OhioM4 Posted October 11, 2009 Share Posted October 11, 2009 (edited) I went shopping at the local sporting goods store with my grandson today. I picked up a box of ammo for my pistol and we stopped to look at BB guns and the new (to me at least) Airsoft guns. My step-daughter and her husband are not really antigun but with four kids in the house they do not currently own any guns. They all know I shoot at the target ranges. I never have been hunting and it does not really appeal to me although i have numerous friends that are avid hunters. My grandson wants a BB gun or Airsoft gun for Christmas. I spoke to his parents about them. He is 10 and in Scouts so I think he should learn about gun safety. My father insisted I go to a hunter safety course when I was 13 even though he did not own a gun. His upbringing placed a value on knowing enough to be safe around guns. The airsoft guns appear to be functionally safer than the BB guns I had at his age. The ammo is plastic and much larger than the old copper clad BBs. They come in different weights as well. The lightweight ammo in the less powerful guns would appear to be much safer than standard BBs although eye protection would still be mandatory. The guns appear to have been engineered to be safe to fire at human targets. My grandson stated that several of his friends own these Airsoft guns and he has been shot with them while playing. This brings me to the part I found unsettling; one of the guns we looked at was virtually an exact replica of my Sig Sauer P226. It was expensive, $189, but the weight and appearance are virtually identical. The action is identical; functional decocker, SA/DA, and the slide blows back and cycles. I realized almost all of the major gun brands have licensed their designs for Airsoft versions. They also have extremely realistic shotguns and assault rifles. The only difference is a relatively small fluorescent orange ring at the muzzle. It bothered me that children are using guns that are identical to real handguns. In my day you could tell the difference between the cheesy BB guns and a real gun. There were high-end pellet rifles that could be confused for hunting rifles so maybe I'm being alarmist. I keep my guns secured but I could picture my grandson finding "Papa's Airsoft Pistol" and not realizing it is a very different piece of equipment. On the plus side I can see myself purchasing an Airsoft gun to practice for a CCW permit. Most of the ranges around here forbid practicing drawing from a holster. Edited October 11, 2009 by OhioM4 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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