AIRSOFT GUNS BUYERS GUIDE FOR THE UK
This is an Airsoft Guns Buyers Guide, the following information is supplied to help explain the law regarding Airsoft Guns and BB Guns plus give relevant information regarding which type of Airsoft gun will suit your needs.
AGE RESTRICTION FOR ALL AIRSOFT BB GUNS
All Airsoft BB Guns can only be sold to persons 18 years of age or older. However, there is no age restriction on the age of an owner or user just the age to purchase. If you buy an Airsoft BB Gun and either gift it to someone else, or allow them to use it, regardless of their age, you are not breaking the law. So, a parent can buy an airsoft BB gun and give it to their child to use or keep.
COLOURED AIRSOFT BB GUNS
Airsoft BB Guns are separated into two distinctive categories and it is important that this is understood before purchasing. There is what is known as 2TONE guns e.g. a gun that PRINCIPLE COLOUR is significantly different from that of a real firearm i.e. bright orange, green, blue, etc. Then there is what is known as RIF (realistic imitation firearm) e.g. a gun that looks like a real gun i.e. black or tan.
2 TONE AIRSOFT BB GUNS
These Airsoft BB Guns can be purchased without license or membership to any association or club.
RIF AIRSOFT BB GUNS
To be eligible to purchase a RIF (black, silver, or tan) Airsoft BB Gun you need one of the following:
– You have a current UKARA membership
– You are a member of a properly insured historical skirmish site
– You are a member of a shooting club
– You are a member of a properly insured historical re-enactment group or society
– You are a film, television, or theatre production company
– You are (or are acting on behalf of) a museum
– You are a Crown Servant in pursuance of your Crown duties
FPS LIMITS FOR THE UK
FULL AUTO: 1.3 joules (approx. 374FPS/0.2g bb)
SINGLE SHOT: 2.5 joules (approx. 519FPS/0.2g bb)
Please note: each skirmish site will have different FPS limits on their games.
DELIVERY OF AIRSOFT BB GUNS WITHIN THE UK
Airsoft BB Guns are not listed as firearms and can be sent with most postal services. We always recommend using a registered delivery service due to the nature of the product.
This information is for the UK only and we advise that you contact your local authorities for information about the Law and Airsoft BB Guns in your territory.
MORE DETAILED INFORMATION
ARE BB GUNS LEGAL IN THE UK?
On the whole, BB guns are completely legal in the UK although there are certain requirements that must be met for an individual to own a BB gun. These requirements are as follows:
It is illegal to buy or sell a BB gun to anyone under the age of 18 in the UK.
It is legal for an under 18-year-old to own a BB gun – providing they did not purchase it themselves and it is used under supervision only.
Most people should buy a two-tone weapon to stay legal, however, exclusions are made for people who wish to buy a complete black weapon called a realistic imitation firearm.
Those excluded from two-tone laws are film crews, crown servants, museum staff, historical re-enactors or UKARA and insured skirmish site members.
IS AIRSOFT LEGAL IN THE UK?
There are various rules and regulations surrounding airsoft in the UK, but the bottom line is, yes, airsoft is completely legal in the UK. The laws surround how powerful the weapons can be, what colours the guns must be and where weapons can be carried publicly.
Powered by Co2 or green gas offering realistic blowback upon firing
Referred to as AEG (Automatic Electric Guns) fire BB pellets automatically through a battery-powered mechanism
These require manual loading and fire single shot BBs
Those are the different ways of powering the airsoft gun, however, the weapon itself can come in various forms and designs. These include but are not limited to:
- Assault rifles
- Machine guns
- Sniper rifles
- Grenade launchers
HOW TO IMPROVE AIRSOFT GUN ACCURACY?
To improve the accuracy of your airsoft gun you could add accessories like improved sights or a foregrip to improve stability in your hands. Ultimately the accuracy will depend on the quality of the weapon and the distance of your target. One thing you can do is to perform a hop-up adjustment or adjust the FPS of the weapon itself.
HOW TO ADJUST HOP-UP?
Adjusting the hop-up is gun-dependent, so you will need to find a solution that is specific to your gun model. The key thing to discover is how much hop-up your gun needs, too much and it may not travel as far as it could do. Hop-up dials and sliders are often located under a panel cover and this dial will need to be switched upwards or downwards depending upon how much backspin is currently being put onto your BBs.
HOW TO LOWER FPS ON AEG?
Most skirmish sites will set an FPS limit for AEGs for safety and insurance reasons. To lower your FPS you can purchase a new shorter and lower-powered spring which will need to be fitted by a field technician or a licensed retailer like Just BB Guns. Alternatively installing a shorter barrel inside may have the same desired effect.
BB GUNS SAFETY INFORMATION
Below is a range of BB gun safety information on usage,
ARE BB GUNS SAFE?
BB guns are not designed to cause injury and to be dangerous, however, they can be dangerous if they are not used correctly. If you follow the safety instructions and safety information, they are considered safe and easy to use with no harm caused.
If you have any more questions or queries with regards to the safety of your gun, then please do not hesitate to contact us. You should also be sure to read all the information that you will receive with your BB or airsoft gun before use.
BB PELLET SAFETY INFORMATION
BB pellet safety information is as crucial as that of BB guns. Pellets, when used incorrectly, can cause damage to people under fire and the shooter. Here are various common questions asked about bb pellets and how to play airsoft safely.
IS AIRSOFT SAFE?
Airsoft is generally safe. There are certain rules you should follow to keep airsoft safe though. The BB pellets are typically harmless and the games are designed for fun and not to injure anyone. The following safety tips keep airsoft safe:
- Treat all guns as if they are loaded and never assume that a gun is not loaded.
- Never point your BB gun at anyone even if you think that it is not loaded!
- Do not fire at a target unless you know everything surrounding the target is clear. Do not shoot if there is a possibility that someone is near to the target you might miss!
- Keep your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to fire.
- You should wear protective eyewear/goggles at all times. We would also recommend wearing a protective mask to avoid any injury.
- Do not carry your BB gun in a public place. Now that BB guns are made to look more and more realistic they can often be mistaken for real guns. This makes them potentially dangerous! If someone (including and especially the police) thinks you have a real gun you could be putting yourself and others in danger.
- Do not alter the colour of your BB gun. It is fluorescent orange for a reason! It is important that the Police can recognize a BB gun from a real gun.
- Always check to make sure the gun is not loaded. Point the gun away from people and animals and squeeze the trigger (again, avoid pointing it at things that it might ricochet off).
- Do not carry a loaded BB gun when climbing over fences or up trees or even when jumping. Doing so could cause the gun-fire to unexpectedly
Take care of your gun. A damaged or dirty gun is more likely to be dangerous and cause injury.
WHAT IS THE AIRSOFT FPS LIMIT IN THE UK?
Whichever skirmish site you play airsoft at will have it’s own enforced airsoft FPS limit, however, there is a legal nationwide limit. The airsoft FPS limit in the UK is 1.3 joules for fully automatic weapons and 2.5 joules for semi-automatic and single shot guns.
This would mean for a standard 0.20g BB pellet, the FPS limit would be 519 fps for a single shot weapon and 374 fps for an automatic gun. The following calculations break down the airsoft FPS limit UK wide.]
How does a spring airsoft gun work?
Spring airsoft guns require the user to cock the weapon, arming the gun with the BB pellet into the chamber. Spring airsoft guns can be simple pistols with a low range up to 350 FPS, or the more expensive spring loaded sniper rifles can shoot up to 500 FPS. The pellets are individually loaded from a magazine or clip into the barrel chamber manually by the shooter cocking the weapon. The spring within the barrel pulls back once cocked, then pushes the BB pellet out at high speed once the trigger has been squeezed.
How do gas airsoft guns work?
A magazine is inserted into the weapon which is loaded with a compressed gas canister and a specific amount of BB pellets. The amount of BBs will depend upon the size of the magazine which you are using. As the shooter pulls the trigger, the mechanism lowers the hammer onto the gas canister for a short second which releases a small amount of pressure into the chamber of the gun. This then fires the BB pellet from the chamber at high speed.
What’s the difference between Co2 and green gas airsoft guns?
Co2 ultimately has a more pressurized system in comparison to green gas meaning the Co2 guns are often more powerful and offer a higher FPS. This however, does mean the Co2 alternatives are often more expensive overall, in terms of weapons and gas canisters. Some weapons will accept both green gas and Co2 but if they do not state that on the instructions it is important to use the correct gas stated. If the wrong gas is used the higher pressure can cause internal gun damage and is not worth the risk.
How do electric BB guns work?
A battery-powered motor sits inside the gun, typically in the handle compartment, and this spins the gears inside once the trigger has been activated. These gears pull back the chamber piston which keeps firing back and forth whilst propelling bb pellets out of and shooting at enemies.
How airsoft shotguns work
Airsoft shotguns still have the standard shell cartridge-style ammunition, which may cause you to wonder how airsoft shotguns work. There are two types of airsoft shotgun
How do airsoft grenade launchers work?
Airsoft grenade launchers fire off a grenade filled with gas and pellets to scatter a squad of opponents rapidly. They work by initially loading the 40mm grenade up with an external gas canister and then slotting in the required amount of BB pellets, typically up to around 24 BBs. The launcher itself then fires the grenade quite a distance through a gas-propelled system.
What are airsoft pellets made of?
Airsoft BB pellets are made of plastic in a variety of colors and sizes, the size tends to differ depending upon the skirmish site you are playing at. The BB pellets are typically made overseas, however, those bought from Taiwan and Japan are typically better standard, such as the Bulldog BB pellets. They are small 6mm plastic spherical pellets and typically weigh around 0.20g, being the skirmish standard. The airsoft pellets can weigh from 0.12g to 0.48g commonly used in sniper rifles.
Can you reuse BB pellets?
One rule of BB gun safety that is too often overlooked is that you should always use new ammo and BB pellets in your BB gun. It does not matter if it is expensive. Not loading your gun with new ammo is extremely dangerous and can degrade your gun over time, or break it as old BB pellets can break apart within the weapon.
Can BB pellets ricochet?
A BB bullet can easily ricochet. Be aware of the type of surface you are shooting at. BB pellets ricochet more easily off of certain surfaces. The most dangerous surfaces to fire your BB pellets at are flat surfaces, hard surfaces, and water. You should also make sure that the target you are firing at is not at an angle.
How far does a BB gun shoot?
0.18g BB pellets are limited to 547 fps for single-shot weapons and 394 fps for fully automatic.
0.20g BB pellets are limited to 510 fps for single-shot weapons and 374 fps for fully automatic.
0.25g BB pellets are limited to 464 fps for single-shot weapons and 334 fps for fully automatic.
0.30g BB pellets are limited to 423 fps for single-shot weapons and 305 fps for fully automatic.
0.35g BB pellets are limited to 392 fps for single-shot weapons and 283 fps for fully automatic.
0.40g BB pellets are limited to 367 fps for single-shot weapons and 265 fps for fully automatic.
Airsoft accessories and attachments
Airsoft has a lot of accessories and gun attachments, below is a brief list of some accessories you can get for your next skirmish.
- BB speedloaders
- Masks and balaclavas
- Safety goggles
- Airsoft gloves
- Extra magazines
- Airsoft grenades
- Airsoft smoke grenades
- Silencers and barrel extensions
- Chargers and batteries
- Tripods and bipods
- Cases and protective bags
- Improved sights and scopes
See our complete accessories for every item on this list and more from Just BB Guns. Upgrade your loadout ready for your next skirmish here.