’s being the more popular of the two. Gas guns are much more expensive than springers (around 120 for a good pistol) and require more maintenance and time, as you must buy compressed gas and make sure there are no leaks in the magazine. However, these guns do have excellent performance and realism, as the slide is pulled back after every shot on GBB’s. Most gas pistols have a FPS of around 300. Gas guns make excellent side arms, but most serious airsofters use AEG’s as their main weapon. There are examples of gas rifles, such as the KWC M16, but the majority of gas guns are pistols.
   EBB’s or Electric Blow Back pistols are also low cost, yet fun guns. These guns use batteries, which power a motor to fire the bb. All of these guns are semi-automatic, meaning you can fire them as fast as you can pull the trigger, and some are fully automatic. Also, as the name suggests, the slide pulls back when you fire. However, due to the weak motor, these guns have low FPS ratings around 120 or so, and have shorter ranges. Although they can be very fun, they aren’t usually used by serious airsofters. Going along with EBB’s are minis, which operate the same as EBB’s except that these guns are smaller versions of popular AEG weapons such as the M16 or the FAMAS. These guns are very cheap, but as with EBB’s they don’t have much performance. Also, because they are modeled after popular rifles and such, they don’t have blow back.
   AEG’s (Automatic Electric Gun) are the king of all airsoft weapons and are only used by the serious airsofters and/or the rich. AEG’s commonly lie in the 200-300 dollar range and are almost exclusively found online. These weapons use high-powered, high quality electric motors powered by rechargeable batteries to fire the bbs at very high velocity and at very high ROF. Even right out of the box and unmodded AEG’s can get 280-300 fps, but it’s the AEG’s modibility where the true fun can be had. Once modded AEG’s can be anywhere from 300+ fps. If you’re looking for a high quality gun with great performance then an AEG is what you’re looking for.



Recommended reading:
Dumborat's Newbie FAQ
Redwolf Beginners guide

Gateway Airsoft FAQ
Airsoft Atlanta Beginners Guide

Nippon Hobbies Airsoft FAQ

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