History of the game<br />In the 1980s, Japan made it illegal to own a firearm, though there was a large interest in them. Because of this interest, manufacturers started to produce spring-powered replicas of real guns. These guns fired several calibers of plastic or rubber BBs, but were eventually standardized into 6mm and 8mm sizes. The early spring powered weapons then morphed into gas and battery powered ones, using a variety of systems. The hobby then migrated to North America in the mid 1990s. This is due in large part to the addition of many new AEG (Airsoft Electric Gun) manufacturers in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, as well as many others.<br />Airsoft has also been adopted for training purposes for both military and police units (more often police units).<br />
Rules of Airsoft<br />All participants under 18 yrs of age must have protective eye wear and or face wear.<br /> All player under 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult (Legal parent or Guardian).<br /> All must adhere to the Honor system when you’re hit, call it!<br />4 Red tips must not be taken off your weapon.<br /> Never point your weapon at a non participant. <br /> Keep it friendly! “Remember it’s just a game…”<br />
Understanding Airsoft guns<br />An example of a gas blowback airsoftpistol, in this case a replica of a SIG-Sauer P226<br />The guns used in airsoft are typically replicas of real firearms, except that they have a mechanism for pushing out projectiles 6 mm or 8 mm in diameter.<br />
classifications<br />Airsoft guns are classified according to their operating principle which can be spring, electric, or gas-powered. An airsoft gun is selected according to the level of performance (battery life, range, rate of fire, accuracy, reliability, customization, magazine capacity, size, and weight) or realism the player requires. Early-generation airsoft guns were mostly "springers." Single action airsoft guns fire only a single bb before having to be manually re-cocked for the next shot. Second-generation airsoft guns had gas-poweredmechanisms that required either an internal "Flon" (CFC) gas reservoir or an external high-pressure CO2 chamber.AEGs (Automatic Electric Guns) are now the most commonly used. AEGshave high-capacity rechargeable batteries used to operate gearboxes that displace air and propel the BBs. However, gas powered long guns are becoming increasingly popular, as the increased realism of these guns are now more accessible due to their increasing quality.<br />
Airsoft Green gas<br />Most airsoft pistols which are gas-powered use environmentally safe "green gas". Green gas is propane gas with small amounts of perfume and silicon lubricant that produces a realistic blowback recoil effect when fired.Recently Airsoft manufacturers have begun producing propane adapters that screw directly onto camping grade propane tanks, allowing players to power their gas guns on pure propane, as a cheaper alternative to "green gas". Each pistol magazine contains a small storage gas cylinder with enough power to propel the 30+ BB projectiles also housed in the magazine. Thus a player can realistically load, fire, and unload an airsoft pistol in a similar manner as compared to a "real steel" semi-automatic pistol. A few early-production AEPs (Airsoft Electric Pistols) have been released but these suffer from weaker BB velocities because of the difficulty of fitting a small-enough motor in the housing of a pistol, although the range is sometimes greater than a gas pistol. AEP's often have a higher rate of fire than their gas counterparts.<br />
Plastic Vs metal<br />Most early airsoft guns were completely made of ABS plastic except for some internal moving parts. Newer guns, especially those made in Taiwan and China, have metal internal and external parts. Japan has specific rules about producing airsoft replicas with metal parts. A typical airsoft gun is noticeably lighter than its "real steel" counterpart due to the use of aluminium, alloy, and plastic, though some have weights in them for a more realistic feel. Smoke caps are available for certain airsoft guns to add realism.<br />
Airsoft BBs types<br />Gas hand gun magazines are usually 10-20 in a standard capacity magazine, however some are hi cap magazines which have a winder 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 (low caps: 30-80 BBs), mid-capacity (mid caps: 80-150 BBs), or high-capacity (high caps: 200-500+ BBs). These magazines are spring loaded. The high-cap magazines often have a ratchet wheel that can be wound up periodically to force BBs up from the holding chamber of the magazine to the feed chute. Due to loose BBs in the reservoir, they often make a rattling noise when running or walking. Some airsoft guns have an electric-powered box or drum magazines that hold thousands of BBs.<br />
Hop-Up<br />The "Hop" system, which is installed in most stock airsoft rifles and pistols, is used to add extra range to the pellets, by putting backspin on each as it is fired. This operates through a small rubber nipple, which protrudes into the top of the barrel through a small hole. Adjusting the Hop-Up makes the nipple vary in size, 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. The Hop-Up adjustment is usually relatively easy to access, so that players can adjust it during play. On the majority of airsoft guns it is located underneath the innate bolt cover, but sometimes is only accessible by an Allen key.<br />
Grenades and launchers<br />Grenades and launchers<br />Players can use grenades, grenade launchers, smoke grenades, mines, and replica claymores that use little or no explosives (pyrotechnics). Most of these "pyro" devices are powered by compressed gas. Like many aspects of airsoft, each item is designed as a playful analogy to the real thing, and often lacks the violence of such. Hand grenades are not as common as grenade launchers which launch a large shower of pellets, NERF or foam slug rounds using compressed gas. Some players purchase heavier support weapons such as replicas of the Heckler & Koch 69 40mm grenade launcher, or a replica of the Milkor MGL, which can hold up to 6 40mm gas powered pellet grenades (some grenades are able to fire over 300 pellets in a single shot), and shoot them in a semi-automatic mode. Some mines only produce a mushroom cloud when activated without actually firing any pellets. The airsoftclaymore mine is more expensive (around $150) but popular. Anti-tank weapons exist, but they are not common due to their weight and greater expense. Another type of launcher that is often home made is the Works Cannon or the Dry Ice Cannon. These usually use Nerf rockets as grenades.<br />
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