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
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.
Atlanta Beginners Guide
Hobbies Airsoft FAQ