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Nothin’ Says Spring Like Airsoft!

Yeah, no kidding, it’s a gorgeous day out there, and one of the best ways to enjoy it is to grab some juice, print up a few targets, and make a lot of holes in ’em!

In the good old days, I’d drive out to the Cheatham County firing range, set myself up with a soft drink and a milk carton full of .22 Long Rifle cartridges to go with my Ruger Mark II pistol, and spend a few happy hours plinking at targets, empty soda cans and the like. Simple pleasures for simple minds, I know…

I got into airsoft shooting some years ago when I was still using a walker. I couldn’t drive out and brave the uneven ground at the range, so that was out. I tried a CO2 revolver, but it just wasn’t the same experience, and the gas cartridges and pellets weren’t that cheap. Then I discovered airsoft.

It’s a fun sport, some careful shopping got me a couple of inexpensive but well made guns and I was off to a good start. Now, you can pick up a simple spring powered gun for under $20, but those are seriously cheesy and I wanted to do it right, so I chose all metal gas blowback pieces that I liked. They have very close to the same heft and feel as ‘real steel’ firearms and work with the same type of Browning locked breech mechanisms wherein when you pull the trigger a measured burst of gas is released, propelling a 6mm plastic pellet on its way and also operating the slide, unlocking and tilting the barrel as it moves rearward, then forward to chamber a fresh round. The slide even locks open after the last pellet is expended just as a real firearm does!

Some folks don’t do their research and use what’s referred to as ‘green gas’ as a propellent that comes in a dispenser about the size of a can of hairspray and retails for about $15 apiece. No way, that’s much too pricy for my taste. It turns out the stuff is just plain old propane with some silicone oil and scent added. Avoiding this money sink is simple: a one time purchase of a metal adapter with a reservoir for that silicone oil is about $22, then you can use the bigger one pound cans of propane available from any store with a sporting goods section instead…instead of spending $15 for a small amount of gas, you can then get about five times more propellant for only $3-$4…and one can will last for weeks. Likewise, if you buy bags of the 6mm plastic pellets in higher quantities, careful shopping can set you up with thousands that end up costing only a penny or two each.

There’s a lot of fun to be had with this sport, from simple plinking like I’m doing to going all out and joining a club or organization that skirmishes out in the country with machine guns and sniper rifles. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get back to murdering some innocent pieces of paper with my WE Tech .45 target gun!

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