Airsoft is one of the fastest-growing sports today. An increasing number of people are attracted to this discipline that uses BB-shooting replica guns in simulated tactical or military-style operations. Combining teamwork and physical exercise, airsoft is a sport that’s lauded by its proponents for its ability to build both skill and character through its honour-based gameplay.
But before you “pull the trigger” and purchase an airsoft gun, there are three important questions you need to ask to make the most informed decision possible.
How much is an airsoft gun?
The price of airsoft guns varies depending on the type of gun, the quality, the firing system, and how similar it is to the original weapon. The average price ranges between $30 and $1000.
Airsoft pistols are the least expensive, ranging between $30 and $200. Revolvers fall in the middle with a typical range of $60-$180. Rifles and shotguns are the most expensive, covering the entire price range up to $1000 or more.
If you wish to purchase an airsoft gun, you should also consider the price of consumables and accessories. The most important consumable is, of course, the ammunition necessary for airsoft play. Airsoft BBs start at around $10 for 2000 BBs and can increase up to about $30 for 2000 Tracer BBs.
For full enjoyment and safety, airsoft also requires protective equipment, which varies in price, but typically costs less than the weapons themself. On the low end, gloves will cost about $15, goggles, masks, extra batteries, and chargers around $20 each, helmets about $50, and other clothing around $60. Of course, these prices are estimates and will vary depending on the quality and intended use.
To these prices, you must also add the cost of leasing the airsoft playgrounds and other expenses. For example, during some airsoft games, players spend several days on the field, making it necessary to provide your own food, shelter, and other survival equipment.
What are the laws regarding airsoft in Canada?
If you live in Canada and wish to purchase an airsoft gun, you should be aware of the laws that regulate their use. Canadian federal legislation considers all air guns to fall under one category, so the same policies govern airsoft guns, pellet guns, and many other replica firearms.
Some of the existing restrictions are:
- It cannot be a near replica of a made and designed genuine firearm (i.e. AK-47 or M16).
- It cannot go beyond a muzzle speed of 152.4 meters per second (or 500 fps).
- It cannot exceed muzzle energy over 5.7 joules (or 4.2 feet lbs).
- They cannot be used as genuine firearms in the payment of criminal activity.
Another essential aspect to remember is that if you are not yet 18 years old, you will not be able to purchase an airsoft gun. The law in Canada does not regulate a minimum age for airsoft gun use, but it does for their acquisition.
Additionally, the weapon must be used in dedicated areas, and it is forbidden to use or display airsoft guns in public spaces. It is important to follow these rules, to avoid incidents with police, who often mistake airsoft guns for real ones.
What safety measures do airsoft guns require?
When engaging in airsoft play, protective equipment is essential (covering the eyes, face, and head) to avoid severe or painful injuries. Additionally, covering the rest of the body with protection will make the impact hurt less and the experience more enjoyable. Gloves offer extra protection when handling weapons.
The airsoft gun does not have a real gun's power and damage capability, but you must handle it as if it did. Accidents are not as severe, but they can still happen, so never leave an airsoft gun within reach of a child. Also, you should never shoot a person who does not have the proper protection, even if they are on an airsoft field. After using an airsoft gun, ensure it is unloaded and the safety is on.
For the weapon to perform better and have a longer service life, its safety must be prioritized. After use, the barrel should be cleaned and maintained, and you should avoid wetting it with salt water. Always follow the seller's safety instructions.
Knowing the rules and enjoying airsoft
In regard to the rules of play, each airsoft field and arena has its own regulations. You should always read the rules of each dedicated airsoft area in advance and, if in doubt, ask the field/arena manager.
A rule common to all fields is the mandatory use of armour and protective equipment for everyone inside, whether they are players, referees, or managers. In the past, some people have tried to introduce knives to airsoft fields, but this is forbidden, because the player could hurt himself or another person.
Complying with all of the applicable rules and safety measures makes the experience more enjoyable for everyone involved. If you want a good experience with airsoft guns, you must be well educated on their use. When in doubt, ask. There are plenty of experienced airsoft enthusiasts at airsoft fields and arenas across the country that can help guide you and answer other questions you may have.
Ultimately, your enjoyment of airsoft comes down to being informed, playing safe, and abiding by the honour system of rules and regulations for gameplay. With this knowledge at hand, in addition to a new airsoft gun and equipment, you’ll be ready for any airsoft challenge that comes your way!