TOY GUNS VS. AIRSOFT GUNS: THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!
There are many types of replica toy guns available for kids to play with. We have foam dart guns like NERF guns, cap guns, water guns, even laser guns! Airsoft guns do not fall under any of these categories. Young children are usually facinated by guns and there is a large market in the toy industry for toy guns. One way or another, they are all trying to achieve the same goals as airsoft guns. Whether its to make it sound and look like a real gun, like cap guns, or for shooting at each other with Nerf or water guns, the concepts are relatively the same. Read our safety guide for Airsoft Guns.
Perhaps one of the most popular names in the toy industy is NERF. They are known for making foam toy products that range from frisbees to faux flamethrowers. They are most known for their foam dart shooting toy guns. The early development of NERF dart guns were a simple design. A manual spring powered gun, designed to fire a foam projectile equipped with a soft rubber suction cup tip. The design was intended for shooting at targets, however their purpose soon changed. Being totally harmless, the dart guns have been used for decades to play "war" and other popular games like "cops and robbers", "cowboys and indians", and other games of similar nature. Much like airsoft, these games are designed to be a force-on-force style of gameplay. One person, or team has the sole objective to eliminate another person, or team by the means of shooting them with a dart. Newer NERF guns have done away with the suction cups, knowing full well that they are no longer necessary for their eventual use.
A popular summer time toy gun is the traditional water gun. Everyone has had a water gun at one point in their life. These guns have large reservoirs that hold water. A pump system propels the water out of a nozzle a significant distance. Early designs of water guns made simple pumps, much like you'd see on a Windex spray bottle. New generations of water guns have presurized chambers that propel a seemingly endless stream of water up to 30+ feet. The original design and intent was for people to shoot each other with some harmess H2O. A common summertime activity is to have watergun fights or wars, or battles, call it what you want, it's all the same fun! Just like airsoft and NERF, it is also force on force. The rules are much more lenient, and for the most part, its a free for all!
Cap guns are widely available from the local grocery store, to the neighborhood ice cream truck. These guns are often brightly colored to identify them as toys. They use caps to product a loud popping noise, mimicking gunfire. They are easy enough for young children to use and have fun with. Unlike any previously mentioned toy guns, these cap guns do not fire a projectile. Common uses for play are "cops and robbers" and games of the like. Like airsoft, these games rely on the honor system as there are no projectiles being fired, or nothing to mark a hit. Players will need to feign their own death of "shot".
Often confused misinterpreted as airsoft guns, BB guns are VERY different. BB guns, or air guns are air-powered guns that fire a metal projectile, usually in the form of a .177 caliber pellet, or BB. BBs are usally made of copper, or steel. Pellets are largely made of lead. For obvious reasons, these are NOT to be used against players in a competitive game. BB guns and airguns are meant as a sporting tool. They are used to hunt and kill small game or vermin. Their FPS ratings are usually over 700 FPS for projectiles much heavier than airsoft BBs. Air guns and BB guns are also not marked with an orange tip since they are NOT considered toys. Use of Airguns or BB guns in the same way as airsoft can result in serious injury, even death. Although they look very much like airsoft guns, and are even powered with similar propellents, they are very different in nature and use.