Friday, June 28, 2013

Let the War Games Begin

As civilian war games grow in popularity, so does the demand for more realistic, nonlethal weapons. The most common form of this extreme hobby is paintball. Paintball guns are very unrealistic and toy-like. The enthused hobbyist looking for a sport with more realistic weapons can turn to the world of Army airsoft guns. These weapons are exact replicas of real firearms such as the M15A4 and the M-7. The only noticeable difference is the bright orange tips with which most airsoft guns are equipped. Airsoft guns fire pellets rather than live rounds using compressed gas or even electric and spring driven pistons. Initially, the army airsoft gun was used exclusively for leisure by adrenaline junkies seeking the thrill of taking to the battlefield without the pesky threat of loss of life and limb. Today many federal and state institutions utilize airsoft weapons as a cost effective training tool and an inexpensive substitute for conversion kits for their real weapons.

The extreme hobbyist remains the main consumer of these very realistic weapons and there are many clubs and teams dedicated to army airsoft guns. Some events in Europe may have as many as 2000 participants in a single skirmish. With such stiff competition, these weekend warriors look for anything to give them the advantage over the field of opponents. Airsoft guns can be equipped with an impressive plethora of accessories including compressors, extended magazines and infrared sights. These unusual tournaments began in the 1980s in Japan and their popularity has increased exponentially. The only universal rule among the scores of tournaments available is the demand that safety equipment be used. Participants must wear protective, full-length clothing and eye goggles. A pellet traveling at full speed could result in blindness if it were to strike an eye. They have even been known to leave big bruises on protected skin. Most tournaments have a power ceiling and do not allow weapons with a velocity of more than four hundred FPS.

A good airsoft replica can be purchased for about $100 US though the price tag can inflate to $400 dollars for some of the more advanced weapons. There are also airsoft grenades and land mines to complete the simulated battlefield. These weapons are typically composed of a canister filled with BBs. The landmines are typically hidden in inconspicuous places where they may be triggered by the enemy. Many inventive participants actually construct these makeshift weapons from ordinary household products. For the less creative, there are many manufacturers of these simulated weapons from all across the world and more manufacturers toss their hat into the ring daily as the sport increases in popularity. One of the more reputable companies is the Maniac Hobby complex, a veritable warehouse of hobbies that has everything anyone would need to get into the competitive world of airsoft battles. Their facility is in Plantation, Florida but they deliver all over the continental United States. They even ship orders greater than $99 for free. Their toll free number is 888-83-HOBBY (6229) and it is recommended you visit their comprehensive website at

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