Airsoft could be worrying for parents and guardians as their children start to dwell on the hobby. They might think it would hurt too much or that their children’s well-being is at risk. The intimidating appearance of the sport can draw parents away or leave a bad taste in their mouth. This is why it is necessary for those interested in the hobby to know about the common guidelines and rules about airsoft.
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- Tactical Crusader 2G Airsoft Strike Steel Half Mask, Black
- Pyramex I-Force Sporty Dual-Pane Anti-Fog Goggle
- Generic 3G Airsoft Face Mask
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What is Airsoft?
If you’ve ever heard of paintball, the concepts are very similar except there is no paint and the impact of the pellets hurt less. Airsoft is a military simulation sport (short for MIL-SIM) where players use replicas of real military weapons and strategies against an enemy team. Since there is no paint to identify hits, a player that is shot must call out hit and raise his/her hand in the air. The player must then walk back to the respawn point or stay dead for a medic to come. Most players don’t want to dress up or mimic a real-life operator which is completely fine. There are different types of airsoft games. People who just want to have a good time and wear whatever they want should play pickup games (PUGs). People who want a more realistic military experience should go to special events that are MIL-SIM dedicated.
There are also different types of weapons. Some operate on a battery and some operate around gas. These are called Airsoft Electric Guns (AEGs) and Gas BlowBack (GBB). The most common type of gun is an AEG and should be used by all beginners looking to get into the sport. The difference between the two is that a GBB provides recoil but an AEG does not. GBBs are also more expensive and harder to maintain due to the fact that there are more moving parts and gas becomes an added cost. AEG’s are more cost-efficient and reliable. They operate around a gearbox which is used to fire the BB. You won’t get the recoil of a GBB but it should not deter you from getting one.
The Basics of Airsoft Safety
Airsoft BB velocity can be measured at FPS (Feets Per Second). It is a measurement used to help determine the velocity and strength of a BB when it is fired. Most airsoft guns range from 350-450 FPS. However, special class weapons like a bolt-action sniper could be higher. You don’t need to worry about being shot point-blank by a sniper either because snipers have a MED (Minimum Engagement Distance) which is used to prevent snipers from hurting people in close range.
In most fields, there will be game marshalls and referees monitoring the game. They make sure that no fights break out and can provide help quickly if needed. They also possess the power to stop the game usually with a safe word. These marshalls are also responsible for making sure the weapon you bring into the field is legal. They will use a tool known as a chronograph which measures FPS. If your gun is above field limits, you will not be able to use your gun. If it is under field limits, you are good to go and ready to play!
NEVER cheap out on protection! Eye protection is the most important and should never be cheaped out on in a budget. When purchasing eye protection, make sure it has at least ANSI Z87.1 impact resistance. This will ensure that your goggle can withstand the blast of a BB. It is optional whether or not you would wear a mouthguard or a mesh mask but the important thing to note here is that your teeth WILL get shot out. Lower face protection is also important and many airsoft players opt for a mesh mask. Mesh masks are comfy, aesthetically nice and will protect your teeth. Last but not least, you’ll need to deal with your ears. Some players ignore this part but from personal experience, ear shots hurt. You either want to use some sort of helmet or earmuff as protection.
Is Airsoft Safe?
Yes. Airsoft is safe because when you go to a field and play, you will be given a safety briefing and then monitored by the referees during the game. If you do not have the proper protection, you will not be able to play. If you have an illegal gun, you will be told that you cannot use it. This applies to all players participating so you don’t have to worry about being shot by a high-FPS gun. In order to get more airsoft players into the community, airsoft field owners have made airsoft safety a priority since a bad injury could prevent a player coming forever.
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Can Kids Play?
According to US law, there is no minimum age to start playing airsoft. Generally speaking, it is not advised to bring a toddler into play so field owners usually have their own field age requirements. Most fields will allow anyone older than 12 to play. From personal experience, my field owner allows kids to play if and only if there is a guardian supervising them. Large events and hardcore MIL-SIM areas probably have an age limit of 18 years so kids will have to stick with pick up games before going off into MIL-SIM.
Are Airsoft Grenades Safe?
You might think that being blasted point-blank with a grenade could be damaging. A common misconception about airsoft would be that a grenade could actually injure someone. Airsoft Grenades propel the BB’s in all sorts of directions to mimic a grenade blast. To do this, the BB’s lose a lot of velocity and power. Most grenades are around 200-250 fps which is low but enough for players to call their hits. So to answer the question, yes. Airsoft Grenades are safe.
In the United States of America, airsoft guns are not considered a real gun and can be used for all ages. However, if you are under 18 years then you cannot buy an airsoft gun. This does not mean you cannot use them. Any age can use an airsoft gun and is permitted under federal law. This law applies to every state. Now onto the orange tip. The orange tip is only required when you are being sold the gun, when the gun is being shipped and when you are transporting it. Using the airsoft gun on private property like your house or an airsoft field, you have the option of taking it off!
Committing a crime with an airsoft gun is obviously bad. But if someone decided to rob a bank with an airsoft gun, they would be charged with real firearm charges as if they had a real gun. Be sure to check your airsoft laws in the state you reside in so you don’t miss out on specific laws.
A Few Suggestions For Airsoft Safety Equipment
Amongst the airsoft community, this type of mesh mask is the most common for face protection. It does its job successfully and can even be welded to fit your face. Not to mention that the straps at the back can be adjusted so this can fit anyone. This Tactical Crusader mesh mask is also compatible with many airsoft goggles and eye protection so you won’t have any awkward holes in your head setup.
The Pyramex I-Force goggles are renowned for its ability to not fog EVER. From personal experience, I have tried to fog it up and failed. Aside from not fogging up, it will be able to handle the impact of a BB and protect your eyes during battle. It also fits nicely with the Tactical Crusader Airsoft Mesh Mask and does not leave any openings in the set-up. Keep in mind that there are also adjustable straps for it, so you don’t need to worry about fitment issues.
In a few paragraphs above, I’ve talked about the pain of an earshot. I used this Generic 3G mesh mask as a solution. It does its job nicely and can also be adjusted for fitment. The one con about this is that it could be hard to look down your scope because it is a big mesh mask. Looking down iron sights or a reflex could prove to be difficult but can be solved if you move your sight a little further down on your Picatinny rails.
Airsoft Safety Final Thoughts
Airsoft safety should not be an issue for players participating in the sport. A lot of counter-measures are taken and airsoft field owners put safety as a number one priority. Airsoft should be a sport that everyone should try out. The thrill and adrenaline can’t be found in any other sport. As long as the proper precautions are taken, you should not be worried or scared of having to encounter any problem. Do not forget that your airsoft referees will be glad to answer any airsoft safety question as well!
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Henry grew up in Toronto, Canada where he did the basic stuff children do. He has a passion in Airsoft and loves to introduce others to the sport. He currently studies at York University and plays mostly at Siege Airsoft.