What Is Airsoft?
What is airsoft?
Airsoft is a combat sport similar to paintball, but with marked advantages. Invented in Japan in the late 1970's, it is now played throughout the world although the majority of airsoft replicas are made in Japan, China, and Taiwan, with some manufactured in the United States. Airsoft guns are designed to imitate their real counterparts faithfully and are 1:1 realistic replicas.
Airsoft replicas fire 6mm plastic bb's and are powered either by gas, spring, or electric motor. As no paint is involved, it is less messy than paintball - because it doesn't leave a mark, airsoft is based on an honour system, where each player calls their own hits. In the UK, the legal limit for an automatic airsoft weapon is 1 joule, which is roughly 328 feet per second with a 0.2 bb, and therefore is considerably less painful than paintball. It is also cheaper to run - a bottle of 3000 bb's will typically cost around £7.00, whereas the same number of paintballs will cost around 10x that, at around £75-80. Cost to start up can be as low as £200 for an airsoft gun and ammunition. There is also an enormous range of airsoft accessories and tactical gear, such as optics, flashlights, lasers, boots, vests, helmets and so on.
UKARA/BAC, shipping and billing addresses
If buying a RIF (Realistic Imitation Firearm - see ) then the UKARA/BAC address, the shipping address and the billing address must ALL match. If they do not, your order will not be processed - however, you will be notified and we will always try to sort the problem out for you.
Due to a recent influx in order requests from abroad we have added an outside UK shipping option. It is calculated at a flat rate of £20. This is to allow for the safest, quickest and easiest method of shipping an item. Please be aware choosing to ship abroad can incur extra shipping charges. At this point we will contact you to make you sure wish to proceed with the order.
Returns Policy Pro Airsoft Supplies Warranty and Returns policy
How to become a registered Skirmisher
To become a registered airsoft skirmisher, you can do the following:
New fire arms legislation came into force on the 2 nd of May 2017.
Whilst we owe a debt of gratitude to those who lobbied on behalf of
the industry/sport there are some potentially scary implications with
the new legal velocity limits.
There are now legal velocity limits enshrined in law.
The consequences of owning, buying and most worryingly of all,
importing R.I.F.’s (realistic imitation firearms, more commonly
described as airsoft or bb guns) that exceed these limits are very
serious indeed and could possibly end in a criminal record, or even
time behind bars.
The legal limits are:
R.I.F.’s capable of firing in a fully automatic mode are limited to 1.3
Joules. This is about 378 feet per second with a 0.2g bb.
For R.I.F.’s that can only fire one round at a time i.e. semi auto or
bolt action, the limit is 2.5 Joules, which is about 518 feet per second
with a 0.2g bb.
Thankfully, most site limits and thus most R.I.F.’s in The U.K. are
below this, which is great and will thus have little impact on how we
play our sport.
HOWEVER THE DANGER IS IN PURCHASING A R.I.F.
Consider the following:
1. Personally buying and importing a R.I.F. from overseas
Many R.I.F.’s imported from companies abroad are over the new
legal limit when they arrive in The U.K. and need downgrading.
However, because of the change in the law, the act of importing a
R.I.F. with a velocity over the legal limit is a crime in itself. Ignorance
of the law, or of the likely velocity of the imported R.I.F. is not a valid
defence against prosecution. You can of course request the overseas
retailer to ensure that the R.I.F. is below The U.K. legal limits and
some may agree to do this. However, you really need to trust that
they will 100% do this for you. There is no penalty for the overseas
retailer if they ‘forget’ to do it. Just asking them to put an M100
spring inside the box is no defence either.
2. Personally buying a second hand R.I.F. privately e.g. via a U.K.
Again, there is the same issue. You have to be 100% sure that the
R.I.F. that you are buying is under the legal limit. If buying from
someone you don’t know, you have to trust their word 100%, that
the R.I.F. has had the velocity checked on a good quality, reliable
chronograph (many cheaper models are not accurate at all.) and that
it is under the legal velocity limit. If it transpires that it is over the
legal limit, you have broken the firearms legislation, despite any
assurances you were given by the seller. Also it’s worth noting that
some, who knowingly have a R.I.F. that is over the legal limit and
don’t have the know how required to downgrade it, or the money to
have it professionally downgraded, may be very tempted to try and
sell it on to someone else quickly.
3. Personally buying a R.I.F. from a U.K. retailer.
This is far safer than the two previous forms of purchase stated
above, in our opinion. However, this still needs thought and
care. Does the retailer chronograph every R.I.F. that leaves the
store? There are sometimes velocity differences between
R.I.F.’s of the same model and sometimes even the same batch.
Also, is the chronograph being used accurate and reliable?
Many Chronographs, including those used by some shops and
sites are woefully unreliable. There is obviously a strong
incentive for the retailer to get it right, as they’d be breaking the
law by having an illegal R.I.F. in stock, in store. However, the
retailer in question may have a ‘drop shipping’ arrangement
with a supplier in The U.K., or even overseas. I.e. the retailer
that you are buying from never actually has the product in
stock. After an online purchase the retailer gets his/her supplier
to ship the product directly to you. This means that you need to
trust a drop shipper to get it right, even though you might not
even be aware that a drop shipper is being used. Drop shipping
is being used more and more lately, especially by internet only
companies. This is how, apparently small, companies appear to
have a huge variety of stock on their website. The reality is they
don’t have the products in stock, they just get them drop
shipped from a supplier directly to the customer once the
customer has made an online purchase on the retailers website.
Our advice is to take this change in the law very seriously
indeed. We would strongly advise the following:
a/ Buy from a reputable company that you trust. If you are new
to the sport, seek advice from trusted friends, read customer
reviews about the level of service offered by the retailer etc.
b/ Buy from a British retailer. British retailers are covered by the
same law. If they are holding a stock of R.I.F.’s that are over the
new legal limit they would be committing the same offence
themselves and thus are unlikely to knowingly hold illegal stock.
c/ Ask the retailer if they have a good quality chronograph and if
they chronograph every individual R.I.F. prior to sending it out,
to check that it is under the legal limit ? Will they provide the
velocity reading for the R.I.F. in question? If the answer to any
of these questions is ‘no’, our advice is to look for a different
d/ Ask the retailer if they actually, physically have the R.I.F. in
stock, or are they getting a supplier to drop ship the product to
you directly on their behalf.? If they are using a drop shipper,
ask for contact details of the drop shipper ,so that you can
contact them to ensure that they are making sure the RIF’s are
under the legal velocity limit. If the retailer is using a drop
shipper who cannot confirm the velocity, or who is not
prepared to put it in writing, our advice is to look for another
e/ Absolute best practice, in our opinion, is to find a reputable
local retailer who has a good quality chronograph and have the
retailer test the velocity, whilst you are present in store and
able to see the readings for yourself. Insist that the retailer
confirms the velocity readings in writing, stating that it was
tested by them on that date.
What we do here at Pro Airsoft Supplies.
Here at Pro Airsoft Supplies we have always checked the
velocity of every R.I.F. that leaves the store. If the R.I.F. is fully
automatic and firing at a velocity above, what almost all sites
allow, which is 350 FPS with a 0.2g bb, we downgrade the gun
to under this limit free of charge. Similarly if a semi only, or bolt
action R.I.F. is firing over 500 FPS. (Virtually all sites upper limit)
with 0.2g bb we downgrade it free of charge.
We have 2 very high quality SKAN chronographs. This means
that we can always check that they are giving accurate readings.
We regularly check that both chronographs are giving the same
reading for the same R.I.F. If they are giving different readings,
we know that there must be a problem with one of them and
that we need to get them recalibrated.
With the introduction of the new legislation we have increased
our efforts to ensure that our customers are safe in the
knowledge that their R.I.F.’s are legal and won’t, potentially
land them on the wrong side of the law.
Every R.I.F. leaving Pro Airsoft Supplies is chronographed 3
times. Each reading is noted on a certificate, stating which
member of staff took the readings, the date of the readings and
the fact that the readings were taken using a SKAN
chronograph. We are also more than happy to chronograph the
R.I.F.’s in the presence of customers. For the benefit of the
player base and the industry as a whole, we are more than
happy to chronograph R.I.F’s that have not been purchased
from us, free of charge and without any obligation to buy
anything from us.
Are we scaremongering for our own financial gane ?
We are sure that some of our competitors (probably those who
don’t own a chronograph, or have an engineering department
to downgrade ‘hot’ R.I.F.’s) will accuse us of being over dramatic
and trying to encourage or scare customers to buy from Pro
Airsoft Supplies over retailers who can’t, or don’t, have such
vigorous safety checks in place. May be we are being over
cautious! Will H.M. Custom’s chronograph every single R.I.F.
being privately imported into The U.K.? Almost certainly not.
However, the potential penalties for breaking this new Firearms
legislation are so serious, that we believe that it would be
incredibly irresponsible to expose customers to even the
slightest chance of encoring the wroth of the law, especially
given the context of the troubled times in which we live. We
make no excuses for acting professionally.
Buy safe, buy legal, enjoy airsoft responsibly!!!!
We hope you have found this document helpful. If you any
questions at all, our knowledgeable Team will do their best to
NB. The above recommendations are based on our (Pro Airsoft
Supplies) interpretation of the new firearms legislation that
came into effect on 02/05/17. We are not legal professionals,
nor do we claim to be. This is a simple guide based on our
understanding. If a particular part of the legislation is of
particular concern to you, we would advise you to seek
professional legal advice. There are some areas of the
legislation that still need clarification. Some of this ambiguity
might not be clarified until a case actually goes to Court.
The Team at Pro Airsoft Supplies.
Footnote: There appears to be a lot of new companies with a similar
trading names to ours, who appear to offer very similar products. Please
be advised that there is only one ‘Pro Airsoft Supplies’, which is based in
London. We have no branches or franchises in other parts of the country.
You should not expect the same level of service from another company
that has a similar name to Pro Airsoft Supplies.