Pellet Guns

Written by Johnny Kitchens
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Pellet guns and BB guns have been in existence for many decades, and though both terms are sometimes used in reference to Airsoft guns, they do not necessarily correspond. The major differences lie in the design, construction, and intended purposes of the guns. Airsoft guns are uniformly designed to fire 6mm, plastic BBs at relatively low velocities and will not work with the standard metal ammunition of traditional BB guns.

Airsoft guns are also constructed to different specifications. Their internal firing mechanisms are constructed to withstand the pressures of firing extremely light BBs, at velocities that will do little harm to another person. They are also constructed to closely resemble real-world firearms--much more so than are the standard pellet guns on the market. Airsoft manufacturers try to match the height, weight, length, and firing characteristics of the real-world weapon.

The feather-weight ammunition used in Airsoft guns is a product of the type of equipment Airsoft guns are meant to be. They are weapons used in recreational, mock combat games. Airsoft BBs usually strike an opponent with less force than a paintball and leave none of the mess behind. (All participants in Airsoft competitions are required to wear protective eye-gear, though, because those hard, little BBs can cause severe damage to the human eye.)

Distinguishing Pellet Guns and Airsoft Guns

In the United States, all Airsoft guns must be marked with bright orange muzzles. The muzzles must also be left bright orange by gun owners or the guns become classified as illegal firearms. (Just because you have not been prosecuted, does not mean that you cannot be prosecuted, so consider that before removing the orange markings.) If you are wondering about a gun's classification, you can also simply check which type of ammunition is suggested for a particular gun. 6mm, plastic BBs means Airsoft.


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