Guide to Airsoft part 4: Ammo

In the final section of this introduction to airsoft, I am going to explore variations of ammo.

The whole sport of airsoft is based around the BB. This is a small plastic 6mm ball bearing, which we love to shoot at each other (with safety equipment in the picture, of course)!

There is more to the standard airsoft BB than most people think, they come in all different weights, sizes and brands.

To begin with, the weight of an airsoft BB is very important, we always encourage players to never use .12g BBs as these are usually low quality and can break even the toughest airsoft guns. For beginners we recommend using .2g BBs and as you progress to more powerful and expensive guns, its best to purchase .25g BBs.

There are a few different sizes of BBs that you might find in the airsoft world, but the most common is 6mm, however, you can get 8mm BBs for guns which require them but the vast majority is 6mm in diameter. 

Finally there are many different brands of BBs in the airsoft world, and the favourite in the airsoft community always changes. The most commonly used currently are: Zero One Blitz BBs or ASG Blaster BBs. We would recommend using Zero One Blitz BBs as we find these to be the best on the market currently. 

Guide to Airsoft part 3: Power

After reading parts 1 & 2, you now hopefully have a comprehensive understanding about the laws and how to get started.

Once you've chosen your first gun, you should try to understand how to operate it. In regards to the aforementioned G&G combat machine, it runs off an electric battery operated system. This means you will need a battery to get the gun to fire. With a gun like this, it's best to buy a 8.4v NiMH battery as they are versatile, cheap and the chargers can also be purchased at a low cost! 

In regards to charging, every battery is different. For example: an 8.4v 1600 MaH NiMH type of battery on a standard charger should charge for 8 hours on its first charge, and then 5 hours every time after. You should be careful when dealing with batteries, because even though the NiMH batteries are one of the safest kinds out there, they still need to be treated with caution. Make sure they don't get dropped onto any sharp objects, and take great care when you handle them! With almost everything to do with airsoft, please do keep them out of reach from children as they are quite powerful. Avoid over-charging batteries, if your battery starts to become hot or even mildly warm, turn the charger off and let it cool. When batteries heat on charge, it usually means they are at their full capacity. If it is very hot to the touch we recommend disposing of the battery because this is not safe or usual battery behaviour.

Gas power comes in a few different forms, but the main three used in Airsoft are: Green Gas, C02 and HPA. Green gas comes in a bottle which you then fill up a mag from, C02 are small metal cylinders which you insert into a mag in full, and HPA is a tank which leads to your gun which will feed your gun gas as you fire (though I wouldn't worry about this until you get more into the sport!).

Finally spring power is most commonly used in very basic airsoft guns or Airsoft Snipers. Usually you simply pull back a bolt which charges a spring then pull the trigger to let the spring forward.

Guide to Airsoft part 2: Guns

In order to be reading this post, I will assume you have already read section 1 (if not, it is highly recommended).

Once you understand all the laws, and are now looking into getting your own kit, it is useful to understand that (as in every aspect of retail) certain brands are of a superior quality to others. You also need more than just a gun to play.  The phrase 'you get what you pay for' truly does apply in this industry, which is something everyone should keep in mind when getting into airsoft. 

Most airsoft guns are powered by electric, spring or gas power. This means a battery, bolt action with a spring, or compressed gas propel a plastic ball bearing (BB) out of the barrel of your gun. I wouldn't worry about learning the insides of an airsoft gun until you are a bit more experienced with the basics.

For a beginner I would always recommend purchasing a G&G Combat machine. The reason for this is that they are cheap, and perform brilliantly. They are battery powered (which we will get into next), but the main thing to understand is that the G&G Combat machine are a brilliant line of guns, which every new player should consider getting. They're easy to use and don't require a great deal of maintenance. 

Whilst there are cheap and cheerful brands out there that will do the job, you can usually rely on the fact that if you're more experienced and you pay more for a gun, you'll get more out of it. For example you can pick up a good G&G combat machine for under £150, but if you want the highest end of guns either the Systema or TM recoil, they will set you back anywhere between £500-£1000. This isn't including mags, batteries etc. So for a beginner its best to stick to G&G and then once you are more experienced its easier to convert over to higher end guns such as G&P or WE. 

Guide to Airsoft Part 1: Intro

When you first start to explore the world of airsoft it can be quite daunting, with a copious amount of laws, brands, guns, gear etc. Hopefully I can break all of this down to make it easier for you to get into the sport.

The first thing you should consider is finding a site to play at. This can be achieved by using the incredibly handy online airsoft map: http://www.airsoftmap.net/skirmish/. With this you have the ability to seek out the best airsoft site for you, from here you can then start to think about equipment and guns.

Once you've been to your first game and decided that airsoft is for you, you should now start to look at getting your own kit. This is due to the fact that if you are going to get into the sport, renting guns at every game isn't cost effective.  

The first thing to consider when getting into airsoft is the guns. Now, before finding one you like, you should learn about the UKARA laws. You have to be 18 and over in any case to buy an airsoft gun, but unless you hold a valid "defence", it is mandatory to get your gun sprayed 51% a florescent colour which will make it "two-tone". However, fear not, if you don't want a two-tone gun, you can look into "UKARA" (http://www.ukara.org.uk/). This means you have to play 3 games in no less than two months at a UKARA registered site. You can then go on to fill in the form on the UKARA website and you will be issued a UKARA number, which you can use to buy airsoft guns. (Note: If you are under 18 you cannot buy an airsoft gun. You can, however, get one gifted to you by someone over 18, meaning no money or services are exchanged in return for the gun, it is simply a gift.) 

Once you understand the laws, it's time to start getting into the world of airsoft merchandise!