Monday, March 5, 2012

Airsoft Safety – A Refresher Course

It has been a while since we blogged on airsoft safety – so it’s time for a refresher course! Like any firearm-related hobby, there are certain risks you take when participating in airsoft, but you can easily mitigate these risks with the right equipment and behavior. If you are new to airsoft, it is important you take the appropriate measures to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. If you are an experienced airsofter, it never hurts to brush up on the best practices.

Airsoft Safety Gear

The right gear will reduce the sting you feel when hit and decrease the likelihood of serious injury. Here is a quick check list of the most effective airsoft safety gear:

  • Safety Goggles are Critical. If you enjoy being able to see, invest in a solid pair of shatter-proof safety goggles. Don't remove the goggles when you are on the playing field or out the firing range. If for any reason you lose your goggles on the field or spy someone who is unprotected, shout out “blind man” so that others know to stop firing.

  • Cover Up Exposed Skin. Full-coverage clothes like long-sleeve shirts and pants will take the sting out of hits and reduce the degree of welting you experience. Though not required, a tactical airsoft vest will add a layer of protection to the chest. (It also makes carrying secondary hand guns, magazines and other supplies much more convenient.) We also recommend donning a protective face mask when playing competitively. This will not only shield the face, but it can prevent painful broken teeth. If you take an airsoft BB traveling at 450 FPS in the teeth, you will probably end up looking like jack-o-lantern.

  • Get a Brain Bucket. If you plan on playing competitively, we strongly recommend investing in a hard helmet for the field. A helmet prevents direct hits to the head during play, which as any experienced airsoft players can tell you, hurts like hell.

Handling Your Airsoft Gun

When handling your piece, use common sense and always assume the piece is loaded. Here are a few more helpful recommendations to keep in mind when handling your airsoft weapon:

  • Know Your Weapon. Thoroughly read your weapon’s owner manuals with special attention to safety guidelines specific to your piece.

  • Point Away. When off the field, always points it away from people.

  • Don’t Mess with the Trigger. Do not touch or jiggle the trigger unless you explicitly intend to shoot the gun.

  • Clear Your Weapon. When your gun is not in use, remove your magazine, clear your weapon and switch your gun to safety.

  • Put it Up. Be sure to keep all Airsoft guns and/or equipment out of children's reach, even when unloaded.

The Biggest Safety Issue of All - Taking Your Gun Public

Every so often I come across an airsoft news story that makes me cringe. Usually these stories revolve around someone brandishing an airsoft gun in public for “fun”, shock value or even to commit a crime. Doing this is insanely irresponsible and stupid. Airsoft guns are hyper realistic and nearly indistinguishable from their real-life counterparts. If you wield a hyper realistic firearm in public, you frighten bystanders and may even get shot by law enforcement. With this in mind, the following guidelines will help keep you safe – and alive:

  • Assume Real Gun Behavior. Always be aware that the vast majority of bystanders do not know you are carrying an airsoft gun – they will assume it is the real deal. Do not brandish your Airsoft gun in public – it’s illegal to do so in most places and you may cause a panic or get yourself shot by a real firearm.

  • Keep the Tip. Do not remove the orange tip on the gun… again, it’s illegal and can increase confusion.

  • Bag It. Always transport your gun in a case.

About the Author: Mike Zhang is the President and COO of Airsoft Megastore, the #1 fastest growing Airsoft retailer in the U.S. Airsoft Megastore offers a full selection of gas and electric Airsoft guns (Airsoft AEGs) including airsoft sniper rifles and spring airsoft shotguns.

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