My name is Nick, and I am the Manager of Bomb Up Airsoft & TTPC Ltd. If you've ever emailed, messaged, called or visited us then you've probably spoken to me before. At Bomb Up Airsoft I spend most of my time dealing with Customer queries and questions and thought it was about time I did a post answering our most frequently asked questions - so here we go!
How can I buy a Non two-toned airsoft gun?
If, like many new airsoft players, you're looking to buy a non two-tone Airsoft gun, then you'll need to be able to prove that you are buying an airsoft gun to use in the correct way. Some of the most commonly used forms of defence include UKARA membership and The British Airsoft Club (BAC) membership. Another reason you may want to purchase a RIF could be as a prop, say in the film industry. This is a valid reason and we can help let you know what you'd need to provide in the way of proof.
If you aren't an airsoft player or film maker, and have no valid defence then, by law, (specifically the Violent Crimes Reduction Act, 2006), you will not be able to buy a realistic imitation firearm from any reputable airsoft retailer.
As a retailer selling Airsoft replicas (or Realistic Imitation Firearms), we have a duty to check and prove that you have a good reason for purchasing one of our RIFs. Your defence could be in the form of a Government Recognised Defence such as UKARA, a membership to a game site, proof of being part of a film or production team, or even a museum curator or member of a Re-enactment society.
In terms of a UKARA membership, there are many sites that offer this service - just check with your chosen site. To qualify you need to play a minimum of 3 airsoft games, and you must have been playing for a minimum of 2 months. Once you have met the requirements you can ask your chosen Airsoft site to register you with the UKARA database. This will then give you a UKARA number, which you can provide as proof of a defence to buy an Airsoft Replica.
It is important to note that to buy an airsoft weapon, whether it's two-toned or not, is only an option for people over 18 years old.
Why is my gas Airsoft pistol spitting out (venting) gas when I fire?
This is a common question among airsoft players, and 9 times out of 10 the answer is the same - temperature. Here's why...
When you fill your gas pistol magazine, the gas transforms from a liquid (as it is inside the can) to a gas (as it is inside the magazine). During this transition, the gas undergoes a rapid cooling process. You may notice this, simply by holding your mag and feeling its temperature change, quickly getting cold.
Once you've filled your gas mag, the gas inside will be very cold, so if you load it straight into your pistol you may find that you only get a couple of shots until the pressure becomes completely flat. You may notice that the gas is venting out of the back of the pistol, or you may even notice it venting from the barrel, or from the sides of the slide and onto your hand, which can cause freeze burn.
To tackle this problem most effectively you could fill your magazine, and leave it for a while to come back to room temperature before using it, which will therefore give you better consistency.
Some players choose to change the gas they use according to the temperature, with green gas being the most popular, switching to red or even black gas or Co2 as it gets colder. We would always recommend you use green gas where possible as it is better for your gun.
Another thing to note is that with each shot fired, the gas will get colder. This can be especially problematic for those of us who like to fire in quick succession, causing a rapid depletion in pressure. Basically, you need to care for your gas mags by not over-working them and being patient with them - especially in cold weather. When it comes to storing your gas mags we would always recommend keeping a bit of gas in them to keep the seals lubricated to avoid leaks developing. We would recommend using the Abbey Predator Maintenance Gas 144A, which is available here, and literally just put a 1 second blast in to each mag before storing away for next time.
What is the difference between Li-Po, Li-Ion and Ni-Mh batteries?
Li-Po batteries use what is known as Lithium-Polymer charging technology, Li-Ion batteries use Lithium Ion charging technology and Ni-MH batteries use a nickel-based charging technology.
A nickel metal hydride battery, abbreviated to NiMH or Ni–MH, is a type of rechargeable battery used in airsoft. The chemical reaction at the positive electrode is similar to that of the nickel–cadmium cell (NiCd), with both using nickel oxide hydroxide (NiOOH). However, the negative electrodes use a hydrogen-absorbing alloy instead of cadmium.
The Ni-MH batteries used to be the primary power used in AEG Airsoft weapons, but as technology advances we are seeing less and less of them. A couple of reasons that people often avoid Ni-MH batteries are that they're quite chunky, often too chunky to fit in the battery compartment of your airsoft gun. Also, the Ni-MH batteries drain quite quickly, so you will most definitely need to change batteries at lunch time. The way a Ni-MH battery works is that on a full charge it will give you 'full power', but as the battery drains, the output becomes less and less, so the performance of your weapon becomes less and less, until eventually the battery is completely drained. Draining a Ni-MH battery won't damage your battery though, unlike with a Li-Po, so that's always a positive.
A lithium-polymer battery (abbreviated to LiPo) is a rechargeable battery that, in the case of true LiPo, uses solid polymer for the electrolyte and lithium for one of the electrodes. Commercially available LiPo are hybrids: gel polymer or liquid electrolyte in a pouch format, more accurately termed a lithium ion polymer battery.
Li-Po batteries are a more popular choice with most Airsofter players, simply due to their consistency and drain rate! (subject to mAh). Unlike the Ni-MH batteries, a Li-Po battery performs at a consistent rate, meaning that your airsoft weapon will perform consistently until the battery is almost depleted.
Some people consider Li-Po batteries to be more 'risky', because they are susceptible to combustion, but this is only the case if they are mistreated. You can ensure safety and easily avoid any issues with your Li-Po batteries, by ensuring that the battery is never charged with a Ni-MH charger, and never physically damaged, punctured or pierced. If you notice that your Li-Po battery is swollen, this is a problem, and for safety we would recommend disposing of the battery by submerging it in salt water for a minimum of 2 weeks before throwing away.
Another crucial point on Li-Po batteries is that you should never run them completely flat. This is because you may drain it below its minimum voltage, making it unable (or unsafe) to recharge. You should always listen to your weapon, and if you start to hear the gun slow down, remove the battery and swap it for another one. Finally, make sure you use a Li-Po safe charging bag - available here, as an extra security measure.
A lithium-ion battery, abbreviated to Li-ion, is another newer type of rechargeable battery. Lithium-ion batteries are most used for portable electronics, such as phones and tablets, and electric vehicles and are growing in popularity for military and aerospace applications, as well as airsoft.
The most obvious plus point of a Li-Ion battery is their compact size, and high capacity, meaning you can use just 1 battery (depending on mAh) to last you all day. This is great for those of us who find changing batteries a bit of a pain. The Li-Ion batteries have some of the same risks posed by Li-Po batteries so we would still recommend using a Li-Po Safe Charging bag when charging your Li-Ion batteries. One improvement on the traditional Li-Po is that Li-Ion batteries can be run flat without risking damage to the battery, so it saves the hassle of worrying about using it for too long.
Which Airsoft Rifle is best for a beginner player?
There is so much choice now when it comes to getting your first AEG or 'Beginner Rifle', so this question is becoming more and more difficult to answer. The first thing to consider is your play-style, as well as what you like the look and feel of the gun to be. Here are a couple of the weapons we would most recommend for beginner airsoft players...
This has to be one of our favourites for a beginner airsoft rifle. The JG Works rifles are known for their strong construction and consistency, and coming in under £130 is not a point to be sniffed at.
Another reason we love this RIF is that, as a new player, you may not know yet whether you want to play indoors or outdoors, whether you prefer CQB (Close Quarter Battle) or not. This is the perfect sized weapon being a compact size makes it easy to navigate around a CQB site, but it is still more than capable of taking on the bigger boys on the field.
Manufactured by G&G and at a very respectable price point of only £144.95, for a long time this rifle has dominated the market in terms of a reliable and robust starter rifle.
Boasting a clean and modern M4 platform, as well as plenty of RIS rail space for adding your accessories, the G&G CM16 Raider is easily considered one of the most versatile and adaptable platforms available, and has been one of the most common beginner purchases for a long time. You will commonly see them used as hire guns at airsoft sites too because of their reliability.
I hope you have found this blog post useful, and keep your eye out for more to come. If you would like any more information, advice or answers to your questions then please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help :-)