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McManaway 09-02-2009 05:36 PM

How young is too young for airsoft?
For those of you who have younger kids involved in airsoft or if you are yourself a pre-teen player, please do not take offense to this thread as I want to get some opinions on the younger generation of airsoft players.

So today at work, I am going through my daily routine with shipping and inventory when the phone rings. I answer the phone,

“Airsoft Arms, this is Shawn, how may I help you?”

At this point, a gentleman replies,

“Yes, I’m trying to get some ideas for an airsoft gun for my son, he’s six. What do you think would be best for him?”

My first reaction was, are you serious? Who would buy their six year old son a two hundred or even three hundred dollar gun to shoot with? I understand that there are many people out there that believe in practicing safe gun control and believe in getting their children involved with safe gun control so that they are more educated in this matter, but this is a little too soon in my mind. The customer decides to go with an Echo 1 MP5 which is shooting about 370 fps with .20g bb’s for his six year old son.

With in that same hour, a woman comes into the store with her daughter and son. Her son was five and her daughter might have been around eight or nine. As she walks towards me, I greet her,

“Hello, is there anything I can help you out with?”

I assumed she was in getting some bb’s for an older third party who was not with her at this point. She replies,

“Do you sell airsoft guns?”

Now…, besides the gigantic sign on top of the building that says AIRSOFT Arms and the numerous amounts of guns in the front window and display wall in which most of them say AIRSOFT use only and the tremendous amount of AIRSOFT bb’s that lay on the floor, I guess there is nothing else in her head that would stop her from asking this question. So me being the smart *** that I am, I replied,

“Hello, welcome to AIRSOFT Arms, how can I help you?”

“I am looking for an electric gun for my five year old son… What do you have that would work for him?”

As I had nothing to show her, I had to point her to the nearest WalMart to buy the old mini M4’s for a few dollars because that is the best thing that will work for him.

All jokes aside, the question at this point is, how young is too young to own an airsoft gun?

Fish20 09-02-2009 05:43 PM

How young is too young is going to always be a judgement call.

But there comes at point where you just KNOW if the kid doesn't know what they're doing. Teach a 6 year old about guns, yes, don't freakin give them one and expect they're going to be safe with it, even if it is a toy gun.

How many 6 year olds are there out there, or even 10-12 year olds, that are going to don eye protection on their own and play safe? Probably not many.

For the 6 year old, I would have sold him a springer or something, or at least that would have been my advice. An airsoft gun can break the skin if it's close enough, hell you could probably remove an eye easily or break some teeth if you're not careful.

But I'm getting away from the original point. How young is too young? Like I said, that's a judgement call, but I think it's safe to say if the kid can probably barely lift the rifle, he or she is too young.

This question also delves into the parent's role and responsibility in this situation. Is it even responsible to give a younger child an airsoft gun without clear guidance and guidelines, or even with? There's a lot of potential for injury that could occur, through either misuse or misunderstanding...

Loki 09-02-2009 05:48 PM

In my experience, anyone that is young enough that they do not understand the concept of "personal responsibility" is too young to play. For some people this is 10, for others, 16, and for still others 40.

I've seen waayyy too many anonymous toolboxes do waaayyy too many stupid things.

Generally, I would say that age isn't the issue, maturity level is.

To answer your question point-blank, I would say someplace in the 16-18 year old range, to be honest, but then again, I'm old-fashioned.

bishopMP 09-02-2009 05:51 PM

i had my first BB gun at 5 years old.
maybe they arent getting them to actually 'play' airsoft...maybe they are gtting them just as BB gun.

but for airsoft, i think it is too young...13 and older with parent present.

Joey 09-02-2009 06:07 PM

Both my boys have been playing with Airsoft guns since my youngest was 8 (now 11), but then again I have almost always been present. I know some people that let their kids play younger than that, but not sure I would. My Brother-in-law for one lets his 5 yo do things I would never let my now 11 year old do...

3RD PaRtY 09-02-2009 06:15 PM

I agree with bishop i got a BB gun when i was 4 but i wasn't allowed to really shoot it for like a year because my dad wanted to teach me to be safe with it. I got my first airsoft "springer" when i was like 12. So I think that is a good start for airsoft, of course with parental supervision.

CStahl 09-02-2009 06:15 PM

Personally I don't think there is an exact age that is to young. I think It relies more on that persons maturity level. I know a guy that plays airsoft with his 7 year old son. His seven year old son in my opinion is way more mature than some of the 13 year olds. His son calls his hits, is honest, and is willing to learn, and most importantly I have never seen him taking his goggles off even if they are fogged.
On the other hand iv seen some 12-13 year olds that always take off there goggles if they fog, don't take mags out in safe zones, never call there hits, and are completely not willing to learn. They think they are the best airsoft players in the state of Indiana.

Twin1 09-02-2009 06:37 PM

I totally agree with loki. its not about age, but maturity. I play with kids my age, which averages at about 14. The events are always at my house, and I'm really anal about eye protection and where the barrel is pointed at intermissions. We had a kid that arrived at our game, got out of the car, then pointed his fully loaded and wound up CA8 at my face. He then commenced to adjust the barrel approximately 45 degrees to the right, and let loose a burst. I was 10 yards from him, and because of this, his bullets came very close to my unprotected beautiful face. I haven't had him at any more games, and won't allow him at any in the future.

Fish20 09-02-2009 08:50 PM

Just want to chime in, that I definitely whole heartedly agree with Loki. It is always about maturity level, hell when I was 14 I was probably more mature than some 18 year olds, or even 20 year olds I've met up at college. (Not to give myself self praise, I've just always been more serious then I should be...)

And again, it goes back to parental supervision and involvement. Joey, I commend you for teaching your kids to be safe with airsoft guns, with 1 in 5 americans owning a firearm (you may be one of them?), they could eventually come into contact with a real firearm and knowing how to exercise proper gun safety could save their lives. That's one reason why I advocate treating airsoft guns as real guns in almost all circumstances. It helps to build good habits.

3rd Party and CStahl, looks like you have both witnessed parents being responsible for their children. Again, great.

@Twin1, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot about that kid. I'm moving to Columbus, I'm 20 so if I played with your lot I'd probably be the older guy, but it's good to know at least someone there cares about safety (as you should).

I'm sorry if I sound like I'm on a soapbox and preaching. I worked at a daycare for the past 2 years, and I can say that parental involvement makes a HUGE difference in the lives of children. So I suppose it is a big pet peeve of mine...

Skate 09-02-2009 09:17 PM

At the moment I am 14, and I do like to think that I am mature for my age. It's all relative because there are extremely irresponsible seniors at my high school I wouldn't even trust with a cap gun, but there are 7th graders who I think could handle the safty aspect very well.

I'm a supporter of gun and fire arm safty(took an NRA certified handgun course and such) and I would say that if you are getting a 6 year old a bb or airsoft gun just to get them familiar so that they don't get curious about a real firearm when they are older and seriousally hurt someone, than more power to them. However on the other hand, I think that fields have age limits for a reason.

AWOL 09-02-2009 09:17 PM

It isnt the kid, it's the adult.

I was raised to be in the Armed Forces. I was able to shoot at age 4 and had my own rifles at age 7. But I didnt handle those without respect and my parents watchful eye. You see, I was told that using a rifle was to "kill" what ever you shot. If you didnt have the intention on killing it, dont shoot at it.

Now Airsoft isnt that extreme. Sure, what we shoot wont kill you. But I understand what he is saying. I have spent some time at Airsoft Arms and have seen this for myself. But it isnt the kids fault, its the parent. I have a teenage daughter that plays, but she cant even touch her P90 without me being there. Just this week I have seen kids in Northern Kentucky playing airsoft in other peoples back yards. Now, of course this caught my eye.

These kids ranged in ages of 6 to 16. Walmart guns to some Cyma guns. They were several houses away and not a threat so I went inside and had dinner. A short time later, one of the 4 year old neighbor kids began to scream. I went out to see what was wrong and a boy had shot him point blank with one of the rifles.

So who was at fault? In my eyes its the parents.

So how young is too young?

Well, how mature is the parent that the kid has? Thats a better question.

203 09-02-2009 09:53 PM

AWOL, you die more times than you kill.

I got into airsoft at age ten and owned a BB gun at age ten (because I was responsible with guns)

NH_Nitemare 09-03-2009 07:03 AM

I don't think it is ludicrous to buy your six year old an airsoft rifle. Airsoft guns are the new Daisy BB guns. I have been shooting my whole life like others, since I was about 4, I started with BB Guns, then by time I was 10 I was shooting a .22 long rifle. The important part is I was never shooting without my Grandpa being home and outside with me. A guy I work with just bought his kids, not sure of age but they are young, a "cheap" M4 Replica so that he may teach them proper gun safety and introduce them to the sport of shooting. So Ultimately I have to agree with AWOL, its up to the parents to observe and teach the responsibility that comes along with handling a "rifle." And the age is only objective to events.

Mavrick 09-03-2009 07:14 AM


Originally Posted by AWOL (Post 236009)

So who was at fault? In my eyes its the parents.

So how young is too young?

Well, how mature is the parent that the kid has? Thats a better question.


However, i will say that no matter how mature a kid is, they're still a kid and are bound to get curious/stupid every once in a while.

My answer based on my knowledge and personal younger experiences with airsoft, if i had a kid, they wouldnt go unsupervised until 13-14 with an AEG.

Izokay 09-03-2009 07:59 AM

I'd say as long as you are mature enough and as long as you can take the pain, you're old enough.
If the kid goes onto the field, cursing when he gets hit and calling everyone cheaters, he's obviously not old enough.

sauerkraut 09-03-2009 08:02 AM

As others have pointed out, many of us were that age when we got our first BB gun (many CO2 BB repeaters shoot 400-600fps and these projectiles are metal). So if lots of six years olds can use a BB gun, whats wrong with them using a lower powered plastic bb shooting airsoft gun instead?

i70Pb Airsoft 09-03-2009 08:21 AM

It is the parents call, but.......

Common sense is NOT as common as it used to be.

Joey 09-03-2009 08:25 AM


Originally Posted by i70Pb Airsoft (Post 236053)
It is the parents call, but.......

Common sense is NOT as common as it used to be.

Agree 100%

mrobben 09-03-2009 01:27 PM

This is a great question..
personally, I am a father of 2 boys.. I was excited when the second was born.. I was that much closer to my own 'fireteam robben'
being 4.5 and 2, they are able to lift lighter guns.. but I would not trust them to actually play airsoft.
They do help me test fire after working on a gun, as they like the 'sounds'. That pretty much says it all.. 'they like the sounds'. They do not appreciate the damage that the gun can cause, or the ramification of putting bb's down range.

I think that when the kid is able to properly shoulder a weapon, prove trigger discipline, and respect the gun for the fun, and danger they represent, they are then old enough for airsoft...

granted.. we play all the time with 'kids' who do not do those things, and sometimes I really wonder if my 4 year old would be a better squad mate.

Yamsbanned 09-03-2009 03:12 PM

I'd say that 14 is too young to airsoft. They might not be mature enough to handle weapons like that. IE) careless. I started 2 years ago when I was 15. Started out with a spring m4, then a spring shotty, various walmart pistols, then I moved up to the bigger and better AEGs.

Kilo11 09-03-2009 03:29 PM


Originally Posted by Yams (Post 236105)
I'd say that 14 is too young to airsoft. They might not be mature enough to handle weapons like that. IE) careless. I started 2 years ago when I was 15. Started out with a spring m4, then a spring shotty, various walmart pistols, then I moved up to the bigger and better AEGs.

Not trying to pick a fight here, but usually you don't make a huge jump in maturity in only a years difference. It's not some magical light switch that just flicks on =].

Anyways I don't think it'd be easy to put an age on something like this. Saying that you have to be a teen might be reasonable, but being a teen doesn't make you mature, nor does not being a teen make you immature.

Maybe some kind of exam you have to take that proves you understand how to handle a firearm safely? Idk, just throwing ideas out there.

NegSpace 09-03-2009 04:07 PM


Originally Posted by sauerkraut (Post 236051)
So if lots of six years olds can use a BB gun, whats wrong with them using a lower powered plastic bb shooting airsoft gun instead?

Because in this case, they'll be shooting at other people. Shooting at inorganic targets should come first. Learn how to handle the gun and the consequences of putting your finger on the trigger first, then graduate to tactical gaming later.

partlow11 09-03-2009 04:51 PM

It is more of a “process” to understand what you are doing. It’s not something that is instantaneous as what has been apparent at some games with even adults (18+). More depends on what you have done to go thru that process. Let me ask this question. Who would you trust at an airsoft event? A 17 year old with no military or firearms training who got a $500 airsoft gun with his birthday money and shoots an awesome 500 FPS or an 8 year old kid whose parents have been teaching him about guns and how to play airsoft since they bought him an airsoft gun at Airsoft Arms when he was 5. (Not making an assumption here, trying to make a point). Who is better suited to play? Who has more maturity and understanding? Look at the process in which both have went thru to get to the game. There is no magic age, but there are parents who facilitate that learning process. That is the key when talking about age.

Skate 09-03-2009 04:59 PM

Who is better suited to play.....I would say that the 17 year old is more suited to play. He would have gone through much more time maturing and understanding consequences than the 8 year old. 8 is much too young to play airsoft in my opinion, as you don't have the experience needed to play safely.

WARHAWK 09-04-2009 12:48 AM

Normally I don't comment much on the posts here until now .It no ones job to judge this matter other than the childs parents. For those of you commenting on this who don't have kids you should not have a say or an opinion in it period. I was given my frist 22 at 6 my daughter got her's at 6. I am completely sick and tired of this namby pamby Dudley Do Gooder crap .I'm sorry but when I was growing up BB gun fights where not uncommon mud ball fights/fire crackers were every where and GI joes were for blowing up. when it comes to whether or not a 6,7 or 8 year should have a airsoft gun get life and mind your own business

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