About a week ago, I recently purchased an Auto Electric Gun made from a Japanese company called “Tokyo Mauri”. Before you start thinking I’m a gun nut (I’m really not) I should clarify that the A.E.G. shoots “relatively” harmless 6mm plastic BB’s. My A.E.G. is up to scale and almost faultlessly replicated from the Austrian Steyr Army Universal Gun. Before owning my Auto Electric Gun, I owned a Daisy air rifle. You know, one of those toys you had to pump several times just to plink cans with copper BB’s. I had just about forgotten about the old Daisy until I did a search for BB guns and I discovered the modern sport of airsoft. This fairly unacknowledged sport has been around for quite a while and I’m surprised I’ve overlooked it since. People are actually fighting each other in military scenarios or skirmishes with realistic (at least looking) guns. After being introduced by a cousin who was big in paintballing, I was resolved to purchase one. I’ve recently found a retailer, Jungle Toys, conveniently nearby me. It was a simple matter of making the ten minute drive to the store and picking out my choice from a plethora of weapons. There were the standard Auto Electric Guns, gas-blow guns, spring guns. I saw AK-47’s, Colt M-16’s and M4’s, PSG-1’s, FA-MAS’s, multiple variants of the MP-5, M-60’s, M249’s, and the really compact-looking P90. I even saw a non-firing Vulcan Minigun behind a glass stand worth a king’s ransom. All of these guns were only distinguishably from real guns by an orange-blaze tip. There was a lot to choose from but my eyes instantly gravitated to the unique AUG. When I first saw the A.E.G., I was surprised at the futuristic look of the AUG. The Steyr AUG was actually created in the 70’s but its bullpup design makes it looks just nifty. I picked it up from its rack and noticed that it was particularly back-heavy when compared to the rest of the other guns. But the butt-stock conformed comfortably into my shoulder and the forward handgrip was a pleasure to handle. Even the plastic felt good when I rested my cheek against it. This gun was definitely made with human comfort in mind. I liked the way the gun looked so all I had to do was see how it performed. There was a shooting range inside the shop and the owner hooked up a battery to the AUG, slapped in a magazine, and let me plink away. One thing that was super, super cool: the trigger. It breaks back so cleanly. You slightly pull the trigger for semi-automatic shots and you pull the trigger all the way back for full auto. It’s very easy to control your stream of fire. Also, the gun was silent. When you place your cheek against the plastic cheekrest, you can still hear the gears and the spring inside working but my mates can’t hear it on the field. And when you’re shooting away at a platoon of players from a hidden spot, that’s definitely a plus. The hop-up (a plastic nub in the barrel that adds backspin to the BB) was easy to adjust. You simply pull the cocking handle back and lock it and the hop-up adjustment dial is revealed inside the breech. The ergonomically sound design of bullpup means that you have all the good components of a gun in a small package. Because the magazine feed is behind the trigger, the barrel extends farther into the gun. Taken out, the gun equals the same size of a Colt M-16 but is visibly shorter. The longer barrel means the BB is more stabilized and fire is more accurate. I wanted the Civilian model of the AUG, which has a Weaver rail to mount your own scope, but the shop was all out. Instead, I purchased the Military model that had its own low-magnification scope welded onto the barrel. Still 1.5X magnification wasn’t too bad and I wanted the gun right away. So I laid down the couple hundred dollars for the gun. Jungle Toys is a great retailer not only because of their friendly service but also because you get a gun carrying bag, battery, and battery charger free of charge. See, normally, I would be satisfied. 300+ dollars is a lot of money to spend at one time. But airsofting is a horrendously addictive sport. Three days later, I came back to Jungle Toys and made some more purchases. I bought two more magazines, making that a total of three magazines. Each magazine carries eighty rounds so I had 240 rounds at hand. Then I bought a Scott paintball mask, which is really necessary unless you’re keen on losing an eye. I also purchased a webbing vest, which carried four pockets that accommodated the curved magazines, one large back pocket, two sides smaller pockets, and a long zipper “secret” compartment that I’ll use to bring my candy bars. But the best purchase I made that day was an Auto Tracer. An Auto Tracer, when used at night, electrically illuminates glow in the dark BB’s to a brilliant sheen and also simulates muzzle flash. Laying down a constant stream of illuminated BB’s is like shooting a laser. My two cousins both purchased MP-5’s. One bought the MP-5 R.A.S. (a tactical version of the MP-5 with numerous additions and modifications including a RIS rail, folding stock, and red dot scope) and the other bought a MP-5 SD5 (a MP-5 with a fake silencer attached to the tip). Once again, showing that classic “customer comes first” attitude, Jungle Toys gave us three bags of BB’s and a box of glow in the dark BB’s for free. So yeah, if you want military-simulation without playing computer games, airsofting is the safest and closest to real-life. If anyone is interested in getting started into airsofting, give me a PM. I, for one, am having a blast.