The Airsoft Dictionary: Basic Terms and Jargon

Airsoft is both a fun and tactical game, sharing many similarities with military operations. Because of this, there are many important terms and slang that accompany the game. Knowing some of these will help you navigate the airsoft world a little bit easier. The more you know, the better player you’ll become:

GBB – “gas blowback,” a type of gas-powered gun with moving external parts to simulate realistic fire.

NBB –  “non-blowback,” a type of gas-powered gun without external parts that move using pressurized gas output.

CQB –  “close-quarters battle,” a type of game played between enemies that are a short distance apart, often in an enclosed space.

AEP –  “airsoft electric pistol,” a type of pistol that is battery powered.

AEG –  “airsoft electric gun,” a name typically given to battery-powered rifles and machine guns.

FPS –  “feet per second,” or the speed at which a BB travels from a given gun.

RoF –  “rate of fire,” or the rate at which BBs leave a gun during automatic fire in a given time period.

CO2 – Carbon dioxide, a popular variety of gas used to propel BBs.

Hop-up – Internal component of an airsoft gun, often adjustable, which effects how a BB travels once it leaves the gun.

Milsim – Shortened term for “military simulation,” or a large game which emulates real-world war based on locations, objectives, and pace of play.

Hi-Capa – Both a popular type of gun and shortening of “high-capacity,” referring to a gun or magazine that holds more rounds than normal.

Joules – A measure of energy that a round will transfer to a target, based on velocity and BB weight. It describes how ‘hard’ your shot will hit someone and is often regulated.

Field – The location of play or environment in which an airsoft match takes place.

Speedsoft – A play style of airsoft that is gaining popularity. I go into more depth on that here.

LiPo – A type of battery (lithium polymer) used in electric airsoft guns that often performs better than a traditional battery.

This is far from an exhaustive list, but these are important terms to know while growing accustomed to airsoft.