How to Get into Airsoft – Comprehensive Answer

Once you get to know about the fun and adventurous nature of the airsoft, the big question on your mind will be how to get into airsoft. Well, getting into airsoft is not all that difficult. Stick with us as we guide you through the meaning and origin of airsoft and how you can be a part of it.

How to Get into Airsoft
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What Powers Airsoft Guns?

For an airsoft gun to work, it has to be powered by one of the following:

i. Spring

ii. Electric current

iii. Gas

Spring

In spring-powered airsoft guns, you have to cock them before you can take a shot. It operates by drawing air into the plunger when the cocking bolt and slides are pulled back.

Apart from most multi-shot firearms and sniper rifles, all other spring-powered airsoft guns are considered to be airsoft weapons for beginners. So as a newbie, you may want to start with spring-powered airsoft ammunition before you progress to other more sophisticated ones.

Electric Current

This type of airsoft gun has the same operating principle as spring-powered airsoft guns. The only difference between them is that, rather than pulling the spring manually, an electric motor does the job quite effortlessly. It is for this reason that most automatic and semi-automatic airsoft guns are powered electrically rather than springs.

So without taking a closer look, you can tell that most assault rifles, SMG and SAW, are powered electrically. There are different types of electrically-powered airsoft guns: Low Powered Electric Guns (LPEG), Automatic Electric Gun (AEG), Mini Electric Powered Guns (MEPGs). They are not all that expensive, but they still go for higher prices than spring-powered airsoft guns.

Gas

If you do not want to go for spring-powered airsoft guns or electrically-powered guns, you can opt for more sophisticated ones powered by gas. A gas-powered airsoft gun is the most expensive type of airsoft gun in the market. They are usually incorporated into pistols and shotguns.

There are two variants of gas-powered airsoft guns: Gas Blow Back (GBB) and Non-Blow Back (NBB). The former operates by pushing back the slides with the help of gas before a realistic recoil can be achieved. They are sometimes called gas weapons. On the other hand, Non-blow back airsoft guns do not have the ability to recoil because of the absence of slides.

What are the Types of Airsoft Games?

The types of airsoft games that beginners and professionals can engage in include:

i. Free for All

ii. Team Death Match

iii. Squad-on-Squad Milsim

iv. Manhunt

v. Capture the Flag

Let’s take a closer look at them…

Free for All

In this airsoft game, you have all players allowed to pick their spawn point from a number of preset points arranged before the start of the game. The spawn points are about a hundred feet apart, and the center of the field is the meeting point. Once you pick a spawn, you will have to shoot other players and choose another spawn once you are eliminated.

Also, you may need to keep an eye on your spawn points because the game may get competitive, and people may decide to cheat. Due to the fast-paced nature of the game, you may choose either 5, 3 or 1 hit kills. If you choose one-hit kills, you need to be careful so you won’t be shot by a stray bullet.

Team Death match

Another type of airsoft game you can play is the Team Death match. It is very similar to the Free for All, just that only 2 to 4 teams are allowed to play the game. Due to the fast-paced nature of the game, using more than four teams can make the gameplay complex. In Team Death Match, each team has the opportunity of picking one spawn. You will find five hits kill quite interesting than 3 or 1 hit kill.

Squad-on-Squad MilSim

MilSim is an abridged version of Military Simulation. It is one of the most common airsoft game that experts love playing. Squad on Squad MilSim is a realistic version of the Team Death Match, just that you cannot respawn in it. Because of this, the game is quite tricky and requires years of experience before you can learn the ropes.

The thing is, as a beginner in Squad on Squad MilSim, you will always get eliminated quite easily. But don’t sweat it because as time goes on, you will start making commendable progress. Only two teams are allowed in this airsoft game. Once the bell is rung for the battle to begin, each team starts running towards each other while trying to avoid being hit by a bullet.

In this game, you have to ensure that your teammate has your back. Otherwise, an enemy can sneak up to you and pull the trigger. Although the game is quite difficult to master, it is still very exciting.

Manhunt

In Manhunt, the players are divided into two teams, with an uneven number of teammates. If one side is made up of 3 members, the other will have five members. The lesser team will start by running into the bush. They will have a head start of about 10 to 15 minutes. Then when the time is exhausted, the larger team will hunt for the team hiding in the woods.

In Manhunt, all the rules are basically the same as the Squad on Squad MilSim. The only thing different is that the lesser team hunts for, the larger team with guerilla strategy. In reality, it’s more interesting if guerrillas are armed with sophisticated guerrilla ammunitions like shotguns, and AK47. You can also make it intriguing by equipping the smaller team with semi-automatic rifles.

Capture the Flag

Capture the Flag is guided by the same regulations as the Squad on Squad MilSim and Team Death Match. In the game, a flag is positioned in your enemy’s territory or at the center of the field, depending on the gaming style agreed upon by both teams.

Your mission in the game is simply to retrieve the flag from the enemy’s camp and take it to yours. If you can succeed in doing that, you have won. You will be armed with sniper rifles and pistols to protect the flag.

Apart from the gameplay modes mentioned above, you can decide to play hostage, assassination, or VIP airsoft games with your friends. You can also decide to play by your own rules if it’s in your backyard. Most of the airsoft rules that exist today were derived from Florida Airsoft society.

Sometimes, you are not mandated to put on a complete face mask when you are in the field, except if it’s a competitive event. However, we still advise you to put on your complete face mask just so an unfortunate incident does not occur. Such as being hit by a bullet in the teeth, especially when your opponent is using automatic electric guns with a Feet per Second rate of at least 360.

Photo by Kony Xyzx on Unsplash

What Beginners Need to Know about Airsoft?

In comparison to paintball, airsoft is more tactical, time-consuming, and demanding. Some may say it’s like going for Rainbow Six or Ghost Recon rather than Halo 3. Some airsoft games follow the storyline of ancient wars and mystical battles, which makes it more fulfilling and exciting.

Another thing to note about airsoft is that it hurts, even though it is not fatal. The pellets of airsoft guns can be compared to the sting of a bee or scorpion if shot from a 20 feet distance with a pellet that’s heavier than 0.2 grams.

What’s more, you may even have welts or be scarred from the bullets. The thing is, as you continue playing airsoft, you will get used to the bullet pains, and soon you may even be able to ignore them as if nothing happened.

Inasmuch as airsoft is fun and thrilling, it might not be the way you expect it to be when you start taking part in it. So rather than spend hundreds of dollars on an airsoft gun that you may be discouraged you use after some time, go for the low-budget ones. Spring-powered airsoft guns are the cheapest, but they are not all that sophisticated.

Furthermore, spring-powered guns tend to break easily, so they may consider going for sniper rifles that are sturdier. Play different airsoft games, and when you discover the one that interests you the most, you can go for a more sophisticated weapon to progress in the game. Most of the higher-end guns come with a lifetime warranty.

Although airsoft is a non-lethal game, some regions prohibit it. So finding airsoft fields can be a hassle sometimes. In the states that allow airsoft, the game is well regulated by appropriate agencies set up by the government. So before you rush to get an airsoft gun, ensure that you do thorough research on what’s acceptable and what’s not.

Also, note that in the United States, all airsoft guns must be branded with an orange tip for easy identification. Although it is not unlawful to take off the orange tip, you are advised not to remove it. Especially if you are traveling with the airsoft gun or playing on public property, you can also purchase silencers that come with orange tips.

Another very vital thing you must be aware of before getting into airsoft is the meaning of Feet per Second (FPS). This is an indication of the airsoft pellets will travel as you pull the trigger. The average airsoft gun can fire at a rate of 220 – 350 FPS.

The length of your airsoft barrel also matters. Your shot is going to be more accurate if you have a long barrel. So when buying an airsoft gun, find a balance between the barrel length and the FPS.

If you are the type that likes to shoot and hold your gun up for some seconds before taking it down, you will find automatic electric guns very useful. In addition, if you are a long-distance shooter, sniper rifles will suit you more.

In airsoft, you will need gears and other protective equipment to make it through a round. Also, we advise you not to put on reflective and shimmering items. All in all, know your airsoft needs and get the guns that meet them.

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What to Consider Before Getting an Airsoft Gun?

Before getting an airsoft gun, consider the following:

i. Budget

ii. Weight

iii. Field location

iv. Field location

v. Design

vi. Upgradability

vii. Rail access system

viii. CCW threads

Let’s take a closer look at them…

Budget

The prices of airsoft guns vary from place to place. But generally, you can get a spring-powered sniper rifle for about $100. If you want something cheaper, you can go to shotguns. Gas-powered guns and electric airsoft guns are the most expensive.

Weight

The thing is, some guns are specifically designed for different body types. If you have a small stature, you can’t effectively use an M14 because you can’t get the butt of the gun on your shoulder and get to the trigger in that position. Also, an M16 can be quite heavy, so you need strength to carry it. If you need a lightweight and compact airsoft gun, you can go for the Echo 1 Mp5. It is constructed from plastic, so it’s very durable.

Field Location

Another thing to consider when buying your first airsoft gun is the location you are going to use it. In bushy areas, you may want to get an Echo 1 Mp5 or a medium-sized barrel gun. In this kind of location, you can’t use an M14 because of it quite heavy.

Furthermore, if your game location is in a desert or flatland, a long rifle will come in handy here. Then if you are indoors, shotguns like the SR-25, carbines, and SMGs will prove very useful.

Game Role

In airsoft games, you are sometimes assigned to perform a particular shooting task. As a support shooter, you will need airsoft guns with long barrels to carry out your mission. This type of gun has high Feet per Second rate and an ultra-high rate-of-fire.

If you are playing a scout position, the best weapon to need guns with short barrels or carbines, as well as rubber-capped magazines for your not to be noticed in your hideout. The truth is, picking up the best gun for your game role is quite tricky, especially if you have not played such a role before. But it makes the game more realistic and exciting.

Design

There’s nothing as frustrating as having a gun that you cannot use. You will have ended up wasting money and time picking up the gun. So if you are a left-handed person, you need airsoft guns with a user-friendly design. For example, MP5 or AUG are firearms designed for ambidextrous users.

The gun is not only easy to use, but also sturdy and sleek. Even in a dark environment, you can easily locate the hop-up of the gun.

Upgradability

Before you spend your hard-earned money on airsoft guns, ensure that the ones you are getting are upgradable. For example, the sad thing about the MP5 is that it does not come with upgrade features.

To completely dismantle the gun takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Another drawback is that the MP5 lacks a Rail Access System (RIS), which you have to pay so much for if you want to incorporate it into your airsoft gun.

If you want a gun you can upgrade, you have to ensure that it has the following:

Rail Access System

If an airsoft gun does not have Rail Access Systems, it means that you cannot upgrade such a gun. These systems allow you to attach other accessories to your gun if the need for an upgrade arises. Rail Access Systems extends about 0.4 inches from your gun, which makes them suitable for branching out.

To do this, you just have to slide whatever upgrade item you want to add over the rails. Then don’t forget to tighten the accessory so that the branches can hold it firmly. Without Rail Access Systems, you cannot add a flashlight, laser, grenade launcher, and red dot sight to your airsoft gun.

CCW Threads

If your airsoft gun does not come with any CCW thread that means you can’t upgrade it when the need arises. Most upgradeable airsoft guns are fitted with a 14mm CCW threading system. It allows you to incorporate a silencer, flash hiders, and tracer units to your gun if you want. These tools can not be all that expensive. Actually, they are less than a hundred dollars.

The thing with airsoft silencers is that they do not offer any gaming advantage apart from realism. If you place a silencer on gas-powered airsoft guns, it will make it somewhat louder. With a silencer, you can add about 4 inches barrel to your MP5, which is initially 7 inches. However, we do not advise you to do that unless you have years of experience in the game.

How to Shoot an Airsoft Gun?

To fire an airsoft pistol while standing, put the weak foot forward and take the strong foot backward while standing sideways. To withstand the recoil of the gun, lean back a little while still standing sideways. Extend both arms forward and point the pistol towards a target. To accurately aim the pistol, ensure that all its notches are properly aligned.

The center notch has to be in-between the other two notches that are behind to aim accurately at a target that’s over 30 feet away.

What are the Rule Variations in Airsoft?

The rule variations every airsoft player must know include:

i. Nashville rule

ii. Medic rule

iii. Grenade/Pyro rule

Nashville Rule

This rule means that a hit is only allowed if it is on the torso or head. So, for instance, if you are shot on your arms or legs, they will not count.

Medic Rule

If you are injured during an airsoft game, you are not expected to leave the field. Instead, simply lie down and call for medical attention. Each team has its designated medical personnel who will go into the field and attend to any injured player.

Also, if you injured, you are not supposed to shoot. But you can still communicate and strategize with your teammates. If injured, you can only move with the assistance of your teammates. This makes the game more realistic.

Grenade/Pyro Rules

In airsoft games, you are not permitted to carry paint grenades into the field. But you can carry smoke grenades, provided you activate them in a bucket, or it is attached stakes measuring at least two feet.

Every pyrotechnic must be approved by the referee before you can take it into the field. If you smuggle in or use any unauthorized equipment, you will be immediately dismissed and most likely disbarred from participating in airsoft events in the future.

You have to follow these rules to the letter if you want to continue enjoying airsoft games. Plus, they were put in place for your safety and that of others.

Video: How to Start Airsoft

To know what it takes to start playing airsoft, check out this video…

How Much Does Airsoft Hurt?

The level of pain that you experience from an airsoft pellet is dependent on the distance from the shooter. It also largely depends on the part of your body that the pellet hits.

If you are struck from a close distance on your bare skin, you won’t die, but the pain will be excruciating. You may even bleed a little or see red spots on your skin. However, if the shooter’s distance is considerably far, then you not even know that you have been struck. So for you to honestly call a hit in such scenarios, you must know how mild pellet hits feel and sound like.

If a pellet hits you on your bare skin, it feels like being struck with a rubber band. Although you will experience pain, it will subside in no time. In comparison to paintball, the pain experienced in airsoft is a lot milder. Airsoft is a live version of a combat video game.

However, on some rare occasions, airsoft players may suffer wounds from collision and falls. This should be expected since airsoft is generally a fast-paced game. But we can assure you that the rates of injuries and accidents are lesser compared to rock climbing and football. This is because the organizers try to put in place safety measures before every game.

Where Can You Play Airsoft?

Airsoft can be played in two locations: an airsoft field or backyard. If a backyard is up to 25 square meters in dimension, it can be used to enjoy a game of airsoft with friends and family. Otherwise, it is best to play airsoft in an airsoft arena, which is specially designed for that purpose.

However, if you want a more spacious environment where you can run, hide, and shoot freely, you have to go to fields designated for airsoft games. These fields are usually referred to as airsoft arenas.

The major reason you should choose an airsoft arena over your backyard is you will have the opportunity of meeting fellow airsoft players, who can teach you how to become a better player. Another reason is that airsoft fields are developed to be a replica of history battlefield, which makes the game more realistic.

Furthermore, in airsoft fields, vendors usually sell airsoft equipment at discounted prices and offer priceless advice that can make you become a professional in no time. What’s more, instead of buying airsoft guns that you cannot really vouch for their effectiveness, an airsoft field vendor allows you to test any piece of airsoft equipment you buy, including guns.

The thing with playing airsoft in your backyard is that it may disturb the peace of others around you. In fact, your neighbors might call the cops thinking there’s a break-in or some sort of gun violence going on in your property. Also, if you do not use protective equipment in your backyard, the odds are high that someone will eventually get hurt.

But the fact remains that playing airsoft in your backyard is a good and free way to learn. In fact, that’s is the way about 60 percent of professional airsoft players started learning the game. That said, you have to be extra careful when playing airsoft in your property. The risks involved are higher, and the uncertainties are much.

Even if you do not hurt someone, you may end up destroying your property if care is not taken. It is also a good idea to inform your neighbors about what you intend to do before you start a game. Always inform your neighbors and anyone who cares to listen that your airsoft guns are not real guns. This will save you a lot of headaches. So the place of safety when playing airsoft in your backyard cannot be overemphasized.

Also, even if you are using an airsoft gun in your property, it is highly essential that you follow airsoft gun rules. In addition, try as much as you can not to expose your airsoft guns to the public. This is because there are airsoft gun restrictions in some regions that you must abide by. Flouting these rules can get you arrested. So if you must carry your airsoft firearms, ensure that you keep them in a bag.

Once you have enough space on your property and you have expressly informed your neighbors and probably the local law enforcement, nothing will stop you from enjoying your airsoft game. Not only can you play anytime you want, but you can also play by your own rules.

What’s more, you do not have to spend money to gain access to an airsoft arena, which you will have less playing time than when you play in your backyard. You can also use it as a medium to build a stronger bond with your family and friends. That said, do not forget the place of safety when playing airsoft games.

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Closing Notes

Getting into airsoft is not all that difficult. You just need to know some basic things about airsoft before you take your first shot with an airsoft gun. At every point in time, do not forget about the rules guiding airsoft and safety tips we mentioned to help you prevent injuries.

Finally, before you start playing airsoft games, ensure that you know the gun handling rules and use the recommended protective equipment. This is for your safety and that of others.


How to Get into Airsoft – Related FAQs


Can You Use a Real Scope on an Airsoft Gun?

A real scope can be used on an airsoft gun provided it matches the airsoft gun. Although the firearm optics are a more expensive than the airsoft optics, they offer more advantages in terms of reliability, structural quality, eye relief and long-term warranties. The firearm optics can withstand jolts from firing a BB from a real steel gun, in this case, airsoft optics are no match.

Real optics can get damaged easily, so it is advisable to get attachable plastic deflectors that can deflect stray BBs.


Is Airsoft Like Real Combat?

Airsoft is not like real combat. Airsoft games are different from real combats because first, airsoft rules do not apply to real life, and second, high risk in real combat cannot be taken lightly. For the most part, real combat requires that the players are quick, mentally calculative and properly trained.

Although some airsoft games require teamwork, bear in mind that there are no looming dangers if a player is pulled out of the team. In real combat, the reverse is the case.


Can 12-year-old Play Airsoft?

A 12-year-old can play the airsoft game. However, most states have laws governing airsoft and the age limit of players, and it is advisable to check the local laws before carrying out any activity. Airsoft fields also determine the age limit of participants.

Airsoft players within this age limit are given specific instructions before the game commences. They are instructed to never point a gun anyone outside the airsoft field, nor will they leave their magazines attached unless during a game.


Is Airsoft Safer than Paintball?

Airsoft is safer than paintball. Airsoft BBs have an average weight of 0.25 grams that are much smaller than paintball pellets that weigh 3 grams on average. If a paintball pellet is fired at the same velocity an airsoft BB is fired, it will hurt more than the airsoft BB.

Some other factors like kinetic energy, the range between the shooter and target, and the amount of protective gear the player is wearing, are also considered when concluding the subject.


What is a Good First Gun for a Boy?

The Ruger 10/22 compact, Savage Mark I Youth 22LR and Mossberg 510 mini all-purpose airsoft guns are great first guns for a boy. The Ruger 10/22 compact is a beginner airsoft gun designed with a 16.5-inch rifle barrel and semi-automatic shooting mode. It comes in different configurations that are very easy for kids to operate.

The Savage Mark I Youth 22LR is a long lightweight airsoft rifle with an adjustable trigger pull and a magazine that can feed BBs continuously. Its bolt action charges kids with more energy to continue shooting for a long time.


Is Airsoft a Professional Sport?

Airsoft is a professional sport. It is a legally recognized sport with federal backing, sports clubs, and membership IDs. Like every other sport, airsoft events can be organized on a large scale and this means that airsoft players from all parts of the country will come around to participate. The players are required to acquaint themselves with the rules, carry along necessary ammunition, gear up for protection and are subjected to weeks of rigorous training.

Here, the players are grouped into teams and taught team tactics that can help them take out the opposing team.