What is Airsoft?
Airsoft is a safe and extremely enjoyable recreational sport that’s suitable for all ages. While a typical audience is a teenager interested in the military/law enforcement field, it is not unusual to see both kids and adults on the field together. Airsoft is similar to the sport of paintball but the guns used instead are replica firearms with a bright orange tip; this is to differentiate it from a real gun. Airsoft guns propel 6mm round plastic pellets called “BBs” at a safe velocity that generally does not cause serious or bleeding injuries. Velocity varies from approximately 180 to 500 feet per second (FPS) and may be restricted to certain limits depending on the area played at.
As there is no paint to distinguish if a player has been hit, Airsoft takes sportsmanship seriously as players must honor a hit by calling it; typically, a hit player will raise their gun in the air, yell out “hit”, and step out of the field until the next round. There are a variety of aspects to Airsoft that brings people together from a large age spectrum and stand together in each side of the field. Whether it may be the love of live first person shooting simulations, the conjunction of leadership and team workmanship, the concepts of sportsmanship and responsibility, or the enjoyment of an adrenaline rush and general exercise, all these attributes brings people to play, enjoy, and love Airsoft. But before you rush off into the field, it is essential to review and exercise the fundamentals of Gun Safety!
Gun Safety Basics
- Never look down a barrel of a gun.
- Never “ever” have your finger on the trigger, except when engaging and ready to shoot at the opposing team; this assumes that they have proper protective gear equipped.
- Never shoot any gun or imitation of a gun at any animals.
- Never aim or shoot an Airsoft gun at any person without proper Airsoft protection gear. Face protection is always required.
- Never brandish or expose any type, shape, or form of a gun/weapon out in public.
- Always have your Airsoft gun in a gun bag or box when not in use with the magazine clip out and unloaded.
- Always have your gun pointing to the floor when not engaging the enemies with your finger off the trigger.
- Always be conscious of where your bb travels, from the moment it leaves the barrel to the direction where it travels and ricochets.
Airsoft Basic Terminology
AEG - Automatic Electric Gun
BB - Spherical shape 6mm ball used for airsoft guns
BDU - Battle Dress Uniform
Blow Back - Generally for gas pistols, the slide blows back like the real firearm when you pull the trigger
Chrono/Chronograph - The device used to test the speed and firing rate of an airsoft gun (usually the FPS)
CQB - Close Quarter Battle
EBB - Electric Blow Back
FPS - Velocity of the bb and AKA feet per second
GBB - Gas Blow Back
Gearbox - The mechanism/box which functions the AEGS
Hi Cap Magazine - High capacity magazine which can generally hold hundreds of BBs and would mainly require you to wound the wheel at the bottom of the magazine
Hop Up - A device which increases the range of an airsoft gun by putting a backspin on each BB that is fired from the airsoft gun
Low Cap Magazine - Low capacity magazine which usually holds 50-100 BBs
LPEG - Low Powered Electric Gun which is usually plastic gear box guns
Mechbox - The mechanism/box which functions the AEGS
Metal Gear Box - The gear box is metal
Mid Cap Magazine - Middle capacity magazine that usually holds 100-200 BBs
Plastic Gear Box - The gear box is plastic
ROF - Rate of Fire which is measured in RPM (rounds per minute). EX: 300 ROF or RPM which means and airsoft gun can shoot 300 BBs per minute
Zeroing - Aligning the sight of your gun
Types of Airsoft Guns
- Airsoft Electric Gun (AEG) –
Uses an electric motor driven by a 8.4 - 9.6 volt battery.
- Gas Powered –
Uses gas pressure provided by Propane/Co2 cans to propel the BBs; it is generally as safe as a can of hairspray or WD-40 that is contained in most households. It is advised to use gas operated guns in a well ventilated area.
- Spring Powered –
These are single shot guns that require the user to cock the spring gun prior to each shot. Pulling the slide (pistols), bolt (rifles), or grip (shotguns) back manually compresses the spring and the gun is ready to be fired. Typically this is the most affordable option for younger kids and due to the lower velocity that it can propel a BB(160-300 FPS), it is also generally safer. There are some exceptions being high end rifles that can shoot up to 300-460 FPS.
The Importance of BBs That You Use
IMPORTANT ADVICE: DO NOT reuse BBs, It CAN and WILL damage your airsoft gun.
All experienced airsoft players already know that the BBs they choose to use makes a HUGE difference in the performance, durability and reliability of your airsoft gun. If you are new to airsoft and just getting into it, the best advice is: USE GOOD BBs.
Using poor quality BBs/non-seamless BBs from your local sporting goods store WILL DAMAGE your airsoft gun. The low quality BBs will strip and crack the pistols in your airsoft gun. It will also strip and damage the gears of your airsoft gun. If you put an investment on an airsoft gun and want it to perform when you are in the field with it, USE precise seamless BBs. Many local sporting goods store (who does not specialize in airsoft) will label their products as “high grade” or “seamless” BBs. Just because they named them that or put an extra layer of polish DOES NOT make the BBs seamless or high grade. Those BBs will damage your airsoft gun. Real and true seamless grade BBs are exclusively sold in specialized airsoft stores.
High Quality BBs:
Mainly sold in specialty airsoft stores and NOT at your general sporting goods store
- Will increase FPS due to size and shape of BBs
- Will improve performance and minimize or eliminate jamming issues
- Will improve accuracy due to the spherical consistency ratings and the high density
- Are manufactured by airsoft manufactures
Low Quality BBs:
- CAN and WILL VOID all warranty of your airsoft guns
- Are usually sold at your local or general sporting goods store
- Will jam in the barrel of your airsoft gun
- Will jam in the gearbox of your airsoft gun
- Have seams and made from poor craftsmanship
- Can and it has happened to some of our players before that it will hatter inside your AEG and cause damage that cannot be repaired
- CAN and WILL strip your AEG’s gearbox
- CAN and WILL cause your AEG to be inoperable and unable to be repaired
- Have seams, not polished, poor craftsmanship, low density rating and will shatter easily
What BBs should I use?
BBs are 6mm (millimeters) which the barrel of all airsoft guns has the diameter of 6mm. 99% of all airsoft guns use 6mm BBs. Some airsoft guns use 8mm BBs but you will not really see them anywhere. The question that most new airsoft players ask is what is the difference between .12g, .20g, .23g, .25g, 28g and so on. The basic answer is that it is the weight. Now what class weight should I use for my airsoft gun?
.12g BBs- .12g BBs are generally used by spring action airsoft pistols and airsoft rifles. .12g BBs are also used with plastic gearbox entry level automatic electric guns (LPEGS). These BBs are the lightest and gives the spring airsoft pistol, rifle and entry level AEGs the most range and FPS.
.20g & .23g BBs- .20g and .23g seamless airsoft bbs are generally used with metal gearbox airsoft electric guns (AEG). Most AEGs that uses .20g and .23g shoot between 280-380 FPS. .20g and .23g are also used for spring bolt action sniper rifles and gas pistols.
.25g and heavier BBs are generally used for gas sniper rifles, spring bolt rifles and upgraded AEGs. The .25g and heavier BBs provide more stable flight when it ejects from the airsoft guns barrel and provide better accuracy. This class of BBs will provide a straighter flight to its target.
How long do I charge my battery?
Standard chargers do not come with smart chips in them which would tell the charger to stop charging the battery when the battery is full. The most general rule is where B/C=T (Battery divided by Charger=Time), where B is the battery’s MAH, C is the charger’s MAH rate and T is the time of charge. For instance if you have a battery MAH of 1200 and the charger’s MAH rate is 250 then it should be 1200/250 which equals to 4.8 hours = approximately 4 and a half hours. If you overcharge your battery it can permanently damage your battery and charger. EXtreme Tronics Airsoft highly recommends a smart charger which would charge your battery faster and automatically stop charging when the battery is full.
How Safe is Airsoft?
So just how safe is Airsoft? It’s arguably safer than a paintball since a 6mm BB is much smaller in diameter and weighs far less at .12g(grams) - .30g compared to a paintball weighing at 3.222g. Also with the option of Airsoft Electric Guns(AEGs), you can save money by not buying Co2/green gas! Not to mention, Airsoft is generally far less expensive than paintball. So to conclude:
- Safe for the kids
- Easy on the wallet
- Good for a peace of mind
Where can you play Airsoft?
There are a large variety of different fields worldwide, but here in the Los Angeles County and other surrounding areas we have:
Tac City North – Indoors
2208 Edwards Ave.
South El Monte, CA 91733
Tac City South – Indoors
2430 Artesia Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92833
Hollywood Sports – Outdoors
9030 Somerset Blvd
Bellflower, CA 90706
SC Village – Outdoors
8900 McCarty Rd.
Chino, CA 91710
Jungle Island – Outdoors
14881 Temescal Canyon Road
Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
Code Red Airsoft Park – Outdoors
1600 W. Agua Manson Road
Colton, CA 92324
Please review rules and restrictions for the field you’ll be attending to.