Safety Hazards of Metal Airsoft Guns and How to Avoid Them
About two weeks ago, my brother and I had a little fight when I disagreed on letting him go with his school friends to play airsoft. Our parents were out of town, so it was my responsibility to take care of him and my other siblings. Just two days before this episode, I found him browsing metal airsoft guns on the internet and when I asked him about it, he told me that he is looking for a gun to buy which he will ask mom and dad to get him when they get back home. I listened to him and did not say anything thinking that we will deal with this later when mom and dad will be back home. However, I did not expect him to ask me to go play airsoft with his middle school buddies in one of his friend’s backyard.
I had very little idea about airsoft at that time and I did not want any mishap occurring to my little brother. He is only 13 years old and according to me, it is an age where you should closely look after children and their activities. They like to pull off stunts and are completely unaware of the danger they can get into. Anyhow, my brother was being very insistent that day and yes, I agree, he has a way of getting things done according to his will. So, I said yes and with a heavy heart, I let him go with his friends. He said that he will be back home before dark but no matter how much I tried to calm down, I just could not shake off the bad vide I was getting about this whole thing. Although metal airsoft guns are not real guns still, they look like ones and I felt uneasy about the thought of my brother with metal guns even if they shot plastic BBs instead of real bullets.
Metal airsoft guns are not like those cheap plastic ones which look totally unrealistic. These ones are heavy as they are fully constructed up of metal and they resemble real guns too much, also the working mechanism is still the same. So, now you can identify why was I worrying too much. And my fear turned to reality when I found a crowd just two blocks away from my home when I was on my way to pick up my brother. I parked my car on the side lane and went to check what happened. What I saw was very heart-wrenching, a boy who was about same age as my brother was lying on the road in the pool of his own blood, there were two metal airsoft guns lying on his side. The boy was dead, and people were saying that a police officer shot the poor boy down misinterpreting that he was carrying two real guns. The truth that the boy was carrying metal airsoft guns and not real guns came out late and that misunderstanding cost the boy his life. I began seeing my brother in that boy lying on the road and before I knew it, I was back in my car and was literally flying the car to get to my brother.
When I reached his friend’s house, I saw that there was no one in the yard, I went to the main door and began thumping down heavy knocks. A boy came to open the door, I tried to speak but no voice came out. I set aside the boy and went into the living room as fast as I could and that is when I saw four boys watching a show on television and my brother was one of them. I ran to him and hugged him fiercely and when my tears turned to sobs, that is when I get to know that I was crying since God knows when. After that day, I didn’t let my brother play with metal airsoft guns ever again and if you kid is very insistent on playing with them, then here are a few safety tips which you must make sure that your kid follows before he set out to play airsoft games.
Airsoft Safety Rules
Airsoft guns, as we all know, are the replicas of the real ones. Although they may shoot plastic BBs and pellets instead of real bullets, proper care should still be taken while using them. Some airsoft guns are semi-automatic while some are automatic as well. Metal airsoft guns which are also automatic are the closest versions to real guns in terms of mechanism and design and construction. Also, the speed at which a BB is shot from the barrel differentiates from one gun to the other. Some guns shoot projectiles at a much faster velocity than others and therefore, these projectiles hit the target with a great impact than the projectiles shot from the guns having a lower FPS(feet per second). Let us have a look at some safety rules which everyone should practice while playing with metal airsoft guns.
1- Wear Proper Attire
The first and foremost thing is to wear proper attire while playing airsoft so that you can stay safe and avoid accidental injuries as well. Your eyes and face should be the first things you should focus on and therefore, you should wear eye goggles around your eyes and a helmet o your head while playing airsoft. Face and head are one of the most sensitive areas of the human body and this is why they should be properly covered with goggles and helmet. Also, you should care about each other while playing airsoft and should not hit someone in the eyes who is not wearing protective goggles or a helmet. BBs are not dangerous because they are made up of plastic and not of steel, however, they can also prove to be dangerous if hit on sensitives areas of the body i.e. face and eyes. So, this is the rule no one which should be followed at all costs i.e. Always wear protective goggles and a helmet while playing with metal airsoft guns.
2- Regulate the Velocity
The second rule is to make sure that you are shooting at the acceptable velocity and are not exceeding it. Most people play airsoft in a controlled and simulated environment. There are people providing guidelines and setting rules there, they also tell you the maximum velocity at which you should fire. Normally, airsoft guns shoot between 250 FPS (feet per second) to 350 FPS (feet per second). However, good metal airsoft guns can also shoot up to an FPS of 375 and 400. The FPS of 375 and 400 is the maximum that is allowed by the majority of the airsoft administrators in the US. If someone is firing at a higher FPS than 400, then he or she should be experienced enough and should be able to judge the distance from target accurately and should perform long-range shooting.
3- Use Gun Cases to Carry Airsoft Guns
Although airsoft guns are not real guns, yet they should be considered like ones. If you have an airsoft gun, then you should make sure that you carry it securely enclosed in a case whenever you are carrying it. Airsoft guns can accidentally discharge as well just like real guns which can result in injuries to eyes, face, and teeth as well. Other than your own safety, carrying an airsoft gun in a gun case can keep your gun safe as well. Airsoft guns are very fragile and therefore must be handled, used and kept with great care. You can also store spare magazines and BBs in these gun cases, and it will not scare away the people around you while you are carrying the gun who may misunderstand and think that you are in possession of a real gun instead of a fake one.
Some Basic Safety Rules
There are some more rules related to metal airsoft guns. Let us have a look at them.
- Try to keep the muzzle of the gun in a safe direction whenever you are not using the gun.
- Always practice precautionary measures while handling the gun as if it is fully loaded with BBs.
- Always load the metal airsoft guns whenever you want to use them and unload them when you are not using them.
- There is a safety switch on good guns, make sure to put the gun on safe mode whenever you are not using the gun.
- Keep your finger away from the trigger of the gun if you are not going to use the gun anytime soon, otherwise, you may cause the gun to discharge BBs by accidentally pulling the trigger.
- Aim properly before you pull the trigger so that your projectile hits the target right on spot. It is even better if your target has a safe backstop. So, that you know how far your BB will go if you miss the target and what possible damage could occur. Not that a plastic BB could do much but who knows it may!
- Another good practice is to read the manual you get with the gun. Read about all the instructions, warnings, do and don’t about the gun. This will help you greatly and someday you will consider it a blessing that you took out the time to read that manual.
- Store the metal airsoft guns by unloading them and turning on their safety switch. Other than these precautionary measures, it is better to keep the gun away from the ammunition so that the kids in your house may not misuse them and hurt themselves or someone around them.
- If children are playing with spring airsoft guns, then their parents or any other adult should supervise them so that they don’t do anything stupid or dangerous. After all, kids have a knack of attracting trouble towards them.
- Use your common sense and always practice precautionary measures while using airsoft guns, even if you have your gun on safe mode. Safe mode does give us some peace of mind and our guard is down when we have it on, but we should not totally rely on it may malfunction or stop working anytime.
- Avoid shooting in the pool or someplace else where there is water, or a hard surface i.e. walls because the BB will rebound and may hit you or someone else.
- Every gun shoot projectiles of a specific caliber so make sure to use BBs of only that caliber from that gun. If you have some doubt about it, then go through the manual that came with the gun.
- Another thing which you should make sure that you don’t do is to use projectiles that are damaged in any way or are deformed or used before. You may end up getting them stuck inside the barrel of the gun and that would be bad, like really bad!
- Similarly, do not use a gun having broken parts because you are never sure what may go wrong.
- Maintain your airsoft gun regularly so that it works efficiently and do not get worn out quickly.
- Last but not least, always buy metal airsoft guns having orange tips on them. You know why is this precaution necessary? It is necessary because airsoft guns are made distinguishable from real guns by this orange tip. This orange tip is what makes airsoft guns legal to use and this is what keeps you safe from unwanted troubles with the cops as well.
The above-mentioned safety tips should be learned by heart by every airsoft sniper rifle player as they will keep you safe and those around you as well.