Airsoft units of measure
With what units we describe airsoft guns?
When browsing the offers of airsoft stores or even the regulations of skirmishes we plan to attend, we often encounter various units. When preparing the games, the organizers define power limits to introduce order and differentiate between constructions of different classes. When checking the parameters on the websites of online stores, we need them to compare different models and determine which of them best suits our needs.
Physical parameters - this is the most basic issue in the case of both airsoft guns and accessories. To describe the size or weight of our toys, we use rather standard units such as millimetres or grams. Contrary to appearances, these features can be of great importance. It happens that the difference in weight between replicas is large, even when they imitate the construction of the same firearm system. The materials used and the method of finishing are of key importance here. Weight is also an important feature in case of BBs. Here, we most often use hundredths of grams and so we find BBs weighing from 0.16 grams up to 0.5 grams and heavier. The selection of BBs in this respect is of great importance for the accuracy and range of the replica, and on the Gunfire blog you will find an article about it.
ROF - rate of fire. It is a parameter describing how many shots our replica shoots in a given unit of time. The most common unit here is RPS, rounds per second, i.e., shots per second. If we are building a replica with a focus on the rate of fire or the best possible reaction to the trigger, this unit of measurement will be very important to us. In my opinion, the average value here is around 20 RPS. Of course, if you have your opinion on this topic, let me know. This does not mean that it is some universally best value. Usually, factory replicas or those focused on the highest possible power will have a lower ROF. Those for CQB games or those with lower power in general will, in turn, fire more frequently. It is worth adding that the ROF itself is only a determinant for us to determine the response to the trigger and it is generally assumed that the higher it is, the better the response. However, many other factors affect this parameter and we can encounter a situation where a design with a low ROF will have an excellent response to the trigger for single shots.
How to measure the power of a replica?
We already know what are the basic parameters describing our replicas. Let's move on to what probably interests most of us the most, i.e., power. This is a very often measured value. The success of the replica's tuning will depend on whether we have gained power.
FPS - feet per second. It is a widespread parameter commonly used to define the power of a replica. This is a kind of simplification, because this unit only tells us at what speed the BB leaves the barrel of our replica. The imperfection of this measurement is evidenced by the fact that it is enough to change the weight of the BBs we use to completely change this value. For simplicity, it is generally accepted that we measure this value on 0.20-gram BBs. Thanks to this, we can more or less compare different replicas with each other. It is quite an easy measure and its wide spread makes it quite intuitive for many players and service technicians over time. It is difficult to talk about any standard value here, because the power of our replica is a very individual matter. Additionally, as I mentioned, FPS is not the best way to measure power. This unit does not take into account the weight of the projectile or the amount of air in the replica's pneumatic system, which parameters affect the power and not necessarily the speed of the BB.
M/S - meters per second is also a way of measuring the muzzle velocity of the BBs. This unit of measure is similar to the aforementioned FPS, except that it seems to be less widely used. After all, we will meet it sometimes. For example, some springs are described with the value of meters per second that the BBs should reach after leaving the barrel of the replica, if a given part is used.
Joule - is a unit that we can remember from physics lessons. To calculate it, we need to multiply the weight of the projectile by its velocity squared. Fortunately, most airsoft chronographs do the math for us. This unit best describes the power of our replica the best from all those presented in this article. Due to the fact that the BB's mass is included in the calculations, we do not have to take a standard value to be able to compare replicas with each other. Although, due to the joule creep phenomenon, it is worth noting which BBs are used for measuring joules. This is because in some cases the same replica can generate more power when using heavier BBs. As standard, for CQB games, limits of about 1 to 1.2 J are used, and in the case of forest games, these values become more detailed, taking into account the purpose of the replicas and their construction and what real equivalents are to be imitated. Often, however, assault replicas have a limit of 1.9 J, and sniper rifles even over 3 J. Of course, in the Polish reality, because in other countries the power of replicas may be legally limited at a lower level. And perhaps the best proof of the sense of using limits in joules is that this unit is also often used in legal acts regulating the power of both airsoft replicas and sometimes even firearms.
Airsoft units of measure - conclusions
I have the impression that sometimes we focus too much on the parameters describing our replicas. How much fps does it have? What is the ROF? It's easy to lose yourself in these numbers, forgetting what really matters: having a good time. If we treat the pursuit of indicators as a sport in itself, it is probably better to set up a website and offer your professional services to other players. Meanwhile, after reading this article, we know a bit more about the units of measurement that we use in airsoft.
Units of measurement are needed at airsoft. Without them, it would be impossible to define the limits of replica power in skirmishes, for example. Similarly, when buying replicas, we must have some way to compare them with each other. After reading today's article, we already know the most important parameters with which we describe the world of airsoft and with this knowledge it will be easier for us to navigate through forums and offers of online stores.
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