AIRSOFT

F.A.Q’S

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General Questions

Are the bb's biodegradable?
Some BB’s are and some aren’t. Non-Bio BB’s are a plastic like compound. Bio BB’s are made of either PLA, a corn based material the same as the new shopping bags, or other materials that are closely guarded secrets of the manufacturers.

Not all field owners are fussed on whether players use Bio BB’s or not but as a rule NZ Airsoft recommends the use of Bio BB’s whenever playing outdoors.

Do girls play?

Certainly! While Airsoft seems to attract more guys than gals, we find girls to be very good Airsoft players.  Girls have shown a tendency to pay more attention to training which gives them an advantage over some guy opponents.

Do couples or families play?

Yes! Many couples play and family groups play. Many have claimed it’s a fun way to sort out any minor disputes or to gamble household chores on.

Does getting hit with a BB hurt?

It can do in some cases depending on where you are hit and the power and proximity of the gun. Generally, if you are hit on the bare skin you will feel a sting. This is more noticeable on skin over bone and less so on fleshy areas.

NOTE: If you have played Paintball, a comparison would be that BB’s hit with approximately 10% of the force of a paintball.

BB’s will leave a mark like an itchy-bite which fades after a few days. We advise players to cover up when they first start playing Airsoft until they are used to being hit. Many veterans will play open field events in shorts, tee’s and safety specs as they are used to the hits or don’t get hit very often. If you don’t want to look like you had a wrestle with a hornets nest, cover up and wear full face protection!

Clubs limit the power and engagement distances of guns on the field to try to minimise discomfort.

Is playing Airsoft safe?

Like any sport, there is a risk of injury. We police very strict rules to maximise player safety.

Even though we use Airsoft guns, a player is more likely to injure themselves by tripping over or walking into a branch rather than from being shot or shooting themselves.

Paintball is considered a fun sport and has been played by young people for years. When asked if Airsoft is safe we like to respond with “Would you let your kids play Paintball?” Generally the answer is yes. Airsoft BB’s hit with about 10-20% of the energy of a paintball, ergo, Airsoft is just as safe if not safer (and less painful) than paintball.

MasterCard says, “In all my years of playing Airsoft against high powered snipers and in close quarters with no minimum engagement distance, I have never suffered an injury that I would rate a bad as the injuries I suffered playing Primary School Hockey.
The realism of the Airsoft firearms falsely coveys a sense of danger or injury. In fact Airsoft is far safer than the sports we throw our kiwi kids into playing every day.
Airsoft also requires mandatory eye and/or face protection and we have a lot of additional safety gear options like helmets, vests, gloves and pads. If it’s perfectly OK for a kid to face a cricket ball at school with none of this equipment then there is no need to be concerned about a 6mm plastic BB while your face is safely behind a mask.”

What do Airsoft Guns Fire?

Airsoft guns fire a 6mm spherical BB. The BB can be made from a variety of plastic or biodegradable materials depending on the manufacturer. BB’s are most commonly white, but are also available in other colours. There are many different grades of quality and weight, with the better quality BB’s being recommended to avoid gun issues. The most commonly used weight would be 0.20g and 0.25g. As a rule, the higher the weight, the more accurate the BB (outside) but the less distance it will travel.

Some guns shoot 8mm BB’s but these are scarce and generally not accepted for club games.

What powers an Airsoft Gun?

The most common configuration involves a battery powered motor turning a gearbox which in turn uses a piston to compress air. These guns are called AEG’s (Automatic Electric Gun). SEG’s are also available, these use the same system but only fire once per trigger pull, (Semi-Automatic Electric Gun). The batteries used are rechargeable NiMH or Li-Poly packs, not your torch-like battery.

Gas is the next most popular option and is commonly used in pistols and sniper rifles. Gas is stored in the magazine or an internal cartridge along with the BB’s. The BB loads into the barrel and the gas ejects it from the gun. High end shotguns and grenade options also use gas.

Spring powered guns are usually entry-level quality and are slow to fire as they require a cocking action for each shot. Two styles of guns that benefit from the simple spring action is the pump-action shotgun or the single-shot sniper rifle.

Where can I purchase Airsoft gear from?

There are several Airsoft Retailers around New Zealand who stock guns and/or tactical gear.

You can also order these online from overseas stores but we recommend you buy from within New Zealand to both help support NZ business and because you get local after sales support and are protected by the Consumer Guarantees Act.

We do not recommend new players buy secondhand guns from TradeMe or club members. Secondhand guns are often sold because they are becoming worn out or have an issue. These are best left for veteran Airsoft players to buy as they will have the experience, tools and parts to make any repairs. Secondhand guns often end up costing the unwary new player more than a new store bought gun.

Please note to purchase a gun you must be either:

18 years of age OR
16-17 with a NZ Firearms License.

To import an Airsoft gun from overseas you must first apply (and be granted) a permit to import by the NZ Police.

Where do you play Airsoft?

Outdoor Airsoft is mostly played on privately owned land, usually an area of farmland that is uncultivated or not suitable for running livestock. These areas are usually bush or pine blocks.

Some commercial paintball fields also permit clubs to hire their fields but this can be expensive and is usually saved as a treat or for special events.

Indoor Airsoft can be played at several CQB Arenas run by commercial businesses.

Game Questions

How do you know if you have been hit?

Generally you will feel and/or hear the BB hit you. If it is on bare skin you will feel a quick sting. This is lessened by clothing or tactical gear. The sound of a BB hitting tactical gear is quite distinctive. In some cases, if the BB were to hit a well padded area in the thick of a noisy firefight it may not be heard or felt. This is where it is up to the players to be extra honest or vigilant. If you think you may have been hit, call it. If you see another player clearly hit, call it.

How long does a club game day run?

This varies from club to club but the average game day would last approximately 6 hours with a break for lunch. When you consider the small field fees charged by clubs and even the modest cost of hiring NZ Airsoft gear, the sport of Airsoft gives you a great return for your money. Where else can you get 6 hours of fun for under $60?

How old must I be to play or book an event?

If you are wanting to attend a club game it is best to contact the club organisers to check their age limits. All clubs will allow players over the age of 18. Most will accept players 16-17 (especially if they have a firearms license). Some clubs will accept players younger than 16.

In all cases where a player is under the age of 18, they must be supervised on the field (by law). This could mean a Parent or Guardian playing with them or in most cases, a veteran Airsoft player “buddying-up” with them.

Many clubs will also have a Parental Consent form for underage players to supply that is completed by a Parent or Guardian.

If you are underage and would like to organise an event, feel free to contact us. Any final details regarding event payments will need to be handled by a Parent or Guardian but you are welcome to discuss the rest of the details with us prior to the booking.

What are FPS Limits?

FPS stands for “Feet Per Second”, the standard measurement of the power of a gun. This is measured on a specific BB weight so it can be related to other Airsoft guns on the field or a scale that determines if the gun can be used at an event or what safety requirements the player must observe. Common BB measuring weights are 0.20g and 0.25g.

For example, the higher the FPS, the further away the player may have to be from their target. Generally guns are upgraded to provide the player with greater range so this is not an issue. If you want to tag players closer, you don’t need a high-powered gun.

This is also why many players with high-powered guns (like snipers) also carry a low-powered sidearm. If a target gets too close to tag safely with the high powered gun they switch to their low-powered sidearm.

For safety reasons, many clubs will limit the amount of power guns may have on their field.

Clubs might not all use the same FPS ratings as these can be influenced by the size, layout and cover provided by their personal playing fields. This is why it is always best to check with a club (usually on their game post) to be certain your tagger is correctly powered for the game you would like to attend. Also ensure you know what weight the club measures it’s FPS at!

Some guns have features that allow them to have their power easily adjusted and this allows players to use one gun across a wide range of fields or game types.

What are MED's?

MED stands for “Minimum Engagement Distance”. This is the closest you are permitted to be to another player and still be allowed to pull the trigger. As the BB’s are quite light weight they decelerate quickly. By allowing a certain distance between the player and the target we allow time for the BB to lose energy so it hits the target with less force. The more powerful the gun, the greater the MED. This works well with gaming as high powered guns are favoured by snipers who are trying to hit targets further away anyway.

As MED’s are in place to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all players, any player who engages too close is usually reprimanded and may be asked to leave the field. Some clubs require players to prove their ability to accurately judge distances before they are permitted to use a high powered tagger.

In CQB (Close Quarters Battles) there are no MED’s. For this reason the guns tend to be low powered and the players are fully covered with head protection, vest and other safety gear.

What are the rules for Airsoft games?

Two important rules to pay attention to in any game are:

Your Minimum Engagement Distance (MED). This is a safety rule and determines how close you can be to another player and still be allowed to fire.
The Hit Rules – What happens when you are hit. You must be aware of what you need to do once you are hit. It may be as simple as walking back to base to re-spawn or there my be more complicated medic rules with limited lives involved.

Failing to correctly follow MED’s or hit rules are the top reasons for disagreements during game play or forfeiting a win.

The rest of the rules for a game usually related to the objectives that the game is specifically designed around. These might include:

The boundary of the playing area
How many players can be in a certain position at any one time
Where bases can be set up
Rules for transporting props/flags during game play
In game trading with mercenaries or special players
How much ammo or health you can carry in the game
The securing of props or special sites

If you are ever unsure of a rule, please check with a game organiser, marshall or your squad leader if you have one. It is better to ask than do something wrong and compromise your ability to win the game or negatively affect the flow of the game for other players.

What safety gear is required to play?

Eye protection is mandatory at any event for both players and spectators. The eye protection must be high impact rated, well fitted and offer a good area of eye coverage – no large gaps for stray BB’s to get through.

NZ Airsoft promotes the use of solid lens protection over the mesh alternative. BB’s are known to shatter and there is the chance that fine particles may pass through the mesh goggles and enter the eye. Paint applied to the mesh has also been know to flake off and enter the eye if the mesh is hit with a high powered BB.

NZ Airsoft also promotes the mandatory wearing of full face masks for any player under the age of 18.

On the open field adult players can choose how much or how little safety gear they wish to wear in addition to their eye protection. If you like to be in the “thick of the fight” then a helmet, mask and vest are recommended, as are long sleeves and pants. If you prefer to hide like a sniper then you are less likely to need this level of protection.

Close Quarters Battles (CQB) requires players to wear full face protection as the risk for being hit at very close range is extremely high. For this reason most players will dress in full coverage clothing, adopt additional head and chest protection and occasionally additional padding.

If you are hiring gear from NZ Airsoft, you will be furnished with a set of safety specs or safety goggles and a full face mask (optional for adult players). We recommend wearing a beanie, hat or hoody if you are concerned about head shots.

What should I wear/bring to a game day?

First time players are recommended to wear long sleeves, pants and footwear with some level of grip as they are likely to be walking on uneven ground or up and down bushy slopes. We also recommend wearing a beanie, hat or hoody if you are concerned about head shots. It’s is better to come over prepared and choose to remove items if you wish than to come under prepared and wish you’d covered up more.

If you are hiring gear from NZ Airsoft, you will be furnished with a set of safety specs or safety goggles and a full face mask (optional for adult players).

If you are bringing your own Airsoft gear then high impact safety spec/goggles are the bare minimum.

Other items to bring would be food and drink to last the day. Most sites do not have water available or nearby shops so bring plenty of food for lunch and snacks. It can get very hot in the bush over summer so ensure you bring enough water to keep you well hydrated. Veteran players often wear hydration packs to carry water for easy hydration.

Some cash is also a good idea, just in case you want to buy more BB’s or join the club. ATM’s and Eftpos are not available in the bush 🙂

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