Dangers of an Airsoft Replica (Something never to forget)

  1. BigFish
    It dawned on me the other day as I was discussing the Adirondack Rangers Code of Conduct videos, Adirondack Rangers | An Upstate NY Airsoft Team, with our video spokesman Fisch that we all assume we understand the dangers of actively participating in airsoft functions and how participating relates to certain aspects of our replicas. Fisch made it a point to state how realistic most replicas can be and how in the hands of an irresponsible player it would be very easy to have a replica mistaken for a real firearm with potentially tragic results. Fisch likes realism, but is very safety conscious for a player his age which I respect. Because of my conversation with Fisch I decided to compare a replica Socom Gear WE 1911 in tan I had purchased and a real steel Kimber Custom 1911 in standard black from my firearm collection just to reaffirm what Fisch and discussed. I again concluded replicas can be made to look pretty darn real. It was very easy to see how someone not familiar with our sport could formulate an incorrect conclusion and make the mistake of confusing airsoft replicas with real firarms. Like Fisch, I like realism, which is why I was drawn to the sport of airsoft. Having owned a Kimber 1911 for some time I was happy to see the WE 1911 I purchased lived up to my expectation of a realistic copy of a real Model 1911. The WE 1911 was a good match in weight, appearance, and function. It was a vast leap forward over the clear shell body I was using prior. Side by side the two frames look amazingly close in appearance, impressive in deed. The Kimber 1911 sports the location of the manufacture and serial number on the right side of the slide while the WE 1911 is engraved with the location of manufacture and “Socomgear.com” in the same location, both had their distinct trademarks on the slides left side. With the slid pulled back the Kimber 1911 showcased a sexy silver barrel while the WE 1911 sported a subdued painted black barrel with the required blazed orange tip. From a distance these distinctions would be mute. Both the Kimber 1911 and WE 1911 function the same way, a magazine catch to drop the magazine assembly, racking the slide to cock the weapon for the first shot, and the placement and function of the grip and thumb safeties to fire the weapon. A pull of the trigger will result in each shooting their designated ammunition with a nice kick, although the Kimber will report with a loud bang and require a firm hold on the grips. I again concluded, the WE 1911 was a very close copy of a real Model 1911 pistol. The true difference of course between the WE 1911 and the Kimber 1911 is what exits the barrel, and of course, their intended use. The Kimber’s bullet is a true man stopper. A 45 ACP bullet will make anyone’s day go from good to bad in a hurry; The Kimber is clearly not a toy and would considerable harm anything falling prey to it’s line of sight. The Model 1911 was designed to rapidly stop, and if needed, kill any threats to it’s entrusted bearer. My Kimber 1911 is directly linked to this classic design in form and function. The WE 1911 is designed to play a sport where individual players can shoot plastic BB’s at each other in much the same way paintball is played, but airsoft players tend to be involved in simulation games and enjoy realistic copies of firearms to meet the demands of the simulations. Unfortunately for the sport of airsoft, some airsoft players treat their replicas as toys. Because of this I consider any replica in the wrong hands a potential killer, a killer to our sport and possibly to any irresponsible individuals behaving badly and using poor judgement. While the 6mm plastic BB is nothing to dismiss and requires proper eye and face protection to play our sport safely, it is the raw appearance of this replica which resulted in this conclusion. This simple observation brings me back to my original thought as I discussed replicas with Fisch, replicas can get you in trouble in a hurry if you’re not careful. From a moderate distance of 50ft only the orange blazed tip would identify my WE 1911 as a replica and even then a person with knowledge of our sport could mistakenly identify the replica as a real firearm given the right conditions. Can we say the words “fear” or “panic” to describe an unknowing persons reactions when confronted by a replica firearm in a public setting? From a further distance, or under slightly darker conditions, it would be practically impossible to distinguish a replica from its real steel counterpart and this is what makes any replica a potential killer if not handled properly. Airsoft can be a fun and safe sport, I feel as safe as most sports. As players we know we take on risks to ourselves while we play sanctioned games, but it is important to consider what our actions will say about our sport, other players, and ultimately how people not familiar with our sport will react when they see a replica firearm. It is important to keep in mind you could be the only person who knows your holding a replica firearm and not the real steel it represents itself to be. Holding games in secure safe areas, marking the fields so people know your playing a game, and and letting people know what airsoft is about will reduce the dangers of participating in our sport and ease the fears of your neighbors. As I stated earlier, a replica can be a killer if not respected and used appropriately. Big Fish Adirondack Rangers | An Upstate NY Airsoft Team

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