by B.B. Pelletier
Today’s post comes from my wife. We were discussing things that would be fun for our animals and she thought a bubble machine would thrill the cats. Then, because I was working on an airsoft article, she mentioned that bubbles might also be fun for airsoft.
The idea hit me like a ton of bricks. Soap bubbles would be the perfect target for airsoft BBs. They are delicate, cheap to produce and they fly in random patterns, so even from 12 feet away they will be hard to hit. Then, I got an even better idea.
A bunch of floating bubbles would be a wonderful target for those semiautomatic pistols and full-auto automatic electric guns Pyramyd sells. As it turns out, I have a Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa 5.1 gas pistol on hand, so the only thing I lacked was the bubble machine.
Tokyo Marui’s Hi-Capa 5.1 green gas pistol pumps out the shots as fast as you pull the trigger.
You don’t have to look far for a bubble machine. We started with an eBay search and turned up pages of them, then we wondered if nearby stores might also carry some. It turns out all toy stores and many stores with toy departments have them. You can also find them in the party supplies section, the toddler section and the bath toys section. I found them at Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Toys-R-Us and several other places in my local area. Prices ranged from $7.95 to $15. I settled on the more expensive model, but that may not be the best for you. Here’s why.
Too many targets
It seems the machine makers think you will want a constant stream of bubbles, so they build their boxes to pump out high numbers of bubbles per minute. Mine probably does over a thousand every 60 seconds. A small fan blows them away from the machine, where air currents take over I would prefer 20-30 bubbles at a time, because tracking on several hundred targets is confusing. However, the rapid-fire characteristics of a Marui racegun do help out. And cutting into a cloud of bubbles with an electric M4 is just too much fun to miss!
The little machine just keeps on cranking them out.
Do this outdoors!
This sport is not an indoor activity. Not only will you get a pile of plastic BBs everywhere, the bubbles will wet your floors until they need to be cleaned. We first tried the machine in out kitchen to test it on our cats. The cats were unimpressed, but the tile floor became so slippery after just a few minutes that we had to stop and mop up. After that, the machine was relegated to the outside.
The machine I bought runs on both AA batteries and 110-volt house current. A converter is supplied to plug into the wall, but I found batteries to be more convenient. I also bought a gallon of bubble-blowing liquid, which seems to be a lifetime supply. Though the machine spits out lots of bubbles, it doesn’t seem to use much liquid.
Weather is a factor
Wind will whisk the bubbles away before you draw down on them, and rain will shoot them faster than you can. So, this is a sunny day sport at best. Because it is so completely random, it will keep a shooter engaged for hours on end. In fact, you will start noticing other things like how slow those magazines load and how fast the green gas runs out! It may even change your shooting habits altogether. In fact, you might want to buy lots of spare mags and pre-load them before going bubble hunting.
I think this is a great way to blow the cobwebs out of those rapid-firing airsoft guns you have lying around. Put them to good use and find out how you rank against the sinister soap bubble!