Welcome back to our blog where we teach you more about the sport of airsoft, tips and tricks, and ways to improve your game. Today our topic is about flagging players and muzzle awareness.
This is a skill and mindset you have to hone that will important in many aspects. First of all, what does the term flagging mean? No, this does not pertain to a game mode. Flagging is covering an unintended target with the muzzle of your gun. You might think that in a game of shooting people with airsoft guns, this is not a big deal since you're in battle anyway. This is important both on and off the field. As a pillar in firearm safety, the consequences of accidents with airsoft guns is very real and the danger that our sport often faces is scrutiny that comes from careless accidents. The safety aspect is often dismissed by less responsible people because they feel the scale of damage airsoft causes is comparatively low. It is time to get our collective heads out of that type of thinking.
To understand the value of this, first we need to go over the four basic firearm safety rules. This WILL translate into airsoft, trust me.
- Treat all guns as if they were loaded.
- Keep your finger OFF the trigger until ready to fire.
- Never point at something you are not willing to destroy.
- Be aware of your target's foreground and background.
A bullet cannot be unfired and just the same, neither can a BB. Though a BB hit to the body seemingly is not bad and is part of the game, it is enough to permanently injure you in areas such as the eyes (which by the way, is why we take full seal goggles seriously too).
Treating guns as if they were loaded is important. You should always be cautious and feel uneasy unless you have personally checked in some way. Though in a staging area it would not be allowed for you to do this, before you step out of the field you will have to clear your gun and make sure once in staging that no magazine goes into your gun. Treating it cautiously as if loaded no matter what means you are respecting it. The moment you lost that respect then you will become careless with it.
Keeping your finger off the trigger is an easy one to break if you are not careful. Develop a habit of resting your trigger finger off the trigger. Some guns have very light triggers to, so aside from a working safety, your finger should be doing its part too.
The third rule is pertaining exactly to what flagging is. Do NOT cover something you are not intending to shoot with the muzzle of your gun. Treat the muzzle of your gun as if there is a laser beam coming out of it. In game this is important to not shooting your friendlies especially when maneuvering in confined areas. When you are off the field or in the staging area, this is where this rule becomes important. If you are diligently observing rule #3 and your gun is not pointed at anyone at any time then your chance to accidentally shoot someone will be greatly mitigated even with a mechanical failure of the safety of the gun.
And finally, if you are in a situation where you do have your gun pointed at something, you want to make sure things in your background are also okay to shoot at/shoot towards. Understand that even within a game, friendly fire though forgivable, is still regrettable. If this were real life you cannot take it back.
Here's some examples of big violations of the safety rules:
- Horseplay in the staging area
- Test firing guns at the wrong part of your field
- Casually pointing the guns at things/twirling a gun around your finger
- Gripping a gun improperly
- Loading your gun in the staging area
The reason we are here is for the enjoyment of the sport and to have fun playing BB wars. To make sure that doesn't get taken away, we have to all be responsible for ourselves and play safely. You can have 100 refs on the field and though their job is to enforce rules, their response is reactionary at best if you do something stupid at your local field. No one likes to be chewed out but this is too important to be dismissed. Within your own group you need to be accountable and be range safety officers for yourself and for others. This is a good way to teach other players to respect the game and each other too. If we don't work together on this, this sport is dead. If you encounter someone who blatantly disregards this then for your sake, you should stay away from them or even let your local field staff know so they can be addressed. Airsoft has no room for these type of people and if you have respect for yourself and others around you, you will feel the same way.