Airsoft is quickly catching up with other combat role playing games in the United States and Europe as the favored way to indulge in combat play. Some opt to use these guns in military simulation or just for the love of the sport in target practice. Because the weapons shoot pellets at rates of speed that are capable of inflicting minor bruising or breaking the skin, it's essential that anyone playing with these combat play weapons abide by the proper rules of play and gun safety. If used improperly there is a chance of injury and in the worst case scenario blindness.
First and foremost, keep in mind that airsoft guns look just like real weapons. This is particularly important if you're playing in countries like the U. S. , where it's entirely possible that the police could mistake it for a real gun. For this reason, never play an airsoft game on public property or carry one in a public place. Don't take it to work, school or a social function. You could get arrested or even shot before others realize you have what is classified as a toy. The same applies to transporting your gun. In some states, it is illegal to transport one unless it is in its case with the magazine separate. This protects you from misunderstandings with the authorities. The last thing you want to do is get pulled over and have a real gun pulled on you.
Any combat play should be set up on private property with the permission of the property owner, and only when the owner is aware of the time and date of the game play. Obviously, if someone strays into the area of game play all players should immediately raise their hands, put down their weapons and declare “Civilian!" to notify others that there is an unarmed, non-participant in the area who is not wearing protective gear. Until this individual can be escorted out of the area of play, no one should be using any guns.
Playing on private property allows you to not only protect yourself from being mistaken by others as a criminal but also protects others. Simulation games are played in many areas of the country so you might want to look for a professional venue to participate in your activities. Oftentimes medical personnel are available on staff in case there is an accident. They usually have equipment for you to rent as well if you are lacking certain protective gear.
When firing during any simulation play be careful to shoot only at those who are wearing protective eyewear. The goggles have to be properly designed and safety rated for either airsoft or paintball because they will need to withstand a hit by pellets traveling at speeds of 300 feet per second or more. Shop goggles, ski goggles or wind and dust goggles won't do the trick. You run the risk of having the goggles shatter into the eyes along with the plastic pellets.
The speed at which the plastic airsoft pellets travel will vary from weapon to weapon, although 300 feet per second is fairly typical. Some guns can be modified for speeds up to 400 feet per second or more, but when you approach these speeds it becomes dangerous for gaming. Close range shots can cause more serious injuries; most organized games test modified guns and do not allow any guns that fire at faster than 400 feet per second to ensure the safety of all players.
Finally, be sure you know the caliber of people you are playing with. The stricter your fellow players are at following the rules of the game the safer each participant will be. Airsoft is an exciting, challenging role playing sport that requires skill, athleticism and concentration. Everyone can enjoy it safely if the players follow the rules and have a healthy knowledge and respect for their weapon's power.
Andy West is a writer for Trinity Airsoft which specializes in the manufacture and distribution of gas pistols and other automatic electric guns specifically used for airsoft gun play. For more information please visit TrinityAirsoft.com.