Airsoft guns was developed
in Japan in the early 1970s to provide an alternative for gun hobbyists
because it was illegal to own firearms by private individuals. A heavy
emphasis was placed on making accurate replicas of real firearms and target shooting.The first airsoft guns available were spring-powered replicas of
firearms that fired 6mm, plastic pellets or BBs. Airsoft gun then spread to
China, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines and became very popular
chiefly because of firearm restrictions in these countries.
The early Japanese air
driven pellet guns were based on semi-automatic pistols.They were spring
powered. The plastic pellet was propelled by air when the spring piston was
released.In spring driven pellet guns, a spring was used to propel the
pellet held between two small locks and released when the gun was fired.
Mattel, the famous
American toy company had already marketed a product called “Shootin Shells”
way back in the 1950s. These guns were identical to the spring driven pellet
guns. In the 1980s, Daisy BB Gun Company manufactured
spring gun models
called Replisoft and Soft Air shot at each other by opposing players.
The popularity of airsoft guns in the United
States and Europe began in the mid-1990s. There is continued growing
interest in the west. In 2003, Daisy started manufacturing and marketing
airsoft guns once again in the United States. “Powerstrike” is the brand
name used by the company. Other manufacturers are following in Daisy’s
footsteps and a host of different models have entered the United States airsoft guns market.