Airsoft Safety, Part 2

 

airsoft injuries

Airsoft BB’s can cause significant damage to your body. Always wear protective eyewear and safety gear.

Airsoft Safety, Part I discussed the history of Airsoft along with the potential for injuries when using Airsoft guns. Today’s post addresses a hopefully obvious danger with Airsoft and provides some basic rules for Airsoft safety.

Stating the Obvious

Because Airsoft guns look and feel so realistic, they make great training tools for the military and police. At the same time, because Airsoft guns look and feel so realistic, they create an interesting social issue – or public safety issue – at the same time.

Most states require Airsoft users to be at least 18 in order to purchase and own an Airsoft gun. However, those under 18 can use Airsoft guns with permission from a parent or legal guardian.

While most adults play Airsoft games do so in a controlled environment, many younger users do not simply because of transportation availability. Instead, younger Airsoft users are often seen in residential neighborhood playing their games in backyards they can walk or ride bikes to.

In a day and age where young kids are shooting others with real guns, kids – actually anyone – carrying Airsoft guns that look like real guns can potentially be perceived as threats. No one wants someone getting killed because an Airsoft gun was mistaken – even rightfully so – for a real gun.

The simple solution involves always treating Airsoft guns as real guns and developing an understanding and respect for firearms. This goes for youth and adults alike.

In addition to this understanding and respect, Airsoft King also recommends the following for preventing any mistaken identity between Airsoft and real guns.

  • Do not expose Airsoft guns in public.
  • Do not play Airsoft games on public property.
  • Get permission before playing Airsoft games on private property.
  • Keep Airsoft equipment completely concealed in public.
  • If confronted by law enforcement when carrying Airsoft equipment, comply immediately and totally with their requests.

Common sense goes a long way in preventing mistaken identity with Airsoft guns.

Airsoft Safety Rules

In addition to common sense rules, the following rules can keep Airsoft a fun and safe activity for all ages.

  1. Always wear eye protection. Never remove it while on the playing field or still in a game.
  2. Find eye protection that fits comfortably. Many players simply wear safety sunglasses, but many prefer goggles or sunglasses with a foam-padded lining around the lens area. Favorite products of some Airsoft users include the Pyramex I-Force, the Elvex Go-Specs II in Desert Camo, the ESS Crossbow, the Radians Extremis, and the Guard-Dogs G100.
  3. Keep a gun’s safety on and its barrel plugged in designated safe zones. Do this to prevent accidental discharge from Airsoft guns in areas where eye protection and safety equipment is often removed.
  4. Always treat every gun as if it’s loaded. This means following the rules for basic gun safety.
  5. Be aware of where a gun is pointed. When not in an active game, keep guns pointed away from people or safely stowed.
  6. Keep finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. Again, common sense can prevent accidental firing that leads to injury.
  7. Keep gun unloaded until ready to use. Don’t carry guns loaded, wait to load guns until just prior to Airsoft activity, and remove ammunition as soon as activity ends.

For more detailed Airsoft safety information, check out this article by the Airsoft Safety Foundation.

Adults playing Airsoft not only protect themselves by following these rules and guidelines, but they can also set a solid example for kids playing Airsoft. Parents allowing their kids to play Airsoft are responsible for their kids knowing & complying with the rules and for making sure they are properly supervised. Use common sense and educate yourself and your kids about the safe use of Airsoft.

Airsoft Safety, Part 1

Airsoft History

Airsoft Safety

Proper eye protection is critical when participating in Airsoft competitions.

Airsoft as we know it today essentially began in Japan in the 1980s. Over time, and with the help of the Internet, Airsoft grew to become not only a popular sport but also a key training tool for the police and military.

What began as another way to practice target shooting has grown into competitions where score is kept and people get shot. Many people enjoy Airsoft as a way to act out strategy discovered in video games. Airsoft offers an outlet for individuals wanting real-life action in a non-lethal atmosphere.

This same leisure activity also provides a safe environment for tactical simulation exercises by the military & police where they can hone skills, strategies and awareness. Guns look & feel like real guns that shoot bullets, allowing for a realistic way to train military personnel and police officers.

(Note: Check out The History of Airsoft for more details on the games origin and growth.)

Safety Concerns

Many people do not consider Airsoft guns to be toys and instead call them “high detailed firearm simulations.” They insist on this nomenclature because the guns fire plastic BBs at muzzle velocities of 100-400FPS, enough to severely injure an eye, chip a tooth and hurt the skin.

Even though Airsoft is considered non-lethal because of the BBs’ inability to pierce skin and damage internal organs doesn’t mean they are absent of safety issues. Let’s explore those issues along with some solutions.

Eye Injuries

While Airsoft BBs may not be life-threatening, they can seriously damage eyes. In fact, eye damage is the number one danger from Airsoft guns. Damage that unfortunately sometimes results in permanent blindness.

The Center for Disease Control reports that more than 19,000 people were treated for eye injuries caused by guns that don’t use gun powder, such as Airsoft guns. Of those treated, 71% were under 20 years old.

Because of the potential for eye damage, anyone using Airsoft guns should use eye protection, even when shooting at targets. Proper eye protection can prevent serious eye damage whether from a direct shot to the face or from a BB ricocheting.

Airsoft Eye Protection

Wrap around eye protection is crucial. With so many players on the field, BBs will be flying from all directions.

The best eye and face protection for Airsoft users ranges from ballistic-rated safety goggles to full face masks. At a minimum, eye protection should wrap around sides of the eyes to protect from ricocheting BBs.

Other Injuries

While not usually penetrating the skin, Airsoft BBs can also cause painful welts and occasionally bleeding when they strike skin. For this reason, covering skin with loose clothing is a good idea. Many individuals even wear battle fatigues when playing Airsoft.

Airsoft BBs also travel fast enough to chip a tooth. Many Airsoft experts recommend wearing face masks to protect the entire face from the pellets.

Additional Considerations

While eye, face and skin protection will prevent the majority of safety issues that arise from Airsoft guns, a few additional – but significant – concerns exist that are addressed in Airsoft Safety, Part 2. The second installment of Airsoft Safety will also review the basic rules of Airsoft safety.

4 Basic Airsoft Survival Tactics To Conquer The Field

Airsoft Requires Safety Glasses

Protective eyewear should always be worn when playing Airsoft or handling Airsoft weapons.

We don’t consider airsoft a game – after all, it’s the closest many of us will come to actual combat. It’s a world of calculated strategy, where you need to think on your feet and make snap decisions in the blink of an eye. Airsoft is exhilarating, and when you’re on that battlefield, you need to have the gear to get the job done. In addition to padded camouflage clothing, protective head-gear, gloves, and boots, Airsoft Safety Glasses are an absolute necessity, and offer anti-fog coated lenses so you can keep your eyes clear on the battlefield.

You’ve got the airsoft gear down, but what about airsoft survival basics? If you’re going to be a pro, you have to first master these!

Look Around Obstacles – It’s tempting to want to peek your head above the obstacle to see what you’re up against, but your opponents expect you to do exactly that. Instead, always look around the obstacle – you’ll expose fewer parts of your body in doing so.

Switch It Up – Airsoft is all about strategy. If your opponent has you pinned and is shooting at you, don’t panic. Instead, cut back on your defensive shooting, making your opponent think that he’s taken you out. When your opponent slacks off in return, amp up the offense!

Keep It Down – You’re going to want to stand up and run to feel more aggressive and in control, but it’s only going to make you an easy target. Instead, keep to the ground as close as possible. This survival tactic in particular sets the amateurs apart from the pros.

Quick and Clear – We’re not referring to your movements here, we’re talking about your vision! Your opponent could be anywhere around you, and it’s vital to take continual quick glances around, as you can bet your opponent is looking to move in on you. Airsoft glasses, like the Pyramex I-Force Safety Glasses, not only give you the eye protection you need while playing airsoft, but actually help enhance your depth perception, and in the heat of the game, you’ll be thankful for the help.

Pyramex I-Force Safety Glasses

The Pyramex I-Force Safety Glasses offer advanced eye protection for Airsoft players.

Airsoft is a charged up game that will have the adrenaline pumping through every vein in your body. You need the right equipment, including Airsoft Glasses, and you also need to have the airsoft basics down. Master the survival basics, and you’ll be battling like a pro in no time.