What is even the point of shooting a gun that shoots just plastic pellets? Not much, right? Well, there is a lot more to it. Airsoft guns are used for both recreational purposes and military training exercises. You can even simply use them as toys if you want. These guns can be made with ABS plastic, metal, or hard rubber. Or they can be made with metal shells and barrels. They can be powered by batteries, gas, or springs. And yeah, they are all used with plastic pellets!

Some people like the sound of bullets whizzing through the air. Others are into collecting realistic military-inspired designs. Some even have a more ambitious mission – to become a soldier themselves! If this sounds like you, then airsoft guns are for you. They shoot small plastic BBs that travel under 400 feet per second. Unlike real guns, they cannot fire any projectiles made from metal or other hard materials. Before buying and using your gun, check if it is legal in your area.

Parts of Airsoft Guns

Airsoft guns are very similar to real firearms in appearance, weight, and mechanics. With the sole exception of airsoft guns shooting non-metallic spherical projectiles rather than bullets and shells containing gunpowder, these guns closely simulate the handling, power, and operation of their counterparts. Listed below are the details of the various parts of an airsoft firearm:

1. Body

The body of these guns is mainly made out of reinforced plastics. In order to have a realistic weight and feel, these plastics are usually mixed with other metals.

2. Barrel

The barrel, or the long or smooth hole that delivers the projectile from the chamber to the muzzle, comes in many sizes and shapes. The most common type of barrel is a 6.05 mm inner diameter (1:177 scale) metal tight bore barrel that allows high accuracy at a given power level. 

However, some barrels are larger in diameter to allow for more airflow through them, which in turn allows for higher muzzle velocity and accuracy at a given power level; this type of barrel is known as an 'arbitrary bore'.

3. Piston / Cylinder

The piston is a rotating piece at the bottom end of the gun that prevents it from being fired and then returns back to being cocked when it is fired again. When one rotates his/her finger back and forth inside it, this impacts on the barrel. This is a very important part of the gun and contributes greatly to its performance. Examples of the performance of this piece include the accuracy and distance one can achieve with his/her airsoft.

4. Barrel Extension / Hop-Up

This is a small group from the barrel that holds spring tension on the hop-up mechanism that would otherwise be lost if it was not attached to the barrel. The hop-up serves three purposes: lead channel, bb channel, and oil channel.

5. Bolt / Cocking Handle

The bolt is a part of a trigger assembly used to fire an airsoft BB from an airsoft. It also serves as a connector between the upper receiver and the lower receiver. The bolt is rotated in order to load a BB into the chamber of the gun. Once the cartridge is loaded, the bolt returns to its original place and positions itself as a resting point for the next cartridge to be loaded.

6. Gearbox / Internal Parts 

The gearbox of electric airsoft guns holds all of its spring tension parts including gears, pistons, triggers, spring guides, bushings, and other plastic pieces. A set of gears inside the gearbox communicates with each other when airsoft BBs are fired from it; it moves them at high speeds to quickly simulate real firearm behavior.

7. Receiver

There are two types of airsoft receivers: M16 / AR15 style and AK47 / AK74 style receivers. The AR15-style receivers feature high-end parts and have a real gun look and feel. AK47-style receivers are mostly made from plastic and have a more toyish feel, although sometimes they are made from metal too.

8. Battery

Airsoft batteries are usually small but powerful, as they require only 1/7th the power of a real firearm to operate. The battery is responsible for operating the electric motor, which then powers the gearbox. They must be recharged after use, generally by plugging into an electric outlet with an adapter that supplies DC power to them.

9. Motor

The motor is the most important part of airsoft guns, as it keeps the gearbox turning. It's also responsible for running the BBs forward from their initial position until they hit an obstacle or a target.

10. Slide / Frame

The slide on an airsoft firearm is attached to the frame via an internal metal pin located at the rear of the slide which holds them together; it is known as the 'slide stop'. In addition, there are various other parts attached to this unit.

11. Charging Handle 

The charging handle is used to move the slide and frame. When opened, it extends out from the frame, sometimes also making a loud sound. 

12. Sight

In order to hit your target accurately, aiming is very important. An airsoft sight consists of a lens and a red/green/blue dot sight system; which allows for more accurate aiming. 

13. Buffer Tube / Stock

This is where you can adjust the length of airsoft guns by removing or adding to their stock using a screwdriver and hex wrench (or Allen wrench). By doing this, you can make minor adjustments to the position of your gun in order to align your sights with your target at all times.

14. Foregrip

This piece of equipment is designed to provide the user with a more stable and firm hold on their gun. They are available in many different shapes and sizes.

15. Hinge

The hinge enables the user to open up the outer barrel of the gun. The user will often insert foam in this piece, allowing for a better grip on their gun when shooting it from the hip or on full-auto.

16. Tappet Plate / Tappet

This part determines how fast airsoft guns can shoot & also their performance accuracy, since it is responsible for locking back after each shot you fire, which changes depending on your hop up & inner barrel setup.

17. Front Sight

This is a small piece of metal that is attached to the front of the outer barrel and allows for better alignment with your target.

18. Front Grip

This is another piece of equipment that improves the user's grip on his gun & can also be used to store a small flashlight or other gear.

19. Magazine Release / Magpul / BB Release

This allows for quick changes to your magazine so that you can continue playing with minimal interruption; it's usually located near your trigger finger in case you need to reload quickly in an intense firefight and/or for quicker reloads using speed loaders. Some guns allow you to release BBs directly through this part too.

20. Trigger

This is the part of the gun that is held by your trigger finger and allows for the automatic firing of your gun. It comes in various types; the most common being standard flat trigger, ambidextrous, semi-forward, and forward.

21. Safety / De-cocker

This prevents any accidental shooting when held in one's hand; it's sometimes known as an 'off' switch. When you release this switch, it will immediately cease all firing from the airsoft guns.

Why are Airsoft Guns Popular Worldwide?

Airsoft guns are classified as toy guns, and as such, they are not regulated like real firearms. There are no age or criminal restrictions on who can purchase and use an airsoft firearm. These guns evolved from toys used by children to play war games. The popularity of these toys has led to the creation of organized competitions, even televised events with cash prizes for the winners. 

They also have a following among adults who collect them in much the same way that baseball cards or stamps might be collected by other adults. Many countries around the world have no official legal status for airsoft weapons. Some countries where these guns are not regulated include China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. The most notable international contrast is the United States, Canada, and Australia.

There is no age restriction placed on the sale or ownership of airsoft weapons in most of these countries. However, some regions such as Taiwan and Japan require the purchaser to be at least 20 years old. In Hong Kong, they are treated as any other toy for children to play with. While these countries do not have restrictions on the sale of airsoft firearms, there may be regulations in place for people who take them to public places. In Taiwan, for example, carrying airsoft guns openly in public is illegal.

In other regions such as Australia and Canada, they are treated as any other firearm. In many countries, the law considers these guns to be toy or replica weapons that can be bought and sold without any licensing or registration. This means that they are not classified as firearms by law and can be owned by anyone regardless of age (note: some retailers do restrict buyers to be over 18 years old).