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Spring-powered weapons are often cheaper than electric or gas-powered weapons. They are also more readily available in most department stores. Because of their low price, availability and simplicity, spring guns tend to act as “training guns” to bring new players to airsoft games and are considered the primary weapon of “backyard skirmishes”. In the UK, they are affectionately known as “springers” and were often a player’s introduction to the sport due to the entry-level cost in comparison to AEG and GBB weapons.
Almost all airsoft players at some point owned a spring weapon, whether for its actual use in a competitive event or for the replica value since some airsoft weapons are only available as spring versions. However, some veteran airsoft players still rely on sniper rifle and shotgun-type spring guns as a primary weapon due to their reliability, high power, high accuracy and low noise, as well as their ease of repair and modification compared to AEGs and GBB guns.
While most electric airsoft guns also use springs to drive the air pump and propel the pellets, they use external power sources and are not considered to be in the same category as the single-shot manual spring guns. Low-end spring guns tend to be much cheaper than their electric equivalents due to their simplicity and lack of electrical components (electric motor/actuator, spring-gearbox assembly, as well as battery and battery charger) and thus are widely available. These guns are less suited for competition because they are at a rate-of-fire disadvantage against automatic guns in close combat and do not provide enough accuracy and power for long-range use.
There are some exceptions, however, as higher-end spring-powered airsoft rifles can be quite expensive; these guns are typically suited for “marksman” applications in airsoft matches and provide competitive muzzle velocities. Additionally, pump shotguns are sometimes used for both short and longer range engagements. In colder weather, spring pistols are more reliable than gas-powered pistols and even the batteries on automatic electric pistols (AEPs) both of which can be adversely affected by extreme low temperatures. This represents one of the major advantages of spring airsoft gun, as it can be fired in practically any situations without relying on batteries or bottled gas. This independence from external power sources causes some players to favor spring-powered guns. Spring guns are also less susceptible to the effects of water, where a battery-powered gun could short-circuit and malfunction when wet.
Airsoft is a recreational sport started in the 1970s with games run similar to paintball. Airsoft guns projects 6mm plastic bbs. Airsoft is designed for use in a certified or regulated sporting event or competition, in military or civil defense activities and theatrical productions.
Types of Airsoft Guns:
Spring guns are manual powered Airsoft guns where you fire each round by pulling the bolt into the locking position (like most sniper rifles). They are generally cheaper and meant as collectors’ items.
Gas guns are powered by CO2 cartridge, propane adapter or green gas. They are generally found in the form of pistols where a full size gearbox cannot fit into the frame of the gun.
Airsoft electric guns (AEGs) are battery powered in a similar way to an RC car, designed for easy troubleshooting, high power and high rate of fire and are the most popular forms of regulated sports events.
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Although airsoft guns in the United States are generally sold with a 0.24in or longer orange tip on the barrel in order to distinguish them from real firearms, this is not in fact required by federal law. There is some controversy on this topic as Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations, on foreign commerce and trade, stipulates that “no person shall manufacture, enter into commerce, ship, transport, or receive any toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm” without approved markings; these may include an orange tip, orange barrel plug, brightly colored exterior of the whole toy, or transparent construction (part 272.2, formerly part 1150.2).
However, section 272.1 (formerly 1150.1) clearly indicates that these restrictions shall not apply to “traditional b-b, paint-ball, or pellet-firing air guns that expel a projectile through the force of compressed air, compressed gas or mechanical spring action, or any combination thereof.” Local laws may differ by jurisdiction. Full or partial preventive painting of airsoft guns as a legal obligation to avoid confusion of the airsoft replicas with real lethal weapons is in practice in several jurisdictions around the world.
Airsoft in the past was used almost solely for recreational purposes, but in 2012, gas blowback (GBB) airsoft technology became adopted by US federal and state institutions as an affordable and reliable tactical training tool for close quarters battles. In 2018, the United States Coast Guard officially adopted SIG-branded P229 airsoft pistol for training.
The GBB guns allow for correct weapon manipulation drills, muscle memory training, stress inoculation and force-on-force simulations for a fraction of the cost of conventional bolt conversion kits that use marking cartridges with wax bullets from training ammunition manufacturers such as UTM and Simunition. Airsoft guns also allow basic and advanced shooter training in a safer environment by reducing the risks of accidental injury or death from a negligent discharge.
There are legal issues in airsoft as well as several rules imposed in a game by game basis. Most indoor airsoft fields only allow up to 350 ft/s (110 m/s), and most outdoor fields begin capping near the 410 ft/s for rifles and 525 ft/s for long-range guns such as sniper rifles. Most outdoor fields also impose a minimum engagement distance for guns firing over a certain range, normally for squad support weapons and sniper rifles. In order for an airsoft gun to cause any serious injury, it would have to be well over these limits and in close proximity.
To even reach such speeds, the gun would have to be highly modified. So it is therefore unlikely to cause permanent or serious damage with any stock airsoft gun. The use of metallic BBs, or any foreign objects, is very dangerous for the user and other people and property in close vicinity, and may damage the airsoft gun as well. However, specially designed and built metallic 6 mm BBs for airsoft guns can be found on the market. These metallic BBs should not be used for airsoft play because they can break through goggles and other safety gear. How Ever Plastic bbs Can be a mixture of PLA and Plastic causing less damage to persons.
The electric airsoft guns were powered primarily by nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries with varying voltages and milliampere-hour ratings. The most common battery is an 8.4 V large battery pack, with a capacity between 2200 and 5000 mAh. Also available are “mini” and “stick” batteries, which generally have 900 ~ 1600 mAh capacities. Voltages for NiMH batteries range from 7.2 V to 12 V. The usual rule of thumb is that the higher the mAh rating, the longer the battery lasts; the higher the voltage, the higher the rate of fire. Recently, however, the more energy-dense lithium polymer (Li-Po) batteries are becoming more popular in the airsoft world, since they last longer, have higher mAh and voltages, and can be charged more frequently without concerns for voltage depression, while at the same time being small and lightweight. Li-Po batteries are usually rated at 7.4 V or 11.1 V, and varying between 500 mAh and 6500 mAh.
External modifications, such as metal bodies and reinforced plastics that make AEGs look and feel even more realistic, have become very popular. AEG manufacturers such as Classic Army and Tokyo Marui produce replicas that are visually nearly identical to their real counterparts. Tokyo Marui uses an ABS plastic, whereas Classic Army features full metal
bodied guns and stronger furnishings. Most AEGs produced as of late are designed to be as visually realistic as possible.
Airsoft guns are replica toy guns used in airsoft sports. They are a special type of low-power smoothbore air guns designed to shoot non-metallic spherical projectiles often colloquially (but incorrectly) referred to as “BBs”, which are typically made of (but not limited to) plastic or biodegradable resin materials. Airsoft gun powerplants are designed to have low muzzle energy ratings (generally less than 1.5 J, or 1.1 ft⋅lb) and the pellets have significantly less penetrative and stopping powers than conventional airguns, and are generally safe for competitive sporting and recreational purposes if proper protective gear is worn.
Depending on the design mechanism for pellet propulsion, airsoft guns can be categorized into two groups: mechanical, which consists of a coil spring-loaded piston air pump that is either manually cocked (e.g. spring guns) or automatically cycled by a battery-powered electric motor gearbox (e.g. AEGs); and pneumatic, which operates by valve-controlled release of prefilled bottled gas such as compressed propane mixed with silicone oil (commonly known as “Green Gas”) or CO2 canisters (e.g. GBB guns).
As toy weapons, airsoft guns can often be designed to realistically resemble genuine firearms in external appearance, and it can be very difficult to visually distinguish from one despite the orange muzzle tips in some jurisdictions.