Soft air guns are used to train the military
Soft air, or airsoft guns, are not just a replica of the old fashioned bb gun. Airsoft guns do not use metal shot. Instead they use softer plastic beads that absorb the shock of impact. Airsoft guns are also designed to be exact replicas of high powered weapons. The look, dimensions and weight mimic real weapons, adding realism to the airsoft experience.
Soft air guns were developed in Japan 30 years ago. Japan’s gun ban made sport shooting illegal. Gun collectors lost their possessions and gamers had to resort to video games. However, the law allowed for “toy” guns. So, entrepreneurs started manufacturing, low velocity toy guns that look exactly like lethal weapons. To distinguish the toys from the real thing, airsoft guns have an orange tip.
Varieties of Airsoft Guns
There are three different varieties of soft air guns. The first is spring loaded. As its name implies, this gun shoots a pellet with the power of a spring. Cocking the gun pulls the spring back and the trigger releases the power and propels the pellet out of the gun. This is the slowest velocity gun. The second type is gas powered. The gas powered gun uses CO2 or other gas cartridges to shoot the pellet. This method offers greater speed and accuracy than the spring loaded model, but the cost of cartridges can add up. The third type is the electric model. Rechargeable and fully automatic, these guns offer the highest velocity and accuracy and can mimic automatic weapons.
Airsoft guns were originally designed for gaming. Like paintball, these guns fire soft projectiles at a low speed. This makes them safer than the old fashioned BB guns. Teams all over the world hold airsoft combat games. Airsoft is rapidly overtaking paintball as the combat game of choice because of its realism.
Soft air guns are also used in a variety of other ways. Because of their realism and safety, airsoft guns are the weapons of choice in military and police training. Prop-masters remove the orange tip and have realistic replicas that are capable of blank shots. Farmers and homeowner feel confident using airsoft pellets in the yard. The low velocity and soft pellets discourage deer, foxes and other large animals, without causing any real damage.
Soft air guns are safer than BB guns, but they are not without risk. At close range, pellets are dangerous. They can cause bruising. The pellets are small enough to lodge in eyes and ears. Even with the orange tab, they can be mistaken for real weapons. When playing combat games players must wear appropriate safety gear. Goggles, padding and headgear are needed. Games need to be played in designated areas, so that no one’s fun is mistaken for danger.
Airsoft Guns and Children
Thousands of children play with airsoft guns everyday and airsoft injuries are rare. But there are many factors to consider before purchasing a soft air gun for a child. Gamers shoot airsoft guns at people. With zero tolerance, airsoft guns are completely prohibited on school property.