Throughout Europe and North America, the airsoft market continues to grow because of the product’s versatility. The airsoft gun has 3 principle uses which encompass recreational, educational, and training purposes. Due to its realistic look, non-violent nature, and relatively cheap cost, the replicas are extremely efficient for the purposes below.
Like Paintball, airsoft guns have become a popular means for fun and competitive shooting games. Different levels of competition exist, from multi-day tournaments which resemble strategic military missions, to friendly games among friends. Games for beginners include manhunt, capture the flag, hostage rescue, king of the hill, and team death matches. Like paintball, contestants can either buy an airsoft gun or rent to compete. The games have grown considerably in popularity due to its competitive, tactical, honest (contestants must yell out when they are hit), and violent nature. They are essentially real life situations with non-violent consequences.
Rules for Common Games
Manhunt: Players are split up into two teams-hunters and the hunted. The “prey” is given a head start and must reach a certain safe zone before they are shot by the hunters. Both teams are given airsoft pistols.
Capture the Flag: Each team has a base with a flag;the objective is to bring the flag back to your individual base.
Hostage rescue: A team of hostages and rescuers must work together to outsmart a team of guards.
King of the Hill: A group of individuals barricade themselves in a hill or a bunker. A melee ensues, and the last man standing wins.
In addition to games, airsoft guns can also be used for target practice or shooting competitions.
Law Enforcement and Military Simulations
Perhaps the airsoft gun’s most efficient means, many law enforcement agencies and military units have adopted the replica as a tool for simulation. Unlike simulations that use real firearms, airsoft guns do not cause accidental deaths or serious injuries. The replicas are a great tool for simulation because of their uncanny feel, weight, and look to that of real guns. Airsoft guns have an assortment of models including M16s, m4s, grenade launchers, and AK-47s. All of the models hold the same amount of ammunition as their real counterparts and require similar loading techniques as well. Another advantage of airsoft simulation is the cost involved; real firearms are often double the cost necessary to buy airsoft guns.
Hollywood and Instructional Use
Because airsoft guns are so authentic in look and feel, they are commonly used in movies, educational teachings about guns, and re-enactments of famous wars. Airsoft guns first hit Hollywood in the mid 90’s, following the accidental death of actor Brandon Lee. Tragic events such as Lee’s death are now avoidable with the use of airsoft accessories.
Airsoft guns are commonly used for educational purposes as well. Demonstrating the proper loading, handling, and firing techniques is infinitely safer with a replica gun than it is with a real firearm.
Airsoft guns have essentially replaced live firearms in regards to all simulation matters. Whether it be movies, war simulations, training procedures, or recreational use, the airsoft gun has greatly reduced the number of accidental deaths throughout the world.