What is Airsoft?

A niche sport played widely across the globe but a relatively new pastime in Ireland (circa 11 years) played with replica equipment of the world’s armed forces. Involves player to player tagging (similar to Paintball but with 6mm non-metal BBs instead of the larger paintball). Airsoft is considered more realistic than paintball using RIFs (Replica Imitation Firearms) versus a paintball marker. It is also less powerful so once you are covered up, you won’t be left with bruises or marks! Airsoft can be played with mesh masks instead of glass lens which means your mask doesn’t fog! Lastly as unlimited ammo is standard with all our packages it doesn’t hurt your pocket compared with the typical cost of going paintballing.

Legislation

Airsoft is a niche sport recognised by the Confederation of Irish Sports. Its representative body is the Irish Airsoft Association or (IAA). In the Republic of Ireland Airsoft is a fairly new phenomenon having only recently become a feasible pursuit with the introduction of the Criminal Justice Act of 2006, despite being a widespread and immensely popular pursuit in many other countries worldwide.

Definition of Airsoft Equipment

Airsoft equipment takes the form of highly detailed and accurate replicas of real-world firearms which are capable of propelling a light, low velocity, plastic spherical projectile by means of a number of different mechanisms (see “Explanation of airsoft equipment”)

These Airsoft devices most often use a 6mm plastic (or other biodegradable substance) round weighing between 0.20/ .25gm which is accelerated either by electric motor or gas charge and travels at about 90-100 meters per second.

Airsoft Venues

Airsoft Venues always have what is called a “safe zone”. In this area every Airsoft device must be switched to “safe” and the magazine removed before entry. This ensures that no accidents can take place in the presence of people who may not be wearing their eye protection. Further to this, many venues adopt a “fire zone only” policy, which means that the Airsoft devices outside of the actual play area must be inactive (safety on and magazine out) regardless of whether a player is in a designated “safe zone” or not.

Finally, all Airsoft games and venues, like Paintball and Laser tag, have marshals operating within the play area. The purpose of this is to make sure that the rules of the game are followed (eliminated players leaving the play area, etc) and that the safety rules are adhered to. Marshall’s also provide an additional layer of safety in that, should the worst happen and a player is injured, the game can be stopped immediately and the injured party can be safely and quickly removed from the play area and given whatever appropriate first aid or medical attention is required

Commonly asked questions…

1. I must have my own gear, be part of a team or join a club to play Airsoft?

Nope, Redhills Airsoft has full rental equipment for all newcomers to the sport or occasional players. There are several Airsoft retailers in Ireland and quite a few within Dublin and even two in Kildare! You can join a team or play with a couple of mates or even on your own, teams are made up of who books in on the day and mixed to ensure a fair days gaming for all involved!

2. You never know when you’re hit unlike paintball which leaves very obvious splats?

You’ll know alright but Airsoft is a “game of honour” and the onus is on the player to shout ‘hit’ and re-spawn (lose a life and renter the game).

Field and Player marshalls monitor the fairness of the game, Redhills Airsoft operates a strict safety policy including full face protection, Safe Zone and pre-game briefings to ensure all players are well aware in advance of the rules. It’s for everyone’s enjoyment after all.

4.  Airsoft is expensive?

Like any sport there is a range of equipment available to chose from, most retailers offer start up packages to get you up and running from as little as €250, you can always buy a rifle and build from there. RHA has full rental equipment available so you can ty it out much like paintball so you don’t need to buy the gear to play Airsoft.

3.  Are Airsoft guns the same as Air guns and BB guns?

Air Guns are weapons which propel a lead projectile at high velocity and are typically used for target shooting and hunting very small game (rodents etc). Air guns use compressed gas and generate muzzle energy in the region of 17joules. Such muzzle energy is far in excess of the physical capabilities of any Airsoft device.

A BB gun (wherein the “BB” is actually a gauge rather than a contraction of “ball bearing”) is a weapon that propels a metal projectile at high velocities by means of an explosive charge or compressed gas. BB guns are capable of achieving muzzle velocities in excess of 1000 feet per second and are often used for hunting rabbits and other small animals as well as for target shooting. These uses and stats are also far outside the potential of an Airsoft device and distinction should be drawn.

An Airsoft device is a precision sporting device designed to safely propel a plastic bead or ball at speeds in the region of 100 meters per second. Airsoft rounds and devices are incapable of producing the energy required to cause harm and as such are suitable for player-to-player “tagging”.