A Look at the Major Classifications of Air Rifles

By: Muna wa Wanjiru

Airsoft is a recent fighting sport or favorite hobby in which players remove the opponents by striking each other with air pellets. Players use different weapons manufactured as replicas of real firearms and accessories of modern military and police groups. In late 1970's Japan, owning a firearm was banned. Hence, people found the airsoft games to satisfy their craze.

Airsoft participants arrange meetings indoors or outdoors at airsoft front lines to play a variety of airsoft games from short-term fights, organized circumstances and military simulations up to historical re-enactments. The situations always require the use of military strategies to achieve the objectives.

Actually, airsoft is a game played within a fixed area where the aim is to 'kill' the opponent. Some variations are Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Close Quarters Battle (simulation of real life Close Quarters Battle).

Airsoft equipment includes many types of equipment such as the airsoft gun used to fire airsoft pellets, safety goggles, vests, equipment holders, and gun accessories etc. The guns used in airsoft are replicas of real firearms. Airsoft guns are distinguished as spring, electric or gas-powered. The gun is chosen according the performance level i.e. battery life, magazine capacity and range.

Airsoft guns have three major classifications according to their use in the game. In addition to the normal ranges, there are also weapons for longer ranges such as sniper rifles and shorter ranges (also called as Close Quarter Battle (CQB) and usually of 200 feet or less). CQB situations consist of short range confrontations like 'house entry' where maneuverability is more important than power or range. The airsoft guns used in such cases usually fire less than 360 fps for safe operations.

Some high powered, upgraded airsoft sniper rifles can drive 6mm pellets at 600 fps. But, most airsoft guns fire 200-450 fps as they are used outdoors for maximum operations, with proper balance of good speed and range.

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