What is Airsoft?
Airsoft is a modern combat sport or recreational hobby in which participants eliminate opponents by hitting each other with spherical non-metallic pellets launched from a compressed-air gun (or Soft Air gun) powered by gas, manual spring-load, or an electrically powered gearbox.
Airsoft participants organize meetings, either indoors or outdoors, at dedicated airsoft battlefields to play a variety of games ranging from short-term skirmishes, organized scenarios, military simulations, or historical reenactments.
Combat situations on the battlefield often involve the use of common military tactics to achieve the objectives set in each game. Participants typically use varying types of weaponry designed as replicas of real firearms, tactical gear, and accessories used by modern military and police organizations.
Is it like Paintball?
Yes and no. Unlike paintball, Airsoft lends itself to more realistic military style gaming due to the authentic looking firearms (airsoft guns) and military style gear worn by airsoft enthusiasts.
Games can vary from simple capture-the-flag scenarios through to long military style campaigns with multiple team objectives.
The airsoft guns fire a much smaller projectile than a paintball gun making them considerably safer and much less painful when hitting a player. The projectile is a 6mm plastic BB which hits with only about 10-20% of the energy of a paintball..
The Honour System
Airsoft play employs an honor system whereby the players rely on each others’ honesty to admit to being hit, because unlike paintballs, plastic pellets do not leave a surface mark distinguishable at a distance. Depending on the muzzle velocity of the gun and distance from the shooter, the person on the receiving end of a shot will usually feel the impact, but the pellets may sometimes not be felt by a player at very long ranges, when distracted, or when running strenuously. Hence, marshals or referees are important to fair game play.