Airsoft is a competitive team shooting sport in which participants shoot opponents with spherical plastic projectiles launched via replica air weapons called airsoft guns.

Airsoft pellets, or BBs, do not typically mark their target, and hits are not always visibly apparent. Though the pellets can leave red marks or "welts" on exposed skin, the game relies heavily on an honor system in which the person who has been hit is responsible for calling themselves out.[1] Airsoft guns are typically magazine-fed, with some having replaceable compressed gas (e.g. propane, 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane/"green gas" or CO2) canisters, or are battery powered to fire. Many airsoft guns also have mounting platforms compatible with genuine firearm accessories, and more closely resemble real guns. This makes them popular for military simulation and historical reenactments.

Gameplay varies in style and composition, but often range from short-term skirmishes, organized scenarios, close quarters battle, field, military simulations (MilSim) or historical reenactments.[2] They are played in indoor courses or outdoor fields.[3] Combat situations on the battlefield may involve the use of military tactics to achieve objectives set in each game. Participants may attempt to emulate the tactical equipment and accessories used by modern military and police organizations. A game is normally kept safe by trained professionals and the equipment is usually powered by gas or various types of batteries.

Before gameplay, an airsoft gun's muzzle velocity is usually checked through a chronograph and usually measured in feet per second (FPS). Some countries have a set velocity or kinetic energy restriction, guns shooting over the legal velocity can be confiscated. Some playing fields further restrict projectile velocity.

Airsoft players firing at an objective
First playedEarly 1970s, Japan
ContactDependent on ruleset


Airsoft originated from Japan in the early 1970s, trademarked as "soft air guns", tailoring to the needs of shooting enthusiasts while conforming to Japan's strict gun control. The name "soft air" referred to the compressed Freon-silicone oil mixture (later replaced by a propane-silicone oil mixture known as "Green Gas") that was used as a propellant, which was significantly weaker than the carbon dioxide used in proper airguns (pellet guns and BB guns). Originally designed for target shooting, their plastic pellets can be shot at humans without causing injury and this became popular for casual war-games.[4] Airsoft guns spread to the UK in the late 1980s and early 1990s with a company called LS. The guns were sold in pieces and had to be assembled before they were capable of firing pellets. Airsoft equipment was designed to closely emulate real guns. Since the mid-1980s, airsoft guns have been adapted with a purely recreational application in mind, and the sport is enjoyed by all ages. Airsoft replicas are produced globally, with the majority being manufactured in Asia. Many law enforcement agencies and military units within the United States now use Airsoft for force-on-force training drills.[5]

Ballistics and velocity

An airsoft player shooting from behind cover, wearing goggles to fully seal the area around the eyes and a balaclava to protect the face

On impact, the pain an airsoft pellet causes is directly related with the kinetic energy it has. This energy is directly proportional to its mass and the square of its velocity. It is important to note that doubling the velocity of a pellet will quadruple its kinetic energy. As a reference value, a 6 mm 0.20 gram pellet, which is the most common size and weight, traveling at 100 metres per second (330 ft/s) has one joule of kinetic energy.

A typical set of velocity for sanctioned fields in the United States on guns may be 110 metres per second (350 ft/s) and under for Close Quarters Battle (Skirmish), 120 metres per second (400 ft/s) and under for outdoor play with fully automatic Airsoft Electric Guns (AEGs), 120–140 metres per second (400–450 ft/s) for semi-auto DMR style AEGs, and 140–150 metres per second (450–500 ft/s) for bolt-action sniper rifles, for a 0.20 g pellet.

The maximum effective range of field-legal airsoft guns is all around 100 m (110 yd) with a highly upgraded sniper rifle replica.[6] Most airsoft guns used for field play will have an effective range of around 43–67 m (47–73 yd), depending on the intended role of the equipment.[7] Most Airsoft guns are capable of shooting from 60 m/s (200 ft/s) to 125 m/s (410 ft/s), although it is also possible to purchase upgraded internals for some Airsoft guns that will enable the gun to shoot up to 170 m/s (550 ft/s) or higher. In California a common limit for CQB is 110 m/s (350 ft/s). In Ireland, Italy, and Japan the energy limit for Airsoft guns is one joule regardless of the type of game play. Some UK sites allow semi-automatic-only equipment up to 88 m/s (290 ft/s) and bolt-action rifles up to 95 m/s (310 ft/s). However, the majority of UK sites allow both semi-automatic equipment and bolt-action rifles up to 107 m/s (350 ft/s).[8] Northern Ireland has a maximum velocity of 100 m/s (330 ft/s) with 0.20 g pellets, without regard to the type of equipment. In Sweden the legal limitations of airsoft guns caps the energy limit at 10 joules for single fire guns and 3 joules for semi-automatic and fully automatic guns.[9]

The ballistics of spring or electrically powered airsoft guns differ from real firearms in that a longer barrel will not always result in better accuracy. In spring/electric airsoft equipment, barrel length does not have a significant effect on accuracy. The "sweet spot" for barrel length in a spring/electric powered airsoft gun is around 450 mm. Past that length, added barrel length will not improve accuracy. In any case, barrel quality, velocity consistency, and hopup quality/design are more important factors with regard to accuracy. Added barrel length will result in slightly increased velocity if the cylinder size and compression are appropriate for the barrel length. For example, a gun with a large cylinder and a long barrel will shoot slightly harder than a gun with a small cylinder and a short barrel (ceteris paribus). This rule will apply even for barrels longer than 500 mm, if there is enough cylinder volume and air compression to propel the pellet through the barrel. However, the resulting velocity increase will be hardly noticeable. The only considerable advantage of using a longer inner barrel in an AEG or spring powered gun is that it generally will make the gun quieter.

Gas powered replicas function more like real firearms. In gas powered guns, added barrel length (to an appropriate degree) will result in significantly increased velocity, and increased accuracy to a degree. Tighter bore barrels will increase velocity because there will be less space between the pellet and the barrel for the air to escape through. Most stock airsoft guns have 6.05-6.08 mm bore barrels, but best performance[10] is usually seen with "tightbore" barrels, which are 6.01 to 6.05 in diameter. However, the tighter the bore, the more likely the chance of a pellet jam, and subsequently, tightbores need to be cleaned regularly. It is generally agreed upon that a good quality 6.01-6.02 mm barrel will provide the highest muzzle velocity, while a good quality 6.03 mm or 6.05 mm barrel will provide the best compromise between power, accuracy, and ease of maintenance. The actual accuracy difference between tightbore sizes is debatable and usually outweighed by bore consistency.


Players in the 'safe zone' between games

Many manufacturers and retailers suggest treating an airsoft gun like a real gun at all times. This will help alleviate safety issues resulting in an accidental/negligent discharge to an unknowing target or an airsoft gun being mistaken for a real firearm.[11] Most manufacturers include an orange tip on the barrel of the airsoft gun for safety purposes. Manufacturers and retailers urge consumers to not remove the orange tip of the airsoft rifle as it is used to help distinguish them from a real firearm. The orange tip serves many purposes, one of them being for law enforcement to help discern airsoft guns from real firearms.[12]

The minimum safe level of gear required to participate in most games includes a pair of ballistic eyewear ANSI Z87.1 (impact-rated) goggles to protect participants' eyes. Traditional prescription glasses and sunglasses, or goggles not designed specifically for use with airsoft or paintball marker, may break or shatter upon being struck, causing injury to the eye. Airsoft guns are not to be confused with BB guns, which fire 4.5 millimetres (0.18 in) metal ball bearings.

Community safety precautions

Airsoft replica of an H&K G36C. This replica is not in use on a field, and has the magazine removed, the chamber cleared, and a barrel bag placed over the muzzle.

Rules such as a maximum muzzle velocity and engagement distance guidelines are used by different groups. Some organizations have created common safety rules and guidelines. Most minimum engagement distances are 10 feet. [13]

When not actively playing, some fields require "barrel bags", also known as barrel socks, barrel condoms, barrel blockers, or barrel sleeves, to be placed over the muzzle of the gun. The magazine is usually removed as well, and the gun fired to clear the chamber. Most fields also require players to leave their guns set to the safety position when they are not shooting, a practice common when using real firearms. In certain countries, such as the Philippines, additional special rules have been adopted.[14]

Legal restrictions

Airsoft is legal in most parts of the world. Some countries have specific restrictions,[15] such as maximum muzzle velocity and "unrealistic" coloring to distinguish them from actual firearms. They are legal throughout the United States, but restrictions do exist in cities like Chicago and Detroit. The states of New Mexico, New York and New Jersey, however, do not allow airsoft guns to be used or handled publicly because of the resemblance to real firearms. They may be used on private property with the consent of the owner. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection FAQ page states that Airsoft guns are considered look-alike firearms which require the special blaze orange marking.[16]

In the Republic of Ireland Airsoft guns are classified as Realistic Imitation Firearms but not restricted as much as in the United Kingdom. Under the Criminal Justice Act of 2006 Airsoft guns are legal in the Republic. One can buy, sell and import Airsoft guns without notifying relevant law enforcement authorities. They do not need to be painted in fluorescent colors, they do not need to have an orange tip, but they cannot launch the projectile with a kinetic energy exceeding 1 joule. However, carrying an imitation firearm in public is prohibited, and a gun carry case is required, as for real firearms. Airsoft shops are spread over the country, and buyers must be aged 16 or over to purchase an airsoft gun. There is no age limit on Airsoft, as long as a minor has an adult's permission.[17]

In the United Kingdom, some Airsoft guns are classified as realistic imitation firearms or RIFs. The sale, manufacture, or importation (but not gifting) of these is illegal under the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006. A defence is allowed for selling for specific purposes[18] including airsoft skirmishing[19]

The minimum age for buying any imitation firearm in the UK is 18.[20] It is an offence to possess an imitation firearm in a public place without a reasonable excuse,[21] for example travelling to, or from, or being at an airsoft skirmish site.

Most UK airsoft sites and retailers participate in the United Kingdom Airsoft Retailer Association (UKARA) registration scheme. A player who has participated in at least 3 skirmishes over a period of at least 56 days at the same skirmish site can be registered by that site. Retailers have access to the database to verify that the purchaser can provide them with a defence.

As an alternative to RIFs, IFs (Imitation Firearms, including 'two tones') are available in the UK. These are RIFs which have been painted a bright colour (excluding white/silver/gold) over at least 51% of the item. No specific defence is required for selling an IF, although the minimum age for purchasing remains 18.

In Canada, there are laws pertaining to airsoft importing. All airsoft guns that are bought in Canada are legal, but when importing it, the gun has to have between 366FPS and 500FPS to pass inspection at customs, otherwise the gun will be shipped back or destroyed.[22]

In certain countries use of lasers of any kind is illegal, including airsoft gun scopes with integrated lasers.[23]

Orange-tipped airsoft gun muzzles

Although airsoft guns in the United States are generally sold with a 6-millimeter (0.24 in) or longer orange tip on the barrel in order to distinguish them from real firearms, this is not required by federal law. Manufacturers and importers may cite Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which stipulates that "no person shall manufacture, enter into commerce, ship, transport, or receive any toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm" without approved markings; these may include an orange tip, orange barrel plug, brightly colored exterior of the whole toy, or transparent construction (part 272.2, formerly part 1150.2). However, section 272.1 (formerly 1150.1) clearly indicates that these restrictions shall not apply to "traditional B-B, paint-ball, or pellet-firing air guns that expel a projectile through the force of compressed air, compressed gas or mechanical spring action, or any combination thereof."[24] This language clearly exempts airsoft guns from these requirements, placing them in the same category as BB-guns, pellet, air, and paintball, none of which are conventionally sold or used with an orange tip, and many of which bear as much resemblance to real firearms as airsoft guns do.[25]

Airsoft guns

G17 airsoftgun with rmr sight
A WE-TECH G17 Gas Blockback airsoft hand gun with Trijicon RMR sight and rail mounted flashlight.
Ca m15a4
Classic Army M4A1 Carbine AEG with Aimpoint Comp2 Replica Red dot sight

The guns used in airsoft are typically imitation firearms. They have a mechanism for shooting projectiles 6 mm or 8 mm in diameter.

Airsoft guns are classified according to their operating principle, which can be spring-loaded, electric (battery-powered Automatic Electric Guns, Airsoft Electric Guns or "AEGs"), or gas-powered (if these have a blowback feature they are known as "GBBs"). Some companies produce full replicas of counterpart grenade launchers which fire a projectile spray of 6 millimetres (0.24 in) pellets by use of a high-powered spring mechanism or a compressed gas propellant (i.e. green gas, propane, compressed air, or CO2). There is also a type of airsoft gun that is powered by a single (HPA) high-pressure air tank and a battery pack to power the internal FCU "Fire Control Unit" computer board. These guns are often known for their high and adjustable ROF or "rate of fire" and durability.[26] These HPA replicas are most often referred to as "PolarStars", although this refers to a popular brand of HPA engines and accessories.

Newer guns, especially those made in Taiwan and China, have metal internal and external parts. Japan has specific rules about producing airsoft guns with metal parts. A typical airsoft gun is noticeably lighter than its "real steel" counterpart due to the use of aluminum, alloy, and plastic, though some have weights in them for a more realistic feel. Smoke caps, as well as noise amplifiers, are available for certain airsoft guns to add realism.

Gas handgun magazines usually contain 10 to 30 pellets in a standard capacity magazine; however, some are high capacity magazines and can hold 50 rounds or more. In the case of AEG rifles, magazines come in either real-capacity (equivalent to the capacity of its real steel counterpart), low-capacity (10-50 rounds), mid-capacity (75-160 rounds), or high-capacity (190+ rounds). These magazines are spring-loaded. The high-cap magazines often have a ratchet wheel that can be wound up periodically to force pellets up from the holding chamber of the magazine to the feeding chute. Due to loose pellets in the reservoir, they often make a rattling noise when running or walking. Some airsoft guns have a battery-powered box or drum magazine that holds thousands of pellets, but these are usually only used and allowed on LMGs (light machine gun)type replicas.

It is common for owners to "tech" or modify their guns. The majority of gearboxes are made to Tokyo Marui specifications and have upgrade parts available. Some gearboxes are proprietary in design. It is also possible to perform DIY modifications.


The "hop-up" system, which is installed in most stock airsoft rifles and in most pistols, is used to add extra effective range by putting backspin on the pellets. The Magnus effect causes the pellets to experience lift as they are shot, counteracting against gravity[27]. A small rubber nub protrudes into the top of the barrel through a small hole, and it catches the top of the pellet as it flies past. Adjusting the hop-up makes the nub protrude more or less into the barrel, so that backspin is increased or reduced. Ideally, the hop-up should be adjusted so that the pellets fly as far as possible in a straight line without curving upward too far, or dropping to the ground too quickly. Hop-Up does decrease the velocity of the projectile (a gun firing 340 ft/s (100 m/s) with the hop fully unwound can drop to as low as 300 ft/s (91 m/s)). Ease and location of adjustment varies by gun design; some equipment provide controls that can be adjusted quickly during gameplay, while others may require partial dis-assembly. For example, a common location for Hop-Up adjustment is where the ejection port would be on a real firearm, which allows the mechanism to be covered while still allowing quick access to adjust the Hop-Up.

Airsoft projectiles

Most airsoft guns fire round plastic pellets, usually white, but black "invisible" or phosphorescent are common as well. The pellets mostly range from 0.12 to 0.48 g. However, the most popular weights for AEGs (automatic electric guns) and GBB* (Gas Blow-Back guns) are 0.20 g and 0.25 g (*These weights are generally specified for pistols whose muzzle velocity ranges from approximately 250 ft/s (76 m/s) to 400 ft/s (120 m/s)). Mid to high end AEGs use 0.20–0.30 g pellets, while heavier rounds (0.30–0.43 g) are typically used in long range and sniper applications since they are more stable in flight and less easily deflected by wind.

Pellets are usually bought in bags or bottles of 2,000 to 5,000, but other sizes are available, such as a 250,000 round (65 kg) package of tournament grade pellets. Biodegradable pellets are a fraction more expensive than non-bio counterparts, but many fields require them. Pellets are typically 6 mm in diameter, though 8 mm pellets do exist. Pellets vary by diameter depending on the brand (e.g. Matrix pellets are 5.95 mm in diameter and let less air slip past it during travel through the barrel, whereas Crosman pellets are 5.93 mm in diameter and allow more air to slip past during travel through the barrel and allow for less velocity). Pellets are used for the majority of play, although foam balls may be used to represent M203 grenade launcher shells.[28]


Some players customize their airsoft guns, either to improve performance or for purely aesthetic reasons. Additions include scopes, fore-grips and flashlights, red dot sights being the most commonly used. Red dot sights are used to help aim, fore-grips are used to get a better grip on the airsoft gun, flashlights (whether mounted or held in another hand) are used to illuminate dark areas and/or to blind opponents.[29]

Even though in certain countries lasers are illegal, they are popular attachments in the U.S. and Europe. Laser sights are more for their appearance than any practical effect, largely because they must be weak enough not to carry a risk of damaging another player's eyesight, which rules out using any laser powerful enough to produce a visible dot on the target in sunlight (although lasers can be useful for night games).

Airsoft and military training

Airsoft technology is used in military training and law enforcement training. Due to airsoft's realism, relatively safe projectiles, and economical ammunition, it is well-suited to war games and scenarios to train troops. Multiple airsoft inventions were developed originally for military and law enforcement use.

Marking rounds were invented by Kerry T. Bowden to allow trainees to see where each projectile landed. Much like paintball and simunitions, these marking pellets would break upon impact, marking the target with luminescent liquid. Unlike traditional plastic pellets, marking rounds are heavier to ensure breakage of the shell on impact. The weight can be adjusted by adding heavier liquid.[30] Marking rounds are critical for trainees because they allow the shooter to see exactly where they hit the target. This allows them to extrapolate their mistakes and improve their aim.

Reusable grenades were improved by Scott Frank to emulate the fragmentation of a real grenade in war games and scenarios. The grenade can be loaded with paint or pellets. It uses a quick release of highly pressurized gas to break the shell and quickly disperse pellets or paint in all directions. Frank's grenade, although not the first, aimed to be as realistic and predictable as an actual grenade. He developed a more accurate timing mechanism and secondary safety mechanisms to prevent accidental discharge.[31] Both marking rounds and reusable grenades gave airsoft the edge it needed to enter into military and law enforcement training grounds.

The airsoft guns used for training differ from civilian models. Guns manufactured for professional training are made to replicate the weight, feel and the sound of its real steel counterpart. In general, professional training airsoft guns are GBB models and enhanced with a weighted blowback mechanism to increase the force of the kick. Some are AEGs and are built with a blowback mechanism. They are also outfitted with muzzle protectors that amplify the sound to a decibel level comparable to that of a real firearm. The average FPS for professional training airsoft guns is higher than civilian models. Economically, airsoft is cheaper than simulation training. Benjamin Kratz, Fort Jackson's battalion executive officer, said that one blank M16 round can cost as much as 32 airsoft rounds.[32] With decreasing military and law enforcement budgets, airsoft can allow for more practice hours.

See also


  1. ^ "What is Airsoft". Abbey Supply. 7 September 2018. Archived from the original on 21 October 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Airsoft: How to Play". Archived from the original on 7 April 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Indoor Airsoft Field". Orlando Sentinel. Jon Busdeker. 27 June 2013. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  4. ^ "History and Its Background | Where did Air Soft Come From?". Archived from the original on 12 July 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  5. ^ "The History of Airsoft". Abbey Supply. 2 March 2016. Archived from the original on 28 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Airsoft GI – G700F Sniper Rifle Accuracy And 250 Feet Range Test". Archived from the original on 23 June 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Section IV: Effective and Maximum Range for 6 mm BB's". Archived from the original on 25 January 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  8. ^ "United Kingdom Airsoft Rules and Laws". Archived from the original on 28 September 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Luftvapen, paintball, soft air gun och övriga vapen – Lagar och regler –". Archived from the original on 9 August 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Welcome to BESTPELLETGUN.COM". Archived from the original on 1 August 2015. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  11. ^ " Airsoft Safety Tips". Archived from the original on 8 December 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  12. ^ "". Archived from the original on 18 October 2015. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Texas Airsoft Organization". Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
  14. ^ Filipino Airsoft Players (FAP) Standard Rules and Regulations: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 March 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2008.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ Complete list of Airsoft legal requirements in the world
  16. ^ "CBP FAQ". Archived from the original on 3 January 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
  17. ^ "Which Airsoft Rifles Are Better For Youths vs. Adults". RifleMasters. Archived from the original on 16 March 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  18. ^ "Specific defences applying to the offence under s. 36". Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  19. ^ "Later defence of 'permitted activities' which includes insured airsoft skirmishing". Archived from the original on 27 November 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  20. ^ { Most players use The British Airsoft Club (BAC) for a valid defence Q&A |accessdate=13 March 2008 |archiveurl= |archivedate=7 March 2008 |deadurl=yes |df=dmy-all}}
  21. ^ "Firearms Act 1968 section 19". Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  22. ^ "Air Guns – Royal Canadian Mounted Police". 25 September 2012. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  23. ^ "Tactical Airsoft Supplies – Illegal Items". Archived from the original on 24 February 2012.
  24. ^ "Title 15 Part 272 Marking of toy, look-alike and imitation firearms". Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. US Government Printing Office. Archived from the original on 6 January 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  25. ^ "Difference between airsoft and air rifles". Pellet Guns 101. Archived from the original on 20 April 2018. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  26. ^ "Polarstar ROF". MIA-Michigan Airsoft. Archived from the original on 28 September 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  27. ^ "The Science Behind How An Airsoft Hop-Up Works". Abbey Supply. 12 October 2018. Archived from the original on 12 November 2018.
  28. ^ "New S-Thunder CO2 powered foam ball 40 mm grenade". 3 June 2010. Archived from the original on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  29. ^ "Airsoft Equipment". Archived from the original on 7 April 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  30. ^ "Patent US20140342858 – Airsoft Marking round" Archived 4 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine, "Patent US20140342858 – Airsoft Marking round." Google Scholar. 20 November 2014. Weborn 27 September 2015.
  31. ^ "Patent US8485101 – Reusable Grenade." Archived 4 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine, "Patent US8485101 – Reusable Grenade." Google Books. 16 July 2013. Weborn 27 September 2015.
  32. ^ "Soldiers Test Integration of Popular Civilian Game into Pre-deployment Training." Archived 1 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Reeves, Steve. "Soldiers Test Integration of Popular Civilian Game into Pre-deployment Training." U.S. Army, 12 August 2009. Weborn 27 September 2015.

1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane (also known as norflurane (INN), R-134a, Freon 134a, Forane 134a, Genetron 134a, Florasol 134a, Suva 134a, or HFC-134a) is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) and haloalkane refrigerant with thermodynamic properties similar to R-12 (dichlorodifluoromethane) but with insignificant ozone depletion potential and a somewhat lower global warming potential (1,430, compared to R-12's GWP of 10,900). It has the formula CH2FCF3 and a boiling point of −26.3 °C (−15.34 °F) at atmospheric pressure. R-134a cylinders are colored light blue. Attempts at phasing out its use as a refrigerant with substances that have lower global warming potential, such as HFO-1234yf, are underway.

Airsoft gun

Airsoft guns are replica weapons used in airsoft sports. They are a special type of very low-power smoothbore air guns designed to shoot non-metallic spherical projectiles often colloquially (and incorrectly) referred to as "BBs", which are typically made of (but not limited to) plastic or biodegradable resin materials. Air soft gun power plants are designed to have low muzzle energy ratings (generally less than 1.5 J, or 1.1 ft⋅lb) and the pellets have significantly less penetrative and stopping powers than conventional air guns, and are generally safe for competitive sporting and recreational purposes if proper protective gear is worn.

Depending on the design mechanism for pellet propulsion, airsoft guns can be categorized into two groups: mechanical, which consists of a coil spring-loaded piston air pump that is either manually cocked (e.g. spring guns) or automatically cycled by an additional battery-powered electric motor gearbox (e.g. AEGs); and pneumatic, which operates by valve-controlled release of prefilled bottled gas such as compressed propane mixed with silicone oil (commonly known as "Green Gas") or CO2 canisters (e.g. GBB guns).

As toy weapons, airsoft guns can often be designed to realistically resemble genuine firearms in appearance, and it can be very difficult to distinguish from one visually, despite their orange tips in some jurisdictions. Airsoft guns cannot be modified into real firearms that shoot lethal ammunition despite the similar appearance.

Airsoft pellets

Airsoft pellets are spherical projectiles used by airsoft guns. Typically made of plastic, they usually measure around 6 mm (0.24 in) in diameter (though selective models use 8 mm), and weigh 0.12–0.40 g (1.9–6.2 gr), with the most common weights being 0.12 g and 0.20 g, while 0.25 g, 0.28 g, 0.30 g and 0.40 g pellets aren't uncommon as well. Though frequently referred to as "BBs" among airsoft users, these pellets are not the same as either of the 4.5 mm metal projectiles that BB guns fire, or the 4.6 mm (0.180 in)-sized birdshot from which the term "BB" originated.


Chlorodifluoromethane or difluoromonochloromethane is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC). This colorless gas is better known as HCFC-22, or R-22. It is commonly used as a propellant and refrigerant. These applications are being phased out in developed countries due to the compound's ozone depletion potential (ODP) and high global warming potential (GWP), although global use of R-22 continues to increase because of high demand in developing countries. R-22 is a versatile intermediate in industrial organofluorine chemistry, e.g. as a precursor to tetrafluoroethylene. R-22 cylinders are colored light green.

Classic Army

Classic Army (Yick Fung International) is a manufacturer of airsoft replicas based in Hong Kong. It produces automatic electric guns or AEGs, and a small number of GBB (Gas Blowback) pistols. Designed to resemble real firearms, these replicas fire 6mm plastic BBs at safe velocities. Within the airsoft community, Classic Army is often abbreviated as simply "CA."

Classic Army AEG's are characterized by their many metal parts and realism, in that most parts that are metal on the real-steel counterpart are also metal on the replica (although they are usually not cross-compatible). These metal components usually include the frame and body, as well as the firing mechanism (called a "gearbox"). CA replicas also feature pre-upgraded internals such as metal bushings and polycarbonate pistons.

As with most AEGs, Classic Army replicas use rechargeable batteries (either NiMH, NiCd)or more recently LiPo. In an un-modified condition they can be expected to fire 0.2 g BBs at approximately 280–340 feet per second (FPS).


Crosman Corporation is an American designer, manufacturer and supplier of shooting sport products, with a long-standing presence in airgun design and a tradition of producing pellet and BB guns. Crosman is also a producer of many varieties of airgun and airsoft ammunition and CO2 Powerlet cartridges. In addition, Crosman sells branded, licensed products as well as a variety of airsoft guns.

Crosman Stinger P9

The P9T Pistol is a cock-and-shoot spring pistol manufactured by Crosman Airguns. It shoots at velocities up to 275 fps. and includes a 15-round magazine, hop-up propulsion system and an under barrel Weaver rail. It is sold with a holster made from soft cordura fabric and features a Velcro thumb break. Also included in the kit is a trial package of high-quality .12g airsoft BBs.Specifications:

Authentic 1:1 scale replica of Walther P99

Fully licensed Walther trademarks (made by Crosman)

Weight: 0.65 lb (0.29 kg)

Overall length: 7 in (180 mm)

Capacity: 14 round(s)

14-rd magazine

100-rd reservoir

Front Sight: Blade and ramp

Rear Sight: Notch

Scopeable: NO

Powerplant: Spring-piston

Hop-Up: Yes, Fixed

Ammo: 6mm airsoft BB's, .12g BB's suggested

Body: Pistol

Color: Black, Two tone Black and Clear, Brown and Black

Safety : Lever

Action: Repeater, Spring

Package: Plastic clam form

Orange muzzle to comply with federal regulations

Hop-up (airsoft)

Hop-up is the back-spin put on airsoft pellets and BBs to increase their range via the Magnus effect.

Hop-up devices apply backspin to the projectile reducing the air pressure on its top side. This causes the plastic pellet to fall less over a given distance than it would without the spin applied, extending the effective range of the weapon without increasing velocity.

In airsoft guns, this is usually implemented as a projection (called a bucking) into the path of the projectile, on the top of the barrel. The bucking momentarily hinders the top side of the projectile, imparting a backspin that can exceed 120,000 revolutions per minute. This is usually adjustable so that the effect can be tuned to suit the weight or speed of the projectile and each player's preference.

The primary cause of the lift is the Magnus effect. There is a layer of non-moving air (the boundary layer) on its surface. In the case of a spinning ball, this layer gets thrown off at an angle. Newton's laws state that in order for air to be thrown in one direction, the ball has to move in the opposite direction. According to the Magnus explanation, the rotating ball would throw air downward and to the rear, thus giving lift. The boundary layers on the top and bottom separate unevenly, creating a wake that is lower than the middle of the ball, appearing like a comet's tail pointing down. This can be verified in wind tunnels and is well documented in fluid dynamics textbooks.

Legal issues in airsoft

Airsoft is considered to be a modern shooting sport. Airsoft guns themselves are legal in many parts of the world, although some countries, states, and cities have specific restrictions against the items. For example, California State Law states that peoples of all age can use these items, classing them as both tools, and toys. Safety regulations in many areas require bright markings on the items (such as an orange tip). They are officially classed as "soft air devices" or "air compressed toys," depending on the location.


MilSim is an abbreviation of military simulation, and refers to armed confrontation scenarios conducted by civilians for entertainment purposes. There are several forms of MilSim: airsoft games, paintball games, and video games simulating military scenarios and tactics.

Weapons used in MilSim are commonly replica toy guns. Airsoft guns are used more often in MilSim than paintball guns due to their availability as a realistic replica weapons without any modification.

In the past, due to the unrealistic nature of the performance of airsoft and paintball weapons, they were seldom used in real-world training environments. Instead, specialized non-lethal ammunition or blanks are used in conjunction with infrared targeting systems. More recently however, advances in airsoft replica authenticity and function have led numerous law enforcement and military units using them to train in CQB/CQC environments. Airsoft and paintball guns though previously not considered realistic by the US Department of Defense or major police departments for training purposes are becoming more so due to increases in realism and function, especially airsoft.

MilSim most often falls into two different categories: reenactment and simulation. Reenactments focus on a particular event in history and aim to provide the most accurate representation of the time period, events, and outcomes of the historical event. Simulation, however, may only focus on a particular time period and representation of which course a particular situation may have taken in history.


Mrčara is a small uninhabited island in the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea, located west of the islands of Prežba and Lastovo in southern Dalmatia. Its highest peak is 123 m above sea level and its coastline is 7.8 km long.

There is a small jetty on the east coast of the island with a small seasonal restaurant servicing boats that wish to dock there.

In July 2011 the island hosted its first paintball game. Clear shelled and filled paintball's were used so as not to leave any marks on the islands historical fortifications and tunnel complexes.

The island also hosts all weekend and all week Airsoft games as of July 2010.


Paloheinä (Swedish Svedängen) is one of four quarters of the Tuomarinkylä district in Northern Helsinki, Finland. Described by the municipality as "a place where habitation, traditional agricultural milieus, and the forest meet", the Paloheinä recreation area is the northern continuation of Helsingin keskuspuisto, Helsinki's "Central Park".


A Powerlet cartridge, commonly referred to as a CO2 charger, is a small disposable metal container holding 8–12 grams (0.28–0.42 oz) of compressed CO2 and often a small quantity of oil, used as a power source for certain air guns, airsoft guns, paintball guns, and for quick inflation of various devices, such as a personal flotation device. Originally developed and the trademark owned by Crosman Corporation and introduced to the market in 1954, the Powerlet CO2 cartridge has become the dominant source of power for inexpensive, rapid fire air guns from many manufacturers.

A Powerlet container typically provides 20 to 40 shots in an airgun, depending on the gun and environmental conditions. The first 10 shots from a new bottle are consistent, with subsequent shots losing power. For paintball markers, expect fewer shots due to increased weight of the paintball compared to an airgun projectile.

For modern paintball guns, the technology is considered outdated, as they cannot fire as many shots as a modern CO2 tank can provide, though some still use Powerlet cartridges for stock paintball. They are also still favored for paintball pistols, for players wishing to run 'light' with considerably less weight.

Shooting sports

Shooting sports is a collective group of competitive and recreational sporting activities involving proficiency tests of accuracy, precision and speed in shooting, using various types of ranged weapons, mainly referring to man-portable guns (firearms and airguns, in forms such as handguns, rifles and shotguns) and bows/crossbows.Different disciplines of shooting sports can be categorized by equipment, shooting distances, targets, time limits and degrees of athleticism involved. Shooting sports may involve both team and individual competition, and team performance is usually assessed by summing the scores of the individual team members. Due to the noise of shooting and the high (and often lethal) impact energy of the projectiles, shooting sports are typically conducted at either designated permanent shooting ranges or temporary shooting fields in the area away from settlements.

Smoke bomb

A smoke bomb is a firework designed to produce smoke upon ignition. Smoke bombs are useful to airsoft games, paintball games, self-defense and pranks. They are also used in smoke tests.

Stun grenade

A stun grenade, also known as a flash grenade, flashbang, thunderflash or sound bomb, is an explosive device, ostensibly non-lethal, used to temporarily disorient an enemy's senses. It is designed to produce a blinding flash of light of around 7 million candela (cd) and an intensely loud "bang" of greater than 170 decibels (dB). It was first used by the British Army's SAS in the late 1970s.The flash momentarily activates all photoreceptor cells in the eye, blinding it for approximately five seconds. Afterwards, the victim sees an afterimage that impairs his or her aim. The loud blast temporarily deafens the victim and also disturbs the fluid in the ear, causing loss of balance.

The concussive blast of the detonation can still injure, and the heat created can ignite flammable materials such as fuel. The fires that occurred during the Iranian Embassy siege in London were caused by stun grenades.

Systema Engineering

Systema Engineering is a Japanese manufacturer of airsoft internal parts, and airsoft gun replicas of real firearms for use as a safe, low cost substitute in simulated live fire training. Primarily the company manufactures internal upgrade parts and kits for airsoft guns. In the late-2000s, Systema began manufacturing high-quality airsoft guns. The Systema airsoft guns are now used by the military in combat training because of its realism and durability. These guns come in 3 burst and full auto. Systema uses the realistic dimensions and weight and also the magazine. Although their airsoft guns are usually used for realistic firearms training, they are also popular for recreational use amongst airsoft players and collectors of replica firearms.

Tokyo Marui

Tokyo Marui Co. Ltd (株式会社東京マルイ, Kabushiki-gaisha Tōkyō Marui) is a Japanese manufacturer of airsoft guns and toy cars located in Adachi, Tokyo, and are famous for pioneering the design of battery-powered airsoft guns. Their products are principally sold in Japan, but are also exported worldwide.

The company had its own center for airsoft sport called Tokyo Marui BB Sports Field which was operated during 2009 and 2010. The guns have appeared in numerous movies and it has merchandising arrangements with many games.


Umarex Sportwaffen GmbH & Co. KG is a German manufacturer of air guns (including Umarex air pistols such as the Beretta Elite II), tear-gas and signal pistols, paintball markers under the RAM brand and airsoft guns, based in Arnsberg, North Rhine-Westphalia. The firm was founded in 1972. Its USA headquarters is located in Fort Smith, Arkansas.In 1993 the Carl Walther GmbH firm was acquired by Umarex, who continued to manufacture under the Walther name in Ulm and Arnsberg. In 2010, Röhm Gesellschaft, the firearms division of Röhm GmbH was also acquired.

Basket sports
Football codes
Bat-and-ball games
Stick and ball sports
Net sports
Other sports

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.