Airsoft guns shoot plastic BBs.
Guns that shoot plastic BBs are known as Airsoft guns. People use Airsoft guns for combat play in much the same way as paintball. However, paintball guns must accommodate large, bulky ammunition and therefore do not typically look realistic. On the other hand, plastic BBs are small enough to fit into a smaller-sized magazine and allow for more realistic weapons. In fact, Airsoft guns typically are modeled after actual firearms. There are several types of Airsoft weapons on the market that vary according to power and complexity.
These are the simplest, least-expensive Airsoft guns. They are single-action guns, meaning you have to cock them each time you shoot them. Cocking them compresses a heavy spring, and pulling the trigger releases it, shooting the plastic BB. Typically, these come with a clip, holding about 10 to 20 BBs, that slides into the gun. Spring-action guns are usually pistols, but they may include some shotgun models. These are often considered the beginner models, but some advanced players use them as sidearms.
These guns use compressed gas to fire plastic BBs. Types of gases range from CO2 cartridges to “green gas” canisters. Green gas is presently the most common and is comprised of a mixture of propane and silicone lubricant. Green gas guns have nozzles made to accept bursts of gas from a bottle. CO2 guns have a space for the insertion of a cartridge in the bottom of the gun. Gas guns are typically semi-automatic or fully automatic, as they have the capability to fire until the gas runs out. Like spring-action guns, these are typically pistol models, but there are a few gas-powered rifles.
Electric guns use batteries to power an electric motor that propels BBs from the gun. These normally have large magazines that hold about 100 BBs at a time. These typically have both semi-automatic and fully automatic capabilities. Electric Airsoft guns are what most of the advanced players use in combat games. These are powerful, capable of shooting more than 200 feet per second. Typical electric Airsoft styles include M-16 and Uzi-style assault guns.
Although sniper guns use bolt-action spring power for shooting, they are not generally classified with spring-action guns. These are among the most expensive and sophisticated Airsoft weapons. Many of them are capable of shooting well over 400 feet per second and some reach speeds of over 500 feet per second. These are designed for accuracy, much like the sniper rifles they are patterned after. Some of the most expensive sniper rifles come with a full metal body.