What is Airsoft?
Airsoft is a modern combat sport and recreational activity where players eliminate opponents by shooting them with round plastic pellets launched from a compressed-air gun powered by gas, manual spring-cocking, or an electrically powered gearbox.
Airsoft clubs and teams organise game days, either indoors or outdoors, at dedicated airsoft fields to play a variety of games ranging from short-term skirmishes to organised military simulation scenarios. Combat situations on the battlefield often involve the use of common military tactics to achieve objectives set in each game. Players use varying types of weaponry designed as replicas of real firearms, tactical gear, and accessories used by modern military and police organizations.
“Skirmish” games are usually short and very simple objectives. These tend to be played over a small are so players don’t spread out too far and stall the game.
Skirmishes are great for warming up players and teaching new players the basics of Airsoft combat.
Close Quarter Battles
Close Quarter Battles, or “CQB” is a faced-paced popular form of Airsoft. Players are generally restricted to a small game area, often with man-made barricades or withing buildings. Due the the close engagement distances players wear full face protection and often sport light body armour. Low-powered guns are also employed.
This is the most commonly played style of game in NZ. Field sizes will vary and popular areas include forestry blocks, bush and farmland. These larger areas allow games to simulate military scenarios and offer the player the chance to employ large-scale tactics and coordinate team members.
The Honour System
Unlike paintballs, BB’s don’t leave a surface. Therefore Airsoft play employs an honour system whereby the players rely on each others’ honesty to admit to being hit,
Depending on the muzzle velocity of BB, a player will usually feel the impact. But they may not if they where distracted or running, or if the BB had struck thick clothing. Hence, marshals or referees are important to fair game play.
Once hit, a player calls out “HIT!” and raises the hand, gun or a kill indicator (brightly coloured fabric) to let other players know they’ve been hit. It is important to adopt a non-combative posture until you are back in the game. If you look like you are still in combat you’ll be shot at again.
“Not calling your hits” is a major crime in airsoft. Repeat offenders are reprimanded or asked to leave as dishonesty affects the enjoyment of every other player on the field.
Types of Airsoft Guns
Automatic Electric Guns (AEG) use a motor and gearbox to crank back a spring loaded piston. The mechanism allows fully automatic and/or semi automatic fire modes depending on the model of gun.
The motor is powered by a rechargeable battery (NiMH / LiPoly) which is housed within the gun body or fitted to the outside of using mock laser designator housing.
AEG’s are fairly reliable but can seem complex to service. This is why it is a good idea to meet other Airsoft club members who are willing to help you service your gun.
AEG’s are the most commonly used type of Airsoft gun and are used in every style of game play from CQB to open field.
Gas guns use a much simpler system than AEG’s and the extra kick, sound and realisitc magazine capacities make them popular with military purists.
Gas guns use a variety of propellants from specifically formulated Airsoft gas to CO2 and even Propane (camp stove gas).
Gas pistols are popular sidearms offering a compact and reliable secondary weapon where a primary is too big or too powerful.
Gas rifles are popular with snipers as they are easier to cock than spring rifles.
Other Gas rifles are less common due to the variations in gun power relative to the changes in air temperature affecting the players range and accuracy.
Spring guns use a basic cocking mechanism which compresses a spring powered piston. These guns tend to be relatively affordable but slow to fire as typically only 1 BB is loaded per cocking. The exception to this are several models of pump action shotgun which may load 2-3 BB’s each time.
Spring pistols are not considered suitable for Airsoft gaming as they leave players at a disadvantage on the field.
Spring rifles are a popular choice for snipers as they are quiet and do not rely on batteries or gas to be carried.
Join a Game
AWI has affordable Hire Gear available for anyone interesting in giving Airsoft a go at one of our Club Events.
For upcoming events, check out our Discord Server.
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