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Airsoft Terminology - Part Two: N - Z

Airsoft kit.

As part of our attempt to support new players that have recently taken up airsoft as a hobby, and to help more experienced players keep up with the jargon of the sport, we have published a two-part series of airsoft jargon. This is the second instalment in the series that focuses on N through to Z. Make sure to let us know if there is anything that you think we have missed from the list or if there are any site-specific phrases that are used at your local site. You can find part one of the series here.

Night Vision – Pretty self-explanatory, night vision is the ability to see in low light conditions using technological equipment such as goggles.

NiMH – Nickel Metal Hydride Battery, abbreviated as NiMH, is a type of rechargeable battery, either in the form of a standard consumer battery such as an AA or a AAA or as a battery pack for things like airsoft weapons. NiMH batteries typically have a lifespan of around three years before needing to be replaced. See also LiPo.

Non Blowback (NBB) – Non blowback refers to airsoft guns, that do not have a feature to replicate recoil – such as the slide moving back and forth. Almost all electric guns are non blowback, pistols are really the only airsoft guns to be known specifically as such as there is a huge swathe of gas blowback pistols, that’s become the norm!

Optics – Optics refers to the collective family of sights and scopes. Sights are an aiming device which is mounted onto the weapon, which differs slightly from scopes in that the latter are telescopic and will magnify the view.

Over Hop – Over hop is when an airsoft gun has been tuned to provide more than enough hop up to the BBs, causing them to fly upwards rather than in a straight line.

Plate Carrier – These pieces of kit are worn over your torso and can take the sting out of incoming BBs and increase your carrying capacity. In the real world they’re designed to carry ballistic plates (think bullet proof vest!) and mount kit on, for Airsoft they’re a great source for carrying spare mags, and do complete the look, but a hit still counts, even if it hits you on your plate carrier!

Rail Interface System (RIS) – A vital tool for those looking to add attachments to their weapons such as flashlights, scopes and lasers.

Rate of Fire (ROF) – This is a measurement of how many BBs a weapon can fire within a given time, typically measured in either one minute or one second.

Recoil – Recoil in real steel guns is the kick in the shoulder you get when the bullet is fired. There are a number of Airsoft guns that attempt to simulate the feel of this, from gas powered airsoft guns with moving bolts to Tokyo Marui NGRS electric airsoft guns that have a weight in the stock. These really give you a different feeling to the average AEG! See also blowback.

Side Arm/Secondary Weapon – Typically used interchangeably, the term refers to a weapon carried in addition to the primary weapon. The secondary weapon is normally a pistol or small SMG/PDW which is suitable for short-range combat but loses range quickly.

Spawn Point – The spawn point in airsoft is the point on the field at which teams begin the game. This is also typically the point at which they ‘respawn’ having been eliminated from the game.

Speed Loader – A speedloader is a device which is used for loading airsoft gun low or mid-cap magazines with BBs quicker than doing it by hand. Typically airsoft magazines are larger than the real steel equivalent and are capable of carrying over 100 BBs at a time; the speedloader cuts down time for reloading each magazine.

SpeedSoft – SpeedSoft is a playstyle of airsoft that sees players typically use lightweight clothing and lightweight weapons and play at a much higher tempo. The guns are typically less powerful and the style is popular with indoor airsoft players because this lends itself well to close quarters combat.

Tightbore (barrel) – An upgrade to your airsoft gun, a quality tightbore barrel can improve your shooting hugely. Just make sure you use good quality BBs!

Velocity – Velocity, relating to airsoft, typically refers to the speed at which a BB is travelling in a given direction.

United Kingdom Airsoft Retailers Association (UKARA) – UKARA was formed in a response to the 2006 Violent Crime Reduction Act which introduced the need for a defence when purchasing RIFs. UKARA runs an online database which you can register your site membership with (if your site is a UKARA registered site). This allows any member retailer to check the database to confirm your defence and in the click of a few buttons. It’s widely held to be the most convenient and legal way of confirming your defence.

Whether you’re new to airsoft and are looking to grab one of your first airsoft guns, or are looking to upgrade your current loadout, we have a fantastic range of airsoft equipment available. Check out our online catalogue here!

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