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Posted on Mar 19, 2004 in Stuff We Like


By Jeff Botts

On Patrol.

Imagine a Rebel patrol in some no name country walking down a semi-overgrown trail; suddenly the sound of fully automatic fire breaks the silence, the volume of fire increases and within a few seconds everyone on the Rebel patrol has been hit. Slowly and quietly the Special Forces Team that has just completed a successful ambush makes their way toward their extraction zone with time to spare.

An excerpt from a new Tom Clancy novel, a documentary on the History channel?

No, just another day playing Airsoft.

What is Airsoft?

Airsoft is a Military Simulation, that is usually scenario based. The games or skirmishes are played with Airsoft guns. Airsoft guns are 1:1 scale replica guns made of plastic and metal, some are all metal. They shoot 6mm plastic or biodegradeable BBs of varying weights.


All-metal M4 with Sun Projects 203 Grenade Launcher.

There are three main types: Automatic Electric Gun (AEG), Gas Blow Back (GBB), and Springers.

AEG’s can be had in almost any variation from MP5K to an M60E; these are powered by batteries similar to R/C car batteries. The full auto rate of fire of these guns are the same as the real versions.

GBB’s are usually pistols. They run on a special gas, basically it’s the same gas that you clean the dust out of your computer and other electronicswith, the only difference is the GBB gas contains a silicone lubricant.

Springers or spring powered are single shot guns that must be cocked after each shot. Mostly cheap pistols but this group also includes high end sniper rifles.

The BB’s are carried in the magazines, and some players carry multiple magazines; this adds a lot to the game, especially when you have to reload under fire.

Opening the feed tray cover reveals the 1200 round BB reservoir.

History of Airsoft.

Airsoft started in the United States in the late 70’s, but never quite caught on. Airsoft was reborn in Japan in the 1980s, where personal firearm ownership is nonexistent; as you can imagine it thrived there. Airsoft began appearing back in the United States by the middle 90’s and has grown substantially in the past 5 years; now almost every state has some type of Airsoft organization.

Geared up for MOUT.

What’s the Appeal?

Ask ten different Airsoft Players that question and you’ll probably get ten different answers. The simple fact that it’s a 1:1 scale replica that is capable of shooting fully automatic is just a start. Being able to use military unit tactics is one of the biggest draws, with the ability to use full auto fire you can lay supportive and suppression fire.

Allowing different feet per second limits gives you the ability to have sniper rifles that can shoot farther than most AEG’s, and this ability gives the game more realism. Airsoft allows people to role play, you can be the Army Ranger, Navy Seal or a member of the British SAS.

Ready for action!

If you’re interested, with a simple search on the internet you should be able to find an Airsoft group near you.

WARNING these guns should NEVER be displayed in public and should always be transported to the field in appropriate containers.

Rules of Airsoft.

The first rule is safety, you must have proper eye protection which is a sealed goggle with a head strap. full face masks are optional, even though you risk getting your teeth knocked out or chipped if you only wear goggles.Honesty is the second rule, once a player is hit he or she will raise their arm and yell "Hit" or "Out". These BBs are not filled with paint so we rely on each other to be honest and call themselves out. Sometimes you won’t feel the hit, only hear it if it hits your equipment, andweapon hits do not count.

Proper safety gear must be worn at all times.

Airsoft is considered a professional’s game, so even if your not sure if you’ve been hit, you call yourself out. You NEVER tell another player you hit him, it is expected that if he’s hit he’ll call himself out.

The third rule is have a great time!

Does it hurt?

As stated above you may just hear it, but most of the time you’ll feel it. It can sting, but nowhere near the level of being hit by a paintball. Multiple hits are the norm when you’re getting shot by an AEG shooting 600 roundsper minute.

Playing style.

Every Airsoft group is a little different. Our group plays with medic cards most of the time, which means if you get hit you radio or yell out for a medic. Once he gets there, give him your medic card and you’re back in the game. No more medic cards, and you’re dead. Either you’ll go to a respawn area or a dead pool until the game is over.

Waiting at a ‘safe’ area.

Scenarios and Props.

Almost every game that we run is scenario based and we use props often. A downed pilot that must be rescued before a rebel patrol can capture him. Locating and disarming unexploded munitions before time runs out. Place explosives or a transponder in an area and then extract without being killed. The sky is the limit when it comes to the different scenarios that you can run.

Here’s a couple of links that are full of information about Airsoft:

See next page for additional pictures.

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