History of Airsoft Guns and Dangers Inherent in Them
Combat For Soldiers Who Never Were
Little boys have pretended they were military men, soldiers, warriors of one sort or another - imitating as best they could the likeness of the men in their lives - for as long as anyone can remember. Boys become men, and men do take up arms in combat. There are many men who have not seen combat duty with a military unit, but that has not dampened their desire. In order to fulfill that yearning, combat sports have come on the scene. One of these combat sports is Airsoft, which simulates the conditions of a real world gunfight. Realistic replica weapons that fire 6mm or 8mm plastic pellets at low velocity to prevent injury, are used in realistic pretend combat situations.
Just like the real goods, these airsoft guns come in a variety of types and styles. The most basic Airsoft weapons available from the 1990s onward are the spring guns. Made entirely of plastic and using low-quality components, these weapons require the manual operation of a cocking lever or piston to compress the spring, which in turn propels the BB or pellet. The gun won't fire if the lever isn't cocked properly.
The gas guns, the first Airsoft weapons the arrive on the scene, did so in the 1970s and 1980s. Most commonly appearing in the form of small arms and pistols, gas guns used compressed gas to drive a spring-loaded piston backward, propelling the BB out of the barrel with the recoil. Propane, CO2 and green gas are the primary types used for these weapons and there really isn't any difference in terms of performance. Besides handguns, there are a few gas rifles that operate in a similar fashion to the gas pistols and they're capable of firing both semi and fully automatic modes.
Automatic Electric Guns
AEGs, automatic electric guns, are capable of shooting on both semi and full automatic modes. They use a battery to drive a motor that pulls back the firing spring, which then recoils to fire the pellet. The more common battery powered guns are full size rifles and carbines. It is these weapons that are responsible for the increase in the popularity of the sport in the 1990s.
Protect Yourself and Others
While using Airsoft replicas in combat games and sport is an amazing experience, it is important to remember that there is another side to them. They can be used in paintball games, target practice or firearms training, and are often marketed as paintball guns to appeal to youngsters and teens. However, if not used safely, they can be dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 20,000 non-powder gun injuries were treated in the US in 2005 and a vast majority of those injured were under the age of 20. Eye protection is most important when using these guns. And, they should never be pointed at another person.
Airsoft guns are prohibited in some states of the US and in several countries as well. Check into the state and local laws of your area before buying one and make sure that you can legally own and use it. Finally, there can be deadly consequences to using Airsoft guns. They look exactly like real firearms and in the US there have been many instances where young people have been shot by police who did not know that the weapon was not real. Since Airsoft guns are often considered to be toys, youth may not understand the seriousness or implications of holding something that looks like a weapon. Education is vital. In the US, the Airsoft guns have an orange cap. It is illegal to remove that cap, and wise to leave it where it is - the orange cap indicates the gun is not a real firearm.
Play hard, but play safe.