What is Airsoft? A brief guide
Airsoft is a hobby played by two teams in a simulated gun battle, players use life size replica guns that shoot plastic 6mm balls with the intention of scoring a hit on a opposing team member. The closest comparable activity is paint balling however as no paint mark is left then each player must be honest and acknowledge they have been eliminated from that round by raising their arm, marshals also observe games to ensure the rules are being complied to.
Airsofting is rapidly gaining in popularity in the UK for many reasons such as the necessity for good sportsmanship evokes a sense of comradery. There is also the rush of excitement as shots zip past you or you zero in on your target.
An airsoft BB can cause a sting but does not leave a large bruise or mess like a paintball which makes it much more user friendly for the beginner, even so goggles must be worn at all times!
Matches can be played indoors in urban “close quarter combat” scenarios or outdoors in private wooded areas. Each skirmish site has its own game days such as night games with tracer fire, standard matches that are suitable for all usually take place on a Sunday.
Is Airsoft Dangerous?
Many people who are new to the sport ask: Is airsoft dangerous? The simple answer is no as long as the basic rules are followed. The standard power for a airsoft BB shot is 1 joule, this can cause harm comparable to a point black hit from an elastic band, so it cannot penetrate into flesh but will cause damage to the eye, this makes wearing eye protection within range of airsoft gun – even if you think it’s unloaded, an absolute necessity.
A common misconception is that airsoft rifles are air guns or firearms. The reality is that they only share the external appearance with them, components are not interchangeable and they cannot be converted to fire live rounds. It would be easier to try and convert a hair dryer into a handgun.
The airsoft community is generally helpful and accommodating to new players, we all know how daunting it can be to look for a decent all round rifle (called an AEG) and be confronted with a list of 300 different types of M4 from dozens of different manufacturers (the answer is get a G&G CM16 Raider by the way) . If you have a question, however basic then feel free to ask us or any of the airsoft / pew pew groups on Facebook.
UK Airsoft Law
The laws that cover softair / airsoft guns in the United Kingdom mean that the purchase is restricted to persons aged 18 or over, they can be used by someone younger under supervision.
To distinguish them from real firearms they are partially brightly coloured making them a “two tone”, they still must not be brandished in public. These two tone guns do not require membership of any scheme or a special license to purchase them as the law classes them as non-realistic imitation firearms.
If you wish to purchase a completely black replica gun then it is necessary to join a membership scheme such as UKARA which have certain conditions that need to be met before they allow you to join.