Sunday, November 25, 2007

AirSoft Guns – Harmless?

It looks like a sub-machine gun, but it's not.

It's an "AirSoft" gun.

The plastic B.B.s it fires are practically harmless. In fact, no one has ever been killed by one.

But people have been killed holding AirSoft guns, because police officers can't tell the difference – even up close.

SWAT team member: "We're clear to go."

The Kenton County SWAT team moves in, ready to storm a Ft. Mitchell bank where masked men have taken hostages.

SWAT team member: "We've got movement in that window."

But this bank robbery isn't real, and neither are the weapons.

The SWAT team is now training with very realistic AirSoft guns.

"We train with these weapons because they are so realistic, they perform a lot of the same functions as the weapons we use in real missions," said Sergeant John Lonaker, of the Ft. Mitchell police.

One of these pistols is a real firearm, shooting .40 cal bullets.

The other is an AirSoft pistol, shooting plastic BBs.

Can you tell which of these is the deadly weapon?

Now imagine you're a police officer, and you have a split-second to decide whether or not to take a life.

"I was behind a car and I kept noticing a handgun being stuck out the passenger window," said Sgt. Lonaker.

Sgt. Lonaker had no idea the teenager was waving an AirSoft gun.

The plastic BBs they fire are far safer than the traditional metal BBs they've replaced.

But, the guns are also far more realistic – indistinguishable from the real firearms they mimic – until you pull the magazine to reveal bbs instead of bullets.

"It turned out to be an airsoft pistol," said Sgt. Lonaker. "However, in the dark, at that distance it looked very real."

And it had an orange tip, like these AirSoft pistols, as required by federal import law.

But there's nothing to stop the customer from removing the orange tip or painting it black.

When Sgt. Lonaker was asked, "Had you not seen the orange tip on that pistol, you would have killed a teenager?," he replied, "Correct, if he had picked up that weapon and pointed it in my direction, at any time I was coming in contact with him, I would have shot him."

[2]Brad morris - Airsoft Arms Inc. "The AirSoft BBs transfer typically about one-eighth the amount of energy compared to an average paintball gun," said Brad Morris, of AirSoft Arms, Inc.

Morris owns AirSoft Arms in Milford, a supplier of high-end AirSoft guns for use in sophisticated gun play.

These weekend warriors square off in mock battles, using M-4 AirSoft rifles so close to the military weapon, many of the parts are interchangeable.

"Use some common sense as far as where you're going to play," Morris advised.

The disciplined sportsmen follow rigid safety protocols – a far cry from reckless teenagers brandishing AirSoft guns in public.

"They go out and they shoot one of the kids on the school bus, that makes the news," said Aaron Thomas, an AirSoft player. "It gives a very bad image to our sport. And I say sport, not 'hobby,' because we take it very seriously."

"I take it just as seriously as the guy who plays basketball for college, or the guy who plays football in his backyard with his buddies on Labor Day," added Marshall Howard, another AirSoft player.

"They're safe to play with if you use them correctly, but they're very dangerous when you just have them out in public," said Sgt. Lonaker.

Remember Sgt. Lonaker, the SWAT commander who almost shot a 17-year-old with an AirSoft gun in Ft. Mitchell?

He doesn't just train his own officers with AirSoft guns, he trains his own family with them, too.

"My eight-year-old actually does have an AirSoft gun and he practices guns safety with it," said Sgt. Lonaker.

No question AirSoft guns are safer than the real thing.

But the more realistic they get, the more care and responsibility they demand.

Bottom line? They're no longer toys – and must be treated with the same respect as real firearms.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Airsoft simulated guns and equipment is the world's newest and fastest growing combat sport from Japan.

Tempe, AZ -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/19/2007 --
Christmas 2007 promises a bumper crop of Ralphie Parkers whose Christmas wish for "…an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and 'this thing' which tells time," will be magnified into thousands of "Airsoft" simulated guns and equipment used in the world's newest and fastest growing combat sport from Japan.

The sport hinges on the development of authentic re-creations of firearms using electricity, gas or springs to shoot a plastic pellet shaped like the familiar BB, ranging in weight from 0.12 to 0.88 grams, the most popular around 0.20 to 0.25 for most applications with heavier pellets used for longer distance "sniping."

Generally divided into MilSim (military simulation,) and police games, Airsoft games are wildly popular throughout the Far East, and have caught on in Europe to the point where normally stringent firearms rules in countries like the U. K. have been relaxed to allow importation of Airsoft simulated firearms. Just beginning to catch on in the United States, Airsoft is gradually replacing paintball games as a combat sport, and the importation of Airsoft guns and gear is becoming a rapidly growing market in those states whose laws allow it.

Nearly as important as the guns themselves is the gear used in the sport. Military and police gear necessary to re-create battles/and swat team action in different eras and terrain is nearly as important to the sport as the Airsoft guns.

Japanese manufacturers such as Tokyo Marui, Tanaka Works, Marushin and Inokatsu tend to be the high-end of the field, though lower cost replicas are beginning to be produced in other areas of East Asia. The emphasis is on authenticity, to the point where games are often limited to weapons and gear from a certain era.

Rinkya, the Japanese auction service, is helping to bring the Airsoft phenomenon to the world through access to the Japanese auction market where many of the best examples of Airsoft guns and gear find their way out of the Japanese and East Asian market.

Though still restricted in many countries and in some U. S. states, Airsoft is increasingly being seen as a safer and more intriguing combat sport than paintball, combining, as it does, military re-creation with the actuality of simulated combat.

The latest innovations in Airsoft which includes such things as Airsoft grenades and increasingly accurate uniforms and gear, successfully combine the combat sport with the sport of military and police re-creations and simulations.

"This year, one of Rinkya's goals is to see that all the budding Ralphie Parkers out there get the 2007 version of "…an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and 'this thing' which tells time," says Rinkya CEO Heather Russell, "Watch your eyes, guys."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Teen flashes replica gun, ends up in handcuffs

A prank involving an Airsoft replica gun backfired on a 17-year-old Roseville boy Monday when he was stopped by police in the parking lot at Woodcreek High School, ordered to the ground and then handcuffed.
The incident occurred shortly after 3:30 p.m. when an off-duty officer for the California Highway Patrol spotted a young man driving a Saturn sedan stop at a traffic light on Trailee Drive and Woodcreek Oaks Boulevard, said police spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther.
The off-duty officer said the driver pointed what appeared to be a pistol at the car behind him and then fire a shot at it, Gunther said.
The Saturn continued and the CHP officer followed it, keeping a Roseville police dispatcher aware of its movements by use of a cell phone, Gunther said.
When the Saturn pulled into the high school parking lot, police vehicles swarmed into the lot and two 17-year-old occupants of the Saturn were ordered to the ground, where they were handcuffed, she said.
A search of their vehicle yielded the Airsoft replica gun, she said. The Saturn's driver was cited for brandishing an imitation firearm, she said. The other boy was not cited.
Because of the Veterans Day holiday, school was not in session Monday, Gunther said.
However, she urged students not to be playing with guns in public, even if they are imitation weapons.
"This is yet another example of why it is extremely foolish and dangerous to play around with replica firearms in public," she said. "If a prankster pointed a replica firearm at a police officer or another person armed with a real firearm, the results could be tragic."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Airsoft players have fun, help fund home

For $10 a head, fans of airsoft - a game like paintball but with more forgiving, less messy pellets - engaged in simulated warfare Saturday on the eight acres behind Healing Ground, a transitional housing facility in Wellford.
Some were cadets and college students from Clemson University, Wofford College and Lander University in Greenwood. Others were older and in the working world, or drove from North Carolina and Georgia to take advantage of the "CQB," or "close quarter battles," offered by the landscape and buildings perched upon it.
"It's a lot better than running through the hills," said Neil Hoggard, who led the group on Saturday and represented the S.C. Airsoft Association. "They love CQB."
Hoggard, an associate producer for a TV network in Fort Mill, was just one of dozens dressed in fatigues and wielding weapons that ranged from sniper rifles with scopes and tripods to pistols. The prices of the weapons range from about $100 up to $800, Kyle Chanko said.
"Last time we played here, a guy from Alabama drove up to play," Chanko said. "The property owners are really generous. ... This offers a facility to play indoors and around buildings. It's a lot more intense than just playing out in the woods."
Laurie Mugavero, who runs Healing Ground, said the airsoft crowd comes through about once a month.
The money raised helps pay the mortgage on the prop-
erty, which she purchased
in tandem with the house she has transformed into a transitional shelter for homeless individuals and veterans, and those with mental health needs.
"I want this to be a magnet. ..." she said. "It's so cool to see life, isn't it? I just love to see them play."
A couple of airsoft players showed up on Friday night, camping out overnight on the Healing Ground property.
By 10 a.m. on Saturday, a line of cars and trucks filed down the lawn next to the driveway. The games started and lasted throughout the day, with several short breaks so sweaty players could cool down and grab some food.
Alex Meinzer said a few friends turned him on to airsoft about eight years ago.
Interest has taken off in the past couple of years and the airsoft association's membership has grown, Chanko added.
"We're always looking for new players who want to come out and have fun," he said.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Classic Army CA53 Airsoft Gun Review

Classic Army CA53 is an outstanding airsoft fire arm. It has been sold for a while now, and customers appear to be very content with them. They are known to be very dependable. As with most full size airsoft arms, they design like their real life counter pieces. While the Classic Army CA53 is not the most affordable product on the market, the price is really worth it. You will get your money’s worth found in quality, and opposite customers’s acknowledgment for your good taste. At 2552.0g , it is light enough for most people to carry onto the playing field. The starting speed of the ammo at 85-105 m/sce is where most of the other maunfacturers set their merchandise.

Care of the Classic Army CA53 is adequately straight forward. The only thing that you will need to do to keep this airsoft gun going is to restrain the hop-up assembley lubed with silicone spray and and the barrel clean. The disassembly of the weapon is uncomplicated, but taking apart the gearbox is not advised unless you are really sure what you are up to.

Specifications of the Classic Army CA53 :

The Classic Army CA53 weighs 2552.0g . The length of the barrel on this genuine looking airsoft rifle is 220mm . The inner diameter, or as most commonly known, the caliber of the barrel of the weapon is 6.08mm . The clip holds a at the most of 450 Roud rounds found in it when it is filled up. For some guns, larger capacity round holders are , in addition, available, even ones that hold literally thousands ammo and have an electric motor located in them to push the rounds inside the fire arm. The size of the ammo is the usual 6mm Ammunition . The starting speed of the ammunition is 85-105 m/sce as it exits the barrel. For most arms, upgrades are facilely available, if not directly from the manufacturer, from your local airsoft shop for a fee. The pack of batteries size mandated for this product is a Mini Type (8.4V) battery pack. The Classic Army CA53 is also known as AEG operated airsoft fire arm.

Features of the Classic Army CA53 :

Metal Body. Metal Front Set. Metal Hop Up Chamber. Steel Flash Hider. 450 Rd Hi-Cap Magazine. Spring- Loaded, Retractable Factory. One-piece Forgrip. A3 Lower Receiver.

General information On airsoft:

The overall average for a high quality electric weapon such as a Classic Army or Tokyo Marui, is about $200-$500 USD, depending on the model. Many airsoft guns, especially AEGs, come with little red plastic barrel blockers that fit over the muzzle, but these can be shot off the fire arm, and don’t provide the quick visual check that a barrel bag does. Airsoft participants organize meetings, either indoors or outdoors, at dedicated airsoft battlefields to play a variety of games ranging from short-term skirmishes, organized scenarios, armed service simulations, or historical reenactments. A hop-up unit, if present, puts backspin on the pellet giving a slight upward arc. Some players even wear military-style helmets, such as the kevlar MICH helmet, or hydration systems, such as those manufactured by Camelbak.

Some words about airsoft safety:

Although there is a considerable difference between airsoft and paintball energy levels (1 joule verses 12 joules), the type of collisions that occur (elastic airsoft vs. In many jurisdictions, using an imitation firearm to commit a crime (which often includes the generic term of “brandishing”) carries the same penalty as if a actual firearm were utilized because of the intent to kill. Eye protection not created specifically for employ with airsoft or paintball guns may break or shatter upon being struck, causing eye damage (although rare and uncomplicatedly prevented). There have been a few highly isolated cases of airsoft arms becoming mistaken for actual firearms, and some cases where armed law enforcement units have responded to tips of unlawful firearm operate.

Airsoft accessories:

There are also little paintball pellets available for airsoft arms;they are prone to breaking found in the gun, jamming in the fire arm, not breaking when hitting the target, and damaging pieces of the rifle which will need repairs to function correctly. 50, for a container of about 2000, to approximately $16 USD, for a large tub of on 10,000. Most of these “pyro” devices are powered by a gas.

Airsoft is very big on real life like cenerios. Here are a few thoughts on that:

Many Mil-Sim players choose to wear real gear (not an airsoft replica) and found in some cases, real life ballistic protective armor. Some common game variations include Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Close Quarters Battle (that attempts to simulate real life Close Quarters Battle). CQB situations include close range confrontations such as “house entry” where maneuvrability is more important than length or power.
Available at

Toy airsoft gun lands men in trouble

Two men from Chicago were arrested Monday after one of them entered a dorm room with a toy gun and the other one hid it during a police investigation.

Fayette police were called to Upper Iowa University for a report of a man with a gun. The student who reported it said the man had a black pistol in his waistband. Authorities secured the area and later identified Sheldon McCullough as the man who had the gun.

McCullough was arrested, along with his roommate Mitchel Smith, who police said concealed the gun after the incident. Police later realized the gun was an Airsoft pistol. It looked nearly identical to a real gun, aside from an orange tip on the barrel.

At this time, no further information about the incident is available.

THIS BOY'S LIFE: Storey of a mistaken boy with airsoft gun violations

Decked out in a shirt and tie last Wednesday, Garden City High School sophomore football player Jace Banner handed a typewritten statement to the officials at his expulsion hearing.

The statement apologized for the negative attention two separate AirSoft pellet gun incidents on school property involving Banner had brought upon his school, team and the community. Banner read aloud the numerous letters of recommendation sent in on his behalf.

He sat and watched as the parents of a student that accused him of shooting her in the forehead with the gun testified on his behalf. He watched as his football coach, Mike Smith, came and testified as a character witness.

A few hours after the hearing ended, Banner, also a standout wrestler, was handed a long letter detailing the board's decision -- the final few words of which sealed his fate.

"They took a break after I presented my case," Banner said. "Then they came back to me with a letter, and the last sentence told me I was being expelled for 186 days."

Banner registered 38 tackles in four games for the Buffaloes this season, and took fourth place in the 189-pound division at the Class 6A state wrestling tournament as a freshman.

His school-year length expulsion comes in response to incidents involving an AirSoft pellet gun, one on Sept. 6 and another on Sept. 11. On Sept. 6, Banner, along with teammates Brodrick Smith, Banner's half-brother, and Brad Hoggatt were spotted with an AirSoft pellet gun on school property. On Sept. 11, Banner allegedly discharged an AirSoft gun and struck an unnamed female student in the forehead.

While Banner admits to playing with the AirSoft gun, he firmly maintains that he never intentionally fired at another person.

Finney County attorney John Wheeler said this morning that his office has charged Banner with three juvenile counts of battery and one juvenile count of assault in reference to the Sept. 11 incident.

The battery counts stem from incidents in which Banner is alleged to have shot individuals with the AirSoft gun, and the assault count stems from an incident in which Banner is said to have allegedly threatened someone with the gun.

"I didn't shoot anyone," Banner said. "I'm not going to change my story because I was expelled or anything. I'm going to stick with it."

According to Banner, he, Hoggatt and Smith were brought into the office of athletic director Bill Weatherly on Sept. 6 and were asked to retrieve the gun from Hoggatt's car and bring it back to Weatherly's office. According to Banner, Weatherly then test-fired the gun in his office, and the students left after a lengthy discussion of the incident. Banner said the three were told they would find out about their punishment at a later date.

The three played in a football game the next day, a 29-7 Garden City win over Ulysses, and were given one day of in-school-suspension the following Monday, Sept. 10.

Weatherly did not return phone calls seeking comment for this article, but did talk about the incident with The Telegram earlier this month.

"They didn't get held out of the game because they did not violate any rules that would result in a suspension," Weatherly said at the time.

Four weeks later, Banner was called into the office of associate principal Brad Springston, who confronted him with accusations that he had shot a female student on Sept. 11.

"He basically said 'A girl said you shot her in the forehead,'" Banner said. "I was like, 'What are you talking about?' He basically was telling me how it was. He was telling me that I did this and that. It was kind of an argument."

Banner later spoke with associate principal Tracy Newell, and according to Banner the conversation went much the same as with Springston. After the two interviews, Banner still played against Wichita Northwest on Oct. 5 before being suspended from school for 10 days on Oct. 12.

According to both Banner and his mother, Janell Banner, Newell seemed adamant about making the eventual punishment as stiff as possible.

"Tracy Newell has been the most negative," Janell Banner said. "I just felt like he was the one that wanted to push the harshest punishment. He was always polite, but I didn't feel like he was looking out for Jace's best interest. He wanted to push his authority the farthest."

Calls to Newell, Springston, and all other Garden City administrators were forwarded to USD 457's Director of Public Information Roy Cessna.

When contacted, Cessna declined comment, citing the incident as a "student discipline issue." Cessna also refused to name the members of Banner's expulsion board, citing district policy.

According to both Banner and Coach Mike Smith, the use of AirSoft guns among the student body has been widespread recently.

"I'll say this, (the guns) were being used by hundreds of kids all this summer at the parks and different places," Coach Smith said. "It just so happens that Jace got caught. Sometimes things happen, and I hope Jace comes out of this a better person."

In response to the AirSoft incidents, USD 457 recently modified its policies to classify the AirSoft guns as weapons rather than toys.

Although Banner plans on filing an appeal with the district, he currently is exploring a move to another school district.

On Monday, Banner was visiting Lee's Summitt High School in suburban Kansas City, Mo. The sophomore also is considering transferring to Dodge City High School.

When asked about the details of the appeals process after an expulsion, Cessna indicated that he was not familiar with the procedure and could not give a comment.

Although the 186-day expulsion would last an entire school year, the terms of the expulsion dictate it is possible that Banner could return to school on Jan. 8 on a probationary basis. While on probation, Banner would be required to maintain a certain grade point average, attend and not be late for class, and would not be allowed to participate in sports.

Mike Smith hopes the 16-year-old standout sticks around that long.

"I just hope that Jace will come back to school and we don't lose him," Smith said. "Jace is a good team player. Athletically he can help us, but he's got a lot of people in his corner. When he's an influence, he's a positive one. He's one of the better athletes, and he's very good to the kids who don't get as much playing time. It's not all about Jace being the star."

Per USD 457 regulation, Banner has 10 days from his hearing date of Oct. 24 to file his appeal in the form of a handwritten note to the board explaining his case.

"Jace has always been respectful of authority," Janell Banner said. "He could always do better in his classes, but he's never been disrespectful. Even at the hearing, he bent over backwards to please the board. We feel like he's been tried in the newspaper, ridiculed in the school newspaper. Even on his MySpace page, almost daily, he'll receive comments ridiculing him. He feels like the community thinks of him as a criminal.

"This thing with the AirSoft guns goes on with half the football team, and other players have been doing this for years. He's not going to name any names, but it's just amazing that he's the one."

Friday, November 02, 2007

Games big boys play

THE fighting was intense as the main body of a group called Masa confronted heavily armed terrorists trying to blow up a bridge in the middle of the forest. One group tried to maneuver around the well-entrenched terrorists, but they incurred heavy losses to snipers overlooking their line of attack.

Left flank team leader and Masa tactician Francis “Raptor” Vargas ordered his men to provide cover fire for the advancing troops. They were met by sporadic barrage of gunfire coming from every direction. As the situation escalated, they soon realized that they were pinned down, outgunned and getting short on ammunition.

But something has to be done to defuse the bomb! In a last-ditch effort, Mark “Rampage” Duclayan ordered his remaining troops to push forward through the enemy lines.

With overwhelming force and guns blazing—reinforcements led by Jennie Lontoc, a.k.a. Aero, finally came to the rescue.

The terrorists were finally forced to abandon their siege and hastily retreat.

These scenes may sound like battle encounters in the jungles of Mindanao or in some far-flung regions of the Philippines—but it’s not! It’s just one of the many scenarios that the Masa Airsoft Club (of which this writer is a member) plays out during one of its weekend Airsoft war games.

Majority of Masa or the Magiting Airsoft Alliance members are employees of TDK Fujitsu Philippines. Other Masa members include active police personnel, businessmen and medical practitioners.

Airsoft skirmishes are mostly held at the 15-hectare Magna Rubber Corp. compound in Loma, Biñan, Laguna, owned by the family of Paulo Garcia, an avid airsofter.

The area was chosen as the home site of Masa because of its proximity to the group’s place of work and the versatility of the site itself.

Old buildings are used for Close Quarters Battle and Military Operations on Urban Terrain, while the heavily wooded areas provide an excellent venue for guerrilla-type battles and large-scale skirmishes are played out on wide grassy areas.

According to Christopher Iñigo, who goes by the call sign Cobra, Masa was created to bring out the weekend warrior. It is a gratifying activity as a way to reminisce their childhood days when they used to play baril-barilan with friends.

The only difference now are the toys, mainly because they are quite expensive.

An Automatic Electric Gun will set one back around P6,000 for a stock China-made gun and P18,000 for the high-end brands. A set of Battle Dress Uniform is around P3,000. Practitioners even go to extreme lengths, like traveling to different historic war sites, just to get a feel of how it was like.

In the group’s most recent journey, it visited the historic capital town of Lingayen in Pangasinan.

Primarily, the Masa plays war games to have fun and strengthen its camaraderie as this is important, especially in its line of work.

They work as a team to achieve their target. Also, the group learns rules of gun safety and planning for combat strategies.

The group’s president, Rannie Samson, who goes by the call sign DKing, said: “Players’ safety comes first.”

All airsoft war games are well organized as safety checks are done to ensure everything is in order. FPS limits are strictly enforced and BDU and safety goggles are required.

Masa is a brotherhood of disciplined men, who knows the boundaries between a war game and the perils of real encounters. Every member has high regards for lawmen and soldiers, who risk their lives to protect the country. In short, airsoft is just a game played by the big boys!