April 18, 2024
Airsoft Guns

Everything You Need To Know About Airsoft Guns

What are Airsoft Guns?

Airsoft guns are replica firearms that shoot non-metallic projectiles commonly referred to as BB’s or airsoft pellets instead of conventional firearm ammunition. They are primarily used for simulated combat in games of airsoft war.

History of Airsoft Guns

Airsoft guns originated in Japan in the 1970s where they were initially called “Soft Air Guns”. They were modeled after real firearms but modified to fire 6mm plastic BBs at lower velocities using compressed gas or spring-powered mechanisms. The airsoft guns and accompanying sport gradually gained popularity worldwide and they are now commonly used for recreational target shooting and mock combat scenarios.

Types of Airsoft Guns

There are a few main categories of Airsoft Guns based on their operation and firing mechanism:

Spring-Powered Guns
Spring-powered airsoft guns use a wound-up steel spring as their main power source. When the trigger is pulled, it releases the tension in the spring which propels the BB forward through the inner barrel. Spring guns are inexpensive but tend to have shorter effective ranges of around 50-150 feet depending on the model.

Gas-Powered Guns
Gas guns utilize compressed gases like green gas or CO2 to power the firing mechanism. Some popular gas-operated airsoft guns include gas blowback models which simulate real firearm cycling and recoil after each shot. Gas guns have increased range and realism over spring guns, reaching up to 250 feet, but require refilling or replacement of gas cartridges.

Battery-Powered Electric Guns
Electric airsoft guns are powered by rechargeable lithium polymer batteries and electric motors. High-end replicas closely resemble real firearms and offer fully-automatic and semi-automatic firing modes controlled by the trigger. Electric guns provide the most realistic operation and can fire BBs accurately at ranges up to 350 feet. However, they require frequent charging of batteries.

AEG Internals

Inside every electric airsoft gun (AEG) is a complex assembly of gears, pistons and electronic components that propel each 6mm airsoft BB with precision:

– Motor – Located in the pistol grip area, this is powered by the battery and its spinning motion is transferred through gears.

– Gears – Plastic spur gears inside the gearbox increase the motor’s RPMs and transfer the rotational force.

– Piston/Piston Head – Attached to the sector gear, it slides back and forth within the cylinder under gearbox pressure with each trigger pull.

– Spring – A powerful recoil spring is compressed during cycling to provide thrust for the next shot. Stronger springs mean higher FPS velocities.

– Air Nozzle/Hop-Up Bucking – The hop-up unit uses an adjustable rubber bucking to impart backspin on BBs for added range and accuracy.

With proper tuning and maintenance, an AEG’s gearbox can deliver shots consistently over long gaming sessions at competitive field limits of 400-450 FPS.

Airsoft Ammunition

The projectiles fired by airsoft guns are commonly referred to as BBs, which are 6mm (0.243 inches) spheres made of bio-degradable plastic materials likeABS or polystyrene. Heavier 0.20g/0.25g BBs are preferred for accuracy while 0.12g offer less felt recoil but wind-drift more easily. Biodegradable rubber-coated BBs are also available and are less likely to ricochet if they hit a hard surface. Reputable BB manufacturers precisely control the tolerances and weight of BBs to minimize variation between rounds.

Additional Accessories

Many airsofters customize their replica firearms with authentic external accessories as well as internal performance upgrades:

– Rail Systems – Picatinny rails allow mounting of flashlights, laser/IR aiming devices, scopes, grips and other tools.

– Barrels – Tight-bore barrel inserts and metal outer barrels boost accuracy over stock plastic barrels.

– Sights – Real steel optic sights, flip-up rear/dot sights aid target acquisition during games.

– Cylinder/Hop-Up upgrades- Enhanced rotary hop-up units or new buckings maximize effective throwing range of BBs.

– Inner Parts – Quick-change spring kits, high torque motors, reinforced gears increase rate of fire and power of AEGs.

Readymade airsoft guns provide a realistic experience right out of the box. However, hobbyists enjoy further personalizing their replicas for optimized real-world field performance.

Safety Gear & Etiquette

To safely enjoy airsoft, appropriate protective equipment must always be worn during live-fire games and practice including:

– ANSI-rated eye protection in the form of goggles or full seal glasses to prevent eye injuries from ricochet.

– Face masks are recommended for closer engagements to protect exposed skin.

– Gloves prevent welts from direct BB hits to hands holding weapons.

Additionally, airsofters should follow basic safety rules around muzzle control and calling hits promptly. Common courtesy and good sportsmanship are also necessary to maintain an enjoyable atmosphere free of arguments. With the adoption of safety precautions, airsoft can provide thrilling simulated combat experiences.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it