Friday, November 19, 2010

Airsoft Packaging & Manuals: Clearing The Confusion

While seasoned airsoft enthusiasts seldom question airsoft gun packaging and manual discrepancies (given the colorful history of airsoft suppliers), it is not uncommon for a first-time buyer to purchase an airsoft gun and upon receipt, ponder not only the copy found in their purchases’ coinciding manual. Airsoft product manuals are notorious confusing. So much so, that it is not uncommon for newbies to question whether or not they received the correct airsoft model altogether. The reasons for this are three-fold, and stem from not only the nature of airsoft products themselves, but also from the varying views on airsoft products as displayed by the international community.

Airsoft manufacturers are, for the most part, based in Asia. Due to language barriers, airsoft retailers simply cannot guarantee that the accompanying manual will use proper English grammar or punctuation. Like many products manufactured overseas, the assembly manual can be downright bazaar.

Additionally, airsoft manufacturers will often create only one manual, which is intended to act as an ‘umbrella’ manual for an entire line of guns. An airsoft manufacture will market a dozen or so variants of a weapon platform, all of which share the same user manual. For example, the very popular airsoft M4.... Some variants of this airsoft gun may feature a retractable stock or a rail system, while others may have a full stock and carbine hand guard. Manufacturers often intend these varying products’ coinciding manuals to effectively communicate the functionality of each variant, which often they fail to do, as there aren’t specific manuals for each M4 variant. These manuals occasionally reference items which are no longer included in the gun’s package (‘chargers’ and ‘charger rods’ for instance, which are now obsolete.) They may even communicate incorrect data, such as improper battery charge time. While it’s important to read the manual, one should view it as more of a parts list, and refer to the airsoft retailer from which the gun was purchased for specific questions pertaining to their gun and its operation.

As far as the packaging itself, airsoft manufacturers market their products globally, while countries worldwide have their own specific laws pertaining to airsoft products. For this reason, airsoft manufacturers often under-report the feet per second capability of airsoft guns (and the airsoft BBs which they shoot) in order to side-step different countries' regulations. What this means is that if the packaging of one’s airsoft gun reads under 350 FPS (a muzzle velocity which is generally considered ‘acceptable’), the gun itself may indeed shoot with a much higher velocity. Most professional airsoft retailers will chronograph in-house the guns they sell, which means the airsoft consumer should consult the retailer’s product listing for accurate FPS (and other) data, and for the most part, ignore the packaging.

About the Author: Mike Zhang is the President and COO of Airsoft Megastore, a leading online provider of airsoft guns, gear and accessories. Airsoft Megastore offers guaranteed lowest prices on airsoft guns including airsoft sniper rifles.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home