The SHOT Show is not a gun show — though that is what many attendees call it, and the mainstream media that doesn’t attend also calls it that. Instead, it’s a happening — to use a 1960′s term. Or it’s a Middle Eastern open market. The big booths house the recognized names like Colt, Winchester and Crosman. Their booths are two stories tall with signs hanging from the ceiling that you could see a mile away if there weren’t other signs hanging in front of them.
But the real drama of the show isn’t at those booths. People already know what to expect in those places. It’s the little out-of-the-way booths hugging the walls that have the surprises. I always set aside some time just to cruise the aisles, looking for some rocks to turn over.
Before I begin today’s report, here’s an interesting tidbit of news. The Georgia senate has passed legislation (SB 301) that will allow residents to use legal silencers while hunting game. This curious legislation is the first positive thing on silencers that I’ve seen. Does it mean that we are about the see a change in the public attitude toward silencers in general?
You’re on the couch, watching a typical “shootemupski” flick and the gang-banger bad guys in their wife-beater undershirts and black doo-rags are all shooting their Glocks with limp wrists and the guns rotated 90 degrees to the left, so the shells eject out the top instead of the side. You suppress a quiet snicker, knowing that this is inherently wrong, but you chalk it up to Hollywood.
Simple enough question, no? Maybe you get confused by certain air-powered tools or perhaps a slang reference to a paint sprayer, but most folks know exactly what you mean when you say airgun.
Think so? Think again.
The term airgun isn’t found in most dictionaries, yet. You’ll find your spell-checker wants you to write it as two words, but that’s not what today’s blog is about. I really want to know if you know what’s encompassed by the term airgun.
Some of you have already stopped reading to formulate an official-sounding definition that goes something like this: An airgun is any smoothbore or rifled gun that propels a projectile by means of compressed air. As you stand back to admire your work, it suddenly dawns on you that your definition doesn’t encompass any of the guns that are powered by CO2. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
This report was prompted by reader Rikib, who asked the following:
“If you find the time could you provide info about AirSoft guns, their purposes, uses, ranges of fps. Why would I want one if I have a pellet gun? Just wondering what an AirSoft gun is useful for I guess, other than training children to shoot safely. Do I have a use for one, they are relatively inexpensive.”
Well, I guess it’s time to go through the origins of airsoft again. I’ve done this before, but it’s been so many years and I don’t even remember where it is anymore, so this is a good opportunity to bring us up to date.
Rikib — You think airsoft guns are inexpensive? Well, the few you have seen may be, but how would you feel about paying $3,000 for an airsoft copy of the BAR? Because they do exist. How about $1,000 for an airsoft M60 machine gun (a crew-served weapon on a bipod) and another thousand for the accessories? A good friend of mine owns one, and guys who spend tens of thousands on full-auto crew-served weapons flock to his side when he gets it out at a shoot. Airsoft guns can be very expensive, as well as the guns you see here at Pyramyd Air. Perhaps, if you know the history of airsoft, you’ll understand what the guns are and why they exist.