A great alternative to using live ammo, even to the point of using realistic replica rifles during combat, the popularity of the game of airsoft has spread all over the US, Europe and Canada.
Airsoft uses a BB-like pellet that is made out of a composite material rather than the metal BBs that many people think of when they hear the word “BB.” The pellets are larger than a metal BB as well. While they will not hurt as much as live ammo or even a metal BB, the pellets can still pack a punch if you are hit at close range. For this reason, safety is essential in having a good time playing airsoft.
We share our passion of airsoft, helping airsoft enthusiasts choose the right weapon, learn their roles, and really embrace the sport.
Different Types Of Airsoft Guns
There are three different types of airsoft guns that you can get. The types are defined by the source of power that they use to fire. They are spring-powered, gas-powered, and electric (AEGs). While they each function differently, they each have advantages and disadvantages.
Spring-Powered Airsoft Guns
Spring-powered airsoft guns use a spring to launch the BBs out of the barrel of the gun. They work as single-shot weapons, so they will not spray a lot of rounds if that is the style of play that you would prefer. They are not capable of operating semi-auto or full-auto, but they are the preferred gun for mil-sim scenarios or for snipers. Spring-powered guns have fewer mechanical parts which means there is less to go wrong during battle and they are much easier to fix if something breaks. Additionally, the guns are reliably accurate which makes it preferable for many players.
Gas-Powered Airsoft Guns
Before AEGs came to be, the most popular type of airsoft gun was the gas-powered gun, though they are still preferred by many players. Using compressed air, usually CO2 or green gas, the gas-powered guns work by the compressed air pushing the round out of the end of the rifle, without needing to cock the gun each time. They still have recoil, much like a live ammo gun, giving you a realistic feeling. Gas-powered guns can either be semi-auto or full-auto by simply holding the trigger down.
Electric Airsoft Guns (AEG)
Automatic Electric Guns, also known as AEGs are the newest type of airsoft gun on the market. As technology has progressed, the technology of guns has also moved forward. AEGs are powered by a battery and electronic circuit board, allowing you to set the type of fire power you would like to use. As a result, they are consistent and reliable, though usually the most expensive of the lot due to the higher cost of the materials. They have quickly moved to being about as popular as the gas-powered guns as players prefer not relying on having a full gas canister or having the canister in the way.
Airsoft Roles 101
In an airsoft team, every member has a set role to play in order to help the team be successful. You cannot choose a role blindly or accept a role assigned to you without knowing what you are getting into, but there is definitely a role out there that should work for you.
The rifleman is essentially a pawn piece who moves toward the ultimate objective. They run the risk of being a target, but usually travel with support. A rifleman is a versatile role who can cover lots of plays, including attack, ambush, flanking, as well as others. As a team, the riflemen need to be able to trust one another to be successful. Popular guns for a rifleman are AK 47 and M4 rifles.
The sniper usually sits most of the game. This person is up high, surveying the field, watching the enemy, and taking out any important opponents they can. Realistically, the sniper gets the least amount of kills in a game because the sniper is stationary. The sniper is usually camouflaged to remain hidden throughout the game. Snipers need the most accurate airsoft gun out there.
Designated Marksman (DM)
The DMs stay by the rifleman, helping take out the enemy and move toward the ultimate objective. The big difference between riflemen and DMs is the rifles they use and what they use it for. DMs use a specific type of airsoft gun as well: a DMR (Designated Marksman Rifle). The DMs are like mobile snipers who are in the middle of the action.
Support gunners are the most terrifying players on the field. They provide the cover needed in order for the rifleman and DM to move forward. They spray BBs in high quantity to clear the way. They are usually heavy guys that carry heavy equipment who are not afraid to get shot.
The scout will run ahead and scope out the enemy territory, keeping tabs on where the enemy is and what they are up to. The scout does not carry a rifle because it makes running hard. Instead a scout will use a pistol or sometimes a submachine gun.
Similar to a rifleman, a grenadier has the same type of weapon as a rifleman, but also has a “grenade,” which in airsoft means a large quantity of BBs that shoot at once. They have the same job as a rifleman, but have the extra firepower.
Basic Airsoft Equipment
Having the right equipment will not only improve your chances of survival on the battlefield, but will keep you as safe as possible. While you might not need all of the equipment listed, you should consider all of it as well as know what is required on the field.
The most important piece you need in airsoft is an airsoft gun. The type of airsoft gun that you need depends on the role that you play in the game. The performance level that you need will also depend on your experience, ability, and what your objective is as a player. Many of the airsoft guns are built as replicas of military-grade rifles to give you a more realistic feeling, but not all of the guns are like that.
Goggles and masks are essential to wear in the game of airsoft. Not only are they required by any field, but they are really just common sense. You do not want to be hit in the face or eye with a pellet and suffer a permanent injury. The amount of padding and coverage that you would need will depend on what you are comfortable with. There are some that have better clarity to see in all types of weather than others.
Vests, plate carriers, and chest rigs are necessary for airsoft players. They offer you protection as well as an extra ability to carry gear easily and have it accessible on your body. They can usually triple your carrying capacity for extra magazines, speed loaders, holsters, hydration packs, and even radios. They also will keep your torso safe from getting hit. The material and style that you could choose from will be a personal preference.
If you carry a sidearm or a pistol, you will need a good holster to keep it on you. The holster is a safe and secure way to carry a gun that you are not actively using, while still keeping it on hand for when you are ready to use it. A holder can attach to your belt, your chest rig, or even your leg. Not all holsters will fit all types of guns, so pay attention before you buy one.
You might not have considered the importance of gloves in your airsoft game, but gloves can be helpful. You can wear either fingerless or fingered gloves, all depending on your personal preference. They can help ensure your grip on your weapon while keeping your hands protected from scrapes, cuts, and even being shot by pellets. Save your hands from taking a beating and make sure to get a quality pair of gloves.