Airsoft is a sport in which participants eliminate opponents by hitting each other with spherical non-metallic pellets launched via replica weapons called airsoft guns. Gameplay varies in style and composition but often range from short-term skirmishes, organized scenarios, C.Q.B. (Close Quarters Battle), field, military simulations (MilSim) or historical reenactments. They are played in some indoor courses, and outdoor (fields). Combat situations on the battlefield may involve the use of military tactics to achieve objectives set in each game. Participants may attempt to emulate the tactical equipment and accessories used by modern military and police organizations. A game is normally kept safe by a trained professional and the weapons are usually powered by gas or various types of batteries. A gun’s power is checked through a chronograph and usually measured in feet per second. Different game sites allow a different amount of FPS but different countries also have a set FPS and a gun shooting over the required FPS can confiscated or not allowed to be used on airsoft sites; for instance, a sniper would usually have a higher FPS than a submachine gun, since a sniper needs a minimum engagement range to reduce the danger from being hit at close range by a powerful weapon.
The airsoft gun originated from Japan in the early 1980s. The name “Soft-Air” referred to the green gas used as a propellant. Originally designed for target shooting, their bullets could also hit humans without injury and thus became popular for casual war-games. Airsoft guns spread to the UK in the late 1980s and early 1990s with a company called LS. The guns were sold in pieces and had to be assembled before they were capable of firing pellets. Airsoft equipment was designed to closely emulate real guns. Since the mid-1980s, airsoft guns have been adapted with a purely recreational application in mind, and the sport is enjoyed by all ages. Airsoft replicas are produced globally, with the majority being manufactured in Asia. Many law enforcement agencies in the US use Airsoft for force-on-force training drills
The guns used in airsoft are typically imitation firearms. They have a mechanism for shooting projectiles 6 mm or 8 mm in diameter. Airsoft guns are classified according to their operating principle, which can be spring-loaded, electric (battery-powered Automatic Electric Guns, Airsoft Electric Guns or “AEGs”), or gas-powered (if these have a blowback feature they are known as “GBBs”). Some companies produce full replicas of counterpart grenade launchers which fire a projectile spray of 6mm pellets by use of a high-powered spring mechanism or a compressed gas propellant (i.e. green gas, propane, compressed air, or CO2). There is also a type of airsoft gun known as a “PolarStar” or P* for short. They are powered by a single (HPA) high-pressure air tank and a battery pack to power the internal FCU “Fire Control Unit” computer board. These guns are often known for their high and adjustable ROF or “rate of fire” and durability.