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 AIRSOFT PART 3

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Hellkoi13
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PostSubject: AIRSOFT PART 3   Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:53 pm

Eye and Face Protection
A standard of safety guidelines and equipment has evolved in the airsoft community to protect the eyes and face. The minimum safe level of gear required to participate in most games includes a pair of fully-sealing impact-rated goggles to protect the eyes of the participants. Traditional prescription glasses and sunglasses are almost never accepted as they will not prevent serious injury. Goggles not designed specifically for use with airsoft or paintball guns may break or shatter upon being struck, causing eye damage.

For this reason many organized groups of airsoft players and fields require that eye protection fully seals the area around the eyes, and also meets or exceeds ANSI's Z87.1-2003 goggle standard for eye protection: the ability to resist 3 joules of impact energy without damage. Some players instead opt for paintball goggles, which are held to higher impact rating standards, ASTM's F1776.[4]

According to ANSI publications as of June 2006, The ASTM is currently developing a more specific standard for airsoft - ASTM Z1535Z - Standard Specification for Eye Protective Devices for Airsoft Sports.[5]

The best overall protection is currently offered by paintball masks. These masks provide an additional level of protection by covering the face, teeth, and ears, greatly reducing the risk of injury to these body parts and the chipping of teeth. The lens is a solid piece of impact resistant plastic. Some airsoft masks are made with mesh screens, though these screens do not offer protection from cheaper or bio-degradable BBs that sometimes fragment upon impact on hard objects.[6]

Unprotected Players or Bystanders
A player and any observer near an airsoft game site is required to keep his or her face mask, goggles, or shooting glasses on at all times. This is a standard safety requirement upon an airsoft site and this rule is always enforced by the marshal in charge to ensure that all players and observers remain safe and no accidents occur during the gameplay.

All players must immediately stop shooting when a person without eye protection is encountered in the playing area. One commonly adopted practice is for players to shout the words "Cease-fire, Blind Man!," "Heads up, Pedestrian!," "Noncombatant!," or "Walker!" and halt an ongoing game if a player or bystander is seen in the designated game play area without proper eye protection: goggles and a helmet. Any player hearing the words must, in turn, stop and also shout the words, resulting in a chain reaction which halts and alerts the whole game. Once the situation is resolved by properly removing the unprotected person from harm, the game is usually resumed at the same point at which it was stopped. It may be smart to move to a different area after a safety call so you don't give away your location.

Clothing

Most players typically wear military battle dress uniforms (BDUs) consisting of separate pants and shirts or jackets, because it just as with real soldiers aids concealment from adversaries. Some players will go as far as to use a ghillie suit, which breaks up the human outline by having sticks, leafs, and items like that in the fabric/netting.

The choice of camouflage pattern of the BDUs is normally determined by suitability to the playing area or local availability. These fall into general categories such a forest (greenish), desert (tan), winter (gray-white), and urban (black or civilian-wear). Aside from the advantage of camouflage, some participants aim to faithfully replicate a specific combat unit (particularly in games such as MilSim). Also common, especially among the new and non-regular players, are the so-called "contractor style" in reference to private military contractors which combine civilian or tribal costume with single-item or mismatched military gear and attire.

Typically, military surplus stores are a good source for such items. In the U.S. the most common pattern is "Woodland" camouflage pattern, but recently MARPAT (recently adopted by the United States Marine Corps) and ACU (adopted in 2006 by the United States Army), and CADPAT (Canadian Armed Forces) have also become popular choices in North America, but most European camouflage patterns are suitable with Flecktarn (Germany) being a popular alternative, or even strictly commercial patterns such as Multicam or Real-Tree.

Similarly in Europe, local military uniforms are more readily available and probably more suitable to local conditions. Popular patterns include the German Flecktarn, British DPM or Swiss Alpenflage.

In the Philippines, civilian airsofters are forced to wear mismatched, commercial or foreign military uniforms (BDUs), because laws allow only military and police personnel to wear official uniforms. It has become popular among civilians and airsoft players to wear only the upper garment or the pants, but not both.

Aside from concealment, Military BDUs also provide protection from typical outdoor elements such as weather, flora and most importantly the impact of the BBs. When not wearing full paintball-type face masks, many players wear neck armor such as a balaclava and military-style helmets, such as the Kevlar MICH 2000 or PASGT helmet. Furthermore, players need to wear the proper field footwear such as combat or hiking boots (not just ordinary athletic shoes) in order to safely and quickly travel on foot in harsh terrain. They also wear padded gloves, elbow pads, knee pads, and protective vests for additional protection.

In some cases rules are adopted that allow only casual clothes in an effort to encourage realism, because players will more actively avoid being hit.

Tactical gear
Players wear tactical clothing and accessories not only for the added realism, but to fulfill the practical needs similar to that of a real soldier. One such example is the ability to carry spare magazines, batteries, propellant gas canisters, water, food, or other equipment in specified vests. The most common are holsters, load bearing vests, and modular rigs such as MOLLE, ALICE, and the British PLCE systems. Some players even wear hydration systems, such as those manufactured by Camelbak.

Gun bags or gun cases that can be padlocked allow airsoft guns to be transported in private or even public vehicles without the risk of damage or careless access by non-owners. Airsoft guns need to be carried discreetly and away from the public eye and it is usually impractical to bring the guns in the original boxes. These gun cases usually have extra padding and multiple compartments to stow the gun parts, accessories, batteries, and ammunition in an organized manner.
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