Recommend an airsoft gun please
October 15, 2010 9:29 AM   Subscribe

Recommend an airsoft rifle for my son.

Soon to be 9 year old wants an airsoft rifle for his birthday and I'm at a loss of what to buy. Amazon has them from $10 to $50 but it's hard to tell whether they're name brand items. Actually, is airsoft a brand? If it's not a brand, what are the leading brands for airsoft rifles?
posted by qsysopr to Shopping (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Airsoft is not a brand. It's a style of thing; it's like a pellet gun except the ammunition is these little plastic balls - basically they're plastic BBs.

If all he's said is he wants an airsoft rifle, then maybe just splurge a bit and get him a rifle which is airsoft, it really doesn't much matter which, and he will love it.

Also a lot of the ammo; that should also be on Amazon.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:34 AM on October 15, 2010


One recommendation: Order through Airsplat. They have some guns they sell through Amazon, too, and their service is excellent!

Next, how powerful does your son want his gun to be? The higher the FPS, the harder the kick. The cheaper guns have lower FPS, which makes them safer, but the break faster and besides, if the kid wants a gun, he wants a powerful one. He doesn't care that he is going to shoot his eye out with that thing like the kid in A Christmas Story. He wants to peg something.

Make sure you get him goggles! And that he wears them. Eye injuries really do happen.

Our rule is the paintball gun is not allowed in the house, period. Doesn't matter if it is loaded or unloaded. And we still have trouble enforcing this, but it's a start.
posted by misha at 9:40 AM on October 15, 2010


You don't say where you are, but on the tiny chance that you are in New York City, note that most airsoft guns are illegal here because they look like, well, guns.
posted by The Bellman at 9:45 AM on October 15, 2010


Personally, I'd go with a spring powered rifle. No batteries to charge and the single shot aspect will force him to be more thoughtful about each shot (also not wasting ammo). My relatively inexpensive M14 is great and very accurate.
posted by blaneyphoto at 9:53 AM on October 15, 2010


Bellman, I'm in a Chicago suburb and don't think they're illegal here but thanks for pointing it out.

Misha, I'm glad you pointed the goggles out. It's going to be a struggle because we live on a great street where my son(s) can just go out and play and end up with a group of 8 boys just having spontaneous fun. Once my son brings out the airsoft, they'be be like bees on a flower and demanding that all 8 of them put on goggles isn't going to go over well. I don't even have 8 goggles.

So, I'm thinking low power but high quality is what I need.
posted by qsysopr at 10:00 AM on October 15, 2010


Misha, I'm glad you pointed the goggles out. It's going to be a struggle because we live on a great street where my son(s) can just go out and play and end up with a group of 8 boys just having spontaneous fun. Once my son brings out the airsoft, they'be be like bees on a flower and demanding that all 8 of them put on goggles isn't going to go over well. I don't even have 8 goggles.

Then the responsible thing to do is to say no to him until he's older and more responsible. You're in the U.S., which means you could easily be defending against a major lawsuit from the family of one of his friends who loses an eye when they're screwing around.
posted by Dasein at 10:30 AM on October 15, 2010


qsysopr: According to the relevant Wiki, some cities in Illinois consider shipping or distributing airsoft guns illegal.

Just a heads up -- if you've seen other kids with them, I'm sure it's fine where you are.
posted by The Bellman at 10:33 AM on October 15, 2010


http://www.kapowwe.com/vb93058.html
Good midrange gun for power and price. usually start with a spring gun to teach ammo conservation and picking targets well. The ability to spray a wall of BB's with an AEG (automatic electric gun) is something all kids want but it's not a good way to start. strictly opinion...
posted by Redhush at 11:10 AM on October 15, 2010


Then the responsible thing to do is to say no to him until he's older and more responsible. You're in the U.S., which means you could easily be defending against a major lawsuit from the family of one of his friends who loses an eye when they're screwing around.

I teach in a town where the kids refuse to wear goggles. And sorry if it sounds so much like a scolding mom, but at this moment one of my 7th grade students is in the hospital because his eye was shot out last night. I also currently have another student who has one eye. I wish I was exaggerating. As long as they're allowed to play without goggles they do.
posted by dzaz at 11:23 AM on October 15, 2010


I would go with something like this -- spring-loaded airsoft "shotguns" tend to be accurate, cheap, and fun, but relatively low-velocity. That Double Eagle brand is a good compromise between quality and cost. However...

I teach in a town where the kids refuse to wear goggles. And sorry if it sounds so much like a scolding mom, but at this moment one of my 7th grade students is in the hospital because his eye was shot out last night. I also currently have another student who has one eye. I wish I was exaggerating. As long as they're allowed to play without goggles they do.

IMHO, this is why kids should start out with a BB gun or .22 rifle under supervision, rather than these toys. Airsoft guns are "soft" enough that they teach terrible gun safety, but look and act just enough like a real gun to allow for severe negative consequences -- this is one case in which "safer" is not necessarily better.

Airsoft guns are an OK gift for kids who've demonstrated responsibility through first-hand experience with guns and gun safety, but I wouldn't given one to a kid otherwise except under controlled supervision (i.e. get a few of those $20 shotguns and a pack of goggles, and take the whole family out to play!)
posted by vorfeed at 2:20 PM on October 15, 2010


You all set me straight. It just isn't worth the risk. If we lived on a farm, it'd be different.

He also asked for football cleats and I be surprised if they were illegal...
posted by qsysopr at 4:55 PM on October 15, 2010


The reason that airsoft and other "toy" guns are illegal-- police officers see them from a distance and take them to be a live firearm. Kids have been killed.

My son is jonesing for an Airsoft gun and I'm thinking to treat it like a real gun, in terms of handling & safety. Make him take a class. We don't know any people who own a real gun-- so different from where I gre up where everybody had rifles & shotguns (no handguns).
posted by ohshenandoah at 7:52 PM on October 15, 2010


Be cautious with the low powered guns. The BBs can bounce back from a wooden backstop into your face. Speaking from experience here.
posted by Raybun at 3:37 PM on October 16, 2010


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