From a distance, airsoft wars can look just like the real thing.
Airsoft guns are toy fire arms that shoot rubber or plastic pellets. Many enthusiasts use these guns for target practice or recreational war games. There is a sizable market for guns, gear and rented battle fields.
Airsoft guns are available in a variety of styles from pistol to rifle. They function one of three ways: a spring mechanism, electronic motor or pressurized gas. The casing of these firearms can be plastic or metal. Enthusiasts rate guns by size, weight, material, feel, firing mechanism, trademarks and look. The realism of these guns has caused many concerns with law enforcement.
Most users choose a gun by price or style. Inexpensive guns look like toys, fire at low velocity and often break easily. Beginners should expect to spend $100 on their first gun. Brand name, high-end models a can cost a few hundred dollars—not including upgrades.
Many groups have expressed concern with the use of airsoft guns by teenagers and children. Although safe in the hands of an adult, these toys can cause bodily harm if used carelessly. However, airsoft guns are safer than BB and pellet guns as they have a shorter range and lower velocity. To prevent accidental injury, commercial airsoft ranges and camps often provide safety demonstrations for new users. Face protection and appropriate clothing are also encouraged.
In the United States, all airsoft guns must be marked with a bright orange strip no less than 6mm wide. The same coating must be applied to the muzzle of the weapon. These measures ensure law officers and citizens alike can distinguish between a toy and a real firearm. Some states prohibit minors from purchasing airsoft guns, while others ban their use entirely.