Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Airsoft Rules of Play & Etiquette

While every airsoft game has different rules, there are some universal rules that apply when you pick up an airsoft gun. Here is your easy to follow guide on how to keep it legal, fun, and safe.

Keep it Legal:
  • Check if it is legal to host an airsoft skirmish on the property prior to doing so. This is more than simply gaining the property owner’s permission (though this is critical)... it also means you should contact your local police unit and check local statutes.
  • Laws vary from region to region, but many dictate a firepower limit for safety reasons (i.e. they don’t want BBs to break the skin or kill anyone.) This is usually around 300-450 FPS depending on the venue. Always safest to check this out prior to playing. Your local airsoft facility will also have this information.
  • Never carry your airsoft weapon in public. Always transport your airsoft gun and equipment in a proper carrying case.
  • Never remove your airsoft orange safety tip.

Don’t be a Nuisance:
  • Call your hits. Many airsofters carry a red bandana and use it as a signal that they have been hit. It’s quick, easy and visual. It can also be used when leaving or reentering game play. For the record, there is nothing worse than an airsofter who refuses to recognize a hit. Trust us, after a few disputes, everyone will know who you are and they won’t want you to participate in future events.
  • If you suspect someone is not calling their hits, keep firing at them until it is crazy indisputable that they have been hit. This is a more effective tactic than making a big scene on the field. Of course, you can always bring it up after the game… simply say, “You need to call your hits. I hit you maybe 10 times before you called it.” They may dispute your claim to save face, but it will put the offender on notice and they will be more likely to change that behavior in the future, even if just to prove you wrong.
  • Dead men don’t talk. If you’ve been hit, you must stop relaying information to your team members. No signals, no code. You are essentially dead.
  • Don’t deliberately try to hurt/annoying people. Shooting someone in the face on purpose is lame… and can be dangerous.
  • Keep a level head. Airsoft is an adrenalin rush, for sure, but you shouldn’t get so amped that you try to fight other players. Remain cool and collected; that is the sign of a well-trained soldier, after all.

Just Generally Good Ideas:
  • Wear protective airsoft eye goggles at all times. This is not negotiable.
  • Establish a clear set of game rules before starting at the get-go. It will make for a much better skirmish.
  • Be respectful of other player's equipment.
  • Be cool to new players. Some long-time airsofters think its their right to haze the new guy. It's not... and it makes you look like a jerk. Offer tips and assistance without being condescending. After all, you were once a noob.
  • If you’re playing with younger airsofters, watch your mouth.
  • If you are playing with strangers, it’s a good idea to avoid touching people you don’t know, unless you are dragging an injured man off the field or something like that. That means avoiding things like “knife kills” and hand to hand combat. That guy could be psycho or get angry and want to fight. Long story short: these sorts of engagements rarely end well.

About the Author: Mike Zhang is the President and COO of Airsoft Megastore, an online airsoft retailer offering electric and gas powered airsoft guns, as well as airsoft upgrades and parts. Visit Airsoft Megastore to shop for airsoft AEGs and the latest full metal airsoft sniper rifles for players of any experience level.

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Airsoft Glossary of Acronyms: What the $#%& does THAT mean?

Sometimes its hard keeping all the military acronyms straight. This is aquick and dirty guide to the most important airsoft-related abbreviations.

ACP: Automatic Colt Pistol. An airsoft ACP is a replica of a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol. While the real life version use a larger than normal bullet, the airsoft versions typically rely on the standard 6mm BB.

AEG: Automatic Electric Gun. AEGs are the most popular airsoft guns. Often the primary rifle in a player’s arsenal, these guns rely on an electric rechargeable battery as a power-source.

AK/AKM: Automatic Kalashnikov/Automatic Kalashnikov Metal. Based on the Russian classics, the AK is one of the most popular, influential rifles of the 20th century due to their power, accuracy and mobility. Airsoft AKs are replicas of this the rifle series, including AK47s and AK74s.

AR: Automatic Rifle. A rifle that automatically loads after a shot is fired.

BB: Ball Bearing. Airsoft bullets that typically measure 6mm in diameter and weigh between 0.12 and 0.40+ grams. Weight varies depending on that airsoft weapon being utilized.

CQB: Close Quarters Battle, also known as Close Quarter Combat. This is a popular type of airsoft game where participants battle in close proximity to each other and shoot at targets close range. CQB is best for small areas and indoor combat.

CQC: Close Quarters Combat. See CQB.

DPM: Disruptive Pattern Material. The official British camouflage pattern, available in wooded, desert and urban color schemes.

EBB: Electric Blow-Back. This is a type of reloading mechanism that relies on an electric battery. These airsoft guns tend to be less expensive and have a lower powered shot.

FPS: Feet Per Second. FPS is used to measure the velocity an airsoft BB is shot. Higher FPS travel further.

GBB: Gas Blow-Back. This is a type of reloading mechanism that relies on gas to power the reload and provides a very realistic look and feel to the gun.

HMG: Heavy Machine Gun. A HMG is a large, fully-automatic, rapid fire gun that is powerful, resistance to overheating, and fires many bullets continuously without changing magazines.

HOP: Hop Up. A common airsoft gun device that increases shot increase range.

NV / NVG: Night Vision or Night Vision Goggles. Optics that allow soldiers to see in dark conditions. Night vision devices come in many forms, including goggles, monocular, rifle mounted scope, helmet-mounted goggles, and video cameras.

RIS: Rail Interface System. A RIS allows players to modify weapons with various upgrades and accessories, such as airsoft scopes, lasers, flashlights, and grenade launchers.

ROF: Rate of Fire. ROF measures how many airsoft ammo a weapon can fire in a given time.

RPM: Rounds per minute. See ROF.

RPS: Rounds Per Second. See ROF.

SLR: Self Loading Rifle. An airsoft rifle that reloads automatically after each shot.

SMG: Sub Machine Gun. A machine gun designed for CQC use, when heavy machine guns are not optimal.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Airsoft Crash Course for Beginners

f you are just beginning to get into airsoft, then you probably have a lot of questions. Between all the gun upgrade options and the technical jargon, it can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips for those new airsofters wondering where to start.

Do some preliminary research. Take an hour or two to read up the types of airsoft guns available. Brush up on the differences between AEGs, CO2 gas guns, and spring powered airsoft weapons. Read a bit on airsoft BB quality, as one of the most costly rookie errors is buying cheap BBs. The Airsoft Megastore offers an easy-to-browse airsoft player resource wiki on all of these topics and more.

Make a budget. We recommend deciding what you are willing to spend early on. You will need to budget for a primary weapon, a side arm, safety goggles, and seamless airsoft bbs. While not required, a tactical vest is also a good investment. The good news is – thanks to innovations in manufacturing - airsoft has become very affordable in the past few years. You can now easily obtain a quality primary firearm for as little as $50, a pistol for less than $40, and safety goggles for between $10 and $30.
WARNING: Do not skimp on BBs as those can literally make or break your weapon.

Read ALL airsoft documentation. Every airsoft gun is different. We urge you to read the entire documentation included by the manufacturer. These are unique and complex machines, so instructions will vary depending on the weapon’s specifics. Pay special attention to things like maintenance, battery specs, and loading instructions. Failure to comply with manufacturer recommendations will very likely damage your gun and void your warranty.

Network with other Airsofters. A lot of learning comes through experience, but some of your best resources are going to be fellow airsoft enthusiasts. Airsoft Megastore recommends visiting your local airsoft facility and talking with the staff and players there. If there are no facilities nearby, check out the online forums. Experienced players are often eager to help and share their expertise. Be sure to check out the Airsoft Megastore Facebook Fan page which will link you to a huge airsoft community and keep you updated on the latest airsoft news and reviews.

Build your skill-set. The best airsofters understand the importance of practice and strategy. A combination of military tactical research and target practice will make you a force to be reckoned with on the field.

Be patient and have fun! Unless you are already a firearm expert, it will take time to develop your airsoft expertise. In the meantime, enjoy airsoft. Between the physical challenge, camaraderie and sheer adrenaline, you will pick up so much on the field and that’s really the point.

About the Author: Mike Zhang is the President and COO of Airsoft Megastore, the #1 fastest growing Airsoft retailer in the nation. Airsoft Megastore offers the latest airsoft gun upgrades as well as a 125% low price guarantee on all new airsoft guns and airsoft pellets.

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