Airsoft Mania

What Is Airsoft?

Airsoft is a game in which participants eliminate opponents by hitting each other with spherical non-metallic pellets fired from a compressed-air gun (or airsoft gun) powered by gas, manual spring-load, or electrically powered gearbox.
Airsoft participants organize meetings at dedicated airsoft battlefields often adapted to provide walls, bunkers, trenches, buildings, towers, and other similar man-made field enhancements to offer realism analogous to real war environments.

Airsoft games vary greatly in style and composition depending on location, budget, and quantity of participants but often range from short-term skirmishes, organized scenarios, military simulations, or historical reenactments.

Combat situations on the battlefield often involve the use of common military tactics to achieve the objectives set in each game. Participants typically use varying types of non-lethal weaponry designed as replicas of real firearms, tactical gear, and accessories used by modern military and police organizations.


In 1970s Japan it was illegal to own a firearm, but there was a large interest in them. Because of this interest, manufacturers started to produce realistic looking spring-powered guns. These guns fired several calibers of plastic or rubber BBs, but were eventually standardized into 6 mm and 8 mm sizes. The early spring powered weapons then morphed into gas powered ones, using a variety of systems. The hobby then migrated to North America in the mid 1990s.[1] Then low powered spring guns transformed into Classic airsoft. About ten years after this time, Japan hit a recession just as AEGs, or automatic electric guns, hit the market. Many old manufacturers were lost, leaving Tokyo Marui, inventor of the AEG, as the primary manufacturer. Marui then invented an improved Hop up system, further improving the accuracy and range of the weapons. In the early 2000s, Classic Army of Hong Kong entered the scene, copying Tokyo Marui's designs. A few years later countless Chinese brands have flooded the market with cheap entry level weapons.

The Honor System

Airsoft play employs an honor system whereby the players rely on each others' honesty to admit to being hit, because unlike paintballs, airsoft bbs do not leave visible marks on clothing.

The effect of a marking bb on the honor system is an addition to the game but does not remove "honor" from the game as it still remains with the player to choose whether or not to call his or her hits. Instead, it simply allows for verification when the need arises. For instance, depending on the muzzle velocity of the gun and distance from the shooter, the targeted player may not feel the impact.

Players are discouraged from calling out hits on an opponent - instead players are expected to signal a marshal to judge how effectively they have hit their opponent. Simulated 'knife kills' can, at the venue's discretion, be recognized when a player touches or taps an unaware opponent. This prevents the player being forced to shoot him or her at point-blank range. Similarly, a 'courtesy kill' occurs when a player refrains from shooting an opponent at close range while enforcing that opponent's surrender. Players are usually prohibited from firing blindly when not able to see their target, especially around corners. Players are expected to avoid the shooting of an opponent who has already admitted to being hit. Harsh language and forceful physical contact between players is strongly discouraged and even penalized. Players are expected to resolve disputes politely and with proper decorum.

All airsoft players are expected to acknowledge being hit, even if they are in doubt, by shouting "I'm hit" loudly, and raising their hand or gun high and/or displaying a 'hit indicator' while walking back to the safe zone. Paintball style "speedball" games may include the aforementioned hit markers. A hit indicator can be either a bright-colored cloth during daytime or a blinker or mini-flashlight when in dim light or darkness.