caused by some of recent events, a couple of which are national issues and some more intimate ones, i’ve become interested, once again, in gun replicas. you know, those plastic BB guns, more popularly known (then) as pellet guns but are now known as Airsoft guns and rifles.
my first airsoft gun was a KSC Smith & Wesson (i forgot what type of pistol. probably the Model 39. it has the same brown wood textured grip) way back in the 90s. yes i was probably underage for those kinds of toys but i had my father with me when i bought that in a store in San Fernando. i had a lot of fun holding it, feeling its heavy weight as if it were the real thing and pretty much treated it like an actual pistol. though i couldn’t have much fun with it because you have to cock it after every shot, not like the new ones that you put compressed air into them or those that have battery-powered motors inside that let you shoot continuously.
if memory serves me right, my old pistol cost me Php 600.00. and you still add the cost of BB pellets that you use for shooting. i didn’t bother buying target boards/paper because i was just too young to think about competition and scores. what my playmates and i would do was usually get an empty can of sardines or milk and have some target practice! and if we do attempt playing with scores with hand-drawn target boards, we’d do it indoors! you ask why? we need curtains! 😀
what we did was hang or clip the paper target to the curtain inside the house and shoot a couple of feet away. that way, we could still retrieve the BB pellets we used in hitting the targets, much like how they do it in the local peryahan. (i used to wonder why they had curtains in the shooting range at the carnival before i learned about this. i always thought it was just for aesthetics. :D)
so, that’s the most fun we’d have — target practice. we couldn’t play the war games or military operations simulation that they do today with airsoft because we didn’t have the gear and the playing field for it. and if you get hit by those BB pellets, it’ll surely leave a welt! i should know because i accidentally shot myself on the leg once while running with my pellet gun loaded and cocked!
today, there are already established organizations in various professions, companies, and provinces that hold ‘war games’ regularly. forums abound all over the internet where they discuss and trade tactics, techniques, equipment, and activities. in 2004, one of these events was even featured in an old ABS-CBN show Special Assignment.
you’ll see from the video clip that it can be an expensive hobby or interest. you can be like the ABS-CBN team that had the basic protection needed (e.g. long-sleeved shirts, face mask, gloves and pads) to play a quick game or don complete uniforms of the navy, special forces, SWAT or whatever group in the armed forces or law enforcement. if you didn’t know better, you’d say that these members were actually enlisted personnel carrying real weapons — one thing that some of our fellow citizens take advantage of and use these replicas for committing crimes.
the PNP CSG Firearms and Explosives Division have required airsoft enthusiasts to register these replica weapons which they hope would limit their sale and distribution and hopefully lower the number of crimes committed using such weapons.
in my own opinion, i’m not really sure of this requirement by the authorities. unlike real weapons, airsoft guns cannot be identified/matched with the ammunition they use. yes these may be used to scare people in bank robberies and hold-ups but these crimes would probably be done with unregistered airsoft guns anyway. if their intention is the same as the one i already mentioned above, how about the early adopters of airsoft guns like myself who have theirs just lying around at home? it doesn’t aid in limiting the circulation of these items. there’s no way to monitor these items since you can’t match them to anything that could be evidence — probably except that they were just replicas! also, i think that the serial numbers of these mass produced replicas are just the same — so how do you monitor them then? i don’t know… maybe there’s some logic that i just cannot see.
right now, perhaps that’s what’s keeping me for pursuing this hobby again. i’ve been eyeing Glocks and have been on YouTube, forums, Google, etc trying to find out more about these pistols. i’d probably not be able to join the war games yet because i just like pistols (for now) but who knows i might upgrade to higher powered ones in the future. but to register a ‘weapon’ at P200 each + P350 for a permit to transport a maximum of 5 ‘firearms’ + other misc., it’s a little mabusisi for something that i’d probably enjoy and play with just by staying at home. i think may impluwensiya na si P-Noy saken ah… just a little safer option. 😛
image from wikipedia