What is Airsoft
Airsoft is a recreational activity in which participants launch spherical plastic projectiles at each other via spring, electric, or compressed-gas powered replica/toy firearms.
The sport of airsoft as attracted a lot of bad publicity, and the sport as even faced calls to outlaw not only this form of recreational shooting, but the outright banning of any replica firearms altogether. Often the reason given is either that such firearms can be converted to real firearms or that they can intimidate members of the public by so closely resembling their real counterparts. Both of these situations are already addressed in current legislation and practice. Firstly any replica firearm which is found to be too easily converted to firearm live ammunition is recalled or banned from sale within the UK. Secondly it is already an offense to intimidate, brandish a replica firearm in public without good reason or commit a crime with one, and all offensives are dealt with as if the replica firearms were real, serving as both a deterrence and a punishment for the crime.
In addition to the simulation sport of Airsoft, Airsoft and BB guns are also commonly used for backyard target shooting, often referred to as plinking.
Airsoft, BB, Airguns?
Airsoft guns derive there power from spring powered pistons, compressed gas powered pistons or pistons driver by electric motor, known as Automatic Electric Guns or AEG’s. In contrast to airguns Airsoft guns fire spherical projectiles made of plastic called bbs instead of cone shaped projectiles made of metal, although same airguns can also firer plastic or metal bbs.
The following video from YouTube illustrates some of the differences between a common airsoft gun and an air rifle.
For more information please see our companion article; An Introduction to Airsoft.