It is common knowledge that the Japanese antigun laws of the 1970’s and the peoples urge to own and shoot guns was the beginning of the airsoft guns and games of today. I have read that the laws Japan had passed laws prohibited citizens owning any fire arms except a shotgun. The restrictions for ownership and storage of a shotgun and the storage and purchase of the ammunition prevented the vast majority of the citizens to own a shotgun. If you do not have a firearm license it was illegal to even hold a gun. Japan has some of strenuous gun laws and gun control in the World. A BB gun requires a license if it exceeds a prescribed velocity.
Most civilians in Japan have never seen a real fire arm of any kind. The true gun enthusiasts are left with only airsoft replicas for their gun collections.
These reading have also revealed that Daisy, in the United States, was selling some spring operated low pressure BB type Guns which fired soft projectiles before the Japanese manufacturers developed their first guns. The early airsoft guns used spring power to create the air pressure required to propel the plastic BB. Spring guns have been joined by gases and batteries as power for airsoft guns Guns for sale Europe.
For the people in the countries were fire arms are prohibited or seriously restricted, airsoft guns provided a way to own, hold and shoot a gun. The true gun enthusiasts want firearm replicas that fire a projectile. After being used originally for target shooting these replicas were used in games that developed into a sport. In all of Asia where guns were prohibited these guns and their recreational games was a great success, it grew rapidly in popularity. The first countries to accept and enjoy this new sport were Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines. It wasn’t until 1990’s that the sport made its way into Europe and later to North American.
In the early years of 2000 a large increase in the number of manufacturers producing Automatic Electric Guns (AEG’s) pushed this type gun to the top in sales. Manufacturers of AEG’s were joined China and Taiwan. This opened a market of some very high quality replicas. The automatic feature of the AEG allowed the economical manufacture and operation of many automatic firearm replicas. The gas guns allowed for automatic replicas but not economically as AEG and cost to operate prohibited automatic gas rifles. The spring guns must be manually cocked between each shot so they cannot be automated.
We have some very realistic airsoft guns, realistic in appearance, weight, markings, logos and some have the mechanical movement (blow back) of the firearm it represents. To place the proper logo on an airsoft gun the manufacturer must obtain a license from the firearm manufacturer. This logo license adds cost to the gun. Manufacturers for the most part, will sale to various distributors, who will place their own brand names on these guns prior to distribution. This increase in sales keeps the cost of manufacturing and licensing lower and the guns more affordable.
The manufacturer of airsoft guns is almost worldwide, some are in the United States and Europe but the vast majority is made in Asia. Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea and the Philippines are the countries that manufacturer that vast majority.
I think the mentality of “if it looks like a firearm it is a fire arm” is justified if the user presents it as such. In the United States, we have laws that require airsoft guns to have an orange tip at the end of the barrel at the time of sale. This tip is not easily removed; the states have different laws that govern their removal. At the risk of being mistaken for the real firearm it is considered dangerous to remove this tip. Police have and will continue to protect themselves and others from an airsoft gun mistaken for a firearm. It is also considered wise to be discrete in the transportation of airsoft guns as some states and cities have their own laws restricting and prohibiting airsoft guns.
War games, cops and robbers and other games have been played forever with toy weapons. Airsoft Guns have modernized these games. I wonder what toy ‘weapons” of the future will be.