Airsoft pistols, shotguns, and tactical rifles use a small plastic bullet referred to as a BB or pellet. These pellets are fired at subsonic speeds, which is much slower than rim fire weapons or weapons that use gunpowder as an accelerant. Due to these slow speeds and plastic composition of the bullets, Airsoft guns are regulated as toys by law, but always require adult supervision.
Popular manufactures such as A&K, Aftermath, Bravo, Cyber Gun and Echo 1 USA often use the original molds and tooling for historical pistols, shotguns and tactical rifles to create an Airsoft gun that represents an exact replica of the original. This makes them a great investment for any person who wants the look and feel of vintage weapons such as an AR-15, Walther-P59 or AK47 without the extreme cost of purchasing an original. Vastly cheaper ammunition is also a benefit of an Airsoft gun verses an original rim fire version.
Airsoft Manufactuers such as Crosman, Stunt and TSD manufacture guns that are unique to the industry because they are not modeled after historical guns. These weapons offer a wide range of features and designs not found on guns that mimic real rim fire weapons.
Airsoft guns are perfect for youngsters or teens that are just learning to handle, shoot and care for weapons. With sub sonic speeds and relatively small projectiles made of plastic, they represent one of the safest guns on the market. Injuries are possible with any weapon that shoots a projectile, but the risk of serious life threatening injury is greatly reduced by design. An Airsoft gun serves as a highly valuable learning tool while providing the student with a high quality, accurate representation of a real gun.
Recently, gun enthusiasts have started to use Airsoft guns for tactical training and for battlefield simulations. Replacing traditional paintball guns, they offer a realistic experience to the shooter. Many police agencies, state militia and weekend warriors use air guns for tactical training because the bullets are slower, softer and less likely to cause injury.