An airsoft gun is typically a very detailed replica of a firearm that is created for recreational purposes. Many times they do not just look real, but often made to seem real right down to the manufactures markings. This type of gun propels round pellets that are either 6mm or 8mm and shoot at speeds ranging from 100 to 6000 feet per second. The pellets are made of plastic and weigh anywhere between .12 and .88 grams. The most common weights used are .2 and .25 grams because they have the best range and accuracy combined. The speed of the pellets is driven by a spring-driven piston or compressed gas and depending on which mechanism is used, it can be operated manually or cycled by an electric, gas or battery operated motor.
Airsoft guns are used for many different activities and vary from one country to another. In Asia, for example, there are strict laws regarding firearm ownership and use. Popular activities include gun shooting, competition and skill shooting. In western countries, like the United Kingdom, activities involving airsoft guns include military training, competition and recreational shooting – a list of sites can be found here on Airsoft Map UK.
Safety is most important with airsoft guns. The following are guidelines for the best protection when using an airsoft gun:
~always point in a safe direction
~keep your finger off the trigger until shooing
~never point at a person or animal
~remove the magazine or disconnect the battery until using the gun, the safety is sometimes not enough protection
~always wear eye protection; a full mask is highly recommended for the person shooting as well as anyone in the surrounding area