What is Airsoft?

Airsoft is a team based sport where players eliminate their opponents by shooting them with 6mm round plastic pellets, called BB’s. These BB’s are propelled using replica weapons called airsoft rifles or pistols.

How Safe is it?

The Speed at which the BB’s are propelled is limited to within internationally accepted safety limits. That limit is 1.49 Joules of energy which equals 400 Feet per second as measured with a 0.20g BB’s. Caution is always needed and properly rated eye protection is mandatory at every game or event.

Are their age limits for Playing at an Airsoft field or event?

Fields do have age limits yes. It depends on the type of game as to what the age limit would be. The general age limit at Alpine is 12 years or older with the parent signing the indemnity form on the child’s behalf for children younger than 16-year-old.

How do you know that the Airsoft guns are safe to use?

Every Airsoft propelling device’s speed is measured at every event by a field/safety marshal and marked as checked. Spot checks can also be performed during games. This is done using a device called a chronograph that is specifically for this purpose.

How much does it hurt?

Being struck by an Airsoft BB does hurt a little bit, but not more than Paintball does. The sensation is comparable to someone pinching your skin. The closer you are the more it will hurt.

Does it leave marks where you were struck by the BB’s?

The BB’s leave a small welt on the skin and some bruising and swelling. Most shots just leave a red dot on the skin like a mosquito bite.

What if someone shoots you point blank or at extremely close range?

Airsoft follows a set of very specific safety rules to prevent close shots. We use a minimum engagement distance of 5 meters. This means players are not allowed to shoot each other if they are closer than 5 meters. They must freeze the player, which counts as a Hit.

How do Airsoft guns look?

Airsoft guns are replicas, modeled very closely after real rifles and pistols. Some models are actually used by law enforcement as training tools.

How do you know when it’s an Airsoft gun?

There are a few ways. In some countries they are required to have the tip of the barrel to be orange. They also often are made of polymer/plastic and will have markings on the side stating that it propels 6mm BB’s, There are other subtle differences that would need closer inspection.

Is it safe to play with an Airsoft gun in my backyard?

The Short answer is, No. Because they look so much like real firearms, you have to treat them as such, when you are in public. In South Africa, if a citizen feels threatened by a person holding a gun they are entitled to lay a complaint. The law treats it in the same light as using a real firearm.

How do I carry or transport Airsoft guns?

Always carry them enclosed in a box or rifle bag.

What other gear or equipment would I need to join in the fun?

At a minimum, it only requires an Airsoft rifle, BB’s, Eye protection and a good solid pair of shoes. There are many other awesome accessories that can be used in Airsoft but it is not a requirement to start at all.

How do the Airsoft guns work?

The BB’s are propelled by using pressurised gas or air to shoot them out of a pipe or barrel. There mainly 3 ways this is done.

  1. AEG or Automatic electric guns use an electric motor that runs off batteries to drive a spring loaded air piston to compress the air and release it through the barrel, propelling the BB’s forward.
  2. Spring powered/Bolt Action have a spring that you have to set for every shot to drive an air piston which in turn drives air to propel the BB down the barrel. There are pistols and rifles that use this technique.
  3. Gas System us either a compressed gas like Co2/Greengas or compressed air. The gas or compressed air is kept in a pressurized vessel and releases a bit of it every time the trigger is pulled to propel the BB through the barrel.
How far do Airsoft guns shoot?

It depends which type of gun it is, a good spring or gas powered rifle can shoot effectively up to 60+ meters. Shorter less powerful guns are more effective at close range up to about 45 meters. It also depends a lot on the weight of the BB used and the Hop-up system.

What do the weights of the BB’s mean or do?

Airsoft BB’s come in various weights ranging from 0.20g all the way up to 0.46g. The quick explanation is the heavier the BB the Slower it travels, but it becomes less susceptible to the wind blowing it around. Additionally heavier BB’s store their energy for longer, meaning the hit will be felt better at longer ranges. That is why sniper BB’s are between 0.30g and 0.46g. Before buying BB’s make sure of what’s the heaviest BB allowed on the field you want to play at.