Airsoft guns are game or role playing weapons which closely resemble real pistols and rifles. Although they are not true firearms, Airsoft weapons are much more than just toys. The guns can provide owners with many of the shooting activities similar to real guns, but at a much higher level of safety.
Airsoft pistols and rifles fire plastic BB's which are 6 mm in diameter. The BB's come in different weights to function appropriately with different firing mechanisms. BB propulsion can come from spring power, compressed gas or an electrical firing mechanism. The firing mechanism of an Airsoft weapon produces a burst of air pressure which fires one of the plastic BB's from the gun. The velocity of a Airsoft BB is 200 to 400 feet per second.
One of the features of Airsoft weapons is they look and weigh the same as real rifles and pistols. A shooting enthusiast can buy one of these air pistols which looks just like the guns from Smith & Wesson, Sig Saur or Beretta. Replica rifles and automatic weapons are also available in the Airsoft format. Airsoft weapons can look so much like their real gun counterparts, they are required to have a blaze orange tip on the end of the barrel to identify these simulated guns from the real items.
Airsoft replica weapons are used for a variety of purposes. They are often collected due to their realistic nature, and are copies of weapon types an individual cannot normally buy. The guns can be used for target shooting and plinking -- shooting at small objects -- both indoors and outdoors. Airsoft guns are also used in military combat games or other types of simulated weapons combat. The lightweight BB's are fired at a slow enough speed to be safely shot at another person wearing appropriate safety gear.
Although Airsoft weapons are designed to be safe enough to fire at another person, basic safety precautions must be taken. Always assume a weapon is loaded and do not point it at anything or anyone as a joke. Proper safety equipment and clothing should always be worn when using Airsoft weapons in simulated gun combat. Another consideration is the realistic looking nature of these guns. Always transport an Airsoft weapon in a case to avoid causing panic in public or drawing unnecessary attention from law enforcement.
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