If you’ve ever played paintball, you may have heard of airsoft. Have you ever shot a BB gun before? Then you’ve probably shot an airsoft gun, too. Conversely, you may be a paintball expert but have never heard of airsoft. Likewise, you may know a BB gun like the back of your hand and not even heard of an airsoft gun. That’s okay, there’s no judgement here. The whole point of this article is to fill you in on what airsoft is and how it works, hence the title.
In short, airsoft is a military-style, competitive team shooting sport that sees players attempt to shoot small projectiles at each other in a tactical, conducive setting with one team trying to eliminate the other to claim victory.
Is Airsoft the Same as Paintball?
While there are definite similarities between the two, like the gameplay, for example, airsoft differs from paintball in that it’s more based on real-life military simulation than paintball is. This is evident in the airsoft RIFs that are used. That stands for “Realistic Imitation Firearms”, by the way.
These guns look almost identical to genuine firearms, and when matched with military vests and helmets, you’d be forgiven for mistaking an airsoft field for a far-too-real warzone.
Another glaring difference between the two sports is the fact that airsoft guns fire 6mm plastic pellets that are more akin to BBs than paintballs. They don’t make a mess and are significantly smaller in size and weight, which means they’re also a little less painful than a paintball.
As we’ve mentioned above, the goal of airsoft is to eliminate the opposition by shooting them with an airsoft RIF projectile. Once a player is hit, they’re out and cannot influence the game any longer.
Airsoft has a code of honour that is upheld by all players because when someone gets shot, there’s no paint splatter or any other indication that they’ve been hit. It’s up to each player to call themselves out and stay honest.
Aside from the regular team deathmatch format, there are a bunch of other formats that players can engage in, like capture the flag, king of the hill, and close quarter combat, to name a few.
Did we mention that airsoft is super fun?
In terms of safety, it’s important to remember that airsoft guns can still cause injury to your eyes and face if you’re not protected adequately. This is why you should always wear full-seal eye protection while playing, and never point your gun at another player’s face when standing close by.
Ready to book?
If you’re sold on a game of airsoft and you happen to be in Cape Town, you’re in luck! Klein Tafelberg has an incredible shooting range for you to get your shot steady, and several “kill houses” that serve as airsoft fields.
They’re situated just two hours outside of Cape Town and are ready to make your day! So, grab some friends and some of your favourite military gear and head over to the Sandveld for an experience you won’t forget.