About Airsoft

Airsoft is an internationally recognised war-gaming sport, similar in principle to Paintball, however it has many differences in the way it is played and the equipment used.

The sport originated in Japan in the 1970s when the Japanese government banned the ownership of real firearms, consequently, the market for air powered guns grew and after some time, the sport of airsoft developed into what it is today and boomed in Europe and the United States since the 1990s.

Airsoft games are played using Airsoft guns (sometimes called Soft Air guns), commonly mislabelled BB guns. The label “Soft Air Gun” usually denotes cheap and low quality Airsoft guns, although is sometimes used by European retailers of High quality and sometimes expensive guns… In Airsoft, you generally get what you pay for, a high cost gun usually means a better gun. That being said, Chinese clones of high-end manufacturers’ guns are getting better and better, offering an almost high grade gun for a much lower price.

Airsoft guns are highly realistic replica firearms that fire 6mm or 8mm sized plastic ball projectiles using compressed air to propel the pellet.

The most common type of Airsoft gun is the AEG or Automatic Electric Gun, which uses a battery to power a motor that winds the gears pulling back a piston that is released and shot forward under spring pressure, creating a blast of compressed air, firing out the projectile.

Other types of gun include Gas Blowback (most commonly utilized in handguns and rifles) and spring, the simplest kind of Airsoft gun (most commonly utilized in Sniper rifles and cheap Airsoft guns, called soft air guns).

The sport often focuses more on realism than Paintball does, with the realistic types of weapons and players often dressing up in military combat uniforms (all at different levels). Airsoft is a Mil-sim sport that replicates certain military situations in game, such as Hostage rescue, Seek and Destroy and just overall Deathmatch.

However, due to the realistic nature and appearance of the guns used, many countries have laws restricting the sale, changing the appearance or outright bans on the ownership of these guns.

In Sweden, you must be over the age of 18 to purchase an airsoft gun and use it. People under the age of 18 can shoot an Airsoft gun with supervision. To possess a CO2, air or spring operated firearm without a license, the impact energy of the projectile fired at a distance of four meters (from the muzzle) must be less than 10 Joules. If the gun is semi or fully automatic; the impact energy must be less than 3 Joules.
Despite the laws on Airsoft guns, the sport is growing rapidly, and the overall quality of airsoft guns and equipment has increased in recent years!

If you enjoy shooter type video games, and you fancy taking it a step further, look for a local airsoft site, kit yourself out and come play! It’s fun!

The text is written by Josh, a friend to Airsoft.nu.