Airsoft Safety and Basic Maintenance Introduction
In this post, we would like to elaborate on some common questions that you have when you first start to play airsoft, The entire question and answer is based on personal experience of 12 years in the airsoft industry and being an active player. The entire post is just to educate new players regarding Airsoft, I hope you will enjoy the blog post and feel free to leave us a comment or contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.
What is airsoft?
Airsoft is usually a team sport, can be as serious as faithfully simulating real-life combat/gunfight scenarios or as casual as several guys and gals from two teams start shooting in a barn. Airsoft BBS are made from plastic and the calibre of the projectile is 6mm standard all over the world. And for the sake of the environment, every official field in Canada requires the players to use biodegradable plastic BBs.
Airsoft Games can be a lot of fun since all the games are actual simulations of warfare or based on different scenarios.
What’s the energy source for modern Airsoft?
Most airsoft guns nowadays can be either gas or electric, and a lot of new players prefer AEGs since they are more reliable and affordable to use compared to Gas airsoft. AEG requires LiPo (Lithium Polymer) rechargeable batteries or NimH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) rechargeable batteries, depending on the type of AEG, and these batteries can normally last between 1000 to 1300 rounds. The most popular LiPo batteries used in Airsoft are the ones with 7.4v and 11.4v. For a new player, we would always suggest using 7.4v to be on the safe side since 11.1v can be a bit too strong and for some beginner airsoft AEGs the gearboxes, motors, or pistons might not be strong enough to handle the kind of power. If you are unsure what airsoft battery your AEG takes read the manual or google search online. If you are still unsure after the research start with 7.4v just to be on the safe side.
Does the Airsoft pellet hurt?
It truly depends on the amount of protective gear a player wears during the game. Also, another factor is the FPS of the airsoft and the distance you get shot from. Every field requires players to wear eye protection and face cover on the field. However, most professional players will gear themselves up with tactical pants, a combat shirt, and a tactical vest not just for role-play but also in that way even if they get hit in the airsoft it won't hurt as much as you get hit on bare skin. Generally speaking, from personal experience even when you get hit on bare skin it feels like a pinch, however, I would suggest wearing proper protective gear so you can enjoy the sport without getting injured while having an immersive experience.
Is airsoft legal?
Yes, Airsoft is totally legal to own, legal to purchase and legal to play. Every store will have a policy when it comes to buying airsoft, for example at Spades Tactical you need to be 19+ years old to buy airsoft, or if you are under the age of 19 you must be accompanied by your legal guardians in order to buy airsoft guns and supplies. There are some rules and regulations when it comes to the safety of yourself and the sport in general.
What is legal FPS in Canada?
According to RCMP website state the following:
An airsoft gun, firing a . 20g 6mm plastic pellet with a muzzle velocity below 111.6 m/s (366 fps), and resembling with near precision an existing make and model of a firearm, other than an antique firearm, is a replica firearm and therefore a prohibited device.
This means you cannot import any airsoft that’s FPS is lower than 366 FPS on 0.20G airsoft bbs.
Again from the government website it stated the following:
In Canada, most pellet, airsoft and paintball guns are not legally considered 'firearms. ' Only those guns capable of shooting a projectile faster than 500 feet per second and producing muzzle energy greater than 5.7 joules are regulated under the Firearms Act.
This means you are legally allowed to purchase airsoft between the FPS of 366 to 495. Generally speaking most airsoft in the Canadian market will be between 366 to 420 FPS, since it's industry-standard, However, the sniper might be a bit more FPS since there are different rules and regulations for the sniper in the airsoft field.
Some Safety Tips
We want you to enjoy the sport in a safe environment, so we suggest the following regulation be followed.
1. You are not allowed to show around your airsoft in Public, that can be extremely dangerous since it looks like actual guns and will most certainly be a disturbance of security.
2. Airsoft pistols or rifles must be in a safe bag or case where people do not see the actual product, if you are transporting it in a car it has to be in the trunk far from your reach.
3. You must respect and treat airsoft rifles or pistols as you treat actual firearms, always handle them with care and treat it as loaded to prevent the hazard of accidental discharge.
4. You should not have the airsoft loaded with gas, BBs or electric battery during transportation, maintenance, or other circumstances except when you are actually playing on the field.
5. Always have it on safety mode and treated as loaded.
6. Do not point airsoft at people outside the game.
7. Always keep your finger off the trigger before you are actually ready to fire.
Do you have to maintain your airsoft?
Yes, you do need to maintain your airsoft rifle or pistols, since they are pieces of machinery containing a lot of moving parts. Here are a few things you can do to maintain your airsoft gun and keep it in good shape.
Here are some tips for AEG Rifles: Please make sure you never leave your battery inside your gun when you going to put it in a safe or storage. It is not only bad for the gun but also for the battery itself too. In many cases, your gun will stop working after some time or the worst case can be the battery might leak inside the gun and will destroy the Mosfet chip or damage the circuit. Mosfet is the motherboard of an airsoft rifle which can be expensive to replace. The best thing we recommend is to take out your battery when you stop using airsoft at the game or for target shooting. On the other hand, we do not recommend dry shooting (shooting without airsoft bbs) since the energy produced by the mechanism is not released on the bbs but on the internal parts of the gearbox, causing a sliding fraction which can be bad for the internals in the long run.
Besides, it is important to clean and lubricate the gun. Although the AEG mechanism is less exposed to the environment compare to Gas ones, it is still good to put some silicone oil or spray on the exposed moving parts. Also, after playing, there’s bound to be dust and pieces of plastic from the bbs that got left in the barrel, and it is important to keep the gun clean in order to optimize its performance. And here are some tips for how to properly clean the barrel of your AEG with the cleaning rod which is usually included in the package.
1. Use a strip of paper towel (about 3 inches long by ½ inch wide) to thread through the tip of the cleaning rod
2. Lightly spray silicone lubricant onto the strip
3. Insert the cleaning rod into the barrel, strip-first
4. Gently spin the rod while moving it down the length of the barrel, and repeat the process as needed.
As for the internal gearbox, it is good to have a knowledgeable gun tech open it up once or twice a year to do basic maintenance such as cleaning and greasing the gear.
Gas Pistols/Rifles: There are two most common types of gas blowback pistols and rifles, Co2 and Green gas. The gas-operated airsoft guns due to their mechanism are more exposed to the environment, so cleaning and lubricating should be done more often. We highly suggest using a silicon spray since it's easier to apply and can reach into the gun without disassembling your pistol or rifle for daily maintenance.
Another key benefit of silicone oil is it prevents the moving parts from sliding fractions. With enough lubricant on the surface of the moving parts such as the slide of the pistol or the bolt carrier of the gas rifle, these moving parts will have a longer life span and the metal parts won't wear out quickly over time.
We also highly suggest using a drop of silicon oil on top of the CO2 cartridge before putting it inside the magazine if you’re using a CO2 Airsoft gun. This is due to the fact that CO2 cartridges don't contain any lubricant, and putting a drop of silicone oil will help keep the internals lubricated during the action and also provides a better lifespan to the O-rings and seals.
The following are some steps to follow when you clean your gas blowback pistol after playing:
1. Gently remove the slide of the pistol from the lower frame, and check for debris and dust on the slide and the frame. You are likely to see quite some debris or dust on the inside after you play for a whole day in the field. Gently wipe off the dust and debris with a paper towel or Q-tips before reapplying lubricant.
2. After cleaning the slide and the frame, thoroughly apply silicone spray to the hammer and striker assembly, the rail where the slide and the frame make contact, and the blowback chamber rails and inner piston. Make sure to cover the contact surfaces evenly so that the action is smooth.
3. It is also important to take out the barrel/hop-up assembly from the slide to clean the barrel. Just like on an AEG, wrap a strip of paper towel on the barrel cleaning rod, apply some silicone oil, and gently clean the dust and debris in the barrel.
4. With the magazine, it is good to spray some silicone oil at the bottom nozzle as well as the rubber seal on top, to prevent these parts to dry up and crack, especially if you are filling your mags with propane. It is also good to take out the fill valve on the magazine and lube it properly to prevent the inner o-ring from drying up.
As for gas blowback rifles, follow similar procedures to clean up before applying lubricant, and then apply silicone spray on all the internal parts. One of the things to take note of is that you should also take out the stock buffer and buffer spring to clean and lubricate them. The buffer assembly is a part that got omitted sometimes and might create a problem if it is not properly maintained.
Long story short, we just can’t stress enough how important it is to take care of your airsoft gun properly. If you clean and maintain your airsoft gun regularly and properly, you can prevent the gun from malfunctioning for a much longer period of time and will get a much better performance out of your airsoft gun. At the end of the day, We want you to have a fun experience with your airsoft gun on the field with your friends, and avoid having the gun malfunctioning and wasting hard-earned money on fixing or replacing the airsoft gun.