- Airsoft in the UK
Airsoft in the UK.
History of Airsoft in the UK
Airsoft has a relatively short but rich history in the UK. It began in the early 1980s, with the arrival of Japanese-made airsoft guns. These BB guns were realistic replicas of real firearms and were initially designed for use in indoor shooting ranges. However, it wasn't long before UK enthusiasts discovered the potential for using these guns for tactical games and skirmishes.
In the early days of airsoft, players were restricted to using small, low-powered spring-operated guns due to laws surrounding the ownership and use of airsoft gear. However, as airsoft grew in popularity, laws were updated to allow for the use of more realistic and powerful AEG guns. This allowed players to engage in more immersive and realistic games.
In the 1990s, airsoft started to gain wider recognition in the UK, with the establishment of the UK Airsoft Retailers Association (UKARA) in 1996. UKARA created a database of registered airsofters, which allowed retailers to sell more powerful guns to players who had demonstrated a commitment to the sport. This led to an increase in the availability of high-quality airsoft guns in the UK, which in turn helped to grow the sport even further.
Today, airsoft is a popular hobby enjoyed by thousands of people across the UK. It is played in a variety of locations, from dedicated indoor and outdoor fields to abandoned buildings and woodland areas. There are also numerous events and tournaments held throughout the year, catering to all levels of skill and experience. The sport has come a long way since its early days in the UK, and continues to grow in popularity and influence.
Airsoft Fields in the UK
There are many airsoft fields and sites across the UK, each with its own unique features and experiences. Here are some of the most popular airsoft fields there has been in the UK:
The Mall: Located in Reading, The Mall is a popular indoor airsoft field that offers a unique experience for players. The field is designed to resemble a shopping mall, complete with storefronts, escalators, and other realistic features. (Now closed)
The Gaol: The Gaol is an outdoor airsoft field located in Oakham, Rutland. It is set on a former prison site and offers a range of buildings and structures for players to use as cover and vantage points.
The Village: Located in Leicestershire, The Village is an outdoor airsoft field that is designed to resemble a small town. It features a range of buildings and structures, including a church, a pub, and a post office.
The Sandpit: The Sandpit is an outdoor airsoft field located in Bedfordshire. It features a range of different terrains, including woodland, open fields, and sandy areas. It also includes a number of buildings and structures for players to use as cover. (now closed)
Combat Zone Live: Based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, Combat Zone Live offers a unique airsoft experience that combines traditional airsoft with live-action role-playing (LARP). The field features a range of different scenarios and storylines for players to immerse themselves in.
Section 8: Section 8 is an indoor airsoft field located in West Midlands. It features a range of different scenarios and structures, including a multi-level car park, a bank, and an office block.
Longmoor Urban Training Centre: Longmoor Urban Training Centre is an outdoor airsoft field located in Hampshire. It is set on a former military training site and includes a range of different terrains and structures for players to use.
These are just a few examples of the many airsoft fields and sites available in the UK. Each offers a unique experience for players, some sites even have on site airsoft shops that sell a range of airsoft equipment and also stock airsoft guns. so it's worth exploring different options to find a good place that best suits your interests and preferences.
but one of the best ways to find a airsoft skirmish site near you is use an interactive airsoft map like this one.
Airsoft events in the UK
Airsoft is a popular recreational activity in the UK, and there are many events held throughout the year for enthusiasts to participate in. Airsoft is a game similar to paintball, where players use replica firearms that shoot plastic pellets to simulate combat scenarios.
One of the biggest events in the UK airsoft calendar is The National Airsoft Festival. This is a weekend-long event held annually in August, and it attracts thousands of players from all over the country. The festival features a variety of game scenarios, from simple skirmishes to more complex simulations, as well as trade stands and social activities.
Other popular events include MilSim (Military Simulation) events, which aim to recreate realistic military scenarios, and CQB (Close Quarters Battle) events, which are held in indoor or confined spaces and focus on close-quarters combat.
Airsoft events in the UK are usually organised by airsoft teams or companies, and participants can range from casual players to serious enthusiasts. Most events require participants to bring their own airsoft guns and equipment, although some events offer rental equipment for those who are new to the sport.
It's worth noting that airsoft guns are classified as firearms in the UK, and there are strict laws governing their purchase and use. Participants in airsoft events must be over 18 years old and have a valid defense, such as a UKARA membership, to purchase a realistic imitation firearm.
Overall, airsoft events in the UK offer a fun and challenging way for enthusiasts to experience simulated combat scenarios and meet other players who share their passion for the sport.
Airsoft Community in the UK
The airsoft community in the UK is a vibrant and supportive group of players who share a common passion for the sport. They come from all walks of life and backgrounds, but are united by their love for the game and their desire to create a fun and engaging experience for everyone involved.
One of the key features of the airsoft community in the UK is its inclusivity. Players of all ages, genders, and skill levels are welcome, and there is a strong emphasis on sportsmanship and fair play. This creates a positive and welcoming atmosphere, where players can feel comfortable and confident in their abilities.
The community also plays an important role in shaping the overall experience of the sport. Airsoft players in the UK are known for their creativity and ingenuity, often coming up with new game modes and scenarios that challenge and excite players. They also share tips and advice on equipment and tactics, helping newer players to develop their skills and improve their performance on the field.
In addition, the airsoft community in the UK is highly social. Many players form close friendships through the sport, often meeting up outside of games to discuss tactics, share stories, and socialize. This sense of camaraderie helps to create a strong sense of community within the sport, which contributes to the overall enjoyment and success of airsoft in the UK.
Overall, the airsoft community in the UK is a supportive and inclusive group of players who are dedicated to creating a fun and engaging experience for everyone involved. Through their creativity, sportsmanship, and social connections, they contribute to the continued growth and success of airsoft in the UK.
Airsoft Culture in the UK
Airsoft culture in the UK is a rich and diverse mix of values, traditions, and unique features that reflect the sport's popularity and growing community. Here are some of the defining elements of airsoft culture in the UK:
Sportsmanship: One of the most important values in airsoft culture in the UK is sportsmanship. Players are expected to play fair and to respect their opponents, regardless of the outcome of the game.
Attention to detail: Airsoft players in the UK are known for their attention to detail, both in terms of their gear and their gameplay. They take pride in customizing their equipment to suit their individual style and preferences and often spend hours perfecting their tactics and strategies they are normally very knowledgeable on the workings of airsoft guns, so if its your first time playing and you get a problem, they are normally helpful in sorting out problems with your airsoft kit.
Creativity: Airsoft players in the UK are also highly creative, constantly coming up with new game modes and scenarios that challenge and engage players. This helps to keep the sport fresh and exciting and encourages players to think outside the box.
Historical and military themes: Many airsoft games and events in the UK are based on historical or military themes, such as World War II battles or special forces operations. This reflects the sport's origins as a military simulation game and adds an extra layer of excitement and authenticity for players.
Social connections: Airsoft culture in the UK is highly social, with many players forming close friendships through the sport. This helps to create a strong sense of community and camaraderie among players, and contributes to the overall enjoyment of the game.
Respect for the law: Airsoft culture in the UK places a strong emphasis on respect for the law and safety regulations. Players must follow strict rules and guidelines to ensure the sport is played safely and responsibly.
Overall, airsoft culture in the UK is a unique and dynamic mix of values, traditions, and creative expression. Through their attention to detail, creativity, and commitment to sportsmanship and safety, airsoft players in the UK have created a thriving and inclusive community dedicated to the sport's continued growth and success.
Airsoft shops in the uk
There are many specialized airsoft shops throughout the country that cater to the needs of players. These shops offer a wide range of products, from guns and ammunition to protective gear and accessories.
Airsoft shops in the UK sell a wide variety of airsoft guns, ranging from entry-level models to high-end replicas that are used in competitive play. Here are some of the most common types of airsoft guns that you can find at airsoft shops in the UK:
Spring-powered guns: These are the most basic type of airsoft gun, and are typically inexpensive and easy to use. They require manual cocking before each shot and have a relatively low FPS (feet per second) compared to other types of airsoft guns. These are sometimes called BB guns. we have a buying guide for this type of cheap bb guns here.
Electric guns: ( AKA AEG's) These are the most popular type of airsoft gun and are powered by rechargeable batteries. They come in a variety of styles and models, including rifles, pistols, and submachine guns, and are often equipped with features like adjustable hop-up and full-auto firing modes.
Gas-powered guns: These guns are powered by compressed gas, typically propane or green gas. They are often used by more experienced players, as they require more maintenance and can be more difficult to operate than other types of airsoft guns.
High-end replicas: These are exact replicas of real firearms and are often used in competitive play. They are typically more expensive than other types of airsoft guns, but offer the most authentic and realistic experience.
In addition to airsoft guns, airsoft shops in the UK also sell a wide range of airsoft accessories and gear, including ammunition, protective equipment, and tactical gear. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced player, you're sure to find the right equipment to suit your needs. we have one of the biggest airsoft shops in the UK located in essex near londons stansted airport we have a fantastic range or airsoft tactical gear and many airsoft guns, with helpful friendly staff, but if you can't get to visit us you can always buy online with our price match and next day delivery.
Airsoft Rules in the UK
This is quite a long and detailed subject, but if you want to know the rules & legal side of owning and buying an airsoft gun, we have an article called "bb guns and the law" that you can find here.
but one of the most important things you need to do is never carry your airsoft gun in public view on the way to a skirmish, and always keep it in a gun bag when moving it as they can be mistaken for the real thing.