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Airsoft Explained

Airsoft guns are replica firearms that shoot 6 mm hard plastic BBs. Airsoft guns are air guns: they use a pressurized gas to propel the BBs. The main types of airsoft guns available are:

  • Spring Airsoft - Single shot; shooter manually compresses a spring to charge the airgun; action is common for pistols, shotguns, and bolt action rifles
  • Gas Gun - Semi-automatic or fully automatic (depending on the model); air source is on gun -- a pressurized gas (available from your airsoft dealer); action is common for pistols, submachine guns, and some rifles/assault rifles
  • Electric Gun - Semi and full auto; battery powered motor mechanically compresses a spring that charges the airgun; action is common for submachine guns and assault rifles; recently Tokyo Marui released a Berretta M9 electric blow back pistol

Muzzle velocity of the electric guns is upwards of 250 fps depending on the model. In general, the longer barreled guns attain a higher velocity and are more accurate at longer ranges. Rate of fire is 750 to 900 RPM. Kits are available to increase velocity and power. Some of the gas guns can attain velocities of over 600 fps. They look and feel identical to real firearms and are easy to maintain. Ammo is $20 per 3,500, making for cheap shooting.

All of the guns are clip fed. Recoil is minimal. Accuracy is about 2" at 10 yards. They will penetrate shipping box cardboard, but will not break glass at the lower velocities. They will put an eye out though. Always follow proper safety procedures. Airsoft guns are not suitable for hunting even the smallest game, but are intended for recreational and target use only. Man sized targets can be engaged at ranges up to 60 yards for the longer barreled guns, 40 for the short barrel guns.

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© Copyright 2004 by Lance Eppley & Joey Araniego